HOPE not hate / Searchlight by Matthew Collins | Monday, 21 February 2011
This evening's London Evening Standard reports that Libya is "Ablaze" and further reports of "massacre" fears and sniper mercenaries' opening fire on the funerals of dead protestors.
There is turmoil, and a difficulty of getting an accurate picture of exactly what is going on in the country. The leader of Libya is at best described as erstwhile, a law unto himself; Occasional revolutionary, benevolent dictator, war monger, terrorist and occasional peace maker.
"The Colonel" as Muammar Gadaffi , Libya's dictator for 41 years likes to be known, has few ideological admirers in this country. If anything, he is more bewildering than enlightening. Further to that, he was once the go-to person for people wanting finance and equipment to carry out acts of terror. He didn't really seem that bothered who received his financial backing either. During the 1980s both sides in Northern Ireland's conflict courted Gadaffi. So too did one Nick Griffin, who led his Anti-Semitic National Front up a revolutionary garden path in admiration for the Colonel. This was at a time when Gadaffi was an international pariah not just for the Lockerbie bombing but also the murder of London Police woman Yvonne Fletcher.
Griffin and his sidekick Patrick Harrington, both of whom are considered to have ruined the National Front, were huge admirers of Gadaffi even going all the way to Libya's capital Tripoli, in an attempt to convince him to give them "Petro-dollars".
When Griffin re-entered the far-right, joining the BNP in the mid nineties, he claimed to have put all of that behind him. He and Harrington had parted company and gone their separate ways.
Nowadays however, the BNP look to be facing the same fate as the NF did under Griffin's leadership: Membership is falling, cliques are forming and the party is swinging from one extreme to the other ideologically. In such difficult times is it any wonder that Griffin has once more turned to Harrington for advice? Harrington isn't even a member of the BNP, but as well as being the General Secretary of the BNP-aligned and dubious Trade Union Solidarity , Harrington has also been involved in a series of clashes with people who have criticised Nick Griffin, no more so than former leadership challenger Eddy Butler and Griffin's former Consigliere, Jim Dowson.
Whenever his leader is in trouble, up pops Harrington to offer support. So, fear not Colonel Gadaffi. While people are being butchered on the streets of your country, Harrington hasn't forgotten you either: The seminal work of the Colonel "The Green Book" by which Griffin and Harington put so much stock into al those years ago is still being sold by Harrington on his ebay page. No matter how unpopular the dictator, nothing stops the double act of Griffin and Harrington searching for "petro dollars" no matter who or how many get hurt.