April 08, 2008

Griffin seeks the Midas touch

Far-right activists posting on a popular nazi forum recently got hot under the collar about whether it was right for the British National Party to put on a management training course in Spain rather than in Britain, until the site administrators pulled the discussion thread. But as usual they did not even get close to the heart of the story.

On 19 February Michaela Mackenzie, who styles herself “BNP Administration Support” and works full-time for the party, emailed several key BNP officers to invite them to “the next wave of high level management training”. This would be arranged by “a professional management consultancy and training company”, which “uses a property in Spain as its main training base”.

Knowing this would raise questions among the xenophobic party’s members, Mackenzie, a former employee of the BBC in Bristol, explained it was cheaper to send people there than to hire suitable facilities in Britain. “It also gives us the chance to say ‘tahnk you’ [sic] to our key officials for all the hard work you put into pushing the party forwards.”

The course would run from 1 to 4 April, but those who could not make those dates might find places on an earlier course from 26 to 29 March.

The height of the council and Greater London Authority election campaign is a strange time to be taking activists away to say “thank you”, when the party is constantly appealing to members to help with canvassing and leaflet distribution. One of those on the course was Nick Eriksen, the BNP’s London organiser, whose name was removed from the list of Assembly candidates while he was abroad, after the Evening Standard exposed his despicable views on rape. He appears still to be the London organiser.

Some BNP supporters wondered why the course could not have been held in the barn on Nick Griffin’s farm, which he converted with the help of a loan of several thousands pounds from the party shortly after he became its leader. The party quickly wrote off the loan on the grounds that the building would be available for party functions free of charge.

It is a good point, but Searchlight was more interested in the company that was running the course. It certainly seemed professional, judging by a report in the BNP’s new quarterly fundraising magazine, Hope and Glory, which featured a picture of the first batch of participants, clutching their course certificates, who were dispatched to Spain in the second week of February.

“Some of the lessons are so simple that they’re blindingly obvious,” one of them declared, “but until you’re taught by an expert you just don’t see them. I was already working hard for the party, but now I know how to ‘work smart’ as well.”

It did not take long for Searchlight to establish that the organiser was a Belfast-based business called the Midas Consultancy, not to be confused with a number of other training and consultancy businesses using similar names, and that the training base was in Valencia on the Costa Blanca.

Last October Arthur Kemp, who in summer 2007 was entrusted with the ideological training of party activists, went to Belfast to meet James Dowson, a businessman, self-styled vicar and militant anti-abortion campaigner.

Kemp, who is also in charge of the party’s internet operations, had been preceded that spring by Griffin and Collett, who claimed they were trying to increase the BNP’s appeal among Catholics by highlighting their opposition to abortion. Searchlight ensured that their meeting with Dowson, the founder of the controversial LifeLeague, made the press, prompting condemnation from other anti-abortion campaigners.

The true purpose of these meetings was to develop a business relationship and enable the BNP to benefit from Dowson’s skills in fundraising and management, which he markets through the Midas Consultancy. Kenny Smith, then the BNP’s administration officer, accompanied Griffin and Collett to Belfast and claims that he set up the arrangement. Smith was expelled during the major internal crisis in the BNP in December and the party is now taking legal action against him and others for alleged misuse of party membership lists.

The first outcome was the professionalisation of the BNP’s fundraising efforts in the form of the Building to Grow appeal at the end of last year, which the BNP claimed had raised £70,000. It was this fund that, the BNP said, paid for the new Excalibur warehouse to house and distribute party merchandise and publications. Sending the glossy Hope and Glory as a thank you to donors and encouragement to potential donors follows the example of the many charities that send out free magazines to supporters.

The second outcome was the management training courses on which, according to Hope and Glory, regional organisers would “join central staff as we implement a policy of ‘cascading’ management skills down through the party”. Revealing that the training was closely linked to the BNP’s election strategy, it continued: “The aim of these initial steps is to ensure that the people running the BNP’s national and regional structures will be ready to cope with the big increase in popular support, new members and potential that will follow if we can break though in style in the May elections. This progress will in turn set us up for an even bigger push for seats in the European Elections next year.”

