Friday, 16 October 2009

The impending implosion of the BNP

Yesterday, in perhaps the most bizarre turn in British politics for a while, the British National Party (BNP) announced that it will hold an "Emergency General Meeting" to "discuss the party’s membership criteria." In essence, this means that the BNP's whites-only membersip policy could well be scrapped.

Despite trying to claim that Griffin "outflanked" the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), the news is essentially an acceptance of defeat. Although the court case which brought this about "could have been fought by the BNP, and probably won under current legislation" the costs "would have been prohibitive." This contradicts Nick Griffin's assertion in his Chairman's Update that "the British National Party doesn't throw in towels!" In the same message, he urges members "to ensure that we survive the next few months" by donating cash, as "the aim of our enemies is to destroy/financially neutralise us by Christmas."

Helpfully, as well as sending "an urgent donation," members can pay through the nose for "Gold" and "Life" memberships, and links to donations pages litter every page of the BNP website like the worst kind of spam. Unfortunately, despite claims that with this money Griffin will fight "Trevor Phillips and his fellow anti-British cretins" in their "attempt to destroy the BNP," the party has already thrown in the towel.

Despite a constant stream of sycophantic comments underneath the article on the CEHR case, many on the far-right are now utterly fed up of Griffin's cash-grabbing charade and are voicing their dissent quite openly. The Griffin Watch blog declares this "the final act of betrayal," whilst North West Nationalists brand Griffin "the wooden horse" bringing about "the end of the BNP." Furious debate rages on the subject on Stormfront, with comments by "Herbie14" demonstrating the general sway of opinion;
There’s been a massive banner on the BNP website for the last couple of weeks entitled “Countdown to October 15th”. It has a picture of Nick Griffin and Trevor Phillips with a boxing ring in the background.

A scrolling message reads “Our party is in grave peril. Your donation is our weapon.”

You click on the banner and are taken to a letter allegedly written by Nick Griffin, which is in fact written, as are all the begging letters and emails, by BNP “business guru” Jim Dowson. At the top of the page, the headline is "Let's Get Ready to Rumble!" There's the usual spiel about Waterloo, the Somme etc. and then at the end we have:

"The 'Equalities Commission' (CEHR) are at this very moment poised to destroy the party.

They and their political masters are already celebrating the demise of the BNP. They think we're on the ropes, backed into a corner. Maybe we are? But now we're coming out FIGHTING!

And for the last week people have been getting BNP emails saying, “4 days to go” and then the next day, “3 days to go” and so on, all with links to donate.

So given all this, one would be forgiven for imagining that the imagery involved, the boxing/fighting analogy, would suggest that the BNP was asking for people’s money as they were intending to, in some way, actually fight the CEHR case.

However, as it turns out, (quelle surprise) Griffin had no intention whatsoever of doing any form of fighting at all.

Quite simply, the BNP membership have been fleeced by Griffin and Dowson in a quite disgusting and cynical way. This whole fundraising session has been a massive confidence trick and is a quite possibly illegal fraud. If this doesn’t wake people up to the fact that the BNP is now simply a money-making exercise for Griffin and Dowson, I don’t know what will.
What we may well be witnessing, then, is the implosion of the British National Party. As the most prominent, united, and popular group in a far-right riven with disarray and disorder, they have for the past decade represented the biggest threat for anti-fascist campaigners. The party will not simply disappear overnight, given the amount of elected officials they have in local councils, on the London Assembly, and in Europe. However, if the party does splinter or even openly turn against Griffin, then the political landscape of fascism will change in untold ways. If it doesn't, the outcome of its slow and painful demise under a power-hungry and cash-grabbing Nick Griffin is equally unpredictable.

Either way, it is certainly something worth paying attention to.