Barnbrook, along with Griffin glove-puppet Derek Adams, has not the slightest chance of garnering enough nominations to put his name on the leadership ballot, but that does not appear to be the point.
In submitting themselves to the draconian Griffin-devised leadership contest rules Barnbrook and Adams are strengthening the Griffinite case for declaring Eddy Butler's challenge invalid, since Butler has refused to accept the rules, declaring them "unconstitutional" while continuing to collect nomination signatures on his own forms, holding meetings and maintaining a web presence - all proscribed in an organisers' bulletin issued by Clive Jefferson at Griffin's behest.
Appearing unexpectedly on the BNP website late yesterday, the announcement that Butler, Barnbrook and Adams were seeking nomination seems to be little more than a sop to a notional idea of "fair play" utterly alien to the Griffin leadership but necessary to quell growing doubts amongst the membership at large and to arm Griffin with the right credentials against accusations of a "fix". To that end, each of the three prospective challengers' 150 word statements are published, along with that of incumbent Griffin - who cannot restrain his authoritarian tendencies, referring to "futile, time-wasting elections".
Why the election is "futile" Griffin does not explain, but it really isn't that difficult to work out.
The momentum gained by the Butler campaign has terrified Nick Griffin and those he has promoted to paid positions, who could not expect to survive a Butler win. One such is the execrable Patrick Harrington, now a direct employee of the BNP while remaining head of the joke Solidarity "trade union" and a member of the tiny National Liberals/Third Way. Harrington, as we saw many moons ago, sometimes likes to bank money in the name P.A. Sharp, which he - perhaps uniquely - claims to be his "married name". (We should not care to encourage speculation in regard to which name Harrington/Sharp has thus far employed when claiming his state benefits).
Eddy Butler has been aware of Harrington's interference in BNP affairs (clearly with the tacit approval of Nick Griffin) for some time, and yesterday, speculating the advent of a Griffinite stooge candidate, wrote:
...news has reached me that the mastermind of the ‘stalking horse’ campaign is none other than our old friend Pat Harrington. Harrington has been busily trying to bamboozle a ‘name’ into putting himself forward. Persuading the ‘name’ that he is ever so popular, that he can be the ‘third way’ candidate to unite the party above the Griffin-Butler factions. The ‘name’ is in a slightly vulnerable situation and can’t see that he is being used by Harrington as a stooge – to derail the nomination process on behalf of Nick Griffin.As Derek Adams is hardly a "name" in the BNP at large, Butler is clearly referring to Barnbrook.
Even those kindly disposed towards Barnbrook would not claim for him either a sweeping intellect or any dim flickerings of managerial talent. Barnbrook would be the candidate everybody likes but nobody will vote for. In fact, hobbling his own chances of obtaining sufficient nominations to put him on the ballot, Barnbrook (or the sneaking Harrington?) begins his 150-word statement: "Famed as ‘the man in the beige suit’, dyslexic and partial to the occasional drink, I know my limitations!"
An inability to know when he is being suckered would appear to be high on the list of those "limitations".
Completing the "fair play" charade is the announcement that the thus far silent Andrew Brons, youthful Nazi and now BNP MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside, is to be the "official scrutineer".
This is indeed a clever move on Griffin's part. Brons has respect within the BNP and has so far (apparently) kept his distance from the Griffin-Butler dogfight. He is seen as intelligent, working hard in the EU parliament, and about as fair and impartial as it is possible to be within the BNP. He lends, as is intended, a bogus respectability and legitimacy to the self-serving Griffin devised rules that will govern the conduct of the nomination gathering process.
Brons (assuming his impartiality is genuine) is as much a patsy as Richard Barnbrook.
The nuts and bolts of the game-plan are fairly clear now. The primary intent is to prevent Eddy Butler's name ever going on to the leadership ballot, since even achieving the 20% voting member requirement would be tacit proof of widespread internal dissatisfaction with Nick Griffin, and would fatally damage his leadership.
To that end, out goes the failed strategy of the smear blogs and in comes something that is on the surface more agreeable but no less poisonous to the Butler challenge.
With fair-minded Andrew Brons superintending the bizarre nominations process, with the popular Richard Barnbrook and one other candidate joining the fray on the terms imposed by Griffin, the process is effectively legitimised. Griffin has but to point out that if the rules are good enough for Brons, Barnbrook and Adams, then why does Eddy Butler not accept them, and why does he continue to operate in clear breach of them?
From there it follows that every nomination signature gathered by the Butler campaign will, as the Griffin/Jefferson bulletin promised, be declared invalid, and with neither Barnbrook or Adams coming close to the 20% requirement there will be no leadership election.
This is going to end in tears. And in court.
Breaking: Eddy Butler's campaign manager, Peter Phillips has been suspended pending an investigation into alleged and, as usual, unspecified "serious breaches of the BNP Code of Conduct".
This, as with all suspensions to date, is clearly against natural justice. Surely, this is one suspension the Butler camp cannot afford to ignore, since it can only demoralise his supporters and give Nick Griffin the green light to pick off other leading members of Butler's circle at will?
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