'Critics may help BNP achieve credibility'

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Indy Politics

Opponents risk giving the British National Party (BNP) publicity and credibility its electoral weakness does not justify, the Fabian Society warns today.

Opponents risk giving the British National Party (BNP) publicity and credibility its electoral weakness does not justify, the Fabian Society warns today.

The party is fielding 400 candidates in next week's council and European elections, seeking a foothold in the European Parliament and London Assembly.

But a Fabian report says the far right is in retreat across Europe, and the BNP - with just 3,000 members and less than 1 per cent of the vote in the last Euro-elections - poses the weakest electoral threat.

It says: "We need to be careful when raising the alarm about the rise of the far right. Those who do often do so for laudable reasons. A 'never again' stance in the face of creeping extremism and racism and a commitment to draw lessons from history contribute to a heightened readiness to mobilise, but we run the risk of doing their publicity work for them. Panic and publicity generate credibility, and talking tough about immigration or, worse still, adopting the far right's vocabulary, will only play into their hands."

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