Austin Claims British Decency Must be Relied upon to Defeat BNP BigotryThe Communities Minister has declared that blocking and banning the British National party (BNP) are counter-productive measures in diminishing the appeal of the rightwing party to voters in the upcoming elections.

 

Ian Austin, who is the current Labour MP for Dudley North, expressed his views in an open letter to the Guardian last week amid reports that a tax barrister has resigned from his post following the discovery that he will stand as a BNP candidate.

 

Austin stated that the public notoriety of the BNP had risen to such levels that they were no longer a political party to be treated with terse disregard. He suggested that representatives from major parties now had to seriously contest with BNP candidates and prove themselves democratically superior to the rightwing mouthpieces.

 

It is a growing concern to many of the major parties in Britain that the BNP now hold genuine political sway to voters disenchanted with traditional UK political mechanisms in light of the recent economic downturn, terror attacks and growing social instability.

 

“The BNP’s appeal is based on exploiting resentment or alienation from politics, claiming people have been let down by the mainstream parties which it says neither listen nor care about their concerns on immigration, crime, housing or jobs.” Austin wrote.

 

Austin further added that legal action taken by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the unified expressions of anti-BNP sentiment from mainstream political parties had contributed to the appeal of the BNP as it made the controversial party a popular underdog.

 

“Banning it or refusing to debate with it will not work because it risks reinforcing the impression of disenchanted voters that mainstream politicians believe their views do not matter.” He said.

 

The words of the Communities Minister have seemed to have been ignored by the St Phillips chambers in Birmingham who have distanced themselves from former employee Robert Grierson, who resigned accusing the chambers of “discrimination” after his political affiliation with the BNP was rejected.

 

James Burbidge QC, head of St Philips, said in a statement: “St Philips chambers was not aware that Grierson was a member of the BNP…any views (he) purports to hold or express in the forthcoming election must be taken to be his own personal views and not that of (the) chambers or any of its members.”

 

The BNP website profile of Grierson who will stand against Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell for the Sutton Coldfield seat explains how the barrister whose specialty is wills attended the same Cambridge college as leader Nick Griffin and was educated at King Edward’s school, the school famous for educating racially controversial politician Enoch Powell.

 

Upon his resignation, Grierson told the Guardian; “The BNP is a democratic political party. We have recently voted to allow in non-white members. I said (to chambers) that you should not discriminate against me and should not be removing me from chambers… I took the view, out of consideration for other members of chambers and in order not to make their lives difficult, that I would resign.”

 

His statement seems to befit the image which Austin is warning against. A socially disadvantaged BNP, discriminated against and bullied by major political parties afraid of loosing their traditional turf.

 

This image, Austin argued, dangerously conceals a great racist undercurrent which is the driving force behind the BNP’s political morality.

 

“Allowing it to claim it has changed its rules weakens one of our strongest arguments – that it is a racist party.” Austin stated, adding that voters must now show their “decency” in deciding whether to support the rightwing party or not.

 

“The BNP's new, respectable image masks an ugly reality but, if its members will not tell the truth about their views, we decided we had to do it for them, exposing their hatred and trusting in the basic decency of the British people to reject them.”

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