|Norfolk "BNP-free" activists |
(under the great leadership of the late Sid Frisby)
who campaigned in Barking and Dagenham in 2010*
From the Guardian:
BNP faces defeat in European elections under Griffin’s ‘catastrophic leadership’
Experts say Britain on verge of being ‘BNP-free’ as Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons look set to lose seats this month
The British National party – the most successful far right organisation in the UK’s history – is facing meltdown at this month’s elections.
Just five years ago it was surfing a wave of success, with leader Nick Griffin and his colleague Andrew Brons elected to the European parliament and more than 50 councillors sitting in town halls up and down the country.
But that high point was short lived. Dogged by bitter infighting and financial turmoil, scores of key activists have left, and now, after a series of disastrous elections, it has just two councillors, and experts say both Griffin and Brons are facing defeat in a few weeks time – leaving the UK effectively “BNP-free”.
Matthew Goodwin, from the University of Nottingham and co-author of Revolt on the Right, said the party’s demise was in large part down to Griffin’s “catastrophic leadership”. Goodwin said:
British politics is on the verge of being free of BNP representation for the first time in a decade, The party is currently polling between 0% and 1% which is well below its position in 2009 when Griffin and Brons were elected. They are almost certain to lose both these seats and that would effectively be the end of the party as we know it.The BNP’s implosion began with Griffin’s disastrous appearance on BBC Question Time after his election in 2009. It was followed by a series of costly legal battles, including a case taken by the Equalities Commission which challenged the party’s allegedly racist membership rules.
As the party’s finances worsened, lack of discipline, heightened by personal rivalries and concerted campaigning by opponents, led to several key activists either being sacked or leaving to join smaller far-right groups. In 2012 even Brons quit the party to form his own organisation – the British Democratic party. Goodwin said:
Griffin has managed to alienate pretty much everyone who is anyone on the far right in the UK and we are seeing the results of that.The financial turmoil facing the party was underlined earlier this year when Griffin was declared bankrupt following a dispute with a firm of solicitors over outstanding debts of £120,000.
Now even in its former strongholds of Yorkshire, the Midlands and east London it is struggling to field candidates or run effective campaigns.
We are also seeing the BNP’s collapse at the local level in areas like Burnley, Barking and Dagenham and Barnsley where the number of candidates is massively down on 2010.The party’s two remaining borough councillors are in Pendle in Lancashire and Charnwood in the Midlands. Only one of them, Pendle councillor Brian Parker, is up for re-election later this month.
* I was the one who took the photo. Sid and a couple of others were too bashful to be included.