Take the coming Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, called following the eviction of former Labour MP Phil Woolas for telling porkies about one of his opponents. Seeing an opportunity to get his ghastly face before the public again (and seemingly unconcerned at the bewilderment of his Euro-constituents, to whom he is expected to have some commitment) Nick Griffin promptly announced that he was intending to stand at the invitation, he claimed, of the local BNP branch. Though not according to the people in the BNP who communicate with us, who claim that he had parachuted himself in, in the same way that he did in Barking at the General Election, where he won a derisory 4,916 votes despite a full-on campaign in the constituency.
Presumably Griffin has realised that standing and losing in every seat in the country is not likely to enhance whatever credibility he thinks he has, because just a couple of days after the party announced his candidacy, rumour suggested that he had changed his mind and that Derek Adams, a favourite of the idiotic Clive Jefferson and a stooge candidate in the most recent (and most farcical) BNP leadership election, was to stand instead, to the fury of the local group.
Just a day later, long-time activist and liaison to BNP-friendly far-right groups in Germany, Chris Beverley, wrote on his Morley Patriot blog;
'I was in Oldham this afternoon with Andrew Brons and two Leeds activists to help with an activity in the town connected with the upcoming by-election in the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency...Our candidate in the election is long-term local activist Anita Corbett who has stood for election in Oldham on a number of occasions.'Now, a mere two days after this announcement, former BNP elections officer Eddy Butler has further news for us. He writes;
'Clive Jefferson would seem to have got his way and has ran roughshod over the local branch and imposed Derek Adams as the BNP candidate in the forthcoming Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. I expect Derek Adams to be announced as the candidate at the press conference due to be held later today (Monday).Generally speaking, when it comes to having a pop at Griffin or Jefferson, Butler tends to be on target. And if true, how embarrassing for Griffin's fellow BNP Euro MEP Andrew Brons, who was out campaigning on Saturday with Chris Beverley and Anita Corbett in the latter's bid to take the seat.
It appears that Clive believes that UKIP will out poll the BNP which is why he persuaded Nick Griffin not to stand. It is also apparent that neither Clive Jefferson nor Nick Griffin trust the local officers and activists in Oldham which is why they are imposing Derek Adams.
Clive Jefferson is busy upsetting everyone who he sees as getting in his way. There are a number of senior officers who he is busy denigrating. That is how he operates.'
Personally, I don't think Griffin has backed off from the seat because of any threat by UKIP or anyone else. Rather, it's that the BNP's disastrous financial situation has got in the way and the party can't afford to get a decent campaign up and running. This is more or less confirmed by Butler, who pointed out in a post on his blog yesterday;
'Most printers used to dealing with such orders have not been paid following the last election. Several of our most reliable printers are taking the BNP to court over unpaid invoices involving in total six figure sums...In short there will be a major problem in getting the leaflets printed in time.'So who is actually going to stand for the BNP in this entirely unwinnable seat? A local candidate with no leaflets or a leafletless stooge parachuted in by a moron? Either way, it should be a laugh for us.