29 March 2012


With Nick Griffin's once merry BNP men split in to a thousand pieces, the BNP itself reduced to around 2000 members, mostly inactive (and that's an optimistic estimate!), and a few tiny no-hope. mostly internet-based splinters unsuccessfully attempting to pick up the pieces, there hasn't been much we could do to them that they haven't done to themselves.

How did they get to this happy place? Well, they believed their own hype, and you couldn't persuade them that their revered Nick Griffin was a corrupt chancer who happened to win the leadership of the party (after a down and dirty campaign, of course) at a time when some Labour voters were so disillusioned by Tony Blair and "New Labour" that they were prepared to lend their votes to the BNP.

It was as well for everybody that the BNP came to be led by a man as extraordinarily incompetent as the gimmick-loving Griffin, who promptly began to behave much as he had during his tenure as leader of the National Front, engaging in purge after purge, reneging on his promises, and above all seeing the BNP and its membership as a business opportunity. Griffin proceeded to squander every electoral chance the BNP ever had, his glaring incompetence and personal greed always getting in the way of sound, grass-roots politicking.

We and our sister site Lancaster Unity consistently warned that Griffin's number one priority was Griffin himself. We also warned BNP members not to believe their (and especially not their leadership's) own hype. We detected that the BNP had peaked around 2005, mostly because the party did not address the issues that mattered to all those disillusioned Labour voters. By 2007 it was apparent to us that their vote had stalled, and by 2009 (despite the odd surprise success) it was clearly on the decline.

Nick Griffin, lucky as ever, stood for an EU seat right in the middle of the parliamentary expenses scandal. His vote barely moved at all from that he had obtained previously, but with voters boycotting the polls in droves his paltry 6% was enough to get him elected to the Euro gravy-train, where he has been dipping his considerable beak ever since.

Even so, the BNP's performance in the local elections held at the same time was lamentable, and more evidence of electoral failure stacked up. Even Griffin's tiny vote proved the extent of that failure, despite the mischance of his election. And in every election that followed between then and the 2010 general election, the evidence of continuing BNP electoral decline continued.

You couldn't tell BNP members that, though, and they believed that in the general election they'd get at least one MP - and to make sure he would be that MP, Griffin unceremoniously elbowed aside Richard Barnbrook, who was standing in Barking and Dagenham, widely believed to be the best hope for the BNP.

The rest is history, as they say. The BNP performed disastrously in the 2010 general election, not helped by a hopelessly out of tune campaign based around World War Two Spitfires and a nasty line in Islamophobia. All a bit pointless when voters at large were more concerned with jobs and incomes than they were the BNP's obsessions with Sharia law. It's always the economy, stupid!

And so the BNP imploded into acrimony and in-fighting, and, while it was nice to report on that in the early days, the multiplying woes of the extreme right quickly became a bore, and - not seeing the point of keeping the site going - we closed the main successor site to Norfolk Unity. Lancaster Unity, similarly bored watching the final twitchings of a dying enemy, also closed.

One day - and a long way off it is - the extreme right will regroup, a viable entity will slowly emerge from the ruin. But not for years to come. And even then it will exist only on the fringes unless or until the political class screws up as much as it did during the Blair years.

When or if that happens, we'll come back, but until then there are other campaigns to fight, other things we've got to get on with. In the meantime our very good friends at Searchlight and Hope Not Hate continue as they always have, keeping a watchful eye on the far right, digging the dirt, showing them up for what they are.

Take care of yourselves,

Denise and Atreus.