End of the Party Political Broadcast? Episode 6: BNPPosted: May 3, 2010
You’ve probably heard the commotion created by the BNP’s original Party Political Broadcast. It’s debatable whether such decisions, such as featuring a pot of Marmite quite heavily in the original broadcast, were made purposely. (Update: The Marmite pot has been confirmed as a ‘brilliant publicity stunt’.) Whatever the reason for it, it certainly created a lot of buzz for the BNP. Soon after the incident, the BNP revised their broadcast, so let’s take a look at their new, rehashed video, to see what it says.
What does it say about the BNP? A shot-by-shot analysis: Black and white spotlights and air-raid sirens. Shot of Nick Griffin sitting at table, addressing camera. He says his broadcast is ‘unlike others’, and that he’s here to tell us about “the terrible state of our country”, because it will soon “no longer be our country”. Narrator informs us how ‘us British’ citizens are soon to become ‘second class citizens’, as ‘foreigners’ are claiming jobs and benefits. Shot of teenagers, and caption that reads, “Native British set to become a minority within two generations”. Narrator mentions ‘crooked politicians’ against shot of headlines, and newspaper front pages. Shot of building, then zoom on sign lettered with foreign text. Another caption, which reads, “Britain is being colonised by millions of foreign immigrants”. Cut to illustration of a woman wearing hijab, next to map of the UK. Narrator claims “politicians have sold us out to the EU”. Shot of EU flag with a red cross through it.
Montage of shots of Army troops, starting with an image of soldiers looking at what is seemingly a memorial of some sort. Narrator speaks of how they’re fighting a war that has “nothing to do with British interests”, and how the BNP will bring these troops home. Narrator claims the BNP “don’t hate anyone” but “love Britain”. Shaky shot of war memorial, possibly filmed with a camcorder, with the caption, “The BNP loves Britain”. Switch to illustration of Union Jack with eyes, captioned with, ‘Immigration: Open Your Eyes’. Narrator claims that immigration has ‘wrecked’ Britain. Shot of Churchill, then changing to black and white archive footage of soldiers. Caption: “Our War Heroes fought for us…” More black and white footage. As a plane zooms past, narrator claims that said ‘War Heroes’ did not fight for “multiculturalism, political correctness, or to see our country flooded with foreigners”. Caption: “…now it’s OUR turn!” Shots of BNP conference. Claim of BNP’s credentials, including that it has MEPs sitting in the European Parliament. Shots of war veterans, with slogan, “War Veterans backing the BNP”.
More shots of Griffin, including one with other BNP MEP, and caption claiming as such. Narrator claims that BNP will stop paying foreign aid and “give that money to pensioners”. Shot of children, with caption: “The BNP will build a future for British children”. Shot of woman in street, possibly reading from cue card, who exclaims, “It’s not politically correct, but I’m proud to be British.” Shot of pensioners, who get “treated like second-class citizens”. Caption reads: “Every year thousands of pensioners die of cold…we say stop bailing out the banks and increase pensions!” Shot of builder on building site, wearing hard-hat. He is voting for BNP as he advocates “British Jobs for British Workers”, just as caption reads.
Cut to shot of Michael Barnbrook, retired police inspector and ‘sleazebuster’, who apparently “sparked the whole expenses scandal”. He claims the BNP are the only party the British can trust. Shot of Sikh, Rajinder Singh, who claims only that the BNP are ‘doing what’s natural’ and “standing up for their own country”. Shot of BNP councillor who reiterates that the BNP will bring back troops from Afghanistan immediately. Return to shot of Nick Griffin, who claims he is attacked by politicians and ‘media liars’ for ‘not towing the politically correct line’. He tells the viewer to “remember Question Time”. Griffin claims he will ‘tell the truth’, then entreats the viewer to ‘get their own back’ and vote BNP. Broadcast ends with BNP poster which is a photograph that has been superimposed on a white background.
Opinion: From a stylistic perspective (regardless of any political notions) the BNP’s Party Political Broadcast is strictly low-budget, and rather amateur, and comes off as unprofessional for this reason. The video seems to be a collection of seemingly irrelevant images and captions bundled together with interviews that have been clearly staged (credit to the BNP who have clearly used members of the public for this, and not actors), and a random, if not slightly unsettling appearance from a Sikh who doesn’t actually advocate voting for the BNP, or claim that he is doing so himself.
One thing is clear, however. The BNP know who their target market are. Their constant references to pensioners and “War Heroes”, combined with footage of Churchill (who may not necessarily have promoted a party like the BNP, as UKIP found out last year) suggests that they’d want to appeal to these groups and their families. They repeatedly refer to the fact that if elected, they will cut immigration, bring home troops in Afghanistan, and cut foreign aid to instead increase pensions.
There is one issue, though. Other than these elements, and the BNP’s claim to disassociate Britain from the EU, I don’t really know what the BNP stand for at all. They certainly seem to dislike ‘foreigners’, as they have seemingly “wrecked” Britain. They also seem to rely on celebrity endorsement, with the inclusion of Michael Barnbrook. However, this does seem to be a moot novelty, as he only claims that the BNP are “the only party the British people can trust”.
Nick Griffin also does mention his Question Time appearance, and claims to have been victimised, I assume to try and engage viewers emotionally. This is a theme maintained throughout the entire video, beginning with their initial references to the ‘terrible state’ of Britain. All in all, the broadcast seems to be a depiction of how ‘terrible’ Britain is, which I think is a great shame. I feel the BNP could have done a better job in creating a more relevant PPB, with regards to their policies. I do feel that it could have also been produced more professionally, as well. However, I do think it does get its point across well, in illustrating that the BNP don’t really seem to like foreigners. Well, apart from the Sikh chap they interviewed, that is. What could have been an upbeat video which focused on the positive aspects of British culture has instead turned out, I hate to say it, as fear-mongering.
Well, that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. Stay tuned tomorrow, for our thrilling conclusion!