Back in 2010 I listened as Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party (BNP) squirmed uncomfortably on BBC Question Time. The reason for his discomfort? A member of the audiance asked him whether he now accepted that the Final Solution (I.E. the mass extermination of the Jews, by the Nazis had, in fact taken place and, if so why he (Nick Griffin) had changed his mind on the holacaust. Mr Griffin vacilated and refused to give a straight answer.
It is the party of Mr Griffin which Andi Ali analyses in his book “Dead Paki Walking, a study of the British National Party”. Mr Ali is of mixed race with a father of Pakistani origin and a white mother. The book derives its title from a threat sent to the author, by the far-right in which they informed him that he was “a dead Paki walking”.
The author chooses to write his thesis on the BNP and almost from the moment he starts his researches the intimidation and threats begin. Ali receives threatening emails from an untraceable email account and his picture appears, many times on Redwatch (a site run by neo-nazis which publicises the details of anti-fascists including their names and addresses).
Ali is not subjected to mere threats. He is stabbed, near Downing Street while filming a demonstration by Northern Ireland Loyalists with connections to the extreme right.
This work shines a light on the murky world of the BNP and other far-right organisations, for example Combat 18 a violent neo-Nazi outfit who openly admire Hitler and who, Ali contends are involved in violent acts against anyone who dares to stand up to the extreme right.
Ali deals with the skinheads who are, tradicionally seen as the core of the BNP’s support. However, more chillingly he meets and interviews intelligent and articulate BNP members. These white collar supporters are not openly racist (unlike their skin head counterparts). In contrast they argue that African doctors should be sent back to Africa not because they are racialy inferior but due to the fact that Africa is crying out for doctors. It is these slick individuals who have been to the fore under the leadership of Griffin, however as Ali indicates Griffin has created a thin vineer of respectability, dig a little deeper and the old Nazi ideas of the superiority of the white race, forceable repatriation of non-whites etc will come out (the official line of the BNP is now that voluntary repatriation will be encouraged but no one will be forced to leave the UK).
You can find Ali’s book at http://www.amazon.co.uk/tag/biography/forum?cdThread=TxY6RU3E4CSZUD.