As Andrew Brons rightly points out, that is a question all organisations should ask themselves, but few do. Here are my views on that subject, which I think basically agree with and amplify Andrew’s.
Nationalist political parties normally exist to unite nationalists around a shared policy platform based on a shared ideology with the objective of attaining influence, and power, initially local and ultimately national, to implement those policies and thereby further their ideology. Some other political parties, such as the Communist Party, the SWP and the Greens, exist, or have existed, for similar reasons to further their very different ideologies. That is not, it seems, why Establishment parties exist – it is clear from their record, and indeed from what many of their leaders have said from time to time, that they have no ideology and few principles and exist merely to gain power as an end in itself and thereby to further the careers of their leading members.
Judged by those criteria, as Andrew says, the British Democratic Party has, so far, been pretty much a complete failure, with the exception of Dr Lewthwaite’s good vote in a Bradford council election. However, that Bradford result was an isolated success and it is fairly obviously the case that British Nationalists, by and large, have not rallied to our banner.
So why don’t we throw in our hand and rally to one of the other, all rather small and insignificant, banners held aloft by another of the tiny sectlets littering the British Nationalist scene? Why are we still here?
The answer, in my view, is that, as Andrew says, the BDP is not really a political party as such. It is a template for a political party, against which any genuine Nationalist party which hopes to learn from the mistakes of the past and build on the potential of the future must be measured, and upon which, we would hope, it would indeed model itself.
The specific features of the BDP which are, I believe, crucial to the new Nationalist political party which needs to be built are twofold: our Constitution and our Policy Platform and its presentation.
The BDP’s Constitution is designed to avoid the excessive autocratic authoritarianism and concentration of all power in a “leader” which, we would argue, has hamstrung the progress of our Movement over the past few decades.
The BDP has a collective leadership, elected, and regularly subject to re-election or removal, by the membership, and intentionally denied the power arbitrarily to purge dissidents or critics without good, objective grounds rooted in the old British principles of fairness and natural justice.
This is in contrast to the sad history of authoritarian leaders, individuals or cliques, ruthlessly suppressing and purging dissent per se, which has prevailed for so long in our Movement. Of course, when dissent is thus driven into a corner it inevitably comes out fighting, hence the sorry tale of factions and splits, of tyranny punctuated by anarchy, which was the sorry saga of British Nationalism in the second half of the 20th Century.
In the first decade of the 21st, a somewhat more cunning autocrat, empowered by a Constitution that gave him total and absolute power, suppressed even the possibility of dissent by purging arbitrarily and on specious grounds any local figures of manifest ability before they had a chance to become significant dissidents. Dissent was further minimised by the complete – and probably deliberate – failure to offer recruits the slightest degree of ideological education, extending in many cases to elected Party representatives manifestly having no idea what even the most basic policies of the Party they were representing actually were.
This maintained a semblance of unity for a decade, but at the price of collapsing successful local unit after successful local unit as the success of its local leaders made them a potential threat to be nipped in the bud by a ruthless and arbitrary purge. The Leader repeatedly lobotomised his own Party. This in turn led to a total void of competent, still less politically aware, middle management which meant the party could not effectively take advantage of or build upon the success it did achieve, success based on lessons learned by others decades earlier and endorsed by today’s BDP, resulting in that progress failing to meet the inflated expectations the leadership had irresponsibly and short-sightedly fostered.
Given the Party membership had little awareness of what their party stood for other than winning elections, when the bandwagon stopped – not necessarily permanently but largely because repeated purges of the most able had cut its wheels off – the organisation collapsed utterly and to a degree far greater than that after earlier setbacks. Unprecedented success was followed by unprecedented collapse. Most of the tens of thousands of former members simply vanished without trace back into the general public.
It was these lessons of organisational and structural failure from which the BDP set out to learn, and to design ways to avoid being condemned to repeat. Our Constitution certainly does not mean mistakes cannot be made. But they ought not to be the same mistakes. Our leadership is intended to be broader based and deeper rooted in the membership, and less able arbitrarily to conduct self-serving purges of that membership.
Our Constitution, although we believe correct and necessary as far as it goes, is certainly not beyond criticism. It can be argued, as I would, that it would need to be refined as the party grew, largely to prevent accidental or deliberate “entryism” and the dilution of the Party’s core principles by any large influx of those lacking any true awareness of what, and why, those principles are. It is right, and necessary, that any future major Nationalist party should be governed by its members, but it is equally right and necessary that those members should be committed and ideologically aware Nationalists.
