- an interim analysis by Peter Rushton
Part 2: Where next?
As detailed in Part 1 of this interim analysis posted a couple of days ago, the British National Party suffered an electoral disaster on May 5th, compounding that party's acute crisis and its long-term, chronic conditions. Predictably there have been feeble excuses from party chairman Nick Griffin, so perhaps we should begin by acknowledging the grains of truth behind his assertions.
Like any other political party, the BNP has to operate in conditions which are not entirely of its own making. There can be no doubt that Nick Griffin took over the party leadership under near ideal conditions - a nationalist "perfect storm". A decade later, parts of the political climate have become less beneficial.
In 1999 New Labour held the commanding heights of British politics, but the Labour Party on the ground - in areas which nationalists might reasonably hope to target - was often feeble.
The very approach which had brought a landslide victory to Tony Blair's party by winning over "Middle England" weakened the party's appeal in some of its traditional heartlands. Blair often seemed embarrassed to be associated with the white working class, and showed little interest in the Left's former core policy of social equality. For Blair equality meant equal rights for every conceivable minority group, not the old-fashioned socialist nostrum of raising living standards for the (white) working class majority.
Labour's activist base in many of its former strongholds was already ageing. In 2001 the beginning of the "war on terror" - the explicit alliance between New Labour and American neoconservatism - accelerated the collapse of that activist base, with many younger leftists quitting and even parts of the ethnic gravy train becoming decoupled. New Labour paid an increasing electoral price after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, with many leftist or ethnic minority voters defecting either to the Liberal Democrats or to the new "Respect" party, a unlikely coalition between Trotskyists and Islamists.
Another effect of 9/11 was to increase the racial consciousness of many White British voters, though this can be overstated. I suspect that the anti-Islamist backlash only really helped the BNP in areas where there was already racial conflict between Whites and a new generation of Muslim youth prepared to engage in very un-Islamic street gang activity. (A glaring example being Oldham, where a rebuilt BNP branch fought its first council election in 2000 and achieved stunning results in 2001 and 2002.) Outside such areas the greatest electoral benefit of the "war on terror" was indirect - in weakening Labour.
This electoral impact of the neocon "clash of civilizations" was played out in the context of a Conservative Party that remained divided and shellshocked by its 1997 defeat. It could even be argued that the Tory Party took a generation to get over the trauma of Margaret Thatcher's removal in 1990. So the "wasted vote" argument that had eased the passage of many National Front voters into the fold of Thatcher's Tories in the late 1970s no longer applied. For most of the new millennium's first decade the Tories were not a potential party of government, so a Tory vote was just as much a "wasted vote" as a BNP vote.
Fertile ground was thus prepared for BNP election victories: in the former mill towns of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire; in the post-industrial wastelands of the Black Country; eventually in former coalfields in parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands; in the white flight zones of Essex increasingly overtaken by new waves of immigration.
These ideal conditions have now expired, and to that extent there is a grain of truth in Nick Griffin's excuses: external circumstances are no longer as favourable to the BNP as they were for a few years after 2001. We used to have a feeble Conservative opposition and a New Labour government that preferred to ignore its White working class base. We now have Conservatives in power and a Labour Party heavily focused on reinvigorating that White working class support by exploiting welfare cuts.
Yet (not for the first time) Griffin needs reminding that the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves. The BNP had a foothold on power in several council areas, which it pitifully failed to exploit. So the most important lesson of Griffin's ultimate electoral failure is:
Nationalist parties must prioritise training and support for councillors. In fact this training and support system must identify winnable council seats in advance. The party's research and press units should focus less on promoting the cult of the leader and more on developing a handful of strong, locally relevant issues for candidates in each winnable area. Once elected nationalist councillors must be helped to build a reputation as competent and effective activists, climbing the rungs of electability in their area from credible protest vote, to main opposition, to natural holders of office and acknowledged representatives of White voters.
There is no point complaining about our candidates being outgunned by unscrupulous "anti-fascist" campaigners. It was always likely that our opponents would learn campaigning lessons and sharpen their focus, and it is shameful that while "anti-fascists" were moving forward, the BNP was going backwards (at great expense). Even more shameful is that the BNP chairman's own closest cronies gave the best ammunition to the party's opponents. It has to be acknowledged that the problem was not our opponents' lies, but the fact that "anti-fascist" propaganda was often telling the truth about leading figures in the BNP. The second lesson from Griffin's failure is:
Nationalist parties must demand the highest standards of behaviour from party officials and candidates for public office. If individuals know that they cannot withstand media scrutiny, they should admit that they are unfit to represent the party. If the party leadership knows that such people have skeletons in the cupboard - or in too many instances skeletons actually displayed in their front windows - then they should not be appointed.
