The United Kingdom has just elected its first Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the British National Party (BNP).
This far-right political party, with its ‘whites only‘ membership restriction and goal of ‘keeping Britain British‘, is widely regarded as having policies that promote racial intolerance. Consequently it is condemned both by prominent mainstream politicians, as well as anti-fascism activists, with employers such as the police banning their staff from being members.
The election success of such an extremist organisation is attributed to a public loss of confidence in the major political parties over their handling of concerns such as immigration, the impact of the recession, and the recent expenses scandal involving Members of Parliament (MPs).
The widespread horrified reaction to the BNP’s newly gained credibility mirrors that seen previously when, contrary to the popular stereotype of the violent thug, a number of ‘respectable’ professionals were revealed to be amongst its members.