The second issue of the new-look Voice of Freedom arrived at my humble abode the other day.
I hear that Mr Griffin is now editing it in place of the noted man of letters, Clive Jefferson.
It was amusing to see that the paper's front page headline was "The Great Pretender", in allusion to David Cameron, and his recent speech on multiculturalism. It was amusing, not so much because of the accompanying photomontage of Freddie Mercury (real name Farrokh Bulsara) with his head replaced by that of David Cameron, but because "the Great Pretender" was a term that I had used to characterize Mr Griffin himself, last year, in an article I had published on this very blog.
Well, they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I've also noticed that the term I used to describe the British National Party's candidate in the Barnsley by-election, "Local Girl" is being used by the party a great deal.
On page ten of the paper there is a report headed "Democracy Banned in Bridgend" which tells readers about Bridgend council's discussion about preventing the presence of a BNP stall selling papers and collecting anti-war signatures in the town. So far so good. Above the report, however, is a photograph of five BNP members standing behind a table festooned with party literature.
The trouble is that I recognize four out of the five members as being from the south-east region - nothing to do with Bridgend at all. The four members I recognize are, from left to right, Malcolm Collins, who lives in Southsea, Roger Knight, the former Portsmouth and Fareham group organizer, Lynne Mozar, the newly-appointed south-east regional fundholder, and Gavin Miller, the Portsmouth and Fareham group fundholder. It would appear to be highly unlikely that the photograph was actually taken in Bridgend, as the headline and report would lead the uninformed reader to believe. Certainly, the picture is not of Bridgend, or even South Wales, activists.
Now, the question is: does this matter? Clearly, the paper's editor, Mr Griffin, thinks not. But is he a good judge in such matters as honesty and integrity?
I suggest that it does matter. To use a photograph taken in a different part of the country completely, as an ostensible illustration of the text, is misleading and dishonest. Why was it done? Has activity in Bridgend reached such a low ebb that there are no activists willing to be photographed? Very likely, which is where the dishonesty comes in a second time. Mr Griffin is striving, through the few instruments he still has in his control, such as the monthly Voice of Freedom, and the party web site, to give an entirely false impression of the state of the party.
The party's greatest resource is its human capital, its activists, and members. Those members are in a bad way at present, feeling abused, exploited, taken for a ride by the leadership, and so are, in growing numbers, ceasing activity, ceasing donating, staying away from meetings, and getting on with their non-political lives.
Griffin knows this, he ought to as he has created the situation, but like the Great Pretender he is he wants to deceive and mislead, if necessary right up to the final denouement. He knows no other way, you see, it's just the way he is: the Great Pretender.