July 18, 2010
Posted by John P
This is Jennifer Matthys, daughter of the British National Party leader Nick Griffin, who is allegedly being groomed to take over from her father when he quits as chairman, dressed in the uniform of an Ulster loyalist "Kick The Pope Band".
Jennifer, who lives in the province so that she can work at the BNP's cash, sorry call centre, was doing more than "playing dress-up" for the cameras. The 24-year-old marched on 12 July along with thousands of others in parades celebrating Protestant ascendency that yearly lead to violent clashes across Northern Ireland between the Catholic and Protestant communities. Many Catholics object to the parades by the Protestant-only Orange Order on the grounds that they are sectarian.
Jennifer, on the far left of the picture, posed seemingly unaware that Searchlight has known for over a year that she is heavily involved in the Goldspring Young Defenders flute band, something that seems at odds with the BNP's supposedly non-sectarian all-embracing love of all things Christian.
Jennifer took the risk of being photographed as she thought she would be safe in the small loyalist village of Ballygowan, despite the fact that many members of the band object to the involvement of both her and family members of Jim Dowson, Nick Griffin's consigliere, who runs the BNP's Belfast call centre and has helped Griffin bring the BNP to its state of insolvency.
In recent years the BNP has attempted to make inroads into the Anglo-Irish community in Britain, partly by distancing itself from its past association with loyalist paramilitaries. In the north west in particular, the party has some high profile Irish members and has even taken to depicting the Irish tricolour on some of its banners.
The truth is, for the diehard BNP, old habits die very, very hard.
We are not identifying Dowson's daughters because of their ages.
Searchlight / HOPE not Hate by Matthew Collins