The runners and riders for the BNP Leadership Challenge Cup 2010 are as follows:-
Unlike Mr. Butler I don’t seek to be a disposable chairman or a stalking horse for undeclared and shadowy third parties. I seek election for a full-term. I love this Party and despise those who seek to sow dissent and demoralise our activists. They have provided propaganda for our enemies to throw at our candidates on the doorstep. Real grievances must be dealt with by people with true hearts, not those whose main purpose is to seek position or jobs.
Our vote increased at the General Election and we have more enquiries and a larger membership than ever. But some people still think it’s time for a change. If you feel that change is indeed needed, then nominate me, a clean-hands candidate who will be a fresh face but who, unlike Mr. Butler, has not sought to advance my candidacy by working with supporters who spread lies and black propaganda.
Famed as ‘the man in the beige suit’, dyslexic and partial to the occasional drink, I know my limitations! But I have never wavered from the strength of my convictions and I’ve always spoken direct from the heart.
Nick has achieved miracles in modernising the Party; Eddy has electioneering, strategic experience, – but the Party is divided. There’s a real desire for change but we also need time to take stock, and plan how to move forward together with renewed energy. If we act in haste we risk losing all we have built.
Our success and unity is more important than the ambitions of any individual. I offer integrity, impartiality and lack of self-interest that will command the loyalty and solidarity of all the membership. I will act as a caretaker leader till elections and end the strife caused by this destructive, divisive and bitter campaign. Choose stability and unity.
I believe we need a complete re-launch in order to survive as a Party.
I seek a year’s term as Chairman in order to bring in the necessary changes and hold free elections next year than will result in a fresh face.
I will bring in measures to ensure financial transparency to restore confidence in the Party’s finances.
I will bring in constitutional changes to make the Party more democratically accountable and have a separation of powers between the political Chairman and the administration.
I would bring all functions such as the call centre back to the mainland and close the Belfast office.
I would terminate the contract of our fundraising consultant and we would become self sufficient.
I would ensure that our resources are focussed on the front line and not wasted on bureaucracy.
I would ensure that the Party stays together with no recriminations after this leadership election.
Nick Griffin MEP:
Our tremendous record speaks for itself, which is why our enemies try every trick in their grubby book to smear me and key members of my winning team.
To break contracts, sack our young team in the highly popular and successful call centre, and go back to amateurism, would be organisational and financial suicide. The experience and technology we’ve acquired must be used to modernise our election-fighting machine, not thrown away out of spite and personal ambition.
We’ve spent time and money modernising our central administration, now we’re going to professionalise our regional and local organisation.
In ten years, our activists and I have turned this party from a bad political joke into a major factor in British politics. There is still much to be done, and it is best done under proven, principled and visionary leadership, without futile, time-wasting elections. We’ve come this far, let us go forward together!
Your referee for this winner takes all contest will be Mr Andrew Brons.
Andrew Brons MEP has consented to be the scrutineer of the nomination papers and the address on the ballot papers to return them, at an address submitted by himself.
It is vital that this process is seen to be fair and totally impartial and that the appointment of Mr Brons as official scrutineer is beyond any doubt the fairest way to proceed in this matter.
Mr Brons has also worked with the election department in drawing up the procedures and guidelines to the nomination process and as scrutineer he has declared them fair to all potential challengers.
“The man in the beige suit, dyslexic and partial to the occasional drink” is Richard Barnbrook’s idiosyncratic way of inviting support for his bid to become chairman of the British National Party. In any other party a leader “partial to the occasional drink” has to resign, but as in so many things the BNP is different.
Barnbrook is one of three candidates who have declared their intention to try to replace Nick Griffin as leader of the racist party. He and Derek Adams are latecomers to the contest, although Eddy Butler, who has been actively gathering support since May, has predicted for some time that Griffin would put up a “stooge” candidate.
Candidates for the leadership have to obtain nominations from 20% of the 4,200 members of at least two years’ standing, something that Butler describes as “incredibly difficult” as most of those 4,200 are “armchair members, unknown to most organisers and activists”. The more candidates, the more difficult it is for any one of them to obtain the 840 signatures needed.
