Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

Monday, 7 February 2011

When is a nationalist not a nationalist?

The following is an exchange of correspondence, on Facebook, between Dr Andrew Emerson and Pat Harrington, an employee and intimate confidant of Mr Griffin, as well as president of the 'nationalist' micro trade union, Solidarity.

Together with Mr Griffin, Mr Harrington, and others, destroyed the National Front during the 1980s through a combination of internecine factiousness, and ideological perversity, which included, for example publicly expressing support for Libya's Colonel Gadaaffi, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, and the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan.

Such was Griffin's and Harrington's ideological eccentricity that their faction of the National Front was referred to by more sensible nationalists, of Martin Wingfield's Flag Group, for example, as the "Loony Front", though they referred to themselves, with typical Griffinite pomposity and arrogance as the "Political Soldiers".

After coming back from an abortive trip to Libya with an empty begging bowl, there was a final savage splurge of purging by Griffin, which saw his few remaining political soldiers led out to be shot at dawn in batches of ten.

Finding himself to be virtually the last man standing, Griffin said to himself "Blow this for a game of (political) soldiers" and toddled off to try his luck at property speculation: with equally catastrophic results.

If the British National Party, which is currently in intensive care, dies, this will be the second nationalist party which messers Griffin and Harrington will have put paid to within a generation.

When is a nationalist not a nationalist?

03 February at 19:15 Report

Dear Andrew,

I noted a comment on the Eddy Butler blog from you which described Solidarity as a 'vanity' Union. It would be very easy for me to supply you with scores of cases where we have won settlements for our members and where we have represented at professional hearings, grievance meetings and disciplinaries. Could you therefore explain the basis of your comment? You seem to echo the propaganda of the far-Left against our Union. Now, I can understand why they don't want to give credit to a Nationalist union which works for the membership but what is your motivation?


Pat Harrington

Dr Andrew Emerson 04 February at 11:43

Dear Patrick

I understand that you are either the president, or the general secretary of Solidarity. You also hold a senior personnel management position, or act as if you do, within the British National Party, some of whose employees are members of Solidarity.

You are also one of the four most senior officers of a rival political party, namely the National Liberal Party, that recently fielded a black candidate against a BNP candidate in a by-election.

Does the phrase conflict of interest mean nothing to you? It's not very professional, nor very ethical, is it?

Patrick Antony Harrington 06 February at 09:48 Report

Dear Andrew,

You don't answer as to why you describe Solidarity as a vanity Union but you do raise a different point!

I don't hold any position within the British National Party. I work as a researcher for Nick Griffin MEP just as Eddy Butler (who varies between supporting UKIP and the EDL) works for Andrew Brons MEP. I understand that UKIP stand against the BNP in elections and that the EDL is considering forming their own Party. I also provide assistance and advice to Nick on legal matters when he requires it but this is not as an employee.

I don't see any conflict of interest between researching human rights committee matters for Nick or providing legal advice and my membership of the National Liberal Party. You have a curious idea of what professional means. Many of the professionals employed by the BNP are not members and may well be members or supporters of other groups. They are well able to distinguish between their professional and other roles.

There are some BNP staff members who are members of Solidarity.

For your information when I was a Rep for the RMT I was employed by GNER but regualrly represented those in dispute with them. This is quite usual in Union circles but I guess that you are unfamiliar with common practice here. In any event our own Union has a different policy. We never send a Rep to a hearing within their own company. Reps are always sent in from outside. This would also be the case if a dispute arose with the BNP as an employer. The Rep would have no connection (either membership or employment) with the employer. You are clearly not familiar with our Union, how it operates or the work it does. Still, that doesn't seem to prevent you forming opinions!

Could you point to a specific instance where you think there has been a conflict of interest or is this just a general or hypothetical opinion on your part?

It's not very ethical to make assertions and then not only fail to justify them but simply cover by making further ones. In fact it is something straight out of the Stalinist school of falsification. Given your academic background you should know better but perhaps your hatred for Nick blinds you.

Dr Andrew Emerson 06 February at 13:40

Dear Patrick

I am not aware of any president, or general secretary, of a trade union, who is also concurrently an employee of the same employer that employs other members of that trade union. Bearing in mind the fact that the British National Party is an unincorporated association, and consequently has no distinct legal personality of its own, it has to be personified in its most senior officers. For you, therefore, to be employed by Mr Griffin, the party leader, in a professional capacity, is tantamount to your being employed by the British National Party in such capacity.

