British churches appalled at BNP election

Episcopal Life is reporting on the election of right-wing anti-immigrant candidates to the European Union Parliament and to local seats in England.

Christian leaders in Britain have deplored gains made by the extreme right-wing British National Party in elections to the European Union parliament.

The party, which campaigned for the “voluntary” repatriation of non-white immigrants, won two seats for the first time in the European Parliament. The party also won three local council seats in elections held in England at the same time as the EU poll.


Before the elections, the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Rowan Williams and John Sentamu, issued a joint statement urging the public not to vote for the BNP, thereby openly calling for believers not to vote for a defined party. They expressed repugnance at the use by the party of a picture of Christ with a quotation that implied he would have voted for the BNP.

Blogging bishop Alan Wilson comments on his blog on the reasons behind the vote:

The excellent Channel 4/YouGov BNP Voting intentions analysis shows that, quoting Marx on Religion, BNP ideology is “the sighing of the oppressed creature” if not exactly the heart of a heartless world. People, mostly old style Labour voters, feel frustrated, disenfranchised, anxious and fearful. Fascist ideology, today as in the thirties, taps into the anger and offers some kind of emtional release.

The disconnection of the Labour party from its own roots under Blair, Sun style pop Xenophobia, and disillusionament with parliamentarians, produced this result. It’s very important that politicians listen, not only pragmatically, but in a way that reconnects with this country’s historic Christian value base, or things can only get worse.

Finally, and this is grounds for profound anxiety not complacency, we need to remember the BNP vote actually went down at this election. The BNP got in because Elections go on the proportion of votes cast. The Labour vote collapsed, and unprecedented numbers of voters stayed at home.

All it takes for evil to triumph Is for good men to do nothing. ~~ Edmund Burke

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