A long serving member of the British National Party has declared that he is now confused as to the plethora of choices on offer for his hate and how the changes in society mean that he isn't sure who is 'like us' and who isn't.
“When I was growing up, in the 1920s and 30s, it was fairly straightforward,” said Archie Billingsworth, 86. “I worry about the younger members as nowadays it is much more confusing as to who are the acceptable immigrants. I am too old to hate everyone.”
The pre-war years saw Britain as a nearly homogeneous society. The slums, tenements and desperate working conditions in factories were endured by the same ethnicity that was exploiting them. The prisons full of home grown murderers and rapists.
“There was only the Irish to hate,” he said. “We just had to make do with that and you had to be a lot more creative with your discrimination since they, by and large, are just like us.”
Archie said that later, with the influx of immigrants from the Caribbean, lured by the full employment era and the plethora of jobs in London Transport in particular he was able to easily expand his outlook towards new cultures.
“Well you know, it was a bit easier back then Obviously I would still not stay at a B&B that didn't have a 'No Irish' sign outside, but it was also easy to see of if they would let coloureds in,” he said. “You would think it would be easier nowadays, what with foreigners of all colours and creeds being here but it is quite complicated knowing where to focus my irrational feelings.”
Mr Billingsworth, like many of his generation, was startled to discover that not all sections of the Asian community like each other.
“Well, you don't know where you stand do you? Apparently some are from India, some Pakistan – they all look the same to me – but if they hate each other, well I don't know if I like that, some might have the same feelings towards each other as I do. That just isn't right.” said Archie.
He said he felt let down by the BNP leadership who unlike the nationalistic parties of the past were not being descriptive enough with dreaming up new problems.
“I have been a follower since I was old enough to join, from the British Union of Fascists, through the National Front, all the way to today's BNP. The thing is I need guidance from the BNP leadership otherwise how do I know which type of Asian to make assumptions about? Does all their food smell? Which ones cook in open fires on the floor of their council houses? By and large they keep themselves to themselves, so if the BNP don't publicise these stories how will I be disgusted?”
Archie says that he has not given up on the leadership of the BNP, he was pleased by their stance on immigrant workers, for example.
“Well it is full circle isn't it – like with the Irish when I was a lad. But apparently young people don't have a problem with them nowadays. It's very confusing. Take those millions of eastern European murderers I keep reading about in the Daily Mail that are taking the low paid and exploited jobs that are beneath an Englishman,” said Mr Billingsworth. “If I met one in the street I wouldn't have any reason to dislike them if it wasn't for the newspapers.”
Archie has been retired for over a quarter of a century and says that he has few creative outlets for his bitterness.
“Well you know, I am up for most kinds of prejudice. Nothing makes you feel better about yourself and your own lack of achievement. But I need to know clearly who it is that we are all hating. I have hidden in the mob all this time and I am too old to have my own opinion,” he complained. “In times as complex as these there needs to be more direction for the rank and file bigot.”
Despite some disillusionment with the direction the current BNP is taking, Archie sees no reason to change his allegiances as they approach their 60th year.
“Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the BNP leadership,” he said. “Some of my best friends are racists.”
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