Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Not knowing their Right Hand from their Left

I have decided that it is time for me to wade into the furore caused by Iain Dale's calling the BNP left-wing. Iain was, of course, absolutely correct, and this is a point I have maintained for years, but some left-wing bloggers took it upon themselves to get very upset. In fact, so perturbed were some, such as Flying Rodent, that they posted a reply which, rather than bringing reasoned, logical arguments to bear, simply miscalled Mr. Dale for alarming them so. A reply to this nonsense was forthcoming, however, in the form of the eloquent verbosity of Longrider, clearly a force the leftists had not reckoned on encountering.

I see, however, that many organs of public information, such as wikipedia, continue to refer to the BNP as a "far-right" and "fascist" party. The charge of fascism may be quite competent, but to say that the BNP is right-wing is a hideous nonsense peddled by the BBC, the Guardian and organisations of their low ilk. A quick glance at the BNP's website will show that they are anything but right-wing. With statements such as "Globalisation ... is bringing ruin and unemployment to British industries" and "We further believe that British industry, commerce, land and other economic and natural assets belong in the final analysis to the British nation and people" the BNP shows itself to be almost as left-wing as Stalin himself. A statist, collectivist party which believes in mass-nationalisation and extreme market protectionism regardless of economic situation is in no sense right wing.

One organ which has repeatedly been refered to during these heated exchanges is Political Compass, which provides a two-dimensional graphic showing where it believes the main parties in the UK sit, this is displayed at the top of this post. I take issue with that graphic. It is wrong. The Labour party is much more authoritarian than shown on the graph, and is certainly not right wing. Labour should be in a position on the graph, slightly to the left of that which the BNP currently occupy. The BNP should also be a bit to the left of where they are, and in fact a bit to the left of Labour. The LibDems should also be on the left, and I would tend to place them above, not below the authoritarian line. The Conservatives should be about bang on centre on the authoritarian line, but are about the correct distance to the right. The Greens are the correct distance to the left, but are anything other than Libertarian. The Greens are among the most self-righteous, authoritarian, arrogant parties currently in existence.
So, I have now put right the two evils which are abroad in the blogosphere. The BNP are NOT right wing, they are LEFT wing. And Political Compass have NO CLUE about where to place the main parties on their graphic.


  1. Nowadays I try to avoid phrases like 'right wing' and 'left wing' altogether, partly because of descriptive fuzziness but mainly because it seems more about argumentum ad hominem and reverse argumentum ad hominem, than thrashing out an issue on its merits.

    People are complicated - they can hold different views, some right wing, some left wing, at the same time.



  2. I certainly take the point. Arguing ad hominem is logically fallacious. I am not trying to score a "you are more facist than me" point against leftists - as that would be irrelevant to any issue, whether or not it was true.

    However, the point does need to be made, because quite often those on the left (and I do think it is possible to classify people as left and right) tend to try to score that very point against those on the right, and in order to do so, make the false claim that the BNP is a right wing party.