The British National Party (BNP) today kicked off its General Election campaign with the launch of its new energy policy, with proposals to rename the National Grid the British National Grid, and to introduce a new energy tariff based upon ethnicity. “It’s only right that British people should get priority when it comes to energy needs,” BNP energy spokesperson John Twatter told a press conference. “Why should someone whose family goes back tens of generations in this country have to sit shivering, when some new immigrant a few doors away is roasting in their benefits-subsidised heating?” Twatter vehemently denies that his party’s new policy is in any way racist, arguing that the proposed ethnic energy tariffs are based upon sound scientific analysis. “Look, it stands to reason that people who come from warmer climes will feel the cold more and therefore use more energy heating their houses,” he explains. “Under our new tariff, the closer to the equator someone’s country of origin is, the more they’ll pay for gas and electricity. Now, it just happens that many of these people will be non-white, but that’s simply coincidental.” In an effort to emphasise that the new policy would, in no way, be based on colour, Twatter further explained that some ethnic groups would also face restrictions on the amount of energy they could use on a daily basis. “It’s a scientific fact – established, I believe by German scientists in the 1940s – that people from Eastern Europe, Poland and Russia, for instance, are able to withstand much lower temperatures than the rest of us,” he says. “Consequently, they quite obviously wouldn’t need as much heating as British people, so they would be allocated fewer units of gas and electricity, allowing us to prioritise our own people.” Amongst other suggestions for saving energy made in the policy launch was a proposal to subsidise ethnically British citizens to install specially modified wood-burning stoves. “They’re designed to use paper as a fuel, particularly if it is in the form of a book,” Twatter told journalists. “Naturally, we’ve prepared a list of books which are best burned on these stoves, which will be distributed to all users.”

The new energy policy is an integral component in the far right party’s attempt to politically reposition itself with the electorate. “For too long voters have seen us as a bunch of extreme rightwing loonies, peddling racism and neo fascism disguised as patriotism,” explains Horace Furkitt, the BNP’s parliamentary candidate for Regent’s Park. “we want to show them that we’re simply putting British citizens first, through scientifically formulated policies – unlike the other parties, whose manifestos are still dictated by ideological dogma.” Indeed, the party has even dropped its ‘whites only’ membership policy, although Furkitt denies this was the result of being threatened with prosecution under race relations and equality legislation. “Again, it was based upon scientific research, which had indicated to us that race was no barrier to bigotry,” claims the forty-three year old postal worker. “We were surprised to find that there are many British Asians, for instance, just as prejudiced against black people as we are, not to mention Africans who can’t stand West Indians and Pakistanis who detest Bangladeshis. There’s a whole world of untapped hate out there!” However, Furkitt concedes that, so far, there hasn’t been a flood of non-white bigots signing up with the party. “That’s not say that we aren’t multiracial in our makeup,” he says. “I believe that we have a chap standing for a council seat in Rutland whose grandmother was Welsh – some of them are a bit dark-looking, aren’t they? Oh, and there’s that nice Afro-Caribbean lady who does the cleaning at our London offices.” Cynics have suggested that the BNP’s new approach has actually been motivated by the Conservative Party’s recent lurch to the right, which has included allying itself with extreme right wing political parties in Europe, proposing anti-gay measures and the reinstatement of National Service for unemployed youngsters. “There’s no doubt that this ‘Cameron Youth’ thing they’ve come up with has thrown us a bit,” admits Furkitt. “Along with the ‘Broken Britain’ schtick they’ve been peddling for months now, it all sounds a bit close to Hitler’s claims that German society had been fractured by World War One and its aftermath, and that they needed to create new social structures to bind it back together . Structures like the ‘Hitler Youth’, for instance. We can’t compete with that sort of thing!”

The Conservatives have been quick to try and refute Furkitt’s allegations, dismissing any comparisons between the ‘Cameron Youth’ scheme and the ‘Hitler Youth’. “That’s absolutely ridiculous – our proposed youth scheme is entirely voluntary, and will include no military training or political indoctrination, although participants may receive advice on the most suitable artists to listen to on their iPods,” says Tory spokesperson Charles Fistington. “Mind you, it has to be said that the ‘Hitler Youth’ wasn’t as bad as people like to make out. After all, some of its members turned out all right, didn’t they? There’s one in the Vatican right now.” Fistington has also tried to play down allegations that its Home affairs spokesperson had endorsed anti-gay measures. “His comments were taken completely out of context, he was merely saying that hoteliers should have the right to refuse a room to anyone on moral grounds,” he says. “He most certainly didn’t mean to imply that Christian Bed and Breakfast owners should be able to discriminate against gay couples. And he most certainly didn’t say that under a Conservative government such couples would be easy to identify as they’d both be wearing pink triangles.” Despite the high profile launch of its energy policy, the BNP’s election campaign has so far been hampered by the non-appearance of its leader, Nick Griffin, who is rumoured to be hiding in an underground bunker in Essex, following an alleged plot to assassinate him. “It’s all been very disruptive,” says Horace Furkitt of the arrest of the BNP’s publicity director Mark Collett for allegedly threatening to kill Griffin. “It’s difficult to organise a campaign when you don’t know who to trust – clearly there are other plotters in the leadership, trying to derail Nick’s leadership.” Furkitt has rejected comparisons with the 1945 ’General’s Plot’ to assassinate Hitler, denying that Collett had attended a leadership meeting wearing a Nazi uniform, an eye patch and carrying a bomb in a briefcase. Some sources have suggested that the ‘plot’ against Griffin was actually a publicity stunt that backfired. “Collett got it badly wrong,” opines veteran anti-Nazi campaigner Jim Blowjug. “My information was that he was meant to be dressed as a Muslim cleric when he attacked Griffin, so that the whole thing would be blamed on Islamic fundamentalists, but he picked the wrong costume up from the dry cleaners.”