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Nick Griffin supports the Golden Dawn in Athens as the BNP falls apart

10 January 2014

10 January 2014

One hundred and twenty eight days from now, British voters will head to the polls to have their say in elections to the European Parliament and local elections. Between now and then, much of the political debate will continue to focus on the UK Independence Party, which has mobilised the single most successful insurgency in English politics since 1945 (and one that we put under the microscope in a forthcoming book). Among pundits and politicians there is a consensus that 2014 will be another record year for the Ukippers.

But as one insurgent has prospered, another has fallen. While the elections in 2014 may see Ukip’s revolt on the right reach new heights, they are also likely to see the extremist British National Party thrown out of British politics altogether. While Nick Griffin has been back in the news after attending a Golden Dawn press conference in Athens today, the reality is that the past three years have been disastrous for his party. Since 2009, Griffin and the BNP have been edging ever closer to political irrelevance, having been torn apart by bitter infighting and consistently rejected by voters. While they hoped 2014 would see a change of fortunes, the first week of the New Year brought the  revelation that Griffin is now bankrupt. The news dealt yet another blow to the party’s distant hopes of mounting some sort of comeback in May. As things stand today, it is distinctly unlikely Griffin will retain his seat in the North West of England (the other BNP Member of the European Parliament in Yorkshire has resigned the BNP whip and set up a new rival party, the British Democratic Party).

Griffin’s bankruptcy was hardly surprising. Before taking control of the BNP in 1999, and then being elected to the European Parliament ten years later, he had almost certainly lived on a financial shoestring. Inside the shambolic world of Britain’s far right, he had long been chased by allegations of financial corruption and general incompetence. His opponents who have since left the BNP (or been purged by Griffin) say that he has now played an active role in destroying the two most significant far right parties in post-war Britain, having previously also been a leading member of the National Front in the 1980s. Conspiracy theories concerning Griffin, the British state and the regular implosion of far right groups in Britain are never far behind.

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What makes the fall of Griffin and the BNP so intriguing is that they were given everything they could ever hope for – a global financial crisis, recession, rising inequality, immigration, an expenses scandal, Islamist terrorism and fiscal austerity, much of which hit their favoured territory in northern England. But still, Griffin led his party into a series of major miscalculations and internal crises. They were easily outflanked by the English Defence League, which offered a more confrontational and exciting outlet for activists who saw little point in elections. Instead of seeking an alliance, Griffin attacked the EDL as a pro-Zionist lobby. Then, on Question Time, and in front of eight million viewers, he thought it a good idea to defend the Ku Klux Klan. The next year, a major offensive at the 2010 general election failed to halt the decline, while Griffin’s pursuit of costly and unsuccessful legal battles emptied an already paltry war chest. All of this contributed to a mass exodus of activists who either switched to new rivals or left politics altogether. Griffin predicted that a global crisis would turn his party into a major force. Instead, the BNP has been reduced to a few old, white men standing in the electoral wilderness and facing a bleak future. That Griffin thinks the way to rebuild the BNP is to build links with the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in Greece – who are linked to murder and attacks on migrants – speaks volumes.

But at the same time, Griffin’s story does tell us something about what the far right needs to survive and thrive. More often than not, the success and failure of Europe’s far right is traced to ‘charismatic leadership’ – the presence of a telegenic and messianic populist who employs simplistic slogans and demands to protect ‘the people’. But as academics like Roger Eatwell point out, charismatic leadership is important in other ways. Sure, there is the external and outward-facing charisma that we are all familiar with, and which the likes of Geert Wilders use to attract votes and success. But just as important (if not more so) is internal charisma – the ability to sustain the loyalty of an inner cadre of highly committed followers, who can ‘keep the flame alive’ not only during the good days, but also the bad.

