Sycophant –noun: a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite; lickspittle; toady; crawler; lackey; Paul Morris.
Somewhere in deepest South Wales there sits a man with only a keyboard and an internet connection for company. With his right hand he’s probably glugging on the cheap Tesco lager he apparently boils down in an effort to improve the alcoholic content, while his left hand is out of sight, but curiously active, as his thoughts focus upon the one true love of his life, that great architect of the BNP’s Great Leap into the abyss, Nicholas John Griffin.
No greater love has this earth ever known than that of the penny-pinching Green Arrow Paul Morris for his increasingly wealthy leader. Morris, we recall, was the man who told us in all seriousness that he prayed for Nick Griffin and lay awake at night worrying about his safety. Before the general election, in a typically extravagant outbreak of toe-curling fervour, he rhapsodised:
Nick Griffin is special. He is not like other men. He understands that the rank and file of the British National Party are its backbone. He genuinely cares about not just his country but the members of the Party that has brought to where it is today [sic]. If I did not believe that then I would not be writing now. You guys about to go leafleting and canvassing would be putting your feet up now if you did not believe in him. The truth is this and some might think it dramatic but it is true. There is no other political leader in this country who so inspires his supporters that they would be prepared to risk their lives for him.
Now I don’t know about you, but to me there appears to be more than a touch of the Moonies about this unnatural devotion of Paul Morris to a man who thinks he’s a twit, as if Morris were having the greatest difficulties in distinguishing the allegedly political BNP from a Jim Jones-like religious cult.
For some considerable time now visiting the chapel of strangulated spelling and grotesque grammar that is his website has been like landing in the middle of Stepford, with the difference that not only have the wives been replaced by inanely smiling and slavishly compliant look-a-likes, but so have the husbands. There is nowhere else in cyberspace quite like it – a worshipful gathering of cranks, kooks and offenders against good English at one in their belief that Britain lives under the yoke of a Marxist government intent on forcing them to become gay Muslim paedophiles (or something like that), which government can only be overthrown by the infallable strategic planning sourced in the formidable intellect of Saint Nicholas Griffin.
Saint Nick, of course, is ultimately responsible for the strategy that led the BNP to repeat all the mistakes made by the National Front in its 1979 electoral wipe-out, and to succeed in doing it – as Griffin and his supporters repeatedly stated – at a time of “exponentially growing support”, “perfect conditions”, [insert hyperbole here] etc., etc. In other words, conditions that were the polar opposite of those faced by the National Front in 1979.
If anybody had failed to be impressed with the widespread notion that electoral support for the BNP was exploding beyond its natural bounds, it was us. We weren’t impressed by their performances in the locals of 2007 and 2008, nor in the Euros (for reasons we detailed at the time) and ever since, when, in by-election after by-election we recorded nothing but retreats in all but one case where the BNP’s results could be measured against previous outings, and poor to indifferent showings elsewhere.
With this woeful track-record somehow ignored or explained away to their satisfaction, BNP members enthusiastically set about building their general election campaign on the expectation of voting riches to come, so closeted in the self-sustaining world of unreality Saint Nick had built around them that they never noticed for a moment that BNP support was in fact, to use the unlovely American expression, in the toilet.
Naturally they had to be opposed in their areas of localised strength, and sometimes they managed to do us that favour themselves in precisely those areas, as per the Alby Walker and Bob Bailey debacles in Stoke and Barking.
To come away with a 1.9% vote share and the loss of most of its councillors was a seismic shock to the faithful, who thought they might just scrape an MP or two, save most of their deposits, and fix the jewel of Barking and Dagenham council firmly into their crown.
1.9% is shockingly bad, by whatever yardstick is used. For comparison, the NF took 0.7% in 1979, and lost every deposit. If the same rules by which the 1979 general election was held were in place today every BNP candidate other than Nick Griffin would have lost their deposit. Griffin, of course, ensured that the bulk of the BNP’s financial and manpower resources were recklessly sunk into his own campaign, since he could not be seen to do worse than the discarded Richard Barnbrook in 2005. Somehow, despite all the effort and all the expense, he contrived to do just that.
As the enormity of the defeat sank in, so began the recriminations.
Griffin, not being the kind of leader who accepts responsibility for his own decisions, began by fingering the sacked Eddy Butler and Simon Bennett, with whom he picked a completely unnecessary fight just days before polling. There was also the excuse of “changing demographics” in east London, which the genius of the BNP’s messiah had somehow failed to notice until the votes were counted, “massive voting fraud”, and (surprise, surprise) unspecified internal wreckers and malcontents.
Bennett’s removal of the BNP website just before polling can have had almost no effect on the BNP’s vote, despite increasingly persistent attempts by Griffinites to pin much of the blame for their leader’s self-induced catastrophe upon him. And, of course, Griffin only noticed how appalling an electoral strategist Eddy Butler really was when, prior to the election, Butler was rumoured to be involved in plans for a post-election leadership challenge.
Just as the National Front’s 1979 rout led to the deposing of chairman John Tyndall, so the calls for the deposing of Nick Griffin are growing, even among those who have previously demonstrated a level of belief in the man not so far removed from that of Paul Morris and his collection of gullible fawners.
