Tuesday, April 20, 2010

United Kingdom / Anti-Fascism

Musician Billy Bragg
Campaign Against British "Fascists" Heats Up
By Robert Mackey
The New York Times, April 20, 2010
"[...] Some Britons fear that the bleak national mood could also lead to the election of another sort of outsider candidate, the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin. As my colleague Sarah Lyall reported on Friday, Mr. Griffin -- who has expressed doubts about the Holocaust, and decried 'this nonsense about gas chambers' -- is trying to win a seat in the east London borough of Barking and Dagenham by tapping into discontent with both the incumbent Labor MP and the number of immigrants now living in a traditionally white, working-class area that has fallen on hard times. Mr. Griffin's BNP advocates an immediate end to immigration to Britain and the repatriation of people of foreign descent. On Saturday, one of the borough's favorite sons, Billy Bragg -- the musician who calls himself 'the big-nosed Bard from Barking' -- was involved in a confrontation with a BNP official, Richard Barnbrook, who has attacked the singer on his blog. ...
Earlier this month, Mr. Bragg told London's Evening Standard he had 'declared war' on the BNP and described his effort to help defeat the party in his hometown as a 'fight for the soul of the English people.' He added, 'for the country that I love, for the patriotism that I feel, this fight in Barking and Dagenham is the most important fight since the war.' As Britain's Channel 4 News reported, Mr. Bragg has also taken his campaign against the BNP to the stage, and is currently performing in a 'part gig, part installation, part play' about what it means to be British, in a London theater that is based on his book, 'The Progressive Patriot: A Search For Belonging.'"

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