Let’s be realistic, the BNP party pose as much of a threat to mainstream politics as a spotty, gibbering fourteen year old Nuts reader to a drunk Angelina Jolie in a late night taxi cab, illegal or otherwise. Despite the recent expenses scandal, the plummeting economy and the evaporating jobs market, the far right party received only 6.3% of the vote in an election that only about 40% of the population voted in. In many areas they saw their vote go down and their leader only scraped into his seat due to an excessively low turn out in his area. Germany 1933 this isn’t.
It is this low turn out, coupled with a simmering resentment with mainstream politics, that created a sort of "perfect drizzle" for Nick Griffen and his little friends to take advantage of. That’s why I find it interesting that the same people who are now falling over themselves to express their wearied, hand wringing shame at the swing to the right are also the same people who a week before smugly insisted that the best way to protest was not to vote. Yes, it’s naïve to think that politicians are idealistic soldiers of integrity, that dream died along with Jimmy Stewart, but it’s equally immature to think that you’re somehow fighting the system by not voting. You only have to look at the recent presidential election in the USA to see the difference newly engaged voters can make. America didn’t go to bed a George Bush loving cowboy and wake up a latte swilling Obama fan, just as Britain hasn’t changed overnight into a country of racists. Political parties don’t actually care if you don’t turn up on ballot day, they will just aim their policies at the people who do and unfortunately they tend to be the people with more strident political views.
However uncomfortable we are with the results, throwing eggs isn’t the answer, in doing so we’re just creating martyrs, great, big, yolky martyrs. The protest organiser at the recent BNP press conference, Weyman Bennet of Unite Against Fascism explained "I support freedom of speech but not for fascists", but freedom of speech that is conditional on wether you agree with them or not is not freedom of speech at all really is it? If they really wanted to expose the BNP for the embarrassment to logic that they are, rather than silence them, we should positively drag them into public life. They could be the "and finally bit" at the end of every single news broadcast. Everyday, for as long as they are in office, they should be asked for their take on the day’s events- Tax benefits for higher income earners, the economic future of the European Union, International relations with Iran, and the camera would just linger on them for about two minutes while the audience could see their brains slowly whirr round while their eyes blinked for help as they slowly tried to bring the topic round to immigration. People would get so bored of them, as they slowly faded from darkly dangerous political underdogs to another tedious grey party with bizarre policies. The more mainstream they become the less danger they pose to anybody, as they’d finally become a track suited, Lidl version of Robert Kilroy Silk. When was the last time you saw a march against him? They should be ushered onto Question Time "So you really said you could tell if someone was really British just by looking at them? What? Really?! Could you explain that for me?" "So you really think white people are treated as second class citizens? How exactly? Where are your figures? Really?" "So you really plan to forcibly deport all non white Brits and turn Britain into some weird Tolkien meets Folk album cover wonderland? Really? How are you planning to that exactly?" By the end of the programme they would have so confused themselves, let alone the audience; they might just run away and never come back.
Which would be a shame for us because we like hating them. They are the dark Emperors to our Rebel alliance, the Ike to our Tina they make everything, if you’ll pardon the pun, so reassuringly black and white. Modern English politics is boring, the first division compared to America’s premiership. They have it easy there, they have anti abortionists, hard line creationist Christians, they even had George Bush for a while, the lucky bastards. What did we have? Duck Island. Duck Island and a few dodgy films on a claim expenses. Pathetic. If we can convince ourselves that the BNP really signal the rise of fascism, then it justifies getting really excited and we become a part of history.
For comedians it is a positive boon. They can feel self righteous as if criticising them they are making an important thrust for democracy, rather than making a point as obvious as the earth is round. Left fighting against the right is about as relevant as weekend civil war re-enactors, the argument has moved on. Communism was a bit of a disaster, nobody likes dictators and unrestrained capitalism hasn’t been doing that well either. An extreme right wing group will never turn Britain into a fascist regime, mass deportation is about as likely as a return to burning Catholics, the cavaliers are not suddenly going to win this time. Instead we have militant Islam that we want to respect but aquardly treats women appallingly, a Chinese government with a human rights record that can best be described as laiizer faire and a planet that’s very slowly boiling. We have a government that’s slowly weeding out our civil rights with mandatory ID schemes, detention without arrest and a police force that can get a bit bullet happy with out any consequences. But to protest about that would involve actually following the interminable slow moving draggings of parliament, reading newspapers, even