Know Your Enemy

For reasons explained in our editorial section, we have taken the unprecedented step of reprinting, in full, an article by a leading British National Party member, Tony Lecomber, which appeared in the BNP's magazine Spearhead. The article was entitled 'Red Front - Spent Force of Reaction, a footnote in history.'

The central political struggle of our age is to decide whether nationalism can break through into the big time to challenge the treacherous alliance between the establishment parties that are colluding to: (a) sell our country to the EU; (b) promote yet more immigration; (c) stand aside as yet more of our industry is relocated to the Far East; and (d) as a result of the foregoing, stand aside and watch Britain fall into increasing decline and poverty necessitating the dismantling of our welfare state which can no longer be afforded.

On all these issues, Labour, Lib-Dems and Tories are but one side of the coin, the side of internationalism and sell-out. The other side of the coin, that of nationalism and the staunch defence of our interests is represented by the BNP. It is literally the BNP against the rest.

In this struggle, the BNP will almost certainly make its next breakthrough, as it did in Millwall, in a run-down working class area. The people who have been abandoned by Labour and have never been represented by the Tories will, in their desperation, turn to us. This is unlikely to happen next May, since people will still be giving Tony Blair's Labour Party the chance to show what they can do. After that though, disappointment will set in.

The next seat

More specifically, the BNP will probably win its next council by-election in London's East End, South East London or in one of the North's former cotton towns. The excuse of out-of-London BNP members that the party can only make good progress in London has, I hope, been finally put paid to in the recent General Election. The progress does, however, have to be worked for.

But while the BNP sets the radical agenda for the working class, and in time the middle class as well as they realise that they too have been abandoned, what of the Left?

The Left of course like to pretend that they are the real rebels, the real revolutionaries - the ones who are most against the establishment. Yet who is it that faces media condemnation and establishment vilification when they stand up for their political principles? Is it the member of the Spartacist League, the Socialist Party (ex-Militant) or even the Socialist Workers Party (SWP)? It is not. They are tolerated. Disliked maybe, but tolerated. The people to draw real media fire are members of the BNP. One man leafletting in Hartlepool is enough to generate front-page condemnation in the local newspaper for two issues!

Red fools - bosses' tools

Despite the Left's traditional abuse of the BNP as the 'lackeys of the bosses,' the fact is that in the last general election it was only the British National Party which opposed international capitalism, the EU, the New World Order and globalisation, with their threats to jobs and living standards. The truth is that their opposition to us suits the establishment, which finds it very convenient if the BNP and the far-left expend energy in skirmishing with each other, instead of promoting alternative policies to the existing system. This leaves the field clear for the establishment to continue business as usual.

In fact, the Left are often to be found supporting that same establishment in the guise of Labour. During the election, members of the far-left Jewish Socialist group, Socialist Workers Party and even fringier outfits in my home town of Ilford were sporting big 'Vote Labour' posters and placards in their windows and gardens. And I thought they said that Labour is the class enemy!

The truth of the assertion that the Left are there to try to negate our efforts, and are basically a tool for the establishment, can be found by looking at the SWP. Before the election, their papers and posters proclaimed: "
Vote Labour without illusions."
After the election, a new set of posters appeared: "
We didn't vote for this."
Ha! They did, and they encouraged others to do the same.

The mania the Left have against nationalism stems primarily from their concern that their appeal should be greatest to those who get the worst deal from society - ordinary workers. They regard the working class as their personal preserve despite the fact that, in reality, recruits to the Left come mainly from middle-class students who go on to become teachers and local civil servants. To quote Fighting Talk, the theoretical journal of Anti-Fascist Action:-

"So if Labour is basically an anti-working class organisation - what about the rest of the left, particularly the Leninists and Trotskyists? They harp on about class and in their own minds represent the cutting edge of class struggle. The trouble is - they can't deliver... They alienate working class support"
[emphasis added]

The self-proclaimed radical Left gave up real politics years ago, after consistently coming a poor second to the National Front in the seventies. With the acceptance that they had no popular support, and with the defeat of Communism in the East, leftists everywhere knew that the 'inevitable' march of Marxism had been halted. All they have left now is violence, such as the violence visited upon John Tyndall and his wife in a Stratford street in September. The BNP recognised this historical theme several years ago when it turned its back decisively on the confrontational strategy of its past. The reason for abandoning confrontational street politics was because it hindered our political progress, and was the only thing holding our extreme opponents together.

Going on the doorstep, canvassing and presenting a better image to people, empathising with our people, talking to them about their problems and advancing popular solutions is real politics and it is better politics. This was how we won Millwall and came within an ace of winning a seat in neighbouring Newham. That, at the same time, our more sophisticated tactics have helped destroy our leftist opponents, by depriving them of a focus is just a happy coincidence.

Youth against Racism in Europe (YRE) has disappeared. The so-called Anti-Nazi League (ANAL) have closed their London office. The bulk of Class War have retired in despair. Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) are also in decline and have closed their Manchester office.

To illustrate all of this, it is useful to look at the journals of the left to see what they themselves have to say. Again, Fighting Talk, is particularly good since AFA's chief strategist, 'Gary O'Shea' lets it all hang out as he tells his dwindling readership that "
the left has gone into apparent terminal decline" :-

"...the BNP would appear to be making a decisive change of direction. No longer a battle for control of the streets but a battle for hearts and minds. [This development] left AFA hamstrung. [Our] strategy of confrontation against the old [BNP] way of doing things proved impotent against the new."

So, there you are: the BNP's enemies are in decline and impotent. Not a bad side-effect for a strategy that is also more effective politically!

