Peter Strudwick, BNP Reform's legal officer, reviews the consequences of the May parliamentary elections, and points the way to future progress for the party on the economy and foreign affairs.
Elections come and go but nothing very much ever changes. The politics of liberal-internationalism remain dominant. This time, however, the people got what they didn't vote for - a coalition government of a distinctly pinkish hue. "Call me Dave" Cameron is installed as prime minister and Nick Clegg is sucking up as his deputy. Tweedledum and Tweedledee hold sway.
Cameron's politics are very far removed from the nationalist tendency which once influenced Tory party thinking through the likes of Edmund Burke, Benjamin Disraeli, Joseph Chamberlain, Percy Wyndham-Lewis, T S Eliot, G K Chesterton, John Biggs-Davison, Ronald Bell and Enoch Powell, to name but a few.
I doubt whether Cameron, who travels with the lightest intellectual baggage and who has never had a job outside the political milieu, sees himself as having anything in common with those scholars and luminaries. If he had been living in the 1840s, unlike certain of those named who were, he would have supported the Whig line and voted for the repeal of the Corn Laws which subjected British farmers to bankruptcy and ruin by allowing the importation of foreign wheat instead of protecting our own agricultural production.
Cameron is a liberal through and through. Certainly he has a difficult immediate task with the massive budget deficit of £172 billion, the product almost entirely of international finance capitalism. I wouldn't lay long odds on his succeeding in reducing the deficit. The last thing he should be doing is crowing about having earmarked £6.2 billion in early cuts - no more than 3.7% of the total.
For our part, the British National Party readily recognizes that it still has a long way to go to break this cosy consensus and achieve our cherished ambition of contesting for power. Yet the May parliamentary elections should, I think, be seen as a consolidation and steady development for the BNP. We obtained 569,358 votes, according to my calculations, from slightly over half the constituencies, a clear advance on previous elections. My analysis shows that in those seats where we were in contest with UKIP we beat them (often very decisively) in 173 seats and they beat us in 129 (in four of which by less than 20 votes). We soundly defeated the Greens in the proportion of three seats to one.
Gven the barrage of misinformation and downright lies that characterized the media's reporting of our campaign, in my opinion we did remarkably well, salutary testimony to our dedicated candidates and activists. Yes, it may be that we had some disappointing local election results in terms of seats retained (although we still obtained some very impressive scores) but it must be remembered that party fortunes at local level are cyclical; just as we won large numbers of seats as challengers at an earlier period, so we can win them back under more favourable conditions if we continue to expand our levels of local implantation.
As I see it, the crucial tasks facing the British National Party are to maintain and re-invigorate the essence of our political philosophy and to eschew any suggestions that we should water down our policies in the belief, wholly erroneous, that we cannot carry the electorate with us. The contrary is in fact true, for we have nothing in common with the Con-Lib-Lab triumvirate's programme of managed decline and surrender, and sooner or later the people will turn to us.
The reality then is that the BNP has a set of policies built upon the most solid foundations and a thoroughly appealing ideology of nationalism, which is neither aggressive nor revanchist but rather designed to assure to our people the realization of all the ideals which we regard as central to our life: love of country; economic well-being for all; restoration of undiluted self-government; social cohesion and the prospect of a population at peace with itself, once we have ended immigration (and substantially reversed its effects) and dealt a fatal blow to the pernicious doctrines of multi-culturalism and political correctness.
The practical imperative is to continue to get through to as large a number of people as possible how different we are from the failed parties of the mainstream. To that end we need to emphasize that in two key areas, foreign policy and the economy, we have already been proved correct in our analysis, and wholly justified in our propaganda. If we take the former first, we argue forcibly that the primary principle of international relations is that of non-intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign independent states. Iraq is a litmus test. Britain's intervention in that unhappy land has been the biggest foreign disaster since the second world war - worse even than Suez. It has been a wholly avoidable catastrophe. Blair was determined to risk the lives of our brave soldiers by obstinately refusing to give Hans Blix, the UN weapons inspector, the four extra weeks he had requested to put the non-existence of weapons of mass destruction beyond all reasonable doubt.
