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Although a handful of Sikhs and Hindus joined forces with the BNP, Singh's group was condemned by all leading Hindu and Sikh organisations at the time. The modernisation of the BNP was opposed by Tyndall who argued it was unnecessary since the success of the party was because of "favourable external circumstances" such as the Oldham and Burnley race riots. Griffin responded by expelling Tyndall in August , but after an out of court settlement he was reinstated as a party member. All the same, the party's ideological face-lift lends support to Griffin's broader normalization strategy The party's opposition to a central state, rejection of ID cards, it call for devolved and decentralized government, its demand for a bill of rights, and the introduction of citizens initiative referenda hardly conveys the impression of a fascist party that seeks totalitarian control over state, society and the individual Outward appearances suggest that personal freedom and cultural pluralism would remain under a BNP government.

But, if we probe its manifesto more closely, we soon find evidence of an instinctive susceptibility to illiberal thinking. The proposals include the introduction of a Clause style proscription against the promotion of racial integration in schools and media The manifesto for the general election was actually titled 'Rebuilding British democracy' and warned against excessive central state control.

By attempting to broaden its appeal to voters, more ethnic minorities stood as candidates for the party. He reported in December that: "techniques of secrecy and deception [are] employed by the British National party in its attempt to conceal its activities and intentions".

The Resurgence of Extreme Right Politics in Britain

Griffin fought off an attempted leadership challenge in December Griffin has stated the electoral breakthrough was the result of the Labour Party , Liberal Democrats and Conservatives allowing mass-immigration from eastern European Union countries: "by leaving the door to Britain open, has forced people to turn to a party which speaks openly about the problem of immigration". Nick Griffin appeared in October on BBC's political discussion show Question Time with 8 million viewers, three times its normal audience.

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Robert Ford found that the BNP is only "realising a fraction of its electoral potential". Shouldn't the nation welcome that? It's a positive move if they get people like me, and if I'm sitting in a BNP meeting they won't say 'Throw all of them out' because they'll realise one of 'them' is among 'us'. The membership was still ruled be discriminatory by a judge, who said, "I hold that the BNP are likely to commit unlawful acts of discrimination within section 1b Race Relations Act in the terms on which they are prepared to admit persons to membership under the 12th addition of their constitution.

In the general election the BNP stood candidates polling , votes. Simon Darby stood for the party in Stoke-on-Trent Central and thought he had a good chance of winning. In June Eddy Butler challenged Griffin for the leadership of the party, but failed to obtain the nominations required. Infighting over Griffin as chairman led to around a hundred members to leave and create the British Freedom Party which made contacts with the English Defence League ; Griffin in response called the BFP "militant homosexuals " it had a gay member and the EDL as " Zionists ", ending his phase of trying to appear moderate.

The BNP's vote fully collapsed in the and local elections when they lost all their councillors in Stoke-on-Trent and Burnley. Hardliners like Richard Edmonds re-joined the National Front. The poor election results were not the only reason for members resigning; Griffin was accused of financial mismanagement and being a dictator. Free of extremist baggage, it is able to appeal to a more diverse range of voters.

Griffin lost his seat in the European parliament election and was later expelled from the party and replaced as chairman by Adam Walker, a former college lecturer and more recently a karate teacher. The collapse of the BNP has recently seen the party abandon trying to appear moderate and respectable, calling UKIP "plastic nationalists" and Farage having "sold out to the Zionist lobby". In January , the BNP was temporarily stripped of official political party status by the Electoral Commission after failure to submit its annual accounts and other reporting formalities.

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Nick Griffin attempted to emigrate to Hungary in , but was banned from the country. The raison d'etre of the BNP has always been strong opposition to immigration with few exceptions; Griffin has described this as "exceptional immigration". The BNP would offer immigrants already settled 50, per person to leave the country as part of its "voluntary repatriation" programme.

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The BNP's voluntary repatriation policy would apply not to just to recent immigrant arrivals in the last few decades, but all members of the sizeable Asian and West Indian communities that have grown in Britain since the s two or three generations. In a statement of the party's policies and intentions, Griffin repeatedly emphasised that the party is " not racist ," while describing Britain as a "fundamentally white nation," condemning miscegenation as unnatural, and reiterating that he considers non- Caucasians , or white citizens who choose non-whites as sexual or marriage partners, as unsuitable for party membership.

He also claims to be "the most loathed man in Britain in the eyes of the Nazis ," saying that they see him as "a sell-out. On Question Time , Nick Griffin was challenged on it but refused to comment on why he changed his views or why he originally denied it, muttering something about it being illegal and free speech or something, even after Justice Secretary Jack Straw pointed out that he could not, and would not be prosecuted for it Holocaust denial is not a crime in the UK, as it is some European countries.

