Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Who really has egg on their face?

A quick point, further to what I said previously about not resorting to prejudicial language against Nick Griffin and the BNP.

What does throwing eggs at Nick Griffin achieve for the anti-fascist campaign? I'd love to throw an egg at the bastard, I'd love to throw more than that at him, but when we resort to such brownshirt tactics in the face of fascism, where does it get us?

When Nick Griffin took to the stage on Sunday night to say a few words about his victory in the North-west, he spoke of a "liberal elite which has built a dam, a wall of lies which has grown ever taller and ever thicker over the years to stop ordinary people protesting about the removal of their freedom."

Throwing eggs at Nick Griffin only plays into his hands by inadvertently supporting the above image, as well as losing us any moral authority to fight fascists.

By all means protest against him, be present, wave placards etc, that's our democratic right, but throwing stuff will just do more harm than good. Today's actions won't convince those who voted for the BNP to turn away, likely it'll have the opposite effect. Rather, confront the BNP in debate and discussion, let them have a voice and yank away their soap box metaphorically rather than literally, by unraveling their arguments for all to see whilst positing better alternatives. We need positive action as much as negative action.


  1. I agree, looking at some footage of him being 'attacked' by a couple of Sainsbury's free range eggs, it gave his bodyguards the excuse to earn their keep for the day and was the most pointless protesting exercise I have ever seen.
    The fact that our government has well and truly gone down the pan and realistically (no matter how many of us Brits really just want to throw an egg at someone we hate) something like this isn't actually showing any initiative for us as a nation to do something productive in such financially unsteady times.

  2. Well firstly - lets put this into context - the BNP have not gained more votes - the reason they have won seats is through voter apathy for the other parties - the other parties got less.

    Secondly, I do not support the BNP, or condone racism in any way shape or form (and that includes gingers too!) BUT... and here it is...

    I hate to be the one to say this, (no, really I do!) BUT... they do kinda of have a point... Most countries in the world have some sort of immigration vetting service - the USA and Australia are the most pointed to examples - whereas we have hardly any...

    We are spending way too much money in Europe - and now a load of new countries have joined, this brings down our standard of living, just as it raises those in Eastern Europe.

    We have very little Euro control - the Franco-German bloc of countries can easily outvote us on any issue regarding our laws etc.

    The problm with Labour is thy have been too soft and too lax, putting so much money into schemes and bolox, Tony Blair used the UKs money like his own personal PR machine - he WAY overspent to make himself looked good, and as soon as things went belly up he bailed and left poor old dumb Gordon Brown to deal with it... there was no unshitty end of the stick for Gordon...

    So in a nutshell, BNP - not nice people - but it doesnt mean that they are all completely wrong...

    In this country, with our politicians (greedy, selfish, self-serving bastards) who dont even bother to pay lip service to us - their employers - and allow the media to do their work for them - has anyone heard of the civil contingencies act?! ALL laws except human rights law can be suspended - indefintely on a parliamentary vote - anyone remember the WMD in Iraq? What if this happens here - martial law is imposed and we are living in a dictatorship - the only thing refreshing about that will be that at least on this occasion the herd that is the great British Sun reading inbred population will actually realise that yes, they have been lied to all along and this isnt a democracy by any actual standard.

    My philosophy in this regards follows Zeitgeists films, and I truly believe that the politicans we have now are all utterly corrupt and selfish, with no real wish to serve anyone other than themselves..

    I say bring back the monarchy - let the queen rule - i trust her - at least more than brown, cameron et al. She can create law, and them appear on TV on Queens question time and explain her decisions - if we the public approve - great - if not - she goes away and thinks about it and comes back with a better plan. Her advisors will not be voted in - they will be independant experts - Doctors advising on the NHS, Teachers advising on schools, you know - people who have done it for a living and actually know what they are talking about, as opposed to smarmy buggers in posh suits draining the coffers dry (anyone remember a few years ago MP's voting for an (something like 8%) pay rise, whilst nurses wages were frozen, then after stike action raised by (again roughly, 1.5%)... and everyone was quite content to bitch about it, but no-one stood up and said "Fuck no!!" "How DARE you" You should all be taking a pay CUT and the media should have backed a public enquiry to sack the bloody lot of them.