Nationalist parties cannot afford to be run by cronyism, and cannot afford to exclude our best activists for reasons of factional or personal spite. If the party chairman is so insecure that he cannot tolerate potential rivals working within the party structure, then he is unfit to be chairman. It is a tragic reflection on the state of the BNP that such an obvious truth should have to be expressed. To take the most glaring example: it is farcical that the BNP should be depending on the likes of Clive Jefferson to run its election campaigning, while Eddy Butler - the most successful nationalist electoral campaigner in modern Britain - is marginalised.
Nationalist parties must harness the talents of the best available individuals in our ranks. The cult of the leader is far less important than the need to build a successful leadership team.
There has been much talk in recent months of divergent ideological trends within nationalism, with much bandying of terms such as civic nationalist, cultural nationalist and ethnic nationalist. Linked to (but not synonymous with) these supposed ideological splits have been varying options as to how ideology should be put into practice. What lessons can be learned from this year's elections? (Please note that for the moment I am mostly confining my analysis to the evidence that this year's elections offer in respect of the various alternatives available to nationalists.)
The most glaring failure has been among those who saw the BNP's crisis as an opportunity for ideological purification. The British Freedom Party sought to narrow the definition of "nationalist". Following the example of several splinter groups since the 1970s, the BFP believed that the movement should be purged of "nazis". Yet far from offering a pragmatic alternative, the BFP has failed even to get off the ground, and it is unclear whether its leaders even believe in the electoral path. In this respect it has been even less successful than the most extreme of its polar opposites, the very small and explicitly national socialist British People's Party, which did at least manage to field a candidate for Calderdale Borough Council, and improved its percentage vote from last year.
A different form of ideological purity is offered by the National Front, which has been reinvigorated in recent years by a modest influx of activists from the John Tyndall wing of the BNP, including veteran nationalist Mike Easter. The NF has a few effective electoral units, though its West London activists, led by party chairman Ian Edward, had no election this year. In North Tyneside the NF's longstanding candidates Bob Batten and Mark Nicholls polled 11.3% and 7.5% respectively, up from 8.0% and 4.6% last year. It would be idle to pretend that these results were any sort of electoral breakthrough, but neither could they be described as "uniformly pathetic", the dismissive term used by Nick Griffin in the past to contrast the NF's supposed failure with his own party's supposedly unique formula for nationalist success.
Messrs Batten and Nicholls are among the loyal and able activists who should have a role in whatever nationalist force emerges from the wreckage of Griffinism. Another strong group of NF activists is in Hull, where a few BNP dissidents led by Nick Walsh joined the NF after Tess Culnane's parliamentary by-election campaign in nearby Haltemprice & Howden in 2008. This year's Hull NF candidates enjoyed mixed results, and perhaps overreached themselves by fielding a slate of five candidates, up from two last year. (Notably Hull BNP was only able to field a single candidate this year, and even he only managed 6.9%, compared to last year's NF result of 9.0% in the same ward.)
At least the increased number of candidates could be seen as a sign of NF progress in Hull, whereas in the North West the party will surely be disappointed by the failure to recruit significantly, even after the defection of two prominent BNP activists (Kev Bryan and former regional organiser Chris Jackson) in December 2009. Chris Jackson polled a creditable 4.9% for the Front in Rochdale at last year's general election: the best ever nationalist vote in that constituency, but this year the NF's only council candidate in the borough (former BNP branch organiser Peter Greenwood) finished bottom of the poll with 7.0%.
The only other NF candidate in the North West was Kev Bryan, who polled 12.8% in Irwell ward, Rossendale, a slight increase from last year's 11.6% - but one should bear in mind that Mr Bryan has been contesting this ward regularly since 2006, when as a BNP candidate he polled 30.5%. Even at the 2008 election (by which time the BNP had begun to decline locally) he polled 23.9% here.
