The BNP egg-throwing incident is an interesting example of the double standards some people apply to democracy when it doesn’t suit them.
In brief: a bunch of well-meaning but misguided duffers – greenie earth mother types, skinny students, and those earnestly likeable sort of people who work in the charity and public sectors – disrupted BNP MEP Nick Griffin’s press conference, by the time-honoured method of chucking eggs at him. The conference quickly ended, Griffin retreated to his car surrounded by comically outhouse-shaped bodyguards, and the protestors celebrated victory, having made their point.
Which misses the real point.
The BNP is an unpleasant party. Hides its true policies from voters, bars non-whites from membership, practices the politics of fear and loathing rather than those that try to solve the poverty and education problems that lead to prejudice in the first place.
However – we’ve just had an election. The BNP now has two seats in the European Parliament and a number of local council places. It is a legitimately elected party, for all its unpleasantness, and the egg-throwers seem to think their own beliefs should trump those of the (stupid) voters who elected BNP candidates.
I’d quite like to think my beliefs come above everyone else’s, too, but they don’t, and chucking ovoid dairy products at people isn’t going to change that.
The BNP’s immigration policies – muddleheaded, but in harsh times it’s at least possible to understand the sentiment that Britain is ‘full’. On ethnic selection – well, there are plenty of Asian business organisations and Muslim groups in this town, which are equally ‘racist’ if you want to define racism so narrowly.
And as for the hiding-its-true-agenda – well, if we barred politicians from office for lying about their policies… there’d be a lot of large buildings in Westminster lying empty.
Stupid is the BNP, stupid are its policies. But more stupid still are the egg-throwers whose mob tactics are giving them further legitimacy. Let them enjoy their moment in the sun, give ’em the freedom of Parliament, and let them demonstrate what they can actually do. Then when the brief flame dies they’ll simply fade away.