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Who are Britain’s Nazis?

THE main Nazi organisations in Britain are the British National Party and the National Front. The BNP came to prominence following Derek Beackon’s election as BNP councillor in Millwall in the Isle of Dogs in East London in September 1993. Since its failure to build on this the following year, it has been in some disarray. The BNP has now severed its links with the group of thugs known as Combat 18 (so called after Adolf Hitler: A and H are the first and eighth letters of the alphabet). Its leader Charlie Sargent is now serving a prison sentence for the murder of another Cl8 member. However, it is undoubted that links between the two organisations were close, with many members belonging to both organisations. Combat 18 frequently supplied bodyguards on BNP organised activities.

The BNP, like the NF, have continued to contest elections. They have also attempted to rebuild at local level, and through keying into movements such as the Countryside March in 1998, for which they produced a special supplement. The National Front is a smaller organisation, though it has gained some members from the BNP, and through the campaigns it has organised against asylum seekers, such as the attempts to march in Dover.

Nazis like the BNP and the NF use people’s fears about crime, and racist stereotypes about black and Asian people in order to try and win support. This is based on lies and myths.

What are the facts?

How do Britain’s Nazis win support?

The BNP made its first breakthrough in September 1993 when Derek Beackon was elected BNP councillor for Millwall. Violence and racist intimidation in and around Millwall were important. However, what was most important was the way the Nazis used people’s fears and sense of hopelessness about education, about crime and, above all, about housing in order to scapegoat Bangladeshis and other black and Asian people, and to demand ‘rights for whites’. One man quoted in the Guardian (18 September 1993) stated, ‘It was a vote of protest and it’s going to work, it’s going to shake things up here.’ Housing was a massive problem, with local people finding it virtually impossible to get housing, as the London Docklands Development Corporation built expensive office blocks and apartments. Local people were squeezed out, and Bangladeshis were blamed. In fact Bengalis themselves were suffering even more from the same lack of affordable housing.

What the Nazis stand for

In public the BNP tells people it is concerned about their problems--lack of housing, unemployment, crumbling schools and hospitals. It also claims it is simply ‘nationalist’, putting ‘British’ people first. What does it really think? The BNP is racist and anti-Semitic. The report on Racism and Xenophobia by the European Parliament described the British Nationalist Party as an ‘openly Nazi party whose leadership have serious criminal convictions, and whose crimes range from bomb making, organising illegal paramilitary groups, possession of firearms and a series of convictions under the Race Relations Act and Public Order Act ... the BNP are uninhibited in their racist style and report unashamedly on their members stabbing black people.’ Interviewed in the Guardian (20/2/93) Richard Edmonds, the BNP’s national activities organiser, was happy to admit that in a BNP publication ‘there was a description of someone being stabbed, not unashamedly’.

They claim the Holocaust didn’t happen. However, their own magazine Spearhead stated, ‘Adolf Hitler showed the way to a proper, fair and final solution to the Jewish problem’ (April 1965).

The BNP is against democracy and a free press
‘Democracy drives our youth onto the streets with limitless spare time to fritter away, the Jew comes forward and seduces them with his cunningly devised amusements, such as comic papers, sex films and rock and roll’ (John Tyndall in The Authoritarian State).

The BNP is against the NHS
‘The NHS symbolises everywhere that is wrong with British society today--with its indiscriminate and promiscuous compassion and most of all its contention that everyone is entitled to the full range of health service benefits without regard for their circumstances.’

The BNP is against trade unions
‘People whose freedoms must be curbed are the pressure groups, the media and trade unions’ (John Tyndall, 21 August 1977).

The BNP is against women’s rights
‘Much of the rampant feminism of our times is due to the general decline among the White Race of real manhood. The real man brings out the best in women.’

The BNP is against young people
‘Our young people should undergo a period of compulsory national service to teach them discipline and obedience. ‘Pop’ music is of course one of the major weapons in the assault on white civilisation’ (John Tyndall, The Authoritarian State).

edmonds.jpg (15874 bytes) RICHARD EDMONDS, BNP national activities organiser

On the BNP: ‘We are 100 percent racist, yes.’ (20 February 1993, the Guardian)

On the Holocaust: ‘ ... he becomes earnest when insisting there is no evidence any Jews died in concentration camps.’ (quoted in the Guardian, 20 February 1993)

Convictions: Convicted of helping to destroy a statue of Nelson Mandela. Conviction for possessing an offensive weapon, a knife, carried while electioneering. Arrested on Sunday 19 September 1993 after being driven off Brick Lane by anti-Nazi protesters. BNP members launched a vicious racist attack on a black man and his white girlfriend. The man’s face was severely cut with a beer glass. One BNP member was sentenced to four years and Edmonds was given three months for this racist assault.

JOHN TYNDALL, retiring BNP leader

On Hitler’s writings: Mein Kampf is my bible.’

On Vietnamese boat people: ‘Malaysia has shown us what should be done. They’ve said we’re going to tow them onto the high seas, and we’re going to turn the guns on them if they come back. Why can’t we do that?’ (1979)

On ‘racial purity’: ‘Racial laws will be enacted forbidding marriage between Britons and non-Aryans: medical measures will be taken to prevent procreation on the part of all those who have hereditary defects either racial, mental or physical.’ (1964)

Convictions: 16 October 1962: Imprisoned for training a Nazi paramilitary group, Spearhead.

1966: Found guilty of being in possession of 30 wood coshes, six metal bars and two saw blades. Imprisoned later the same year for possession of guns and bullets.

1986: Imprisoned for incitement to racial hatred.

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griff.jpg (13345 bytes) NICK GRIFFIN, probable incoming BNP leader, a country squire who apparently lives on a private income. Griffin was one of the leaders of the National Front during the 1970s. He has extensive contacts with the European far right, especially Italian neo-fascists. Writing as editor of British Countryman, the BNP’s special publication produced for the Countryside March in 1998, he claimed to be the voice of the ‘silent majority’.

On the Holocaust denial book Did Six Million Really Die?: ‘It was a shattering book, it was a superb booklet or magazine. I’ve done an update of that’ (quoted in Searchlight, June 1997).

On democracy and violence: ‘The electors of Millwall [backed] what they perceived to be a strong, disciplined organisation with the ability to back up its slogan ‘Defend Rights for Whites’ with well directed boots and fists. When the crunch comes, power is the product of force and will, not of rational debate’ (quoted in Searchlight, June 1997). Given a suspended sentence in Harrow Crown Court in May 1998 after being convicted of inciting racial hatred.

DEREK BEACKON, BNP’s chief steward, elected BNP councillor in Millwall, Isle of Dogs, 16 September 1993.

On the Holocaust: ‘Well no, I don’t think anybody was deliberately exterminated by the Germans. It certainly wasn’t six million Jews--maybe a couple of hundred thousand, but so what? Lots of others died in that war, didn’t they?’ (16 September 1993, Today).

On democracy: ‘I am only going to represent the white people. I will not represent Asians. I will not do anything for them. They have no right to be in my great country’ (17 September 1993, the Evening Standard).

On being asked about rubbish collection on the Isle of Dogs: ‘The Asians are rubbish and that is what we are going to clear from the streets’ (18 September 1993, the Mirror).

On crime: ‘I don’t care what the Bengalis think. We are here for the white people.They are the ones being racially attacked’ (19 September 1993, the Observer).

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TUC March Against Racism, March 1994. Over 50,000 attended the TUC organised march, bringing some relief to the local communities battered by the wave of racist attacks that hit the East End after Beackon’s victory. It provided an early boost to the Don’t Vote Nazi campaign.