David Blackburn

The Equalities Commission plays straight into Griffin’s hands

The Equalities Commission plays straight into Griffin’s hands
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The BBC reports that Nick Griffin is to put an amended constitution before his party that will abolish the ‘White only’ membership clause. This is the result of legal action brought by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, who proved that the clause was at odds with equality law. John Wadham, of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told the BBC:

"We are pleased the party has conceded this case and agreed to all of the Commission requirements. Political parties, like any other organisation, are obliged to respect the law and not discriminate against people."

On the face of it, this should be welcome news, but the opposite is true. The threat that the BNP poses to liberal democracy is if it were to become a supposedly moderate party, standing on the populist anti-immigration platform – a party that nominally accepts people of all races but remains fundamentally racist. As a member of the anti-BNP group, Nothing British, put it: “Not a racist party, but a party of racists”.

Losing the tag ‘racist party’ would be a triumph for the BNP, bringing it truly into the mainstream. It is one thing to be given a mainstream platform, but it is quite another to be recognised as a legitimate political force. There have been rumours circulating that Griffin planned to table that exact amendment before his appearance on Question Time, such a move would have been an obvious piece of political gamesmanship and could have been dismissed as such. By complying with the law, Griffin appears reasonable and inclusive – “We’ve never been racist outsiders,” he will say on Question Time. But he and his party of thugs are just that, and I hope the members vindicate my perverse faith in them and reject the amendment.