On Sunday Butler claimed that the mastermind of the “stalking horse” campaign was Patrick Harrington, Griffin’s old friend from his National Front days, who is now a member of the executive committee of Third Way, a rival to the BNP. Harrington was recently taken onto the BNP’s payroll in a human resources role, a bizarre position for the general secretary of a trade union, except that “Solidarity” is not a real union but a BNP front. It is unlikely there will be any action soon from Solidarity to represent those BNP employees who were not paid in June because the party has run out of money.
Barnbrook, the BNP’s London Assembly member, is prominent in the BNP in London and the south of the country. It had been thought that he was supporting Butler and had been sacked as the party’s Barking and Dagenham organiser because of it. However Butler says enigmatically that Chris Roberts, the BNP’s London organiser, replaced Barnbrook by an unnamed “hard working and well respected local activist who is, I believe, a supporter of Nick Griffin”, so that Barnbrook could concentrate on his London Assembly role.
Adams, who used to run a pub in Manchester that was used for a BNP victory rally after Griffin’s election to the European Parliament last year, is more likely to attract support among BNP members in the north. His electoral pitch amounts to very little: he loves the BNP, it is doing very well, but if you think a change is needed then nominate me, a “clean-hands candidate who will be a fresh face but who, unlike Mr Butler, has not sought to advance my candidacy by working with supporters who spread lies and black propaganda”. Despite his claim not to be “a stalking horse for undeclared and shadowy third parties”, his parroting of Griffin’s line shows that is exactly what he is.
Although Griffin does not need to collect signatures as his name goes forward automatically, he has also set out his stall in the hope that members will tick the box on the “official” nomination form in support of him continuing rather than nominating Butler. Hypocritically he, who has so often sacked party employees on the spot in contravention of employment legislation, and has most recently incurred a huge liability to settle with Michaela Mackenzie who took her unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal, argues against Butler’s plan to close the party’s Belfast call centre as it would mean breaking contracts and sacking “our young team”.
Arrogant as always, Griffin does not appeal for support but for no election at all. “In ten years, our activists and I have turned this party from a bad political joke into a major factor in British politics. There is still much to be done, and it is best done under proven, principled and visionary leadership, without futile, time-wasting elections.”
Many supporters and opponents of the BNP believe that the party remains a “bad political joke”, judging by Griffin’s recent actions, such as making the party liable for up to £170,000 because of his stupid and infantile act of including the image of a jar of Marmite on the BNP’s general election broadcast.
The announcement of the candidates on the BNP website, posted on the BNP website in the early hours of Monday 19 July, makes a point of listing the candidates’ 150-word statements in alphabetical order. Is it coincidence that both the new candidates appear higher in the alphabet than Butler, in a petty ploy to exploit the ultra short attention span of many BNP members?
The official scrutineer, whose job it will be to collect nomination forms from the PO Box set up for the purpose and to open them, is Andrew Brons MEP. Brons works closely with Griffin in the European Parliament and shares constituency office staff with him. It is unclear whether Butler agrees that Brons’s appointment is the “fairest way” to ensure that the “process is seen to be fair and totally impartial”.
Butler has rejected the election rules, drawn up by Clive Jefferson as head of the BNP’s “elections department”, under which nominations for the leadership can only be made by members personally posting their “official” nomination form, with witnessed signature, to Brons. He continues to urge his supporters to download forms from his blog (the existence of which is itself a contravention of Jefferson’s rules) and to return them to him.
Nominations close on 10 August, after which a new outbreak of accusations and recriminations about whether Butler has been validly nominated is expected, a row that is likely to end up in court
Putting his name forward as a prospective leadership challenger, Richard Barnbrook has condemned the BNP to eternal rule by Nick Griffin.
Barnbrook, along with Griffin glove-puppet Derek Adams, has not the slightest chance of garnering enough nominations to put his name on the leadership ballot, but that does not appear to be the point.
In submitting themselves to the draconian Griffin-devised leadership contest rules Barnbrook and Adams are strengthening the Griffinite case for declaring Eddy Butler’s challenge invalid, since Butler has refused to accept the rules, declaring them “unconstitutional” while continuing to collect nomination signatures on his own forms, holding meetings and maintaining a web presence – all proscribed in an organisers’ bulletin issued by Clive Jefferson at Griffin’s behest.
