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January 01, 2007

Simone Clarke and the BNP

Simone Clarke, a ballerina with the English National Ballet, has been revealed to be a member of the British National Party. The Guardian's reaction has been most interesting.

Two weeks after she was named by the Guardian as a card-carrying member of the far right group, the ballerina hit out at her critics, voicing her belief that the BNP seemed to be the only party "willing to take a stand" against immigration.

The BNP is not a 'far right' party. They're racists, to be sure, but they're socialist racists. Much more akin to fascists of various stripes than anything else, and thus of the left, not the right.

The interview has caused fresh difficulties for the ENB, which was able to deflect criticism about Clarke's BNP membership by insisting that her stance was an entirely private one.

Indeed it is. It is legal to be a member of the BNP nd it is legal to hold whatever views one wishes. Thus membership and her views are indeed entirely private matters. As are the reactions of individuals to her views and her membership, but not those of institutions.

Her views and policies espoused by the BNP appear to conflict with equality policies that operate in the company itself and those laid down by Arts Council England, which subsidises the ENB to the tune of £6m a year.

Ahh, we can see where this is going, can't we? If you take money from the State then you must ascribe to the ideological purities of the State?

Its policy says funded organisations "must be aware of how their work contributes to race equality and promoting good race relations".

It could be argued that the BNP is in fact desirous of promoting good race relations by having as little of them as possible. Not an argument I would ascribe to, to be sure, but the problem is that those doling out the cash only see one possible way of such promotion. If you don't, in your private thoughts, think like we say you should, then you don't get the cash.

Lee Jasper, equalities director for the mayor of London and chairman of the National Assembly Against Racism, said: "The ENB must seriously consider whether having such a vociferous member of an avowedly racist party in such a prominent role is compatible with the ethics of its organisation. I seriously doubt that it is and that should lead to her position being immediately reviewed. I think she should be sacked."

Thanks for putting it so clearly Lee. If people don't think like you think they ought to then they should be deprived of their livelihood. My, isn't that a remarkable advance for freedom, liberty and free speech and the right of association.

A spokeswoman for the Commission for Racial Equality, which polices race relations legislation, said it was monitoring events. "We will be interested to see what action the ENB takes given that it has a member expressing such views in public."

The correct action to take is none.

Or, if action must be taken by the ENB, then it should simply state that as we are a free society, one without the crime of sedition, then whatever passes for political thought in the brain of one trained since childhood to dance on tippy toe is her own business and nothing to do with them. Or any other branch of the State. Private individuals are entirely free to react (wihin the bounds of libel and incitement to violence) as they wish.

It's one of the basics of a free society, that we have the right to think and speak as we damn well please. It's one of the duties that we should also take the consequences. Such consequences do not include tax funded prodnoses depriving you of your living for failing to sign up to current bien pensant opinion.

January 1, 2007 in Politics | Permalink


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Tracked on Jan 16, 2007 6:39:49 PM


Spot on, Mr W.

Posted by: dearieme | Jan 1, 2007 11:35:01 AM


But this is one of those grubby, little episodes that will end in a mess that wholly suits the Lee Jaspers of this world.

They will have their way and some of us, who have no time for the BNP, will soften towards them just a little.

Perhaps, if they could silence this kind of witch hunt and thought process, then they migth just be tolerable.

Posted by: GeoffH | Jan 1, 2007 12:44:06 PM

When the Arts and the State get into bed this is the woeful result.Freedom of speech is hung out to dry. Time for a divorce....

Posted by: niconoclast | Jan 1, 2007 1:48:29 PM

"The ENB must seriously consider whether having such a vociferous member of an avowedly racist party in such a prominent role is compatible with the ethics of its organisation"

Since when has she been vociferous? No one knew she was a member until the Guardian exposed her and she attempted to defend herself.

Posted by: JohnM | Jan 1, 2007 2:06:36 PM

The Guardian and CRE really don't get it that they are helping the BNP cause with this are they? If anything happens to that dancer because of this they will just make hay of it.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge | Jan 1, 2007 2:06:39 PM

Not a clue about the BNP till the Ballerina story broke.

Out of curiosity took a look at the website.Seems they are just saying what we are thinking.

Posted by: Alginon | Jan 1, 2007 5:17:10 PM

At the end of the day though, Tim, you do believe that employers should be allowed to sack people for their political views, don't you?

Tim adds: No, I don't think I do. I think emplyers should be allowed to sack people for no reason at all, I think they should be allowed to sack people because their actions damage the business. But specifically because of their thoughts? No.

Posted by: Matthew | Jan 1, 2007 6:12:22 PM

After Norman (Lord) Tebbit's comment on the matter last year I went to the BNP website and read their manifesto, and it is - just as TW stated - straightforward National Socialism.

