The Guardian has an interesting profile of Andrew Brons, one of the two new Members of the European Parliament elected over the weekend by the neo-fascist British National Party:
The group he first joined included among its members people responsible for arson attacks on Jewish property and synagogues. According to the anti-fascist organisation Searchlight, which has been tracking his career for decades, Brons appears to have approved. In a letter to Jordan’s wife, Brons reported meeting an NSM member who “mentioned such activities as bombing synagogues”, to which Brons responded that “on this subject I have a dual view, in that I realise that he is well intentioned, I feel that our public image may suffer considerable damage as a result of these activities. I am however open to correction on this point.”
By the 1970s, Brons had moved on the National Front, then the leading far-right group in Britain. He was voted on to the NF’s national directorate in 1974 and, as the NF’s education officer, he hosted seminars on racial nationalism and tried to give its racism a more “scientific” basis. […]
After drifting out of far-right politics, he became a lecturer in politics and law at a further education college in Harrogate. He joined the BNP in its current incarnation three years ago. Divorced, with two grown-up daughters and four granddaughters, his election platform was that he “would work to expose the activities and corruption of the EU to strengthen Britain’s case for withdrawal” and “would co-operate with patriots in other countries who seek to bring the EU to an end”.
The rise of the BNP is all the more shocking for the fact that UK voters already have a “mainstream” far-right option available to them in the form of the UK Independence Party, so it’s hard to rationalize BNP support as simply a sign of disgruntlement with the establishment options.