The decision last month by the BNP to review its membership rules has unravelled with a video showing racial discrimination in practice
Although a week old, it is worth resurrecting this film produced by Don’t Panic which shows the British National Party’s membership process in operation.
The video shows unemployed Swedish immigrant Caisa calling the BNP and being given membership, while British-born Sonny Bashkar is rejected. Last month the BNP announced it will amend its constitution so its rules on membership do not discriminate on the grounds of race or religion.
The video ends with a BNP member telling Bashkar:
“This is my party. I don’t want you in my party. As a member, it is up to us as members whether we decide to let you people in … people who aren’t like us … Our party is being forced into a position that we don’t want … We don’t want you”
Caisa: Hi my name is Caisa and I just wanted to see if I could join your party even though I’m Sweedish
BNP: Yes, no that’s absolutely no problem at all. Have you given us your address to us?
Caisa: Yes to one of your colleagues.
BNP: Yep. In which case everything will be in there for you, but that’s absolutely no problem whatsoever. We’ll get that popped straight in the post for you.
Footage of Caisa on the phone to Jobcentre and Housing office with them telling her she is elligable for both Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit even though she is swedish.
Conversation between Sonny Bashkar – who is British with an Indian father – and the BNP.
Sonny: Hello I wanted to apply for membership.
BNP: A life membership?
Sonny: A standard.
BNP: Okay and what’s your name?
Sonny: Yeah. S-o-n-n-y.
BNP: And your second name?
BNP: (long pause)
BNP: (unsure) Okay… And your address?
Sonny: Gives address. I just wanted to check. I was looking at your membership requirements and I’ve got some family that are not of white origin and I just wanted to check that that was okay.
Sonny: I just wanted to check that was okay.
BNP: What’s your contact number?
Sonny: Is that alright? My dad’s Indian. I just wanted to check that that was okay.
BNP: Okay well what we’ll do is… hold on a second. Give me two seconds… If you give me your number I’ll get someone to call you back and talk you through it.
Sonny: gives number.
BNP: I’ll get someone to call you back to talk you through it so you can understand everything.
Calls back half an hour or so later
BNP: How can I help you?
Sonny: Hi, I called a while ago enquiring about whether or not I can join up.
BNP: Is this Sonny?
BNP: Sonny, it’s not been quite ages. It’s been about half an hour.
BNP: I’ve actually heard from my colleagues that you’ve been ringing a couple of times today.
Sonny: Yeah I just wanted to find out.
BNP: You’ll get dealt with when someone is available to call you back (hangs up).Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.
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