Did you hear the one about a slow news day?

Matthew Collins - 06 10 11
Old friends: How the BNP usually works on Anglo-Irish relations

Old friends: How the BNP usually works on Anglo-Irish relations

Busy day for me today. I’ve been working in Belfast on quite a good story that should annoy a few fascists when it comes out. One naughty type even suggested that I would be punished for it. (Word is that he seems to thrive on that kind of activity).

Being in Belfast, I took the opportunity to visit and talk to some of the businessmen and women who fell hook line and sinker for the BNP’s promise to pay their bills on time. In most cases, they just did not pay at all. The BNP has left a real trail of destruction over there.

Traditionally we have no truck at all with people ‘who lie down with dogs’ but Northern Ireland has a low wage economy and a sense of desperation prevails in the case of small businesses trying to make just enough money to get by. And the BNP did not just rip off one community, they spread their tentacles right across the communities. On that point I was a little bemused…

That was until I picked up a story in today’s Irish herald. I don’t know the writer, Claire Murphy, but she got a story between her teeth and most certainly ran with it, no questions asked!

“BNP plans Irish wing to oppose immigration” wrote Claire. Initially I thought it would be in line with the BNP’s traditional plans for the Irish. I assumed that Nick Griffin was sending his lardy security team to the Emerald Isle to build some kind of wall to stop the Irish visiting Britain. But no, the BNP is apparently “agitating” (whatever that means), for the “establishment of an ‘Irish National Party’ and believes there are already like-minded groups in existence.” So, why would the British “agitate” for one then?

Claire also writes that the BNP “grew in popularity in the last UK election”. Maybe it’s an old story. I believe the correct word or term to describe their last election results is actually “annihaliated”. A quick look on google would show that. Even just a little knowledge of the subject too, actually.

Not only that, Nick Griffin is described as the leader of the “anti-immigration lobby.” Apparently not an Imperialist apologist, then?

Still, at the end of the day it was pretty run of the mill reporting, actually. One does not expect an Irish journalist to remind its readership, warn even, that the BNP is more than “traditionally” an anti-Irish party. Perhaps this explains why Patrick Harrington refuses to join them? He launched his own “party” on St Patrick’s Day long ago and has stuck with that tiny grouping and the allegations that he is some kind of pro-IRA supporter ever since. (Perhaps that’s the punishment he thinks I deserve?)

I shouldn’t be the one to give any Irish journalist a history lesson. There are many excellent Irish journalists who will no doubt over the next few days pour scorn on Claire’s story. Least of all, why would Ireland want an Irish model of a British party? Wasn’t there some kind of dispute that went on and on for a few hundred years based on a similar premise?

Claire fails to mention or perhaps even remind her readers of a little bit of shameful English history. My father, who is Irish, never let me forget it. The BNP more than a little harks back to and longs for an era when one could quite happily refuse board and lodging to “Blacks, Irish and Dogs”. if one so desired, one could even put it up in the front window of one’s house or hotel.

But the story goes a lot deeper and is far more sinister than that. During the most dark and horrifying days of conflict in Northern Ireland, the BNP’s security wing, Combat 18 (C18), peddled drugs and provided guns and bullets for the Loyalist murder squads in Northern Ireland (when they were not also grassing up their Loyalist friends, that is).

“Bog trotters” I seem to recall was one way that the BNP referred to the Irish. They even ran trips to Northern Ireland to help stoke up the fires of sectarianism.

Only a couple of years ago there was almost a revolt by the revolting members of Liverpool BNP when the Irish tricolour appeared on the banner of the local party. “The Irish tricolour is a terrorist flag” protested one senior member.

Historically, the last time a group in Ireland rose up against that country’s progressive and anti-Imperialist traditions, they ended up on a half empty boat heading to fight for the Fascists under Franco. When they got there, most of them ended up getting shot by fellow fascists!

These days there will obviously be people in the BNP of Irish descent and heritage. The BNP’s founder John Tyndall was even of Irish descent. This says more about the great things of this country than it does about the BNP’s policies.

What Claire Murphy could really have done with mentioning is that under the BNP’s policies, there would be no Ireland at all. It would be just another part of Britain under British control.

Still, I guess having almost bled the north of the Island dry, like the parasite that the BNP is, it has to try to bleed another part of the body dry just to survive.


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