Tim Montgomerie writes about www.nothingbritish.com

We’ve taken the slightly unusual step of inviting Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome to write this guest post as his latest internet venture is one on which there is much common ground.

It’s a great pleasure to write for Liberal Democrat Voice. I read it most days and learn a great deal from it. More than occasionally it gives me ideas for posts on ConservativeHome!

We have many things in common as Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and many things that divide us. Perhaps the most important area of common ground is our belief in a Britain where every person – regardless of gender, sexuality, creed and colour – can prosper. All of us political geeks know that that’s not a belief shared by the BNP but I’m no longer sure that it’s well known by every Briton.

I wrote for The Telegraph last week about my encounter with two churchgoers who had decided to vote BNP because of Nick Griffin’s professed patriotism, his policies
on housing and on jobs. These two lovely people were completely ignorant of the BNP’s underlying racism. Staggering perhaps to readers of ConHome and LibDemVoice but nonetheless completely true.

That experience in Salisbury Cathedral led me to help launch NothingBritish.com. I think it’s the first centre right-inspired attempt to tackle the BNP. For a long time I believed (like many Conservatives) that the best tactic was to ignore the BNP and deny them the oxygen of publicity. The internet has changed that. The BNP now gets its message out via blogs and YouTube. Its very professional website gets more traffic than all of the main party websites added together. Its videos thrash WebCameron in the viewing stakes. The BNP registered 7% in the latest YouGov poll of European Election voting intentions.

The BNP may have abandoned the skinhead look. It may have softened some of their policies but at root it still has a belief in an all white Britain. I’m proud that Britain has avoided high level representation of racist politicians until now. That could change on 4th June.

The video launched by nothingbritish.com is an attempt to reproduce the conversation I had with those two churchgoers. Two minutes of telling them about the BNP’s underlying racism left them horrified and they vowed to deploy their protest vote elsewhere. [UKIP unfortunately.]

Please post the Ben video on your website or blog and I hope it might reach a few more people who are sadly ignorant of the BNP’s true agenda and the thoroughly unBritish views of Nick Griffin.

Many thanks to Mark Pack for this opportunity to post here.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds and The Independent View.
Advert

30 Comments

  • Well said. Everyone across the political spectrum should fight extremism

  • David Heigham 19th May '09 - 3:12pm

    A welcome move. The BNP is a damn sight more un-British than even Gordon Brown’s ludicrous attempts to promote a phony Britishness; apart from the BNP being revolting.

  • Hugh Oxford 19th May '09 - 3:42pm

    Well, if you wanted evidence of a collusive, homogenised, political class, the opening sentence should keep you going for quite a while.

    Quite what common ground Conservatives should have with Lib Dems is something that leaves me scratching my head.

    My suspicion is that such an article will increase, rather than decrease, sympathy for the BNP, as people hunt for a sincere alternative to the status quo.

  • I think the Enoch Powell appreciation died down at the time they realised that a fair proportion of Asians & blacks are in fact natural conservatives. Their loyalty to Labour, as was, is something that can quite easily be dismantled.

    Republicans in America polled quite well amongst ethnic minorities until recently, when they sodded themselves up in general: any resurgence they have will mean winning over minorities again.

    This includes asylum seekers too, many of whom are well-qualified professionals in their native countries, & are often budding conservatives in fact.

    Re: Montgomerie’s campaign, I’ve repeatedly said to BNP members who outlined their draconian & unworkable schemes for making us all wards of the state that they don’t appreciate what Great Britain is, in particular the fact that freedom is one of our foremost traditions as a people. This authoritarianism is alien to us & long may it remain so.

    There is more good British stuff at the Convention on Modern Liberty & such like than there is in the ranks of a deeply statist, racist & generally unpleasant party.

  • Mr Disgusted 19th May '09 - 5:05pm

    It’s reassuring to know that if you vote any one of the main 3, you are voting for all of them.
    Makes it much easier to put my x elsewhere.

