January 10, 2010

BNP crisis as Nick Griffin faces jail over whites-only policy

The British National Party is facing a crisis in the run-up to the general election after it emerged that Nick Griffin, its leader, could be jailed over its illegal “whites only” membership policy.

Whitehall officials believe Griffin will be unable to comply in time with a court order forcing him to change the BNP’s constitution to admit Asians, blacks and members of other ethnic minorities.

They say the BNP’s membership is not due to vote on the constitutional change until after the court deadline expires towards the end of this month. Trevor Phillips, head of the government’s equalities watchdog, which won the legal ruling three months ago, has instructed his lawyers to be ready to ask the court to impose crippling sanctions, including a heavy fine or possible jail term against Griffin and Simon Darby, the BNP’s deputy leader.

If successful, the move could paralyse the right-wing party at a time when many at Westminster believe it is on the verge of winning its first seat in parliament with the support of disillusioned former Labour and Tory voters.

Officials question whether the head of a political party who has been imprisoned, fined or has had his assets sequestrated could continue to be its leader.

“The BNP is very much Nick Griffin’s party,” said one official. “Were he forced to stand down three months before an election, then what are the prospects for the party? He could be replaced by someone who was much more hardcore. They would potentially be in disarray.”

The legal action began last year when the Equality and Human Rights Commission issued county court proceedings against Griffin, Darby and Tanya Lumby, another senior BNP official. The watchdog argued that the BNP’s constitution was unlawful because it restricted membership to particular ethnic groups and those whose skin colour is white.

Last October Judge Paul Collins agreed and awarded costs against the party. Griffin was forced to order a freeze on membership applications. The court gave him until January 28 to persuade the party to change its constitution and allow non-whites to join. However, Griffin is unlikely to be able to deliver the change in time.

Times Online

25 comments:

Echelon_g26 said...

Never Happen!

This would play right into the hands of the "Leaderless Resistance" supporters who believe that a structured heirarchical party is shot through with state assets.

This move by the EHRC would also prove them right when they say that the state won't allow them to win by the ballot box.

However, it does provide Griffin and Darby with an excuse for unilaterally pre-empting any EGM and changing the constitution.

irishtony said...

Can you imagine the glee on griffins face when "Mr Big" asks him to bend down and get the soap as they are in the shower

Sorry for the prison cliche but that image does make me laugh

Joe Chapman said...

"Officials question whether the head of a political party who has been imprisoned, fined or has had his assets sequestrated could continue to be its leader."

Or how about whether someone who has been convicted of inciting racial hatred should have become the leader of a political party in the first place.

Jace said...

Stormfront's dwindling band of BNP supporters are already trying to spin this using the 'any publicity is good publicity' line. Absolute shite of course.

Wouldn't a prison sentence take Griffin out of his seat as an MEP?

Anonymous said...

"Or how about whether someone who has been convicted of inciting racial hatred should have become the leader of a political party in the first place."

The ultimate BNP question really. And the government should make damn sure this doesn't happen again by banning anyone with such a conviction for standing for any kind of public office.

Anonymous said...

"This move by the EHRC would also prove them right when they say that the state won't allow them to win by the ballot box."

Cobblers. The state simply won't allow them to win by the ballot box while they remain an overtly racist party by excluding non-whites. If your statement was true, it should mean the BNP has to abandon Parliamentary and local government politics completely.

Anonymous said...

"Or how about whether someone who has been convicted of inciting racial hatred should have become the leader of a political party in the first place"

This is what happens when you give a Nazi pig to much platform, it all gets too much for him to handle. He will be blaming ZOG, Zionists and the Lizardman for this.

Anonymous said...

Pleeeease lets see Nick Griffin go to jail. Fingers very firmly crossed.......

Antifascist said...

'He will be blaming ZOG, Zionists and the Lizardman for this.'

The Lizardman? Is that Lee Barnes? :-)

Mr P said...

"Nick Griffin faces jail"

Oh dear. None too soon in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Murdoch is playing to a strange agenda, why is he portraying Griffin as a martyr? There is no way that this weasel is going to jail. Stop giving the Nazis publicity!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If this did happen then everyone will asume this was planned all along, and was also designed to get rid of the BNP before the election because the main parties are frightend to death of them getting elected.I can't beleive what you are saying on here. It's almost as if you are in another world. Griffin isn't as stupid as you all 'want' to beleive he is. This won't happen I guarantee it.

