Various sites have noted that the “English Defence League” – which I have blogged on a couple of times lately – has as its web designer a certain Chris Renton, who has been listed as a BNP member. According to the Stirrer:
In an interview with Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg on Talksport last night, spokesman Paul Ray also admitted their links with the BNP…When EDL spokesman Ray was quizzed about this, he acknowledged Renton’s involvement, but insisted, “people’s political views are their own affair.”
This has been reposted on Ray’s Lionheart blog, and he does not dispute the quote. A screenshot of the BNP website also appeared in a video montage Ray created as an advert for last Saturday’s protest in Birmingham (see here at 2:45).
Ray has expressed qualified enthusiasm for the BNP a number of times on his blog, and this was the main reason why American conservatives ditched him last year after initially offering support over his arrest for incitement. Ray takes the view that, under guidance from God, the party will move beyond its racism:
I did see Nick Griffins Easter message and thought it was very very good and inspirational.
It seems that they are the only ones willing to defend and uphold Christianity in this country, as for me i will trust in God to bring about the changes within them to make them the people He wants them to be. As you know there is nothing impossible with Him, and you should not judge these people who God is doing a work with and through.
Perhaps he actually believes this – he wouldn’t be the first person to think that the BNP can be redirected to some other purpose, and various right-libertarians have attempted the same thing over the years (alas, UK libel law prevents free discussion on this point). However, Ray also rails against “Paki Muslims” on American radio, which is not an adjective he chooses to uses on his blog. And BNP Christianity – as represented by the Rev Robert West – specifically teaches that the “mixing of races” is sinful because God has ordained different “physical, intellectual and character” traits to various groups.
Meanwhile, a group such as EDL certainly fits with the BNP’s long-term strategy – in 2000 Nick Griffin was invited by KKK leader David Duke to speak to some American racists, and he advised that
…Perhaps one day, once by being rather more subtle we’ve got ourselves in a position where we control the British broadcasting media, then perhaps one day the British people might change their mind and say, “Yes, every last one must go.” Perhaps they will one day, but if you offer that as your sole aim to start with, you’re gonna get absolutely nowhere. So, instead of talking about racial purity, we talk about identity.
Griffin has also explained his move away from anti-Jewish conspiracy-mongering to attacking Muslims as being because:
The proper enemy to any political movement isn’t necessarily the most evil and the worst. The proper enemy is the one we can most easily defeat.
(Hat tip to a reader)
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