Equal opportunities fascism

November 29, 2009 at 10:15 am (1)

From Mumbai newspaper Sunday Mid-Day:

Mumbai: The British National Party welcomes its first non-white member, and with him, a brand new chapter of fanaticism

An elderly Sikh man is set to become the first non-white member of the British National Party. Since gaining two seats in the European Parliament in June, the far-right party has become subject to a law that prohibits discrimination on racial grounds.

Its leader, Nick Griffin, has a conviction for inciting racial hatred.

Knowing a legal battle to retain its ‘whites only’ policy could result in bankruptcy, the BNP is working to allow the likes of 78-year-old Rajinder Singh to join  its constitution can no longer limit membership to ‘indigenous Caucasians’.

Mr Singh moved to Britain from Punjab in 1967. He lost his father during Partition and makes no attempt to hide his disdain for Muslims. The retired school teacher is so fond of Mr Griffin and his stance against the so-called ‘Islamification’ of Britain that he has acted as a character witness at his trial.

Under Tony Blair, it would have been unthinkable for the BNP to get where it is. Blair joined the US’s illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. He didn’t listen to his lawyers or the voters. He always believed he was right and still stands accused of having blood on his hands. With such a strong personality around, there was never any room for a small-time wannabe dictator such as Nick Griffin.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, however, is a less forceful character, clumsily aping the fascists with his “British jobs, for British workers” slogan pandering to the worst instincts of the electorate instead of challenging them.
A few weeks ago 50-year-old Griffin Mr Singh’s buddy was invited to appear on BBC TV’s flagship political debate show, Question Time.

Despite a chorus of objection, the BBC pointed to its commitment to ‘impartiality’ in allowing Griffin to appear (earlier this year, when Israel had bombed Gaza to smithereens, the broadcaster cited impartiality as its reason for refusing to air an aid advertisement).

Eight million viewers later, Griffin is a household name who is looking for a seat in Parliament. And his Punjabi friend is more than willing to support his bid to rid the UK of Muslims. (There is even talk that he will be the first non-white to stand as a BNP councillor!)

Mr Singh told the London Times: “It’s a natural process in the Muslim psyche, to take over. The fear of Islam is well founded, well justified. I don’t hate Muslims. By definition a Sikh is supposed to love all even the enemy.”

Explaining his support for the BNP, he adds: “I am a victim of Islamic aggression. The individual Muslim is a good guy. He is my neighbour, he is working hard. But when they are all together, everybody should be very fearful. The other parties are not standing up for the national interest.”

Mr Singh told the Independent newspaper: “I come from partitioned Punjab that saw a lot of bloodshed in 1947. Anyone escaping that genocide would pray to God, say never again and vote for BNP.”

One YouTube video shows a young Griffin suggesting Sikhs be paid to return to India. “Lots of Sikhs would go home and west London wouldn’t be so crowded at rush hour time. Everybody’s happy.”

But there is a silver-haired lining to this cloud. Shimla-born Mohinder Singh Pujji who flew a Spitfire in the Battle of Britain in 1940 and was one of 18 Indian pilots in the Royal Air Force (and the only one to have flown wearing a turban), has hit out the BNP. The 92-year old is upset by the party’s use of Spitfire imagery on its website having fought the Nazis in World War II, he’s at it again.

“The BNP are wrong to use the (image of the) Spitfire as representative of their party,” he told the Evening Standard. “They forget people from different backgrounds helped in the Second World War. I am proof of this I was flying a Spitfire. I also met Winston Churchill.”

He added: “Even in those days, there were ethnic minorities fighting for the British. I’d recommend the armed forces for young people, regardless of race.”

On the Daily Mail website, a woman called Kate left this comment about Rajinder Singh:

“While I understand that this man is acting out of the pain of his father’s death, he is clearly hugely misguided and extremely ignorant if he seriously believes that the BNP are the answer to his prayers.”

She might have added that the BNP are equally stupid if they believe Mr Singh is the answer to their prayers. If anything, his joining the party is a sign of their demise.

Illustration by Gynelle Alves


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