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Update! Griffin says OBV has brought the BNP to “the verge of collapse”

hughmuirThe Guardian diary has covered the story about the British National Party claiming that Operation Black Vote was bringing Nick Griffin’s party to “the verge of collapse.”

As we reported yesterday here (see below), there is bemusement at the claim by the BNP leader that OBV were encouraging a mass infiltration of the far-right party by Black people. This is because OBV never advocated that in the first place!

The Diary, written by Hugh Muir (pictured above), says: “Mayday, mayday! The leader Griffin has retreated to his bunker. The enemies are closing in. They are everywhere. “Our success has unleashed the furies of hell against us,” he says. “Now our very existence is being challenged, and it is costing us dear! Precisely because of our political success we are now fighting for our very existence!”. Leading the charge, he warns, is Operation Black Vote, which, according to an account of his concerns in the Times, is trying “to flood the party in order to take over and destroy it”. But it’s nonsense. Bunker-speak. In fact when OBV aired the debate about whether black people might, just for the hell of it, exercise their legal right to join Griffin’s racist BNP, it concluded that the idea was “a non-starter”. But who knows? That’s just what they say. How can we believe them? They could have black people “white up”. Eddie Murphy does it in his films. Anything is possible. Trust no one. Mayday, mayday!”

ORIGINAL STORY

Nick Griffin has credited Operation Black Vote for bringing the British National Party to the verge of collapse, according to The Times

The newspaper reported yesterday: “He [Nick Griffin] said that attacks on the party were to blame for its ailing fortunes, singling out Operation Black Vote, which campaigns for ethnic minority candidates. Mr Griffin accused the organisation of trying “to flood the party in order to take over and destroy it”.

Responding to the article the director of Operation Black Vote, Simon Woolley, said the suggestion that his organisation wished to take over the BNP was ridiculous, but there was concern over the BNP’s constitution which banned non-Caucasians from joining. Woolley said: ‘We rightly demand that all political parties operate within a legal framework.

‘Nick Griffin’s comments demonstrate that they are being forced to spend money defending their own legality, and will either fold or be forced to behave in a less rapid, racist way.’

The Equality and Human Rights Commission are taking the BNP to court over the party’s constitution, on grounds that any bar against Black people would break race relations laws.

Speaking about the far-right, Woolley added: ‘We would be doing democracy an injustice if we didn’t challenge rampant racism.’

Last month OBV Blog ran an article which quoted Conservative activist Nic Careem as saying that he advocated black and Asian people joining the BNP to try and change it from within, but the very next paragraph went on to say that this was not an option.

The article read: “He [Nic Careem] told OBV Blog today: ‘I was speaking about this at meetings three years ago, saying that we should challenge the BNP’s legitimacy from within. I’m glad that the equalities commission are now doing it. I’ve never understood why the old CRE [Commission for Racial Equality] never challenged it.’

It’s doubtful whether many Black people could be persuaded to become BNP ‘entryists’ in order to destroy the far right party from within, but there is certainly merit in the legal challenge to the BNP’s constitution, which forbids non-white people from joining.

Griffin’s claims of a plot to infiltrate the BNP are, of course, utter nonsense but chime with the MEP’s tendency to play the victim in order to win sympathy from his supporters.

It also shows the extent to which the extremists outfit fear the race equality agenda being promoted by Operation Black Vote.

Lester Holloway

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