As Nick Griffin prepares a potential comeback his enemies may be preparing to merge
Let’s begin with some good news for the Cumbrian holiday-let industry, with the result of the British National Party (BNP) leadership election.
With allegations about financial and constitutional mismanagement not (publicly) aired during the contest, it came down to a simple joust between a disgraced and absent former schoolteacher (Adam Walker), the party leader, and the most un-dynamic party apparatchik, David Furness.
Nobody should be surprised that Walker won the election. According to the party, some 469 votes were cast and seven ballots were spoiled. Walker was declared the winner of the election with 308 (62.5%) of votes in his favour. How Denise Underwood voted- if at all, is unknown.
Of course, as Furness did remark to the party faithful in London, there was little surprise at the outcome. What with Walker holding up to 800 ‘Lifetime’ memberships and a series of proxy memberships, he did not even have to bother electioneering- let alone responding to the bizarre video Furness put out to support his campaign.
Whispers abound that what is now left of the British National Party membership are pursuing a common cause with potential splitters’ from ‘For Britain’ – the BNP/UKIP lowbred splinter led by the comical Anne Marie Waters.
Despite Waters’ having lots of low-life but high profile ‘friends’, the grumblings by some inside For Britain are the party is little more than a vehicle for conspiracy theorists, sycophants and Gin addicts-not fit for the purpose of superseding UKIP and the BNP. It is increasingly obvious to some inside For Britain the party that it is more interested in chasing coattails for cash than it is in leading any sort of serious ethno- nationalist electoral revival.
We’ve been reporting for months on this growing discontent inside For Britain. The election of two councillors at the recent local elections did little to placate the frustrations of former BNP members in the party growing more exasperated by its structural and organisational shortcomings. According to one insider, a faction led by Eddy Butler the former BNP election supremo based in Essex, is increasingly scathing of the party leader. Butler is allegedly frustrated by issues related to policy, organisation, electoral literature and structures. And that leader Anne Marie Walters steadfastly refuses to name who the party’s mysterious Chairman is.
The recent election to council of For Britain’s former BNP member Julian Leppert in Epping Forest gave strength to Butler’s hand but it was similarly tempered by the election of relative newcomer and Waters’ loyalist Karen King in Hartlepool.
Butler’s frustration is understandable. He is credited (by himself, mainly) with steering Nick Griffin to dump conspiracy theories about the Holocaust and the Illuminati and to take control of and mainstream the BNP in the late 1990’s. Although that relationship is forever irredeemable, Butler has previously enjoyed the benefits and pitfalls of a properly run party under Griffin. Life under Waters’ isn’t even a poor imitation of life under John Tyndall. Butler hankers for a serious leader with serious intent.
Rumours surfaced after the BNP leadership election that the Electoral Commission had rejected ‘Britain Forward’ as the name of a potential new political party. If true, it may have been the first shot in launching a merged chunk of For Britain with London BNP. There are certainly feet itching and jackboots aching in despair that any electoral opportunity for British fascists are evaporating and those left with holding the torch- like the National Front (NF), Britain First and For Britain are woefully incompetent and politically inadequate.
Overtures by the National Front in recent months about a merger with some BNP branches have been rejected and laughed at outright. Although the London BNP were open to the idea of moving to or forming a new political party, the NF’s principal two buffoons’ Tony Martin and Jordan Pont were the stumbling block to any serious discussions.
For London BNP it is their former member Eddy Butler’s continuing electioneering that most attracts them. The BNP has around seventy members in London and the South East who could join any merger.
What adds urgency is that looming on the horizon is the rumour that former BNP leader Nick Griffin will try to fill a serious electoral and political void by launching a new political party of his own next month. Griffin is due to speak at a ten year anniversary celebration of his election to the European Parliament in St Helens late in September. The meeting has been moved from its original location of Blackpool because organisers fear the meeting could be attacked not (just) by antifascists, but also other fascists.
