Thursday, December 15, 2011

Good luck, British Freedom Party. Write when you get work.

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I was initially favorably impressed with what I read about the British Freedom Party at Lawrence Auster's View From the Right. I sent Lawrence Auster a comment, which he did not publish:
This is a heartening development, and there have been few enough of those lately.

The policies look to have been carefully crafted, not just in matter but in expression. I don’t agree that Britain’s immigration problems are about “space, not race” – they’re about both – but presenting the immigration question as an economic and cultural issue might keep Weston out of prison in the U.K.’s multi-cultural theocracy.

“Freedom” is a much better word to use in their name than National or Defence – no disrespect meant to the BNP or EDL, but shadings like that matter if they’re going to appeal to a middle class constituency. It’s too bad the O in “FREEDOM” looks like the Pepsi-Cola logo, but the Web site is otherwise well designed. They were smart not to have Union Jacks and dragons all over the place, images which many people associate with skinheads and hooligans.

Paul Weston comes across in the interview as reasonable, intellectual, maybe a little too formal. But when you consider the kinds of attacks he’ll be subjected to, that’s not a bad starting point. With experience he’ll probably loosen up and become more forceful.
Mmmm, now I'm not so sure.

True, some of the positions in what the party rather pretentiously calls its Manifesto are strong and unhedged, for instance: "There will be only one law in Britain, British law. There will be no toleration of alternative law systems such as Sharia Law." And: "The British Freedom Party will return democracy to Britain by: 1. Withdrawing from the European Union. 2. Devolving decision-making power down to the lowest practicable level. 3. Abolishing restrictions on free speech."

But the more you look into Weston's positions, the less sturdy they seem. Just when absolute candor and steadiness are called for, he starts doing the shimmy.

In an interview with Weston published at Gates of Vienna, his nerves get the better of him. He wants to oppose what he continually calls "political correctness" -- itself a wimpy term for anti-white discrimination and population replacement -- but still be respectable: impossible in present-day Britain.

PW:We’re getting our name out into the mainstream media. We had a piece in The Independent on us. It wasn’t very friendly of course, but it still gets your name out there. People are gradually starting to hear about us, so it’s not bad.

Spoken like a corporate brand manager, not a leader the Resistance can rally around.

ES:I guess one complaint might be that there are just a lot of these parties out there. So, how is British Freedom different from say UKIP, the Conservatives, the BNP, etc.?
PW:Well, let’s start with the BNP. The BNP are still ethno-nationalists. The world has moved on. I don’t think they’re going to get anywhere with that sort of attitude. England, Britain is as it is; you are never going to turn it back to 1950. You can of course say ‘alright, we are going to be a multiracial country but we don’t have to be a multi-cultural country.’ And, of course you can’t have both of those; that’s a recipe for a disaster. Multiracial and British culture; that can work. So that’s the difference between us and the BNP.

It sounds like the same old assimilationist rubbish that hasn't worked and can't work. Immigrants from anywhere in the world and any race are fine as long as they adopt "British culture"? What British culture is left to assimilate to in places like London, where half the population is from Timbuktu and Pakistan?

With a sprinkling of immigrants from anywhere it doesn't matter that much if they don't assimilate into what is a foreign culture to them; when you have instead mass immigration, you get colonies. Colonies don't assimilate. And that isn't being insulting to colonists, it's just recognizing human nature. Colonies of Americans in Mexico and Panama don't become Mexicans and Panamanians.

I seem to remember years ago writing a blog post poking fun at an official scheme to make immigrants take some kind of test of "Britishness." ("Which of the following is meant by 'Queen'? A. A football club. B. A seventies rock band. C. A traditional British dessert. D. A flamboyant homosexual. Choose three.")

PW:We want to counteract the spread of fundamentalist Islam. We want to stop immigration for a period of years. We want to repair the damage done to the education system. Tackle crime. And we want to promote British values and culture, and introduce a US style first amendment guaranteeing Free Speech.

Ah, yes. Britain needs moderate Muslims, extremists not so much. The politician's favorite crutch, Tough on crime. 
I think for a five year period you have to say ‘listen, there is no immigration into this country.’ And the reason for that is we are in such a terrible state over here. We don’t know how many people come in a year; how many people leave a year; how many people are illegal immigrants; how many people are genuine [foreign] students. So, we need a period of time to really sort out exactly who’s here, and who shouldn’t be here.
Paul, old chap, your politicians and bureaucracy have had 30 years to sort out how many people arrive every year, how many illegal immigrants, who are the genuine students. You don't need a time out for that; you need the motivation to do it. A five-year moratorium won't make the ruling multi-cultural theocracy do something it has never wanted to do.

It's too late for mushy "we need to have a conversation" talk. You and many of your fellow British know perfectly well who shouldn't be there. Your oppressors believe they don't need to bother having a conversation with you.

* * *

Weston and members of his party have their hearts in the right place. But they're trying to square the circle. They want to accommodate themselves to a system that is essentially tyrannical while pretending to be part of a mainstream that is about anything but freedom. As they say over there, "Best of British luck to you."

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12 comments:

DP111 said...

What Paul Weston believes and what he can publicly state, are two different things.

In the political arena, it is best that the two are kept apart.

Rick Darby said...

DP111,

In the political arena, it is best that the two are kept apart.

No, that's the trouble. I understand how dangerous it would be to "publicly state" what you suggest he really believes. I don't blame anyone in the U.K. for being damned careful about what they say. If I lived there, I wouldn't write what I do at this site. I'm no hero and I don't expect to visit the U.K. ever again (even though there is still so much that is admirable and interesting there) because I suspect I would not even be allowed in the country; I'd be arrested or deported at Heathrow.

