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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A question of image

We have already seen controversy over the use of a picture of Sir Winston Churchill by the UK Independence Party, now the BNP are to follow suit. In their search for respectability they intend to use an image of the wartime leader and quote one of his most famous speeches in their Election broadcast tonight.

It is a move that has attracted protests from Sir Winston Churchill's family. They say that the BNP is trying to hijack his legacy. His grandson, ­Nicholas Soames, said it was "offensive and ­disgusting," and he has consulted lawyers in an attempt to force the Electoral Commission to stop the broadcast. The Guardian reports:

Griffin was also accused of hypocrisy over his use of second world war footage, after it emerged that an article which appeared in a rightwing magazine he edited in the 1990s appeared to praise the wartime exploits of Hitler's SS.

"For him to evoke the memory of Churchill and our second world war ­servicemen is a disgrace," said a ­spokesman for Searchlight, the anti-racist organisation.

The BNP's deputy chairman. Simon Darby, denied Griffin supported the SS, and defended the use of Churchill. "It is very relevant to what is happening today," he said. "I am extremely upset at what is happening to the country. What was the point of fighting the second world war, if this is where we are going to end up?"

I am sure that most veterans would agree that we fought the Second World War to protect the freedoms that the BNP are trying to take off us. Any politician of whatever seniority who defends the SS has no credibility. It shows the real face of the BNP.

If there is one thing I have found heartening about the present elections it is that despite all the scandals and controversy the threatened surge in the polls for the BNP has failed to materialise. In fact they are struggling to make any mark at all.

That may not stop the BNP winning a seat in the European Parliament but it does show how they have underestimated the intelligence and discernment of the voting public. Their present PR exercise smacks of desperation and as a result their veneer is slipping. That is a good thing.
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