November 18, 2010

The death of it?

For some time the apologists and political rent-boys close to the BNP's leadership have been "putting it about", as they say, that the party's income has stabilised at around £1000 per day - a preposterous and currently uncheckable figure, conjured up as being the minimum necessary to sooth the worries entertained by large parts of the remaining membership that the BNP is flirting with insolvency, if it is not insolvent in fact.

Now a membership of 14,000 - as claimed before the General Election - is, via donations, membership fees, sales etc., certainly capable of producing an income well in excess of £1000 per day, but not in any sustained manner. Members might be persuaded to dig deep and often for an election push, but that effort and enthusiasm never lasts past election day.

The trouble for the BNP is, however, that most of its claimed 14,000 members did little beyond pay an annual sub. The majority never attended meetings or made a monetary contribution. The bulk of the party's financial efforts fall on the shoulders of a far smaller number of members.

Even then, since the general election the BNP has lost thousands of (admittedly) paper or low activity members, but with them have gone substantial numbers of stalwart activists and donators, to the point that in large parts of the country the party has ceased to exist or exists in name only.

Estimating the current size of the membership, and further estimating from that the probable size and number of income streams available to the party is problematical, but we are fairly safe in assuming that the BNP's current income bears little comparison with its pre-election income, and that the foggy £1000 per day figure is a gross exaggeration.

The BNP is approaching its old annual membership renewal cycle, and would normally be looking for a substantial replenishment of its coffers, but the omens aren't good. The majority of those renewals are due from paper and fair-weather members all too well aware of the electoral catastrophe that overwhelmed the BNP in May, and perhaps dimly aware of the internal strife that has beset the party ever since. These were the first to desert the National Front in similar circumstances in 1979, while the majority of activists - I am informed by sources who were involved at the time - clung together, if in ever increasing acrimony.

While we can and frequently do compare the BNP's debacle in 2010 with that of the NF in 1979, there are important differences.

There is the lack of a hardline hardcore element loyal to an alternative potential leader, such as that which coalesced around John Tyndall. Without that determined element to support and sustain him, Tyndall's career may well have ended in 1979. And, of course, without Tyndall, that element could never have survived and gone on to found the BNP.

Much of the "moderate" element of the National Front was drawn into Andrew Fountaine's NF Constitutional Movement, which, unhappily for them, quickly went the way of all "moderate" British nationalist parties.

The situation within the BNP does not compare with that of the old National Front. The BNP has a leader who it cannot remove, and is supported by a strange and sycophantic array of hardliners, "moderates", political illiterates (Paul Morris and friends), hangers-on, dependants and chancers whose only real point of agreement is that - unfathomably - Nick Griffin must remain as the BNP's leader.

And, of course, unlike the BNP, the National Front had tangible assets, and so far as anybody is aware, never came close to going broke.

Eddy Butler, in fairness, has never portrayed himself as an alternative BNP leader, and played what might be considered a good game until that moment he accepted the rejection of his leadership nomination bid on Griffin's terms, when the ball was unnecessarily dropped and discontent set in. Though he has sat tight ever since, the same cannot be said of his supporters, who quickly began to drift away. There was no Eddy Butler "situation" in 1979.

The formation of the tiny British Freedom Party might be said to have parallels in 1979, but only as the faintest of echoes. Regionally based, led by unfamiliar names and purporting to have abandoned racism, the BFP is of only the mildest interest to anti-fascists. If we can torture a comparison with anything then it would be Anthony Reed Herbert's Leicester-based British Democratic Party - but Reed Herbert's was a well-known and respected name and his party highly active. Of course, Reed Herbert and the BDP were brought down by rogue elements, roles currently adopted in the BFP by Lee Barnes and Simon Bennett. Few seriously expect the BFP to be a long term venture.

Complicating everything is the BNP's mountain of debts and the unnecessary and ruinously expensive court cases in which it has become embroiled. Unlike the National Front, the BNP really could disappear overnight. One successful creditor demanding a substantial sum would be enough (Eddy Butler claims that two are presently "well advanced in the process of taking insolvency proceedings against the party and against Nick Griffin").

