"This election, if it goes ahead, should be carried out in the most rapid manner possible with zero publicity allowed for the joke candidate (who may in other circumstances be described as a decent and 'nice' bloke etc) and the least disruption to our continued efforts. That is the best way to minimise the harmful effects."
So wrote Eddy Butler on the occasion of Colin Auty's abortive leadership challenge just over two years ago. In the same missive Butler pointedly spoke of the "temerity" of those mounting leadership challenges.
Hardly the language of a convinced democrat.
Post-Auty, Butler was instrumental in pushing through the series of constitutional changes intended to protect Nick Griffin from the BNP membership, each change significantly tightening leader Griffin's grip, as Butler was well aware. Sometimes he openly helped do the dirty work, sometimes he kept quiet, Butler only lately detailing his convoluted and not particularly honourable reasons for doing so on his blog.
There is, then, a kind of poetic justice that as he comes to mount his own leadership challenge Butler is faced with the almost insuperable obstacles placed in his way by a Byzantine nomination system that he - whatever he now may say - helped impose upon the BNP.
What is curious is that Butler consistently gave solid support to Nick Griffin even when it was obvious to outsiders that as far as Griffin was concerned, Eddy Butler's number was up years ago.
Back in 2007 we reported that Griffin's close friend and hatchet-man Tony Lecomber attacked Butler outside Loughton underground station. Butler insisted Lecomber be sacked and proscribed, or he would involve the police. Griffin had little choice other than to comply, which he did with reluctance and bad grace, penning a proscription notice that was little more than a hymn of praise to the talents and loyalty of the thuggish Lecomber.
It was all too clear, as I wrote at the time, that given the choice Griffin would have broken Butler's neck, not Lecomber's, and that the clock was ticking for Butler.
As it happens, by then the clock had already been ticking for some time. Tommy Williams and Dave Howard, Griffin's chavish Covert Undercover Nuisance Tactics attack rats, recently admitted that they had been "on his [Butler's] case since around 2006".
Posting on the Nazi VNN Williams also admitted to eavesdropping on Butler at the 2009 RWB: "We deliberately set up behind BUTTlers tent, infact anyone who was there will remember people having to move tents so we could move in. We were also privvy to BUTTlers conversations (lots of them) that have been recorded all quite legally."
Eavesdropping on leading party members is, of course, something in which the Griffin leadership is deeply experienced, as the Decembrists Sadie Graham, Matt Single and Kenny Smith discovered when a transcript of a private conversation between the three was published on the BNP website at the same time that BNP goon squads were converging on their homes.
Other recent allegations of bugging, key-logging and e-mail interception on the part of the leadership remain strangely and ominously undenied.
Of course, it doesn't hurt to throw upon the chosen few who constitute the party's upper echelon a nagging awareness that their conversations may be recorded and logged - the possibility instils just the right amount of fear and paranoia and takes the edge of those who might otherwise be inclined to ask awkward questions. It's classic Stalinist-style psychology.
If Butler was ever aware that the leadership monitored his conversations and associations he gives no indication of it. Even with Clive Jefferson's cameraphone in his face during the drunken Belgian episode, and even with Jefferson giving a carefully staged running commentary, the 100% certainty that he was being set up never seems to have crossed Butler's mind.
Mr Butler does not appear to be the most perceptive person in the world.
Down the years of his association with Griffin, Butler cannot have failed to be aware of the many serious allegations of financial impropriety made against the BNP leader - indeed, the Freedom Party split of which he was part was largely founded upon them, - yet only now does Butler admit that there is evidence of wrong-doing at the very top of the BNP.
Replying to allegations made on one of the Griffinite smear-blogs set up to destroy his credibility, Butler says that he was "told about some very serious financial allegations made against the current Chairman of this Party", and that he resolved to raise the matter at the first post-general election Advisory Council meeting.
Butler claims that treasurer David Hannam told Nick Griffin of the allegations after Hannam had been told by Mark Collett. This resulted in Butler being removed from his position together with - and Butler is explicit - "the two other people who knew". The two others, of course, being Mark Collett and Emma Colgate.
Now, if, until Collett spoke to the duplicitous Hannam, only Collett, Colgate and Butler knew of the allegations, and if Butler (as he says) was told of them, then the source must have been Collett or Colgate.
If, as in light of subsequent events (including the infamous in absentia show trial) seems likely, it was Collett, then we have something approaching an explanation for the hysterical "murder plot" allegations made by Griffin and Jim Dowson to the police as the BNP's general election campaign got underway - as neat a little story as anything we could have dreamed up, and which did so much more than the loss of the party's cumbersome website to undermine its already flawed campaign.
Only a Nick Griffin could have thought up anything so damaging at such a crucial time, and in the process help throw so many of his candidates' hard-won deposits down the electoral drain.
Despite his dismissal (though he says he has not been officially sacked), Eddy Butler remained quiet about the allegations concerning Griffin until after the general election, whereupon "I openly declared my intention to pursue the matter".
And indeed he did, but by then the sleazy Clive Jefferson was doing Butler's old job, and in his first skin-saving post-election pronouncements Nick Griffin was clearly setting up Butler as the fall guy for the BNP's appalling election performance. Butler could see which way the wind was blowing and had nothing to lose, expulsion being a certainty, so of course he was going to pursue the matter.
But if, as Butler seems to be inferring, these allegations of financial impropriety are of a criminal nature, then why has he failed in his duty as a citizen to present himself and his evidence to the police, which is the only proper body to which such matter should be submitted?
Butler has warned Griffin that he must follow proper procedures (as enshrined in employment law) if he intends to end Butler's employment with the BNP. The near certainty of a damaging, revealing employment tribunal is probably all that presently prevents Griffin from kicking Butler (and his leadership challenge) into touch.
Griffin must make a concrete move soon, as the deadline for a leadership challenge nears, since he can not afford for Butler to be seen to gain anything near the 20% member nominations a challenger requires - though the Griffin-penned constitutional procedures are so vague in the matter of verification that it is entirely within the realms of possibility that Butler could sail past the 20% qualification and never know it.
The BNP's civil war will continue then for at least another four weeks (until the nominations deadline), and after that perhaps only for as long as until Griffin can devise a watertight exit strategy for Eddy Butler. Should Butler reach his 20% nominations, and should Griffin surprise us all and admit it, then we have four months in which to enjoy the BNP shedding its own blood.
In fixing that ridiculous self-serving 20% qualification Nick Griffin may have thought himself very clever, but in setting such a high aiming point for a prospective challenger Griffin has also ensured that a challenger must be better connected and network far harder and more professionally than ever a Jackson or an Auty could. In other words, the challenge will be far more serious and single-minded in its purpose because the challenger has no other option but to engage in a protracted, damaging campaign to secure enough nominations - and should the challenger gain his or her 20% nominations to enable a contest then that is tantamount to an admission before a vote is cast that 20% of the party is out of love with its leader.
Griffin has effectively undermined himself with his own self-preservation strategy. Even if Butler does not make the 20% and is quickly expelled there is a strong possibility of some sort of split; and should that fail to materialise Butler's widespread dissident network will remain in place as an unfailing source of misery to Griffin.
It's going to be a long, hot summer.