Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Griffin, the great pretender


At destroying the Party.

The following story appeared today:


Here it is in full:


The British National Party (BNP) is being taken to court by its creditors including a North- East printing firm which is owed thousands.

The far-right party’s central office owes the Newton Press, in County Durham, about £16,500 for printing its newspaper, Freedom.

It is understood the firm is one of several UK firms taking the BNP to court in an action headed by an as yet unnamed solicitor.

The £16,500 has been described as loose change compared to the overall figure being sought from the party, which is allegedly £500,000 in debt.

Party leader Nick Griffin is expected to meet North-East organisers in County Durham today, where he will face tough questions over the party’s finances.

As a political party the BNP is an unincorporated association which cannot technically be declared bankrupt.

However, creditors could hold Mr Griffin personally liable along with party members who entered into contracts.

Freedom’s former editor, Martin Wingfield, said he enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Newton Press for about two years until he stepped down, in July last year.

But, when asked about the recent debt, he said: “I understand the case is going to court, so at present, I cannot comment further.”

The BNP’s money woes were highlighted recently when a letter purporting to be from the party’s head office offered creditors 20p for every pound of debt.

It was dismissed by some members as a fake, but the BNP’s former North-East organiser, Ken Booth, said it was genuine.

He said party members in the North-East were disgusted to learn of the 20p in a pound offer and he had fought for the Newton Press to be paid.

In contrast to the national position, Mr Booth said the North- East office has always operated on a pay-as-you-go basis and as such had no debts.

Mr Booth, who was removed from his post by Mr Griffin when he threatened to raise the debts issue, said: “It goes against the BNP’s core principle of local jobs for local people.

“As far as I can see this is a decent North-East firm that has done a good job and deserves to be paid and I don’t know why it hasn’t been.

“Central party is £500,000 in debt but it’s on a record turnover of £2.3m.

“No one is accusing anyone of stealing money, it’s just mismanagement.

“The general consensus of the members in the North-East is that Nick Griffin should shoulder the responsibility and step down.”

The Newton Press, which publishes the community newsletter, Newton News, declined to comment.

BNP central office spokesman John Walker said: “We could not comment on matters which are internal to the party and the businesses we deal with.”

Rather suitably Nick Griffin is in the North East ‘launching’ one of his typically ill thought out pet schemes. There are other big creditors waiting in the wings.

Nick Griffin needs to go now.

Eddy Butler

1 comment:

  1. Mr Griffin has questions to answer regarding his stewardship of the party's finances. He is the party's chief executive authority as well as its leader, and the buck stops with him.

    Ken Booth, who was sacked for demanding answers to questions about the party's finances says "No one is accusing anyone of stealing money, it's just mismanagement" but how does he know "...it's just mismanagement"?

    The answer is he doesn't know, any more than any one of the thousands of ordinary members of the BNP, where the monies they paid in subscriptions and donations have gone.

    Millions of pounds have been raised by the party head office over the last two years, and yet the party is currently in debt to the tune of half a million pounds. Was much of this spent on the general election campaign? No, the general election campaign was almost entirely financed by branch funds. The European election campaign, then? Again, no, only about a quarter of a million pounds was spent on that.

    The sums simply do not add up.

    The point to consider is this. If there has been fraudulent conversion on a massive scale, and Mr Griffin were involved, then he would need to have behaved in exactly the way in which he has actually behaved over the last five months in order to cover it up.

    Mr Griffin's modus operandi (way of working) of secrecy and oppression is exactly that which would be used by a man with a terrible secret that he needed to keep hidden at all costs.

    Why is the Electoral Commission still waiting for the party's 2009 accounts, which are now more than three months overdue?

    Why have the 2008 accounts not yet been published on the party web site for members to inspect?

    Why has the interim report of the Financial Scrutiny Committee, the members of which (well meaning amateurs, not professional auditors) were hand-picked by Mr Griffin, which has already been submitted to him, not been published in full on the party web site?

    All of this circumstantial evidence of wrongdoing by Mr Griffin leads to one inescapable conclusion: Mr Griffin is either a knave or a fool.

    I have never thought he was a fool. A charmless, self-serving mountebank, certainly, but not a fool.