Regular readers will know that ten days ago we reported that the December rebels (Sadie Graham, Kenny Smith and co) had received a letter from Nick Griffin suggesting that the ongoing case in the High Court should be dropped. Here's what we said:
'The December rebels who Griffin was taking through the High Court have received letters this week from the pig farmer himself, asking that the case be dropped because 'it's your homes at risk' and 'it's in the best interests of' party unity and so on, apparently forgetting that it was he himself who brought the case.'
This was immediately questioned by the near-dead Lancaster and Morecambe BNP group's idiotic former organiser Chris Hill who, via the recent leadership-challenger Colin Auty's support blog, Challenge for Leadership, said,
'I may in fact be wrong about the Grifin/Collett gang having officially dropped the case against Sadie & Co. I read a report about a retraction letter being received they the defendants elsewhere on the web (the Lancaster UAF blog), but I've not seen any reports from reliable sources as yet. UAF may well be jumping the gun in reporting the inevitable, but that's UAF for you as about as reliable as Griffin on a bad day.'
We're a good deal more reliable than Nick Griffin - even on a good day when all he does is stay at home and admire his new sauna and jacuzzi while counting his pigs - and to nobody's surprise at all, it turns out that we were telling the truth and those who denied this were telling, forgive me, porkies. Oh, and Chris, in case you hadn't noticed, we changed our name to Lancaster Unity nearly six months ago.
The letter from Griffin to the rebels is reprinted below.
'Dated 8th July 2008
Further to our earlier correspondence in connection with proposed disciplinary proceedings, I am writing to you and your colleagues in this matter in an attempt to bring it to an early - and as far as is possible - relatively painless conclusion for all concerned.
In response to my letter of 8th April, several of your group requested that the BNP's internal disciplinary proceedings and connected unfair dismissal hearings. should be stayed pending the outcome of the court case Griffin v Smith & Others. I accepted this as a sensible proposal for all concerned for the time being.
The delay does not, however, alter the fact that our present course will see us back in court, with both sides incurring further very considerable expense. My informed opinion is that you and your colleagues will lose the case, but that Mr. Davies does not mind this in the slightest because his avowed aim is to try and bleed the BNP financially. He knows that the looming problem of negative equity for many home-owners is sufficiently large that, while the end result is likely to be your collective bankruptcy and loss of several homes, we will be unable to recover any significant part of our costs.
I trust that you will already have learnt from the failure of the desperate "Scottish gambit" in which he encouraged you to set so much store that Mr. Davies gungo-ho tendencies do not always work out in the best interests of his clients (as Steve Edwards, Jay Lee, the Roberts Brothers and Tess Culnane have already discovered to their cost).
Especially now that time has elapsed to allow water to flow under various bridges, I ask you individually and collectively, to give very careful consideration to an agreement to end the action on the basis of each side bearing their own costs and going their separate ways. The sums involved at present are, as we all know only too well, steep without being ruinous. It is surely sensible to bring matters to an end while this is the case?
As you know, the BNP has already through the action secured its assets and the privacy of its members (although my solicitor informs me that he is still waiting for the affidavit on these matters from you in accordance with the Judge's directions). While it would have been far better had it been possible to have done so without the expense incurred so far, we have at last achieved what we needed to do, so we have little other than an expensive moral victory to gain by pursuing the matter further if you and your colleagues will agree to end this and any other possible actions. Please note that there can be no question of leaving an opening through which Mr. Davies can continue to use you people as pawns in his own longstanding personal campaign to bring down those who have achieved political success way beyond anything he has been able to manage in his various forays into either "extreme" or "moderate" nationalism.
All concerned have lives to lead and better things to do than enrich lawyers or waste court time. I hope to hear that we can agree on that at least, in which a settlement along the lines outlined above would surely be the only sensible option.'
That the BNP is in dire financial straits is indisputable. Griffin is desperately trying to raise funds to pay for the usual staggeringly-high legal costs that he has already incurred by this pointless action (suggestions of £30,000 have been made by various people who should know) before he and the other officers of the party become personally liable. The fact that he is panicking and floundering around like a landed fish is obvious from this letter.
As usual with Griffin, his preferred mode of defence is attack, though more by implication than clear statement. His criticism of the rebel's barrister Adrian Davies' 'gung-ho tendencies' is a classic ploy, hopefully undermining the rebel's relationship with their counsel, as is the appalling suggestion that Davies is more interested in destroying the BNP than he is in protecting his client's interests - a suggestion that sounds awfully like libel to me but Nick Griffin probably knows more about the law than I do, having a third-rate degree in jurisprudence, the theory and philosophy of law, [yawn, sorry] and having access to one of the sharpest legal brains in the country, Lee Barnes [sarcasm].
The phrase 'the BNP has already through the action secured its assets and the privacy of its members' is an odd one when you consider that the assets (presumably laptops and so on) were grabbed by BNP security long before the court case after illegally gaining access to Graham and co's homes, but we can safely assume that the 'privacy of its members' refers to the court ordering the rebels to stop using the out of date membership lists in their possession. Thirty thousand quid seems an awful lot of money to throw away on getting something virtually worthless from a bunch of people who have done next to nothing to harm the party and who are generally acknowledged to be politically impotent.
Even though asking for, and clearly desperate for, a truce, Griffin still feels the need to ensure that Davies is out of the battle.
'Please note that there can be no question of leaving an opening through which Mr. Davies can continue to use you people as pawns in his own longstanding personal campaign to bring down those who have achieved political success way beyond anything he has been able to manage in his various forays into either "extreme" or "moderate" nationalism.'
Do I detect some nervousness from Griffin? Just a single letter and a number of attacks on Adrian Davies intended to damage client confidence. One wonders if Griffin's legal advisors are aware of this letter and its content. I showed it to a friend of mine who is in the final stages of training to be a barrister and his response was that if one of his clients had written to the opposition in the same terms, he would have no hesitation in dumping the client and immediately beginning what he described as a 'vigorous' process to get paid before the client committed another such faux pas that led straight into the High Court for a libel action.
Of course, there is another possibility. That the rumours are true and that Griffin's legal advisors have told him he gets nothing more out of them until they are paid for the work they have already carried out. As the party is near-bankrupt, paying counsel is impossible at this stage and the thought of having to face the rebels in court with only the help of Lee Barnes must be giving Griffin nightmares. But now Nick Griffin has put himself in a position where he not only has to extract £30,000 from a party that hardly has two pennies to rub together, he has also left himself open to an attack from Adrian Davies which he will find next to impossible to defend himself against.
The former problem might be solved if the cash from the BNP's Red, White and Blue piss-up in August makes enough and is immediately diverted to pay the debt, which might explain the recent statement from the party that the RWB is to be a cash-only event with no advance ticket sales. This could well not work as we hear from a number of trusted sources that there is very little interest in the RWB this year and, naturally, a lot of people are put off from going because of the national demo that's planned, the inevitably heavy police presence and the ban on selling booze.
Adrian Davies though, might well turn out to be the most serious of Griffin's problems. Despite his disparaging comments, Davies is an able barrister with a good deal of experience. Griffin could well find him the Nemesis that he has repeatedly been avoiding for the past few years. In the past, Griffin has always chosen to attack those who cannot fight back - this time he may well have attacked someone who is not only willing, but able to fight back, and who has teeth that are a good deal sharper than his own. We look forward to it.