Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fearing Foreign Blood at the Kennel Club?

The BNP's Nick Griffin is seen wearing a Kennel Club BNP rosette.

I was at coffee some weeks back, editing a magazine piece I have tentatively entitled The Kennel Club Fears Foreign Blood.

You will have to wait until that piece comes out, but suffice it to say that the blood in question is CANINE blood.

That said, the article in question does detail the connection between Adolph Hitler's Lebensborn plan, created in 1935, and a book published in 1934 and written by celebrated dog man Leon F. Whitney, who was head of the American Eugenics Society.

In his book, Whitney suggested that the sterilization of 10 million "defective" Americans would be a good start, and he praised the work of Adolph Hitler who was already headed down that road in Germany.

Hitler not only read Whitney's book -- he sent him a fan letter!

Whitney liked dog shows, and he thought the idea had great promise for people too, going so far as to hold "Fitter Family" contests at state fairs across the U.S. as a way of showcasing eugenics theories.

I was writing down this little story when I remembered that a while back a list of British National Party members had been leaked to the press. Hmmm.... I wondered if anyone from the Kennel Club was on the list?

Now, for those wondering, the British National Party is a far-right, whites-only political party in the United Kingdom. The constitution of the group says the organization is "committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948."

In short, this is not an organization that simply wants to restore "order at the border" and put an end to illegal immigration. This is an affirmatively racist organization that puts skin color front and center.

No big deal, I suppose.

Skinheads, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, biggots and haters of one stripe or another exist from one end of the world to another. BNP members are simply a variation on a theme.

That said, I got to wondering: Was anyone associated with the Kennel Club on the British National Party membership list?

A quick Google search found the list over at WikiLeaks, and a quick scan found that Ronnie Irving, the Kennel Club's Chairman is not listed (very good), nor is Lord Graham Kirkham, the owner of DFS furniture and the sponsor of DFS Crufts (also very good).

What about Caroline Kisko? She's the Kennel Club's spokesperson, and the only other name I knew off the top of my head without doing a Google search.

Nope, she's not in there either.

But her husband is.

Click to enlarge.

What did that mean?

I had no idea.

Perhaps Chris Kisko simply signed up to get on the information list, and is actually an underscover agent infiltrating the British National Party on behalf of MI5.

Perhaps Chris Kisko abhors the most extreme parts of the British National Party, but thinks having an organization on the far right helps counter those on the far left.

Hard to know.

For the record, I do not think anyone can seriously argue that the U.S. and the U.K. do not need immigration reform. We cannot afford to take in all the world's displeased and dispossesed, and we really ought to stop trying.

But voicing support for "order at the border" is a far cry from signing up for a far-right whites-only political party, isn't it?

I would hope so!

Now, to be fair, the Kennel Club is not Caroline Kisko, and Caroline Kisko is not Chris Kisko. And to be equally fair, Chris Kisko has the right to free thought, free speech, and free association.

That said, it's odd that out of a U.K. population of 60 million people, and a British National Party list of 10,000, I could check just three names associated with the Kennel Club and find a hit.

What are the odds of that? By my rough calculation, about one in 2,000.

So what did I do with my information?

Nothing. Not a thing.

I sat on it, and it went nowhere. Then, this morning, I discover that this same information has turned up in The London Times. It seems Kennel Club Chairman Ronnie Irving has been asked about the politics of The Kennel Club's chief spokesperson and he assures us that:

“Mrs Kisko is not and has never been a member of the BNP and does not share its views.”


Caroline Kisko is not a member of the British National Party. Hear that! Anyone who was wondering about such a thing, can now rest assured.

Her husband? A booming silence there, but let's overlook that. There is a right to free speech and free association. The Kennel Club is not Caroline Kisko, and Caroline Kisko is not Chris Kisko. And Chris Kisko, just to set it straight, has every right to be a member of the racist British National Party if he wants.

And we, of course, have every right to loathe every part of that, and to see the clear historical connections at play in the Kennel Club, where selection for coat color is prime, where sterilization of the imperfect is still the watchword, and where a fear of "foreign" blood requires the breeding of dogs in a closed registry.

It's all about messaging.

So how did Chris Kisko's membership in the BNP come up in the press? It seems that Ofcom -- an "oh you got your feelings hurt" emotional salve unique to Britain -- decided to hold back their review of Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

What seems to be the problem? Hard to know exactly, but from what I can gather, it seems that Ofcom reviewer Kath Worrall is a former Kennel Club show judge.


The Ofcom reviewer is a former Kennel Club show judge?! How the hell did that happen?

Surely the management of Ofcom could see a problem there? Did the BBC know? Did the BBC and Ofcom not understand how far up the backside of the Kennel Club you have to be to be a Kennel Club judge?

Of course, there is more.

It seems this former Kennel Club judge was not willing to give weight to all the evidence submitted by the BBC. She rather imperiously decided that it was "too late for the truth" and never mind getting all the facts.

Of course the BBC went supernova at that, and on the eve of a ruling in which 17 of the 20 complaints were tossed out, the BBC sent some sort of barnburner of a letter to Ofcom about the last three.

The result? Ofcom decided to pull back and take a second look at how the game was being played within their own organization.

Broadcast Now reports that:

BBC sources claimed Ofcom asked “odd” questions in its call for evidence, and then would not allow the corporation to submit any additional material which would have supported its argument. They also raised concerns that Ofcom’s Kath Worrall oversaw both the initial complaint and the appeals process as a member of the media regulator’s content board as well as chair of its fairness committee.

“They got the same person to be judge and jury. It took a record time for Ofcom to rule on and there was an unprecedented level of protest to Ofcom, right up until the last minute,” a source said.

According to Broadcast Now, things are now sufficiently wrapped around the axle that "It is understood has Ofcom restructured its appeals process following the complaints."

And what has the Kennel Club said to all this?

Well, they are none too happy! In fact, Kennel Club Chairman Ronnie Irving has said that he and the Kennel Club have "have to admit a loss of confidence in the Ofcom complaints process."


I would have to agree that the whole thing is a shambles.

But you know what is not a shamble?

Simple: Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

Go ahead and watch the whole thing at this link, and judge for yourself.

And know this: From everything I read in the newspapers, no one has suggested a single thing was gotten wrong in this documentary. The core charges are that that two dog breeders got their feelings hurt.

What? Two dog breeders got their feelings hurt? Poor things!

And the third charge?

Well, believe it or not, the third charge is that a comparison between dog breeding and Nazi eugenics might be over-wrought.

Hmmmm . . . . Really?

Considering the history here -- old and new -- perhaps the Kennel Club might not want to open up that can of worms?

Just a suggestion. A word to the wise is generally sufficient.

Now to be clear, no one is bashing the Kennel Club about what they did in 1873 or 1880 or 1910, or even 1930.

The Kennel Club is being bashed for what it continues to do today, which is warmly embrace eugenics theories based on a closed registry system that elevates to prime importance such useless attributes as coat and nose color, while kicking to the curb such vital issues as health and working ability.

That is the indictment.

And on that charge, the Kennel Club stands 100 percent guilty.

No comments: