September 26, 2011

English Democrats could become 'electorally credible' as BNP decline

Party has already claimed some defectors, but leader Robin Tilbrook warns new members must be 'genuine converts'

The red and white of the cross of St George was omnipresent, merchandise for sale included t-shirts emblazoned with the demand: 'Justice for the 50 million' and the prizes at an evening raffle included a box set of films by Shane Meadows. It could only be this year's annual conference of the English Democrats — a party whose handful of councillors and one elected mayor count as its achievements to date in its 10-year campaign for an English parliament.

Yet, as around 60 overwhelmingly white male delegates gathered at a hotel function room just outside Leicester at the weekend, a party long used to propping up the lower reaches of election ballots is suddenly being looked at in a new light by many beyond its self-professed membership of 3,500.

Thanks to a combination of factors, the most important of which being the implosion of the British National Party, serious political commentators now suggest the door is open for the EDs to exploit the supposedly significant gap in the electoral market for an anti-immigration, radical right party.

A trickle of disillusioned BNP activists have already defected to the party, which despite its motto of "Not Left, Not Right – Just English" is significantly more hardline on immigration than any at Westminster. They also want to pull out of the EU, ensure that the "public culture" of England should be that of the "indigenous English" and condemn "political correctness" as an "evil ideology".

Indeed, as party leader Robin Tilbrook said on Saturday, a new opportunity for the English Democrats was that "some of the people who wanted to do their honest best for our country but made the mistake of joining the BNP are now joining us and will help us become that electorally credible party. We need to be sure that such people are genuine converts to a more civic or cultural nationalism and that they will be an asset to our party, but we do not need to be too defensive."

The conference was addressed by one such convert, former BNP councilor Chris Beverley, who sought to address concerns that the English Democrats would be "deluged" by ex-BNP members, insisting instead that the importance of those coming over was that they tended to be "quality" activists who could make a difference.

"To me, the English Democrats are the real exciting new hope for us and there is huge potential for the party to do well," the Guardian was told by Beverley, who spoke glowingly of his new political home after spending 14 years – "my entire adult life" – in the BNP, which he likened to a cult. Even so, observers note that Beverley remains the constituency officer of Andrew Brons, one of the BNP's two MEPs, who recently challenged Nick Griffin for the leadership of that party.

In addition, another key figure who is awaiting a decision on his application to join the English Democrats is Eddy Butler, the BNP's former national organiser, an architect of past local election successes and a major rival to Griffin's leadership within the divided party.

"People like Butler and Beverley, who is important because he can run and win elections, have been flirting with the English Democrats as an alternative vehicle because in their minds, and in the minds of political commentators, there is significant potential in British politics for a radical rightwing party," according to Matthew Goodwin, author of New British Fascism: Rise of the BNP.

While Goodwin doesn't count English nationalism by itself as a vote winner, he suggests that a new radical right force could grow by tapping into public anxiety over immigration, law and order and hostility towards established parties.

"The test for the English Democrats will come if more people shift over. There might be awkward questions in the party among those who want it to remain BNP-free and those who would want to open up the door to all of these renegades on the right, much like what the NF was in the late 1960s. If it really starts to suck in BNP members and organisers, then you have something that is potentially very interesting - because there is unquestionably still a great deal of potential for a radical anti-establishment rightwing party."



Anonymous said...

Just read Butlers take on the eds.

It was widely suspected many many months ago that Butler and his cronies were jumping ship to the ED. Many decent people asked Tilbrook if there fears that Butler/Colette joining were true. They were told by Tilbrook that it was nonsense and would never happen. Many people left because they didn't believe him.
Now Griffin junior [butler] has stated on his blog that he was canvassing for the EDs in the may elections.
So Tilbrook,another lie exposed. What other lies and hidden agendas are you keeping to yourself. When your party is totally full of BNP ethno nationalists will your policy's then become more racist. I would put money on it.
Your website is already full of paranoid 1984 and anti discrimination and pc law conspiracy's about how the system is trying to subjugate white people. Bnp RHETORIC indeed. All penned by Chris Beverley NEW LEEDS CHAIRMAN [Soon to be Yorkshire chair I bet]
To say that the EDs are not the new BNP is like saying that the NF are turning direction and becoming an inclusive social and liberal democratic party.
Give me a break and pull the other one.

UK Fightback said...

To be honest the English Democrats have done a great job of splitting the "Nationalist" (ie - racist) vote where they've stood against the BNP in the past, and with outright Nazis like Chris Beverly in their ranks in the long term they don't stand a chance. At the risk of provoking an angry reaction here I suggest going easy-ish on these goons for a while at least because there's nothing quite like the damage Nationalists do to each other. If they look like making serious progress we can reel out "that video" of Beverly talking about Hitler and wave it around a bit

NewsHound said...


Anonymous said...

Chris Beverley has attended Nazi SS veterans dos in Germany.

Has everybody forgotten that??????

Anonymous said...

Do the EDs have any EDL links?

Anonymous said...

Just put this on butlers blog. Wonder if he will allow through

Eddy. You only left the BNP because of financial irregularity. You are still an ethno nationalist. Neither you nor Beverley have renounced that.
You are a clown and a joke. You lost your place as a big fish in a very small pond and you crave to be a big fish in an even smaller pond.
So explain to me how you Collett and Beverley can give all your adult lives to the BNP ethno ethos then all of a sudden have an awakening.Maybe your tiny little band of supporters will blindly follow you because they believe you are a 'election genius'. When all you did was copy what other party's do.
You are a mini griffin huge ego little talent. But then again in the world of ethno nationalism I suppose you are a giant. Lets face it theres not much intelligence in the ethno circles is there.

Anonymous said...

I cant see the ED's taking over from the BNP.If the BNP collapsed overnight they would only pick up a few hundred members.I suppose Butler is hoping he can turn it into BNP MK2, he may well do that but that doesnt mean it will be a success>If anything many hundreds of moderate members would leave the ED's if Butler took over

Anonymous said...

"If anything many hundreds of moderate members would leave the ED's if Butler took over"

And where would these members end up? Answer: UKIP.

I agree we should keep an eye on the ED, but UKIP is the really sneaky one to watch out for.