Until I came to the UK, as far as I knew, the abbreviation BNP stood for the Banque Nationale de Paris. However, Banque Nationale de Paris merged with Banque Paribas in the late 1990s and the merged entity is now called BNP Paribas. The British National Party is however a totally different animal from the French bank. Openly racist, its mission statement is set out in its website
“The British National Party exists to secure a future for the indigenous peoples of these islands in the North Atlantic which have been our homeland for millennia. We use the term indigenous to describe the people whose ancestors were the earliest settlers here after the last great Ice Age and which have been complemented by the historic migrations from mainland Europe.”
Its immigration policy is summed up in the following words:
“On current demographic trends, we, the native British people, will be an ethnic minority in our own country within sixty years.
To ensure that this does not happen, and that the British people retain their homeland and identity, we call for an immediate halt to all further immigration, the immediate deportation of criminal and illegal immigrants, and the introduction of a system of voluntary resettlement whereby those immigrants who are legally here will be afforded the opportunity to return to their lands of ethnic origin assisted by a generous financial incentives both for individuals and for the countries in question.
We will abolish the ‘positive discrimination’ schemes that have made white Britons second-class citizens. We will also clamp down on the flood of ‘asylum seekers’, all of whom are either bogus or can find refuge much nearer their home countries.”
In short, the BNP doesn’t like non-European (that is non-white) migrants. The BNP has a presence all over the UK, including Scotland and Wales.
Since it is accepted that the BNP is racist and opposes racial equality, police officers are barred from membership of the BNP. However, when in November 2008, the BNP’s list of members was leaked (may be intentionally) and posted on the internet, it was found that some of BNP’s members were police offices, members of the prison services, government employees, teachers etc. It was also revealed that the BNP’s strongholds are places like Lancashire, Yorkshire and Essex where the economy is not doing very well.
This week the Church of England plans to debate a motion which will bar Anglican clergymen from belonging to the BNP. To be honest, initially I found the possibility that some priests could be BNP supporters quite shocking. I guess if BNP members are scattered throughout the UK and in every walk of life, some of them can be found to be wearing dog collars.
The Anglican Church has many priests from among the ethnic minorities, with some of them holding very high positions. Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York and Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester come to my mind immediately. My own feel is that most Anglican priests are non-racist and very decent human beings. I welcome the fact that the Anglican Church has shown the courage to confront the demons within itself so openly, though it is bound to raise eyebrows.