Whispers have also been reaching anti-fascist ears for some time now that the Griffinite neutrality displayed towards clam-like MEP Andrew Brons is not quite what it seems, and is of the belligerent variety. At its simplest, the BNP leadership believes that Brons should have sacked Eddy Butler (who is employed on Brons's European staff) and publicly declared his support for Griffin. Brons has not sacked Butler, and his public utterances of support for Griffin have been at best lukewarm and evasive. There is clearly more to be told here, since Brons could solve Griffin's Butler problem very quickly (if at the probable but worthwhile cost of an employment tribunal) but chooses not to do so.

On the 29th of this month the final part of the case Nick Griffin and Simon Darby brought against the December Rebels is due to be heard at Newcastle High Court. Griffin and Darby lost the first two parts of the case, and according to the remaining rebels have "tried every trick in the book" to postpone the very proceedings they instigated, which they are expected to lose, and lose at great expense to the BNP.

At the weekend rumours that Griffin would not contest the final part of the case began to surface. We cannot confirm these rumours, and in any event past form tells us to be cautious of any rumour originating with the BNP leadership, but whatever the truth, on November the 29th the BNP is very likely to pile another £50,000+ on to its frighteningly high debt mountain. We doubt that the shabbily treated Kenny and Nichola Smith, Steve Blake and Ian Dawson will be prepared to wait long to recover their costs.

The situation of the BNP makes that of the 1979 NF appear hideously uncomplicated by comparison, the great irony of it all being that the BNP's dictatorial leadership system was conceived in the fallout of the 1979 debacle and was intended to ensure that such an implosion could never happen again - yet it has proved to be the fount of so many BNP ills over the past eleven years, and at the last may prove the death of it.


Anonymous said...

The biggest difference between the BNP now and the NF in 1979 is one of size. The BNP now is a big beast in terms of support, membership and elected officals. The NF grew and imploded very quickly and didn't have the time to build up the base the BNP now has but is quickly throwing away thanks to Griffin.

Another difference is that 30 years ago the Labour Party had much firmer working class support which it has spent a lot of time since getting rid of thanks to Blair. The BNP has attracted a lot of this.

Nothing would make me happier than see the BNP go under but the Labour Party remains a big problem. As long as it continues its obsession with the English middle-class there'll be room for a BNP successor to grow.

Anonymous said...

The BNP are well and truly skint. There is no money to fight the Scottish elections. Candidates standing are paying for themselves (Orr and Finnie). Raikes is being paid for by a someone in Aberdeen. They have went from standing 13 last year to 3 so far. It's the political equivalent of selling the Big Issue.

purged said...

Gri££in has tried absolutely everything to postpone the Decembrists case that he brought; you name it he’s tried it. The repugnant worm has even attempted to pass blame onto his past solicitors whom he hasn’t even paid and also onto his opposition’s legal council.
He is a coward of the highest order.

He is in contempt of court already for effectively ignoring the courts requests and has run up a massive bill he can’t pay with a level of incompetence that is literally unbelievable.

Kenny and Co. are many things it can be said, but stupid isn’t one of them. They have played Gri££in like a fiddle thus far, watching him dig his own grave with this case.
Let’s just pray that the judge finally brings the hammer down on him with a massive bill that splatters him all over the place. What a lovely pre-Christmas present that would be for all.

Anonymous said...

From Lee Barneses page

"Kenny Smith Case - Griffin Surrenders

Apparently Griffin has given up fighing the Kenny Smith and Steve Blake case, and now has to pay between £45,000 and £60,000 in costs.

Thats the BNP insolvent then.

Thats even before the Michaele McKenzie case in a few weeks time and the Equality case judgment and the case for non-payment of debts to a ripped off printer.

