Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Hastings Unite Against Fascism says:
No Debate with BNP!

The Observer has made quite a feature of a proposed debate between all candidates, set up by the Federation of Small Businesses.

The debate has been presented in terms of free speech, and in the letters page Lib Deb candidate Nick Perry, who has agreed to take part, was praised for having “a backbone” (not normally a body-part associated with clear thinking). The Observer then gave pride of place to a blatant publicity rant from a BNP supporter in Eastbourne, while  numerous letters putting the case against giving the BNP a platform have not seen the light of day.

The Debate with the BNP should be cancelled, rather than appease these monsters. This is why:

1. HIDDEN AGENDA: The BNP have a hidden agenda. What you see is bad enough, but it’s not what these fascists really think. In private, some of their leaders get together to celebrate Hitler’s birthday!

Even many of their stated aims, such as banning mixed-race marriage, are beneath debate because they don’t meet our society’s standards. In private, they admire regimes guilty of mass murder, genocide, slave labour and euthanasia — where kids with conditions such as Down’s syndrome were brutally killed.

2. VIOLENCE AND HATRED: They are not driven by policies but by hatred, which gives the green light to violent supporters. In power, the BNP would deport millions. Some supporters are trying the fast-track DIY route: those they hate are getting terrorised to drive them out, or to give them a taste of things to come.

Already, where the BNP stand candidates or their English Defence League friends march, the race-hate crime figures go shooting up. Arson, bullying, insults, graffiti, vandalised cars, injuries and killings follow their election hustings. So a debate with them in Hastings could cause someone here to be hurt.

The BNP switched from Boots to Suits, to pose as the “respectable” electoral face of a wider fascist movement. But the BNP is still riddled with convictions for violence, and shares members with parallel groups specialising in thuggery, such as the EDL and the secretive Combat 18. The 18, incidentally, stands for the first and eighth letter of the alphabet, A for Adolf and H for Hitler.

3. FREE SPEECH: The BNP already have free speech: no-one is obliged to debate with them, which simply hands them a megaphone. A debate is a show, not a real test. It would be on their ground, their issues, focusing on their agenda. It puts them centre stage, instead of leaving them out in the dark where they belong.

And it wouldn’t stop at one debate: that would be a springboard for another demand, another ploy, another challenge to play their game.

If they got power there’d be a terrifying police state with no debate, no elections, no other parties, no trade unions, no freedom of speech. No freedom full stop. For now, free speech is still the freedom not to appease, fraternise or speak with monsters.

Look out for the HUAF stall in the town centre and at the Station Plaza for International Women’s Day (Sunday 7th March 11-5pm) and sign the petition to cancel the debate. They have a detailed DOSSIER on the BNP’s secret connections and hidden agenda. Email Nick Perry to urge him to withdraw before he brings his party into total disrepute. If you are a Lib Dem member, try to call him to order.

Posted 21:54 Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010 In: Campaigns

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