Mr Hain – a veteran of the anti-fascist campaigns of the 1970s – insisted the “no platform” policy should remain in place.
He said: “I was horrified when I heard about this, because it makes them [the BNP] appear as if they are another political party sitting on a panel along with democratically-elected parties.”
Look, you orange moron, the BNP are a "democratically-elected" party—they have councillors and even a couple of MEPs. They may be a repulsive bunch of knuckle-dragging, national socialist fuckwits but they are, nevertheless, democratically-elected.
Furthermore, the refusal of the three main parties to engage with the BNP gives the impression that there is—and can be—no refutation of their idiot policies. Trying to no-platform the BNP has not worked so far—so why the bloody hell would you continue with this policy?
Why indeed? The Appalling Strangeness puts it down to cowardice.
In fact, I'd argue that the rise of the BNP is in part down to the failure of the Labour party - and every other party in this country - to make the case against the BNP, and to offer people in this country a real alternative to the status quo. Hain is following the old strategy in relation to the BNP of sticking his head in the sand in the hope that they will go away. Unfortunately, the strategy didn't work. The main party policy of silence on the BNP allows them to get away with their unthinking ignorance without being called on it. And guess what? It helped them to win those seats on local councils, and helped them get those MEPs.
No doubt Hain sees his boycott as a chance for him to champion himself as a progressive politician refusing to give the cowardly and ignorant BNP a real platform in this country. Unfortunately, he comes across as the coward. He comes across as a man who won't debate the BNP because he is afraid of making his case.
Well, this may be so—but it may not be cowardice that is driving this motive. I think that the lovely Bella nails the real reason why all of the main parties are afraid to engage with the BNP...
But given what the ASI lists as some of the BNP’s policies, I suspect Hain doesn’t think them idiotic at all:
- The protection of British companies from unfair foreign imports
- The renationalisation of monopoly utilities and services
Bring hospital cleaning back in-house and make high cleanliness a top priority
- More emphasis must be placed on healthy living with greater understanding of sickness prevention through physical exercise, a healthier environment and improved diets
- Develop renewable energy sources such as off-shore wind farms, wave, tidal and solar energy
- The introduction of a system of workfare for those in unemployment benefit for more than six months with compulsory work and training in return for decent payment
- Take all privatised social housing stock back under local democratically controlled council ownership
Perhaps Hain sees, as do the rest of us who are not blinded by polemic, that the only thing that separates the BNP from its more traditional rivals is its racism. And if the BNP refuse to be engaged on their racism, and want to talk about their platform of social justice instead, Hain and everybody else are going to find themselves in the unenviable position of agreeing with the BNP but not wishing to admit it. And so the BNP will come across as being quite firm in their ideas, whilst the three main parties flail about trying to show that their sort of social justice is somehow demonstrably different from the BNP’s.
Quite so. And this rather excellent post does rather paint a stark picture of the political discourse in this country: we have two basic options—Social Democracy (of varying flavours but all, effectively, offering more of the same) and libertarian.
The choice is between political parties that believe that your desires should be subordinate to that of "society" (as personified by the state), and a political party that believe that the freedom of the individual is paramount.
The choice is between politicos who believe that it is not only possible but actually desirable to shape society—that's you and me—according to their own personal prejudices, and the Libertarian Party.