Public Relations hides British National Parties Nazi roots.


The Manchester Evening News is exposing the policies and people behind the far-right BNP as it seeks to gain a seat in next month’s European elections. David Ottewell casts a light on its shadowy history. . .

THE British National Party has poured huge resources into trying to disguise its neo-Nazi roots.

The BNP was an off-shoot of the New National Front, itself a breakaway group from the National Front.

It was founded by John Tyndall, who used slogans like `Hitler was right’ and `What we need is a few machine guns’.

He was one of a number of men prosecuted in the 1960s for setting up and running a private army based on the `brownshirts’ of Nazi Germany.

Tyndall – who once described Adolf Hitler’s autobiography as `my bible’ and called for `medical measures’ to prevent those with `heredity defects, either racial, mental or physical’ from having children – was jailed for six months.
He went on to set up the BNP in 1989.

Discrimination

Under Tyndall, the party made no secret of its belief in racial discrimination and it developed its policy of compulsory `repatriation’ – essentially forcing non-white British people out of their home country.

Tyndall was ousted by Nick Griffin in 1999 in a leadership election. Griffin had previously been more than happy to toe the party line on race, telling a newspaper in 1996: “All black people will be repatriated, even if they were born here.

“We must preserve the white race, because it has been responsible for all the good things in civilisation.”

As party leader, however, Griffin began trying to `modernise’ the party’s image. The immigration policy was changed to state only that non-white Britons would be given `firm’ incentives to leave their homeland.

The BNP now issues reams of guidance to party members and officers on what they should and should not say in public.

Secrecy and deception

In one document – called `language discipline’ – organisers are told that `racial and ethnic epithets and insults should never be used’.

In December 2006 a reporter from the MEN’s sister newspaper, the Guardian, infiltrated the party and worked as the BNP’s central London organiser. He revealed how the party used `techniques of secrecy and deception’ to `conceal its activities and intentions’.

His report detailed how activists used false names, employed counter-surveillance techniques to conceal the locations of their meetings and used encryption software to protect email messages.

Yet beneath the sophisticated and disciplined surface, the same attitudes keep resurfacing.

In 2004, an undercover reporter infiltrated the BNP and filmed party activists saying things they would never dare say in public.

Unsavoury

One council candidate was taped saying `all I want to do is shoot P***s’, while Tyndall was caught describing the then leader of the Tory party – Michael Howard, whose Jewish parents fled to Britain during the Holocaust – as ‘an interloper’.

Other senior BNP officers have been caught admitting to deeply unsavoury attitudes.

Mark Collett, the former chairman of Young BNP, described Aids as a `friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it’.

Then there are the former and active party members caught committing serious criminal acts.

In 1999, David Copeland – a former BNP member once pictured with party founder John Tyndall – gained infamy as the `nail bomber’ who terrorised London.

Crimes

His first two bombs were let off in Brixton, which has a large Black community, and Brick Lane, which has a large Asian population.

The last one was planted in a Soho pub, at the heart of London’s gay community. Three people died, including a pregnant woman, and more than 100 were injured.

There is no doubt Copeland acted alone. But there is also no doubt that it was while he was in the BNP – between 1997 and 1998 – that he used the internet to read up on how to make bombs and to access anti-Semitic texts from extreme right-wing groups in America.

Conspiracy

In August 2007, former BNP council candidate Robert Cottage was jailed for two-and-a-half years after stockpiling explosive chemicals.

Cottage, of Colne in Lancashire, was cleared after two trials of conspiracy to cause explosions, but pleaded guilty to possession.

Mrs Justice Swift, sentencing, said Cottage held views that `veered towards the apocalyptic’.

And Griffin himself was convicted of incitement to racial hatred in 1998, for distributing material denying the Holocaust.

The BNP leader says his views on the matter have changed. Those looking closely at his party’s history might be forgiven for harbouring doubts.

manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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