Tuesday, 9 June 2009

How Frightfully Un-British

John Amery arrested in France in the mid-1930s

A number of historians comment in today’s Guardian upon the British National Party’s success in the elections to the European Parliament. The two seats gained by the BNP in the north of England represent the first time that a National Socialist party has attained parliamentary seats in Britain. It is particularly ironic that the BNP should be successful on the weekend that Britain celebrated its involvement in the D-Day landings 65 years ago when Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen landed in Normandy to begin the long and arduous campaign to rid western Europe of Nazi tyranny. The historians’ consensus seems to be that while upsetting and worthy of caution, the BNP’s success reflects more the collapse of the Labour Party’s vote in working-class areas than it does any great shift in support to the BNP (whose rise in support has actually fallen a little). Britain feels diminished nevertheless.

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