If the North West's NF performance was modest, the case against the NF as a credible future for nationalism is settled by the party's failure in two other areas. In Leeds and Bradford a group of veteran activists led by Eddy Morrison joined the Front a couple of years ago after decades of service to various nationalist parties. Mr Morrison is now a prominent NF official and editor of several online and hard copy publications, and though he may regard himself as having fallen out with me I persist in viewing him as a good nationalist who at his best has made great contributions to our cause. Yet it has to be pointed out that despite the collapse of the BNP in Leeds and Bradford, not a single NF candidate contested this year's elections in either city.
Even more seriously there was not a single NF candidate in Birmingham this year, again despite BNP decline. Even in the NF's worst years Birmingham had remained one of their few active branches. Its extinction is a sad day for nationalism and shows that while individual NF activists will have much to contribute towards a nationalist renaissance, there is no real case in favour of the post-Griffin movement regrouping under the NF banner.
Like the NF candidates in North Tyneside, England First Party candidates have demonstrated at successive elections that a BNP label is not a prerequisite for nationalist success. This year party chairman Mark Cotterill increased his vote in Ribbleton ward, Preston, from 12.5% to 15.5%, while the six EFP candidates in Stoke polled between 6.1% and 19.2% (the latter was the second best vote for any nationalist party in any Stoke ward this year, beaten only by outgoing BNP group leader Michael Coleman's 24.3%). These results were achieved with virtually no financial resources.
One important aspect of the EFP's credible election results (which have included electing two councillors in Blackburn with Darwen and defeating the BNP on most of the occasions where the two parties have clashed in the past) is that English cultural identity and imagery can have an important role in enhancing nationalist electoral appeal. Both the BNP and the NF leadership have made a great fuss about rejecting English nationalism as part of a supposed commitment to the Union, even though in Nick Griffin's case this supposed commitment is meaningless and will be ditched as casually as changing his tie. This year's elections demonstrated conclusively that the BNP has no chance of winning seats in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Nick Griffin endlessly talked up his party's chances in the Welsh Assembly elections, largely to solicit donations from gullible party supporters who were told that one more fundraising appeal might make the difference, in elections where after all the PR system did favour smaller parties. Yet in four of the five Welsh regions the BNP list was defeated not only by the major parties but by Arthur Scargill's minuscule Socialist Labour Party! In all five regions the BNP lost to UKIP, having been ahead of UKIP in four of the five last time.
In purely electoral terms, those nationalists who target the entire United Kingdom have no advantage over English nationalists.
Another form of English nationalism is represented by the English Democrats, who after rejecting any association with racial politics for most of their existence recruited a number of the BNP's best candidates and activists this year. This move was applauded (and to an extent orchestrated) by Eddy Butler, who as mentioned above has been this country's most effective nationalist election strategist, but its electoral impact is not easy to assess.
The most high profile ED ex-BNP candidate was Chris Beverley, who still works in the office of BNP MEP Andrew Brons and was a BNP councillor for Morley South ward on Leeds City Council from 2006 until 2010. Mr Beverley clearly believed he could win back the ward that he lost last year, but it was a tall order to build a winning campaign under a new party label adopted just weeks before polling day. In the event he finished third with 19.6%, slightly down from the 21.2% he polled last year.
Mr Beverley faced unusual challenges in his ward due to the presence of the Morley Borough Independents. These are one of several such parties which have sprung up in different areas, reflecting continued resentment at the effects of the 1972 local government reorganisation which forced many historically independent boroughs into being absorbed by larger neighbours. Morley was absorbed by Leeds, just as in Lancashire the historic resort of Morecambe was absorbed by Lancaster and Darwen was tagged onto Blackburn. All three cases spawned political parties, and in the case of the Morecambe Bay Independents and the For Darwen Party these groups actually took power for brief periods in their respective town halls.
The success of such parties (even if short-lived) tells us something about the resilience of local community spirit and local cultural identity: these cases should be studied carefully by nationalists. So far as this year's elections were concerned, Chris Beverley and the EDs failed to win back the votes lost to the Morley Independents last year. MBI finished a close second to Labour in Morley South, again pushing Mr Beverley into third place, and held onto Morley North, where Mr Beverley's colleague Tom Redmond polled 8.3%, slightly down on the 11.3% he achieved as a BNP candidate last year.
