Alex Massie

Who cares about the BNP?

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Everyone, naturally, is all flustered and boggled by Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time tomorrow. This has occasioned near record-breaking amount hand-wringing even though the BNP are, whisper it, less popular than the Greens. When you're beaten by the loopy eco-warriors you know you have a popularity problem.

Chris Dillow reminds us just how few BNPers there really are:

Can we put the BNP into context? According to the Guardian, it has 11,811 members. This is less than the circulation of Cage & Aviary Birds magazine, and less than Huddersfield Town’s average attendance this season. It’s barely half the membership of the Bakers, Food & Allied Workers’ Union, and only one-seventh the number of adults who are boy scout leaders.

Nothing, in other words, can help the BNP as much as our apparent determination to take these clowns and clods seriously. In doing so we elevate their status and grant them massively more influence than they either have or merit. Judging from all the attention they've received this week you'd think they were going to be running the country pretty soon. But they're not. Why, then, do we pay so much attention to the activities of a tiny, malignant set of fools? 

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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