It is also a fact that you and Mr Griffin are former senior colleagues in the National Front. You have admitted that you provide legal advice and assistance to Mr Griffin, "...not as an employee". On what basis, then, do you provide this advice, if not as an intimate confidant, and a member of Mr Griffin's kitchen cabinet? Notwithstanding your attempt to put a gloss on the situation by saying that a Solidarity union rep would have no connection with the BNP in the case of a dispute with the BNP as an employer: it is clear that any Solidarity rep acting in such a case would face a conflict of interest. This demonstrates that Solidarity is not a serious trade union, and consequently justifies my description of it as a "Mickey Mouse, vanity, trade union", which I am happy to stand by. As for the far left also using this phrase: if the far left were to say "the sky is blue, the grass is green", would you disagree?

As regards your other conflict of interest, namely, your being one of the four most senior officers of a rival, and hostile, political party, the National Liberal Party: it has stood a black candidate against the BNP candidate in a by-election; its web site also disparages the BNP, referring to the party as "extreme", and likening it to the Bangladeshi Muslim Respect party. Yet you say you see no conflict of interest here. Unbelievable!

I do not hate Mr Griffin, though he has given me cause enough to dislike and despise him, nor do I bear grudges against anyone, least of all other nationalists.

Patrick Antony Harrington 06 February at 19:30 Report

It does seem to me that you bear both malice and false witness against other Nationalists. Our Union has assisted hundreds of people with problems at work (including many members of the British National Party). You have nothing good to say about our Union, however. Instead you echo your larger brothers on the infantile left. Your propaganda is so similar it might just as well be written by the same people.

There is no conflict of interest in us representing one of our members who is employed by the British National Party. Of course, if they felt there was a problem then they could join another Union or choose a workmate to accompany them. This last point should cause you to think more clearly. Many people are accompanied by workmates at hearings - in fact this is a legal right. If someone represents a workmate is their [sic] a conflict of interest in all cases? Should they refuse? If a Union rep is employed in a workplace should they do no work on behalf of members there?

Clearly you know very little about Unions, the job they do or indeed the procedures involved in representation.

Your description of Solidarity is a slap in the face for all our hard-working Reps - people who help others every day. We are trying to build a Nationalist alternative Union. It's going very well and people like you are just 'noises off'. Our members know we do a good job.

What advice do you have for BNP members persecuted at work? Are you going to travel the country representing them? Do you intend perhaps to form a Union yourself to offer these services? Go ahead and show us how its done! We welcome competition! Or perhaps your advice to them would be to contact their local TUC affiliate - Unison, Unite etc. ? Hold on a minute - as soon as they find out someone is a BNP member they try to expel them.

You say that the NLP stood a black candidate against the BNP. In fact the NLP supported an independent candidate in a local election (he didn't stand for the NLP as a matter of fact). He was the best man for the job in the opinion of the NLP. We supported him against all other candidates.

People are free to express their opinions on our website. I believe in debate, as you may have noticed.

I have given Nick good honest advice and will continue to do so as required. Doubtless this is why you voice criticisms of our Union. Our Union has a structure, purpose and function. We are growing. Your only purpose seems to be to malign. Every word you write exposes your own bitterness and powerlessness. I can't describe you as a Mickey Mouse organisation because no one knows who you are and you have no organisation. Mickey was popular.

Dr Andrew Emerson 06 February at 22:47

Dear Mr Harrington

It seems that since you find yourself unable to refute my argument that there would indeed be a conflict of interest in the event of any Solidarity rep representing an employee of the British National Party in a dispute with their employer, you resort to the tactics with which you and your employer are most comfortable, namely: abuse and slander.

Your comment about a friend or colleague representing an employee hardly bears upon the point at issue.

The fact is that you have lost the argument. Your resorting to personal abuse of myself is a rather clear indication of that, would you not agree? Of course you wouldn't, but it's a fact, nevertheless.

You admit that the NLP supported a black candidate in an election against the BNP candidate. You do not deny you hold one of the four most senior positions within the NLP. You admit your employment by Mr Griffin as a researcher on his MEP payroll, and your work for him as a legal adviser, yet you claim no conflict of interest exists.

When I demonstrate by means of reasoned argument that it does, you resort to personal abuse and childish insults.

Well, thank you for that: I now have the measure of you.

Prior to our discussion I only knew you by reputation as one of the traitors to nationalism who had helped Griffin to destroy the National Front from within, during the 1980s. No doubt you feel that your advice to him over the last few years has contributed in no small measure to the sorry state the BNP is now in. Is this why you are feeling so smug? Are you anticipating the demise of a second nationalist party as a result of your ministrations?

Unlike you, I do not mind people not knowing who I am.

I know, and that is enough for me.

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