The Guardian reports
that the BNP membership is going to vote overwhelmingly in favour of allowing non-whites to join the party. The BNP’s electoral success entitles it to a fair hearing in the political mainstream. The Spectator has maintained that the party’s domestic policies are inspired by racial supremacist ideology and that its economic policies are like Dagenham – that is, three stops beyond Barking. The membership’s decision, forced on them by a court order with which they must comply, changes nothing.
There is more chance of Dennis Skinner being elevated to the peerage than there is of Afro-Caribbeans and Asians joining the BNP. But this development is a coup for Griffin nonetheless: the BNP have shed the tag ‘Racist party’ and are now an affirmed mainstream and acceptable political force. In reality, they are nothing of the sort.
Peter Hain and others have refused to share a platform with Griffin and his cronies. That position is now untenable. Centrist parties must engage with (and I mean engage with, not shout down) the BNP’s policies on housing, immigration and so forth. To win the argument, centrists will have to do better than the government did this week.