It is a worrying development, but hardly a surprising one, that The Observer reports on a possible link between the far-right BNP and an anti-abortion group.

The newspaper claims that the BNP’s leader Nick Griffin and one of his closest deputies spent two days in talks with Ulster businessman James Dowson, the UK co-ordinator of Life League.

We should not not be taken aback that those who represent extreme views and attitudes should be drawn together. After all, they exist sufficiently far outside what passes for the “mainstream” of society – although these days I’m not entirely sure what that means – to have more than a few points of mutual interest.

The BNP has been using far more subtle recruitment techniques in recent years, enjoying a worrying level of success at times. Thankfully they can never fully escape the extremities of the far-right and that is why they still struggle for a significant foothold.

Forming any sort of coalition with other groups would open up a lot more opportunities than it currently has access to and as a result this latest development will be closely monitored by campaigners.

The biggest weapon of extreme groups like the BNP, however, remains our collective complacency.

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