BNP THE SAME NASTY BIGOTS; A New 'Reasonable' BNP to Appeal to the Middle Classes and Ethnic Minorities Is Tipped to Do Well in Next Week's Elections. but a Mail Investigation Reveals That Behind Their Cynical Makeover, Race Hatred and Violence Still Drive This Vile Body

Daily Mail (London), June 5, 2004 | Go to article overview
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BNP THE SAME NASTY BIGOTS; A New 'Reasonable' BNP to Appeal to the Middle Classes and Ethnic Minorities Is Tipped to Do Well in Next Week's Elections. but a Mail Investigation Reveals That Behind Their Cynical Makeover, Race Hatred and Violence Still Drive This Vile Body


Byline: RICHARD PENDLEBURY

STUART BELLINGER'S pansies have come out a treat.

They are blooming prettily in a hanging basket on the wall of his semidetached house when he answers the door.

One cannot but help notice his bony, white (or, in the jargon of his party, 'native indigenous') knees peeping out from below a pair of long baggy shorts. He looks at me very suspiciously.

When he learns I am a journalist his eyes narrow even further. Almost audibly, the Bellinger brain, snug beneath a close cropped scalp, clunks into a preprogrammed gear.

Puffing out a defiant chest, he snaps: 'I have no comment to make.' Mr Bellinger, a man who is, no doubt, kind to the dogs baying enthusiastically for my blood in a back room, is adamant.

He may, along with his lovely wife Susan, be standing for election next Thursday in the biggest and most ambitious nationwide campaign in the history of the British National Party, but any unsupervised comment is apparently verboten.

One hour's drive north east from this Birmingham suburb, in a picturesque village a few miles outside Nottingham, is the home of the man responsible for supervising this new strategy.

Dr Phil Edwards is the national press officer of the BNP. He is the party's spindoctorin-chief. If you like - and he probably won't - he is the BNP's Peter Mandelson.

His home is in a discreet lane off the charming main street. A neighbour points me in the right direction, grimaces and says: 'Good luck.' Although the house is obviously occupied, no one answers the door.

He may have an academic title, but Dr Edwards makes his living by letting off fireworks. When contacted via the mobile phone number given for his fireworks display company he is, unusually for a party political press officer, baffled and then furious that a journalist can call him, knows where he lives and has dared to pay a visit.

Then he says he has no comment to make about the election. Then he claims he is too busy. Finally, he growls: 'We don't like the Daily Mail here.

You are always calling us Nazis, fascists, racists and thugs.' One can picture him in the bar of the pub from which he is obviously speaking, swelling with self-righteous indignation. He adds: 'It's a lot of bloody nonsense.' In five days' time, the neo-Nazi BNP will make its biggest push yet for the hearts and minds of the British electorate.

In all, it has a record 400 candidates standing in the European, local council and Greater London Authority elections.

The party boasts that it has sent out 30 million leaflets.

And last week it screened, on national television, a party political broadcast which featured an apparently supportive British Sikh - a member of one of the ethnic minorities to whose presence in Britain the BNP is so implacably opposed.

So what exactly is happening in the twilight world of far-Right politics?After a largely barren, 20-year political journey, underpinned by overtly racist policies such as the enforced 'repatriation' to 'ancestral' lands of all nonwhite Britons, the BNP has given itself a makeover.

Gone are the Doc Martens, to be replaced by suits. The more outlandish ideas of previous campaigns have been toned down - in public, at least.

The BNP is 'not racist', merely aware that the races are different and incompatible; people will not be forced out of the country, only enthusiastically assisted if they wish to leave.

The manifesto now covers environmental and countryside issues, too.

Yet, as will become clear, beneath this thin veneer there still lurks an obsession with racial purity. For all its official posturing, the party still loathes all non-Anglo Saxon Britons.

It is Al Qaeda and the rise of minority British Islamic fundamentalism that has allowed this renaissance in its fortunes.

In the past two years, the party has identified the electoral possibilities arising from the September 11 attacks in the U.

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BNP THE SAME NASTY BIGOTS; A New 'Reasonable' BNP to Appeal to the Middle Classes and Ethnic Minorities Is Tipped to Do Well in Next Week's Elections. but a Mail Investigation Reveals That Behind Their Cynical Makeover, Race Hatred and Violence Still Drive This Vile Body
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