Indeed, the BNP has a similar combination of anti-modernization elements (anti-market-economics, anti-science, pro-state, pro-culture) as the Islamic militants who are so congenial to the ideological left (eg. the 'Respect' party of George Galloway) and with whom the Guardian editorials so often sympathize.

The main difference between the BNP policies and those of the ideological left (including many Guardian contributors) is that the mainstream left are self-hating when it comes to national culture, while the BNP are self-aggrandizing.

I am strongly pro-modernization and therefore oppose both the mainstream ideological left and the BNP, and I agree with TW's analysis and recommendations on this issue.

Posted by: Bruce G Charlton | Jan 1, 2007 6:51:54 PM

There is a world of difference between an employer sacking someone for their beliefs and the state doing it. The first is silly, the second is downright sinister.

So re Griffin and Galloway we have the er, choice of National Socialism or International Socialism. Tweedledee and Tweedledumber indeed...

Posted by: niconoclast | Jan 1, 2007 8:26:47 PM

The Daily Mail article about this[1] complete with photo of the very pretty 'BNP Ballerina' was followed by lots of positive comments for the BNP's causes, and my guess is that after this promotion (courtesy of the Guardian[2]), there will be a few thousand BNP applications more as a direct result.

Right now, the BNP is just about as competent as most political parties out there (namely, not) but, maybe this is the kind of mustard that is need to get British politics (and the UK democracy) on the boil again. Everyone right now is bored and disinterested, which is far worse than if everyone is livid and opinionated. Indeed, joining the BNP could be by now seen as a 'revolutionay act' and people will start drinking their tea out of BNP mugs[3] just to troll the rest of the office(remember those Che Guevara T-shirts?).

Imli who is waiting for the headline: 'I wuz sacked for drinking a cuppa outta the wrong kind of mug!'

[2] 6 Month clandestine effort and all they find is a professional Sugar Plum Fairy. Crivens!

Posted by: imli | Jan 1, 2007 8:59:42 PM

A lot of the reporting about Simone Clarke's membership of the BNP suggests that she only joined because of some strategy of Nick Griffin to make his party more respectable; i.e. it was not her own free and rational choice.

Her "unmasking" is a sign that the BNP, as it grows, is, for exasperated voters, bound to become a more acceptable alternative to the larger parties. The IDIOT Conservatives could stop this trend AT A STROKE.

Posted by: Little Black Sambo | Jan 1, 2007 9:31:22 PM

Simone Clarke clearly has no place being a member of the BNP. The Chairman of the BNP Nick Griffin has previously written, "Do I regard someone who is married to or living with a partner of another race as a suitable member or candidate for the BNP? No, because by their choice they have clearly shown that they do not share our most fundamental values." http://www.bnp.org.uk/articles/race_reality.htm

Lee Jasper should leave it to the BNP to expel Clarke. Otherwise the party will have to continue down the slippery slope of compromise for the sake of a few more council seats. The BNP started as white party for white people, now it is clearly a mixed race party for race mixers.

Posted by: Nigel Sommers | Jan 1, 2007 9:49:57 PM

I can't see how anyone can say the BNP is a national socialist party. The BNP are nationalists but that doesn't make them socialists although certainly before socialism became infected with the basically social Marxist notions of Political Correctness it was perfectly possible to be a socialist and say you loved your country without being contradictory. The BNP's economic polices basically centre around a mild form of selective protectionism but isn't that what the government of Japan engaged in after WW2 and which has enabled it to rise from the ashes of defeat into being the economic superpower it is now? I don't see many people calling Japan a socialist country! Most people, I suspect, would regard that country as highly nationalistic.

Posted by: Barry | Jan 2, 2007 1:57:16 AM

Just the fact that this scenario occurred is disturbing. Restriction of political speech like this sets a dangerous precedent. Does the British government not realize this? The entire situation amazes me.

Posted by: NMS | Jan 2, 2007 2:55:19 AM

"...it should simply state that as we are a free society..."

Which is exactly the type of socity that the likes of Lee Jasper couldn't make a living in, and so are desperate to change it....

Posted by: JuliaM | Jan 2, 2007 7:48:24 AM

If you ever have the time. look at or listen to the entire speech by Enoch Powell his prophecy is coming to the light more and more each year, i e "The Black man will have the whip hand over the white man" exactly what Mr Lee Jasper is trying to achieve.

Posted by: Dave Mills | Jan 2, 2007 10:13:10 AM

"At the end of the day though, Tim, you do believe that employers should be allowed to sack people for their political views, don't you?

Tim adds: No, I don't think I do. I think employers should be allowed to sack people for no reason at all, I think they should be allowed to sack people because their actions damage the business. But specifically because of their thoughts? No."

