David Hannam is the BNP's deputy treasurer and owner of Great White Records. Accused by the Decembrist rebels of financial incompetence and - some years ago - by former Hull BNP organiser Dr David Michael of theft, Hannam (along with Mark Collett) survived serious allegations of improprietry involving under-age girls made by a former member of the BNP security team.
Given his dubious record, Hannam is hardly the first person you'd invite along to give an opinion on the economic crisis currently engulfing the world, and so at a meeting of the BNP's Scarborough and Ryedale branch Hannam failed to provide any cutting insights into the issue that might have escaped the minds of our better known economic commentators, one of his more acute (if slightly tortured) observations, as retold on the BNP website, being, "The truth is that in an economically declining society, the worker is hit, but even in a so-called economically growing society, it is the worker who also gets hit."
According to the syntactically inelegant Hannam, the oncoming recession will "cause people to start looking around for political alternatives", and therefore "the BNP must be ready to take advantage of the mess all of the other parties have made of the economy". Unfortunately for Hannam, as we shall see, "people" just don't seem to see the BNP as one of those "political alternatives".
Having brought our attention to the weighty thoughts of David Hannam, a desperate BNP website editor then casts about for more morale-boosting stories with which to eke out the thin gruel served up on his gadget-strewn browser-scrambling pages, and comes up with the breathtaking news that the BNP has delivered 1000 leaflets (allegedly) in the suburbs of Norwich - located, apparently, in the "region" of Norfolk.
Regular leaflet delivery being the unremarkable staple activity of fascist organisations since the year dot, we were wondering why the fact that six people delivering a small number of leaflets to a small area of Norwich should warrant the attention paid to it. Perhaps the BNP webmaster was as astonished as ourselves to learn that there had been any activity at all on the behalf of Norfolk BNP, a group which notoriously, while the rest of the BNP went to the 2007 local election polls, thought it a far better idea to go out to dinner.
If there is one notable thing those of us who live in the "region" can tell you about Norfolk BNP, it is of the fact of its almost complete invisibility combined with a penchant on the part of some of its tiny band of members for throwing out wildly inaccurate statements (lies, to you and me) on the extent of their activities and intentions. I could add that at least two of its number have a liking for both online and real-world impersonation, but that's a matter for another time.
The long and short of it is that Norfolk BNP has always been pretty useless, not much interested in the bread and butter of political work while there's a pint to be downed or a steak to be chewed on, and until recently anti-fascists in the county were obliged to challenge the threat of the far smaller but much more active National Front. Only in west Norfolk, back in May 2007, did the local BNP - rather despite its own laziness - come close to pulling off an unexpected (and certainly undeserved) success, when it came within an ace of winning the North Lynn ward (King's Lynn) of West Norfolk County Council.
That near-miss most definitely surprised the BNP's King's Lynn activists, who you can count on four of the fingers of one hand, they bringing it about with little, if any, help from the rest of the local BNP organisation.
And that, until Nick Griffin's sneaking visit to Norfolk a few months ago, was all anybody in the "region" ever heard of the BNP.
News, then, that Norfolk BNP has finally got around to doing something is, we suppose, worthy - but worthy of what isn't readily obvious. Perhaps the BNP's web editor felt that the surprise value inherent in Norfolk BNP doing anything at all was enough to propel a tale of six racists taking to the leaflet trail ("one sunny morning") into the party headlines.
Not making the party headlines, naturally, is the recent slew of mostly dire BNP local by-election results, which rather tend to negate David Hannam's belief (if he really believes it) that the BNP is one of the "political alternatives" to which the people will turn.
The people of Dewsbury turned away from the BNP in droves on October 16th, when, in a by-election caused by the resignation of BNP rebel Colin Auty, the party's vote fell by 50% and the BNP lost Dewsbury East. A week later, in East Wittering ward, Chichester, the people signally failed to turn to the BNP, which was breaking new territory and expecting to take 15% of the vote - it took 12.3%, despite the helpful demographic of the ward.
A week later on October 23rd, the gloom continued. In the East Midlands - prime electoral territory for the BNP and a matter of deep concern for anti-fascists - a BNP candidate standing in the (Loughborough) Dishley and Hathern ward of Charnwood Borough Council managed a 3.6% vote loss, while the party's troubles in the West Midlands gathered pace. In Wolverhampton Wednesfield North, which saw the BNP peak at 26% in 2006, the BNP vote fell from May's 15.37% to 11.78%. In Wednesfield South, which the BNP did not contest in May, the BNP vote was 14.4% - but that does represent a 1.2% increase over an outing in 2007, when the party obtained 13.2%. Hardly the stuff of even the quietest revolutions.
On October 30th the BNP obtained its best recent result - and its worst.
In St. John's ward, Workington, the BNP took 20.22%, and beforehand gave every impression that it could win. In the event it came third. Though nobody can afford to ignore the fact that one in five of those voting gave their support to the BNP, the extent of the party's failure can be judged by this posting made on our associated forum:
According to info on the Cumbria BNP site [and I'm certainly not accepting that as gospel!] the BNP threw the kitchen sink at this, along with the fridge/freezer, washing machine and everything else!!If we can deem the St. John's ward result to be a relative failure on account of the resources poured in and the expectations raised, for pure disaster we need to visit Camden's Kentish Town, where in a six-cornered contest BNP candidate Edith Crowther managed to come 5th, with 62 votes and a miserable 2.4% share, the only crumb of freezing comfort being that the UKIP came last.
They also claim that the other parties ran low-key campaigns.
- multiple leaflets
- last election leaflet delivered in a single afternoon with 14 deliverers
- three canvass rounds
- a personally addressed mail-merge letter
- Dicky Barnbrook visited [which might not be exactly a bonus - but does indicate that it was being taken seriously]
If the above is even nearly true then 20% is very disappointing for them - if I had that amount of literature and manpower to throw at a council byelection in a small district ward I would be expecting to win - not come third!! [And I've fought umpteen council elections.]
All this sobering election news, and more besides, never appeared on the BNP website, showcase of the "serious" political party that thinks the unintelligable musings of its incompetent deputy-treasurer deserving of a wider audience, and which is stunned that something - anything at all, really - happened in Norfolk.
Enjoy the weekend, folks.