Thursday, 13 August 2009

New blog targets far-right

Yesterday I launched a new blog called Walk Away, which I'm hoping will in time develop into a valuable resource for combating the far-right, not just in Hounslow but throughout the UK.

Having been a member of the National Front and another far-right group myself (1977-1991) and having had to overcome a number of obstacles - some of them understandable but others grotesquely opportunistic - as I have endeavoured to do my human duty to expose the far-right, I make no apology for using my unique knowledge and experience as a lever for trying to encourage others who might be tempted to abandon previously-held racist views and affiliations. I am aware that my efforts will be the subject of attack, both by racists and by so-called "anti-racists", but this project is one that I am determined will succeed.

If fighting racism and fascism is a subject that interests you, please do take a look and feel free to leave a comment. Better still, if you manage your own blog or website please link to it. I'd be happy to reciprocate if asked.


Anonymous said...

Can I ask what made you become a member of the BNP those years ago and what prompted you to leave?

Councillor Phil Andrews said...

@ Anon

Ooo-er. I want to do your question justice and the answer isn't one I can give in the five minutes I have before I go out this morning, so will you please kindly bear with me?

I was a member of the National Front incidentally, not the BNP.

Anonymous said...

It looks like your old mucker may soon be invited to appear on "Question Time" - should he accept ?
What's in it for him and what's in it for the Beeb ?

Anonymous said...

My apologies, the National Front rather than the BNP then. I'm happy to wait and thanks in advance.

Councillor Phil Andrews said...

@ Anonymous (1)

I've been asked this question so many times that you'd think I'd have a cut-and-paste answer, but it always throws me as much as it did the first time I was ever asked.

I wasn't a natural NF recruit. The attraction was its fascism rather than its racism. I'd been studying WW2 history at school and Mussolini in particular for me had a kind of pop-star appeal which was missing in the traditional, grey politicians of our era. Mix that with my dislike of communism (this was the Cold War era) and my instinct for going to extremes then you had a recipe for disaster.

In the post-Mussolini era fascism and racism had become very much two sides of the same coin, and one was seldom found without the other, least of all in the UK where the neo-fascist groups had made opposition to non-white immigration their own. I wanted to be involved with something which reflected my new-found political interest, the National Front was the group which was making the running on the far-right at that time, and so I joined.

As I've commented to various audiences previously, joining such an organisation is a leap of faith which transforms one's entire life. One enters a self-imposed social ghetto and very soon the only political engagement one has is with others of a like mind. Everybody reinforces one another's prejudices, and counter arguments are rarely heard. It is a very slippery slope.

I remained in the NF until 1989, and thereafter in the International Third Position until 1991. During that time I developed an interest in community politics, and at first I tried to reconcile this with a racist worldview but after a while it became more and more obvious to me that the desire to build a strong and united community on the one hand and maintaining a racist agenda on the other were incompatible. At some point this contradiction was always going to come to a head, and for whatever reason it came to a head around the autumn of 1991.

I am now doing what I am happiest doing, working to empower my whole community. I regret my past views and associations bitterly but I guess there are things that I learned from them, both about the nature of established politics and politicians and about the way community works in general. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to put some of that knowledge to constructive use.

@ Anonymous (2)

Griffin will accept the opportunity to appear on Question Time like a shot. I believe the BBC has made a big mistake. I am not an enthusiastic supporter of the No Platform mantra but that is entirely different to providing a platform to him and to the BNP in this way when there was no good reason for doing so.

There is a tendency to underestimate man's capacity to believe what he wants to believe. Those who are of a racist disposition will draw encouragement from Griffin's appearance alongside a panel of mainstream politicians and will not be in any way deterred from the illogicality of his arguments. It will send the message that the BNP's policy platform is equally valid to that of mainstream politicians which, for all the latter's shortcomings, it clearly isn't.