Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Liverpool BNP collapses after National Front defection

It was interesting to see, as the candidates in the Liverpool Mayoral Elections were announced, that there would be three fascist candidates standing. Liverpool organiser Mike Whitby is the British National Party candidate and ex-BNP man Paul Rimmer is standing for the English Democrats. But the surprise candidate is Peter Tierney...for the National Front.

Tierney has, for the past few years, been a stalwart of Liverpool BNP. Hailed as a "super-activist" in the past, perhaps for his bank account as much as his actions on the ground, he has been visible at virtually every BNP activity. He demonstrated his credentials by viciously attacking an anti-fascist protester in 2009 and he was more than willing to get his hands dirty for Nick Griffin during the splits in the party in 2010. Throw in the harassment of Asian shopkeepers and you have the portrait of a dedicated fascist lunatic.

He was rewarded with considerable support off Griffin, even when he went off the deep end. A key example being his arrest for harrassing Labour Party members about paedophilia. In short, no matter what he did, he remained a darling of the party and could count on support from the top table.

Something clearly went wrong, however, as he has now thrown his lot in with the all-but-dead and more openly neo-Nazi National Front. Rumours are that a spat with Mike Whitby is at the heart of this, with one nationalist blog even going so far as to declare Whitby a secret Labour Party activist. But it has also been noted that some in the party have been forging closer links with the North West Infidels - both Tierneys, Gary Lucas and Andrew Leary all being present at their farce of a demo in Bolton.

All appear to have defected to the NF alongside Peter. His brother Andrew - with his own record of assault and racist hi-jinks - is standing as NF in the local elections for Stockbridge Ward, whilst Lucas and Leary appear content to not put their head above the parapet just yet. But with all of the big names gone from the local BNP, the only other candidate alongside Whitby is complete unknown Chris Beatson.

Elsewhere, the British Freedom Party and the English democrats are both exploiting the gap left by the BNP. Each is offering up 5 candidates, virtually all former BNP members. The question is whether they will be able to exploit this gap without the "brand recognition" that the party they split from had. This is an open question and one that most likely won't be answered until the results are in. It's a safe bet, however, that the Tierneys using the NF brand will be a spectacular flop and proof that in some cases brand recognition is definitely not a good thing.

Both the mayoral and local council elections will undoubtedly prove a busy time for anti-fascists. However, both the complete disintegration of the BNP and the fact that their offshoots remain largely obscure work in our favour. The next month should prove to be quite interesting.