A window on the BNP leadership
15 Jul 2010 by CST
The BNP leadership contest, in which party leader Nick Griffin is being challenged by veteran far right activist Eddy Butler, is dragging the party down into a pit of bitter infighting and petty squabbles.
Meanwhile the party's financial problems continue to escalate. The ongoing case against the party brought by the Equalities & Human Rights Commission and the fiasco over the BNP's unlicensed use of the Marmite logo in their election broadcast, are just the most-high profile legal cases to drain the party's finances. Butler himself has described the BNP as "insolvent", despite which their recruitment and fundraising consultant Jim Dowson is paid £162,000 per year - even more than the Prime Minister.
Now comes an insight into the divisions and emnity toward Griffin amongst many of the BNP's current and former members. Michaela Mackenzie, a former BNP employee who was unfairly dismissed by Griffin last year, has won an industrial tribunal against the party and written an account of her time in court. Even allowing for her clear dislike of Griffin, it is a remarkable insight into his leadership style:
Six days before we were to appear in the Bristol Tribunal Court, Griffin requested an adjournment on the grounds that he had recently undergone a minor throat operation on 28th May and had been issued with a doctors certificate until 12th June. Unfortunately this wasnt quite long enough to carry him past the scheduled tribunal dates of 15/16/17 June, so he pleaded that he fully expected to be issued with a further sick note. He also claimed that he had been advised not to go out in public for fear of infection. Unhappily for him, he had held a party the previous weekend and had also been dumb enough to allow himself to be filmed by BNPtv at a meeting in Stroud on Wednesday 9th for all to see. The judge refused his request for adjournment.
Undaunted, Griffin made a second plea 2 days later, still citing that he mustnt go out in public for fear of infection. Somehow, this didnt seem to tally with his jolly tweet that preparations for the Trafalgar Club dinner were in full swing, an event to be held in a tent in his garden, drinks at 7, dinner at 8. This was followed by a BNPtv video of him surrounded by TC members who looked pretty hacked off that hed been so lacking in foresight as to plan the event on the very night of Englands first World Cup match. Not surprisingly, the judge denied his second request, having been acquainted of his multiple public appearances whilst claiming that he was in isolation. Thus, when Griffin took the stand, Bible in hand and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the judges knew he had already lied to them.
On being questioned about the role of Adlorries, Griffin told the court that it had been set up specifically so that the party could transact business since mainstream banks and other suppliers would have nothing to do with the party. My solicitor then suggested that it must have been set up sometime after November 2007 since that was the date on Dowsons contract. Yes said Griffin. Strange says my solicitor, ..because according to Companies House, Adlorries was registered in October 2004, a full 3 years before Dowsons involvement with the party. Griffins face reddened, having been caught out fibbing.
He was also cross examined by the judge who really screwed him into the ground, consistently asking Where is your evidence, Mr. Griffin? When did this happen, Mr. Griffin?, Was this minuted, Mr. Griffin?, Who exactly told you this, Mr. Griffin? to which Griffin replied, I dont exactly recall, It must have been sometime in March or April, or even June, I heard it on the grapevine, the rumour mill, Jim Dowson must have told me.
Nick Griffin couldnt give a truthful or even credible answer to anything he was asked because he knew nothing other than the poison Dowson had poured into his ears and had not a single shred of evidence to support anything he said. Unfortunately for Griffin, the gospel according to the Rev. Jim Dowson doesnt constitute evidence in a court of law. The more he was browbeaten the more vicious he became. At one point I actually thought he might leap across the courtroom to attack me, so frustrated was he. But then, given the sycophantic deference which Griffin has come to expect from his worshippers, I think it came as a devastating shock to him that the judge was totally indifferent to his status and treated him as he would any other common or garden respondent being sued.
Griffins barrister then approached my solicitor just 2 minutes before the tribunal was due to re-convene and told her that Mr. Griffin wanted to know what I would be prepared to settle for, to name my price. My solicitor was doubtful that they would accept what I asked for but I told her that it was a risk I was prepared to take and that if they refused then we would simply walk back into the court and have our say openly.
Griffin then made the only sensible decision of his life and completely caved in.
What serious and responsible members now have to consider is whether a man who makes so many ill judged and rash decisions before considering all the possible consequences, is fit to be their leader or deserves their support. Donations have all but dried up due to the now endemic mistrust of Dowson and Griffin and their lack of financial transparency, and the party is on the brink of bankruptcy. It is very possible that the punitive damages awarded to Unilever for Griffins monumentally stupid use of their Marmite logo, will see the party fold.
If anything has become clear to me over the past year, it is that Griffin genuinely believes he is untouchable and above the law in effect, a dictator.
No man can become a dictator of his own accord. Dictators are created by sycophants who have neither the will nor intelligence to exercise any independent discrimination or moral judgement upon the object of their idolatry, and by craven cowards who cave in to threats and intimidation. Dictators are very skilled at manipulating people, preying on their fears and emotions. One only has to listen to Griffins passionate speeches or to read Dowsons melodramatic appeal letters, to know that this is precisely what they are doing in order to prompt you to part with your hard earned cash. And its your hard earned cash that is being profligately wasted in defending the party against the expensive consequences of Griffins wanton spite and stupidity.
One wonders whether Mr. Griffin would exercise more reason and moderation were he obliged to fund his incessant court costs from his own wallet?
July 14th 2010
As a postscript to this statement, I am now able to inform you all that Mr. Nick Griffin MEP, who gave a signed undertaking in court in front of three tribunal judges, his own barrister, my solicitor, two of my witnesses and a journalist, to pay the agreed settlement by 14th July, has reneged on his word. Further legal proceedings against him, and other party officers, to recover the amount of the settlement have now begun.