Richard Barnbrook's surprising description of some BNP members as "knuckle dragging junk" is very similar to Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn's description of them as "knuckle scraping scum." However, a recent post on his Telegraph hosted blog shows that the Mail-Heil imitation doesn't stop there.
Because when Richard Barnbrook wrote that we should 'blame the immigrants' there was some suggestion that he had broken the law on inciting racial hatred.
However, as 5CC points out, what he should really get done for is plagiarism. Take a look at these two passages. The first is by Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips and is a reaction to comments made by the Children's Tsar Sir Al Aynsley Green:
'According to this ridiculous figure, the stop-and-search powers being belatedly used by the police to curb such attacks might further antagonise young people. Said Sir Al: ‘Anything that perpetuates the view that children are the troublemakers is a dangerous development.’
Now take a look at this excerpt from Richard Barnbrook's latest blog post published on the same day as the Phillips article:
'According to this ridiculous lunatic, the stop-and-search powers being belatedly used by the police to curb such attacks might further antagonise young people. Said Sir Al: 'Anything that perpetuates the view that children are the troublemakers is a dangerous development.'
Now it may be that Richard Barnbrook breathes in the Daily Mail's bile to such an extent that it just involuntarily seeps out of his skin, or it could be that he just blatantly lifted the passage. However, whatever the reason for it was, it is clear that this is his paper of choice.
And yet despite this, the Daily Mail are taking increasing steps to disassociate themselves from their number one fan. In recent weeks they have published a number of articles attacking Britain's premier fascist party and its members, including this uncharacteristic article on the events surrounding the manslaughter of Keith Brown by his neighbour Habib Khan.
In a piece entitled 'How the BNP shamefully tried to create a 'white martyr' for their own grubby ends' the Mail attack Nick Griffin and his party for 'cynically turning the event into a party political broadcast.'
However, for many years the Daily Mail have walked a fine line between not wanting to be seen supporting the BNP and their policies, and not wanting to alienate BNP supporters either.
Richard Littlejohn for one has tried to balance condemnation of the party as 'knuckle scraping scum' with false statistics on asylum seekers and a general view of Britain as a nation going to hell in a handcart. A view shared by BNP supporters across the land.
This dilemma came to a head with this clarion call from the BNP earlier in the year. In a post entitled 'The Littlejohn Syndrome' the BNP ask right-wing journalists to come forward and show the country their true colours. On Littlejohn and his fellow travellers in the Tory press, they write:
"The problem with assaults on political correctness is that they attract the wrong kind of people, the ‘unmentionables’. Members of the BNP, its supporters and others... are more likely to read the ‘acceptable extremists’ than they are to read anyone else in the establishment media. Their writing comes closest to articulating a lot of what the BNP believes in. And this is a pretty uncomfortable position for members of the establishment to be in. So every now and again the ‘acceptable extremists’ make a token effort to distance themselves from the conclusion that their writing points to. In the case of Richard Littlejohn a good half a dozen times a year he launches into an absurd tirade against the ‘knuckle-dragging BNP’, presumably in the hope that somehow it will erase the fact that much of what he says is compatible with much of what the BNP says."
So if the Daily Mail continue to espouse a world view not a million miles away from that of the average British National Party voter, then their fascist supporting readers will continue to overlook the occasional anti-BNP article slipped out on the side.
But if the Daily Mail genuinely want to shake off their long-held image as the nation's Daily Heil, then it will take more than the few 'token efforts' that we have seen so far.
This post also appears over at Liberal Conspiracy