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Roots of Radicalism

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REALISING OUR POTENTIAL

Steve Brady & Tom Acton

ONE OF THE EASIEST mistakes that a Nationalist can make is to underrate or ignore the massive amount of potential support that exists for the National Front. For several years now election results have generally been in the 1-3% range; and the media never misses the chance to portray us as 'extreme', and 'only supported by a tiny minority'. So perhaps it is not surprising that our potential is not fully appreciated.

Yet the NF has never lacked, and does not now lack, millions of Britons who agree with our ideas. What we do lack is a realisation by those millions that only by supporting the NF will their political beliefs be implemented.

Let's look at the facts about our policies and their popularity. Firstly: immigration, where we supposedly hold 'extremist' views.

A recent Daily Mail opinion poll, for example, revealed that "most British people see Coloured people in this country as a problem and see 'sending them home' as the solution". Sixty-four per cent of the public, according to their sample, actively supported repatriation.

SIMILAR VIEWS

This identity of views extends even to apparently obscure NF ideological areas, such as the abolition of the Stock Exchange, which is seen by millions as a 'get-rich-quick' parasites' paradise.

In fact all our industrial and economic policies are basically similar to the views held by the British public. Most people oppose 'big business' and the multi-nationals, dislike nationalisation and the direct control of business by the State, yet are sympathetic to small family businesses.

Increasingly the ideas of profit-sharing and workers co-operatives are gaining popularity and acceptance, and the National Front is the only party committed to the idea of co-operatism as the basis of industrial policy. The need for import controls and restrictions on the export of investment capital is also largely accepted by the public.

From capital punishment to the protection of the environment there are few areas of policy in which the National Front's beliefs are not those of the vast majority of British people.

UNIQUE PROBLEM

That leaves the NF with a problem that is virtually unique in political history. Unlike other political parties we do not have to persuade the majority of the public that they should agree with the policies we uphold; instead we have to persuade them that we do agree with the policies that they already believe in.

Essentially all our ideas are, to a very large extent, the popular view articulated ― thought through logically ― and woven into a coherent whole. This is the priceless political asset that we alone possess ― yet do we exploit it to the full?

Proof that the British public is inherently Nationalistic and 'our way' comes from our opponents, who regularly attempt to increase their popularity by pretending to uphold patriotic values. A classic example of this is of course Thatcher's utterly false claims, made just before the 1979 General Election ― and forgotten immediately afterwards ― that she was concerned at the "swamping" of Britain by coloured immigrants.

Yet it's not just the Tories who use nationalism to win popularity: it was a recent Labour Party political broadcast which hypocritically praised small businessmen, and sneered that "One British college has collected more Nobel prizes for science than the whole of Japan ever has" ― a statement that would probably be condemned as excessive chauvinism if it ever appeared in a Nationalist publication. The broadcast ended: "Labour is drawing up the blueprint to make Britain strong again". Tory and Alliance broadcasts also frequently ooze a phoney patriotism, so it is not just a Labour quirk.

This expression of essentially nationalistic attitudes simply reflects what the politicians and their hard-headed cynical admen have found by experiment best wins public support. Rather than pushing the specific policies of the parties concerned they appeal, however hypocritically, to a set of values which clearly the public shares, and which the NF alone consciously embodies.

It follows that there is a great deal of public support available to a party which can sincerely and wholeheartedly project from within these basic values of ethnocentrism and nationalism which the other parties are forced, insincerely, to pretend to reflect to gain votes.

The problem the Establishment parties face ― and they are well aware of it ― is that they are acceptable to the public, even though their true policies and basic values clearly are not. The problem the National Front faces ― but do we realise it? ― is that our policies and basic values are acceptable to the public (however much the media might describe them as 'extreme') but we ourselves are not.

TINY PERCENTAGE

The obvious question that has to be asked is why? Why is it that our actual support is such a tiny percentage of our potential? Why is it that despite the popularity of our policies (at the last General Election the New Statesman admitted that the only way the public could have got what it wanted was to have voted NF) our public support remains so low?