  • Allan Littlemore 19th May '09 - 5:11pm

    I read Ian Montgomerie’s piece in the Daily Telegraph. What is it about the BNP which srikes fear into the main parties? I guess they think that the BNP will get one or more seats in the European Election. I am a through and through Tory, and have been since the days of Harold McMillan, but I see the temptation.
    I have just become a Trustee of a Charitable Organisation so the CC sent me a booklet outlining my duties and responsibilities. The sole person on the front page is a black man. He could be a Christain, or a Jew, but who is being pandered to?
    The BBC, the first B stands for British, has just appointed a new Head of Religious programmes; his colour is of no interest to me, but he is a professed Muslim. Could you see a Christain being similarly appointed in a Muslim country?
    A young lady in a local store is probably Iraqi or Iranian. She has not long since left school where, she tells another lady in the queue, they stopped singing “those lovely christian hymns in case it offended the muslims”
    Many people in Britain feel swamped. Just how swamped will become apparent early next month. Somebody is not listening.

  • I’ve looked at the website but most of its content seems to be links from material previously produced by extreme left wing organisations like Searchlight. Where’s the original research? How do you know that the material is true if you just copy and paste?

    One example in the list of convictions has some one listed for a particular offence, but then puts “(not yet proven)” (sic)! What has happened to the principle of innocent until proven guilty? Not exactly liberal is it?

    It’s worth looking into the background of these “anti-fascist” groups. Some of them have criminal convictions. The far left have no compunction in using violence and intimidation against BNP supporters.They are no better than the BNP.

    I’m surprised that Tim Montgomerie uses materials from and associates with such tainted people.

  • Antony Hook 19th May '09 - 7:02pm

    Good work, Tim.

  • “A young lady in a local store is probably Iraqi or Iranian”

    Yes, Arabs & Persians are pretty much the same thing. It’s hard to tell one brown person from another, isn’t it?

  • Allan Littlemore 19th May '09 - 8:47pm

    Asquith, is that the best you can do? Your namesake was in office about 100 years ago; about right for you I suppose.

  • I think Tim is to be congratulated (and I never thought I’d say that), for too long if you wanted to oppose the fascist BNP, you ended up next to some strange lefties. This is one area Liberals and Tories can unite. It’s time to reclaim the Union Flag – itself a symbol unity of peoples. The BNP would deport the Ghurkhas, and take Johnson Beharry’s VC away.

  • I think you’re all missing the point with the bnp blip. It’s the fact that they’re so fundamentally offensive that makes them such an attractive protest vote in the first place, because there’s really no better way to get the establishment parties to notice your protest and at the sand time there’s still no danger of them ever achieving any of their odious policies anyway.

    I seriously doubt that those two Christian ladies (what has their faith got to do with anthing anyway?) were completely unaware of the bnp’s agenda, but neither do I imagine for a second that they support any of it. People don’t vote for small parties because they believe in their policies, people vote for small parties because of the message their vote sends to the big parties.

  • The Conservative record on Gurkhas is not very good, they only let 6 stay when they held power.

  • Sadly of course the LibDems have also been guilty of playing the race card by demonising Jews. At the recent council by election in Valentines ward in the London Borough of Redbridge the Muslim LibDem candidate produced a leaflet directly equating what he portrayed as Israeli war crimes with the Jewish leader of the Council. I understand that the Police are currently investigating this leaflet after a complaint that it incited racial hatred.

    It is no good being selective about your anti racist credentials, as far too many LDs are you know, either you are against racism, including anti semitism, and the vile BNP or you are as bad as they are.

  • Rebel Saint 20th May '09 - 1:08am

    I’m naturally a conservative voter. But it’s the BNP for me this time. Instead of just speculating why people are going to vote BNP, just ask us!

    I’m voting for the BNP because (A) I AGREE WITH THEM on a lot of issues. I know this comes as a complete shock but I’m sure I won’t be the only one voting for that reason (B) I DISAGREE WITH THE MAIN 3. There might be some policy differences between the 3 main parties on various issues but on the issues that matter to me … immigration, EU integration, ‘human rights’ legislation, capitulation to Islam, and a whole raft of other social & cultural policies the 3 main parties are all completely identical & complicit. I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN THE KIND OF COUNTRY PROPOSED BY NULABOUR, CONSERVATIVES OR LIBERALS. I’m shouting so that someone might listen. This is not just a protest vote.

