Anti-fascists have been laughing themselves silly at the spectacle of Nick Griffin being chucked out of the party he led for 15 years. For many years the most recognisable and prominent fascist in Britain, Griffin has been unceremoniously ditched by a group of non-entities he once counted as some of his closest supporters.
Opposing factions in the BNP have been eyeing each other up since Griffin was eased out of the party leadership in July. Internal rumblings burst out into the open when Griffin produced a document claiming serious financial impropriety over wills and the shocking claim that the party had become a dictatorship. Surely not! Well, here’s the thing Nick, when it comes to fascism, that’s the idea.
The new leadership called this a betrayal and branded Griffin an enemy of the party. Griffin appears to have over-estimated his level of support in the party and been completely out-manoeuvred by his opponents. Even more damaging for Griffin, the people who have chucked him out are the same people who were on his side during the last round of internal faction-fighting in 2010.
You’ve got to hand it to the new leader Adam Walker. Walker is a man seemingly devoid of political skill and gives rousing speeches to the dwindling ranks of the party faithful like a drunk shouting at a bus stop. Yet he has taken on a past master at factional infighting and won, at least for now.
What has Walker won though? At one time, the BNP had greater ambition, discipline and success than any other post-war fascist group in Britain. This is all in the past. One reason why Griffin was so easily ousted was because he soldiered on as leader while the party’s electoral support collapsed. In the European elections back in May, the party’s vote fell below the level of support they achieved in the 1999 European elections. That’s over a decade of rapid progress eradicated.
It’s hard to see a way back for the BNP either. This infighting could not come at a better time as it will prevent the party from capitalising on the disgusting Rotherham child abuse scandals. Moreover, Adam Walker as BNP leader is an asset to the anti-fascist movement. In addition to being an idiot, he also comes with serious baggage. Surely even the BNP realise that a man with a conviction for threatening kids with a knife and who had a Japanese wife is in no position to run a campaign claiming that it is dangerous for kids to associate with non-whites?
It looks like Griffin has already thrown in the towel and given up on the BNP. His rants on Twitter include a demand for a new party (led by him, of course) and for the BNP to be destroyed. If he can’t have it then no-one can. Expect further toxic details about the main players in the BNP to be leaked in the near future.
There are few people who would join Griffin in this proposed new group. He is widely distrusted on the far right and many fascists will be gloating that he has received his just desserts. As leader, Griffin had dozens of opponents expelled, including his predecessor John Tyndall, and people have not forgotten the role he played in splitting up the National Front almost 30 years ago. Griffin has been sniffing round the NF but it is hard to see why they would have him back.
It is gratifying to see the BNP reduced to this level of destructive bickering. If given the chance, Griffin, Walker and the other incompetents embroiled in this will destroy the BNP. Anti-fascists should be ready to assist them.