The prospect of Griffin relaunching his political career would certainly cause a stir. People close to him are refusing to deny it is his intention to re-enter politics and this has made the ‘Unity’ brigade desperate to unify against him. Griffin’s desire has apparently been emboldened after English Defence League (EDL) founder Stephen Lennon (standing as ‘Tommy Robinson’) failed so miserably trying to win his former seat in this year’s Euro Elections.
Griffin may have once been Britain’s most successful far-right leader but to many former BNP members he is and remains anathema. Although the meeting in St Helens is to commemorate he and Andrew Brons being elected to the European Parliament, many of those who contributed to Griffin’s political rise view the subsequent personal failings, penchant for nepotism and poor financial judgment as the cause of their subsequent ostracisation from politics.
Griffin’s speech will be an attempt to galvanise those left distraught by their complete and utter demise. The meeting will also be conspicuous by the very notable absences of many of the formerly high profile fascists like Eddy Butler, Mark Collett, Andrew Brons, Richard Edmonds, Simon Darby Jim Dowson and Clive Jefferson who helped put Griffin and the BNP into Strasbourg ten years ago.
Since being bundled out of the BNP in 2014 Griffin had made it clear (as have others) that electioneering and going to the ballot box is worthless. He has also occasionally called for far-right street movements to agitate rather than kow-tow to the electorate. This has lessened since he was part-credited when this degenerated into extreme violence and terrorism.
While many of Griffin’s former comrades share his stated analysis that the electoral process is bankrupt, other former comrades of Griffin do not. Those who took shelter post-BNP in the ‘Forums’ remain wholly suspicious of electoral politics and Griffin in particular, whilst the likes of former BNP elections officer Eddy Butler, remain committed and addicted to electioneering and keeping Griffin sidelined and ostracised.
What determines how former and the few current remaining BNP members feel about the electoral process since the BNP’s demise in 2010 would tend to be determined by how much weight the great conspiracies against parliamentary democracy the likes of Griffin and Larry Nunn espouse hold with them. Nunn has certainly enjoyed little success rallying against the electoral process in favour of building white man’s castles in the sand.
Butler’s persistence with electioneering initially saw him take an estimated 400 former BNP members into the English Democrats after a brief dalliance with the National Front after leaving the BNP. Butler has persisted with trying to find another ‘Griffinesque’ project and failed.
Griffin may have been an exponent of street movements since he quit British politics in 2014, but he has found little comfort from the quality of the movements produced, similarly to Butler’s failure to find an electoral home.
Like Butler, Griffin is a detractor of the likes of Stephen Lennon, but he goes much further in projecting his distaste. Griffin finds the politics of groups like the English Defence League and Britain First a degenerate and wasted opportunity for the sort of racial and ideological politics he expected to materialise in his absense.
This is the case with his aggravating former protégé Paul Golding. Golding drags Britain First from one high profile embarrassment to another. His bin bag in one hand and ballot box in the other strategy initially interested and excited Griffin, but last year he withdrew his interest and his born-again best friend Jim Dowson, revoking all interest and guidance offered to the project.
Having failed to dictate a great revival in his popularity from outside the country [rather like Mosley], Griffin will take centre stage in St Helens as still the most successful and still the most despised fascist leader the far-right in Britain ever produced. In the 1980’s he radicalised the National Front to near extinction and by 1999 had modernised the British National Party to the cusp of a political breakthrough. He’ll take to the stage to face some two hundred people that still view him as a Messiah who almost delivered for them. It is because of that (realistically) modicum of success that there are still numerous Facebook pages dedicated to his thoughts and his politics.
For serious British neo-Nazis and fascists, Boris Johnson saying racist things and wanting out of the European Union are viewed merely as a pressure valve to hold off the inevitable race war. Boris Johnson may be uncomplimentary about Muslim women, but he has never once (like Griffin and the BNP) suggested putting Holocaust Revisionism on the national curriculum.