Invites have gone out for this year's BNP AGM. I'm pleased to inform one and all that I have my invite here in front of me, but it does cause such a dilemma.
I used to go to the BNP's Red, White & Blue festivals and report back on the drunken fights, threats and Nazi songs around the camp fire. Heavens, one year I even had to report how one of the BNP's councillors attacked another member with a broken glass.
It was never quite the highlight of my social calendar, but it got me out of the house and it caused no end of upset to the BNP knowing that I had been there. One year they even stopped proceedings to demand I stand up and reveal myself. I declined, obviously.
So this year, the question is whether I should risk it all by having one last sneaky look into the party's near defunct machinery. But there is another problem, too: I'm allowed to bring a guest with me!!
Normally on boring functions I take Matthew Collins with me. He tends to liven the event, sometimes I even just send him in my place. But to a BNP AGM I don't think that would get past even the BNP's radar. Plus, Matty has been to a few of his own. His book talks about them all Nazi saluting and brawling in the bar at York Hall in London in the early nineties so I don't see him as being much use in sitting quietly at the back munching on his meal deal from Boots the chemist-no matter how much he does like the sandwich combo.
No, for this year it has to be someone quite special. if I'm going to make a weekend of it at £50 per head including a buffet lunch and a gala dinner it will need to be someone who can sit quietly and not ask any questions during the advertised Q&A session. The BNP describe it as an opportunity to "hone your political skills" but everyone knows that asking questions is a sure fire way to get yourself thrown out of the party. And we wouldn't want that. Here's what normally happens when people ask difficult questions at BNP meetings.
I'll be interested particularly in the presentation by "Operation Fightback" currently led by Adam Walker, the BNP officer who is probably more likely to be presenting "giving my car back" given his latest legal difficulties. "Operation Fightback" is, according to the BNP a "counter-attack measures against the enemies of our country, our heritage and our people".
This presentation should be good as we also have the opportunity to meet "charismatic Carlos" the BNP's London candidate for the GLA. Carlos Cortiglia, who is Uruguayan (don't ask me!) spoke out in favour of Argentina during the Falklands war. Translated from an interview given in Spanish, Carlos once said "I am Argentine East, in other words, Uruguayan by birth, and I feel very emotionally linked to Argentina. In 1982 I volunteered to go to the Falkland Islands”. Should be fun...
Then there is the update from the BNP's "number one" MEP (i.e. the only one that still talks to them). That MEP, Nick Griffin, will give an update on the "fight to take Britain out of the EU". Maybe I should take a bookmaker with me? I'll be quids in if I bet that Griffin is out of the European Parliament long before this country is. Of course, I can't take the BNP's very own bookmaker Martin Wingfield, he seems to have also fallen from favour with the party too. Bad Martin, no Argentine corned beef for you!
The real treat will be for me and many others I'm sure, the presentation by "Resistance" the BNP's "militant youth wing" who seem to have a logo very similar to that of the EDL. What with Carlos being "charismatic", I'm sure Kieren Trent will be going all out to beat Carlos with his own presentation skills. Usually these involve Nazi saluting and long winded speeches against homosexuals. I know there will be some at the AGM wanting to have a word in his ear about his other "talents", particularly after his recent attempted foray into the world of Irish republicanism from where he was apparently given short shrift.
So there you have it. Dress down for the occasion and whatever you do, do not ask difficult questions. It's not the great "British" affair of yesterday as the BNP would like to have it, but that says more (thankfully) about Britain than it does about the BNP. This year's AGM is going to be less about talk (well it would be, wouldn't it), and more about "action".
The chances are it will be court action.
Hope not hate