While most trade union leaders have of late found a good deal to occupy their minds and their time as draconian government spending and job cuts loom, the general secretary of at least one alleged "fighting union" has other concerns that he clearly feels to be far more pressing than such bothersome trivialities as protecting and promoting the employment prospects of his members in the hard times to come.
These, after all, can be quickly disposed of in a few stock cod-radical phrases posted on the website of his "one big union" and regurgitated in a press release that will (for a fee payable to his friend Graham) then be posted on a free PR website, where it will attract its customary level of feverish disinterest and disappear without trace.
Patrick Harrington/Sharp, general secretary of Solidarity, director of the Third Way "think tank", newly-coined BNP employee and fantasist par excellence has been extremely busy on Facebook just lately, patiently scanning his list of "friends" for any who link to the numerous enemies of the Very Important trade union leader and Political Thinker - a man so Important that he maintains his own Wikipedia page as a reminder to the rest of the world of just how Very Important he is.
Should Harrington discover the name "Simon Bennett" lurking amongst the friends of his Facebook friends, then the general secretary of the "fighting union" will employ some of his ample spare time to send a message warning that Bennett was responsible for "crashing" the BNP website on the eve of the general election and might use the personal details of those who link to his Facebook page in unspecified but detrimental ways. It would therefore be "unwise" to maintain a link to Bennett.
Mark Walker, also with more spare time on his hands than is healthy, performs the same service as the sneaking Harrington, but goes a little further in his "friendly" advice, warning that retaining Bennett as a Facebook friend might be "construed as disloyalty".
Things must be getting desperate when trade union general secretaries and leading Griffinites begin to act like pre-adolescent school children and are driven to scour the pages of something so shallow as Facebook looking to rubbish their enemies - but then, Harrington and Walker both possess the type of mind that eminently suits them to such infantile activities.
Having made no secret of his support for Nick Griffin, and having openly attempted to exercise a negative influence upon the nomination gathering process on which a challenge to Griffin's leadership depends, Harrington appears to have forgotten that his Third Way and National Liberal Party websites were hosted gratis by Bennett, who also owns the domain names. Not unnaturally, given the vitriol pouring down upon him from the Griffin camp, Bennett revenged himself by pointing the two domains at his YourBNP website.
Harrington, being Harrington (and sometimes being Sharp), thinks this most unfair, and so, while other trade union general secretaries devote their time planning for the difficult political and industrial struggles to come, the general secretary of the "fighting union" scrabbles about in the nether reaches of the Internet pursuing yet another of the personal vendettas that have peppered his less than illustrious career.
While Harrington gets on with what Harrington does best (which is not very much at all), the man he induced to undertake electoral spoiling duties at the behest of Nick Griffin flounders.
Richard Barnbrook, much pitied but largely abandoned to his own devices, appears to have been thrown into the laps of the Walker brothers, who are humouring him hugely. It was via Barnbrook's Facebook page that Mark Walker sent out some of his ominous "friendly advice".
Ultimately doomed by his initial association with the Butler camp, Barnbrook is the pliant prisoner of the Griffinites who captured him, painfully eager to please the guards set to watch and control his every move, cushioned from the reality of his humiliation by the carefully maintained illusion that he really is mounting a serious independent leadership challenge.
Doubtless the Walkers have difficulties in preventing a matching pair of sly smiles from stealing across their lips as they listen to the wretched Barnbrook's plans and make approving nods in all the right places. Their job as his wards includes that of keeping Barnbrook busy, and to that end the GLA member is in County Durham to help in the campaign to have Adam Walker elected to Spennymoor Town Council.
For the occasion Walker has produced a cheap word-processed leaflet in which he says that a path he helped to clear was "drastically needed", and seems, as BNP people are prone to do, to elevate the influence of the lowest and least influential tier of governance well beyond its bounds, asking: "Why do we need to produce council, benefits, medical and police documents in umpteen different languages and provide and pay for expensive professional interpreters?"
Why indeed, since this is not something likely to trouble Spennymoor Town Council?
How well Walker's campaign is progressing might be gauged from a post made on Monday evening by Richard Barnbrook on his new blog, presumably in an unguarded Walker-less moment: "I have to laugh, or I would 'Cry'.... So fare today 3 people turned out to canvas in Spennymoor!" (sic).
Not very well at all, then.
Still, while at least some microscopic BNP activity is taking place in the north-east, elsewhere
BNP activity flourishes according to the BNP website, which seems to report a fresh outbreak every other day. The trouble is that the bulk of these "activities" appear with a suspicious regularity to be concentrated in the north-west, the home turf of regional organiser, tall tale teller and Griffin goon Clive Jefferson.
These reports are invariably accompanied by photographs of a very few people who have apparently sold a very large number of BNP newspapers and delivered impossible quantities of BNP literature to an adoring public. New members are just falling out of the heavens, and talk of breakthroughs and successes to come abounds, much as it has for the past several fruitless years.
Breakthroughs and successes require money and activists, both of which are in increasingly short supply as donors are loath to throw good money after bad and members walk away in disillusionment or entrench themselves in the rival leadership camps. But no matter,
Nick Griffin has signposted the road to electoral heaven on the BNP website in a mini-manifesto entitled "What Is Going to be Done", coincidentally (and wisely) decamping to France for his holidays before anybody can ask, "Exactly How Is It Going To Be Done?".
