Before I get into this I would like to thank the many people who have thoughtfully sent messages of understanding and support via telephone, email and FaceBook personal messages. I am sincerely grateful for your support at this difficult time.
Over the years I have come to know many decent honourable members with whom I am happy to associate. If you are one of these and you are upset with me for leaving once you have read my explanation then please accept my apology. In direct contrast various malignant mutterings on other blogs by the usual anonymous intellectually incontinent posters have been brought to my attention and have provided Debbie and I with much amusement. I invite these individuals to continue to mate privately with either their own, or each others, hands.
My resignation from the British National Party has taken some by surprise but I have been unhappy with the way the party has been ‘developing’ for a couple of years. Unlike others I have followed the cascade principle of good news gets promoted whilst bad feeling is kept close. I have refused to take part in the internet debacle that has surrounded the party in recent years, favouring instead to keep calm and get on with being a conscientious borough councillor. I was only going to post a simple statement confirming resignation for the cynical that will not believe it until they see me write it but the interest that has been shown in this councillors resignation has been far in excess of anything that I have expected. The stats for this blog, which in honesty has been a Nationalist backwater for quite some time, have gone back into the hundreds daily. I have no axe to grind but I do feel that a decent explanation is being called for. The account that follows is quite lengthy and within it I seek to answer the sensible questions which are, quite understandably, being asked.
Having been a member of the party for quite a few years in which time I have been both an activist and official at different levels I watched the party change and develop in a progressive manner and I was happy to put my shoulder to the wheel. Over the years I watched the party develop for the better (with hiccups) but generally I felt in the correct direction. ‘Progressive’ is a word that I feel comfortable with because I have seen myself as a progressive member who wished to leave the entrenched Nationalist battlegrounds of immigration and leaving the European Union and fight fresh battles. The party needed an alternative way of presenting itself and to focus its attention upon the promotion of different areas of the Nationalist philosophy. Nationalism genuinely does have a lot to offer the British public and, if packaged correctly, they will both understand and as importantly VOTE for it.
As the party developed and the membership grew in common with many others I was very pleased to see new members who in the past would not have touched us with a barge pole not only attending meetings but become enthused and some took the step of standing as candidates. Good people who were politically becoming aware of what is happening around them saw the BNP as a viable way for them to take part in politics. There was no defining event but this changed. People were put off by the party’s inner shenanigans and the constant stream of ‘same old’ messages that were being put out throughout every campaign.
I would compare the way that the party has been run to that of a non league football club with a selfish chairman which resides quite comfortably two leagues down in the non league pyramid below national league football. The chairman is happy with attendances at matches because bills are being paid and his position is secure but when the people under him (the manager and the players) do well and the club is promoted a certain amount of tension creeps in. The club is getting too big now and may need fresh blood to lead it further. After two particularly successful seasons which culminated in a play off battle the chairman has had enough. The manager has to be sacked and the best players sold. This leaves the fans angered but still supporting their favourite team of course (the old tribal loyalty) and the team falls back to the lower league where the chairman feels much more comfortable for a few years until the process has to be repeated. People come and people go but the chairman of the club remains ever the same until he either dies or decides to sell it. The comparison is not a perfect one but I am sure that members can see comparisons between the example above and the way in which the British National Party has been run in recent years.
I have watched with detached amusement in the past as several have maligned me as a Griffinite. Nothing could be further from the truth. A long time ago I recognised the simple fact that he is the largest publicity negative consistently thrown at the party image and no matter how hard he works this will never change. To discuss my opinions on the various mistakes (to be very charitable) of the current chairman, and others, would require much more space than I am prepared to spare in this piece. For several years now I have said to anyone who cared to ask (in person) that I was looking forward to the day that NG was no longer leader and that the further he was removed from the public domain the better I see it being for the party.