  • Mr. Angry has a good point. Note that the BNP says that it supports the right of the State of Israel to exist (and they’re supposed to be “holocaust deniers”?). Contrast that with the extraordinary hostility to Israel of our home-grown lefties. The BNP’s position on the near east is that while a “peace for land” deal would probably be the best solution to the problems in that part of the world,those problems are none of our business and we should avoid all involvement.

  • Rebel Saint 20th May '09 - 1:24am

    BTW … caricaturing us all as hate-filled, holocaust denying, knuckledraggers doesn’t help. In fact it only strengthens reinforce the frustration that no-one is taking the ISSUES the BNP are addressing seriously.

    What is the response of the LIB/LAB/CON to the likes of this … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PliODvEGuxI

    It’s probably overcooks it somewhat, but for those of us who live in certain cities in the UK it is a very real & prevalent concern.

  • Grammar Police 20th May '09 - 7:56am

    @ Rebel Saint – “immigration, EU integration, ‘human rights’ legislation, capitulation to Islam, and a whole raft of other social & cultural policies the 3 main parties are all completely identical & complicit.”

    I disagree, I think there are very real differences on these between the main 3 parties, with the exception of ‘capitulation to Islam’. I suspect you’re probably voting for the party that’s right for you though: I’m sure BNP MEPs will do an amazing job for you.

    @ Allan Littlmore – none of the things you outline remotely scare me, indeed, I agree with Mark Pack that the appointment of a muslim BBC head of religious programming is no bad thing – his religion hasn’t prevented his appointment, as it shouldn’t (and what on earth does being Chrstian or Muslim have to do with being British?!?)

    As for the woman in the shop, who cares about the Christian hymns? Ridiculous if they really did stop them to “avoid offending Muslims” but who knows if that’s true.

  • anon this time 20th May '09 - 9:15am

    The idea that BNP voters don’t know what they stand for is laughable.

    I’ve been out canvassing and told on the doorstep, openly, that though they like a lot of what Lib Dems stand for, they’re voting BNP becuase they want (and I quote, but not word for word as the original phrasing would have been unsuitable for public repetition) “the Pakistanis out”.

    We and the other two main parties must get a grip on this area as not talking about it won’t make it go away. I’m really not sure Tim Mongomerie’s approach is the right way, but at least he recognises that there is an issue here.

    Also – as a (part) Jewish Lib Dem member I have been very uncomfortable about some of the recent people we have shared platforms with, and agree that we should think carefully before speaking and acting in ways that endorse anti-semitism, even inadvertantly or indirectly.

  • This is an utter waste of time, which fails to understand why exactly the BNP is a threat, and thus will fail to counter it. It’s not enough to just say that they’re bad. I have previously discussed this: http://declineofthelogos.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/the-racist-narrative/

  • Matthew Huntbach 20th May '09 - 10:41am

    “Mr Angry”


    Sadly of course the LibDems have also been guilty of playing the race card by demonising Jews. At the recent council by election in Valentines ward in the London Borough of Redbridge the Muslim LibDem candidate produced a leaflet directly equating what he portrayed as Israeli war crimes with the Jewish leader of the Council. I understand that the Police are currently investigating this leaflet after a complaint that it incited racial hatred.

    This is a LibDem, not “the LibDems”. The Liberal Democrats are not a Stalinist party where everything done by every member has to be approved by party central committee. Belief in local autonomy means letting people do their own thing. If it is grossly out of line with Liberal Democrat values, then of course it should be investigated, and appropriate action taken, which may be revocation of membership, or ban from campaigning under the party’s name.

  • “I’m sure BNP MEPs will do an amazing job for you.” – Grammar Police

    I’ll be voting UKIP in the Euro’s. No MEP does an amazing job … they’re a complete an utter waste of time & space … a fig leaf to give the EU the appearance of being democratic. Hannan & Farage have been good at trying to make the emperor realise that he has no clothes on but other than that what is the point of them?

    As one of your canvassers has discovered … people know exactly what the BNP are about and yet they are choosing to lend them their support. THEY AGREE WITH THEM. Until all you political pundits get your thick skulls around that idea you will never understand why simply shouting insults at them will never work. People – ordinary people, law abiding, tax paying, hard working, educated people – are well and truly pissed off by (a) the islamification of our country (b) our integration into Europe (c) the ascendence of minority rights.

