The BNP: A history of believable incompetence

Matthew Collins - 08 01 16
Jefferson & Walker: Plonkers

Jefferson & Walker: Plonkers

At the end of 2014 we remarked that our highlight of the year was the “total collapse of the BNP.” Nick Griffin had been booted out of the European Parliament, forced out as Chairman and then, humiliatingly, expelled from the party he had built into a once serious electoral proposition.

Between 2001 and 2009, the British National Party had an unstoppable feel about them. The party was full to burst with nazis, cranks, conspiracy theorists and even rapists and murderers. But they persisted with pushing ahead with a rebranding of an old nazi party into something that would at least look like it did not smell quite as bad as it once did.

They were picking up the odd council seat here and there, quite incredibly got a member elected onto the London Assembly in 2008, and by 2009 the party held over sixty council seats and had two MEPs. Close to one million people voted for them in the European Elections.

The BNP wanted to be seen as a serious political party; but in becoming a serious political party, Griffin had to make enemies. In November 2008 the party’s membership list was leaked by a disgruntled official. A proper party they wanted to be, but few people actually seemed to want to be on the dreaded list. Still, despite the humiliation, they forged ahead from that disaster in time to win those near one million votes. It was clear that the BNP was often its own enemy and Nick Griffin perhaps both their greatest and their worst asset.

One of the most interesting internal documents I have ever seen from the BNP was a secret letter that Griffin wrote to BNP officials after his election to Brussels in 2009- begging them to not take advantage of the European Parliament’s generosity. So aware of the likelihood of this happening was Griffin, he only entrusted party employee timesheets and expense claims to his wife Jackie (a midwife). The party’s treasurer, by all accounts a “great bloke”, was addicted to internet pornography so they had removed his office computer and given him an old ledger to work on instead.

As well as their accounts, Griffin handed the party’s fundraising and administration over to a third party. It wasn’t the normal practice of a political party, but the BNP was never a normal political party. It was always a muddled and incompetent machine held together by people’s almost biblical faith in it. It was people’s unremitting faith that despite disaster after disaster, the BNP gave the impression that it was unstoppable. And so amateur as to be bordering on stupid.

That synopsis was proved spectacularly correct when Griffin achieved what had been his apparent lifetime political ambition by being invited onto Britain’s flagship political TV show, Question Time. Yet, contrary to popular belief, although the majority of the country fell around laughing at Griffin’s inept performance, some 18,000 people applied for BNP ‘information packs’ over the next fortnight. Sadly, for the party, few of the information packs made it to the post office..

There was incompetence everywhere in the BNP. They decided not to pay their creditors, next. What on earth could go wrong with that idea?

There then began a rumour in the party that £640,000 had been ‘mislaid.’ The party’s accounts were by all accounts, “missing” and eventually ended up being delivered to our offices in binbags. Shredded.

In 2010 at least they had a General Election to look forward to. There was a very good chance that the party would not only take control of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, but potentially, Griffin could also end up being an MP. What could go wrong?

Those of us that made it to Barking and Dagenham for the election campaign(s) were impressed by the BNP’s first week of campaigning. They were everywhere. They’d even produced a special newspaper for the borough, but by the second week, the incompetents were locked indoors with thick black felt tips manually trying to cover up an outrageous libel against a local MP that they had stuck on the front of their newspaper. By the third week, you hardly saw them anywhere in the borough. Oh, except for one of their council candidates deciding to assault some young Asian lads.

To keep that out of the news, with the election fast approaching and the BNP’s election broadcast about to air, their webmaster decided to pull the plug on their website!

Oh yes, and all of this only a month after one of Griffin’s lieutenant’s was arrested as part of an alleged plot to murder him!

By 2011, the BNP was accused of fraud. A year later, Griffin found Loyalist paramilitaries allegedly trying to kill him and his daughter.

So, here we are almost six years later. There is still a BNP, but it is vastly different to the party it was. Griffin was expelled in October of 2014, for amongst other things, threatening to slap one of the party’s administration team. Given the luck the party has had, that was woefully late.

Since Griffin was expelled, the party has suffered three other splits. Griffin tried to rally the party behind him, but he could not use email properly enough to send out his factional email!

The people who run the party now do so, it is alleged, because there is something like ten million pounds on its way to the party. They’re not too bothered with members, rules, or elections.

Despite their claims to the contrary, the membership of the party is now below 500. A woman who worked in their office told me.

Today the party was deregistered by the electoral commission for no other reason than the party is incompetent.

The BNP tried to claim that it allowed this to happen so they could get some cheap publicity. If anything, as we all know it is a lie, it’s the most incompetent thing the two incompetents’ who now run the party have done since they tried to kidnap a woman in Belfast.


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate