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4.0 out of 5 stars Love Britain: Vote BNP - The growth of extreme nationalism in the Twenty-first Century
When Cambridge educated Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons were elected to the European Parliament in June 2009, as British National Party (BNP) candidates, following the party's continual successes in electing local councillors, its 70 fold rise in votes in under twenty years to half a million, surpassing the votes nationally of the Greens, the Welsh nationalists, Plaid...
Published 2 months ago by mangilli-climpson m

versus
14 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Total Hard Left Rubbish
You only have to look at the mainstream people who have given their comments on this book. Each one of them has a totally left wing agenda and will always look to do anything to make it appear that the BNP is a fascist/Nazi political party. They love this country being overrun by Afro-Caribbean/Asian/Muslim immigrants, and the fact that White/English/British culture is...
Published on 10 Aug 2012 by steve camfield


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4.0 out of 5 stars Love Britain: Vote BNP - The growth of extreme nationalism in the Twenty-first Century, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party (Extremism and Democracy) (Paperback)
When Cambridge educated Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons were elected to the European Parliament in June 2009, as British National Party (BNP) candidates, following the party's continual successes in electing local councillors, its 70 fold rise in votes in under twenty years to half a million, surpassing the votes nationally of the Greens, the Welsh nationalists, Plaid Cymru, and the SNP with elected MPs, and with increasing numbers of electoral deposits saved, there was a feeling that a new period was finally dawning for the far Right in Britain. UKIP, a party portrayed as "BNP in blazers" had even pushed Labour into third place in the European elections, and when Griffin was presented on BBC's Question Time some optimists believed the BNP had entered the big league. Using recent data, covering the years 2002-09, Matthew Goodwin has explored the nature of this "new" political beast.

Normally a volume about such a political party would cover the changing philosophies it once held. This one does not; so no point in looking for the ideas of Evola or Nietzsche, or of past British activists, such as Andrew Fountaine, Oswald Mosley, John Tyndall, or Martin Webster, of earlier formations The National Front. It has a more practical approach first examining the nature of the "angry white men" who vote or join this extreme body, to see how close they behave as their stereotype descriptions, as "irrational fanatics", "ignoramuses and bigots", "toxic-little Blackshirts", "knuckle dragging skinheads", or as Hannah Arendt The Origins of Totalitarianism (Harvest Book)presented them, isolated, to become inward-looking "fantasists and oddballs"; and secondly to discuss if its electoral success is planned, a "flash in the pan" protest vote, and how it sees its future.

The leaders of the BNP can not deny it is the direct descendant of the pre-war BUF, and of the NF, since until its first national election it inherited John Tyndall as leader, many of its activists, and they openly subscribed to racist and Nazi beliefs. While the NF was principally London based, with certain islets in the West Midlands, the BNP has its roots in the North West: Burnley, Oldham (in 2001 the two constituencies poll reached between 11 and 16%), Yorkshire: Dewsbury (in 2005 13%), Barnsley; the East Midlands: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire, London around Barking (in 2005 16%) and Tower Hamlets (where the BNP won its first council seat in 1993 and where the council today is Muslim run).

Its general supporters, Goodwin states, are low educated members of the working class, working in traditional trades as skilled or semi-skilled operatives, and consider themselves old Labour: the BNP declares itself "We are the Labour Party your grandfather voted for", since Blair's "New" Labour, and later Miliband re-positioning Labour socially as a progressive organ led by and for graduates, middle class professionals who had moved out of the working class. They reside in communities with large numbers of Muslims, and growing number of East European migrants, fear themselves being "swamped", "excluded", and since 2000 see all the traditional corrupt "old gang", "catch- all" Con/Lib/Lab parties unable to produce acceptable solutions to the problem of immigration and the EU, with Labour, in particular, seeming intent on positively discriminating in favour of foreign coloured outsiders at the expense of "our" local white population. Between 2005-09, therefore, 52 out of 58 council seats have been won at the expense of the former party of the working class, Labour.

The BNP, under Griffin, though associating itself internationally with Le Pen's Front Nationale (FN) in France, has tried to detoxify itself in public of its past racism, speaking for the "silent majority" against "cultural diversity" or "multiculturalism", favouring general populist community issues: devolution, local referenda, the decline of the British community pub, protection of the greenbelt, fox-hunting, and traditional teaching methods in schools, as well as policies tailored to mobilize controversy and angry sentiment against local concerns: the Muslim men "grooming" young white girls, the "Islamification and dhimmitude of Britain", and of the vandalism against Christian churches. Moreover, they wrap campaigns with domestic traditions: Churchill's "V for Victory" (2002), comparing themselves to the heroes of World War Two "Fighting like lions to stop Britain being swamped by foreign invaders" (2009), and most recently the use of the Churchillian bulldog in the professionally designed party political broadcast (2014).

As the work is a long term product and not a quick journalist scoop or rant, the author has gained the confidence of the sceptical rank and file and leading members of the party to supply interviews and information for the research. Goodwin has dug deeper and unearthed the nature of the organization: the fear of factionalism, the continual use of purges - not as in the blood bath style as the Night of the Long Knives of the Nazi party in 1934 when Strasser's supporters were butchered, of deviants and rivals (the removal of Tyndall and the "old guard" after 1999, and the disappearance of Eddy Butler and his faction after 2010), to the charismatic leader; and the attempt with very limited funds and donations to turn voters into "activists", the "life blood" of the party through regular education, their retraining for responsible party positions, and their attendance at the annual festival Red, White, and Blue (RWB) -modelled on FN's Blu, Blanc, Rouge. Active members are presented to be fully involved in a new urgent commitment: to resist against the onset of a New World Order whereby in 60 years time white Britons will become a minority in their own country, a proud, historic legacy to pass on to their families.

The author admits, however, he still can not say for certain the reason why some individuals choose to leave the party and the far Right, why others instead prefer to stay on either as less committed or more active members given that there is only a slim chance of electoral success where the first-past-the-post system is still in place, and why a third group moves towards direct action and violence - a sign of more work in the pipeline.

Nor can he state at which moment in its future development the party will adopt less centralist methods traditional of small and Fascist/Nazi groups, and perhaps adopt more open techniques of larger mass parties, or revert to the Italian Fascist model of leading persons or Ras operating as "one man-bands" at the local level, parallel to the national leader at the national level.

After Griffin appeared on Question Time in October 2009, the BNP and Griffin's own popularity started to nose dive, the party losing both at the local and European elections in 2014 those gains won in 2009 and at the 2010 General election. One might instantly go back to gut feelings that the party's past successes were short-term electoral freaks and protest votes, even if the growth of non mainstream parties since the end of Thatcher has become the norm and not mere exceptions. Was it because success brought more publicity, and with it more scrutiny, or was it because the party and its spokesmen were unable to promote themselves comfortably in ways in which the public could accept them as truly legitimate, or was it due to the comments in the liberal left media which directed its attention to its violent distant past? Likewise, most followers of this party read papers, such as the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Daily Star, and Rupert Murdoch's The Sun. What is still unclear even to the author if these newspapers reflect their views, or these papers are moulding or strengthening their views.

In a more recent work by Ford & Goodwin on UKIP Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain (Extremism and Democracy), they underline that as part of Farage's membership comprise former members or "political wanderers" of the BNP who is to know if this is not part of Griffin's hidden agenda. As the BNP, like the NF previously, continually witnessed its "life blood" behaving like "a bath with both taps running and the plughole empty", pouring in and out, was Griffin's defeated speech in May 2014 a call to the disappointed ranks, urging them to fight on on the beaches for their beliefs, for soon former members would realise the error of their ways, the lack of substance of UKIP, the hot air show of the media's new popular pin-up boy, Farage, and see who will really help them; or was it something more subtle and sinister: former activists moving over to other parties and operating, as the Militant Tendency did inside Labour during the late 1970s and 80s, as revolutionary undercover agents, slowly reframing their agendas into possible collaborators or bridges with the BNP.

The book though written when the BNP was on a crest, not only should be respected as a valuable volume of contemporary party and electoral history, it should also be used as a useful pioneering work of the far Right for journalists and all broadcasters if they treasure themselves first as impartial informants, and then political commentators of the system called upon to discuss anti-democratic / anti-establishment organizations. It will be something which all political rivals should read, as the author informs the BNP has learnt to adopt popular ideas of all parties and movements - even the IRA, if the ends justify the means for eventual political local, national and European successes.

Without sliding down the slippery slope and fully approving the nature of the subject, the author remains detached and provides a few useful insider nuggets to outsiders why a extreme nationalist organization with a Fascist background nurtured on hatred of diversity feels it legitimate to wave the Union flag and presents its European campaign 2014 with the words Love Britain: Vote BNP. A must for the politics buffs who aren't afraid to tread beyond the pale.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point, 30 Sep 2011
This review is from: New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party (Extremism and Democracy) (Paperback)
Goodwin provides a fabulous insight into a topic which is still such a taboo in many societies across Britain and Europe. His stellar analytical skill help the reader form their own balanced opinions on a highly contentious subject. Despite demonstrating, what I perceive to be, almost unparalleled expertise on the subject, Goodwin writes in a transparent style, enabling readers less familiar with the field, to build a sound understanding. I recommend that anyone with even the faintest of interests in right-wing politics read this book. It will not disappoint. I look forward to reading more of Goodwin's work in future.
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who joins the BNP and who votes BNP?, 22 May 2011
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Mark Pack (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party (Extremism and Democracy) (Paperback)
Matthew Goodwin's new book expands on one of his previous works on political extremism (The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain (Extremism and Democracy)) to look in-depth at just the BNP.

