Acknowledgements to the AlternativeRight.com web site
Thursday, 23 June 2011
It's Not Just the Leader
By Alex Kurtagic
Colin Liddell’s recent article about the British National Party needs some additional comments, as it concentrates on the party’s leadership while leaving out some important reasons why the party fails in the polls.
It bears asking: Given that successive British politicians since the 1950s set, then improved, then perpetuated conditions that have left the country open to colonisation by peoples of the Third World, without ever asking the citizens whom they represented whether they wanted to be thus colonised; given that they have a proven record of not acting in the national interest, favouring instead plutocratic, globalist, and even foreign lobbies; given that they have repeatedly lied to the citizenry on immigration, multiculturalism, and foreign wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; given that they have wrecked the economy, mortgaging, if not hobbling, the future prosperity of the nation; given that so many have stolen from the public purse for personal benefit—given all this, would it not make sense to vote into power the one party that ostensibly stands against all of the above, and whose policy is to put the interests of the indigenous peoples of the various parts of the United Kingdom first?
All else being equal, it would make sense, wouldn’t it?
Especially after seeing, and in some cases living, what happens when Whites become disempowered minorities in former—and formerly prosperous—British colonies.
Why, then, are British people not voting for the British National Party?
Liddell has suggested some of the reasons: a neo-Nazi past, which in the minds of ordinary citizens means a neo-Nazi present; poor staffing decisions by the party leader, which has resulted in maladminstration; and, although not explicitly stated but clearly suggested by the choice of illustration in the article, an uncharismatic leader.
These are serious handicaps for a party that is constantly under attack by the political and media establishment—over the years we have seen a number of money-draining court cases, bank harassment, gerrymandering, media ambushes, and a consistently negative portrayal, with images of the party leader in the mainstream media chosen on the basis of their unflattering quality.
Yet, to my mind, the most serious handicaps are internally generated: 1) the very nature and character of the BNP’s message; 2) its failure to professionalise its operation; and 3) which is releated and dependent on the previous two, its lack of presentation skills.
I contend that even if the BNP were left entirely alone by the establishment, it would still fail to inspire the electorate.
The problem with the party’s message is that it is almost entirely negative. It is based purely on a negative proposition (Britain is going to the dogs, the establishment is corrupt); it is concretely and emphatically anti-everything (anti-immigration, anti-establishment, anti-globalisation, anti-multiculturalism, anti-Islam, anti-feminism); and it is pessimistic (everything will get worse, the economy will collapse, Britain will be Islamised). As a result, it seems acutely paranoid rather than simply realistic.
Where an effort has been made to make the party’s message positive (and the recent logo re-design seems part of this) the message remains for the most part reactionary and conservative, expressing a yearning for a return or restoration to a pre-liberal past, rather than a will to rebirth or regeneration in a post-liberal future.
To be fair, both the reactionary-conservative and archeofuturistic currents exist within the party, but the latter (which, from my very limited vantage point, seems more prevalent among some younger members) is not dominant—and yet that latter current is the one capable of producing a winning formula.
The citizenry already knows that Britain is going to the dogs—they know it deep down, even if they do not feel immediately threatened because they have good jobs, live in non-diverse areas of the country, or have insulated themselves from the effects of the ‘equality’ project; yet no one wants to hear endless complaining, pessimism, and paranoia from dowdy angry middle-aged men, who deliver their remarks with sarcasm and a scowl.
It never matters whether they are right: people do not want to hear it.
Most want to feel happy and optimistic. They want to look forward to, rather than dread, the future. And most importantly they do not want to be like ‘those awful BNP supporters’—at least how they imagine them to be.
In other words, the negative message implies a negative identity—an identity defined against an establishment that enjoys the benefit of possessing and regulating access to status, power, and money.
The BNP would perhaps increase its appeal were it to emphasise how Britain was going to be better off with the party in charge, as opposed to how Britain is going to be worse off with the mainstream parties; and if they emphasised the positive without relying on the negative: that is to say, if ‘better off’ was not a simply consequence of avoiding ‘worse off’, but rather also the result of a unique, forward-looking social programme of rebirth and regeneration.