However, in recent years the party has decided that its major enemy is — you guessed it — Islam. A BNP statement during asserted that "[t]he real enemies of the British people are home grown Anglo-Saxon Celtic liberal-leftists who seek to destroy the family as the building blocks of society and impose multiculturalism on a reluctant indigenous population and the Crescent Horde - the endless wave of Islamics who are flocking to our shores to bring our island nations into the embrace of their barbaric desert religion.

The BNP's attempts to disguise its racialist roots and pose itself as a legitimate political force are hardly convincing, especially as many of its prominent members have past convictions for violent offences and hate crimes. Its attempts to sound the alarm about the supposed Islamic "threat to all of us" also comes off as hollow in the wake of this quote from Mr.

Griffin, which manages to be both bigoted and unprincipled:. April His recent book, New British Fascism: Rise of the British National Party is broken down in to eight chapters, the first three dealing with the historical narrative, starting with a general look at the history of fascist and Neo-Nazi movements in Britain. The book moves into an examination of how the BNP gradually embraced a strategy focused on electoral politics from the s onward, which brought it some success in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

The final three chapters take a more micro-level approach, using interviews and testimony to find out what motivates people to become members of the BNP, and what keeps them active. Although many of these interviews contain the usual self-serving justifications, they provide some important insights. One theme that comes across pretty strongly is the importance of image and presentation in persuading people to get involved. The evidence seems to suggest that, far from conferring legitimacy to Nick Griffin and his party, the publicity generated by success at the European Elections seems to have led to a substantial backlash.

Nonetheless, this change in rhetoric and style indicates that the far right is continuing to evolve, tailoring its campaigning to the issue of the day, while keeping its core goals and ideology the same. And that means the unacceptable edge, the violent edge, is getting pulled toward the center as well. Since , the rise of the Islamic State — paired with a wave of predominantly Muslim refugees traveling to Europe and North America due to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan — has galvanized the far right.

Political Extremes and Extremist Politics

In the U. And when the U.

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All of these factors combined have created a fertile environment in which extremism has thrived. For ISIS, the internet proved to be a vital recruiting tool. It helped the group spread its extremist messages to a global audience and enabled its supporters to connect with one another, even if they were thousands of miles apart. The same has been true for the far-right.

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You can get it now with a few clicks wherever you are in the world. The extremist narratives peddled in terrorist propaganda are particularly potent for people who have experienced emotional trauma and substance abuse, research indicates. The case of Connor Ward, the young man from Banff in Scotland, is a possible illustration of that. Ward was diagnosed with a personality disorder and he had a troubled family life. Ward despised his father for this and, in , tried to build a bomb to kill him.

He was sent to jail for three years, but was released after about 18 months. During the same period, he developed an infatuation with Nazism and began planning his mosque attacks. His terrorism plan appears to have been driven at least in part by the far-right race war theories he discovered online. Other cases bear similar hallmarks. Last year, year-old Darren Osborne became radicalized after he watched a television program about a Pakistani child sex trafficking gang that had operated in the north of England. He waited until local worshipers left the mosque after an evening prayer, then rammed his van into the crowd, killing year-old Makram Ali and wounding 10 others.

He was convicted of plotting a terrorist attack. He used the internet to communicate with other extremists and researched how to prepare for a race war. He was unemployed and blamed immigrants for his problems. His Twitter page, before it was suspended, offered a steady stream of posts that presented Muslims and Islam as existential threats to British and European society. Rowley, the U. Robinson did not respond to a request for comment; he has previously refuted allegations that his rhetoric could inspire right-wing terrorism.

In recent months, Robinson has established an informal alliance with a new group calling itself Generation Identity, which is trying to gain a foothold in the U. The group insists that it is not extremist or racist. Unlike older far-right groups, however, which targeted Jews and black people, Generation Identity focuses its ire predominantly on Muslims. So far, it is a strategy that has been successful for them, and that is worrying.


Martin Sellner is the year-old European spokesperson for Generation Identity. He denied that he was a white supremacist, a racist, or an extremist, and said he disavowed violence. On March 9, Sellner tried to enter the U. Sellner was detained under the U. Police told Sellner that his presence in the U. A week later, in the northeastern corner of Hyde Park in central London, about people gathered for a demonstration. Robinson, the former English Defence League leader, had announced that he would give the speech that Sellner had been prevented from delivering.

Within a couple of minutes, there were screams and a flurry of pushing and shoving.

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Amid the melee, a police officer was struck in the face, either with a fist or an object.