July 01, 2008
Posted by Antifascist
Auty, a councillor since 2006, was formerly one of Nick Griffin's blue-eyed boys, particularly after he irritated the Muslim MP for Dewsbury Shahid Malik by singing a song outside his contituency office claiming that the Dewsbury district, mainly populated by the Asian community, was rife with drug dealers and paedophiles. Though he was reported to the Standards Board for England, the Board eventually cleared him, leaving him free to continue singing his rubbish and playing with the ghastly Red Claire, a band that includes the repulsive Bradford BNP councillor Paul Cromie.
Up to this time, Auty had provided much of the 'music' that was sold by the dire Great White Records (GWR), though his popularity with the Griffinites in the BNP was about to be tested when he gave his clear backing to the dissident side in the December 2007 rebellion. Indeed, he was one of more than sixty party members to add his name to a blog set up by a group using the name The Real BNP, which was simply a front for Sadie Graham, Steve Blake, Kenny Smith et al.
Auty announced that he would be challenging Griffin for the leadership of the party on May 2nd and was almost instantly attacked by the lunatic excuse for a legal advisor to the BNP, Lee Barnes. Describing Auty as, among other things, a 'puupet' (a word that has no meaning in any language and apparently only exists inside Barnes' very odd head), Barnes stated in a letter to the membership that the Auty challenge was 'illegal' under party rules and that anyone who supported it would be 'tried for conspiracy and treason'.
That the BNP was desperate to fend off this challenge using any means possible was made clear by this threatening statement in Barnes' letter:
'Anyone who has already signed or is thinking of signing or intending to sign the nomination forms for Colin Autty will be suspended from Party membership pending an internal dispclinary tribunal where members will be tried for conspiracy and treason as per the Constitutition Section 6. (3) Section 7 – failure to use the correct channels to express concerns, 8 - spreading false and malicious rumours about Party officials and members, and behaviour likely to bring the Party into disrepute. Those found guilty of conspiracy and treason will be expelled from the Party and proscibred for life.'
This appalling missive was followed a week later by another, this time sent out to those the party considered to be activists (branch fundholders, chairs, organisers and so on) from Eddy Butler, the party's National Elections Officer, who described Auty in no uncertain terms as a 'joke candidate' and a 'no-hoper', warning that if the challenge went ahead;
'There will be pressure, perhaps unstoppable pressure, to change the rules so that leadership challenges can only take place every four years.'
By the end of May, it was clear that the Auty campaign was in trouble. Some of the rebels had been expelled while others were backing down under pressure and returning to the fold. Discussion of the challenge was banned on the BNP's own forum and Stormfront, the forum for the many nazis in the BNP's ranks, was awash with anti-Auty propaganda - much of it instigated by a character calling himself 'Walk towards the light' (Lee Barnes).
Auty was denied a platform of any kind at any branch. Even his singing engagements were cancelled (though that might just have been because his songs are crap and he sounds like a cross between Tiny Tim and George Formby). He was even denied access to the membership to campaign for his signatures on the dubious grounds that to allow him access to the list would be a breach of the Data Protection Act, which didn't seem to stop the anti-Auty letters from Barnes and Butler going out.
Since the end of May, virtually nothing much has happened on the three pro-Auty sites except for the odd post that served no purpose - until a week and a half ago, that is, when Auty obviously realised that his campaign was doomed unless he spoke out. This he did, with a vengeance, branding Nick Griffin as ruthless and desperate, and as a crook and a liar. We wouldn't disagree with any of those epithets.
In a spectacular post, which should really have kicked off his campaign for it to have succeeded, Auty ripped into Griffin, referring to his 'shady and downright deceitful dealings', his habit of 'concocting lies about [his enemies] concerning financial irregularities' and how the rest of the Advisory Council (the BNP's toothless ruling body) would 'very often sit in silence through fear of becoming the next victim'.
Auty made it clear that money is Griffin's only driving factor, that 'the books are always cooked' and ended by referring to Griffin as a 'totalitarian'.
Too little, too late.
Late last night, Roger Robertson, Auty's campaign manager, laid it on the line.
'I regret to inform those members and supporters of the BNP that, this evening, 30th June, after consultation with Colin, we have acknowledged that there will not be a challenge to Nick Griffin's leadership in 2008.
It is extremely disappointing that the challenge fell short by just a few signatures; a major factor being that many members have failed to renew their 2008 subscriptions plus the fact that the churn rate of the membership precludes many who do not have the requisite 2 years qualification to become a voting member.
Colin was the ideal candidate to lead our Party out of the wilderness after 9 years of stultifying slow growth under the present Chairman.
I will not here dilate upon the reasons for the challenge to Nick Griffin's leadership. This will come next week after my 'tribunal' on 6th July when I become an ex-member of the BNP.
Suffice it to say that both Colin and myself wish to thank most sincerely those nearly 90 people who had the courage to put their names to Colin's nomination.
We may well have lost the first skirmish but the battle for a democratic BNP is far from over.
Ed - The names of those who did sign will not be disclosed to Griffin or any of his stooges, as we do not want to see another internal bloodbath of dedicated nationalists.
Colin Auty has the nomination forms and they will be staying with Colin - he will not put them to the sword of the hierarchy. This is a sad day for internal democracy - how can we convince the public that we are committed to democratic elections when internally the current leadership seem allergic to them?'
No great surprises there but a couple of things pop up out of the letter as being of rather more than passing interest, the main one being the comment regarding the fact that 'many members have failed to renew their 2008 subscriptions'.
This fits in with what we and other anti-fascist groups are being told is the case - that the BNP is haemorrhaging members far faster than it can sign them up, something that might explain the increasing number and increasingly desperate tone of the begging letters that are constantly sent out to a weary membership. I spoke to a former member by phone last night who informed me that he and his partner had received no less than FOUR in the past few days. As he says, no joke when you're only just managing to survive yourself.
The other remarkable comment in this letter is the reason the Auty team will refuse to hand over the nomination forms. As Robertson puts it, 'we do not want to see another internal bloodbath of dedicated nationalists...[Auty] will not put them to the sword of the hierarchy'. Fear, it seems, is a major factor in the modern British National Party - a party that continually (and laughably) claims to be the most democratic party that exists.
We shall watch Colin Auty's continuing career in the BNP and as a BNP councillor with great interest, though not, we suspect, for long.