The following is a public exchange of views between Tom Holmes, a young supporter of Nick Griffin's continuing leadership of the British National Party, and Dr Andrew Emerson, one of those members who are demanding new leadership for the BNP.
The exchange took place yesterday on the BNP sub-section of the British Democracy Forum, an internet discussion board.
Tom Holmes: Since when is loyalty a crime?
I'm not after anything, I'm happy being a volunteer, I'm happy donating, I'm happy leafleting. I care about my local Parish, as long as I get to stand for my local parish and represent my villagers, I'm happy.
Anti-BNPers have this strange view that I'm some sort of Griffin attack dog. Which is far from the truth. I have never attacked or abused anyone, nor would I, for I am better than that.
All I do is defend the party that I love, the cause that I love, and acknowledge that Mr. Griffin has done more good for the cause than the lot of you put together. I love how none of you have yet answered the question I repeatedly ask.
HOW MANY COUNCILLORS & MEPS DID WE HAVE -BEFORE- GRIFFIN?
You refuse to answer, because you know the answer is NONE.
I maybe young, but I'm far from stupid. Unlike most of you, I have my own mind. I've been following Mr. Griffin since I was 16. I watched his speeches, read his articles. He's been a role model since I was 16, and speaks a lot of sense.
It's because of his speeches, that I hung up my boots & braces, stopped hanging out on the streets causing havoc and trouble with misguided anger. I bought a suit, changed my language, and started acting responsibly. How do you repay a man that saved your life and doesn't even know it? If it wasn't for his hard work, his speeches, I'd have probably either been knifed or ended up in jail by now because of my younger years.
That's why I'm grateful, and that's why I'm loyal.
I have nothing to hide, and nothing to be ashamed of.
I do a lot of good work for my community. I help the elderly, I patrol the neighbourhood at night around the elderly areas (bungalows and such) to make sure windows are closed, doors are locked, and there's nobody looking dodgy hanging around or prowling. I leaflet, I keep my head down and work hard, and I stand at elections. That's all. I don't ask the party for anything, never have, never will, nor do I expect anything in return.
Dr Emerson: Loyalty is a wonderful virtue, Tom. Loyalty to one's family, one's nation, and loyalty to one's party.
Tell me, if you saw that someone was harming your party, our party, you'd want to defend the party, wouldn't you?
Of course you would. Suppose, though, that the person harming the party, was someone who had done a lot of good for the party in the past. Would that make a difference? Would that mean that you'd allow them to damage the party, destroy it even, because they had done the party some good in the past? Of course, it wouldn't make any difference, would it?
Now, suppose that the person destroying the party is its own leader, because that is actually the reality.
Are you loyal to a man whom you may never have met, in preference to being loyal to the only thing, the party, that caused that man even to have been heard of by you?
No-one disputes the fact that the party owes Mr Griffin a great deal, or that he should be treated well, and with generosity. Eddy Butler, and the other reformers, including myself, have said so, publicly, on numerous occasions.
The party is bigger than one man, Tom. Leaders come and leaders go, but the party, and more importantly, the cause, the reason for the party's existence, goes on.
Try to understand our motivation, which I can assure you is genuine, and selfless, for demanding new leadership for the party, as we try to understand yours for defending the status quo within the party.
We are, after all, comrades. We believe in, and want the same things for our country, and our people. We only differ as to means, on the ends we are in agreement.
Tom Holmes: That's the most civilized, and fair reply/statement I've ever heard. For that I thank you and wholeheartedly take back the 'idiots' comment, and offer a sincere apology.
I understand where you're coming from, hard not to the way you put it. But the vicious attacks so called 'reformers' execute on Mr. Griffin, or anyone who dares speak up for Mr. Griffin, completely undermine your overall cause. It's hard to trust, or to take seriously, people who plainly spout out-right lies about people just to try and undermine or tar one person. Perhaps I'm tarring you all with the same brush, and I'll be sure to keep an open mind whilst reading your own posts from now on as you're clearly not the same as the rest of the usual anti-BNP yobs.
I love Mr. Griffin, always have, he's done an awful lot of good; yes the BNP has been on a rocky road this past year, but to be fair it's not really his fault is it? He's busy with his MEP duties, he leaves the party in the hands of people he trusts. It's not his fault, if these people form cliques and backstab him, such as Eddy Butler. Power hungry opportunists.
Mr. Griffin has already stated he wishes to step down in the near future, but he first wishes to reform, and revamp the party. So I don't understand exactly what these so-called "reformers" (who all behave like childish yobs) want, they call themselves reformers, yet Mr. Griffin is already reforming? I think that's very fair of him. He's done no wrong to me, and until he does, I shall always defend him.