Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Nick Griffin has resigned as BNP chairman

As reported here by the BBC. And a very strange article it is too; not snide; not full of malicious falsehoods; just the facts - good and bad - very unusual for the Beeb, and to be fair, the rest of the national media.

Officially this blog is sad to see him go; thinks he has done a good job converting the BNP from unelectable to would-be-elected-if-it-were-not-for-UKIP and notes he has finally put the finances in order and got the accounts passing audit for several years in a row.

The leadership toll on Griffin must be quite considerable. He has endured several court cases, all spurious but all with the potential to send him to jail if he lost. The cost of defending these has led to his personal bankruptcy. There has been continual vilification from the media.

When he looks back his two high points are likely to be: being elected as an MEP, and his Question Time appearance.

QT was a mixed bag, many said he fluffed it, but there was a serious support boost as a result. Being an MEP has been central to his life for several years; the loss of those three letters cannot be nice.

Griffin intends to remain in the party and has invented the new post of Party President for himself. In the chair as pro tem leader until elections next year is Adam Walker, a former teacher with a certain amount of "history" but essentially a sound fellow and a close friend of Griffin's.

Officially Griffin's reason for leaving is because the BNP failure at the Euro elections has caused dissent in the ranks and he wants to let the party heal itself. And it is true that a lot of nationalists hate Nick Griffin and would be members of the BNP if he were not there, or cannot be members because Griffin has banned them. In theory Walker could reach out to these disaffected potential (and often former) members and rebuild the membership with them. In practice it may turn out that being a friend of Griffin's means he has the same enemies as Griffin and the people currently outside the tent will remain outside the tent. The next few days as Walker grasps the reins will be informative. He could announce a blanket amnesty on banned former-members, but he probably won't.

It is also worth remembering that Griffin has "stood down" before now and somehow ended up still being chairman. There are scheduled leadership elections next year - why not stand down in the run up to them rather than so much sooner? Is it because he actually intends to be a candidate after Walker has taken the flack off him for a while? Alternatively it may be to give Walker some exposure in his appointed role before putting him up as a candidate for elected chairmanship.

1 comment:

chefdave said...

The BNP are targeting a notoriously volatile section of the electorate so whoever's in charge will certainly have their work cut out. Griffin did a pretty good job under the circumstances and I'm certain he could have made it as a Tory/Labour MP if he'd kept quiet and opted to be a career politician instead of fighting for something he believed in. The rise of UKIP has almost certainly eaten into their support and the media blackout hasn't helped either. It will be interesting to see how Walker copes with these various challenges over the coming months.