The British National Party’s top moron has added the post of national treasurer to his growing list of party portfolios. Clive Jefferson, national organiser, national elections officer, nominating officer, north west regional organiser and “campaigns coordinator” at the constituency office of Nick Griffin MEP, the BNP leader, has replaced Dave Hannam as the BNP’s fifth treasurer in the space of 18 months.
His appointment shows that the BNP has been unable to find anyone else stupid enough to stand in the firing line. It is the treasurer who may be prosecuted for the criminal offence of failing to deliver a political party’s accounts to the Electoral Commission. It is the treasurer who is responsible for correcting defective accounts. It is the treasurer who is responsible for controlling expenditure on election campaigns and for ensuring donations are permissible and properly notified to the Electoral Commission.
We wonder whether Jefferson, 42, has ever looked at Schedule 20 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, which sets out 98 specific offences relating to the financial affairs of political parties and the penalties for committing them, consisting of unlimited fines or up to one year's imprisonment.
When Hannam was appointed treasurer in February this year, we recalled that he had been widely derided as incompetent at the time of the last major internal rebellion of 2007/08, when Hannam was the party’s deputy treasurer. “I don’t know what more I have to do or say to get through the point that Dave is completely incompetent,” wrote Ian Dawson in his letter of resignation from his position as the party’s head of group support. “I have proved beyond doubt that the job is clearly beyond Dave.
“Hannam has messed things up from day one, before he got ‘bogged down’ in an audit, during it, and after it. If he worked in a bank he would not last a week. Not only is he incompetent, he also lies. Again, this can be proved time and time again, yet it seems that no matter how much some people lie, and however big the lies are, they get away with it. I can’t think of one thing that Dave does well – if there is something I have not seen it. That is not an exaggeration or an unnecessary insult, it is a fact.”
On 28 July this year Hannam boasted that the BNP’s financial controls now ensured that “all legally required statement [sic] of accounts are submitted on time”. The next day it emerged that the party had failed to submit its 2009 accounts to the Electoral Commission by the deadline of 7 July, the third time the fascist party had been late. The accounts remain outstanding and hope is fading that they will ever appear.
The 2008 accounts, which were submitted nearly six months late, are still under investigation by the Electoral Commission because the auditors reported that they did not give a true and fair view and did not “comply with the requirements of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 as adequate records have not been made available”.
In August the BNP’s national advisory council appointed a scrutiny committee tasked with “examining the structure of the treasury department and making concrete moves to ensure that there is a clear division between those who manage the accounts and those who authorise outlays,” according to a report posted on the party’s website. Earlier this month it delivered its first interim report and, to no one’s surprise, identified no evidence of financial misconduct. Yet Hannam was already on his way out.
Jefferson, who has no qualifications for the treasurer’s post, takes over when the party is heavily in debt with creditors threatening legal proceedings, its fundraising consultant, Jim Dowson, and communications officer, Paul Golding, have left, and it has had to organise a sudden flit out of Belfast to Nuneaton, after Dowson closed down its call centre and main administration office.
His appointment gives the lie to all claims over the past two years that the BNP is trying to professionalise its treasury functions by using qualified accountants (who turned out to be close colleagues of the unpopular and criminally convicted Dowson), maintaining daily book keeping, providing quarterly financial reports to the advisory council and strictly regulating major expenditure. Jefferson wouldn’t know what a financial report was if it bit him in the backside.
According to Butler, Griffin has promoted Patrick Harrington, leader of the rival Third Way party, to the party’s “head of human resources”, a strange role for the general secretary of the BNP’s fake trade union Solidarity. Eddy Butler, who unsuccessfully challenged Griffin for the party leadership this summer, claims it was Harrington who provoked Dowson, who claimed to have raised nearly two million pounds for the party, to walk out.
“Harrington, who fancies himself as a Union boss started prattling about workers rights and unsettled the ship,” wrote Butler. “Dowson hates unions and he hates people with (let’s say) unconventional sexual proclivities. That put him at odds with Pat Harrington from the outset,” Butler continued.
Jefferson, perhaps realising which way the wind was blowing, took Harrington’s side against Dowson and, says Butler, “has been openly slagging Dowson off”. His reward: to be appointed as fall guy – and he is too dumb to realise it.
Hope not hate