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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hope not hate

In about an hours time I will set off for Swansea's cenotaph to take part in a Hope not Hate day event to commemorate those who died fighting fascism. There will also be those who will take the opportunity to compare the attitude and the policies of the present day BNP with that common enemy.

There is much that I despise about the BNP but as I have said in the past it is important that we do not give them more credibility as an anti-establishment party if we can help it. That is why I think it is important to concentrate on countering the misinformation that they rely on to propagate their message and on dealing with the issues and problems they latch onto to build support.

It is also right that we highlight their hypocrisy when it surfaces. Thus this story on the Hope nor Hate website needs wider publicity:

An elderly couple pictured on BNP election leaflets endorsing the party's anti-immigration views are actually Italian models, it can be disclosed.

Pamphlets being distributed by the far right party to 29 million homes ahead of next month's poll European and council polls feature testimonies from five "typical Britons", giving their reasons for voting BNP.

The endorsements from apparently respectable members of society – including a soldier, doctor, and young mother – reflect the party's attempt to appeal to mainstream voters.

But far from depicting proud BNP supporters, the images are actually stock photos from online picture libraries that have been used by dozens of websites to promote everything from painkillers to caravans.

On the leaflet, the elderly couple are quoted complaining that hard-working Britons are being "pushed to the back of the queue by bogus asylum seekers".

But last night Italian photographer Luca Di Filippo confirmed that the people in the photo were actually his parents, who had only ever visited this country as tourists and do not share the views of the BNP.

The disclosure sits uncomfortably with the party's campaign slogan "British jobs for British workers".

Mr Di Filippo, who is now based in London, said he was astonished to see images of his mother and father being used to promote an extreme right wing party.

"I did not think they would be allowed to use a royalty-free image for political purposes. I'm really, really upset," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"If the BNP had been open about what they were doing and asked me directly I would have said 'no thank you'."

This revelation has caused considerable embarrassment for the BNP but more importantly it has highlighted an important truth. Our economy is international and relies on workers from other countries to keep going, just as other economies rely on British workers to do crucial jobs. Even the BNP need to use overseas models to deliver their message.

If we isolate ourselves from the rest of the world as the BNP advocate then we will be undermining our own prosperity and digging ourselves even deeper into recession. This is a international economic crisis and it can only be tackled in partnership with other countries. The BNP's policies not only fail to recognise that but they will make things worse.

The BNP are an anachronism who have no relevance to twenty first century Britain, their politics are based on hate and resentment and would divide and destroy our society if ever put into practice.

Update: I have added photos of the event showing me reading out some of the names of those who gave their lives fighting Fascism and laying a wreath alongside other local politicians including Bethan Jenkins AM and Councillor Derek Vaughan.
It's funny we go down to a stone and say we will not forget the people who gave their lives for this grand country. But we shove the old soldiers who fought and lived into nursing homes and give them £18 a week in pocket money.

Three years Percy and Trixi living by me both struggling on a pension, Trixi had dementia and Percy had a serious heart problem both 86 I was the neigbour I asked for help from my MP who ignored the letters, I asked the AM who told me she had a full diary and had to open a fête. For a year these two people struggled like hell Trixi was walking out at 2am in her nightdress freezing cold. The social service were called, and then left me with an 86 year old lady on my own I'm severely disabled. I had to call the police, who called social service who refused to help, the two officers arrested Trixi under section 33 of the mental health act, so a doctor could then section her.

This went on for a year until I ended up in hospital from a break down, and Percy and Trixi ended up in hospital.

Then Percy told me where he got his chest of medals, we all saw the film a bridge to far, the bridge was taken by British soldiers and two men went under the bridge to remove the explosives well Percy was one of these, the other lad was shot and killed and Percy made it safe, yet I failed to get him help we said yes yes OK he is brave, but nobody cared yet we care about the dead, we stand and salute the dead with pride while the living are treated as silly old men.

In the end I took Percy to hospital he was hospitalized with a major heart attack, Trixi was left with me I could not control her so I took her to the hospital and left her I was then arrested by the police for leaving her, but once I explained to the officers they left. Two years from the start Percy and Trixi was placed in a nursing home, they had all monies taken off them and given £18 in expenses.

So when you lot run around to tell us about those that gave, I ask what about those that are alive and gave.

Both Percy and Trixie died last year, I have never felt so glad that two elderly people has died because I know in death they are in peace because alive and elderly in need we gave them sod all.

The police have the records of the arrests
Very good post Peter. They are an insular anachronism as you point out. Just imagine them running the show they would not export anything and they would not let skilled hospitals doc's in that we need. That leaflet i had through my letterbox too. I chucked it quickly in the recycling bag (or maybe i should have put a match to it)
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