The BNP might lack candidates, but does the competition lack interest?

Matthew Collins - 14 04 13
Kevin Scott: Minding the BDP's membership..

Kevin Scott: Minding the BDP’s membership..

Whilst Hope Not Hate activists have been out and about this weekend campaigning against fascists, the BNP and the British Democratic Party (BDP), continue to fight among themselves instead of taking their message to the electorate.

The 2013 County Council elections could not have come at a worse time for the BNP or their devil-spawn, the BDP. For the last few months the BNP has been proudly trumpeting their ongoing survival, reassuring those who will listen, that the party is in fantastic shape due to not just the supposed good work of its treasury department, but also that the party has benefited from members dying.

Indeed, as the BNP does like to remind people in its constant emails on the subject of their own good health, leaving the BNP your worldly goods upon your own death, makes you a “British hero”.

It used to be winning elections that made its members heroes in the eyes of the BNP leadership, but nowadays as it fights for its survival, as has been said before, it does seem to prefer its members dead.

Last week the BBC’s Newsnight program invited the BNP onto the show to discuss why and where exactly, all of the BNP’s candidates have gone. They declined the invitation, probably a first for the party that normally has scant regard for the humiliation that normally follows even the most light hearted grilling.

Instead of sending the usual smirking and sweaty Nick Griffin, or even the bullish bore that is Simon Darby, the party sent a written statement instead. Yes, yes, the BNP has considerably less candidates than last time, but they did point out that they had recently been left £200,000 by a dead member.

Only a week before, Griffin had gone onto a radio show at the Jewish Free School to champion his admiration for a Holocaust Denier. I guess it’s easier these days for the BNP to tell lies about six million people than it is about the state of their party.

In the absence of the BNP, Griffin’s former friend and fellow MEP Andrew Brons took the opportunity to get himself onto television instead. Brons is President of the rival BDP a party that is desperately short of publicity (and activists).

Brons however missed his opportunity to promote his hardline alternative to the BNP and even have a proper dig at Griffin’s BNP, by continually flapping his papers at the camera in a pointless show of Aryan pedantry instead. He flapped so hard during the mention of the Holocaust, for a moment I thought he was going to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes and actually fly away.

That neither the BNP or the BDP could raise a candidate for the Doncaster Mayoral Election surprised many people. The BNP is even appealing for members to send them in stamps, they have so few people left to deliver their leaflets in these elections.

 Dave Owen was apparently quite prepared to stand for the BDP, but instead is standing for the National Front. Fair to say, that standing for either party gives an idea of Owen’s ambition-or lack of it.

In an article about the BNP’s poor showing, the BDP wrote that even they experienced “a mixture of emotions, not least of which is sadness; that is distress over the current dire state of what was once a great party.”

The BDP’s own shortcomings in the electoral department, managing only three candidates for the County Council elections, is a mixture of truth and lies. The BDP was launched more than year later than many, including its leader Kevin Scott, thought it should have been. As well as flapping, President Brons likes to procrastinate also. The party’s steering committee was certain that it could raise at least fifty candidates of their own, which they then modified to twenty once the interest (or lack of) in the party was revealed at its eventual launch, where some 120 fewer people bothered to turn up than at a meeting the year before where the birth of the BNP splinter party was first planned.

Unlike the BNP, which preached it needed to fight on against the backdrop of an anticipated UKip steamroller, Scott and others were cautious enough to caution against expecting any kind of decent result in the climate. But as Scott did write, in an article titled “Why we fight”, “You (also) fight elections to spread the word and build an electoral profile that is worth supporting in the future

“I am firmly opposed to standing candidates willy-nilly and prefer this cautious approach..”

This cautious approach is obviously despite the party offering very, very heavily subsidised election leaflets to anyone that did want to stand, regardless of their chances, as not everyone on the party’s steering committee shared Scott’s cautious pessimism. We understand that one prospective BDP candidate in the South West even went as far as getting her nomination forms filled in before deciding that the BDP just lacked any certain ambition, even the “willy-nilly” variety.

Scott sees the BDP as potentially his long term political home, so the lack of desperation while he is still its leader is perhaps understandable for him. Others on the party’s steering committee, those who have always favoured other people doing their dirty political work, don’t necessarily share the same view. The panic that engulfed some of the committee just so that it could actually register in time and under the name “Brit Dems” was aggravated by Scott’s apparent reciprocal disinterest. While others in the BDP leadership wanted to challenge and antagonise the BNP electorally, Scott has spent more time antagonising Nick Griffin’s close friend Patrick Harrington on social media.

In particular, Scott has antagonised Harrington not only over the BNP’s constant begging for people’s worldly goods to be bequeathed to them, but also about the alleged quality of the BNP’s supposed “excellent” treasury team. Harrington, who always bites, describes Clive Jefferson as an excellent treasurer, Scott describes him as something completely different. Meanwhile, the BDP’s website remains severely underdeveloped and plans for a party periodical appear to have been put on hold for the time being.

The English Democrats may be about to disintegrate completely. The 394 candidates that they promised, failed to materialise. We’re not alone either in questioning among ourselves, the validity of some EDP candidates that did manage to stand.

Not only is the party (surprisingly) struggling due to the enforced absence of Jim Dowson

Despite the party’s long standing dislike of both the Irish and Unionists, their Barnsley branch was out flag waving in defence of the Union Flag and Ulster Unionists in Barnsley yesterday. Word is, a section of the EDP in Yorkshire could even be about to follow the lead of some of those in Essex and return to the BNP very soon, leaving poor Chris Beverley with lots of unsold tickets to the EDP St George’s Day dinner.



Scott & Harrington: Arguing the toss

Scott & Harrington: Arguing the toss


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