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The oxygen of publicity

April 24th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 1 Comment · Politics

There is a big debate about how to treat the BNP, running alongside the debate about why they are getting what support they do, and how to tackle that in the longer-term.

There are those who say that the best approach is to deny them the oxygen of publicity (a good time to quote the late Linda Smith who said she didn’t believe in giving them the oxygen of publicity, or even the oxygen of oxygen) and those who feel that the issues should be tackled head-on.

I think the second argument goes that the BNP may be gaining support through other parties neglecting the average working class voters while they chase the floating middle class vote, but they are gaining it by disguising what they really are so there is something to be gained in publicising their links with racism, football violence, crime, holocaust denial and terrorism.

I look at it this way: if I did absolutely nothing and then they won a seat somewhere I would be kicking myself afterwards.

Anyway, a few others feel the same and thats how I found myself teaming up with a Conservative councillor this afternoon, delivering a bunch of UAF leaflets in Ifield. A very strange experience, and a little bit worrying. I know he is a decent man who is genuinely against racism, but I also know he is very smart and knows what works to his party’s advantage. I’m pretty sure his attendance today was motivated by his decency rather than his electoral intelligence, but there is still a small doubt.

Actually, make that a very small doubt. If the Tories really thought they would gain from having anti-Fascist literature delivered, there would have been more than one of them out there.

The largest presence was from Sussex Police, who had a couple of vans full of riot police in the area just in case. The BNP had said they were going to be campaigning in Ifield and the UAF had also said they would be leafletting, but as far as I know everything went smoothly.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Rihard W. Symonds

    Yeah…how to deal with the BNP is a difficult one.

    For me, my ‘tactics’ have changed. At first, I felt it best to ignore them, and treat them with amused contempt and disdain. This I did. But then they started the all-too-familiar ‘dirty tricks’, so I’ve had to jump in the political ‘snake-pit’.

    Now, in this ‘snake-pit’, this nasty breed of vipers lie in wait with their poisonous bite.

    Well, I might seem like a friendly cobra (along with the Ifield Cobras Youth team!), but now I will bite back when attacked.

    For me, this is the ‘dark side’ of politics which I detest – but, like you, I can’t sit back and watch them peddle more and more lies to an unsuspecting electorate.

    Let history speak – and warn. The BNP (and those who copy their ‘dirty tricks’) have to be tackled ‘head-on’.