Moreover, Sir John Scarlett, director-general of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, had warned Blair and his associates that he (Blair) was inviting a Muslim backlash of potentially disastrous proportions, and so it has turned out to be, with the London bombings in July 2005, and the consequential constant high/severe terrorist threat warnings which MI5 has been compelled to issue ever since. Prophetically, Nick Griffin was the first and only politician to have had the foresight to make this prediction.
Blair may now be so-called Middle East peace envoy (a fat lot of use he has been so far) although most of his time seems to be spent on a worldwide lecture tour boosting his already hyper-inflated ego to the tune of millions of pounds in fees from those stupid enough to listen to him. A more appropriate destination for this warmonger would be facing an indictment at the International Court of Justice at the Hague for waging aggressive war against a sovereign state. Over two hundred of our soldiers have had their young lives taken away in an illegal war - which maifestly it was, because of the absence of an affirmative vote of the Security Council of the United Nations.
This veritable folly of invading Iraq, with whom we had no quarrel whatever, given that the first Gulf war conflict had been concluded twelve years earlier, has proved the British National Party to be wholly right. Our position is unimpeachable. So it is with Afghanistan. It may be a NATO operation but Britain is heavily involved and the death count of our soldiers sadly exceeds that in Iraq.
Cameron's first words at the dispatch box after the Queen's speech were a spurious incantation and nauseating salutation to the latest victims of this avoidable war, which is only attractive to the political class which no doubt sees a resource opportunity (oil pipeline construction contracts).
Cameron should have followed Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson's example in the mid-1960s when he refused to commit British troops to American President Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam war effort. That too, as it proved to be, was an unwinnable war with a very heavy toll on lives. The British National Party surely proclaims that there must be an alternative to sending our young men on foot patrols only to be blown up by hidden bombs, or shot down by snipers who fall back into the hills.
A British nationalist approach is decisive. It is to recall our troops immediately because of the indisputable reality that Britain's terrorists are bred and trained, not among the Taleban masses of Afghanistan, in that backward, untameable land, but on the streets of our own towns and cities of England, as events have already demonstrated.
The second area of policy where our party has a massive contribution to make, and where I feel we should have given greater emphasis in our election campaign, is that of extolling the benefits of economic nationalism. As Alastair Harper, in the last issue of Identity (# 103) recently perceptively wrote: "the grand paradox of globalization is that whilst on the surface it promises the unity of the world its effect is already bringing about the world's destruction." A timely truism which accentuates the need to argue that our alternative deserves proper scrutiny. Our difficulty is that the political class will not even debate the merits of protection, selective import controls and the primacy of manufacturing as a resource, maximizing profitability and full employment. In the hands of our opponents "British jobs for British workers" is a meaningless mantra, and they know it. For us, it is the very life-blood of the nation's well-being.
Economic nationalism, indeed, is a wholly relevant and appropriate doctrine. We should embrace it with fervour. At varying times and under differing conditions, it has been endorsed by Disraeli, Joseph Chamberlain, John Maynard Keynes, J K Galbraith and (Lord) Robert Skidelsky (Keynes's biographer), all of whom have made out strong cases for the politics of protecting the home market against free trade liberalism.
Just as we used to adopt Imperial Preference beneficially towards the countries of our empire and later Commonwealth Preference, so now we should engage in the idealism of National Preference, supported by 'most favoured nation' clauses in commercial contracts, where necessary, with foreign countries most favourable to our economic ideology.
Trading on world markets should be seen as complementary to, rather than as a replacement for, building an economy in which our objective is to strive for a high degree of self-sufficiency and autarky. Specifically, tariff barriers should not be seen as obstacles to efficiency but rather as the necessary means for bringing about full employment, and higher productivity achieved under maximum employer/worker co-operation.
