Ditch the jackboots

The Guardian uncovers the racist British National Party’s strategy to increase its popularity:

The British National party believes its efforts to sanitise its public image have brought it to the brink of an electoral breakthrough, according to unpublished documents and tapes uncovered by the Guardian.

The clean-up, ordered by the leader, Nick Griffin, to rid the party of its hooligan stereotype is, according to the documents, aimed at legitimising the BNP in the eyes of a wider electorate”¦

Mr Griffin’s ultimate aim is not to win control of a local authority or even take a seat at Westminster, but to position the party for a time of national crisis.

As a result, BNP activists are being instructed to work hard to transform the party’s image, avoiding any actions which would confirm negative stereotypes of the far right in Britain, while developing widely spread bases of support.

In the last months, a Guardian journalist has been undercover in the BNP and discovered a murky world of secrecy, insecurity, xenophobia and growing electoral success. Such investigative work is vital to ensure the electorate is fully aware of a party they may want to support.

The bigger issue, of course, is why such a party is gathering in strength. When leading politicians continuously dog-whistle from one election to another and demonise one group over another – today it’s Muslims but who is tomorrow? – a minority will rebel and wish for a return to the “good old days.”