Wednesday, 1 December 2010


i watched a disturbing documentary last night at ma and pa's
it traced the run-up to the may general election
when nick griffin and several local councillors stood for the bnp in barking
in opposition to the new labour candidates
including sitting mp margaret hodge
it was well crafted
it told its own story without the need for a voiceover
pieced together from short interviews with the major protagonists
occasional insightful off-the-record remarks
and fly-on-the-wall fragments
interspersed with footage of tense street scenes
full of aggro, unpleasantness and malice
bnp candidates being spat and sworn at by aggressive local youths
before eventually retaliating and weighing in with kicks and punches
amongst the nastiness there were some genuinely moving moments
the tearful father, a bnp supporter, who breaks down in tears
after he learns of the death of his nineteen-year-old son
killed while serving in afghanistan
two somali asylum-seekers, a mother and a son
tell of how they fled to britain after their husband/father was murdered
a mum permanently holed up on the umpteenth floor of a council tower block sobs as she talks of being forgotten
of how her small child has nowhere to play outdoors...
next to the nasty, petty, spiteful, crass thuggishness and ignorance on general display
and the sense of entitlement by dint of skin colour or genes
the new labour people look whiter than white
though one bnp policy does stick out from the general squalor like a sore thumb: the "bring our boys home from afghanistan" strapline
which sadly none of the main parties are willing to subscribe to
during the muted commercial breaks
the three of us exchange reactions
mum has a certain sympathy with elements of the bnp's rationale
the "we should look after our own" argument
it's a perpetual area of disagreement in our discussions
then there's a surreal moment during one of the breaks
when mum casually reveals that her father was briefly a member of the national front
(back in the late sixties or early seventies)
i guess there was a certain logic to this affiliation
as he lived and ran a business in an area of brum
largely taken over my the immigrant population from the fifties onwards
but it does make me wonder what he would have thought of a korean
(and potentially a burmese-indian) marrying into the family!

No comments:

Post a Comment