Britain First at a mumbling crossroads

Matthew Collins - 16 11 15
Jayda Fransen: Dark eyes on a dark job?

Jayda Fransen: Dark eyes on a dark job?

Britain First mumbled their way through their annual conference in Dronfield at the weekend. Less than seventy of their bin-bagged army bothered to turn up-this is despite the party reaching one million Facebook likes only a few days before.

Still, they are probably physically bigger than just about any other extreme far-right party or grouplet at the moment, but despite this, all is not well.

The night before the conference Britain First’s leadership were propping up a bar in their hotel, the Sitwell Arms near Dronfield. And no, they still cannot organise a heavy drinking session in a place laden with beer…

There were arguments.

There were arguments in the party as to how long and far they can actually go with Paul Golding leading them from behind a crucifix. Some of the ‘warriors’ seem keener on Golding’s deputy, Jayda Fransen leading them. Not as much as she is, apparently.

Dowson: A crook, actually..

Dowson: A crook, actually..

To back up Paul Golding, none other than Jim Dowson turned up to address the gathering. Billing himself as ‘guest speaker’ and not the ‘silent business partner’ he really is, Dowson spoke for forty minutes (it felt like a life time) about abortion and homosexuality, which immediately put him out of step with some in the room who were previously in the English Defence League (EDL) and for some reason believe themselves to hold progressive views. I guess they were also completely unaware of the huge debt(s) Golding still owes the party’s erstwhile founder.

Imre Téglásy: Another man who wishes he had a womb

Imre Téglásy: Another man who wishes he had a womb

Dowson also told the room that the party needed to drop its hostility to Islam. This did not go down to well with a number of people.

Nor did the fact that the party pretended to hold votes but there was very little discussion (or votes on anything important.) Nor were there any candidates for posts which were handed out like medication bought over the internet should be…. How very “un-Christian.”

Imre Téglásy, a Hungarian anti- abortionist was the guest speaker. Téglásy was drafted in by Dowson after Golding and Fransen’s recent trip to Hungary failed to impress anyone on the Hungarian far-right enough to come to the conference. By all accounts, the Hungarians even laughed in Golding’s face!

No one was laughing by the time the anti-abortionist had finished an hour of droning on and on.

Whilst it suits Dowson to pursue Golding’s wavering commitment to Christianity and monies, many on the floor of the conference were keener that Britain First drop the crucifixes. As one delegate (and not the secret blogger at the back of the room) told the room “the country is tired of religious extremism.”

Fransen made herself the star of the show. How her relationship with Dowson is, nobody knows. Dowson’s private pep talk to Golding before his non-existent Leader’s speech hardly lightened his mood.

For Golding, he feels his greatest chance of doing well in the London Mayoral Election is to play the religious card and attack the Labour candidate for being a Muslim. Not a popular choice with Dowson by all accounts who appeared to put his head in his hands, and not to pray.

Golding decided against a thumping closing address and instead allowed Fransen to receive the plaudits for another year of political failures and financial begging letters.

I think the knives may well and truly be out in the new year to see who will be Dowson’s salient partner.


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