Last week's party political broadcast was a complete car crash - appalling production quality, stilted dialogue and dreadful editing. That's before you even think about the slimy, nasty message behind the whole thing.
Charlie Brooker lays into it
there's more to the advert's failure than its hideous use of colour schemes. Every aspect of it is bad. The framing is bad. The sound is bad. The script is bad. For all their talk about representing the Great British Worker, when it comes to promotional material, the BNP can't even represent the most basic British craftsmanship.
Now, they've had their use of stock pictures exposed on the web and in the press.
It seems that those lovely people who all espoused undying support for the BNP were just models on photos grabbed from the web. Even worse - they were foreigners. There's a photo of three construction workers - all of them American, from Portland, Oregon, to be precise. The series that included that shot also had another pic with a fourth worker who was not thought suitable for the BNP leaflet. Must be for reasons of space, not that he's black. The doctor is also American, the elderly couple are Italian, the mother and child are American. There is a British soldier, but the former Scots Guardsman, Stuart Walker isn't impressed
he rang the BNP’s offices to complain and was told to “f*** off”. He told The Sun: “I was completely outraged when I saw this leaflet. I think they got the photo off a website and the quote they’ve made up. They are scumbags and I’d never vote for them in a million years.
This compounds their earlier error in appropriating the iconic Spitfire as part of their lame attempts to associate their brand of fear and hatred with what it means to be British. Sadly, they used a Spitfire belonging to 303 Sqn, manned by Polish expatriates.
Then, they claimed that Cpl Johnson Beharry VC only received his medal because of politically-correct thinking on the part of the government. Cpl Beharry came to this country from Grenada when he was twenty and he is, you will recall, black. He is also an exceptionally brave man - they don't give out the Victoria Cross for nothing. Read the citation for the full story. This man managed to drive a badly damaged and burning armoured vehicle through an urban ambush at night, for much of the drive with his head sticking out of his driver's hatch, as the periscope he needed to drive with the hatch closed was damaged. Indeed, while doing this, he was under RPG and small arms fire - he was hit by a 7.62mm high-velocity round in the head and saved only by his kevlar helmet. When he eventually led his six vehicle patrol to something like safety, but still under enemy fire he returned to the Warrior to rescue his incapacitated comrades.
As a member of one of the assorted army bulletin boards wrote
When the rounds are flying up and down range You don't give a flying fcuk if the bloke next to You is bright purple...There'd be shedloads of serving and ex squaddies making bloody sure no one laid a finger on Beharry V.C.
The BNP don't represent what it means to be British.
Charlie Brooker tells a tale from his schooldays that demonstrates what being British really means.
That's the truth of it. Whenever you see the BNP try to wrap themselves in the flag or trying to associate themselves with the courage shown by millions of ordinary men and women during the Second World War (not that they'd ever mention the black and Indian soldiers who answered the Empire's call and served with distinction), remember that the fight then was against bigotry and hate and that every BNP campaign picking on a minority is an insult to the memory and sacrifice of those soldiers.
I was born in the 70s and grew up in a tiny rural village. There was, I think, only one black kid in my primary school. One day, someone pushed him over and called him "blackjack". The headmaster called an impromptu assembly. It involved the entire school, and took place outdoors. No doubt: this was unusual.
We stood in military rows in the playground. I must have been about six, so I can't remember the words he used, but the substance stuck. He spoke with eerie, measured anger. He'd fought in the second world war, he told us. Our village had a memorial commemorating friends of his who had died. Many were relatives of ours. These villagers gave their lives fighting a regime that looked down on anyone "different", that tried to blame others for any problem they could find; a bullying, racist regime called "the Nazis". Millions of people had died thanks to their bigotry and prejudice. And he told us that anyone who picked on anyone else because they were "different' wasn't merely insulting the object of their derision, but insulting the headmaster himself, and his dead friends, and our dead relatives, the ones on the war memorial. And if he heard of anyone - anyone - using racist language again, they'd immediately get the slipper.
Corporal punishment was still alive and well, see. The slipper was his nuclear bomb.
It was the first time I was explicitly told that racism was unpleasant and it was a lesson served with a side order of patriot fries. Or rather, chips. Our headmaster had fought for his country, and for tolerance, all at once. That's what I understood it meant to be truly "British": to be polite, and civil and fair of mind. (And to occasionally wallop schoolkids with slippers, admittedly, but we'll overlook that, OK? We've moved on.)