Flag man drops Britain

Matthew Collins - 20 03 17
Dowson and his new friends in Budapest on the weekend

Jim Dowson, the man who once raised millions of pounds for the British National Party (BNP) and later formed the ultra-religious and ultra nationalist Britain First, has said he will throw his weight (and social media resources) behind the campaign for Scottish independence.

The Scotsman with numerous Belfast and Budapest-based business interests has made his name and living for over 30 years fronting various bodies campaigning against abortion and gay groups. However, in the last decade Dowson has cemented his profile as a hard-line Ulster Unionist helping finance controversial and confrontational far-right British political parties.

In 2015, Dowson was given a three-month suspended jail sentence for offences linked to union flag protests in Northern Ireland. He was considered by both the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Irish public as one of the major ringleaders in the dispute that brought Belfast to a violent standstill on a number of occasions, after Belfast City Council voted in December 2013 to remove the Union flag from Belfast City hall.

When he loved the union: Dowson leading Belfast flag protests in 2013

Now working and living in Budapest, Hungary, Dowson has once more linked up with former BNP leader Nick Griffin to help support a number of central and eastern European far-right militias.

Dowson made the comments exclusively to HOPE not hate outside a conference in Budapest on Saturday afternoon, which was being addressed by Griffin and other far-right activists, Dowson claimed he would use his considerable social media resources to back the campaign for an independent Scotland, if and when a second referendum is agreed.

Although this appears a massive U-turn for Dowson, a hard-line Unionist originally from Cumbernauld in Lanarkshire, both he and Nick Griffin are determined to quit the United Kingdom, believing the country is “finished” as a result of immigration.

At the conference, held in central Budapest, former BNP leader and MEP Griffin also confirmed that he is approximately “six months” away from moving to Hungary permanently.

Neither side in a Scottish referendum debate would welcome Dowson’s divisive intervention. A recent report by the New York Times revealed the attempts made by Dowson’s Budapest-based operation to influence the American elections last year, via several sites.

And Dowson plans to use bigotry to spearhead his campaign again, in the hope that it further divides the country. Despite claiming he remains a “firm believer” in the “Union”, he believes Scotland should “separate” from England on the basis of England being “stuffed.”

“England is stuffed, England is stuffed totally,” he told us. Arriving at the conference surrounded by uniformed Hungarian fascists, Dowson described himself as “nihilist” who believed a free and Independent Scotland “would protect us from the excesses of Muslim domination.

The New York Times had issues with his last intervention

“In an independent Scotland, the whole political landscape would change,” he claimed and also, he hoped, remove First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and what he described as the Scottish National Party’s “gang of criminals.”

Dowson further claimed he would put in the same amount of effort to affect the Scottish independence debate and referendum as he did for the US Presidential elections.“If I believe in something, you know me, I’ll go for it full blast…” he said.

He refused to deny that he may have had some impact or sway in these election results, bragging there was an “element of truth” that he poured time and energy into the campaign, though is adamant he did not run fake news stories as he has been accused.

“I had an influence, but did I get Trump elected? I don’t think so. They [‘left wing American media’] said I did.”

However, Dowson seems determined to influence this new election from afar. “I will be backing Scottish independence 100%,” he said. And then, just to remind us what it is that drives him, he went further, saying his planned intercession would be based on “patriotism, sense and survival.”

“I will be very specific,” he said. “I will be anti-immigration from countries that are alive with terror suspects…. If people want to come in from Eastern Europe, fine. If you [they] want to come in and freeload they won’t be able to do that anyway, because they [the Scottish government] won’t be able to pay for Somalis as they will be broke.”

Dowson topped the list earlier this year of HOPE not hate’s list of influential far-right activists.

Hardly the picture for Scotland anybody would want – whichever way they are planning to vote.


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