To achieve that, it might be necessary, as numbers grow, to emulate other parties organised to further an ideology, however different, such as the old Communist Party, and have a two-stage membership process. Anyone, in principle, could sign up as a Party supporter. But to become a full member, with the rights, privileges and duties that implies, supporters would have to demonstrate active commitment, by building a record of activism, and an understanding of the basics of Party ideology and the policies that flow from it. The latter would imply an effective system of political education for new recruits, the lack of which has, in many parties in our Movement’s history, been glaringly obvious. This process, whereby recruits who wanted to become active in the Party (as evidence from voluntary organisations of all sorts suggests only a minority of “paper members” who join it will) are converted into candidate and then full Party members could and should be largely devolved to local party units, assisted by a central Education and Training Department. The latter would also offer practical training to members and officials in how to organise units, campaign locally, conduct election campaigns, function effectively as councillors if elected and so on.
In the mid-1980’s a factional power grab was conducted under the guise of the power grabbers arguing for a “cadre” party of committed politically educated activists rather than the existing “mass” party anyone could join off the street. In fact, both sides were right. What is needed is a cadre party not instead of but inside a mass party. A cadre party open to anyone who has joined the mass party and who objectively meets the criteria required and intended to be as big as possible, rather than a sect or clique, but nevertheless the active and aware vanguard of the Movement. A vanguard who elect from their ranks a leadership which serves the Party and the Idea, not themselves. In complete contrast to the leaders of the System parties.
Serving that Idea, our Nationalist ideology, requires policies and the effective presentation of those policies, and it is here again that the BDP offers what we believe to be the correct template.
We need to present ourselves to the British public as essentially moderate and reasonable, committed to freedom and our democratic traditions. Without, however, betraying our core principles in the process or blunting the edge of our radicalism.
That means, as Andrew says, we must distinguish between good moderation and bad moderation, and between radicalism and “extremism”. We must stand by our principles without being diverted into blind alleys of posturing and needless provocation.
Good moderation is presenting our core racial nationalist message in a reasonable way, avoiding any descent into negativistic bigotry and gratuitous insult. Racially different minorities should not be here, but they are in themselves valuable aspects of human diversity, as we are, who, like us, should be free to fulfil their own potential in their own homelands. Thus, ironically, promoting and maximising diversity.
A word which in the Newspeak of our opponents really means “sameness”, blending the rich diversity and differentness, biological and cultural, of humanity into a bland, homogenised, miscegenated, deculturalised global swill, composed of essentially identical produce-and-consume units, cogs in the machine of the globalised world economy. We offer everyone, of all races and heritages, a better alternative, and we should make that point clear. Other peoples and ethnicities have as much right to take pride in their race and heritage, genetic, cultural and historic, as we do, and should accordingly be treated with respect.
Respect which does not, and here we meet “bad moderation”, extend to, and is indeed undermined by, negating their right to be themselves by trying to incorporate them, by some arbitrary edict or piece of paper, in ourselves. Extending such “British citizenship” to anyone makes it meaningless and indeed worthless to everyone. Such “civic nationalism” is not a more moderate or milder form of our racial nationalism. It is its antithesis. Our members need the level of political and ideological education to realise this and thereby immunise themselves from any temptation in the service of short-sighted opportunism to go down that primrose path to the eternal bonfire of our nation’s identity and future.
Similarly, we must not blunt our essential radicalism without dissipating it, and playing into our enemies’ hands, by immature posturing.
That we are, and necessarily must be, a radical alternative to the present social and economic system of globalised multinationalism corporate Capitalism, is something we cannot and should not deny. Indeed, we need to ensure our own cadres fully understand that we are such a radical alternative.
An alternative that is needed and will be seen to be needed, more and more as that globalised System fails and is seen to fail. Failures, from the 2008 financial collapse to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, which were predicted, and we can prove were predicted, decades earlier by Nationalists. As we have long predicted the further disasters coming our way, from mass population movements (as depicted, of course, in the 1970’s by Jean Raspail in Camp of the Saints) to environmental and ecological collapse brought about by burgeoning Third World populations and the understandable, but doomed, desire of those populations to achieve the consumer society globalisation has sold us in the West and wants to sell them too. To the ruination of all of us, and all of them.
It is that failed and failing global corporate System which is the root cause of all that Nationalists have always fought against, from mass Immigration, the import of cheap third world labour to undercut our workers here, to offshoring, the export of production to cheap Third World locations to cut our workers’ jobs, the erosion of traditional identities and cultures in favour of mass-market homogenised global consumerism, the promotion of short-sighted selfish greed as the prevailing ethos of individual and social life, and so on. All protected behind an ideology of globalised liberal internationalist “Political Correctness”, erected by global Capital in defence of itself. All to further the System’s internal imperative of profit, of maximising short-term return on shareholder investment.
