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Letter: Reply to the BNP

Dear Editors,

Regarding your article “No Asylum from the Wages System” (Socialist Standard, June), the BNP now has 16 elected councillors. Yes, we consider that wherever native people of the world live, their genetic ancestry in that region, often going back many 100s, if not 1000s of generations in those regions, make them pre-eminent in those regions. Just as individuals work to buy their own homes and leave them to subsequent generations (and not to strangers), we acknowledge that our forebears created the UK, its infrastructure, roads, towns, villages, ancient buildings and institutions, many fighting, some giving their lives, in wars to protect our native land. i.e. we own the UK. We welcome strangers and people from alien lands but only on the condition that our proprietorship is paramount, an idea branded as “racist” by the enemies of Britain. No doubt the anti-racists and lefties in the UK would complain if whites went out and colonised parts of the Third World (Rhodesia is a prime example where white rule was beneficial and now the native blacks are reverting to type and the country goes to the dogs South Africa the same).

You say: “For example, the report Migration: an Economic and Social Analysis from the Research, Development and Statistic Directorate of the Home Office, demolishes a great many of the myths around immigration observing that migrants tend to have higher incomes than natives (on the whole, although they occupy a great range of income brackets), and that there is 'little evidence that native workers are harmed by migration'”.

This is a distortion – the report does not refer to “migrants” but immigrants who have been here for more than one generation, and it goes on to say that of the immigrants who have higher incomes than natives and better qualifications, 48 percent of them are from “white” countries (USA, Australia, EU etc). The remaining have lower economic activity and worse qualifications. (Alan Travis in the Guardian made the same mistake). I think you are confusing the report with the Home Office report “The fiscal effect of migration” (January 2002) where it shows that migrants pay £1.5bn more in taxes than they receive in benefits, again if you look at the detail you will find that 1 percent of tax payers pay the highest 20 percent of taxes – i.e. once migrants such as US and Japanese financiers etc are taken out of the equation, the remaining migrants (i.e. refugees, asylum seekers etc) are a net loss. Still, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

The idea of abolishing national borders is crackers.

Dr PHILL EDWARDS, BNP National Press Officer

P.S. do you support the anti democratic activities of the ANL?

 

Reply:

1. The link you try to draw between a particular part of the globe and the “genetic ancestry” of the people living there is just nonsense. You talk about this often going back “100s if not 1000s of generations”. But, taking a generation as being 30 years, just going back a hundred generations (not hundreds) is going back 3000 years, i.e. to 1000 BC. You're not seriously contending are you that the island of Britain should belong only to the descendants of those Iron Agers who were there then, whoever they were (and their ancestors will have come from various parts of the continent of Europe)? In which case, most people living in Britain today, being descendants of later settlers (such as the Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons – yes, the English language will have to go, too –,Vikings, Normans, Flemings, Irish) fall into your category of “stranger” and “alien” to be offered grants to go and resettle “where they came from”.

And, if we go back a thousand generations, i.e. 30,000 years, there's probably weren't any humans living in Britain. Go back another thousand generations and all humans are still living in Africa, where the common ancestors of all of us humans evolved. So, the logic of the argument from genetics points rather to the view that the whole Earth should belong to the whole human race.

In any event, from what you say about Africa and from the BNP's street-level propaganda, the only genetic difference you are concerned about is skin pigmentation. Which is as stupid as wanting to distinguish between people on the basis of the colour of their hair. Neither skin colour nor hair colour gives the slightest indication of what a person is capable of or thinks or is likely to behave, or anything else, except, that is, how they are going to react to exposure to the Sun's rays.

2. You are quite right that the infrastructure of the big island off the North West coast of the Eurasian landmass was built up by the labour of generations of serfs and wage-workers, many of them the ancestors of a large proportion of the current population, but this does not mean that their descendants therefore “own” Britain. Far from it. You yourself quote figures which show the unequal distribution of income in Britain (at least 20 percent going to the top one percent). This reflects the uneven distribution of profit-yielding assets, where the top 10 percent own as much as the remaining 90 percent. The ownership of land in Britain is even more concentrated, with aristocratic families such as the Queen and the Duke of Westminster owning vast tracts of it. No, Britain is not owned by its “native” population, but by a tiny minority of rich property owners. It's their country not ours. We only work here.

3. The Home Office study was about “migrants”. We only paraphrased what it said, which was: “Migrants have higher average incomes than natives, but this average masks the polarisation of experiences, with migrants over-represented at the top of the income distribution but also highly concentrated at the lower end of the income distribution, and experience lower activity rates” and “There is little evidence that native workers are harmed by migration” (p. viii). But, whatever the study says, we still say that migration – out of as well as in to Britain – has not harmed people born in Britain. In fact, it hasn't made any difference, either way. The problems we face are not caused by workers from other parts of the world migrating to this part, but by the capitalist system of class ownership and production for profit instead of the common ownership and production geared to satisfying people's needs which will be the case in socialism.

4. We are not advocating the abolition of frontiers here and now under capitalism, if only because we know it's not going to happen: the capitalist states, into which the world is currently divided, will always prefer to be in a position to control the labour force within their frontiers. What we envisage is that when the resources of the Earth have become the common heritage of all the human race then the world would no longer be divided into separate states, and people would be free to travel anyway in the world without needing a passport or visa and whether to live or to work or simply for pleasure.

5. We do not support the Anti-Nazi League and its undemocratic policy of seeking to restrict freedom of speech. We are in favour of free speech for everyone, not excluding fascists. And we practice what we preach, having debated in the past with Mosley's BUF and the National Front. Not because we have any sympathy for their views, but because we think that the best way to deal with these views is to expose them for the dangerous nonsense they are. We'd be prepared to continue this debate with you at a public meeting, but we know that the “anti-fascists” would employ bully-boy tactics to stop it taking place. Pity. Since we would have welcomed the chance to publicly expose the BNP, before an audience of interested workers, as the peddlers of divisive and irrational nonsense that you are.

Editors