When the BNP quietly announced it had appointed a new regional organiser for Northern Ireland it was clearly looking forward to an upsurge in its embarrassingly low membership in the province.
The previous organiser, Kieran Devlin, who used the alias Kieran Dinsmore, was a painfully camera-shy club doorman who organised party meetings in such secrecy that few of the region’s 50-odd members were told of them. Terrified of being caught up in the continuing media exposure of the BNP’s activities in the province, Devlin earned the nickname “Twitcher” from staff at the party’s Belfast call centre after the panicked telephone calls he made to them from behind the curtains of his Clandeboye Road, Bangor home, complaining that journalists were stalking him at his front gate.
One of the main reasons for the BNP’s recruitment problems is its lack of understanding of the political and religious geography of Northern Ireland. One of Devlin’s biggest stumbling blocks was his apparently Irish Catholic name, despite his English parents and military background.
Devlin is said to have complained about the lack of support for the local party from call centre staff. Very few of the people entrusted with running the party office in the six counties are local and those who are refuse to be associated with the party publicly. The staff who moved to Northern Ireland to work behind the now notorious steel shutters in Dundonald seem unwilling to leave the seclusion of the villages of Ballygowan or Comber, let alone venture into downtown Belfast, for fear of bumping into Republicans.
Devlin’s replacement is Steven Moore (pictured), an all-things-military-obsessed former French Legionnaire with a penchant for red wine and Liverpool football club. Moore was appointed after the party held an internal enquiry into how, in an area so wracked with racist violence and paramilitary history and tensions, it has failed to convert complimentary support into membership. Moore put himself forward for the job as some kind of “super-Prod”, claiming he could reach into loyalist communities and organisations and even stop the constant Searchlight exposés of the BNP in Northern Ireland by speaking to a “number of community groups”. This is common vernacular for paramilitaries.
Devlin’s departure was welcomed by local BNP members, not least because of his Catholic-sounding name. When the Sunday World with the help of Searchlight exposed Moore as the new leader of “Ulster BNP” and wrote a rather derisory epitaph for Devlin/Dinsmore in June, even the local BNP’s own blog joined in. “His [the Sunday World’s journalist] attack centred on the outgoing Organiser and to a certain extent i [sic] agreed with him,” wrote the blogger responsible for promoting the BNP in Northern Ireland.
Moore may claim to have all the Protestant credentials needed to run the BNP in Northern Ireland, but he also comes with the usual embarrassment of sectarian hatreds and relaxed attitude towards rape and violence.
In April, Moore joked how he had been arrested after raping a female work colleague for an April Fool’s joke and made unsavoury comments about the blind.
Moore gets a nod of approval from Devlin for his description of the pogrom against Roma families in south Belfast two years ago as an act against people who are “inherently criminal” and “Stinking Gypsy bastards”.
When Moore isn’t posting videos by white power bands such as Skrewdriver on Facebook, he reveals his fancy for all things “Third Reich” by sharing videos of Adolf Hitler with his online friends. One apparent favourite is entitled: “Why the world cannot forget Adolf Hitler”. He also has a penchant for songs and videos of the German Wehrmacht.
Elsewhere, Moore has thrown his energies into trying to stop a mosque allegedly being built in Ballymena, the heartland of Paisleyism. Like most BNP members, Moore calls Muslims “ragheads” and Catholics “taigs”.
What with BNP leader Nick Griffin’s daughter Jenny now beating the drum for hardline Protestants, perhaps “super-Prod” Moore will win the sort of support that eluded Devlin.