But if you're going to head a political party that purports to stand against what you feel is not just mistaken but what infringes on your heritage of free speech and thought, that wants to nullify everything you admire about your country's traditions, then you can't fudge the issues.

Paul Weston seems like a good man, even a brave one -- braver than I'd be if I lived on the British prison island. But if the goal is to change the course of history, then you can't worry about respectability. You have to go all the way.

månesteiner said...

"What Paul Weston believes and what he can publicly state, are two different things. In the political arena, it is best that the two are kept apart."

It doesn't matter what Paul Weston believes. It only matters what he publicly states and does. And the political arena would be better served if the two weren't kept apart.

Anonymous said...

The UK is finished, and the signs are blatantly obvious.

Nothing can reverse a terminal cancer.

Van Wijk said...

I recall a lot of conservatives placing similar hopes in Daniel Hannon. Then Hannon described the BNP as an "anti-British party" on national television and showed us just what a libertarian buffoon he was.

Not only do such watery half-measures guarantee a war, they ensure the war will be exceptionally brutal. I expect a few more years of "anti-PC" candidates, then Bleeding Kansas. War to the knife, knife to the hilt.

DP111 said...

What is the point of striking poses, when all that will happen is that the BFP will not get a single MP into parliament?

The first priority is that the BFP breaks through the three party stranglehold/firewall in the UK, and gets a few MPs into Westminster. That in itself will be a major breakthrough. If that happens, then it will alter the views of others, and put it in a position to make further gains.

The electorate is basically conservative ie it will not support any party that is radical, that will cause major social turmoil - unless there is major social turmoil already in progress.

As for actually gaining enough seats in parliament to be a majority, that would be a miracle. That will not occur unless there is major turmoil on the streets. Even then, the electorate will be looking for a party that is "safe", and not one that will increase the turmoil. Therefore, the more moderate and "safe" the BFP appears, while offering a reasonable programme, the better its chances in any election.

I'm actually surprised that the BFP has gone so far in its offerings.

YIH said...

Apparently Mr. Weston himself weighs in:
http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/021236.html

Anonymous said...

DP111,

Your argument has echoes of the view that David Cameron is a traditional conservative who only appeared to embrace moral liberalism in 2010 as a wedge tactic in the run up to what would otherwise have been a fourth consecutive election defeat.

The problem with such analyses is that they ignore the age-old observation that none of us can truly judge another's heart - only his intentional actions. Such actions include performative utterances such as defamatory statements, but not constative utterances, such as "I hate X".

David Cameron has now reportedly said that he backs the legal redefinition of marriage. That is an action that conservatives can and should judge, and it belies the previous characterisation of him. 

Likewise, British voters can only go on the positive statements of a British Freedom Party manifesto, not a characterisation of the party.

DP111 said...

Anonymous

Your argument may had had some validity if the BFP was already a major party with good chance of becoming the party in government. The BFP has barely started as a party.

The BFP has to gain some credibility in the public square. For this Paul Weston and the main leaders of the party have to have serious policy positions on all matters - the economy, NHS, EU, immigration, defence etc. Only when he has these, is he likely to be invited to the BBC. If he goes out of the envelope of the debate in a significant way, particularly on certain contentious issues, he will be treated as a pariah. No invitation to the BBC, but his party will be lampooned viscously, if that is, it is a threat to the status quo.

In the UK, the BBC is a monopoly broadcaster. For historic reasons it has a reputation of unbiased reporting and comment. I just do not see how a fledgling party such as the BFP, can survive and grow unless it has some positive exposure from the BBC.

Rick Darby said...

Paul Weston's reply is noted. I thank him for the comment.

Maybe what this discussion boils down to is, can incrementalism succeed in overcoming a thoroughly hostile government and media environment and unfavorable demographic trends? The odds are that the British Freedom Party, no matter how softly it presents its message, will still be cursed as "far-right" and "racist" by the BBC, Guardian, and even pseudo-conservative media like the Telegraph.

I would love to see his party's "thin end of the wedge" strategy succeed. The alternative is scary to picture.

DP111 said...

Rick Derby wrote: Maybe what this discussion boils down to is, can incrementalism
succeed in overcoming a thoroughly hostile government and media environment and unfavorable demographic trends?

True. incrementalism, that is what I was going to write about next.

Note how each successful party operates. Before the election, it gives just a hint of what it intends to do, but soothingly re-assuring a highly distrustful public, that nothing much will change. After the election, the government then moves gradually towards its goal, but never too fast to excite immediate hostility, using any crisis to further its ends. Times when it has moved fast, people react with such opposition that it has to move back. The Left is expert in such a strategy. They think in terms of decades, gradually moving the centre of the political spectrum towards the Left. Now even the Right parties are actually Left compared to the 80s.

The BFP has an Everest to climb. In English speaking democracies, the chance of a third party breaking the stranglehold of the two party system is minimal.

What does it need to do?

1. Appoint people in leadership roles, who already have a public persona, as well as intellectual ability. Each person to lead in the topic in which he/she is expert.

2. Create opportunities to attract the media. The UK media relishes in tat and soap opera - pander to it initially, then get the message out.

3. Prostitute yourself - in the best possible taste of course. The BFP will have to, if it want to get "there" in politics.

DP111 said...

PS:

No political party, particularly one that is starting out, can hope to get break through, if its message is essentially a negative one. The voter reacts positively to a positive image, one of going forward, and not one of retrenchment and negativity. You know the "bright sunlit hills of the future" etc.

So far, the BFP's main message is a negative one - the EU, immigration, and other unmentionables - things they will reverse. It has to have a positive bright image to attract the young, wimin, girls, etc - the majority who have no idea of the consequences of the present trajectory.