The problem for the far right in Britain is that it has never had a leader who can deliver both. In earlier decades Oswald Mosley had internal but not external charisma. He not only turned off voters but did not even take elections seriously, believing like many other interwar fascists that he would simply be swept (or invited) into power amidst crisis. Yet even in the shadow of the Second World War he was still revered among a tight circle of loyalists as almost god-like, which played an important role in the formation of the Union Movement in 1948 and subsequent groups that would nurture the next generation of racial nationalists. Then came John Tyndall, a former leader of the 1970s National Front who went on to establish the BNP in 1982. That Tyndall lacked external charisma is reflected in the fact that for seventeen years the BNP managed to win just one local council seat. But internally, his dictatorial style and presence did ensure the survival of a small right-wing party under a long period of Thatcherism and low immigration – far from easy.

Only when activists began to sense the climate was changing did they remove Tyndall and install Griffin, who promised them ‘modernization’ and success. But Griffin had neither external nor internal charisma. He neither won over the masses nor was able to build a unified army of diehards who would follow him over the top. Instead, Griffin got lucky – he rode the waves of popular anxiety over immigration at a time when Labour took their old base for granted, the Conservatives were in disarray and there was no other alternative on the radical right flank. There simply was no other place for voters who felt economically left behind and threatened by mass immigration – except to stay at home. This was enough for Griffin to attract record success, but it never reflected a genuine bond between his party and voters. Over 80 per cent of voters said they would never even consider voting BNP.

Today, with the Conservatives in power and Ukip on the rise, Griffin and the BNP’s weaknesses have been laid bare. Given a legitimate alternative that does not force voters to compromise on their democratic principles, and the BNP has fallen quickly off the electoral radar. So too has Griffin. The psychologist Michael Billig once observed how individuals on the far right often attract a level of attention that is wholly disproportionate to their actual significance. Griffin is quickly on his way to becoming one of these figures. He will continue to attract headlines but his influence over the far right has waned. On the continent he has been overtaken by a new generation of radical right politicians who steer well clear of Griffin’s racial nationalism, and avoid the kind of admiration of Greece’s Golden Dawn that now regularly appears on the BNP website. Meanwhile, internally he has somehow managed to alienate everyone who was anyone on the far right. Many disgruntled activists argue that Griffin has single-handedly ruined their one chance at a breakthrough before (in their eyes) the tides of immigration and ethnic change take hold and change Britain forever. One thing, however, is clear: history will remember Nick Griffin not as the man who brought the far right success and respectability, but as perhaps the most divisive figure in its entire history.

Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at Nottingham University.


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Show comments
  • Matt

    Having known him personally for quite some years, I can say
    that you forgot to mention two crucial things about him – he is a coward and
    sociopath. You simply would not believe the depths this creature would go to remain
    in power of what was once a viable party, using paid muscle within the BNP to
    intimidate members that stood up to him. He is now a complete joke and with
    each passing day he looks an even bigger desperate fool. I’ll be revelling in glee
    at the spectacle of watching his final humiliation on TV at the next elections –
    I will be chilling the bubbly for that one!

  • Bill_der_Berg

    “Nick Griffin not as the man who brought the far right success and respectability, but as perhaps the most divisive figure in its entire history.”

    Perhaps, but it seems that he worried the powers-that-be much more than his predecessors. They certainly went after him more vigorously. That may be partly explained by the growing strength of various ethnic and religious pressure groups. The ‘climate of opinion’ has changed. Nowadays, people have to walk on eggs when it comes to discussing religion. Michael Palin said recently that the ‘Life of Brian’ could not be made these days.

  • Bill_der_Berg

    For years support for the far right , as measured by opinion polls, used to hover around 4 per cent. If it climbed above that, when an election approached the Conservatives Party would begin to express concern about immigration (as in the case of Mrs Thatcher’s ‘our people are being swamped’ remark). That was usually enough to attract waverers back to the Tories.

  • harman1

    The term ‘far right’ is favoured by the media,but it is a dishonest term as well you know.The fascism of the left and the ‘anti-fascist- scares me far more

  • Bob339

    The Spectator giving space to this mental midget? Whatever next?

  • Raw England

    Any good looking and charismatic nationalist leader is instantly destroyed, attacked, killed or ruined (or all three) by the fascist UAF, black immigrants and Muslim immigrants. That’s the LAST thing they (includes yourself) want. So that’s the main thrust of your article solved.

