BNP MEP Andrew Brons has refused to make public a video showing embattled party leader Nick Griffin gatecrashing and abusing BNP members at a meeting addressed by Brons in Brussels on Sunday.
Griffin, variously described by witnesses as "aggressive", "in a real temper" and "abusive", stormed into the meeting to confront Brons, Eddy Butler, leadership challenger Richard Edmonds and others, apparently as Brons addressed the gathering, which had been on a weekend jolly to the European parliament organised by Griffin's enemy-in-chief Butler.
According to Michael Barnbrook, Griffin was "deliberately confrontational", calling Andrew Brons a liar and ordering Richard Edmonds to shut up before attacking Eddy Butler as the meeting broke up prematurely and attendees booed and shouted at Griffin - of whom Butler remarked: "It seems likely that he is having some sort of breakdown."
The meeting was videoed and Griffin's angry outbursts were recorded for posterity. Supporters of Butler and Edmonds had expected it to be released as damning evidence against the BNP leader, but according to Barnbrook Brons is refusing to make the video public because of the "embarrassment that it would cause the British National Party".
The majority opinion of those who witnessed Griffin's extraordinary behaviour is that the video's release would have been a decisive blow in the campaign to oust Griffin and should have been used.
Brons's decision to sit on the video could prove an expensive one for Richard Edmond's leadership hopes, since it is a golden opportunity lost - and not for the first time by the ineffectual Brons, whose record of dither and vacillation is legion in far right circles.
However, let's not jump to hasty conclusions. The BNP is something of a hall of mirrors at the moment, with both sides in the politically deadly dispute generating large amounts of spin and bluff. While Brons may be spineless, neither he nor his allies are stupid.
Brons still has to work with Griffin, though we must assume their relationship is ice cold, and has attempted (or at least attempted to appear) to remain above the worst of the vicious faction fighting, despite coming out in favour of Richard Edmond's challenge. It isn't beyond the bounds of possibility that his allies have every intention of making the video public while allowing Brons the time to publicly distance himself from the decision.
As we and our friends have been repeating for years, Griffin will never be beaten by those who think that playing fair will win the day. Griffin does not operate like that. He will only be beaten by opponents as cunning as he is and as ready as he is to land low blows.
Lancaster Unity: Spineless Brons lets Griffin off hook