New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party has at its heart an extensive set of interviews with BNP members. His conclusion is a nuanced one - that the BNP has carved out a strong base in a narrow niche, meaning both that it is not likely to disappear any time soon nor is it likely to break through to major levels of support.

That base is made up of "supporters who are socially distinct and deeply concerned about a specific set of issues", primarily "angry white men: middle-aged and elderly working-class men who typically have few educational qualifications and are deeply pessimistic about their economic prospects". Unlike predecessor parties in the 1970s, it is anti-Muslim rather than anti-black sentiment which features most strongly and concerns about the cultural direction of the country are prominent.

As Goodwin points out, the success of a political party is dependent on both the "demand side" (the wider political context in which it operates) and the "supply side" (its own organisation and ability to make its own political weather). The BNP's rise has seen it attract voters on the basis of both hostility towards immigration and political dissatisfaction - the combination being "the most important predictors of whether somebody will vote BNP".

The post-general election troubles of the BNP suggest that not only is their level of support limited, but that due to their failings on the "supply side" they may indeed fall back into that irrelevance which was their home for many years.

For that to happen, other parties will need to learn the lesson of the BNP's rise, with its effective tactics that Goodwin documents of getting stuck into local community issues which other parties take up in many areas but were neglecting where the BNP got stuck in. In that they will be helped by the age factor Goodman points out: "the BNP's attempt to widen its appeal among young people has met little success". Added to that is the widespread opposition to the BNP due to abhorrence of its views to most people on race and toleration.

Goodwin's book is both a good example of how detailed investigation of a minor party can reveal much new about the sources of its support and motivations of its members, and also an extremely useful background guide for anyone wanting to fight elections successfully against the BNP.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read on extremism in Britain, 26 Sep 2011
I was recommended this by a friend and whilst i don't typically read political studies, the subject matter and comprehensive investigations the author carries out made this for a very interesting read. All the analysis and commentary is stooped in thorough, statistical evidence. Definitely worth a read for anyone who is interested in extremism in Britain.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was interested...., 26 Sep 2011
This review is from: New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party (Extremism and Democracy) (Paperback)
...in the growth of extremism. Everybody should know about the challenge posed by extremist groups and how we should respond. I now feel more informed.
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14 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Total Hard Left Rubbish, 10 Aug 2012
This review is from: New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party (Extremism and Democracy) (Paperback)
You only have to look at the mainstream people who have given their comments on this book. Each one of them has a totally left wing agenda and will always look to do anything to make it appear that the BNP is a fascist/Nazi political party. They love this country being overrun by Afro-Caribbean/Asian/Muslim immigrants, and the fact that White/English/British culture is being destroyed within its own country by the so called multicultural/multi ethnic society that has been imposed upon us by successive left-wing governments. This includes the appalling Tory government that currently runs this country on behalf on the One World Government.

The BNP is the only party that tells us the truth about the true levels of immigration, muggings, no-go areas throughout the country; whole areas that have been taken over by immigrants and White people fear to go etc.

Nick Griffin was the only person to tell the truth about Asian gangs that were taking White girls and raping/abusing them all over this country. What happened? The media tried to have this withheld from pubic knowledge, and did everything it could to try to have him jailed to prevent him speaking the truth and letting people know. He is called a facist, but I ask everyone to ask who the real fascists are when this type of law breaking is being allowed to happen within our own country, and is then being covered up by our own police and media?
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid and objective study, 26 Sep 2011
The question as to who is drawn to rightwing groups is both topical and relevant given the recent events in Norway. Using statistical data and interesting first hand interviews, Goodwin provides intelligent insight as to the thinking of those individuals who support far right organisations. Overall, an informative and useful study.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a rigorous insight, 26 Sep 2011
This review is from: New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party (Extremism and Democracy) (Paperback)
it's a loaded topic, but one which is very important. I've noticed an undercurrent of hostility is flowing through our society. We need to be objectively informed of the factors that shape some fragile minds. This text sheds light on oft neglected issues. A must read for those interested in the subject.
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