The first course took in Griffin, Simon Darby (deputy leader and press officer), Mark Collett (graphic designer), Dave Hannan (former deputy treasurer), Mark Clutterbuck (head of the Central Management Team), Jackie Griffin (the leader’s wife) and Mackenzie herself. The presence of the unpopular Collett and Hannam showed that the two, whose incompetence and arrogance provoked the December’s internal crisis, are still at the heart of the party leadership despite their ostensible demotions. Whether Dowson’s training has helped them remains to be seen.

Dowson is a former member of the Orange Lodge in Northern Ireland and has admitted involvement with hardline loyalist groups in the West of Scotland. He was reported to have been the organiser of a flute band in Cumbernauld which recorded a tape in honour of Michael Stone, a member of the terrorist Ulster Freedom Fighters.

Stone was jailed for attacking a Republican funeral in west Belfast, throwing hand grenades and firing at the mourners, including women and children. Three people were killed.

The LifeLeague, which is secretive about its finances, uses highly provocative tactics, such as publishing the home addresses of abortion clinic staff. Similar actions by anti-abortion groups in the US have resulted in the murder of doctors.

Police have described LifeLeague’s tactics as “akin to those of animal rights extremists” and the group has been investigated by the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit.

Dowson has denied that he is a far-right sympathiser, claiming to be a Christian Socialist. In October, he told The Observer: “I find the whole of the right-wing utterly ridiculous”. That was around the same time he was meeting Kemp to set up his relationship with the BNP.

Hope not Hate

14 comments:

Local BNP Nominating Officer exposed said...

About Michaela Mackenzie from The Bristol Blogger:

Local BNP Nominating Officer exposed (10 April 2007)

The Blogger learns that the BNP’s Nominating Officer for the UK is Bristol based. This key BNP official who is actively working with Bristol’s 3 local election candidates is:

Michaela Mackenzie
1 Chubb Close
Warmley
Bristol BS30 7BP

Michaela has some form in Bristol. The former executive for the BBC’s Natural History Unit and Labour Parish Councillor ran as a BNP candidate in the Euro elections in 2004.

This outspoken critic of the unelected bureaucrats of the European Union even attempted to sue the then Editor of Bristol Evening Post Mike Lowe using the European Convention on Human Rights after he said in an editorial she promoted policies which appealed to the “knuckle-dragging minority”.

The barking Nazi bitch wrote to Lowe: “The European Convention on Human Rights states that a person’s dignity is inviolable. You have violated my dignity.”

The nutter then threatened to organise a “mass leaflet drop across Bristol by our numerous activists” about the Evening Post.

Before concluding, “I am now seeking legal advice on proceeding against you personally” and called for a printed apology “by Tuesday at the latest”.

The Post politely told her to fuck off. There’s been no apology or court case as yet… Three years later!

Horrified said...

Collett and Hannam went? After this??? http://lancasteruaf.blogspot.com/2008/01/colletthannam-underage-girls-saga-gets.html

Anonymous said...

"The height of the council and Greater London Authority election campaign is a strange time to be taking activists away to say thank you"

Its a stupid time and you have to wonder why they thought it was such a great idea

Jumping Jack said...

Interesting line up, what official position does Jackie Griffin hold in the BNP or does just being wife of the leader gets you a ticket to Spain. How nice to see long serving BNP organisers and fundholders leapfrogged over by the leaders wife

Lee Jasper Barnacle said...

