The BNP is hoping to trade on voters’ disillusionment with politicians following the MPs’ expenses debacle. Nick Griffin highlighted the issue at the official launch of his party’s European election campaign, claiming that everyone except the BNP had “their snouts in the same trough”.
Yet the main reason Griffin, a former bankrupt, is so desperate to gain election to the European Parliament is to get his hands on the generous salary and expenses package paid out MEPs and even a share of official group funding if the BNP can join up with enough fascist MEPs from enough countries. The BNP has no interest in participating in forming European laws – the party objects to the European Parliament’s existence. It’s the money the BNP is after.
And the BNP has no compunction in sponging off public money. Many BNP councillors draw their full allowances but hardly attend any council meetings or do any work. One BNP councillor in Sandwell attended no meetings at all for six months, which got him booted off the council, but he still took his allowance.
Under Griffin’s leadership the BNP has blatantly avoided paying income tax and national insurance contributions by pretending that several of its staff were self-employed. And the party’s latest accounts, for 2007, failed their audit because several thousands of pounds of expenditure was not properly recorded.
Voters are rightly outraged by an expenses arrangement that allowed some MPs to exploit countless loopholes and profit from taxpayers’ money. But the BNP would be far worse, as shown by the party’s long history of financial irregularities, outlined in a Searchlight report presented to the House of Commons in December 2007.
Hope not hate