Despite the fact that, like Mark Collett, Barnes is almost universally despised inside the BNP, he seems to have a curious hold over Nick Griffin. Barnes' insane rantings over the Rachel Whitear disaster had complaints coming in from all directions, even from hardened BNP supporters and nazis, who found his violent verbal attacks on the tragic Rachel far beyond the pale. His email attack on the Auty leadership campaign also earned him a good deal of angry and well-deserved criticism, though he deflected some of that anger by claiming (as they all do when in a corner) that the email was a forgery.
However, redemption has come in the form of the release of the BNP membership list (don't bother asking - everyone knows it's on WikiLeaks) and Bonkers Barnes is suddenly seen by the myopic Nick Griffin as the source of all legal wisdom, despite the fact that he has never actually got around to acquiring any kind of legal qualification. Still, lack of competence has never stopped anyone in the BNP reaching the top - look at Dave Hannam.
Barnes has (allegedly) been slinging legal-looking letters around the universe at large since the list hit the public domain, each of them containing numerous threatening-sounding phrases that appear to put the leak on a equivalent footing with terrorism, clearly invoking the Terrorism Act in one of his emails to Indymedia. He claims that bandying member's addresses and other details around the internet puts them at risk of attack - though nearly three weeks after the leak there are yet to be any verified attacks at all.
Barnes really seems to have a blind spot when it comes to hypocrisy. This from Indymedia:
'Most incredibly Mr Barnes then explains, “I will also be issuing a request to our internal investigations team to initiate actions to collect your home addresses, contact details and financial details relating to you personally as persons running or hosting the Indymedia website”. Internal Investigations? Once the BNP has this information, it “will be used to initiate legal actions upon yourselves, to initiate financial sanctions against your company and also will be publicised on various websites so that people may contact you and address any legal issues they may have”. Pot, kettle, black?'Yes, while threatening people for showing sections of the list with personal details, Barnes threatens to publish their personal details. Clearly, the man is an idiot - though Indymedia seems to have him pretty well tagged:
'Mr Barnes’s threat to post personal information about Indymedia participants may in itself be illegal – it certainly would cause a registered legal practitioner to lose his credentials. Perhaps then, it comes as no surprise that the Law Society confirms that Barnes is NOT a qualified lawyer at all. In fact, Mr Lee John Barnes LLB (hons) is an incoherent, buffoonish windbag who could well be charged with incitement himself.'But anti-fascists are not the only target of Barnes' list-making lunacy. Last night, he rounded on his chums at the Stormfront nazi forum and the anti-Griffin North West Nationalist blog. Why is he complaining about Stormfront? Because;
'...rather than having a rule that the activists and posters on the site have to use a real name and a real identity, so we can all see who they are, what organisations they represent and find out what their real pasts are - the site allowed anyone to post on the site using a fake name. This has allowed Reds, agent provocateurs and the State to take advantage of the internet and use it against the interests of nationalism itself. It has allowed the flamers, the malcontents and the red scum to hide behind fake names and denigrate not just those that they have some sort of issue with, but to attack and undermine the entire cause of nationalism itself. This ability to hide behind a fake name and post rubbish online has allowed nationalist internet sites to be taken advantage of by the most loathsome creatures to ever infect and infest the Nationalist movement - the Key Board Warriors...The Key Board warrior that hides behind a fake name is a coward. They do nothing but talk rubbish'Funny he should mention keyboard warriors - because he's largely regarded as one of the worst. Frequently in tandem with the creepiest young nazi ever, who lavishes praise on Barnes at every opportunity (using the fake name Jacob Cobain though he's generally assumed to be Barnes' partner), he wanders the rapidly-emptying corridors of the Stormfront forum attacking people at random like some demented drink-addled tramp. Anyone who dares to criticise the BNP or Nick Griffin is fair game and will be 'outed' by Lee Barnes. And he somehow sees this as different from BNP members being outed? How exactly?
He is prepared to make the rare exception though, as he states here:
'To his credit Jack Black [who Barnes outed on his blog a few months back] has gone from being just a presence on the internet and on stormfront to becoming an nationalist activist for the BPP [British People's Party]. That means I can now respect the real man himself as a true nationalist who is working for the nationalist movement and standing up for what he believes in, and not just see him as another key board warrior.'Fine, so a keyboard warrior who has now joined a party led by a well-known police informer who runs the Redwatch site - which specifically exists to encourage attacks on anti-fascists - is okay now because he's an activist? He belongs to a party well known for its flirtations with hardcore nazis and Holocaust-deniers and that is famed for its terrorist links, but that's okay because he's now an activist? And this is the BNP's so-called legal director saying this? Do we assume that, because these statements were made in the public arena, they are acceptable to the BNP and Nick Griffin? If not, then isn't the BNP being hypocritical allowing Barnes to come out with this rubbish in public - particularly his threats to print personal details on the net while the party screams about breaches of its member's human rights?
Barnes generally gets an easy ride from the moderators at Stormfront, particularly from Jock Oldham (John 'Jock' Shearer, one of Griffin's former heavies and BNP-loyalist) who is frequently described as 'an illiterate drug dealing arsehole' on the North West Nationalist blog. It's interesting that Barnes should be cosy with Shearer but at the same moment so distant from another Stormfront moderator who closed down all the Barnes-related threads last night with this terse statement:
'I have closed down all threads on the subjects of NWN, Covert or any blog in which Lee Barnes posts his deranged ramblings.'Oh, that one could shut him up so easily.