One of the keys to success is in being able to formulate a unique proposition, implying a positive identity, and having everyone else define themselves either for it or against it.
The BNP so far has done the reverse.
Having said the above, even a fantastic message is useless if the citizenry lacks confidence in the party’s ability to deliver.
The terrorist Left has made great capital from exploiting manifest weaknesses in the party’s accounting systems and record-keeping. The latter have enabled the BNP’s enemies to scare the electorate by implicitly posing the question: if a small party with ten thousand members cannot keep on top of its own accounts, how on earth are they going to keep on top of the nation’s accounts?
Moreover, anti-racist legislation has contrived a number of employment bans and convictions, thus enabling the BNP’s enemies to brand the party as composed of unemployable criminals.
Nick Griffin has made efforts to professionalise his party, but these have yet to prove sufficient to inspire confidence in spite of establishment enmity.
While most citizens would like to see an end to the colonisation of Britain and Europe, even they would worry were the BNP to win a general election tomorrow.
Similarly, even a fantastic message is useless without the skills to deliver it in a manner that maximises the party’s appeal.
Since gaining seats in the European Parliament the BNP has grown better at doing media and made visible efforts to develop their own in order to improve their image and their outreach. However, this is recent, and for most of its history the party has lacked media skills.
In a media age, this is a big minus.
Even now, results are inconsistent. Some good performances by Griffin have been recorded, such as this short interview. However, many still remember his embarrassing performance in 2009 on the BBC’s Question Time, where he spent much time explaining and defending himself rather than attacking the enemy and putting across the case for his party.
Besides the problem of media skills, there is the problem of the overall presentation strategy having been defined around a negative message.
Yes, there are legitimate reasons to be angry. And yes, given the record of the mainstream parties and politicians, it would seem logical, reasonable, and justified for a party purporting to be one of fundamental change to define itself against them. Yet, that alone will not work and has rarely if ever worked. The most spectacular electoral wins have been led by politicians who inspired optimism, not politicians who prophesied doom.
A clear example is the United Kingdom’s 1997 general election. The Conservative Party’s most famous slogan was ‘Britain is Booming, Don’t Let Labour Blow It’; the Labour Party’s was simply ‘New Labour, New Britain’. Labour won by a landslide and a wave of cheer swept the country. Eleven years later, an obscure Black United States senator campaigned with the simple slogans ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’. He became president and a wave of cheer swept the country.
It seems the matter of presentation is very simple. A vague, wishy-washy appeal to optimism is far more effective than hard-boiled realism.
No one wants to be a realist.
It may seem preposterous to discuss the viability of a British national party when prospects of real political power for any such entity are presently so remote.
Some may argue that party politics is futile, since we will not likely vote ourselves out of the present mess.
Yet party political work is far from futile or pointless, even at this juncture.
Firstly, there needs to be a continuous political presence representing fundamental change in the right direction, if only to exert political pressure and remind people that such a position exists. Secondly, there need to be professional campaigning organisations capable of assuming political power in the event of an opening.
Such an opening is, of course, unlikely to occur without there being a fundamental change in the culture that prepares the citizenry to accept values and propositions that today are seen as marginal. This is so much the case that, in fact, party political activity will only become immediately relevant at the end of a long process of cultural transformation. Political power is the last stage, not the first, in the project of transforming society.
Thus, at least in peacetime, party politics is the instrument of the endgame. No party proposing fundamental change will be voted into power unless that fundamental change has already occurred.
Given how far we are from the kind of culture that would make political victory possible for the kind of party the BNP ought to be, I do not think Nick Griffin holds the key to anything except the fate of his party.
I suspect the BNP’s electoral prospects will improve after a change of leadership—but only marginally, assuming no change in the culture. And any new leader would need to be young, charismatic, and not part of the existing leadership clique. Crucially, he would need credibly and successfully to represent in the public eye the political expression of a counter-cultural current, a real break with both the past and the present.
That seems a long way off for now, and there is no credible party on the horizon.
So the multicultural project continues . . .