Having been listening to radio in the car for quite a while this morning, I see that a list has appeared online of the entire membership of the BNP (albeit out of date apparently). There are of course a couple of issues that arise from this.
The first is that the list is comprehensive and falls into the definition of "personal data" under the DPA which states that it "relate to a living individual who can be identified from those data". Having seen the list it includes, names, addresses, phone numbers and email address.
Had it just contained, for example, email addresses (assuming they were things like "email@example.com") it would still be a story but the legal data protection issues wouldn't be there in the same way. The same would be true if it was just a list of phone numbers as there would be no means of identifying who the number belonged to from the number alone so it wouldn't represent "personal data".
However, the fact that this was "personal data" under the law, it means that someone, somewhere is probably going to get into a lot of trouble about it if the BNP and/or Police can prove that the person they suspect did in fact do it. There has also been suggestions that the BNP may have implied violence toward the guilty party, although their leader Nick Griffin, on Radio 4, said this was not the case.
Having said all this though, the second issue is of more concern I think - and I hate to say it's an issue upon which I actually agree with what Nick Griffin said on Radio 4 - is that membership of the BNP bars people from certain jobs and people may lose their jobs now.
It should not be the case that being a member of the BNP stops someone being a civil servant when being a member of the Workers Revolutionary Party does not. Or, as Griffin pointed out, you are not barred if you're associated with a known jihadist type-organisation.
Those sort of "thought crimes" are worrying. Whether one finds the odious white power socialism of the BNP repulsive, or if they support Trotskyte revolution, they should not find themselves barred from working in particular jobs, if they're the best person for the job. I realise some might say it is politicall incompatible for a BNP member to be a Policeman. However, the same is true for a WRP member but we don't bar them.
Of course, it's worth noting that Griffin seems rather pleased that it has happened because the publicity of the BNP having a wide ranging membership and not just skinheads is positive for their image. I also notice that the members being spoken to by Radio 5, whilst annoyed, were not that bothered really.
Update: Croydonian has a post on the Economic League which used to maintain a list to stop leftists getting jobs. It was killed off by Labour quite rightly. Banning people from jobs for political ideas is wrong, howevre odious the ideas might be,