cover image Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain's Far Right

Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain's Far Right

Daniel Trilling. Verso (Norton, dist.), $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-84467-959-1

Chronicling the rise of anti-immigrant, ultra-right-wing parties in the United Kingdom and the changing fortunes of the British National Party (BNP), Trilling's book offers a compelling analysis of the racist fringe. While his jumpy structure isn't always effective, Trilling, an assistant editor at the New Statesman, offers a more or less coherent history of the rise of the BNP from the ashes of the old National Front and other explicitly fascist parties, the organization's increase in popularity, and its eventual fall. In addition, he chronicles how the BNP was usurped by other, more openly violent organizations such as the anti-Islamic English Defence League. The book's chief contribution is to show how groups like the BNP exploit white fears about immigration and multiculturalism, blaming South Asians and other ethnic groups for the shortage of jobs and housing and the general failures of the British government. Starting with local activism, the BNP curried influence in working-class and rural communities, where disillusionment was readily convertible into racist backlash. In his useful appendix, Trilling insightfully rebuts the most common claims made by far-right activists, offering neat refutations of such myths as the idea that white people are the victims of institutional racism in the U.K. (Oct.).