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RUDDOCK MUST REFUSE ENTRY TO BRITISH RACIST AGITATOR

 14th August 1998

The Member for Kingsford-Smith and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurie Brereton, today called on the Howard Government to ban the entry to Australia of Mr Nick Griffin, a leading figure of the neo-fascist British National Party (BNP).

"At a time when Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party is fuelling community division and conflict, the planned visit to Australia of a prominent racist agitator for a public speaking tour organised by the extreme-right National Action Party can only incite conflict and violence", Mr Brereton said.

"Nick Griffin is an notorious neo-fascist with a track-record of inciting racial vilification. He should not be allowed to set one foot in Australia. The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Ruddock, must make it absolutely clear that Mr Griffin will not be allowed to sow the seeds of hatred and violence in our country."

News of Mr Griffin's planned speaking tour of Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney was recently posted on National Action's internet home page. Committed to resist what it describes as 'the devious plans of the international socialists to turn Australia into a mongol serfdom', National Action has long been implicated in racial vilification and violence. National Action skinheads have formed an informal 'praetorian guard' outside Pauline Hanson's One Nation rallies and meetings.

National Action's guest has been at the heart of the extreme right in the United Kingdom since the mid 1970s. Mr Griffin is a former chairman of the ultra-right National Front and is now a leading figure in the racist British National Party. Mr Griffin's far right, anti-Semitic and racist views are well documented. Like the notorious anti-semitic historian David Irving, Griffin denies that the Holocaust took place. His virulent anti-Semitism is also manifest in his declared belief that British Labour's election victory is part of a global Jewish conspiracy. According to Griffin, 'Blair's administration, Tony Blair's whole campaign is financed by Jews.'

An advocate of 'well-directed boots and fists' as a source of political power, Mr Griffin has declared that 'a few nooses outside the House of Commons would not go amiss'. Last year he was reported as saying 'it is more important to control the streets of a city than its council chamber' and that 'when the crunch comes, power is the product of force and will, not rational debate'.

Mr Griffin has been quick to encourage the racist right in Australia. In an article in the BNP's journal Spearhead in January 1997, he warmly endorsed the likes of Graeme Campbell and Denis McCormack and attacked what he described as 'the relentless campaign to Asianise Australia' orchestrated by 'left-wing agitators, motivated by ideology and ethno-masochism, and big business, motivated by a desire to hold down wages and open new markets'.

Like National Action, the British National Party is an openly racist party. The BNP advocates a total ban on non-white immigration to the United Kingdom and repatriation or resettlement of all non-whites to make 'Britain ... once again a white country'. Pauline Hanson's infamous first speech in Parliament is reproduced on the BNP's internet home page with the enthusiastic endorsement that she 'did the unspeakable -- she stood up and spoke up for her own race'.

Significantly it is also a matter of record that Mr Griffin has recently been the subject of successful prosecution under the United Kingdom's Race Relations Act. Griffin was charged after British police seized copies of his magazine The Rune, which among other things contained an article referring to non-whites as 'mongrel slaves'. Found guilty by a jury in May this year of inciting racial hatred, he was given a nine-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay A32,300 costs.

"Mr Griffin's planned visit to Australia is a further demonstration of the close affinities and links between far-right political groups -- affinities and links which must be subjected to very close scrutiny", Mr Brereton said. "Encouraged by the Howard Government's failure to unambiguously confront the rise of racial intolerance, National Action has enlisted Mr Griffin to promote its racist and violent agenda."

"Griffin is clearly a person who has no place in Australia's tolerant and multicultural society."

"In view of his conviction for inciting racial hatred and the likelihood that his planned visit will generate discord and violence, there is a compelling case for Griffin to be denied entry to Australia. The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs has the statutory power under Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 to refuse him a visa. This power was used to exclude David Irving. Mr Griffin is in the same category."

"Mr Griffin should be immediately informed that he is not welcome in Australia. If he persists in applying for a visa, his application should be denied without hesitation."

"Firm action against Mr Griffin would deny National Action a significant opportunity to publicise its deeply offensive and divisive views. It would ensure Mr Griffin has no opportunity to incite racial vilification and violence. Refusal to grant Mr Griffin a visa would also send a very important message to Pauline Hanson's One Nation."

"On Monday this week, Pauline Hanson's adviser and prospective New South Wales Senate candidate, David Oldfield, was revealed as describing himself as a national socialist -- an appellation applicable to both National Action and the British National Party. Any serious campaign against racism must include a very blunt and direct message to One Nation that racists and national socialists -- Nazis whether imported or home-grown -- have no place in Australian political life. Minister Ruddock must not hesitate to do what is right."

The text of Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 is attached.

Contact: Philip Dorling (02) 6277 4717 or 0416 203 058
Migration Act 1958 (extract)

Section 501 Special power to refuse or to cancel visa or entry permit

(1) The Minister may refuse to grant a visa to a person, or may cancel a visa that has been granted to a person, if:
(a) subsection (2) applies to the person; or
(b) the Minister is satisfied that, if the person were allowed to enter or to remain in Australia, the person would:
(i) be likely to engage in criminal conduct in Australia; or
(ii) vilify a segment of the Australian community; or
(iii) incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community; or
(iv) represent a danger to the Australian community or to a segment of that community, whether by way of being liable to become involved in activities that are disruptive to, or violence threatening harm to, that community or segment, or in any other way.

This subsection applies to a person if the Minister:

(a) having regard to:
(i) the person's past criminal conduct; or
(ii) the person's general conduct;
is satisfied that the person is not of good character; or
(b) is satisfied that the person is not of good character because of the person's association with another person, or with a group or organisation, who or that the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe has been or is involved in criminal conduct.

(3) The power under this section to refuse to grant a visa to a person, or to cancel a visa that has been granted to a person, is in addition to any other power under this Act, as in force from time to time, to refuse to grant a visa to a person, or to cancel a visa that has been granted to a person.


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