BNP in Disarray
Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 22nd December, 2007
I have to confess to a certain Schadenfreude over the recent divisions within the British National Party. In a scenario worthy of an airport novel, the leadership has been accused of spying, theft and money-launchering. A number of key activists have broken away, to set up the ‘Real BNP’. An official BNP spokesman has tried to talk down this split as a ‘slither’, but the facts make that a hard case to defend. Not for the first time, internal disputes have resulted in fisticuffs, in which some activists have been only too willing to show their true colours. Nick Griffin may have presided over moves to ‘soften’ his party’s image (such as getting some of the skinheads to dress up in suits). Moreover, in some areas, BNP literature has had a make-over, more reminiscent of a LibDem ‘Focus’ leaflet than of more predictable racist tracts. But the electorate is unlikely to be easily fooled.
The fortunes of the BNP are of particular concern in London, not least because in the last PR elections to the Greater London Assembly (GLA), the BNP almost crossed the 5 per cent threshold that would have given them a seat in the assembly. Since then, the party has become the official oppostion in the borough of Barking and Dagenham. Indeed, one of those councillors, Richard Barnbrook, is set to wed prima ballerina, Simone Clarke. But in the wake of recent revelations, the picture is not as rosy as Griffin and Co would make out. In a by-election in Harrow earlier this month, the party garnered a measly 56 votes. Moreover, all the main parties have become much more sophisticated in fighting the BNP threat, and will be applying those skills in the run-up to next May’s GLA elections. So, in the spirit of Christmas, I wish Cllr Barnbrook and Ms Clarke well, and hope that they and others in the BNP will soon find reason to spend much more time with their families.