The British National Party's Financial Scrutiny Committee's interim report bears comparison with those other Dickens' works of fiction, Great Expectations, Hard Times, Bleak House, The Old Curiosity Shop, and Oliver Twist, especially the latter.
The Financial Scrutiny Committee (FSC) was set up immediately after the sacking from the advisory council of former regional organizer Ken Booth, and others, whose only 'offence' had been to ask questions about the party's finances which Mr Griffin was either unable or unwilling to answer satisfactorily.
This was an inauspicious beginning for any financial scrutiny committee, the members of which could have been under no illusions as to their own fate should they too, "ask the wrong questions".
Let me ask a few.
Why has the interim report not been published in full on the party web site, http://www.bnp.org.uk/?
Why have the party's annual accounts for both the Central Accounting Unit (CAU) and the Regional Accounting Unit (RAU), in respect of 2008, and previous years, not been published on the party web site?
Why have the 2009 accounts (both CAU and RAU) not yet been submitted to the Electoral Commission? Surely Mr Dickens, as a (former?) businessman, must be aware of the importance of meeting statutory dead-lines. If both sets of accounts (ie, both CAU and RAU) are not submitted to the Electoral Commission by close of business tomorrow (7 October 2010) they will be more than three months overdue, and the party will incur an increased fine of £1,000 in respect of the CAU and £250 in respect of the RAU.
"Small potatoes" Mr Griffin may say. Is it not this kind of negligent attitude that has brought the party into its current parlous condition? There is not, and can never be, any excuse for submitting accounts late to the Electoral Commission. "Every party submits accounts late" Mr Griffin may claim, but this is simply not true. This year every party bar three submitted their accounts to the Electoral Commission on time. The three were Sinn Fein, the Christian Party, and the British National Party. What company for us to keep! A party led by reformed terrorists, and one led by sanctimonious hypocrites (did not our Lord say render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's?)
Mr Griffin's careless attitude towards our members' money is an insult to all those patriotic pensioners, and others, who have donated so generously and selflessly to the BNP. It is treating them with contempt needlessly to incur fines and penalties for the late submission of accounts.
Did the party have a full-time national treasurer, and did he receive a salary for his work? Yes? Then what possible excuse can there be for the late submission of accounts? Does the party currently employ a full-time national treasurer? No? Then why did Mr Dickens and his colleagues on the FSC not recommend that the party appoint and employ one? They might also have recommended that the person specification for the job should include a statement to the effect that the successful applicant will "...probably have prior experience of the preparation of final accounts from incomplete records". It should certainly not state that "Of prime importance is to know on which side one's bread is buttered, as well as the ability to operate a hidden tape-recorder unobtrusively with one hand".
Get those accounts in, pronto! What the Dickens do you think you're playing at!