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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Nazis in the Neighbourhood

Following the leak of yet another BNP "membership" list I thought it would be fun to try and find out something about the social demography of our homegrown Nazis. What follows should be hedged around with a sackful of caveats. Most importantly the 2009 "membership" list may not be a membership list at all, though there seems to be less doubt about the authenticity of the 2007 figures. There is also rather little individual level information in the leaked lists that can help us draw a portrait of the average wannabe brownshirt. There is however a precise postcode for almost every name with an address in the UK. This means that we can assign them to one of the 18 ACORN groups http://www.caci.co.uk/ACORN/pclookup.asp beloved of all those firms that stuff our letter boxes full of junk mail (sorry, I meant to write - enrich our consumption experience by making us aware of additional life-style options). Being fastidious I should point out that the ACORN labels apply to the households in the geographical areas defined by the postcodes rather than the individuals themselves. But this is a blog not an academic paper so I'll cut myself a little linguistic slack. What strikes me about these numbers is that leaving aside their unhinged political opinions, socio-demographically your typical British Nazi isn't particularly distinctive when compared to the whole of the British population. They are a bit less likely to be wealthy executives, prosperous professionals or educated urbanites - rich, suave and sophisticated don't seem to be terms that are commonly used by the press to describe Nick Griffin. They are also a bit less likely to be living in asian communities which given their policy preferences is scarcely revelatory. Blue-collar roots and settled suburbanity are a little more common than average as is the burden of singledom (given their views is it surprising nobody loves them?). Overall though, BNP members look remarkably similar to you and me and that makes me think twice about the bloke living down my road with the rather retro taste in short upper-lip facial hair.

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