The same mag says of the BNP's new modus operandi:-
"No more marches, meetings, punchups... This change of tactics by the BNP has presented AFA with a new challenge... a year on, [This passage was written in 1995 - Ed] this declaration must now be regarded as a serious change of strategy, something other than a temporary electoral ploy or an effort to court respectability."

Clearly, this man left school with 'O' levels!

"For them [the BNP] simply to continue with the strategy of 'marches, meetings, punchups' only provides an enemy that has lost the fundamental arguments with a legitimate political focus, i.e. anti-BNP... Furthermore, if the BNP operation is made entirely legal and if AFA physically opposes them, then our operation is de facto illegal... circumstances are changing and AFA needs to adapt... What is needed is a new organisation [ to challenge the BNP politically]."

Leaving aside the point that AFA's operation always was illegal, what AFA have realised is that their operation will no longer have even the barest shred of moral validity. Standing openly for the beating up of one's political opponents is repugnant to all right-thinking people. While, however, AFA and their like could make a claim, however spurious, that the BNP, by behaving aggressively on the street was, in some way, asking for it, it allowed them the thinnest veneer to cover their activities. That veneer has now gone. The BNP hasn't been involved in a widely reported street brawl for literally years. Not that such brawls were of the party's making, but the party invariably got the blame courtesy of the liberal/left-dominated media. And it harmed us politically. Which is why the party has left that sorry excuse for politics behind for good.

As for the Left developing a new political organisation, typically they couldn't agree among themselves and join in one party such as Socialist Labour (Scargill's crowd) or the Socialist Party, so AFA formed the embryo of a new one called (take a deep breath), The Independent Working Class Association. Catchy, Eh?

On the strength of it, they have the right idea in standing for elections in order to offer disillusioned voters a radical alternative other than the BNP. In practice, of course, the likely result would be to split the socialist vote and let us in - which is, of course, why the rest of the red rabble remain cheer leaders for Labour. The embryonic IWCA justify this development since Labour doesn't do the working class any favours anyway. Even so, nothing is likely to come of it because AFA, and therefore the IWCA, is too small to have any impact on any election anywhere.

Scared to death

Reading their chief strategist's writings gives much satisfaction. Unlike the head-in-the-cloud ANAL types, AFA acknowledge that the BNP's message has resonance. In addition, they are scared to death of the party's potential now that Labour are in power:-

"With the Tories in government Labour at a local level could blame them for everything. The electorate took their revenge with Tory representation being almost wiped out completely in whole swathes of the country.

"With Labour in government the Tory alibi that served them so well will automatically vanish. In addition there will be expectation among voters that many of the cuts will be reversed When the precise opposite happens there will be a real feeling of betrayal and a vicious backlash against Labour. Equally certain, particularly in working class areas, the political beneficiaries will not be the previous party of government. So the Far Right will expect, as they have already done successfully elsewhere in Europe, to don, as if by right, the cloak of the genuinely radical grassroots opposition.

"We can still stop them if we take on board a couple of simple facts. One, the old policy of containment is already obsolete. Two, while the election of Labour represents a real opportunity for progressive elements to get their feet under the working class table for the first time in a quarter of a century that is to say the chance to step forward politically - for militant anti-fascism it means the reverse. Our ability to consistently and physically impose ourselves on events will be significantly retarded because the BNP have abandoned the old strategy of "march and grow" in favour of a "hearts and minds" approach. We must accept that the police have improved their intelligence on AFA and how we work, which coupled with the new powers that they have under the Criminal Justice Act means it is much harder for AFA to physically confront the fascists. Adding to that the mounting social pressure triggered by a Labour government means we will no longer be able to hold the political vacuum."

Leaving aside the fact that the party won in Millwall despite the presence of these jokers, a serious point is being made: If you thought things were bad before, just wait until Labour's demolition of the welfare state starts to bite.

Compounding the Left's dismay as to the emerging political situation is the meagre propaganda challenge that they can mount against us. Just before the election FT wrote:-

"AFA is determined to match the commitment of the BNP before, during and after the election... So far 20,000 leaflets have been distributed door to door... We must mimic their campaign, we must shadow them all the way."

In one constituency, or even one borough, 20,000 leaflets is quite a lot. But AFA was, of course referring to 20,000 leaflets across the whole country! Many individual BNP branches put out many times that amount leading up to the election, and an additional 2,250,000 leaflets went out courtesy of the Post Office. In addition, the party obtained a TV broadcast. AFA didn't even match one per cent of the party's total literature output. They signally failed to match or mimic the party in any way at all. Their efforts were minuscule and insignificant, as were those of all the left groups. They admit their failure and have no answer:-

"We cannot actually prevent them attempting to enter the mainstream."

The game has moved on apace from the 1980s and early 1990s; the whole power equation has changed. The propaganda output advantages of engaging in regular political activity are obvious. In addition, the party has resolved its considerable structural problems inherent from it's earlier confrontational strategy phase. All that is needed now is to grow and ensure that all the party's activists and organisers become competent in the new tactics and disciplines.

As for the forces of reaction, they will find that to adapt, as the BNP adapted, will involve a heavy shake-out of those who are only there for the beer and the excitement. Not to adapt leaves them impotent and in decline, but to adapt will take time and leave them considerably weaker. Either way, they must pay a price and either way it is a matter of complete indifference to us.

We are the radical opposition; we speak for the put-upon working class and increasingly for the middle class as well; we set the agenda, and they react - as they have always reacted.

We are the future; they are the past!

Reproduced from RA Vol 3, Issue 3, October/November 1998