Leep it active!

The Internet is a revolution, not just for general information and communication but also for small businesses of all varieties. Small companies, small bands and small political parties can now become popular overnight just by having a website. In times past, bigger businesses always had the upper hand because they could afford mass advertising. Now, anyone can access a mass market simply by kicking off a small campaign with a gig, rally or product launch with the appropriate web site address flashed around for all to see.

The BNP is no exception. Our growth has been surpassed only by the popularity of our web site which is, by far, the most popular political web site in the UK (see our ‘Alexa’ ranking on the bottom of our homepage) . And it has been matched by some impressive online activism in many shapes and forms from blogging to Facebook groups. But I just want to send a note of caution here – Internet activism alone is not enough.

I’s an easy trap to get in to because Internet support seems so easy. In the same way that people forward junk email to their friends warning about a virus that never existed and Facebook users send “lil green patch” to their buddies (does anyone really believe that sending rubbish to their friends on Facebook will help fight global warming?) , so it is easy for a BNP supporter to get online, type “vote BNP” and feel they have done their bit.

Internet activism is a very, very useful and important tool (especially for someone like me who lives overseas) but to make a real difference, it needs to be followed up by further action.

So, on behalf of all the admin, I’d like to ask every BNP supporter who has found our group here (and any supporter of any party who cares about democracy and making a small difference) to please, please, please try and take all of the following steps:

1) Join your party.

BNP followers can do so here or by getting in touch with me. Preferably get in touch with your local organiser, too.

2) Spread the word.

Not by spamming the forum of your favourite football team or on a Saturday night binge, but with the right people at the right time. In the case of the BNP, a good target group would be old school Labour voters who now feel betrayed. It’s important not to be too pushy as this can be counterproductive.

Some people still believe in the old stereotype of the BNP as a bunch of yobs, so it’s a good idea to make light conversation explaining the BNP is now  progressive party of decent, honest people from all walks of British life.

I suggest also making clear that people are not signing their life away. Be relaxed about it all, make them well aware it’s simply a case of “Come along to a meeting and see what you think” or  “Have a read of ‘Identity’ and get back to me if you want” , etc. Even in Thailand, I have managed to produce a couple of converts amongst my expat colleagues.

3) Read up.

Knowledge is power and for anyone interested in politics, I strongly recommend learning more about how the system works.

Why is learning important in activism? Simple, once you know how the system works, it’s easier to find ways to help. For example, my BNP colleague Chris was involved in volunteer work on the night of the GLA elections and was lucky enough to meet Richard Barnbrook on the night he got elected. It’s unlikely he would have done that if he had no knowledge of the election process.

For anyone looking to study the basics of the UK political system, I recommend “British Politics in Focus” by Roy Bentley . Don’t be put off by the hefty size and weight of the book, it’s aimed at A – Level students and as such it is detailed enough to give a firm grounding in the subject but simple enough that anyone can understand it.

So these are my three ideas that I would plead with any BNP supporter to follow up. If anyone has any more suggestions or ideas, please let me know.

Have a good weekend!

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