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on the BNP's idea of 'indigenousness', and why Gandhi is as British as Churchill

"Didn’t, for instance, India, which was deemed to be the ‘Jewel in the Crown’, contribute more than a metaphor to the riches and treasures of the United Kingdom?" ~ ed

When can we call ourselves an indigenous people, or indigenous to a country?

To the BNP, an indigenous person is a ‘white’ person who is indigenous to the United Kingdom. In other words, a person who originates or ‘naturally occurs’ in the United Kingdom.

But that would be quite inaccurate given that the ‘white’ Britisher has ethnic strains of various origins – German, Gallic, French, Viking, Roman,……

And given the colonial experience, some would also have strains of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Malay, African,…..

Some might argue and say that it is the historical experience within this land that counts.

If so, then can we deny that with the advent of British colonialism, that their historical experience in the United Kingdom was tied with their fortunes and cultural experiences elsewhere?

But most importantly, what would the BNP’s views on indigenous layabouts who don’t contribute to the development of the country be? Would they still be considered ‘indigenous’ and be accorded the selfsame treatment as everyone? What is the value of being indigenous if this is not paired with efforts to contribute to the development of the country? Can we then go on to say that being indigenous means little unless it is paired with said contribution?

And what is the value of that which is indigenous unless it manifests itself in real, tangible and intangible forms that serves as the external and significant manifestation of indigenousness? Isn’t such external manifestations, such as works of art, steak and kidney pud, architectural wonders, philosophy, the Monarchy, the Crown Jewels, the economy, and so on and so forth, that which gives meaning, pride and significance to ‘being indigenous’? Or would the BNP be of the belief that a single rock of indigenous origins is of equal value to the living, breathing, pint-downing, cogitating, and stiff-upper lipped Britisher?

Then, I’ll finally ask, if the said ‘external manifestations’ add value to the meaning of ‘being indigenous’, and given that many who inhabited colonial lands contributed to the external manifestations of the British experience by way of labour and resources have a significant claim on ‘being indigenous’ by virtue of their being foreign investors in the development of the British experience? Did not far more ‘foreigners’ die so that the British might have gained what they gained from the colonial experience? Didn’t, for instance, India, which was deemed to be the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ contribute more than a metaphor to the riches and treasures of the United Kingdom? In that, hasn’t the external manifestations of British indigenousness seen significant contribution by what are in effect Britons working abroad of various tints and tincture?

Hence, can we not conclude that whilst they may not have been born here, they have certainly played a role in mothering it?



The BBC's Newsbeat interview with BNP members on the 30th Sept 2009 may be accessed at


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