Attempts to show that, in some strange way, the BNP advanced and is now “a force to be reckoned with” that is “feared by the establishment” are falling on deaf ears. You simply can’t argue with 1.9%. It is atrociously bad. It is worse than even the most optimistic of the BNP’s opponents dared imagine. Even yours truly, never one to overestimate the BNP’s electoral performances, thought they would poll an average 4%.
And so, despite all the hype, the hope, the expectation – and the dizzying amounts of cash they invested – the membership of the BNP came away from their “breakthrough” election in negative territory. All was for nothing, and less than nothing, all of it turned to dust on the overweening hubris of the man they believed would lead them into the promised land of mainstream respectability.
No amount of comparing the vote this time with last time is working. Repeating ad nauseam that the BNP with its 2.2% beat some unheard of party in some distant reach of the country is having zero effect. Claiming that the BNP tripled its vote while neglecting to mention that it also tripled its candidate numbers is seen through in an instant.
No, you can’t argue with 1,9%. It’s a figure that invites the ridicule of the BNP’s opponents and is guaranteed to nurture demoralisation and dissatisfaction among the faithful – and that demoralisation and dissatisfaction is widespread is immediately evident to anybody with an internet connection.
We are aware of a number of organisers glumly complaining that members are jumping ship. Of course they are – they want tangible results for their £30 a year, their endless donations and their tireless efforts, just as all those NF members did in 1979. And if they don’t get tangible results, if all their leader can offer is electoral obliteration, a slew of weak excuses that would insult the intelligence of an ant, and an internal witch-hunt, then they are very likely to take pattern by the vast majority of their NF counterparts in 1979, and leave the whole pointless shambles behind.
Not so that living embodiment of cringing sycophancy Paul Morris. Ridiculed and derided as much by his own side as ours, this pompous collection of petty hatreds and frustrations has a fondness for posing as a knowledgeable bod with the inside track on the BNP and a good deal of influence with its leader, who, he doubtless convinces himself, fulsomely returns Morris’s respect and admiration.
Morris also has a fondness for posing as a man with a nationalist past. In BNP circles, to claim that you were a member of the 1970s National Front is akin to claiming that your father landed on the beaches at Normandy (which just happens to be another of Morris’s claims). It earns you veteran status, the right to respect, the right to pontificate from atop a tower of hard won experience. It is exactly what Paul Morris most yearns for, and so in an early and unwise pop at BNP “traitors and fifth columnists” so littered with typos, errors and execrable grammar we assume it to have been tapped out under the influence of several saucepans-worth of boiled lager, Morris makes the claim that “I once belonged to and physically fought for on the streets, the National Front” [sic].
Er, no Paul. You didn’t. You were never a member of the National Front, as we have said before when you have made this claim, and we have our information from one of the best sources there is. No doubt you desperately wish now that you had joined the National Front “three years after I had left the Royal Navy”, but you didn’t. You left a doubtless grateful navy and joined the National Party, which vanished in 1977. And that was the end of you for 30 years.
It would be cruel to have too much fun at the expense of Paul Morris, since he is so good as to provide us with unmatched comedic entertainment at every opportunity he can find. “Dice are rolling, the knives are out” was his first airing of the BNP’s extremely dirty laundry in public, in which he slated Simon Bennett (for whom he has developed an almost maniacal dislike) and Mark Collett – “Quite frankly I have always distrusted him and having access to information that I cannot yet divulge, my fears about his honesty and integrity I believe were found to be correct.”
There’s Morris the all-knowing, tipping the wink and tapping his nose that he’s a Very Important Person, privy to information better not shared with lesser mortals. If you must, backpage through his interminable blogged screeds to find quite a different picture.
By last Friday, when the best option for the BNP would have been to shut the doors, close the windows and conduct its screaming match in the privacy of its own home, Morris decided to hook up loudspeakers to the outside wall and broadcast the unseemly squabble to the world, in a long-winded rant that now included Eddy Butler among the growing list of enemies entitled “Is it time for a Night of the Long Knives?”.
We seriously doubt that Morris has met most of those he so freely attacks, but Griffin has spoken, and any enemy of Griffin is an enemy of the unctuous Paul Morris; and if they’re an enemy of Morris, they’re automatically the enemy of the little army of Morrisettes who gather together on his blog in a daily competition to see who can fawn best to Griffin in the greatest number of misspellings.
Now we have been rather quiet on the matter of the growing rifts within the BNP, largely because there’s not much we can say while they so publicly tear lumps out of each other – it’s been a case of getting in the popcorn, sitting back and watching the show.
So who’s doing the greatest damage to the BNP in the early stages of the post-election civil war?
Naturally, the largest part of it must be laid at the farmhouse door of serial self-preservationist Nicholas Griffin, but for our money the hands down winner is not Simon Bennett or Eddy Butler but one unremittingly stupid Welshman with a computer, a supply of boiled lager, unfortunate amounts of free time in which to consume it, and an unnatural fixation on the personality of a political failure, aided and abetted by that weird congregation of unthinking Morris-alikes who prostrate themselves at the shrine of Saint Nick.