They left it a bit late, and there was hardly anyone there to enjoy it, but the British National Party finally got round to launching its election manifesto, 'Rebuilding British Democracy', on Sunday.
Sunday of course, was St George's Day. And St George, lest we forget, is the patron saint of syphilis, herpes and other sickening bodily afflictions. Enter Nick Griffin. Without a great deal of preamble, Griffin spelled out the manifesto's key points, and we began to get an idea of what life under the BNP might be like.
Under the BNP, national service - either civil or military - would be compulsory. On completion of military national service, every citizen would be obliged - not permitted, but obliged 'to keep in their home a citizen's modern assault rifle, and ammunition, and it's there to shoot burglars with - if they want; it's there to shoot people who invade their country - if they want.' But primarily, it is 'the ultimate guarantee against a tyrannical government'. Essentially then, what Griffin is saying is: 'Elect us. If we get out of hand, shoot us.' This would be a definite vote-winner, we feel, if only it weren't necessarily such a long-term pledge.
Under the BNP, free speech would become a reality. Presently it is suffocated by the twin cancers of political and legal correctness. The BNP would cut out these cancers by instantly repealing all restrictive laws pertaining to the incitement of racial and religious hatred. Under the BNP, it would be perfectly acceptable to hate your neighbour. Oh, and it might also be necessary to burn crucifixes in his garden, pre-repatriation.
Under the BNP, all immigration would cease. With one exception. Germans. Or as the manifesto has it, legitimate refugees fleeing 'persecution and war from neighbouring countries only'. We think they mean Germans. And at a push, tooled-up Danes. Under the BNP, thrilling new fascistic euphemisms would be coined for our guilty delectation, such as offering immigrants and their families 'firm but voluntary incentives to return home'.
Under the BNP, the planet's 6,800 distinct languages and cultures would be preserved. Without the BNP these 6,800 distinct languages and cultures would be reduced to less than 800 indistinct bags of effluent by the end of this century. The BNP would avert this 'worldwide catastrophe' by utilising 'a powerful new intellectual approach'. To wit, the abolition of multi-culturalism. The moral being, if you love something, get it away from our lynch-happy hands.
Under the BNP, paedophiles, terrorists and drug dealers, as well as murderers who were 'caught red-handed', would all be put to death; modern art would be vilified; burglars would be shot; Kosher and Halal food would be illegal; troops would patrol Kentish borders hoping to bag a gutsy Gyppo and quality education would not be wasted on the doltish.
There is rather a lot more, but those are the best bits. What perhaps isn't clear from this summary is that, in toning down their SS fantasies and learning how to couch their National Socialism in citizen-friendly terms, the BNP have actually come rather a long way from when Griffin addressed a Ku Klux Klan rally in Texas just a few short years ago. There he spoke of making fascism more palatable. 'The British National Party isn't about selling out its ideas, which are your ideas too, but we are determined now to sell them, and that means basically to use the saleable words, as I say: freedom, security, identity, democracy. Nobody can criticise them.'
Disconcertingly, for all the rancid sick-making idiocy of the BNP, there is also a lot which, if taken at face value, sounds highly desirable. For example, free mortgages for doctors and nurses; the abolition of tuition fees, the re-introduction of apprenticeships; worker-ownership schemes in industry; the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and the removal of foreign military bases from Britain; the abolition of income tax; the introduction of a permanent 66% plebiscite.
What this means of course, is that the country's most repellent political force is also one of the few parties with any radical or interesting political ideas. What we really need to ensure then, is that there are lots of viable, exciting alternatives to the BNP.