Anonymous said...

if this happens the votes will just pile up for the BNP, who will be seen as the victims, the martyrs.

Id like gri$$in to go to jail but the timing of this will be a boon to the bnp not a hindrance even though gri$$in would have a hard time in nick.

Anonymous said...

I too think this could actually be counter-productive.

Don't provide Nick Griffin with the excuses he is looking for. He showed himself up on Question Time and I fully expect him to show himself up again at the General Election.

Anonymous said...

He should not be jailed, it will only give boost to their 'political martyr' and 'Goverment conspiracy' claims, and even if he is an outrageous man jailing someone for opinions is a slippery slope.

Instead, hit him where it hurts, by a say £50k fine...

Anonymous said...

so where was bullshit griffin today , wasnt he supposed to be bodily stopping choudry and co from marching

Joe Chapman said...

of course he should be jailed if guilty. Who cares if a few idiots who would probably support the BNP anyway, see it as martyrdom?

It would weaken the party because Griffin has such a strangle hold in it. It would give the inept dissenters within a chance to argue over leadership.

Whilst this is all happening it won't matter how much support they've got because they won't be able to operate as a political party properly and therefore won't be able to fight the election as well as they could do with Griffin not in jail. It's all about timing.

Then there's the possibility that the party could collapse financially.

There could be other prosecutions as well. All of which would cripple the party for at least a while.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! I had to laugh at this.

Your Comments
34 Comments

John B wrote:
This is amusing. As a supporter of the BNP I would like to thank the Times and Trevor Philips for raising more support with yet another brilliant own goal.
As anyone who visits the BNP website would be aware, the The BNP advisory counsel passed the recommended changes In the BNP constitution allowing any British Citizen regardless of race to become a member in their meeting in late November, a meeting which as usual, the UAF tried and failed to disrupt. If any of the detractors had bothered to read the BNP constitution, they would know that now ballots must be submitted to the entire voting membership, as is now being done, and then and the results received, verified and counted, which Griffin estimates will take another four weeks.
A little bit about the law for those of you who don't know. First as has been mentioned earlier, a civil court cannot impose criminal sanctions. second The party is not in default of the voluntary condition offered by the BNP and accepted by the judge, of freezing it's membership until the party could make and ratify the changes. Of course a corrupt civil judge could try and impose sever financial sanctions, for a delay in the proceedings but I rather think that they are smart enough to realize that that vindictive action just before an election would be counterproductive.
But you haters of the BNP, in the fantasy world you live in, go ahead and post whatever you want, including the descriptions of how we are such 'supposed; low brow thugs. It is therapeutic to get such feelings out of your system, sort of like primal scream therapy. Have a nice day.

January 10, 2010 8:14 PM GMT on community.timesonline.co.uk

Antifascist said...

'of course he should be jailed if guilty. Who cares if a few idiots who would probably support the BNP anyway, see it as martyrdom?'

Well said, Joe.

Anonymous said...

"so where was bullshit griffin today , wasnt he supposed to be bodily stopping choudry and co from marching"

Im sure he was seen standing on top of a tall building with his leather pants on, looking down waiting to pounce!

Anonymous said...

"of course he should be jailed if guilty"

Why the conditions? Jail him anyway!

Anonymous said...

The "Leaderless Resistance" mob (ie - Nazi terrorists) will pursue violent means WHATEVER reason the BNP are defeated. Heaven forbid they won't start bombings etc (enough right-wing terrorist wannabes have been arrested recently) but if they do that will make things even worse for the racist movement

DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells said...

They've already broken myriad electoral laws, the state aren't going to charge cyclops or anyone over this unless they deliberately want to increase the fascist vote.

Which isn't completely beyond the realms.

Anonymous said...

its a civil court case he cannot be sent to prison ,also it was my understanding it was the BNP who voluntarily offered to suspend membership and to change their constitution the court never ordered them to

DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells said...

The court 'never ordered them to' because the fash acquiesced before it got that far, the threat of legal action was dropped after they claimed they'd amend their constitution. To quote the Guardian - "The commission said it had decided not to take action on two other grounds set out in its original letter to the BNP after the party agreed to comply with the law."

But guess what - http://lancasteruaf.blogspot.com/2009/10/non-whites-barred-from-bnp-meeting.html