I want to go, I came up with the brialliant idea of management yraining and it was all my idea about the need for training of the management ranks of the ethno-nationalist movement. The fact that is was all my ideas means I am next on the list of delegates for the trip to Spain. I am not sure I am allowed of out of the country I refuse to submit to the bullying fascist state my details for a passport and I do not want to humilitate myself for one of these intrusive fascistic biology passports wqhich the fascist totalitariasists of the Brown Regime insist on all free born English men must have. The fact that I am semi literature and am a genuius hiding behind my weedsmoking facia with a law degree which has no value as I failed my legality conversation course means I must be on the list of deleagtes to go to Spain for thre next course which I will persoanlly be delviering. All hail to me I am closer to God than anyone else on the planet.

Antifascist said...

'I am closer to God than anyone else on the planet'

I wish you were, Mr B.

iliacus said...

"I am closer to God than anyone on the planet"


"Nearer my God to thee ......"

Wasn't that what the band was playing when the Titanic went down?

How appropriate for the BNP !

Flakey said...

Jumping Jack
"How nice to see long serving BNP organisers and fundholders leapfrogged over by the leaders wife"

I wouldnt want to see Jackie Griffin jumping anything thanks very much. Not a pretty sight.

And heaven help you if she actually landed on you

Anonymous said...

"I wouldnt want to see Jackie Griffin jumping anything thanks very much. Not a pretty sight.

And heaven help you if she actually landed on you"


I hear she's to drunk nowerdays to jump on anything.

Anonymous said...

This is all I can find about the Democratic Nationalist Party on the web: -

http://www.vote-2007.co.uk/index.php?action=profile;u=148;sa=showPosts

Who's in charge? Lewthwaite?

Alf said...

Police have described LifeLeague’s tactics as “akin to those of animal rights extremists”

I don't think much of that comparison. We've never murdered anyone - even when they deserved it.

webeatthebnp said...

" englandsfinest " over on SF has got TERRIBLY worked up about "filthy red scumbags" placing Ms Mackenzie's address in the public domain, and is urging people to pass info on "reds", especially in the Bristol area, to Red Watch.

Er, except as the BNP's Nominating Officer, Ms Mackenzie's identity is already in the public domain.

I am a Designated Nominating Officer - every other political party in the area knows, and knows who I am - and any member of the public has only to ask!

Idiots!

Anonymous said...

Please feel free to contact Powys Local Health Board (mansion house, bronllys, powys) and the Nursing and midwifery Council with examples of rascism from Jackie Griffin - a nurse employed by the trust - these must be verifiable i.e. in the public domain to say her conduct is unacceptable in nursing.

Example a quote fron the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/sep/21/uk.thefarright

This was evident at a party meeting last Friday in Preston when Jackie Griffin, mother of four children, smoothly bought a discussion about education round to race.

Articles like this, from the guardian will do.

'The education of our children is something that this party is particularly anxious about,' she said. 'I live in a tiny village in Wales where the local school has 100 students.

'Even in the middle of nowhere, there are three mixed race children in that school,' she added, to gasps of outrage from the assembled gathering. 'It's terrible. Disgusting. Talk about the tide climbing higher and higher; there's nowhere left to escape; we've no choice now but to stand and fight.'

Not at all at odds with the Nursing and midwifery Councils policy on Equality and Diversity.
see below -

Equality and Diversity

The NMC values the diversity of our staff, nurses and midwives and the wider community we serve. Our passion and drive is for this diversity to be reflected in everything we do.

The Equality and Diversity department provides practical guidance and help for NMC employees, helping them meet the legal requirements and also to understand the wider issues of equality and diversity.

Through our equality schemes we aim to demonstrate how we provide equality of opportunity in all areas of our work.

Valuing diversity is

* valuing people
* recognising them for their skills, experience and talent
* treating them fairly irrespective of race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief and gender

This goes beyond merely complying with the legislation and ultimately improves the performance of our organisation.

Contact them too with your views on her conduct and meeting their policies and 'core values'.

I have......

Enjoy

Tess said...

Dowson is a former family friend, who bragged constantly about how he spent his charities funds on refurbishing his house etc, once even making the comment that "a charity is a good way to make a living - especially one you set up yourself, theres nobody to regulate where the donations go." Hes disgusting, any info needed on him - drop me a line.