Monday, June 08, 2009

The Shame

America elects its first black president...

For the last 7 days Europe and America has been commemorating the anniversary of the D-Day landings, a time when nations pulled together to stand against bigotry and racism. ..

And yesterday Great Britain awarded the BNP two seats in the European Parliamentary elections.

The entire nation should hang its head in shame.

I mean, who in their right mind voted for these BNP idiots? Anybody care to own up?

No. I didn’t think so. Which makes their election all the more puzzling.

How has it happened?

Is an economic downturn all it takes for people to lose their thin veneer of humanity and jump on the bandwagon of bigotry?

Can people not see the appalling danger in any ethos that has at its heart the xenophobic desire to “save [insert the name of any country here] only for me and mine and people who look like me and mine”?

Plainly not.

History is evidently an ineffectual teacher.

Worse.

History is an appallingly ineffectual supply teacher. It means well. It wants to teach us really important stuff but its authority is completely lost on us. We just want to muck about at the back of the class, go out to break early, bunk the day off and then moan and blame other people when everything eventually goes tits up.

My wife’s reaction to the news was to wonder aloud if maybe it was time we got out of this country.

Mine was to opine that if the BNP got any more toe-holds people like us – proud liberals – might not have any choice in the matter.

From now on I’m going to be keeping one eye on the political landscape and one on the cheap suitcase shop at the top of town.

The reputation of the UK is currently staggering beneath the weight of a long knife in the back. I’d hate to be there if it ever topples over.


22 comments:

A Write Blog said...

I think it could lead to good things.

I'll explain why.

The vote was a protest vote; 'A pox on you all' sort of thing and a good thing too; up to a point. The stay at homes were doing the same too.

Now that the BNP have a platform we will see them for what they are. I suspect some may have voted for them without looking too hard behind the plausible exterior.

So let's not be too hasty before the national elections.

I think all the recent shenanigans could fire up politics and make them more interesting.

And if they are more interesting we might get a better return on our votes and attract better people into politics.

I, for one, do not intend to run from such a challenge.

Debates like this all over the country represent the country waking up after a particularly silly one night stand.

Let's hope we all reflect on it.

Steve said...

"Debates like this all over the country represent the country waking up after a particularly silly one night stand."

All I can say is, it must have been one helluva pair of beer goggles! ;-)

Owen said...

England is not alone with concerns about nationalist, extreme, xenophobic or racist political folks... here in France the Le Pen family comes to mind ; when Chirac was elected Mr Le Pen made a surprising strong showing in the first round of elections.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of sick human beings out there in the world, all over the map... I'm not sure where it would be interesting to flee to, if one did want to escape to somewhere else... any ideas ? New Zealand maybe ??? Maybe Sagit could take us in ?

Steve said...

Owen: I'm sure you're right... wherever there is humanity there is a proportion of idiocy and bigotry... but hopefully enough sense, compassion and the nobler feelings to make it all worthwhile.

Suburbia said...

A sad day indeed, though I did wonder if some of their gains were down to using poor Winston in their ad campaign. There may have been some who, unthinkingly, may have voted for something they were altogether not completely aware of? Or am I being too generous?

When I went to vote I waited ages for a cubicle to be free. The couple in front of me had a cubicle each, but took ages discussing between themselves who to vote for. They seemed to have no idea, until they were faced with their ballot papers, where to put their mark. How on earth, if you were unsure who to vote for, could you decide just by reading a name and logo?

Reluctant Blogger said...

The actual number of votes cast for the BNP in the areas where they acquired seats was not higher than in the last European elections - it is more that people didn't bother to turn out to vote for the competition because they couldn't work out how to choose between them.

People who did make the effort to vote tended to be drawn to alternative parties because of dissatisfaction with the main ones and so the BNP, Greens and UKIP did well.

You can understand why some people might have been drawn to vote for them (and no of course I did not!!!) they did appear to answer many of the issues troubling white working class voters - a group which no longer sees issues being address by the Labour Party.

But yeah, it is shocking that the BNP can get 10% of the vote in one region. They are indeed scum.

Steve said...

Surburbia: I think people are confused and thoroughly dissatisfied with their politicians and all the main political parties - as Reluctant Blogger indeed says after you. I think people are also alarmingly ignorant and the vast majority can be swayed by a bit of nifty rhetoric and misappropriated visuals... I'm sure Winnie is spinning in his grave.

RB: you're probably right and I rather hope that A Write Blog is correct in his hopes that this is a protest and a wake-up call for the nation. The only enjoyment I have got was watching the BNP frontman squirming and worming his way out of pertinent questions fired his was by the News24 team this morning... how the hell is he going to keep up his "everyman media persona" and live up to the thuggish expectations of his own party members? I personally hope he gets pulled apart. And then ravished by the other MEPs who'll hopefully eat him for breakfast.

Reluctant Blogger said...

haha yes, a Full English Breakfast. I wouldn't eat him myself though, urgh! I prefer a continental breakfast.

Steve said...

You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette...! And the BNP are very bad eggs indeed. ;-)

Flaming Nora said...

It's nightmarish, it really is.

missbehaving said...

I too hope that A Write Blog is right, but I think actually it's the beginning of a long slide down a slippery slope.
Steve, it's not the first time you have suggested leaving the country.

Steve said...

Flaming Nora: I know. And I can't seem to wake up.

Missbehaving: it's becoming something of a theme...!

The Sagittarian said...

Hey, you know I have already offered the rabbit hutches to a deserving family!! We also have a disused play house which would probably suffice for M. Toad and Le Grenouille (and sproglettes)...on a serious note, I think AWB has a point. We used to have a National White Front (or the Y Fronts as most of us called them) which once it girded up its flacid loins politically seemed to disappear faster than Vegemite in a UK backpackers! Infact, the leader of that outfit went off to a provincial town, got married...never to be heard of again. He even grew his hair back.
Good idea to keep one eye on things and the other (Marty Feldman-like) on the escape route.
You're welcome here anytime. (PS Bring wine)

Steve said...

Amanda: provided you change the sawdust regularly a rabbit hutch will be fine... and I can always be relied upon to bring some bottle...! ;-)

missbehaving said...

Get yourself a CELTA and come to Japan!

Steve said...

Missbehaving: I had to look up CELTA, I must admit - it's certainly an option I hadn't considered before and I would love to visit Japan... !

EmmaK said...

Please don't bother thinking the grass is any greener over in the USA Steve - never mind the death penalty and the fact you can't get an abortion in several States let's get on to the serious stuff:
in Clinton, Oklahoma it is illegal to masturbate while watching two people have sex in a car

and

Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal in Florida

my case is closed

Steve said...

Emma: so, no dogging and no bestiality... Hmm. I'd have to fly home for my weekends, then.

A Write Blog said...

Emma; what about watching three people then?

Steve said...

Hmm... I'm guessing it would have to be a people carrier as opposed to an MG...! ;-)

Anonymous said...

steve, your comment at 9.11pm Monday, you meant ravage, not ravish, shurley?

Steve said...

Anonymous: ha ha! Yes, well spotted. I did indeed mean "ravage". The thought of the BNP ravishing their own members fair turns my stomach... but is a rather apt image. ;-)