The Western Mail last week picked up on BNP leader (and now MEP) Nick Griffin being quoted as saying "There is no such thing as a black Welshman. You can have a black Briton; you can’t have a black Welshman. Welsh is about people who live in Wales since the end of the last ice age.” It's clear from the elections that made Griffin an MEP that the anti-fascist strategy needs to be reconsidered, but although his comments will be ridiculous to anyone who lives in Wales we shouldn't go in for the whole let's laugh at the BNP attitude. Though their voter base in Wales is small and they are the seventh party here, we cannot ignore that their vote is growing. Internationalists in Wales should work on the premise that seventh place is too high.
But while that debate should be had, it is worth remembering these kinds of comments so that we can try and understand the world view that the BNP's leading opinion formers have. People don't vote for the BNP because they think black people can't be Welsh, or because they support the BNP's Nazi origins. They vote for the BNP for other reasons which we need to deal with. Alerting people to what the BNP really stands for is the first step towards breaking those illusions.
Of course, all the other political parties in Wales are opposed to the BNP and will have a role to play, but it can be argued that Plaid has the most specific purpose in countering them. This is because the existence of an anti-racist and multi-cultural Welsh nationalism is the biggest obstacle to British nationalism. It's no coincidence that the BNP's Welsh fringe (ironically with its most prominent figures being immigrants to Wales themselves) have adopted Wales-oriented imagery and the cross of St. David as their logo. Plaid is a constitent feature of their internet discussions. A recent blog proclaimed that "from now on Plaid are our number one target". A badge of honour for our movement.
Recognising the emotional element
4 hours ago