    Or get Richard Branson to run GB PLc, with Alan Sugar - those guys WOULD do it as a public service and they bloody WOULDNT charge us expenses for their daughters boyfriends second duck moat.

    Anyway, im ranting now, and honestly it makes me so mad i want to go buy fireworks... Anyway, I have a lot more spleen to vent, but alas only 5 hours before I have to be awake and alert again.

    Would also love to see some sensible debate on this - not just bitching (he says!) - but an actual solution to a different parlimentary system, based on something like merit, not money and corporate sponsors etc.

  3. Fighting fascists by becoming fascists? FAIL. it's all about free speech and the power of reason.

  4. OK, Anonymous, let’s give you some serious debate on this. I’m not sure how much of what you wrote was parody, so I’m going to take it all literally if you forgive me, in order to debate all of your points.

    Your first ‘context’ point is fair, but the fact still remains that 943,598 did vote for them. I find it hard to believe that the openly racist, sexist, homophobic and otherwise nasty policies and views of the part members escaped the notice of all of these voters, and that is a very, very sad thing.
    You say the BNP have a point, which I assume from your mitigation means RE immigration, certainly with UKIP similar single-policy slant on immigration and their 16.5% share of the vote does suggest that for many voters (aside from protest votes or abstentions) immigration and Europe are foremost in one in five Brit’s minds.

    However this is where the facts begin to diverge from the hearsay. I strongly believe that immigration and EU-phobia is entirely constructed by the one body you left out from your criticism: a nasty, pernicious right wing media. Here are some facts: People born overseas account for about 10% of the population. This is up from just more than 6% in 1981 and just over 8% in 2001. This is compared with a total of >>24% in Australia, 23% in Switzerland, 19% in Canada and >>13% in America. In France that figure is 8%, and 7% in Denmark. Despite what you said were tougher systems, the UK has a much lower immigrant population that either of those nations.
    (source for those figures (2008): http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/apr/01/immigrationpolicy.immigrationandpublicservices1

    Also it’s as well to note that while two-thirds of the UK-born population has only completed secondary school and only 17% have a degree (Labour Force Survey data), 51% of all migrants have secondary school qualifications and 37% have degrees – these are much better qualified, and in economic terms *useful* people than the average Brtisih citizen. And we need them - The UK's population is getting older, meaning that more working age people are needed as our ‘native’ population ages- without them the country simply will not run. Secondly, there is a current shortage of highly-skilled people in key sectors like the NHS, public services and the IT industry – these are not being filled by skilled UK citizens, so for the NHS and the school system to run, and for us to remain a leading tech economy, we want these people here. And finally, as the UK’s population becomes more highly skilled and educated there are plenty of ‘un-sociable’, unskilled and low-paid jobs that people are just not willing to do- cleaning, factory work, agriculture, hotel staff, there is a severe and well reported lack of people willing to work in these industries. One study by the University of Swansea predicts that we need to increase immigration by a fifth to protect prevent a population decline and subsequent economic crisis. (source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2173792.stm)

    Ok, now Europe. There’s an excellent article here: http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/06/03/what-percentage-of-our-laws-actually-come-from-the-eu/ about the cost of the EU, but to quote from it for ease’s sake:

    “By value, EU legislation was only responsible for about 0.1% (£1.9m) of regulatory net costs in 2007/8 and virtually all business burdening regulatory activity can be attributed to Whitehall.”

    The article also uses strong evidence to suggest that the % of laws the UK takes from the EU runs at roughly 10-20% (no where near the 80 and 75% claimed by UKIP and the Tories) A great deal of these laws, however, relate directly to Europe, and are otherwise mostly regarding fishing and agriculture. The EU has very little sway over such things as civil liberties. And with regards to ‘control’ in Europe, I believe we have a proportional say, which is correct.

  5. With regards to costs there’s another article here about the real cost of EU membership: http://www.jcm.org.uk/blog/?p=2184 but to summarise; in 2007 it worked out at around about £10 billion. That may sound a lot but if you look at the other UK spending figures it is substantially less than what we spend on Social Protection (£169bn) Health (£111bn) Education (£82bn) Defence (£33bn) Debt Interest (£31bn) Transport (£21bn) and more.

