Daily Archives: 20 October, 2009

extemism – telling lies about the past

The story surrounding today’s ‘Nothing British’ campaign rumbles on. Aside from General Sir Mike Jackson being called a ‘Tory lapdog’ – if anything, he’s a Labour lapdog – its been a very interesting day for ill-informed use of History.

Stung by the well reasoned criticism of so many respected and well regarded generals and veterans, the BNP leader decides to compare them to ‘Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg’. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were illegal, they argue. Wrong? possibly. Badly managed and poorly justified? definitely. But illegal? In this historians opinion, no. They’re showing a very selective view of History indeed.

Doing some reading, it turns out that the well known leader of the BNP has in the past called the RAF’s Bomber Command ‘war criminals’ for bombing Germany. Yet it would not surprise me in the slightest if they decided to use a Lancaster Bomber in their publicity if it suited them, such is their hypocrisy.

It has also come to my attention that the Spitfire that the BNP have used in the promotional material was in fact flown by a Squadron of Polish Pilots. Top marks for research on that one! In the past the BNP have been outspoken about Polish immigration, but probably dont want to admit that thousands of Poles fought alongside us in the war. In the past they have been outspoken about ethnic minorities, but jumped on the pro-Gurkha bandwagon when they realised they could capitalise on the issue.

You wouldnt expect anything different from a party whose leader has argued that the scale of the Holocaust has been blown out of all proportion, and that only ‘hundreds or thousands’ of Jews were murdered, and shot, not gassed. This flies in the face of all researched, balanced historical thought. The evidence is all there to see, former perpetrators have admitted to their roles, and what other explanation is there for the near-complete disappearance of Jewish communities all over Europe between 1939 and 1945?

We ignore History at our peril. When there are big social and economic problems, and people are apathetic, extremists will say and do anything to take advantage. History gives us a clue – its happened before, and we don’t want to go down that road again. Anyone with any sense can see right through them.

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‘Extremists hijack’ military name

General Sir Mike Jackson

General Sir Mike Jackson

Four former senior British Army officers have spoken out over the BNP hijacking the name of the British Armed Forces in their campaigning.

Major General Sir Patrick Cordingley, General Lord Guthrie, General Sir Mike Jackson and General Sir Richard Dannatt signed a letter as part of the ‘Nothing British Campaign’, launched today. The campaign is also supported by Andy McNab, Simon Weston and Tim Collins.

The Generals write write: “We call on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain’s military for their own advantage to cease and desist. The values of these extremists – many of whom are essentially racist – are fundamentally at odds with the values of the modern British military, such as tolerance and fairness.”

For some time the BNP have used British military symbols, such as Spitfires and Winston Churchill, and claimed to have a strong relationship with the British Armed Forces. How all of this can be claimed by a party on the one hand, but whose leadership have been recorded listening to SS marching songs on the other, is disturbing in the extreme. The second world war was a campaign against fascism and extremism, and to use such symbols is taking historical licence to new levels.

They will probably argue that the campaign is sponsored by the Conservative party, as one of its directors is a well known conservative and Richard Dannatt is a Conservative advisor. On the other hand, Mike Jackson has been rumoured to be a Labour supporter. They will also claim that the Generals said nothing over MP’s expenses, which is not quite true.

These are real fascists, hiding behind a thin veneer of concern for ordinary people. They use real issues that concern people to garner support while hiding the true extent of their extremism. Thats how all extremist parties, past and present, gain support and come to power. History tells us that.

Evil prospers when good men stand by and do nothing. The generals are entirely right to stand up and be counted, and I applaud them.

Check out the campaign here: Nothing British

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