On the first Thursday of May in 2008 the people of Barpool ward elected me as a British National Party councillor for a four year term. I see it as my duty to perform the duties of a borough councillor diligently and to the best of my ability throughout that period. I have reminded quite a few people of this over the last couple of years when they have asked me how I can bear, knowing my opinion, to be a public part of the party. “Fair enough! I can understand that”, or words to that effect has been the standard reply.
So what has changed? That is why you are here I suppose. It is my belief that recently changes have taken place in the way that the party operates politically that effectively turn the clock back. I have heard the chairman himself say at meetings (no details will be given here but those readers active within the party will know what I am referring to) about precisely targeted demonstrations and Branches are being encouraged to be on the streets more and more campaigning against, as an example, mosque planning applications. It takes a while to imagine a less politically successful strategy than drawing attention and public sympathy to that which you oppose and consecutively reinforcing their ‘downtrodden’ status for them. We all know that the leadership of the party is aghast at the number of very long time members that have left to follow the EDL and have sought ways to stem and reverse the flow. The EDL is not a political party and I see the use of the on street campaign strategy to raise the profile of the party as a kind of political alternative to the EDL. This serves both purposes for the chairman because whilst refreshing the traditional BNP stereotype is abhorrent to the general public therefore limiting the parties growth potential it will be attractive to the small section of the population that policy and publicity strategies have been aimed at over several years. The party therefore remains of manageable proportion for the chairman and refills it with a mix of old comrades and newer followers of the right sort. This strict insistence on targeting the same voter profile on every occasion does not work for any successful post war political party and for that to change would require a reversal of human development.
This for me has been the crux question: If the party is going to campaign and promote itself in ways that I so disagree with and purposely seek to drive itself into a political cul-de-sac named irrelevance how can I remain a member? By staying on as councillor I would be seen as agreeing with the backwards steps that the party will continue to take. Well there was this years leadership election on the horizon. I attended the West Midlands hustings event with a great deal of interest. I know exactly what to expect from Nick but whereas I respect the work that Andrew Brons does as a Member of the European Parliament and believe others that have told me that he is a thoroughly decent individual I wanted to weigh up his leadership potential. I was not alone, there were ten members in the room who were not actually a part of the proceedings and I will say that not a single official present managed to withhold their preference. I was not particularly bothered because I was not expecting them to. I focussed upon the man of the moment and I must say that he speaks well. Coming across as the knowledgeable gentleman that I believe him to be but in my mind not a leader. I will say that there was some interest in how I intended to vote before the votes were cast. I simply replied that I would view the evidence available and make up my own mind which is what I recommended others to do. I have purposely not sought to influence the decisions of others in this internal election. I am not of the opinion that simply anyone else will do. A political party needs a leader! I found myself in the position of having a chairman that I wanted rid of and a possible replacement that I believe does not have the leadership potential to take over. Whichever way the leadership election went I would not be happy because there is no doubt in my mind that the party would be torn apart from within if Andrew Brons had won or consigned to irrelevance under Nick Griffin. He is not enough of a leader to hold the party together with the characters that it has at its heart and he admits that he does not have any replacements in mind.
After a period of intense reflection and soul searching I decided to withdraw from the British National Party whip, position as West Midlands Regional Fund Holder and my party membership itself. I am a Nationalist and I do not need to hold a membership of a failing political party to prove it to anyone. I chose my timing carefully because believing in neither candidate I did not wish to furnish either with a resignation to wave as internal propaganda. Similarly I did not want anyone to believe that I resigned because of the result. To this end I rang my Regional Organiser on Monday (the day of the count but before the votes were counted) and informed him of my decision. Knowing of my disenchantment over the last couple of years and opinion of developments he was not in honesty too surprised.
With party and the council informed I did not have long to wait before the press rang. Formalities over with I settled back to continue my service to the people of Barpool ward. purely for the benefit of those interested enough to read this far that don’t know me personally they will continue to receive my best efforts as a borough councillor for the full term and nothing less, as is my way.
Those who have visited this blog before will notice that the blog links have disappeared from the right hand column. This is not a reaction to events, rather a long overdue rationalisation and refresh of the presentation of the blog.