Nick Griffin has stated "I am not a Nazi", and this statement has been flagged prominently on BBC News.
Is this true?
Nazi is a contraction of the German for National Socialist.
Griffin is a Nationalist. The clue is in the title of his British National Party.
So is Griffin a socialist also?
It is easier to say what he is not than what he is.
He is definitely not a Marxist. But where does his ideology find itself on the individualist / socialist spectrum?
He is definitely not a libertarian, and they tend to associate with individualism.
He is definitely not a mainstream Tory/NuLabour/LibDem politician, who are all clustering around the individualist/authoritarian quadrant of the political compass.
Does he believe in the importance of a social group? Yes, he does. The social group he values is those who he deems to be in possession of the "British Gene" - a non-scientific shorthand that he uses for Celtic/Anglo-Saxon/Scandinavian (and, presumably Roman/Italian) genes. This "British" social group is the one that he believes has a "superior right" to live in these islands. Note that he avoids the accusation of racism by declaring that "white Britons" have a "superior right" to be citizens of this country.
In this restricted, quasi-tribal sense, Griffin is indeed a socialist.
Specific confirmation of this view is found in the BNPs 2005 manifesto: Page 35:
Axiom 11: Owners should work, and workers should own.
If ordinary Britons increase their savings rate and invest the money in
British industry, it will over time transpire that they are the owners of
British industry. This has been called “pension-fund socialism,” and it
combines the efficiency of capitalist private ownership with socialism’s
ideal of worker ownership of the means of production. It also gives
workers an incentive to care about the long-term health of the companies
British National Party they work for, as they are part owners. It is also a pro-nationalist policy, as it tends to bring the ownership of British industry into British hands. The
BNP supports the gradual assumption of worker ownership through their
Since he is both a nationalist and a socialist, it is reasonable to infer that he is a national socialist, and is therefore a Nazi.
This inference is borne out by the Political Compass placement of the BNP, at the authoriarian extreme, but slightly left of centre on the social/individualist scale.
Political Compass says:
It's muddled thinking to simply describe the likes of the British National Party as "extreme right". The truth is that on issues like health, transport, housing, protectionism and globalisation, their economics are left of Labour, let alone the Conservatives. It's in areas like police power, military power, school discipline, law and order, race and nationalism that the BNP's real extremism - as authoritarians - is clear.
Griffin said he is loathed by the Nazis, because he has taken the BNP from being an anti-semitic party to one that can win parliamentary elections. To be loathed by Nazis does not prove that he is not a Nazi, since Nazis, like Marxists, are prone to schisms. Griffin's strategy has been to modernise or "respectabilise" the BNP, so that his position might be accurately described as "crypto-Nazi".
The BBC news has had up a flag advertising Griffin's claim "I am not a Nazi" for a long period during this evening's news.
In the interests of truth and balance, the BBC should give equal prominence to the argument that proves Griffin to be a liar and a Nazi.
We can make representations to the BBC here.