Archive for the ‘Britain First’ Category

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Nick Griffin has been removed from his position as leader of the British National Party, following the party’s disastrous electoral performance earlier this year. The former leader was ousted at a meeting of the party’s national executive on Saturday, after the party lost all of their MEP’s and all but two of their councillors in this year’s local elections. Griffin’s role as party chairman will now be filled by disgraced teacher Adam Walker.

Walker, who had only recently taken on the position deputy chairman, was given a lifetime ban from teaching following an incident that saw him drive his Land Rover across a village green in pursuit of three boys aged between ten and twelve, before slashing the tyres of their bicycles with a knife.

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This wasn’t Walker’s first brush with the authorities; he had previously come to their attention after using a school computer to send hate filled messages describing immigrants as “savage animals”. Astonishingly, the teaching council rapped his knuckles for misuse of equipment – but cleared him of racism. It would seem that such problems run in Walker’s family as his brother Mark is also a BNP activist, as well as a disgraced teacher. Mark was struck off for using school computers – this time to send sleazy emails with lines like “I124Q” to a 16 year old former pupil.

The change in leadership, which sees Griffin now take on the role of party president, was announced in a statement on the BNP website. The statement read: “Recently appointed deputy chairman, Adam Walker, has accepted the role of acting chairman of the British National Party after Nick Griffin stepped aside at a meeting of the BNP national executive… The full national executive are united in their support for Adam in this role.”

Whilst Griffin was at the helm for the BNP’s boost in 2009 (the party took 6% of the vote in the European elections and saw the election of a number of local and county councillors) he was unable to hold the party firm against the rise of UKIP on the anti-European right. In this year’s European elections the BNP managed only 1% of the vote, and lost the majority of its council seats including Griffin’s own in Strasbourg. This led to severe decline for the BNP as internal fights raged around the party’s finances, though Steven Squire – the London organiser of the BNP – said on Monday that although there had been some “bickering” within the party in the past “that is all over now and unlike other political parties, we are not in debt”. In response to the successes of UKIP, Griffin said that BNP supporters who wanted to “send them all home” would end up disappointed if they had voted for UKIP as an alternative.

These clear and openly far right views will remain, if not intensify, with Walker as party leader. In a speech to a party audience last November, Mr Walker claimed that white Britons were facing a process of “ethnic cleansing” and suggested further killings like that of off-duty soldier Lee Rigby were likely. He accused the leaders of the three main political parties of turning Britain into a “multicultural shithole”.

When considering recent leavers of the BNP this shift to a harder far right position can be better understood. Two prominent cases are that of former chair and MEP Andrew Brons and former councillor Paul Golding. Brons parted ways with the BNP in October 2012 and four months later launched the British Democratic Party with former BNP organiser Kevin Scott. The two had previously accused the BNP of ongoing corruption and the watering down of its politics. The BDP is expected to re-focus efforts on promoting scientific racism, calling for the compulsory repatriation of non-whites and heavily pushing the notion that the Holocaust is a hoax – core policies that Nick Griffin tried to either disguise or entirely extinguish after taking over the BNP in 1999.

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Golding, formerly a BNP councillor for Sevenoaks and communications officer for the party, now sits as director of Britain First – the nationalist outfit founded by the BNP’s former chief fundraiser Jim Dowson, who sensationally quit the party after being accused of groping a party activist. Golding describes his party as a “street defence organisation” opposed to radical extremists. The group is probably best known for their ‘Christian Patrols’ and mosque invasions. Britain First members have driven around in military jeeps while handing out Christian literature to Muslims around Tower Hamlets and invaded the East London Mosque in Whitechapel to hand out Army issued bibles and Christian leaflets, while asking to speak to the Imam. They have also staged protests by drinking alcohol outside mosques. Despite using Snatch Land Rovers during the patrols and dressing in matching green uniforms, described as ‘activist jackets’ by the party, Britain First deny that they intended to intimidate people with their actions.

The emergence of a number of, whilst smaller, more militant far-right organisations is indicative of a more general rightward shift in British politics, and how Walker adapts with this shift will no doubt be the indicator for his success within the BNP as well as that of the party itself.