Appearing unexpectedly on the BNP website late yesterday, the announcement that Butler, Barnbrook and Adams were seeking nomination seems to be little more than a sop to a notional idea of “fair play” utterly alien to the Griffin leadership but necessary to quell growing doubts amongst the membership at large and to arm Griffin with the right credentials against accusations of a “fix”. To that end, each of the three prospective challengers’ 150 word statements are published, along with that of incumbent Griffin – who cannot restrain his authoritarian tendencies, referring to “futile, time-wasting elections”.
Why the election is “futile” Griffin does not explain, but it really isn’t that difficult to work out.
The momentum gained by the Butler campaign has terrified Nick Griffin and those he has promoted to paid positions, who could not expect to survive a Butler win. One such is the execrable Patrick Harrington, now a direct employee of the BNP while remaining head of the joke Solidarity “trade union” and a member of the tiny National Liberals/Third Way. Harrington, as we saw many moons ago, sometimes likes to bank money in the name P.A. Sharp, which he – perhaps uniquely – claims to be his “married name”. (We should not care to encourage speculation in regard to which name Harrington/Sharp has thus far employed when claiming his state benefits).
Eddy Butler has been aware of Harrington’s interference in BNP affairs (clearly with the tacit approval of Nick Griffin) for some time, and yesterday, speculating the advent of a Griffinite stooge candidate, wrote:
…news has reached me that the mastermind of the ‘stalking horse’ campaign is none other than our old friend Pat Harrington. Harrington has been busily trying to bamboozle a ‘name’ into putting himself forward. Persuading the ‘name’ that he is ever so popular, that he can be the ‘third way’ candidate to unite the party above the Griffin-Butler factions. The ‘name’ is in a slightly vulnerable situation and can’t see that he is being used by Harrington as a stooge – to derail the nomination process on behalf of Nick Griffin.
As Derek Adams is hardly a “name” in the BNP at large, Butler is clearly referring to Barnbrook.
Even those kindly disposed towards Barnbrook would not claim for him either a sweeping intellect or any dim flickerings of managerial talent. Barnbrook would be the candidate everybody likes but nobody will vote for. In fact, hobbling his own chances of obtaining sufficient nominations to put him on the ballot, Barnbrook (or the sneaking Harrington?) begins his 150-word statement: “Famed as ‘the man in the beige suit’, dyslexic and partial to the occasional drink, I know my limitations!”
An inability to know when he is being suckered would appear to be high on the list of those “limitations”.
Completing the “fair play” charade is the announcement that the thus far silent Andrew Brons, youthful Nazi and now BNP MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside, is to be the “official scrutineer”.
This is indeed a clever move on Griffin’s part. Brons has respect within the BNP and has so far (apparently) kept his distance from the Griffin-Butler dogfight. He is seen as intelligent, working hard in the EU parliament, and about as fair and impartial as it is possible to be within the BNP. He lends, as is intended, a bogus respectability and legitimacy to the self-serving Griffin devised rules that will govern the conduct of the nomination gathering process.
Brons (assuming his impartiality is genuine) is as much a patsy as Richard Barnbrook.
The nuts and bolts of the game-plan are fairly clear now. The primary intent is to prevent Eddy Butler’s name ever going on to the leadership ballot, since even achieving the 20% voting member requirement would be tacit proof of widespread internal dissatisfaction with Nick Griffin, and would fatally damage his leadership.
To that end, out goes the failed strategy of the smear blogs and in comes something that is on the surface more agreeable but no less poisonous to the Butler challenge.
With fair-minded Andrew Brons superintending the bizarre nominations process, with the popular Richard Barnbrook and one other candidate joining the fray on the terms imposed by Griffin, the process is effectively legitimised. Griffin has but to point out that if the rules are good enough for Brons, Barnbrook and Adams, then why does Eddy Butler not accept them, and why does he continue to operate in clear breach of them?
From there, it follows, that every nomination signature gathered by the Butler campaign will, as the Griffin/Jefferson bulletin promised, be declared invalid, and with neither Barnbrook or Adams coming close to the 20% requirement there will be no leadership election.