What is one to make of the cryptic Mr Brons' first openly avowed public statement on the state of the British National Party, after nine months of internecine conflict?
Things must be getting bad if Brons feels inclined to break his self-imposed rule of silence on something as critically important as the state of the BNP, tearing himself away from the fascinating minutiae of European 'parliament' legislation, in order to do so.
In fact, one is led to wonder whether matters have not now reached such a pass that the even more cryptic Mr Griffin has not put Mr Brons up to making this statement, as a ballon d'essai. Is the arch-manipulator, Griffin, using Brons as his sock puppet, dangling the delusive prospect of a genuine democratic reform of the BNP before the reformers in order to tempt some of them to break ranks and charge down the hill, as the English did at Senlac, only for the Norman cavalry to wheel around and pick them off in twos and threes?
It is noteworthy that Brons criticizes Pat Harrington, without actually mentioning him by name, by means of straight-faced irony, thus "He is rightly admired as a no-nonsense man who does not waste valuable time learning from his own mistakes". Unlike Mr Brons, presumably. Yet despite being aware of the rapid demise of the Political Soldiers under Griffin's and Harrington's factious leadership, and the impending demise of the BNP under that same factious leadership, he still believes that leaving Griffin in place as party leader is a feasible proposition, and a workable plan for the salvation of the party. Just remind me again, Mr Brons, who is it who "...does not waste valuable time learning from his own mistakes"?
Does the phrase "Too little, too late" mean anything to Mr Brons?
Napoleon also offered to negotiate with his enemies, in 1814, having previously spurned their reasonable and pacific offers, but only once it was clear to them that he had nothing left with which to negotiate.
I find Mr Brons' statement most encouraging. But not in the way that he would have intended. I am encouraged because I see it as a sign of the growing weakness of the Griffin camp, from whose dismal environs we now see almost daily defections.
Mr Griffin chooses to tear up the rule book (read party constitution) in order to play 'power politics', Machiavelli-style? Very well. Two can play at that game. If the constitution is only a worthless piece of paper in Mr Griffin's eyes, then if he lives by the sword, so may he expect to perish.
Mr Brons asserts that the reformers have no strategy to oust Mr Griffin. Why, has Eddy not taken you into his confidence? It is really most unlike him to be so secretive about his intentions.
Let me assure Mr Brons that we have a strategy, and also a "Plan B". What is it? Well, I could tell you, but I think it would be more judicious merely to quote Asquith, and say "Wait and see".
It is not true that "...the Eddy Butler programme is entirely negative propaganda about the BNP leadership..." Eddy's blog often presents what would be the positive antidote to the Griffin poison that is destroying the party. Even where his blog appears to be negative, it serves the necessary and desirable function of educating members about the reality which has been deceitfully hidden from them for so long. As the Holy Bible tells us "...he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow", Ecclesiastes 1:18.
But King Solomon did not, for that reason, advocate remaining in ignorance. There are some unpalatable truths with which it is absolutely necessary to come to grips.
Is this not what we urge the British people to do? To face the reality of their situation, in order the better to deal with it. And are we unwilling to do the same ourselves, as a political party? Does this not make us hypocrites?
Mr Brons' (or is it Mr Griffin's?) statement now follows.
Statement from Andrew Brons MEP
Wed, 23/03/2011 - 01:00 | Andrew Brons
March 23rd 2011: The unacknowledged complementarity that is destroying the British National Party.
I was going to use the term ‘Unholy Alliance’ but it would have been inaccurate for two reasons:
1. both sides see their own virtue to be as untarnished as the villainy of their opponents is unalloyed.
2. to call the two sides ‘an alliance’ would be to forget that they have a hatred for the other side that they have (unfortunately) never held for our real enemies.
Nevertheless, each responds to the other’s ratcheting-up of the conflict in a manner that could easily have been choreographed and scripted. Indeed the movements and language of one side seem to come from a script that was written in 1986.
We have moved on from attack websites to what each side sees as a final confrontation. Eddy Butler or his allies are holding a series of regional meetings, to which discontented BNP members and ex-members are invited and at which their version of the ‘unvarnished truth’ about Nick Griffin and his cronies is told.
People attending these meetings are filmed by the Party’s ‘security’ that sees its role as watching the Party’s members (at which it excels) rather than protecting the Party from its external enemies, at which it is less adept. The filmed members are then suspended from membership or at least some of them are – no nonsense here about the Rule of Law.
It is probable that those who take the decisions within the leadership see their suspensions as a ‘surgical strike’ at the ‘real troublemakers’. However, they do not realise that the suspension of (say) ten key popular people leads to the disaffection of perhaps two or three hundred others – most of them activists.
The suspensions in Yorkshire (the scene of the first Butler meeting) has deprived Yorkshire of its activists, apart from those connected with ‘the security’. The replication of these events in all of the Party’s other regions will see the disaffection of most of the Party’s activists throughout the country.