It is that System, not the unsubstantiated and exaggerated where not simply non-existent conspiracies of various kinds that the “bad radicals” in our Movement have promoted, to the alienation of potential support from the intelligent and the sensible, which is our enemy. We all need to understand that it is the socio-economic System, process not plots, which is our and our peoples’ real enemy. An enemy with which we can never compromise.
But such uncompromising, principled “good radicalism” should not be allowed to degenerate into posturing, pointlessly provocative “bad radicalism”. Provocative posturing which discredits us and plays into the hands of our enemies.
We will, of course, if we stay true to our core principles and oppose liberal internationalism, global corporatism and multiracialism, inevitably be branded “extremists”. But that in itself is an acceptable cost of being effective. Not necessarily a great cost on issues like Immigration where, as Andrew rightly points out, much of the public share our “extreme” views.. So long as we present views the public share with us ins a way that makes the public appreciate they in fact agree with us, being lambasted as “extreme” for holding views we and they share does no harm.
Nor in any case views being widely seen, or portrayed, in the present as extreme necessarily prevent such views being implemented in the future. For example, within living memory, indeed within the reign of our present monarch, anyone advocating, as the “moderate Tory” Prime Minister David Cameron did a few years ago, “civil partnerships” and indeed “marriage”, between homosexuals would have been regarded not merely as an “extremist” but as a particularly depraved one to be excoriated and shunned utterly. For such opinions, the likes of Cameron would have been swiftly purged with a shudder of disgust not only from his own Tory Party, or even Labour and the Liberals, but also from the Communist Party. Yet those ideas, long reviled as cranky and indeed revolting “extremism”, and views shared by far fewer amongst the British public than ours are, have nevertheless come to pass. Merely holding unpopular and “extreme” views is, evidently, not a permanent bar to such views being put into practice, given sustained commitment and a degree of patience. As liberals showed then and we must show now.
However, that does not mean gratuitously offensive and silly ideas should be given licence “because they will call us extremists anyway”. For example, wallowing in the trappings of foreign political movements which, in reality were ideologically confused at best in principle and chaotic, disorganised and often unnecessarily unpleasant in practice, trappings which understandably make much of the public unresponsive and indeed hostile to our message, is wrong in principle and totally stupid in practice. Even were such movements from the first half of the last century not so discredited and tarnished – with more good reason than many Nationalists have been willing to admit – Nationalism in Britain today is far more ideologically and politically developed than they were, and draping ourselves in their odious mantle today is as absurd as would have been those movements then posturing in the trappings of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Worse – because it does not merely hinder us but actively helps the cause of multiracialism and liberalism – is immature posturing which enables elements of our Movement to be credibly -if on no real basis in fact as opposed to their own fiction – portrayed as “terrorists”.
Faced with the reality that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with European civilization, an incompatibility fanned by the presence of our troops in their lands and their settlers in ours into a very real terrorist threat, liberal internationalists were desperate to divert attention from this bloodily apparent failure of their system. They desperately needed to show that the only real terrorist threat to the lives of ordinary people in our countries did not – as it manifestly did – arise from the mutual invasions of European and Islamic lands they had brought about. They needed another, counterbalancing, “terrorist threat” from “the Extreme Right”.
By stupidly endorsing, or seeming to endorse, the crazed and murderous actions of a nutcase with no actual real connection to the Nationalist movement, a bunch of politically and personally immature, posturing adolescents played right into our Enemies’ hands there. A bunch of – on the evidence so far presented to the Courts – utterly harmless but outrageously provocative silly kids, who had done nothing worse than give silly salutes in town centres and fantasise after a few pints in public bars gave the Establishment the “counterbalance to the Islamic terrorist threat” it so desperately needed. And got a bunch of sadly misled young people banged up behind bars for, basically, nothing.
The nationalist Movement needs a clear example of a positive and constructive alternative to this sort of mindless, pointless and counterproductive nonsense. Nonsense that may gain a specious attraction born of desperation at the absence of any visible strategy to get our country out of the hole into which it is now sinking at a truly alarming rate. An absence the BDP exists to show how to remedy.
The BDP exists to show that such an alternative strategy, based on lawful, democratic, community and election-based politics, incrementally building our ladder to power through a steady onward and upward march through local and eventually national electoral success, success that was achieved in the first decade of this century, culminating thus far in the election of someone now a key BDP figure to the European parliament, is a – indeed the only realistic – possible way forward.
Again, the BDP itself may never tread that path to power. But again, we exist to show the way for others.
The BDP may not, itself, be the way forward for British nationalism. But it exists to demonstrate, in its constitution, policies, their presentation and, as far as it can, its activities, what that way forward must be. If we lead the way for others more able to follow, without which our Movement would blunder on through an endless night of faction, fantasy and futility, we will have served our purpose.
That, I believe, is what the BDP is for.