No Platform And The Need For Thought.
I didn’t want to post for a couple of days, but after reading a discussion on Socialist Unity blog I thought that it might be worthwhile to ponder the No Platform for fascists position whilst the ideas are still in my mind.
There’s quite a lot of debate going on there so I won’t rehearse the same arguments, but it strikes me that we need to look at it in a slightly more subtle fashion.
I think No Platform is a good idea, however it mustn’t be just a mechanical reaction, rather it needs to be expanded out and made the point of discussion in the public discourse
What we should be arguing about is a complete opposition to the normalisation and acceptance of neofascist parties, such as the BNP.
It was noticeable how quickly the conventional politicians capitulated on this issue, with the notable exception of Peter Hain and a few others.
That a once long-held view that neofascists should denied the oxygen of publicity has now been disregarded, thrown aside in a few seconds in reaction to the BNP’s appearance on BBC Question Time.
My approach is, that if BBC producers, their management and even craven politicians wish to accept or welcome into their bosom the BNP, that’s their choice, I won’t accept it and certainly others do not have to follow the precedence set by them like sheep. I would argue there is no good reason to concede any ground to these neofascists.
Normalising the BNP makes it fairly certain that they will grow exponentially, rather we should aim to stigmatise membership of this neofascist group.
We should aim to remind people of the origin of these cranks, their lust for power, their incompetence, their violence and stupidity, and along the way make it very clear that their arguments are a tissue of lies.
Above all we should remind people that the BNP are an inherently racial grouping, whose policies would lead to an ethnic minorities being placed in camps or murdered along the way.
We need to remind people that the BNP would violently dispatch any of their opponents, if they could get away with it. Any society or institution which becomes dominated by the BNP will lead to increased racial violence, strife, worse poverty and despair.
We need to remind people of the history of fascism, the tactics and lies used by modern day neofascists and where those policies have lead, to war and mass murder.
No ethnic or social minority will be safe with the BNP around, further, they would destroy the NHS, trade unions and the remaining social fabric of society, if they could.
Opposition to the BNP must be total, but it must be thoughtful as well.
The BNP will aim to use their Question Time exposure to gain more media attention, so opponents of the BNP must provide a counterbalance not only in opposition but also in the form of ridicule and argumentation.
Recent examples suggests that the British media would not give the BNP a particularly hard time, so it is up to antifascists to do that job.
All the natural opponents of neofascism and the BNP need to find common ground, put aside previous differences and take a longer term view of the situation, finding all and any sensible methods to impede the BNP’s growth. That’s what needs to be done, block the BNP at every turn.
We need to argue for, No Platform, no to normalisation and certainly no acceptance of neofascists.