Harman: BNP wanted Nazis to win the war

Harriet Harman turned her sights on the BNP in her speech at Labour Party conference. She said:

“A further challenge that we have to tackle in the months ahead is, that seeping in to many communities, is the racism and division of the BNP.

“The BNP pretend they’ve changed, pretend they’re respectable. They are no such thing. They’re still the same party that wanted the Nazis to win the war. They’re still the same party whose constitution excludes from membership anyone who is not “indigenous Caucasian.”  It’s right that the new Equality Bill will ban that clause. There can be no place in our democracy for an apartheid party.

“Our active and campaigning parties have proved that the way to tackle the BNP is to be on the doorstep. Showing that we are taking action for those who fear for their jobs or their homes. And showing that we are on their side.”

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3 Responses to “Harman: BNP wanted Nazis to win the war”

  1. Swagata

    Harman’s doorstep strategy to defeat the BNP sounds like it should work.

    But the evidence suggests otherwise. Many feel New Labour deserted the working class and if we factor in Brown’s inept leadership we can see how Labour’s surrendered too much space to the BNP. We saw the evidence in the disastrous European elections.

  2. The Welsh Jacobite

    “They’re still the same party that wanted the Nazis to win the war.”


    How could a party founded in 1982 have wanted the Nazis to win a war that ended in 1945? Does she mean “wished the Nazis had won”??

  3. Roger

    At best one can trace a genealogy of sorts for the BNP that takes it back to the 1970s National Front which in turn was cobbled together out of various far right groups active in the late 50s and 60s.

    Certainly some of those groups had members and supporters who had been interned as pro-Nazi in or just after WW2 – for example Arnold Leese or Savitri Devi.

    And the BNP as a successor faction of the NF and its progenitors probably still benefits financially from bequests made by the likes of Leese (whose former house was for many years HQ to various neo-Nazi groups).

    Wish she’d been a bit more precise though.

    Swagata – what analyses I’ve seen of BNP support suggests that it comes partly from young white low income men who had a low propensity to vote for anyone and partly from former Tory or UKIP voters.

    FWIW this mirrors the experience of previous far right electoral advances which tend to bring in either the formerly unpolitical or those who already had strong right wing views that they felt were poorly represented traditional conservative parties.

    Of course arguably it is New Labour that has through its obsessive triangulation accelerated the depoliticisation of the country – however working class voter’s desertion of Labour started long before Blair and was already worrying Labour strategists back in the days of Gaitskell and Bevan.

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