Monday, 31 March 2014

BNP gathering support via food banks

An interesting development which many who keep a keen eye on the far right have seen as their next development looks to becoming reality. "British National Party activists are going door to door with mobile food banks in a bid to win support ahead of the local and European elections, The Independent can reveal. The far-right party has even produced a YouTube instruction video to teach volunteers how to build trust with voters in deprived areas by offering soup, teabags and washing powder on the doorstep. The BNP said the scheme had been “pioneered” in London last year and others had been set up in the Midlands and the North-West. Food stalls have also been set up in places such as Havering in east London. The tactics echo those used by the Greek far-right group Golden Dawn, which distributed food to the public at the height of the country’s economic crisis. The BNP leader Nick Griffin visited Athens in January at the movement’s invitation, as part of efforts to set up a Europe-wide coalition. ked about the tactic, BNP spokesman Simon Darby said the bedroom tax and the high cost of energy was driving the need for free food. “It’s beyond belief. People are really, really struggling to make ends meet. It’s no joke. It really is a genuine need for people,” he said. “It [giving out free food] is a very, very practical way to express sympathy with people. So many people are cynical about politics now. “It’s a way of getting people to trust you and bringing real meaning to politics … a way of embedding yourself in the community.” Mr Darby denied the food was a bribe and said it would be given to non-BNP supporters. The BNP wasn’t making a profit and he did not think it was against election law. The demonstration video uploaded to YouTube last week shows a BNP London organiser delivering food in Union Jack bags to an elderly woman. He encourages other activists across the country to engage in “door-to-door food bank activism”, saying all that’s needed is a “trolley and an assortment of tinned products”. An Electoral Commission spokeswoman said she had not heard of political parties giving out food in this way in the UK. “I assume if we knew it was going on, we would want to consider the matter and see whether anything needed to happen with it.” She said any donations of food worth more than £1,500 to local branches would have to be reported to the commission. There is a criminal offence called “treating” which specifically relates to giving food, but this requires “a corrupt intent” to influence voters. " From all this is a concern which we must be wary of. The far right will always use tactics like this to build support in working class areas. We must tackle them head on to root them out of our communities where we can.

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