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21 November 2008updated 05 Oct 2023 8:22am

Frothing extremists

The leaked BNP membership list has preoccupied the blogosphere this week. Paul Evans gives us his re

By Paul Evans

Leaky

What has 410 misses, 2 captains and a professor? Sound like a bad joke? Well no, actually, it’s the BNP membership list.

Not for the first time, a story that started on the blogs soon found its way on the front pages, as the far-right party’s entire membership was published online. It was ever-vigilant Lancaster UAF that alerted the blogosphere, dryly noting:

“Curiously, there are quite a number of BNP members abroad, presumably ex-pats or those working abroad temporarily…Isn’t the BNP opposed to foreign workers? I’m sure it was last time I looked.”

The Register and Harry’s Place were soon all over the story like a rash. On Liberal Conspiracy Unity allowed himself a moment’s schadenfreude, observing that:

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“There are very few things in life that contain quite as much entertainment value as a good old falling out amongst the far-right but this time out they’ve really surpassed themselves”.

And there is nothing that geeks love more than a huge pile of data from which to fashion novel visualisations – and so the BNP membership list proved a real treat. An interesting “heat map” indicating areas of support for the far right party was generated by Ben Charlton of spod.cx.

Frothing rage was the order of the day on nationalist blogs and message boards, where activists got itchy over the prospect of losing their jobs.

They were right to be concerned, because within a day TalkSport DJ Rod Lucas had been sacked. Lucas offers his explanation here. David Semple was delighted by the prospect of weeding out far right activists.

“Now it’s time to take this list of BNP members and their professions and use it to expunge BNP members from public services, where they are meant to be ready to serve all colours equally,” he argued.

With Nick Griffin reduced to invoking the same Human Rights Act that he professes to abhor, to protect member privacy, these are indeed curious times.

Orwell Prize

Blog readers are invited to submit their nominees for the inaugural Orwell Prize special award for blogs. Best of the Politics Blogs predicts that the victor will be Chris Dillow of Stumbling and Mumbling.

Around the World

Singapore is a very curious little country. On Britain’s conservative blogs, the alleged presence of Derek Draper’s Labour comment trolls is a source of much comedy. But in the little Asian state, the People’s Action Party (which has won every election since 1959) is known to run a committee dedicated to co-ordinating online responses to dissenting bloggers.

They haven’t yet got around to Groundnotes, which this week posted an eloquent analysis of the assertion by Singapore’s Prime Minister that reform can only come from within the PAP, and that a country of 4 million cannot sustain two-party democracy. Mocking the party’s announcement that it intends to use YouTube to more effectively convey its message, he wrote:

“They offer no new policy changes, no new political direction, but more of the same illiberal semi-authoritarian trust-me-you-know-I’m-right attitude, only this time packaged in a sexier soundbite.”

Videos of the Week

This was the “eagerly anticipated” song released for Singapore National Day this year, ‘Shine for Singapore’. Some might find it a little saccharine. One commenter noted: “I’m a patriot, but this song is crap to me”.

Quote of the Week

“Anyone who has spent some time actually examining the doctrine of the BNP and finds it acceptable is no friend of mine (I’ve checked the list).”

Thesvenhunter trawls the list, and offers some humorous insights.

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