    As the article points out:

    “In other words, the EU costs us 7.75 times LESS than it does to keep the international bailiffs from the door. (And that £31 billion was BEFORE the most recent round of government borrowing, and before the collapse of sterling, both of which will have hugely escalated the figure for this year, as and when it’s released.)

    So, £31 billion in interest payments, for which we see no return whatsoever, versus £4 billion in payments to the EU, from which even its harshest critics must admit that we get *some* benefits - even if they will only admit to cheaper mobile phone charges or ease of travel. I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s not too bad a deal, in comparison.“

    I agree with you that the BNP are for the most part ‘not nice people’ but I disagree with you in that I believe almost everything that they have based past and current campaigns (and you can throw UKIP in for good measure) to be a complete fallacy.

  6. You criticise Tony Blair briefly, but I’m a bit confused as to your reasoning RE Brown- surely he’s picking up his own mess RE his post as Chancellor, and what’s more I would say a great deal of the financial situation we’re in goes further back to both de-regulation in the 70s and 80s, and even further to how bloody broke we were following the second world war.

    Finally you deal with politicians. OK, on this, I have to say that I really do believe that we need sweeping and almost revolutionary reform, but I think I’m best responding directly to your points here lest I go off on my own rant. I would like to point out that although the media have been covering the expenses scandal like every MP in the country was implicated, the simple truth, however is that many weren’t. Many MPs work very hard and did and do enter politics because they honestly believe that they can make a difference for the better. Most MPs would also be earning much more in the private sector (expenses included). There are 646 MPs in the house of commons, 94 MPs were implicated in the expenses scandal. (source 1: http://www.parliament.uk/faq/members_faq_page2.cfm source 2: http://markreckons.blogspot.com/2009/05/mps-expenses-and-safe-seats-correlation.html ) So roughly 7% of MPs abused their expenses. This figure should be nil. Obviously. But my point (again) is that the self-serving media has once again blown this out of proportion, preventing all reasonable discussion, and obscuring the matter that should be at the heart of it all – the system which allows such abuse of public funds, and the rotten traditions of parliament. In which I would certainly include the monarchy. You say that we are their employers- actually, we’re not, MPs swear to be servants of the Crown, this has been so since 1688 and Britain’s last failed revolution against monarchical rule. I believe that we do not live in an efficient democracy, but I don’t believe we live in a dictatorship. I believe parliamentary reform, proportional representation, and an uprising against tradition, and the media-ocracy of the print and broadcast media, they are bound by no other principle but the selling of their merchandise. I believe the root of this rebellion will be new media- the internet.

    I suggest that an unelected cabinet and ruler (as you suggest) will be nothing but installing the dictatorship you fear we are already in. And I do believe there are already a good number of professionals that work with the government on their research. I also suggest that getting big business (Branson, Sugar) involved any more in the UK government would be a very, very bad idea. Many parts of governance do and should not have ‘profit’ as their first and leading principle. We can see what privatisation has done to many of our basic amenities, not least how successive governments are deconstructing the NHS with ‘profit’ (or at least reduced loss) in mind. The aim of the provision of basic services should be an investment in our health, education, and human rights. NOT the biggest bang for our buck. (And if you truly believe that RB or AS have never rinsed their expenses then I think you might be just a little naive)

    I hope you think I have engaged you line of argument in the reasoned manner (debate) you requested.

    RE further reading on all of this I’d recommend the excellent editorial from this month’s Red Pepper Magazine – see here: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Now-to-complete-the-democratic

  7. Apologies for typos and such but it's hard to track back when you're writing in a little box :-p

    Anon2 x

  8. It is a criminal waste of eggs and innocent people could easily be hurt as the BNP are definitely up for it if you want to talk violence and have no compunction who they knock over into the path of passing traffic or whatever. It was amusing that one of the papers reported Nick Griffin had been 'pelted by an egg' which conjured images of Humpty Dumpty losing it over the vile unmentionables.