NICK GRIFFIN: profile of a fascistMarch 14, 2007
As we approach the beginning of the Hope not Hate Anti-Fascist Fortnight, we thought we’d pinch the odd useful article from the website to help spread the word. Here’s the first, starting at the top with Nick Griffin, fascist and Holocaust-denier.
The British National Party (BNP) leader, Nick Griffin, presents himself as a modern, respectable politician but he is nothing of the sort. For over 30 years he has been a hardline fascist. He denies the Holocaust happened, believes that Jews are conspiring against white British people and even today cavorts with some of the world’s most hardline Nazis.
Born in 1959 Nick Griffin comes from a wealthy right-wing family. His father, Edgar was a Conservative party member, involved in Iain Duncan Smith’s campaign for election as party leader until he was discovered answering a BNP hotline in the absence of Griffin’s mother who had also stood as a BNP candidate against Duncan Smith in during the 2001 general election.
Influenced by British Union of Fascists literature on the “Jewish Question” Griffin attended his first National Front aged 15, though did not officially join the party until he was a student at Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied law gaining a lower second-class degree. He rose quickly through the ranks, becoming the national student organiser in 1978.
In 1980, Griffin launched Nationalism Today, a font of “Third Positionist” fascism, which claimed to transcend the evils of both capitalism and communism. Both ideologies, Griffin claimed, were identical as both concentrated private ownership in very few hands, infringing on the right of independence of nation states and, most fundamentally, being Zionist (that is, Jewish) controlled.
During this period Griffin became influenced by Italian fascist Roberto Fiore, a member of the Italian Third Position who introduced Griffin to the blood and soil philosophy of Italian nazi theorist Julius Evola. Under Griffin the NF embraced Third Position politics. Becoming known as “political soldiers” NF representatives met with Colonel Gaddafi’s regime through the Libyan People’s Bureau in London, and expressed support for Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. Griffin and other leading NF figures then took an all-expenses-paid fundraising trip to Libya as guests of the Gaddafi regime.
Expressing his support for Muslim fundamentalism (which the BNP now paradoxically deplores) Griffin wrote in National Front News that “common interest must be turned into practical cooperation” and that he and his colleagues were not afraid “to be seen standing side by side with Third Way nations such as Libya and Iran.” Griffin also backed black separatist Louis Farrakhan who likewise called for racial apartheid.
In 1989 Griffin left the NF to form the International Third Position, a small reactionary fascist sect, which campaigned against Coca Cola, McDonald’s, urbanisation and “Zionism” (the Jews). Griffin’s involvement was not to last.
In 1990 he lost an eye in an accident. In 1991, after a failed business venture, which cost another member several thousand pounds, Griffin went his own way.
In 1995, Griffin joined the BNP. His personal journal The Rune, an antisemitic quarterly produced by Croydon BNP served as a platform for opposing the “modernisation” of the BNP, accusing those who wanted change of “rainbow Conservatism”. He also announced that the BNP should prioritise denying the Holocaust to schoolchildren.
Griffin became editor of Spearhead, the flagship BNP journal in 1996 and set out to take over the party, initially seeking a merger with the National Front. In the process Griffin jettisoned many of his core beliefs – at least publicly. Recognising that the BNP was unelectable with some of its policies, Griffin dropped its commitment to compulsory repatriation – though the small print allows for the option to be considered if not enough people accept their financial offer to return home.
In 1998 Griffin was found guilty of distributing material likely to incite racial hatred and was given a two year suspended sentence.
In 1999 he ousted BNP founder John Tyndall to become BNP chairman. In a bid to emulate the success of groups like the French National Front, with which the BNP has close links, Griffin has deliberately toned down the hardline rhetoric of the “old” BNP in exchange for limited electoral success.
Puzzled by Griffin’s apparent conversion to the ballot box his former ITP comrades asked pointedly: “He has been a conservative, a revolutionary nationalist, a radical national Socialist, a Third Positionist, a friend of the ‘boot boys’ and the skinhead scene, a man committed to respectable politics and electioneering, a ‘moderniser’. Which is he in reality?”