    Mean while the liblabcon bunch just keep going on & on & on about the economy ad nauseum like that’s all people care about, and when there’s hardly any discernible difference between them all anyway. People CARE ABOUT THEIR COUNTRY AND THEIR CULTURE. LISTEN TO THEM. STOP PATRONISING US.

  • Grammar Police 20th May '09 - 4:53pm

    @ Rebel Saint: I never doubted that some people agree with the BNP. I’ve also met people who might vote for them but who don’t really agree with them or haven’t really thought about it very much (something common in support for all parties!). Indeed, you appear to agree with them with all your talk about the “Islamification of our country” – and yet you are not going to vote for them.

    I don’t really see how it’s patronising to disagree with you that “ordinary people, law abiding, tax paying, hard working, educated people” either (a) worry about the “Islamification of our country”, or (b) that unless one worries about said “Islamification” you are not ordinary, law-abiding, tax-paying, hard-working nor educated.

    I know plenty of people who disagree with you.

  • Old people starved to death in hospitals and abused in care homes. Hospital patients killed and maimed by infections in dirty hospitals. Dangerous criminals released early to re-offend. Innocent people spied on and fined for trivial matters. At-risk children neglected. Police operating shoot to kill and using excessive violence. An opposition MP arrested for doing nothing wrong. Corrupt government ministers. Taxes for the poor. Whistleblowers harassed and sacked. Assissting in torture. 150,000 eleven year-olds unable to read or write. An unelected Prime Minister…….(it goes on and on). We already have a facist government.

  • Albion4Ever 23rd May '09 - 4:17pm

    The wedge issues were, and are, the reconquest of our own sovereignty by leaving the EUSSR; and the closely related issue of recapturing our own living space in these overcrowded islands, by ceasing to be a safe haven and welfare oaddling pool for the world’s fortune-seekers.

    The British people– real Britons, i.e. white Christian ones whose largely monoracial roots go back over 1,000 years– never bought the postwar snake oil of multiracialism. They never believed in the infinite assimilability of knife-wielding negroes and bomb-chucking Muslim Arabs. Most of us mix with these people only when forced to, as the government’s own studies show.

    And now lip service to colour-blindness ends. As the economic crisis deepens, and the elite’s favouritism of cheap foreign labour over the sons and daughters of Albion becomes more blatant, the old mental intimidation is ceasing to work.

    For the time being, it’s “I’m not racist but…” We aim to make that “Sure, I’m racist, like every other damn race on the planet except the guilty liberal cringers who think they can make us cringe along with them. So flaming what?”

    We Brits owe foreigners NOTHING, and that includes the “British” passport-holders who lecture us on how to behave in our own home. An Englishman born in Hong Kong wasn’t a Chinese, and a black or brown person born here isn’t English or Scottish. They are alien guests and ever more will be so.

    Soon the crisis will put patriots in government. It’ll be our gaff, our rules, and if you don’t like it there’s plenty of planes from Heathrow. And no, there aren’t going to be any more of your lot coming here. And yes, by all means take the neoliberal and neocon race traitors of LibLabCon with you.

    A race is an extended family. Every man prefers his own people over strangers. Indians, West Indians, Pakistanis and Chinese may be terribly nice guys, but they will never be our nice guys. Britain for the British. Finito.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael BG 25th May - 1:29am
    Joseph, Philip Alston states in his report, “the fact that a fifth of the population of the United Kingdom lives in poverty, despite record employment...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 25th May - 1:29am
    Michael BG, it is not a question of differing on how much the economy can grow by each year and how much extra government revenue...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 25th May - 12:34am
    David Raw, I am not against higher taxes. I just think Land Value Tax on communaly produced increments in rental values is a more effective...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 24th May - 10:41pm
    John (Marriott), Yes I do like getting my hands dirty. And have done regularly. I do want us to be part of a Government again....
  • User AvatarMichael BG 24th May - 10:06pm
    Joseph, It is really good to read that you support that basic rates of benefit should be increased to the poverty level as defined by...
  • User AvatarDavid Chadwick 24th May - 9:05pm
    Thank you Bernard. I studied in Den Haag for three years and several of my friends are active within D66. They’re a well-organised, friendly bunch.