Conservative Home, September 07, 2010
Sending Nick Griffin to jail would hand the BNP a lifeline
By James Bethell, Director of NothingBritish.com
Not many defendants at the High Court actually want a night in prison but when Nick Griffin stands in the High Court today he will be praying for a bit of bird. Because martyrdom (or at least a few nights in the clink) is the only way he can redeem himself after a catastrophic year of electoral disappointment, financial mismanagement, egotistical bullying and political marginalisation.
Griffin emerged from the general election as a lame duck whose moral authority is irretrievably dented by his failure to make an effective case on behalf of Britain’s angry white lower-middle class, as witnessed during that Question Time debate, despite a recession, an unpopular war and record-levels of immigration. His organisation, once cited as an energetic example of Obama-style participation politics, is divided by factions and unhappiness.
After building up a substantial election war-chest during the post-Euro-election hubris, the BNP has blown its nest-egg on legal fees fighting an unnecessary, unwinnable battle against the Equality and Rights Commission over its whites-only membership policy. Griffin’s erratic leadership style has driven out hard-working lieutenants, he has failed to make an impact in the European Parliament and he spends his days writing daily begging letters to his disenchanted membership. And yet the BNP’s one-sided constitution gives Griffin an unassailable role.
Today’s court appearance epitomises Griffin’s self-destructive, egotistical leadership style, and the central role Griffin’s personal views on race have played in limiting the appeal of the BNP. The EHRC litigation handed Griffin a valid excuse to abandon the distasteful whites-only membership requirement and create a powerful “Clause 4” moment that redefined the BNP as a popular nationalist party capable of breaking out of the BNP’s electoral ghetto.
Instead, a committed fascist with a ethno-centric view of the world, Griffin sought to turn this case into a symbolic battle against the forces of political correctness, a struggle that had no resonance in the media, freedom of speech zealots or even his own members. Predictably the case has resulted in an embarrassing, costly defeat which even Griffin’s spin-machine can hardly defend.
As the case has progressed and Griffin’s tactics have grown increasingly desperate, the courts have become understandably frustrated by his slippery, schoolboy antics. However much Judge Paul Collins is tempted to teach Griffin a lesson, he should take a chill pill. Because the BNP are a busted flush. And about the only thing that could get them back in business is the martyrdom of their flawed leader.