So. Nick Griffin is going to attempt to have Margaret Hodge thrown out of Parliament, a la Phil Woolas, over her statement that the BNP would chuck people out of aircraft.
Good luck, Cyclops.
Oscar Wilde made a similar tactical error, as I recall, when he, as just about the Gayest Man in England, attempted to sue the Marquis of Queensbury for calling him, well, “Gay”. (It should be noted that John Barrowman and Peter Tatchell, dressed as Julian and Sandy, coming out of a performance of La Cage Aux Folles hand in hand singing an Abba Medley could never be even a fraction as Gay as was Oscar Wilde, circa 1895.)
Although I don't have anything approaching the same vast legal knowledge and judicial education as m'learned friend (my entire legal experience being largely confined to a week's jury service in the 1980's and once seeing an am-dram production of “Witness for the Prosecution”...), even I can spot one or two weaknesses in Arsehole of the Bailey's case.
First up, unless Cyclops has access to hitherto undreamed-of technology, the whole enterprise would seem to be a non-starter anyway: Such actions can only be brought by petition before the Election Court within 21 days of the disputed Poll. Given the BNP's entertaining record with technology, I'd guess that time travel is still beyond them. For Christ's sake, keeping a website up and running is beyond them much of the time.
Then there's the matter of a small Point of Law.
Phil Woolas was turfed out of Parliament because he “knowingly made a false statement”. Given Griffin's past statements on such matters (including the fairly pertinent “Drop them out of a plane somewhere over Africa. I don't really care” and the ever-popular “I say boats should be sunk, they can throw them a life raft and they can go back to Libya.”), I'd guess that Mrs Hodge would be perfectly justified in arguing that she quite reasonably believed her statement to be true.
Besides which, it only takes a few minutes browsing the comments of the Rank and File of the BNP's Membership (a group it takes less time to browse through every day...) on various comments boards and fora, to find even more insane, reprehensible and murderous statements. And, as Cyclops is so fond of saying (although he clearly believes anything but), the BNP is its Members...
Now then. I'm no cynic, but it occurs to me that Cyclops might even be seeing this opportunity as just another grubby little moneymaking exercise. An astonishing accusation to level at such a model of fiscal probity and Presbyterian thrift as Griffin, I know, but the comments from the assorted cretins on Green Arrow's site, among others,(is there such a thing as the opposite of a Brains Trust?) show that there are still people in this world gullible enough to fall for it. “I will donate with joy in my heart to the costs of this case against the perversion of democracy” says “Theoderic” (the famous King of Italy), while “Robert Weale” adds (and very cogently, too, considering that English is evidently his second language) “About time too, beg, borrow and get donating it's time we fought these dispicable characters through the courts...”.
(Note to self: Must find a way of letting these people know about my guaranteed moneymaking opportunity involving myself, their bank details and a secret Nigerian account containing a vast fortune...)
How much to launch such an action, do you reckon? £50,000? £100,000? Work out the cost of a Croatian Villa and add 10% for luck? Obviously, he's going to want to hire a crack team of legal experts to mount the action, so he'll need as much as his loyal band of followers can afford.
And such a price would be cheap, he'll tell the poor mugs - given that his assured victory in such a case would surely be greater than Agincourt, El Alamein, Trafalgar and The Battle of Minas Tirith combined.
Of course, if the Case were to fall at the first hurdle – or even in the changing room – his Donors would still be happy in the knowledge that their hard-earned money had gone to a Higher Cause (In much the same way as Mel Brooks' “The Producers” revolves around Max Bialystock's scheme of raising many times the cost of a Broadway Show guaranteed to close on the first night and pocketing the change)...
In fact, Griffin's doing quite nicely for fundraising opportunities these days: He's also announced his intention to stand in Phil Woolas' old seat.
Given that the discrepancy between what he had claimed would be spent on the May General Election and what has actually been owned up to (late, as usual) was a mere £470,000, I'd guess that the hapless goons of the BNP will find they've raised a small fortune, only to be rewarded by the spectacle of their Glorious Leader yelling at passers-by from the Truth Truck (if Dowson hasn't taken it with him), and handing out leaflets knocked out on a Gestetner and a John Bull Printing Kit (because surely no Printer who'd actually like to get paid will touch them now) between stuffing his face with the ever-present bacon rolls and slabs of cake.
Maybe this flurry of activity from Cyclops is just an attempt to keep his profile up among his dwindling band of worshippers. Or maybe it's the last throw of a desperate man (it's always interesting to remember that some of the great conmen, from Horatio Bottomley and Robert Maxwell to the board of Enron, actually increased their criminality as things went pear-shaped...).
Whatever the reason; at least we get to keep laughing at Griffin's antics into the New Year.