Is the BNP fascist?

For several years the BNP have been strenuously denying that they are not fascists at all.  The legacy of World War II and the atrocities committed by the regimes in Germany, Italy and elsewhere means that there are few self-proclaimed fascist or Nazi groups anymore.  

buf-logo.pngUnfortunately, Britain was not immune from fascist politics and there has existed a continuous fascist political tradition from the British Union of Fascists (BUF) in the 1930’s through to the British National Party today.

The BNP is a part of this tradition. The BNP was created as a split from the National Front and almost all the leaders of the BNP were active in the National Front including Nick Griffin, Martin Wingfield, Simon Darby and Mark Collett. Even the BNP founder John Tyndall was a prominent figure in the National Front during the 1970’s.

 The National Front had been founded in 1967 by several smaller fascist and neo-Nazi groups who were the direct political descendants of the British Union of Fascists, the first notable fascist group in Britain.

 These groups included the League of Empire Loyalists run by former leading BUF figure Arthur Chesterton, the Racial Preservation Society which was again led by former BUF members Alan Hancock and Ted Budden and the Greater Britain Movement, led by future BNP founder John Tyndall.

 In addition to this, at an international level the BNP have consciously aligned themselves with other groups in the fascist and Nazi tradition both in Europe and America.

 In America, the groups and individuals associated with the BNP and its leader Nick Griffin the neo-Nazi group the National Alliance, former KKK leaders David Duke and Don Black who runs the world’s largest white supremacist website Stormfront, though the British section on this website is run by BNP members.

BNP leader Nick Griffin with David Duke

 In Europe, the BNP has maintained strong links with National Democratic Party in Germany, the successor organisation of the Nazi Party, as well as the Front National in France, a fascist group much admired by the BNP.

 Some people, usually the BNP themselves, have argued that they can’t be a fascist group because their current manifesto is different to the policies and programme of fascist movements and governments in the 1930’s, such as Mussolini’s regime in Italy, but this argument doesn’t make sense.

 Political ideologies aren’t static but change over time. For example, the current policies of the Conservative Party bear little relation to the Conservative Party manifesto in 1931 yet they are still conservatives.

 We use the word ‘fascist’ in relation to the BNP not as a smear or an insult but as a factual description of the organisation and the political tradition it is a part of.

 A further discussion on how the current politics of the BNP and how these relate to the fascist tradition will appear on this site in due course.



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