At will employment means what it means: at any time for whatever reason or for no reason, either an employee or an employer may part company. That is why Dooce, Queen of Sky & Petite Anglaise could be got rid of for defaming or embarrassing their respective managements.

And again, the freedom to part is not a one way street. No employee anywhere need be shackled to whimsy or to corporate misfeasance or malfeasance.

It seems to me that the English National Ballet has the right not to countenance racism; the right to protect a hard-won reputation; the right not to foster a hostile work environment by employing a racist, or an idiot, whose child and lover would have hell in a BNP dominated Britain.

Posted by: Ted Monroe | Jan 2, 2007 5:56:09 PM

A private employer ought to be entitled to refuse to employ anyone because he doesn't like their political views.

More problematic is where the employer is the State, or an organisation largely funded by the State, or controlled by the State. It is unreasonable for the State to take money from taxpayers generally, and then to refuse to employ some of those taxpayers because of their political opinions.

So, I think it would be quite clearly morally wrong to sack Simone Clarke for her political opinions in this instance.

Posted by: Sean Fear | Jan 2, 2007 6:22:12 PM

I completely support simone, best wishes to her, (i my actually go and see the English ENB - not if they sack Simone of course) and the sooner this labour government is gone the better.

Posted by: josiah grimmitt | Jan 3, 2007 10:09:55 AM

I think employers should be allowed to sack people for no reason at all,

Do you really? I don't. I think people should honour contracts, including contracts of employment, and should obey the law, including employment law. To my mind, the question 'should contracts of employment normally contain a provision allowing the employer to terminate the contract for no reason at all?' doesn't self-evidently invite the answer, 'yes'.

We could then extend this, and discuss whether the law should provide some ground rules for contracts of employment, possibly with the proviso that they apply unless otherwise specified in the contract of employment. I think it should, more on practical grounds than anything else, but I can see there's another side to the argument.

In the case of Ms Clarke, while obviously I don't know what her contract of employment says, I'd be very surprised indeed if it contained a clause specifically forbidding her to engage in certain forms of political activity; if it doesn't, I don't quite see see why Lee Jasper should be calling on the ENB to behave illegally.

Posted by: Not Saussure | Jan 3, 2007 10:24:03 AM

Tim you are mixing up your 'ascribes' with your 'subscribes'.

Posted by: A Pedant | Jan 3, 2007 12:06:15 PM

Good luck to Simone Clarke, she should not let these people bully her.

Posted by: C Hill | Jan 3, 2007 2:30:19 PM

Why is it that whenever the BNP are mentioned that there are so many British people tripping over one another to say that they are idiots and Nazis?

Nick Griffin is neither stupid nor a Nazi.

52% of all victims of "hate-crimes" are caucasian... news of a young white man on leave of duty being killed by having his head jumped on for 20 minutes by Asians is virtually ignored... another young white man by the name of Steve Whyte is butchered on his 18th birthday and dies in his mothers arms whilst trying to protect her from Muslims - a crime for which no-one has served time in prison... a 15 year-old Scottish lad called Kriss Donald is dragged from the streets by Muslims before being tortured to death for being white...

Something is going seriously wrong and no-one is doing anything about it.

How will you feel when your 11 year-old daughter is approached by Muslims and groomed for sex? How will you react when your son is butchered because of the colour of his skin and your policeforce are afraid to tackle the perpetrators for fear of causing riots?

Labour, the Lib-Democrats and the Conservative Party are full of uncaring, greedy, false and unsympathetic people.

I do not want to see any more blood on the streets. Full-stop.

Historically, all 3 of these parties are responsible for our current status quo. Do you really believe that continuing to vote for them will see you and your children right?

I do not.

Posted by: Mark | Jan 3, 2007 8:41:08 PM

As soon as someone is chastized for expressing a political belief, as this poor lady has, you really have to wonder if you are living in a democracy. From what I can see Britain is no longer a democracy and her leadership should desist from lecturing other nations on issues such as human rights and freedom of speech. The only nation in the world that has truly protected freddom of speech is the USA. Britain is clearly on the slippery slope to a fractured future of interethnic and religious violence. Maybe the BNP can either directly or indirectly (through the major parties fearing its rise) can avert this disaster. Britain and her people have a right to exist and not be invaded and beaten into some third world islamic dictatorship. Why is Her Majesty sitting idly by watching this disaster?

Posted by: Taff | Jan 4, 2007 3:42:35 PM

ENB won't sack Simone for her political affiliation. They will wait a few months then sack her for being 36. Dancers don't generally prance on beyond 40. She looks about 20 and drop dead beautiful too, but that won't save her. The majority of you guys castigate the BNP. Look a little closer to home, like in the mirror, when this butterfly is crushed on the wheel.

Posted by: DAG | Jan 7, 2007 6:10:40 PM