Two conclusions can be drawn from these results. First: that the strong BNP results in these wards (including Mr Beverley's victory in 2006) were not part of some uniquely successful BNP brand. Second: that contrary to some of the arguments advanced by those who favoured mass defection to the EDs, this strategy did not amount to a successful escape from a contaminated BNP brand. Of course we will never know for certain, but I suspect that had Messrs Beverley and Redmond fought their wards again this year as BNP candidates, then they would have achieved about the same results this year as they did as EDs.
Strong support for this theory comes from the Ardsley and Robin Hood ward of Leeds, contested again by Mr Beverley's wife Joanna. Last year as a BNP candidate Mrs Beverley polled 13.8%. This year as an ED her vote improved slightly to 15.0%, but this improvement was entirely due to the collapse in turnout. Notably this year's ED campaign failed to dent the UKIP vote in the ward, which remained virtually steady numerically and increased from 3.9% to 6.6%. If there was going to be any special benefit to escaping a "contaminated" BNP brand and standing under the more "respectable" ED ticket, then we should have seen it in this ward, where UKIP candidates have consistently been bottom of the poll. In 2008 the UKIP vote denied Mrs Beverley the chance of joining her husband as a BNP councillor, when she lost by just eleven votes.
In Ardsley and Robin Hood ward there was an ideal opportunity to test the theory that nationalists could extend their appeal by trading in the "tainted" BNP label for a more voter-friendly ED label. Yet the result was that the UKIP vote - despite being quite clearly a wasted vote - remained far more solid than Mrs Beverley's BNP/ED vote. Predictably the Liberal Democrat vote collapsed, as it did across Leeds and indeed across most of the North of England, but the Conservatives comfortably held on to second place in the ward.
The only ED success this year came in Boston, where two ED councillors were elected in Fenside ward. Like Morley this is an area where politics has been complicated by the intervention of a strong independent group, in this case the "Boston Bypass Independents", a party that grew out of a local campaign for a new bypass road in the Lincolnshire town of Boston in 2006 and swept to power in the town in 2007. This BBI party failed in office, partly because of internal splits, and suffered heavy defeats at this year's elections, mostly to the Conservatives.
In November 2008 the BNP's David Owens benefited from the already evident decline of the BBI, gaining one of the Fenside ward seats at a by-election, though failing to make any gains in the area at the Lincolnshire County Council election the following May. This year he successfully defended his seat as an English Democrat, and was joined by fellow BNP defector Elliott Fountain. These were undoubtedly strong results for the EDs, and in fact they are the first borough councillors ever elected as English Democrats, but we should not overstate their national significance.
Several factors should be borne in mind when assessing these Boston results:
- David Owens was an incumbent councillor, and the other incumbent (a BBI councillor) had jumped ship to a neighbouring ward;
- His main opponents in the ward were the Boston Bypass Independents, whose votes collapsed across the board;
- There were no Conservative candidates in the ward;
- Fenside is a very small ward with around 4,900 electors compared to Chris Beverley's electorate in Morley South, for example, which is 16,660. Therefore the EDs faced a much easier task putting across their message in a three or four week election period.
- None of the other ED candidates in Boston were known to have any past BNP affiliation, but none of them were elected.
While the ED results were far from disastrous, they do not offer evidence that a mass defection to the EDs is an obviously attractive move for disenchanted BNP members. There are of course other problems with the ED route. A large faction within that party will undoubtedly resist the decision by party leader Robin Tilbrook to accept these new arrivals from a racial nationalist background, given that ED policy has always been determinedly non-racial.
Mr Tilbrook will have considerable ammunition from this year's results to fend off any internal revolt. He will be able to point not only to the two new Boston councillors but to strong results in other areas achieved by ex-BNP ED candidates, which compare very favourably to the votes won by longstanding English Democrats in other wards, "untainted" by any racial nationalist past.
The Leeds results have already been mentioned. In the Hertfordshire borough of Broxbourne a slate of four ex-BNP English Democrat candidates, including former councillor Ray Johns, polled between 11.6% and 28.1%. This latter result was in Cllr Johns's old ward of Rosedale, where the BNP polled over 40% in the 2003 and 2006 elections. Meanwhile in Earby ward, Pendle, another BNP defector to the EDs James Jackman polled 12.3%, only very slightly down on the 13.6% he received in the same ward last year as a BNP candidate. (Incidentally Mr Jackman was also elected unopposed as a parish councillor.) In Solihull two BNP defectors won modest votes standing as EDs, one slightly up on last year's BNP vote in the same ward, the other polling only 3% compared to last year's BNP vote of 6.1%
Most of the BNP defectors' results however compare favourably with those achieved by longstanding English Democrats with no "racist" past in wards which have long been targetted by the party, in boroughs such as Doncaster, where the Mayor is an English Democrat but where there are still no ED councillors, the highest ED vote this year being 23.3%. In other EDs target areas, their highest poll in Rochford was 22.9%, in Medway 13.9%, and in Dartford 21.2%.