A screed of praise to Jim Dowson intermingled with the same hopelessly unrealistic but fine-sounding plans that have been thrown at the jaded membership of every failing political movement since time began, I don't propose here to discuss at length that which Griffin and the BNP cannot possibly achieve.
"What Is Going to be Done" may sway the gullible, as it is intended to do, with its magic vote-winning computers, mobile homes that dispense iced water and suncream on hot days, and a 30-acre BNP place in the country, but all of this requires money, and huge amounts of it. But money is something the BNP does not have - in fact it does not have it to the extent that it owes ever increasing quantities of the national currency to an ever growing list of unpaid creditors.
Unless Griffin has found for the BNP a sugar daddy, one who pays the rent rather than one who screws the party and departs in the morning without leaving so much as a discreet farthing on the mantelpiece, then his plans for the BNP will need to be retitled "What Is Not Going To Be Done". As
Honest Eddy Butler points out, the needless EHRC case has so far cost the BNP £300,000 with more to come, both Michaela Mackenzie and Mark Collett are in a position to bankrupt the party, as are any one of a "frightening" number of creditors not as emotionally bound to the BNP as Mackenzie and Collett.
By way of example, according to Butler, who we have no reason to doubt, the party's Midland depot is now four months in arrears with rent and council taxes, and the telephone, gas and electricity bills have not been paid. These debts alone must already amount to something between £5,000 to £10,000, and there is no obvious way in which they can be met.
The recent spate of hysterical postal appeals, as we know from other sources, have brought in desultory returns even when backed up by emailed variants, not even enough to cover the £5,000 cost (Butler's figure) of each appeal.
So the grand plans of "What Is Going to be Done" are so much stuff and nonsense, as its author is well aware, since the BNP will be lucky to own a rubber stamp by the end of the year, let alone contemplate moving into a 30-acre complex somewhere in the Midland countryside.
Since throwing down the gauntlet, Eddy Butler has presented himself as the "honest man" candidate, one interested in financial transparency, the guy who's on the side of the members, yet his remarks at a campaign meeting held in East London on July 20th would suggest there are limits to his more agreeable traits, and there are circumstances in which he would turn a blind eye to corruption at the top.
Here we must stress, as Butler repeatedly stresses, that what follows is hearsay - though it is hearsay he frequently returns to, and it is the same hearsay which underpins his campaign to unseat Nick Griffin. Butler clearly gives far more weight to it than he is prepared to admit to in public.
The story, as told by Butler, is that in mid-March the then BNP staff manager Emma Colgate visited treasurer David Hannam at his new office. While Colgate was there Hannam received a call from Nick Griffin, which was overheard by Colgate (Butler is hazy as to how, suggesting that Hannam had the speakerphone switched on). Griffin, it is alleged, asked Hannam to pay off his personal credit card in a sum, Butler says, that amounted to six figures. Hannam apparently demurred at the idea of using party money to pay Griffin's personal debts, but Griffin "had a bit of a go" at Hannam and ordered him to pay.
Hannam then said to Colgate that there were "all kinds of bad things going on in the party, to do with the party's finances - serious stuff".
Serious stuff indeed. Serious criminal stuff, if any of this is true.
Colgate then told Eddy Butler, at that time the BNP's national organiser. Publicity director Mark Collett became aware of the allegations, and soon after Hannam forwarded a recording of a private conversation he had held with Collett to Griffin, who then sacked Colgate, Butler and Collett from their positions, and, just as the BNP election campaign opened, ran to the press and police with wild tales of death threats which were to dog the BNP until polling day.
Explaining this at his campaign meeting, Butler says: "In discussions I said, look, if this is true ... we're in the run up to a general election campaign. If we don't do well and we don't get all these seats, and we haven't got all the momentum with us - which would make up for everything, frankly, wouldn't it? - then we'll have to raise the issue..."
This seems a fairly clear indication that before his sacking, Butler was minded not to press the matter of the alleged credit card payment provided the BNP did well in the general election, and would have happily kept his inside knowledge of the alleged transaction from the membership in those circumstances.
This strange ambivalence does not sit well with the "honest man" image Butler is at great pains to project. Misuse of funds for the alleged purpose recounted by Butler is common or garden corruption. There is no sense in which corruption can be vindicated, no situation in which suppressing knowledge of it will "make up for everything".
It is noteworthy that the mental circumlocutions afflicting Eddy Butler seemed also to afflict the audience to which he recounted his squalid little tale. He had, after all, just told them that their money had allegedly been stolen, but that would have been made up for if only the BNP had performed better in the general election. Not one member of the audience took issue with him.
And finally, those of you of strong constitution who flock every Sunday morning to listen to the latest instalment of the Green Arrow's "Voice of the British Resistance" may have been alarmed to learn from the constipated-sounding Voice that the "growth of babies born to foreign women has doubled."
The Voice does not enlighten us as to the cause of this unparalleled phenomenon, but we're fairly certain it is related to the heavy ingestion of alcohol on the part of an amoebic intellect seized by a compulsion to record dotty internet podcasts in the darkness of a coal bunker situate somewhere in South Wales.
Perhaps a friend - or even an ex-friend, if, courtesy of Harrington, he has one or two to spare - should have a word?