Nothing better illustrates the negation of the above than the present European economic system of enforced dumping of surplus agricultural production, whereas the BNP would be (outside the constraints of the European Union, which we would leave) to direct surpluses as we thought fit, including, if necessary, alleviating genuine suffering and poverty. Such a policy is in antithesis to the disaster of free-trade globalism, which only profits the very wealthy, while impoverishing the rest of us. There has been no better illustration of this than the abrogation of the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement in the late 1940s and early 1950s, because we could secure marginally better prices elsewhere, following which the collapse of the sugar market in Jamaica and Trinidad increased unemployment in the West Indies and led to the precipitate migration of West Indian labour to the United Kingdom.
Some parallel consequence is seen in the Cadbury-Krafft take-over. Here we had an iconic, household name; a profitable chocolate manufacturing company, founded in 1824 by Quaker brothers, employing 48,000 worldwide, with more than 9,000 at eight sites in Britain. Cadbury's shareholders were offered 840p for each share (probably a fair market price) plus a 10p share dividend, as against an original offer of 761p. A BNP policy would have ensured a totally different outcome, based upon a totally different set of economic principles, as I will set down later.
As usual in this sort of take-over, the British workforce and its welfare seems to be the last thing to be considered. More than 10,000 job cuts world-wide are considered likely by analysts, in order to slash costs and enable Krafft to repay the cash it required to borrow for the deal. Somerdale, the Cadbury factory near Bristol, is already scheduled for closure, and Krafft's record in this regard does not exactly inspire confidence. In 1993 it bought chocolate manufacturer, Terry, closing its York factory within two years despite a promise to keep it operational. The factory was sold to developers, with production shifted to low cost Eastern Europe.
Krafft's poor reputation in the food industry is long established. It is shocking that a quintessentially philanthropic brand such as Cadbury, with its long history and overall excellence, has sold out to a plastic cheese company.
The precedents for Cadbury employees are unfavourable. For instance, when York-based Rowntree was taken over by Nestle, of Switzerland, within two decades Rowntree's workforce had been reduced from 33,000 to 3,250; a 90% shake-out.
Further take-overs of British industry are likely because of the fall in sterling, which makes companies cheaper for foreign buyers. A major target is Smith and Nephew, a leading developer of medical devices such as artificial hips. P and O suffered the full treatment. It was acquired by DP World of Dubai for £3 billion in 2006. Its shares have fallen by two-thirds, valuing its 52 ports, including Tilbury and Southampton, at only £4.5 billion. Corus, formed from the merger of British Steel with the Dutch group Hoogovens, was bought by the Indian conglomerate Tata, in 2007. Corus announced just over a year ago that it would end steel-making in Teesside, with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs. Just about the only companies off-limits for take-over would seem to be Rolls Royce and BAe Systems, both major defence suppliers, in which government holds substantial shares.
A BNP government would act in the national interest to arrest the wholesale decimation of British manufacturing industry by foreign companies and conglomerates. One step would be to cancel all 'most favoured nation' status government contracts for reciprocal trading rights which we already have in place, unless economic regulation is introduced to prevent the take-over/merger of industries in the name of free trade liberalism.
Further than that, we should introduce compulsory purchase measures to make it unlawful for foreign companies to acquire anything more than a fractional stake in our businesses and industries. This can be achieved through pre-emption, a process authorizing government to vest assets in a holding company, a national economic corporation, which would then redistribute them on sale among prospering economic interests in Britain. Such a programme could have prevented the electricity and gas industries from falling into foreign hands over a period of ten years.
Pre-emption is not a novel idea. It has operated for many years in a number of other countries, notably Switzerland, Austria, Greece, and Japan, where it was instrumental in assisting that country's economic recovery in the mid-1990s.
The Lib-Lab-Con consensus is incapable of transforming Britain's fortunes. British National Party policies can do so. We are in business to make it happen.