British journalist Daniel Trilling explains the Golden Dawn conundrum in the context of the European far right
Daniel Trilling, journalist and author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right, tells Eleftherotypia’s Epsilon magazine how Golden Dawn differs from any other far-right party in Europe
After many years of reporting on issues related to the far-right in the UK and across Europe, Daniel Trilling in 2012 published his first book, entitled Blood Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right, where he explains the rise and fall of the British National Party (BNP) from its founding in 1983 until now.
Reporting from Athens for the New Statesman magazine a few months ago, the British journalist had written that Golden Dawn’s naziesque imagery and openly violent conduct of its members set it apart from any other European far-right party.
In an exclusive interview with Dimitris Tomaras published recently in Eleftherotypia’s Epsilon magazine, Trilling talks about his book and how it relates to the Golden Dawn conundrum.
Let’s start with the subject of your book. Could you briefly describe the rise and fall of the BNP?
The BNP was founded in the early 1980s by a group of neo-Nazis who had broken away from the far-right National Front. It concentrated on largely on street marches, disseminating racist propaganda and encouraging violent attacks on ethnic minorities, until Nick Griffin became leader in the late 1990s.
Griffin attempted to copy the electoral success of the French Front National, pursuing a “community politics” strategy and hiding the more extreme parts of its ideology from public view.
As a result, the BNP began to win seats in local government throughout the 2000s, profiting from racism in the mainstream media, the long-term effects of neoliberalism and economic inequality, and discontent at Britain’s New Labour government. It peaked by winning two seats in the European Parliament in 2009, but collapsed at the 2010 general election, in part thanks to a large antifascist campaign.
In electoral terms, the BNP is Britain’s most successful ever far-right party, although its progress was far smaller than some of its European contemporaries: France’s Front National, the Sweden Democrats, or Hungary’s Jobbik, for example…
(Read the rest of the interview on Eleftherotypia’s English website: http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.article&id=831)