The Leadership Contest
Where do we go from here? That is the question many supporters of Andrew Brons are asking, in the light of yesterday’s leadership poll. Supporters of Nick Griffin are asking similar questions.
In the ballot, existing Chairman Nick Griffin won a new term as Chairman by the narrowest margin of nine votes, or 50.19%, against 49.80% for Andrew Brons. There were 11 spoiled papers.
The Returning Officer will now carry out some elementary checks to ensure there was no misconduct in the issuance of ballots and that voters were properly qualified two year members.
Probably, this was the worst mandate the Chairman could win. In effect, the party is split from head to toe and there remain grave questions of doubt over the fitness of many existing officers of the party to exercise control over its operations. Many of these officers are unpopular.
There were also serious offences carried out by the Chairman’s staff during the campaign itself.
A disgraceful 50 point, three page email was circulated to members, savagely attacking Mr Brons with outrageous lies and distortions.
The Chairman attributed its existence to his head of security, Martin Reynolds. Whether Mr Reynolds was capable of writing such a document is open to doubt. The Chairman, moreover, did not explain how Mr Reynolds was able to source the membership data.
The Chairman’s agents also flagrantly breached the electoral rules. In the South East, for example, a prejudicial email was issued under the name of Dave Price, imploring members to support Nick Griffin.
How many voting members these emails influenced will never be known.
The current Chairman enjoys no margin of support. The only practical means by which he can unite the party and lead it, therefore, is to consult and act on the views of the opposing team – not merely initially but on a continual basis.
He should also consider making appointments from Mr Brons’ team. Not least, it will be essential to dispense with the services of the non-member and political opponent, Pat Harrington, who is widely disliked and who stood ethnic candidates against our party in a previous role.
His continued influence in the party, however remote, will be viewed as divisive and confrontational. The Chairman should heed this message very carefully.
The Chairman is in an invidious position. Whereas there are no feelings particularly strongly held about Mr Brons, it is known that the Chairman is, alas, loathed by a significant portion of the activist base and widely resented.
That is why he will need to show resolve and replace a number of unpopular members of his team, whose abilities are open to question.
By contrast, it is widely admitted that the activist base for the most part supported Mr Brons. The activist base must be invigorated and its confidence won over if the party is to make meaningful progress.
An Unfortunate Backdrop
The fact remains that a significant proportion of activists have departed the party over the past year – an occurrence, ironically, that is not unrelated to the activities of Eddy Butler. But for Mr Butler, Mr Brons might have won the election by a significant margin.
In most regions, political activity has collapsed. In Scotland and the Eastern Region, for example, there are no longer any active branches. In the latter, there were dozens of active units earlier last year.
In all regions, the number of units has collapsed.
In all regions, the councillor base has collapsed – from approximately 87 two years ago to about a dozen, presently. It is doubtful whether most of the incumbents will retain their seats when new elections are held.
In other areas, units are controlled by tattooed half-wits, who will never appeal to the public.
The party website has become an illiterate shadow of itself.
In sum, this is an appalling record for the previous administration and, in particular, the Chairman, the National Elections Officer and the National Activities Organiser.
More serious, is the dire financial condition of the party. Large bills, amassed and unpaid, are now due for settlement and comfortably embrace six figures.
During the leadership campaign, it was claimed that the party was capable of settling its debts and there were no invoices outstanding of significance where arrangement had not been agreed. This website has demonstrated otherwise and we shall now see who was correct.
Enormous legal bills have also been amassed and the Chairman is exposed to a large claim from the ‘Decembrists’.
Serious questions also remain, relating to the Chairman’s conducts over an outstanding invoice from Romac Press and his related conduct towards Richard Barnbrook.
In any other party, any one of these developments would have been sufficient enough reason for the Chairman to resign. Unfortunately, the same principles of conduct do not arise in our party but they should.
We shall soon discover whether the existence of these and other events cause such a crisis of confidence that the Chairman’s position becomes untenable.
We would remind him, in such circumstances, that the party is not his personal fiefdom: the party belongs to its members, not to the Chairman so that he might employ his family members and cronies. The party and the country are infinitely more important than the Chairman.
Given the closeness of the vote, there is no question, in our view, that the Chairman should have stood down and provided his support to Mr Brons, which would enable the party to unite.
This would have demonstrated statesmanship and selflessness, qualities that we doubt the Chairman possesses.
When Mrs Thatcher lost the leadership election within the Conservative Party in 1990, she secured a simple majority of 50% of the support of voting MPs. Under the rules, she also required an additional 15% of MPs’ support and narrowly failed that criterion. The purpose of this additional parameter was to ensure a wide margin of support, over and above the simple majority.
By many benchmarks, the party now stands where it was shortly after the Chairman was elected to the post in 1999. If the decline continues, we shall find the party has gone nowhere in a little over ten years.
The idea that the Chairman should remain in office for a further four years is not one which is tenable.
At the next AGM, this rule must be overturned and opportunities created for a further contest, which will doubtless be necessary given the parlous financial condition and the crisis of confidence amongst the activist base.
Across Europe, nationalist parties are booming. In the UK, conditions have never been more favourable for us. Instead, we find that there are now more activists out of the party than in it and that the party is run, for the main party, by half-wits, whose presence is toxic to the cause.
Finally, the party website has written as follows:
“Upon the announcement of his re-election, Nick Griffin said: “The time for division and disruption is over; now is the time to heal. Now is the time to move on. Now is the time to get back to work. We have a Party to build and a Nation to save. Let us go forward together!””
“This election was a great example of internal democracy. Nick Griffin has won and has a mandate to lead the Party for four more years. The members have spoken. We must all get behind Nick and take the fight to the enemies of our Nation.”
Far from ‘healing’, we are reminded that many people were suspended or expelled from the party because they spoke out in a way that was critical of the leadership. Many resigned because of this absence of tolerance.
This election was a poor example of internal democracy. Dirty tricks abounded and an enquiry must be held into the circulation of illicit material by party officers.
Mr Griffin certainly has no mandate. He has split the party and has won by the narrowest of margins. If he and the party stall as a result of any of the numerous cases pending in the law courts, his position will become entirely untenable.
We shall watch Mr Griffin carefully.
NWN: We largely agree with the above post. Whether current BNP members leave or carry on in the hope that Griffin gets his comeuppance is a matter for them take stock of and act accordingly. We would disagree Mr.Brons view that the current state of the BNP is similar to how the party was in the immediate aftermath of the Griffin 'hijack' in 1999. Morale within the BNP is at an all time low. It was exactly the opposite in 1999. We at NWN will continue to watch the 'parasite' that is Nick Griffin on the 'body politic' that is British nationalism.