Obviously the reasons for our failure are many: some are tactical and organisational, and will be covered in future articles. The reason for failure we want to cover in this article could broadly be described as the Myths of Nationalism.

That is to say that a whole range of false assumptions have been made about Nationalism by Nationalists, and have unconsciously been incorporated into our general thinking and planning. Not all these myths are dominant at once, of course. At any one time some are more 'fashionable' than others, but all exist to some extent, embedded in the Nationalist psyche.

Firstly there is the Myth that 'Its-all-the-Fault-of-Somebody-Else'.

If the NF is not in power it's the fault of the Reds, Tories, Big Business, Zionism, the Media ― anyone, in fact, but ourselves. In truth the worst that can be said of our opponents is that, seeing the NF marching perenially over cliff tops they have, not unreasonably, given us a helping shove over the edge.

Until we realise that our failures and setbacks are largely of our own making, we will keep on finding ourselves at the bottom of cliffs, moaning at how unfair the world is.

Next there is the Myth of the Elite Cadre Party.

Now there is nothing wrong with this idea in principle, but in practice Nationalists misunderstand what the term really means. Consequently an 'elite' party is usually a euphemism for a small party.

If a party has, say, the support of 10% of the public, has 100,000 members, and is organised and led by 500 people of exceptional political ability and dedication, then you have an elite cadre party. Those selfsame 500, without public support, and in a little party all of their own, would not be an elite ― they would be insignificant.

Yet all too often, the term is used to justify aiming for the second type of organisation. We have even heard it claimed that the problem with the NF is not that it is too small but too large ... rubbish! Certainly the highest standards of political dedication, courage and ability must be demanded from those who would hold key positions, but that doesn't mean that such paragons of political virtue are the only people we should recruit.

At worst there is a real danger that, misunderstanding the real nature of an elite party, we end up with an obscure sect of pseudo-intellectuals endlessly debating abstruse points of ideology ― and totally isolated from society at large.

Then there is the Myth of Inevitable Repression.

This is closely related to the Myth of the Monolithic State. Apparently as soon as we look like getting anywhere, brutal State repression will intervene, and we will all be stuck in Gulag. All we can do is psych ourselves up for the inevitable so that we march singing into the cells, rather than be dragged in screaming.

Now it is certainly true that repression is always a possibility, to be guarded against conscientiously. Equally it probably is inevitable if an incompetent leadership courts it. But automatic Establishment repression (as opposed to sporadic harassment, which we have always coped with) certainly is not inevitable.

How often have we heard it said that "The State wants to ban us"? Well if the State did you would not be reading this now. Certainly Nationalism threatens powerful vested and ideological interests who would like us banned, but they are only a part of that diverse collection of conflicting interests known as the 'State'.

Our first question on the subject of repression should always be "How do we avoid it without selling out?" Asking "How can we withstand repression?" is only to ask how we best prepare our last despairing fall-back position, and assumes we have failed to avoid repression.

The only real defence against repression is to build a mass support base; until then it is important we don't give those who would like to ban us ammunition to argue their case with the rest of the Establishment.

The Myth of Crisis is still with us.

In its purest form it might be known as 'Mosley's Excuse' since Sir Oswald used to claim that "We can only progress when there is Crisis", to explain away donkey's years of Union Movement failure.

The lack of 'Crisis' at present may justify our not having the support of 80% of the public ― it does not explain we we only have the support of 1-3%. Given the basic popularity of our policies, and given the widespread dissatisfaction that exists thanks to mass unemployment, race troubles, Ulster, etc., there is no reason why our support levels should not be ten times what they actually are.

Until we can realise our immediate potential for a substantial support base we will be too small to take advantage of any 'Crisis' that the Establishment has.

Variants on the theme of 'Mosley's Excuse' are still with us. For instance, it is still argued that "Our image may now be a liability, but in times of Crisis it will be advantageous". Even if that were true this analysis is still inadequate. We need - now - the image to promote rapid growth, to build the level of popular support that will make us a credible alternative. If we do not first build the party then our image in times of Crisis will be irrelevant, because we will be irrelevant.

