The Hope not Hate campaign is currently gathering signatures against the BNP and its associates, gaining taxpayer funding of €400,000 – or about £356,000. Individual Euro MPs already get huge allowances for staff and communications as well as for expenses for which no receipts are required. Travel expenses are lavish – although Nick Griffin MEP no longer has the opportunity to visit Colonel Gaddafi of Libya.
Yet the BNP want even more of our money. The mechanism is to form a political group with those from other countries. This is what the BNP has done – hooking up with Ataka from Bulgaria and Jobbik from Hungary. However, opponents argue that "funding of pan-European political parties and their associated think-tanks" is supposed to be conditional on such outfits respecting EU values “namely respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities."
A good point. But would they also agree that funding for the Party of the European Left should cease? This assorted collection of Communist parties were paid £743,000 of our money last year. Clearly the National Socialists such as the BNP oppose freedom and democracy. So do the Communists. Why bankroll one totalitarian brand but not the other?
If the objection is broadened to include racists then many more should have funding cut off – including several members of the Party of European Socialists – who are paid £3.8 million a year.
As Tim has already pointed out, recent polling suggests that the BNP will be thrown out in next year's Euro Elections. This should end the scandal of those merchants of hatred enjoying lavish funding from the British taxpayer. This still leaves the question of principle. The only fair way for it be resolved is for political parties, extremist or otherwise, to be funded by voluntary donations – not through taxation.