But no doubt the Green Arrow and his merry band of brain dead diddymen will think its Griffins greatest victory and a sign of the genius of their Fuhrer.


Anonymous said...

Sadly with a constant drip-drip of reports like this in the mainstream press I wouldn't write the BNP off just yet:

(BTW Look at the most popular comment in terms of green arrows)

The BNP are down but not out and there is certainly political space for a fascist 'immigration obsessed' party in England and Wales.

Anonymous said...

Who was "Reed Herbert" well know by? Not the general public and even many in the NF, outside of Leicester. were not familiar with the name UNTIL the BDP/NF split.

Anonymous said...

The parallel with the NF is more applicable to the post 1979 NF where Griffin ran one NF and Pearce/Wingfield another - for Pearce/Wingfield read Butler.

The Griffin front just kept isolating/expelling members till there were virtually none left just as is happening with the Griffin BNP

ex-fascist said...

"The parallel with the NF is more applicable to the post 1979 NF where Griffin ran one NF and Pearce/Wingfield another - for Pearce/Wingfield read Butler."

Sorry for being a pedant but that was 1986.

Anonymous said...

It is £1200 per day. but the org needs more than £30 grand a month to cope with debt before ops costs. Going to be interesting to see if the whole house of cards comes down before Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Noticable that in the Wednesbury council election last night, the BNP didn't have a candidate but the NF did. And this in an area close to Tipton, one of their traditional strongholds. A sign not only of the BNP falling apart but also closer co-operation between the two parties maybe?

Anonymous said...

Noticable that in the Wednesbury council election last night, the BNP didn't have a candidate but the NF did. And this in an area close to Tipton, one of their traditional strongholds. A sign not only of the BNP falling apart but also closer co-operation between the two parties maybe?

The NF will be crowing that they beat the Lib Dem and came third. However, the Lib vote was 45 (!) and the NF got 76 (3.6%). Labour won massively with 62%. Big win for Labour.

Lab - 62.1%
C - 30.2%
NF - 3.6%
LD - 2.1%
Green - 2.0%

Anonymous said...

The NF will be crowing that they beat the Lib Dem and came third. However, the Lib vote was 45 (!) and the NF got 76 (3.6%). Labour won massively with 62%. Big win for Labour.

It is indeed, but it's an area where there's always been a rump of NF support.

anarchist said...

If they had 14,000 members, and each paid an annual fee of 26 pounds, that would just about add up to roughly 1000 pounds a day. So I don't think that figure is unsustainable. Whether it's true or not is of course another question.

Grant said...

Eventually it will become more obvious, this is staged. Eveyry where, driop by drip the party is being carefully dismantled behind Nick Griffin's back and reassembled elsewhere.

This orchestrated regrouping has been well-planned in advance - to shake off Griffin and the "mismanagement" to form a new party. If you've been around the politics block a while left or right) then you'll be familiar with this tactic.

Colgate along with all the others are seeking refuge in the BFP. Why has she not resigned her council seat? Do you really think a BNP councilor cares about her ward duties or averting a by-election? Then there's the others, Barnbrook, Derby, and the dissident BNP branches that have dropped the BNP bit of their name and replaced it with freedom or patriots etc, they are building for something, a relaunch and the anti Facist movement needs to wake up now and realise this.

The Lancaster Unity writers need to take a closer look at them because at close investigation it becomes apparent the BFP is an obvious part of this 'Griffin-squashing' plan.

This time they are playing it smarter than the BNP. They are the SAME party, new clothes, new aftershave, same old toxic policies in disguise.... now a few familiar old names are beginning to emerge.

On a larger scale, but with great success Blair took over Labour and won over his most hated opponents as magical New Labour>. The BNP watch and learn like everyone else.

Well - say hello to New Nazi, reloaded, low-fat, sugar-free, no-added preservatives (or colours) all ready for the coalition era. The BFP.

Please don't let them fool you. That's how they work. They need to be exposed before they fool many more.

Grant. (Investigative Journalist)
Northern Ireland