Papa Luigi's article is, contra the title of this thread, not a 'new' bag at all. At least not for him and not for those of us who have read his contributions to this forum over the last few months. He has been propagating his rather nebulous strategy of the eschewing of electoral politics, in favour of the development of a semi-clandestine network of nationalist donors, increasingly openly.
What should one make of such a proposed strategy? Well, the first thing to say is that it is fundamentally flawed. Fundraising is certainly an important element in politics, on that much most nationalists can agree. But fundraising as an activity is inseparably linked to the front end activities of any political group. When the fundraising activity of a group that has supposedly political aims becomes its top priority, becomes effectively an end in itself, displacing the formal goal of winning political power, as we saw in the case of the BNP from 2008 to 2010, then donors begin to ask themselves the question: where is all this money going and what good is it doing?
Now, for all I know there may be nationalists who are willing to re-live their experience of 2008-2010 with the BNP, minus the electioneering which was the ostensible justification for that party's fundraising efforts. If so, then one can only marvel at the triumph of hope over experience.
Where fundraising is concerned there must always be scrupulous candour and accountability, if the confidence of donors is to be won and maintained. A semi-clandestine group, with no formal constitution or membership, even if led by an honest man, by virtue of its very secrecy militates against such needed candour and accountability, just as the BNP militated against them, despite possessing a formal constitution and membership, because it was led by a dishonest man who employed other dishonest men.
Donors expect to receive something in return for their donations. In the case of a political party that return is activity in the shape of campaigning and contesting elections. If these activities produce observable progress and positive results then fundraising revenue tends to rise, whereas if the hoped for progress fails to materialize fundraising revenue tends to decline. But provided a party continues to fly the flag of nationalism in elections nationalist donors have some reason to contribute, on the grounds that even standing in an election is in itself a minor victory, in that nationalism's message of hope is still being propagated, however ineptly.
Of course, one 'advantage' of a semi-clandestine group is that when sceptics say "But what are you actually doing?" and "What are you using this money for?" it can reply "It's a secret. But become a donor and I'll tell you more". The Emperor's new clothes come to mind at this point.
The history of the BNP over the last ten years demonstrates that a nationalist party can win elections without spending vast sums of money. Most of the BNP's electoral victories, including its earliest, have been in council elections in which highly successful campaigns have been conducted on a shoe-string budget. With a more rigorous and impartial selection process for candidates and crucially, a proper scheme of ongoing training and support for both prospective candidates and elected councillors, there is every likelihood of a nationalist party succeeding in winning control of councils in the future. And the control of councils is the best springboard for the winning of seats in parliament.
Those who have focused upon the venal charade of the European 'parliament', as if play-acting in its masquerade were of any benefit to nationalism, have led nationalists up a blind alley, while those who counsel the abandonment of electoral politics entirely, in favour of some kind of cultic retreatism or anarcho-localism, are equally in error, be their motives what they may.
Am I advocating a renewed support of the BNP then, or calling for the support of any of the other extant nationalist parties? God forbid. Before Christmas a new nationalist party will be launched, one with which I am proud to be associated and which, I hope, many others will also be proud to join. A new party is needed because none of the other nationalist parties have the characteristics, or the leadership, necessary to inspire the thousands of disillusioned former members of the BNP, or even to win many decent new converts to nationalism.
My colleagues and I are under no illusion regarding the difficulty of the task we face. None of us expects overnight success. We are here for the long-haul because we love our country and our people and because no sacrifice seems too great in the sacred cause of the patriot.
Originally published on the British Democracy Forum