As with most sane people waking up this morning, I’ve been thinking about the BNP winning two seats in the European elections. Some of my thinking is already documented on my Twitter (a few friends had been posting their disgust/contempt/frustration on their Facebook accounts, but Twitter seems more appropriate for this discussion, for some reason — that it forces you to articulate yourself in shorter statements, thus encouraging more critical thought?), and the issue I’ve been left considering is What Does This Mean?
There are always going to be BNP voters. Thinking about issues of education, class, economic problems — there’s scope for a lot more detailed work to be done on this. But I suspect it might be difficult/futile to try to change these people’s minds. So what can we do?
Sunny Hardal’s article on the Guardian’s site is a good reaction to the results. Particularly for this paragraph:
The BNP are not increasing their votes. In both Yorkshire and the north-west, their total number of votes fell from 2004. This absolutely does not mean that more people are being seduced by the BNP’s propaganda. It means that Labour’s share of the vote collapsed and went to other parties, thereby helping the BNP under a proportional system. If the party makes a comeback then there’s no reason why the BNP will continue to get its MEPs elected.
The problem, then, is not stopping the BNP winning more votes. (Does every society come with a built-in minority of idiots that are genetically pre-disposed towards antagonism, thus giving the majority something to define themselves against?) The problem is stopping apathy, and reshaping our political system to better reflect the interests/systems of 21st century Britain.
What I’ve been thinking about in the last half hour is Nick Griffin. NB: not ‘who’, but ‘what’.
Nick Griffin is not a real person. He is a construct born of the problems Britain has been undergoing. He is what we need at this point in time, he is the spirit of 21st century Britain. With his help, we will once again be whole.
How will we achieve this? By destroying Nick Griffin and the BNP, obviously! He will be our sacrifice.
Inspiration for this realisation comes, tangentially, from Borges’s story: “Three Versions of Judas“, in which is discussed the possibility of Judas being the true incarnation of God:
God became a man completely, a man to the point of infamy, a man to the point of being reprehensible – all the way to the abyss. In order to save us, He could have chosen any of the destinies which together weave the uncertain web of history; He could have been Alexander, or Pythagoras, or Rurik, or Jesus; He chose an infamous destiny: He was Judas.
Jesus may have been the Son of God, but Judas was God.
Nick Griffin is the God-Judas of our time.
He is here to save us. By being the one thing we need to rally against, to galvanise our political spirit once again.Some more quotes from Sunny Hundal to exemplify what we have to do (what Griffin’s special status demands we do):
…the BNP have to be taken seriously because they have shown they can win more than 100,000 votes in a region. This is not a party to be taken lightly and should be exposed as the incompetent charlatans they are, complete with their racist histories.
It may stop Labour ignoring its traditional working-class origins, now so comprehensively stomped over that they’re migrating to other parties in droves.
Other tactics: lambast/shame anyone you know who didn’t vote in Thursday’s elections. Talk about politics. Argue about apathy. Care about what happens in your country. Simple stuff, really.
(This post also inspired by current reading of Warren Ellis’s series, The Authority, in which the character Jenny Sparks is the Spirt of the 20th Century, installed by nature/whatever as the world’s protector.
The idea of societies/worlds having in-built protection systems is hugely appealing to me, for some reason. Identifying religion-substitute fetish?)