The far-right in England

The far-right in England

Outline3 key areas of discussion:• Assessing the influence of the far-rightrightin England upon levels of racistviolence• Understanding who the perpetrators ofracist violence are• Understanding who the victims ofracist violence are

The far-right right in EnglandThe British National Party (BNP):– Most successful far-right right political party in Britainduring the last 20 years• Significant presence in deprived, working class areasacross England but increasingly popular in middle-classenvironments– Change of leadership in 1999 pivotal to theBNP’s new ‘modernised’ image• Sustained success in local elections (strongholds ineast London, Stoke and Burnley)• Capacity to influence mainstream politics• New ‘respectable’ image unpopular with some sectionsof its core membership

The victims of racistviolence• Research evidence suggests that the targets ofracist violence are not always sufficiently wellprotected by existing policy• Examples of typically forgotten or ‘hidden’ victimsof racism include:• Gypsy Traveller communities• Asylum seekers• Eastern European migrants• Mixed heritage households• Mixed race individuals• Mixed race relationships• Rural minority ethnic households• Chinese communities

Conclusions• Processes of racist perpetration andvictimisation much more complicated thanoften imaginedBUT:• Although far-right right activists may only bedirectly responsible for a small proportion ofoffences, their ideas can retain a widerinfluence on ‘everyday’ perpetrators• Far-right right extremists sometimes commitmore severe hate crimes which have a moreprofound impact upon victims

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