The march of the BNP is a warning to us all. It is a consequence of failure to invest in anti-racism education and a failure to invest in communities in general. Despite the fact that the Immigration Control Platform only received 614 first preference votes in Dublin Central, racism is increasingly an issue in Ireland. Immigrant candidates Tendai Madondo (Tallaght South), Baby Pereppedan (Tallaght South) and Patrick Maphoso (North Inner City) all reported racist attacks in their campaign.The success of the BNP highlights the need for investment in the communities to promote real and meaningful integration. In Ireland, Integration budget was cut by 30% in last years budget. There was also an underspend of the 2008 budget with only €4m out of €9m spent, while Non government organisations working to promote integration have had their funding cut. Disenchantment with the Labour government and from mainstream parties in the United Kingdom have seen further gains for fringe parties including the racist and fascist British National Party. The BNP only allows white people to be members and calls for the repatriation of foreign nationals from Britain. The BNP have now made a significant breakthrough in winning a seat in the European Parliament for the Yorkshire and Humberside region, previously a Labour stronghold, with Andrew Brons now sitting as an MEP. In the 1970’s, Irish people were subject to racism whipped up by the predecessors to the BNP, the National Front. Today, the BNP are a racist party who in particular promote hatred against people of Islamic faith and also holocaust denial and minimisation. The BNP currently have over 100 council seats, a member of the London Assembly and now a seat in the European Parliament. The BNP was formed in 1983 emerging out of remnants of the National Front. In 1993, 50,000 demonstrated outside its Welling Headquarters in south east London following the murders of Stephen Lawrence and three other young people from minority ethnic backgrounds. In Ireland in 1995, the Ireland Vs England game was cancelled after a riot broke out instigated by BNP supporters. The rise of Nick Griffin as leader of the BNP saw the party learn from far right counterparts in other European countries. That is, they took themselves off the streets and out of the stadiums and into the electoral field. If the BNP wanted to distance itself from nazism, the last person it should have chosen as a candidate is Andrew Brons. Brons, 61, started his nazi career in the National Socialist Movement, an organisation that was deliberately founded on Hitler’s birthday by Colin Jordan, the British nazi leader who died in April aged 85. NSM members were responsible for an arson campaign against Jewish property and synagogues in the 1960s.Brons appears to have approved. In a letter to Jordan’s wife, Brons reported meeting an NSM member who “mentioned such activities as bombing synagogues”. He declared: “On This subject I have a dual view, in that I realise that he is well intentioned, I feel that our public image may suffer considerable damage as a result of these activities. I am however open to correction on this point.”The BNP leadership does not believe Britain should have fought Hitler. BNP leader Nick Griffin does not even believe the Holocaust happened. The BNP have been exposed several times for harbouring criminals within their ranks.http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/ —
BNP elections – A warning for all
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