Dated October 6th (a Wednesday), the document gives the BNP's "preferred" creditors just a few days - until Thursday October 14th - to accept a 20p in the pound settlement, and warns: "Thereafter there is no prospect of your invoices being paid at any time in the forseeable future."
Nakedly attempting to bluff creditors tempted to use the courts to enforce payment, the heavy-handed Dowson claims: "Additionally, the lawyers who have reviewed the underlying contracts to most of the outstanding invoices have advised that most are not enforceable."
This is almost certainly untrue, but it is an admission that the BNP considers any contract entered into with itself is not worth the paper it is written on.
Dowson falsely claims that the "economic downturn" is the cause of the BNP's financial troubles in terminology indicative of how he and Nick Griffin see the party - "The biting economic downturn has made a shipwreck of the financial projections of many businesses, including, it is a regret to say, those of the British National Party."
Later there is a tale (and we suspect that is all it is) of a creditor who took advantage of Dowson's generous offer and then negotiated the same deal with his own creditor, which allegedly "made the difference between his business surviving and going to the wall".
The contents of Dowson's letter are reproduced below (our emphasis added), and a copy of the original may be seen here.
Dear Sir/MadamDowson's tactless missive may well prove the prompt needed for one of the BNP's more substantial creditors to begin legal action against the party, which is clearly not a viable financial entity. The endless appeals fronted by Nick Griffin are falling on deaf ears, hundreds have already failed to renew their memberships, and it is expected that several thousand will fail to renew as the old annual cycle looms.
OFFER OF DEBT COMPROMISE
Strictly private and confidential,
Not for publication.
Copyright and property title remains with sender
Subject to contract
I write regarding the matter of payments due on outstanding invoices rendered by you in respect of goods and services utilised in connection with the British National Party.
As you know, today we all find ourselves in an increasingly difficult commercial climate. It is no secret that cash is not only in very short supply for all political parties including the British National Party but in short supply in the wider economy. The British National Party has had to close offices and lay off staff; this is not an easy time for the Party.
The biting economic downturn has made a shipwreck of the financial projections of many businesses, including, it is a regret to say, those of the British National Party. Combined with a massive and still ongoing wave of hugely expensive politically motivated High Court actions by the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights, this makes it simply impossible for the BNP or operations and persons associated with it to pay its outstanding bills in anything like a normal timescale - if indeed at all.
Additionally, the lawyers who have reviewed the underlying contracts to most of the outstanding invoices have advised that most are not enforceable. These two factors combined means that many creditors who have supplied good [sic] and services and which were used in connection with the activities of the British National Party may never be paid.
The situation is very grave, and it is a matter of deep regret to us, but I would rather be very open and honest with you than leave you under the illusion either that money will be forthcoming or that legal action will achieve anything other for you than to throw good money after bad in the shape of futile lawyers' costs.
As you are a highly valued supplier and a creditor with a previous track record of commitment to the British National Party, there is a desire to ensure that you are not one of the unfortunate creditors who are inevitably going to end up with nothing at all.
With this in mind I am authorised to do as much as is humanly possible to resolve the matter of your outstanding invoices.
I am in a position, for a very limited period of time, to offer you, by way of debt compromise and in full and final payment of all your outstanding invoices relating to the supply of goods and services in connection with the British National Party the sum of 20p in every pound (20%) due. The offer remains open until 14th October 2010 and is subject to a short written compromise agreement being entered into by you to formally agree and record the settlement.
I know that this is not what you want to hear, and I am very sorry indeed but this genuinely is the best that can be offered you. In the case of one of three creditors who have already concluded such a deal, the receipt of this one-off immediate payment enabled him to make a similar arrangement with a creditor in turn and actually made the difference between his business surviving and going to the wall.
As a 'preferred' supplier I have written to you first in order that you have first claim on this very limited offer. The funds available are limited and will be allocated among creditors on a first come first agreed basis.
Please feel free to call me on 020 7078 8838 or 079 3466 6831 to discuss this at your convenience. Please be reminded that this offer is for a limited time only. Thereafter there is no prospect of your invoices being paid at any time in the forseeable future.
Yours for and on behalf
James Dowson B.T.h. M.A.
Despite what is for it "good news", the Eddy Butler-led reformist wing of the party is in disarray. The Reform Group itself lost momentum some time ago, Butler being criticised for his apparent inertia (and for the unwise decision to take a holiday as the crisis rumbled on). The decision of some reformers to form what will almost certainly prove a short-lived new party has served only to fragment further opposition to Nick Griffin and Jim Dowson, though Butler cannot be too unhappy at the loss of hysterics like Simon Bennett or foul-mouthed friend-losers like Lee Barnes.
Butler soldiers on for all the world as if he had never been expelled from the BNP and as if he were certain that his proposed constitutional reforms will be carried and Nick Griffin toppled.
On the surface his confidence seems misplaced, but Eddy Butler has many friends among apparent Griffin loyalists, and is clearly privy to more information sourced directly from within Griffin's inner circle than he reveals. As Butler himself likes to imply, he has a few tricks in his bag yet, and Butler watchers have a strong sense that he is waiting for something to happen.
Whether or not Butler and his allies ever do wrest control of the BNP from Nick Griffin and Jim Dowson, the party now has a reputation for being financially unsound and utterly untrustworthy, a reputation that will only grow as the Dowson document disseminates ever more widely, as it is certain to do. It is a reputation that will never be easily shaken off, and we do question why Butler - who has put forward no debt repayment plans of his own - would want to take control of a broke and shrunken BNP.
In fact, is that really Eddy's game at all?