The party will also be pleased to have beaten the BNP for the second time in Denby Dale ward, Kirklees, where the BNP candidate was the Kirklees branch organiser for her party, and to have beaten UKIP in two Salford wards as well as in their first ever Tameside campaign.
In Liverpool there was further evidence that a BNP past is no significant handicap for an ED candidate. Former BNP European parliamentary candidate and former Liverpool BNP organiser Steven Greenhalgh polled 4.3% in the city's Central ward, while the two ED candidates in other Liverpool wards with no former BNP association polled 0.7% and 1.4% respectively. Conversely in St Michael's ward, Liverpool, a former BNP candidate, Dr Paul Rimmer, polled 1.8% for UKIP, more than double the vote of an ED rival who had no BNP links.
A final fragment of evidence as to the viability of the ED option comes from Bradford, where the collapse of the BNP left the field free for former party stalwarts who had defected either to the EDs or to the "Democratic Nationalists", a group of former BNP activists including ex-councillor Dr Jim Lewthwaite and former Conservative and UKIP activist Ivan Winters. (As noted above neither the National Front nor the BPP put up candidates in Bradford, despite having some of their leading activists living in the city. Meanwhile the BNP concentrated all their resources on the successful defence of Cllr Mrs Lynda Cromie's Queensbury ward. In fact Mrs Cromie and her husband have been semi-detached from Nick Griffin's BNP for some time, and based their re-election campaigns largely on their personal records.)
Somewhat surprisingly given the modest electoral record of the Democratic Nationalists, they easily outstripped the EDs in Bradford, firstly by fielding three candidates compared to the single English Democrat, and second by achieving generally better votes. Andrew Clark was the ED candidate in Wibsey ward, which he had twice fought previously for the BNP, finishing runner-up with 30.4% in 2006 and 27.8% in 2007. This year he polled only 6.5% as an English Democrat and finished bottom of the poll - in a ward where seven years ago the BNP had managed to win one of the three seats in the all-out election of 2004.
Neil Craig of the Democratic Nationalists was similarly contesting a ward that had elected a BNP councillor in that 2004 contest. Mr Craig polled 10.9% in Wyke ward, showing a slightly better relative performance than Mr Clark for the EDs in Wibsey, though again well down on the votes of around 28% achieved by BNP candidates here in 2006 and 2007.
The other two DemNat candidates were Liam Haines, who polled 6% in Tong ward, and former councillor Dr Jim Lewthwaite, who achieved his party's best result, 11.3% in Royds, a ward where the BNP had polled over 30% in 2006 and 2007. Given the dramatic decline of the BNP in this city during the intervening years, both the DemNat and the ED results are broadly in line with what one might have expected had the BNP limped on rather than collapsing totally (outside Cromie territory). But they do indicate that the ED label alone brought no special advantage.
A final category of BNP defector were the handful of candidates who resisted any of the alternative party labels on offer and stood as independents. They achieved mostly disappointing results. Former BNP parliamentary candidate Neil Whitelam achieved a respectable 543 votes in the SE Holderness ward of the East Riding of Yorkshire, but in Primrose ward, South Tyneside, the four-time BNP candidate Pete Hodgkinson managed only 4.3% as an independent in a ward where he had previously polled as high as 32.9% for the BNP. Similarly in Short Heath ward, Walsall, three-time BNP candidate Malcolm Moore polled only 4.9% as an independent in a ward where he had polled between 17.5% and 22.1% for the BNP. In a three-vacancy election for Ibstock and Heather ward, NW Leicestershire, Ivan Hammonds stood as an independent this year and finished seventh of ten candidates with 420 votes, 273 votes behind the lowest elected Labour candidate. By contrast in a December 2008 by-election for the same ward, which Mr Hammonds contested for the BNP, he finished runner-up with 30.8%, only fifteen votes behind the winner.
