British generals criticize rightist party

Oct. 20, 2009 at 1:23 PM   |   0 comments

LONDON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The ultra-rightist British National Party is "hijacking the good name" of the British military, a group of retired generals say.

A letter signed by former British Army heads Gen. Sir Mike Jackson and Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt, as well as by former Chief of the Defense Staff Charles Guthrie and Major-General Patrick Cordingley, blasted BNP efforts to associate itself with the military, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

"We call on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain's military for their own advantage to cease and desist," the letter said. "The values of these extremists -- many of whom are essentially racist -- are fundamentally at odds with the values of the modern British military, such as tolerance and fairness."

Military leaders are reportedly frustrated that the BNP is allowed to portray itself as the party of patriots, borrowing military images and pictures of Winston Churchill.

The BNP was also hit with a leak of its complete membership list onto the Internet just as its leader, Nick Griffin, was to appear on BBC Television. He told The Times his party shared the values of the "old" British military, but not the new "PC (politically correct) British defense establishment."

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