In 1986 a faction that held a knife edge majority on the National Front’s National Directorate used its majority to suspend and then expel the minority for the heinous offence of voting the wrong way at a Directorate meeting. They continued with their disciplinary ‘blitzkrieg’ until they had expelled or alienated nearly all the Party’s activists. The leadership of the ‘official party’ became an isolated and ignored rump. The opposition then became the leadership of a successor National Front. The ‘rump’ disappeared in a series of easily forgotten splinters.
The person who was the architect of using the disciplinary machinery as a weapon of mass destruction in 1986 re-emerged in the middle of 2010 to become a favoured adviser of our Chairman. He is rightly admired as a no-nonsense man who does not waste valuable time learning from his own mistakes.
However, before the Eddy Butler faction cheers too loudly and precipitately, there are important differences. The Political Parties, Elections & Referendums Act 2000 provides party leaderships, however small and isolated they might be (or are imagined to be), with a monopoly over the use of the Party name. Furthermore, the opposition in 1986 was a cohesive party in waiting with its own magazine and activity programme.
The Eddy Butler programme is entirely negative propaganda about the BNP leadership and has the effect of leaving people exposed to it dispirited and alienated from political activity. Some left the Party to form a micro party and some others plan to seek membership of establishment safety valve parties that will do their reputations immense and undeserved damage in the eyes of serious nationalists. Most just hope that relentless pressure will somehow lead to Nick Griffin’s resignation. How this will be achieved is not explained.
There seems to be no serious attempt to keep in contact with the disaffected who leave politics in disgust. They will probably be lost to Nationalism for ever.
There is a question about whether attending a meeting disapproved of by the leadership of a party should be a disciplinary offence. Would it be a disciplinary offence in other parties? Does it tell us anything about a party leadership that sees disapproved meeting attendance as a disciplinary offence? Would such people, when entrusted with real political power, see disapproved meeting attendance as a criminal offence?
Furthermore, if all dissent is seen as treason, any dissenters become treasonable from necessity.
It would appear that we have a leadership that believes in keeping Nick Griffin as Chairman at any price in terms of lost membership and activists. It is better to have a small party with all of the membership besotted with the present leader than a larger party with a significant number of members who view him with scepticism or hostility. Most parties have significant proportions of their membership who are definitely out of love with their leaders. To want a 100% besotted membership is to want a small and very exclusive party.
The Opposition, on the other hand, wants to get rid of Nick Griffin as Chairman at any price in terms of lost membership and activists. However, it does not have a strategy for achieving its aim.
What is my position?
The autocratic constitution was, to a large extent, inherited by Nick Griffin from his predecessor, John Tyndall. John Tyndall was not one of nature’s autocrats, despite his earlier political leanings. I worked with him easily for six years on the democratically-elected National Directorate of the National Front. However, he left the NF (unwisely in my view) because he had been outvoted on the National Directorate and (unwisely in my view) invented a constitution for his new party (the BNP) that would prevent his being ever outvoted again.
I believe that that constitution corrupts leaders in the manner of a malevolent ring of power. It endows leaders with powers that it would be impossible for leaders to wield personally. They, therefore, pass those powers onto ostensibly sycophantic but, in reality, power-hungry advisers and stand-ins. It turns a leadership cult fantasy into a leader-led-by-the-nose reality. I believe that the heart of the problem is the autocratic constitution. If the Chairman were to share power with an elected executive, the other problems would solve themselves.
Our Chairman called for the Annual Conference in December to consider various proposals for constitutional reform. It opted for a proposal from Arthur Kemp, which was supported by our Chairman. This proposal involved the Chairman sharing power with an indirectly elected Executive comprising, mainly, regional organisers elected by branch organisers. The Annual Conference called for an EGM to consider this proposal but there has been an unaccountable delay in calling the EGM or even referring to it. It is rumoured that our Chairman has been overruled by his closest advisers, who have the final say on such matters. At the Annual Conference, the current Elections Officer opposed the idea of an elected Executive. His objection was put to the vote and his objection was defeated. However, it would appear that he can also overrule the Annual Conference.
I would like to see:
1. constitutional reform as agreed by the Annual Conference
2. an amnesty for those suspended and expelled during ‘the troubles’.
3. complete financial transparency for the future with the Executive being able to examine all future transactions but a line drawn under past transactions and undoubted mismanagement.
4. an end to all damaging websites and blogs with no more dirty linen being washed in public.
Is there any prospect of a truce being agreed along these lines? It would require statesmanship, restraint, humility and, above all, a decision to put the interests of the Party above private and petty concerns.
If there is no truce, the Party will come to an ignominious end before the end of this year. If it were not then to be followed by a credible successor, the British Nation would also come to an end. There would be no second chance to save it.