The only candidates who achieved reasonably strong results as independents were two sitting councillors originally elected under BNP labels. Graham Partner in Hugglescote ward, NW Leicestershire, who had been elected top of the poll in 2007 with 449 votes (and who remains a Leicestershire county councillor) saw his vote fall to 270 this year as an independent, finishing fifth of ten candidates in a two-vacancy ward, though his share of the poll still works out at around 20%. Meanwhile the former deputy leader of the BNP group on Stoke City Council, Tony Simmonds, polled 30.9% and finished runner-up in the new Broadway & Longton East ward, though we should bear in mind that this is a small ward created after boundary changes, and it was therefore more practical for ex-Cllr Simmonds to get his message across to voters.
So much for the electoral evidence, which seems to offer no conclusive evidence to push nationalists in any direction.
•Smaller nationalist parties - even "extremist" ones, polled perfectly respectably in comparison to the BNP. In some cases, notably EFP chairman Mark Cotterill, their votes showed slight increases from 2010, compared to an almost universal BNP decline, both in numbers of candidates and average vote.
•Those nationalists who defected to the English Democrats did not poll noticeably better than those who stayed with the BNP, but neither did they perform noticeably worse.
•While many internet wiseacres had predicted that the EDs would pay an electoral price for embracing "extremists", the reverse appears to have been the case. The new BNP recruits, no doubt because of their campaigning experience compared to some other EDs, achieved relatively good results and two of them were actually elected, becoming the first ever ED elected borough councillors.
•Predictably the worst option for any nationalist candidate is to stand as an independent, since unless you are a sitting councillor with an established personal record and/or you are operating in a very small ward, it is much more difficult without any party label to get your message across to significant numbers of voters.
What we can conclude from this year's elections is that the long decay of the BNP has clearly destroyed any hope of Nick Griffin's party winning back electoral credibility, but no other nationalist party can present itself as the most obvious and credible alternative.
One danger in such circumstances is that large numbers of activists will simply drift away and abandon electoral politics - in fact many have already done so. Another danger is that those who choose to remain politically active will allow shades of ideological difference, hobby horses or personal friendships to push them into as many as half a dozen rival parties or movements. Again this trend can already be discerned.
There is only one way to rescue the nationalist movement from the consequences of Griffinite implosion. A clear lead is required from the most senior and widely respected figures in our movement. The BNP leadership campaign of Richard Edmonds has made a very good start in this direction, since despite the fact that Richard Edmonds is best known as the leading lieutenant of the late John Tyndall, his campaign has incorporated leading figures in the party who are far distant from the Tyndallite tradition: relatively new converts to nationalism such as Michael Barnbrook, former Conservative academic Sam Swerling, and former Griffinites such as NF veteran and former East Midlands BNP regional organiser Geoff Dickens.
Such a broad coalition will have to face up to difficult choices regarding ideological direction and detailed policy proposals. I will attempt a few signposts on these and other matters in a forthcoming address to the New Right. But we should remember that it is not ideological division or policy minutiae that have brought down Nick Griffin's BNP. Rather that party has been destroyed by financial corruption, authoritarian factionalism and cronyism - familiar enough problems in politics, but seen at their very worst in Nick Griffin's BNP.
As suggested earlier, a new nationalist coalition will need to adopt the following as absolute essentials, the sine qua non for nationalist success and the very opposite of the Griffin approach:
•Nationalist parties must prioritise training and support for councillors.
•Nationalist parties must demand the highest standards of behaviour from party officials and candidates for public office.
•Nationalist parties must harness the talents of the best available individuals in our ranks. The cult of the leader is far less important than the need to build a successful leadership team.
Richard Edmonds has pointed the way forward. It is for other leading nationalists inside and outside the ranks of the BNP to decide how they can best contribute towards the rescue of the movement. I strongly suspect that the BNP is holed below the waterline, and that either constitutional finagling or financial collapse will intervene to prevent Richard Edmonds and his team from completing their rescue operation.
If I am right, then senior figures in the BNP should right now be preparing clear statements that they are prepared to stand alongside Richard Edmonds and his team, either in a rescued and rebuilt BNP (which I regard as an almost impossible proposition) or in a new post-Griffin coalition. The need for such a clear statement is urgent. If nationalism continues to drift through the summer, there might be little left to rescue of the party that elected two Euro MPs in 2009.
16th May 2011