Some time ago we remarked that in the 25 year history of the British National Party only two leadership elections had ever taken place, and that only one of them could be described as a relatively fair contest.
That long-plotted election saw Nick Griffin unseat BNP founder John Tyndall in a campaign notable for its rank dishonesty, and during which Griffin (largely responsible for the destruction of the National Front) openly threatened that a Tyndall win would “lead inevitably to a most disastrous split”.
The second leadership election came eight years and several self-serving constitutional changes later - years of ruthless purging and disruption by a leader beset with accusations of financial mismanagement.
It was, as we know, anything but a fair contest, the terms on which it was fought laid down by the incumbent Griffin, who shamelessly appointed his own man as Returning Officer, and then proceeded against challenger Chris Jackson's campaign in his habitually odious style of threat, smear, vilification and disinformation. And when Griffin inevitably won his Mugabe-esque victory the purging began.
In the aftermath Griffin spoke of changes to come in his infamously deranged "vermin, liars and thieves" blog post, but never quite got around to making them - unsurprisingly, with the BNP apparently insolvent at the time according to figures coming into our possession some weeks ago, and the Decembrist revolt brewing in the background.
Two would-be challengers came forward in the spring, Kirklees councillor Colin Auty's doomed campaign perhaps best expressing how widely discontent with Nick Griffin's leadership has spread on the so-called moderate wing of the party; while - incomprehensibly - hard-liner Chris Jackson again threw his hat in the ring.
The BNP's dirty tricks department set out to defuse both men (especially the dangerous Auty) very quickly and their challenges lapsed through lack of support - a lack of support not least engendered by threats that anybody exercising their consitutional right to sign nomination papers would face expulsion.
Early on came Griffinite talk of yet another change to the BNP's (apparently unobtainable) constitution that would allow a leadership challenge just once every four years. This is clearly the change that Griffin never got around to last year.
In light of simmering internal disaffection for Griffin, the existence of well-connected anti-Griffin factions on the moderate and hard-line wings of the party, the abortive challenges and the Decembrist disruption, it would be unwise for Griffin to simply impose the all important change since he would hand his numerous opponents a very thick stick with which to beat him.
To stave off accusations that the intended change is little more than the dictatorial stitch-up it is, the matter has to be dressed up in democratic clothing and presented to the membership as essential to the stability and security of the party.
For some time Griffinites have been busy selling the "stability and security" line, with dark talk about shadowy external forces manipulating leadership challenges against good-guy Griffin. "Stop the challenges and you stop the disruption" is the claim - despite the fact that those making the most noise and behaving in the most disruptive manner were the Griffinites themselves.
Rather ingeniously, Griffin has chosen the forthcoming Red White and Blue event to be the simultaneous venue for an EGM of voting members - ingeniously because the RWB will afford a whole weekend of glad-handing by the man himself and a whole weekend of pro-four year rule propaganda to put the voting members onside when the EGM considers the matter.
Holding an EGM will also have the happy effect of intimidating the more weak-minded and of identifying those prepared to risk openly opposing Griffin's will.
The result will be a foregone conclusion.
Griffin will have his way, as his spokesmen on BNP web hangouts have promised, and no matter that the manipulated and bamboozled membership will have effectively turned the BNP into a one man dictatorship - something even the Nazi Tyndall never attempted - they will leave the EGM having convinced themselves of how very democratic it all was.
To put this in context, Nick Griffin has only ever faced one challenge to his leadership. He won it by a long mile.