The Myth of the Foreign Example is also still with us.

It may be only the lunatic fringe that thinks you only have to dress in silly uniforms and shout "Seig Heil!" to get power, but even sensible Nationalists tend to go overboard on foreign examples.

Apart from the ideological unsoundness involved in assuming that what worked with one people will work with another, there is a practical problem: as we have already pointed out, the key problem the NF faces ― our policies are acceptable, we are not ― is virtually unique, and was not faced by Strasser, Codreanu, Gadaffi, etc.. etc.

The Myth of Revolutionary Rhetoric rears its head from time to time.

Now it is true that the implementation of Nationalist ideas would transform British society to such an extent that the term 'Revolutionary' would be fairly accurate. But that does not mean we should smother our policies beneath reams of pseudo-revolutionary sub-Spartian ramblings.

There is, alas, no real revolutionary tradition in Britain. The cry: "Revolution Now!" excites bourgeois Oxbridge poseurs, but leaves the vast mass of the public unmoved. As we noted before, the vast majority of the public agrees with our policies; it is insane to alienate ourselves from them by talking 'Spartese' instead of ordinary English - the language of the people.

Nor does 'Spartese' help recruit elite cadres; after decades of spouting 'revolutionary' jargon the 'Left' is increasingly recruiting radical chic poseurs and pretentious pseuds. Genuine elite cadres will only be won by expounding worthy Nationalist ideals, not by spouting affected jargon.

PROGRESS

Now there are many other Myths that we could have mentioned, but even just considering the above indicates a number of steps the NF must take if it is to progress:

  1. Get our priorities right. In the first half of the decade the prime need was ideological development, to transform the NF from a party that had solid policies only on Race, to one with fully developed socio-economic views. That task has largely been fulfilled ― now our biggest priority is to convert potential to actual support.

  2. Realise who we are aiming recruitment at: the core element of the British people ― the skilled 'working class' and the productive sections of the 'middle class'.

  3. When speaking to, and writing literature aimed at, the above target audience we must always speak in their language, and avoid cliches and jargon. The reaction we should aim for is "I didn't know the NF stood for that. That's just what I believe, but they put it better than I could have done". We must always remember our biggest advantage ― that our readers largely agree with what we have to say. Writers and editors must ensure that advantage is never needlessly lost through self-indulgent obscurantism.

  4. Stop scoring own goals. As noted above, there is only a small segment of what is collectively known as 'The Establishment' that currently wants to ruthlessly oppress us. It is vital that we do not give them the slightest grounds for arguing that "The NF isn't a real party, just a collection of thugs, and brick, boot and fist merchants. They should be banned. . ."etc..etc., to the rest of the Establishment.

Those who play into our opponents' hands should be swiftly disciplined, and we must be more emphatic in rejecting illegal and thuggish actions and threats by 'Nationalists' and those who choose to have links with such 'Nationalists'.

  1. The Party's image, which has generally improved over the last few years, must continue to be cleaned up and made more attractive. Like it or not, too many 'smear' stories in the media have some foundation in fact, even if the facts are distorted. Cleaning up our image may be 'Populist', but it does not mean selling out or watering down our beliefs.

  2. Lastly we should give more emphasis to election work, but not blindly as in the 1970s. An election is a good test of how the public sees us ― there is nothing like a tiny vote for bringing it home to a party how much work is ahead of it.

In conclusion: Nationalism is essentially the most popular political creed in Britain today. But few people are consciously aware of being Nationalists; fewer still realise that only the NF stands for Nationalism. Bridging the gap ― to actualise our potential support ― is our task for the next decade.

Remember: We are Britain's most popular party ― it's just that our supporters don't know it yet!

Nationalist publications - if the NF is to escape the political ghetto they must be relevant and interesting to ordinary British people. It is important we don't just 'preach to the converted' in our papers and magazines, but ensure that potential Nationalists would enjoy and appreciate our publications as well as actual Nationalists.