The online publication of the full membership list of the BNP with addresses, comments and other contact details provides an unaccustomed level of precision in politics. Behind the lists of bland English surnames on the spreadsheet, we have a precise cartography of the purveyors of hate dotted across the country. Now in our hands is concrete proof of the small, yet significant, hold of organised fascism throughout Britain.
I did what everyone else did: I scoured the list for the places where I had lived in England and where my family and friends live. Though necessary - the left needs to know the identity of these people - there is something unpleasant in this kind of voyeurism. The snooping resembles the searches in Eastern Europe to discover which neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances were informers. Vile though the ideas and purposes of these British fascists certainly are, we are nonetheless invading the privacy of neighbours who have personally done us no harm.
The key issue, though, is clear. The information is now in the public domain and the left needs it in the struggle against fascism.