Replying to criticism within the far right, Griffin told a private meeting of American nazis and racists that while the BNP needed to change to get elected, his core beliefs – that of the superiority of the white race – remained his driving force.
Out of the glare of the British media Griffin maintains close links with white supremacists and racial scientists who promote spurious racial science. Griffin denied being a racist but is only too happy to consort with leading American extremists including former KKK leaders David Duke and Don Black through forums such as American Renaissance, which seeks to promote the “clear conception of the United States as a nation ruled by and for whites”.
Griffin speaks of the need for community-based politics to build respectability for the BNP in the eyes of voters. Yet this is the same Nick Griffin who only a few years before wrote in The Rune that the only “well-directed boots and fists” could back up BNP policies “not of rational debate.”
Griffin stood in Oldham in the hope of exploiting race riots during the 2001 general election. He gained 16%. During the 2005 general election Griffin stood in Keighley, West Yorkshire, again trying to exploit racial tensions. He polled 4,240 votes (9.16%).
In 2006 he was charged again with inciting racial hatred after calling Islam “a wicked, vicious faith” and that Muslims were guilty of turning Britain into “a multi-racial hell hole.” He was acquitted of all charges, subsequently basking in unheralded publicity, which helped raise the profile of the BNP ahead of the May 2006 local elections.
Griffin is a typical fascist – a man for all people. He is also an outrageous opportunist. There is not a bandwagon or campaign he would not exploit or a political belief he would not jettison if he thought he could benefit.
Griffin the Holocaust denier
Despite Griffin’s new moderate image, he remains a Holocaust Denier. He has attacked Holocaust denier David Irving for being too moderate (!) for admitting that some Jews did indeed die during the Holocaust claiming the “True Revisionists will not be fooled by this new twist to the sorry tale of the Hoax of the Twentieth Century.” His views on the Holocaust led in 1998 to a conviction for distributing material likely to incite racial hatred. He received a two-year suspended jail sentence.
Griffin remains an ardent Holocaust denier. Even today, he still refuses to accept the Holocaust happened. In 2006 he was quoted in the Mail on Sunday as saying: “It’s well known that the chimneys from the gas chambers at Auschwitz are fake, built after the war ended.”
On his farm in Wales Griffin has, according to Wales on Sunday, two pigs one called “Anne” and another called “Frank” – a crude anti-Semitic parody of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl whose wartime diary, written whilst she was in hiding in Amsterdam is a world famous indictment of Nazi persecution of the Jews. Anne Frank was later betrayed and died in a concentration camp. Apparently Griffin thinks this is funny.
Griffin admitted to the Mail on Sunday that the legacy of Hitler gave British Nationalism a bad name, but in the same interview he traces the roots of the BNP back to the 1930s – to the British Union of Fascists who were praised in Griffin’s own magazine The Rune during the 1990s.
Griffin the anti-Semite
In 1997 Nick Griffin produced Who are the Mindbenders? Adapted from a US Nazi publication of the same name, it claims to prove that the minds of British people are brainwashed through Jewish control of the media. The booklet includes a list of all known Jews working in the media as though they are working together for a joint cause. He proves Jewish control of the BBC by naming a mere 19 Jews who work for the corporation. He has never repudiated this work.
Griffin in quotes
On the Holocaust
I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that 6 million Jews were gassed and cremated or turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion also once held that the earth is flat… I have reached the conclusion that the ‘extermination’ tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter-day witch-hysteria.”
Without the White race, nothing matters. [Other right-wing parties] believe that the answer to the race question is integration and a futile attempt to create ‘Black Britons’, while we affirm that non-Whites have no place here at all and will not rest until every last one has left our land.”
When the crunch comes, power is the product of force and will, not of rational debate. We have to have a body of trained young men capable of defending our organisation. If people come to crack our heads we will break theirs.”
On Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf
The chapter I most enjoyed was the one on propaganda and organisation – there were some really useful ideas there.”