Is Nick Griffin MEP worse than Gerry Adams MP?
Look here, upon this picture, and on this,
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.
While Harriet Harman blackmails the Conservative Party into supporting her odious Equality Bill on the grounds that it will render the constitution of the BNP illegal, Cranmer is disturbed to read the wording of two EDMs quite obviously aimed solely and specifically at newly-elected MEPs Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons.
Whatever one may think of them personally or their political views, both are members of a (presently) legally-constituted political party and their election to office was free and fair. It has been convention for decades that those who are elected to the European Parliament are entitled to high security passes to the Houses of Parliament.
But Labour’s John Mann MP, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, has decided that this is no longer acceptable, and so produced an EDM to withdraw such passes. He has been joined by his honourable friends Andrew Dismore, Andrew Gwynne, Desmond Turner, Jon Cruddas, John Grogan, Kelvin Hopkins, Lynne Jones and Mike Hancock.
Curiously, there is a second EDM making essentially the same demand, initiated by John McDonnell and signed by Kelvin Hopkins, David Taylor, Alan Simpson, Neil Gerrard, Mike Wood, Jeremy Corbyn, David Drew, Katy Clark and Linda Riordan, Lynne Jones, Andrew Dismore, Mike Hancock and Stephen Williams.
John Mann has obviously decided not to endorse the competition. You would think, after 12 years in government, that they might have learned to coordinate their efforts.
But Cranmer is disturbed by this crass attempt to limit democratically-elected members of the BNP from the Palace of Westminster. Have they planted bombs? Have they murdered members of the police or the armed forces? Have they attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister, members of the Government or members of the Royal Family? Have they stabbed people in the heart, gouged out their eyes or shot them in the kneecaps? Have they smuggled guns and mortars, or formed and maintained an illegal army, involved themselves in acts of terrorism or threatened the very foundations of the British State?
Quite why the signatories to these EDMs are more concerned by the presence of Nick Griffin in Parliament than they are by the unrepentant terrorist Gerry Adams is utterly bemusing. Of course, Mssrs Adams and McGuinness were elected to the House of Commons, but they have barred themselves from it by refusing to swear allegiance to the Crown. Indeed, they sustain an unashamed antipathy towards British institutions and to the Constitution. This ought to be sufficient to bar them from Parliament, yet not only have they been granted security passes, they are able to claim millions of pounds from the taxpayer to run their offices. This arrangement has always been opposed by the Conservatives and Unionists.
As repugnant as the majority may find the views espoused by the BNP, Mssrs Griffin and Brons were elected to public office with the assent of almost a million people and ought therefore to be free to enjoy the access to Parliament granted by convention to other MEPs. They hold views which they are entitled to hold, and seek to propagate policies which run counter to the prevailing political orthodoxy. They are not the first to do so, and they will certainly not be the last. But if one conspires to silence them in order to limit their exposure and hinder their message, one begins to persecute and martyr them in exactly the same fashion as Margaret Thatcher attempted to mute members of Sinn Féin/IRA in order to deprive them of ‘the oxygen of publicity’.
It may have taken 20 years, but they ended up in government. They presently have five MPs, two MEPs and 27 MLAs - all able to come and go exactly as they please.