    I really can’t believe you’ve been given space on the Spectator to speak your delusions, and to try and to quell the anger that’s rising within people. Its akin to Peter Hitchens being given a regular column at the Huffington Post.

  • Raw England

    After a quick search of your name, how dare you bring your patronising, extreme left wing bile here? You make your living from stopping the ethno-English people regain their country. Id point out to you the fact that extreme left loons like you are the minority in real terms, but you’re obviously way too insane and much too far gone. And do you really think a England ruled by a left wing government, foreign violent mob-rule and a totalitarian politically correct police state have been the “perfect conditions for the BNP” ?

  • Jon Smith

    I’m afraid you’re very wrong. The BNP has seen a major increase in web traffic, membership and party funds. They now have their largest ever election fund and more activists on the streets than most other parties. All this rubbish about them falling apart? haha get a grip. People have seen through UKIP, just as they’ve seen through Lib, Lab, Con.

  • James Lovelace

    Matthew Goodwin is a chump. As demonstrated once more by this blog.

  • Tom Tom

    BNP is bound to fall apart unless MI5 nurtures it

  • Iain Hill

    Are there elections in Scotland, or just another example of Britain = England?

    • Wessex Man

      You loon, you just want to drag England into the Scottish Referendum because you know without making the English out to be Scotland’s enemy you stand no chance of winning the vote!

  • Fergus Pickering

    Come on. It has nothing todo with poor old Griffin. Nigel Farage killed off the BNP. Letis drink to our Nige. Some people hope he will finich off the Tory party but I don’t think so. The Tories have been with us since the eighteenth century. Every other party is a Johnny-come-lately.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Well, they’ll probably run off Dave and the rest of you Cameroonian socialists, and then reform a proper party of conservatives. You types will probably go over to the Cleggsters, would be a good guess. .

    • John Border

      BNP – swivel eyed fanatics, racists all.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …so, like you then.

  • Joshua Wren

    The tide is turning in Europe,for far too long the far left fascists have brainwashed our nations and forced multiculturalism on us. People can see now who the REAL fascists are and multiculturalism has failed. People are right to be worried about the spread of Islam in Europe. I hope this is a major wake up call to the liberal left,who’s days are numbered. I remember the smear campaigning last time about the BNP,and it failed. Sign there is an election coming up. Fascist media at it again.

    • Junis

      Don’t pevert classic language by smearing Lefties as fascists. Lefties, generally speaking, dissaprove of big profit concentration, military expansion and the demonisation of minorities. Do fascists approve of the latter? If they do, they cannot be tarred with the same brush as Lefties.

      • Joshua Wren

        What would call people who continue to vote rig,extend election areas to include masses of immigrants to keep the vote labour. UAF so called ‘anti’ fascists who time and time again show violence and attack the process of democracy. Sounds very much like fascism to me.

  • John Border

    BNP, Golden Dawn, UKIP, Tory, all the same sort who are trashing our name internationally. It reminds me of the build up to Krystalnacht…

    There is a case for preventive detention for any supporter of the above, in the interests of peace on the streets. ASBOs won’t work with these thugs.

    A pity, but I’d back that.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …yes, most of you fascists would back that.

      • John Border

        You’re the fascist Grinner.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          No, lad, it’s you fascists who openly speak of opening the camps, as you are .

          • John Border

            It’s in the public interest to keep lowlife off the streets.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …that can’t be true, or you wouldn’t be allowed on the internet right now.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Good god, do I find myself supportng our mad American friend? I do. Hands across the Atlantic Ocean, Tarbaby!.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …what are you blathering about now, laddie?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Hands across the Atlantic Ocean, Tarbaby.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …you’re directing that blather at my post, for some strange reason. Is that some Cameroonian socialist directive now?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Tarbaby.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …is that blather indicative of anything in particular, lad?

              • John Border

                Sometimes when you make a comment, I see someone sitting on the toilet for a long time , squeezing and straining until there’s a plop!
                Well done!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …yes, you fascists always do seem to have a fixation on toilet matters, as we know.

    • Gavin Cardy

      I’d back culling UAF supporters and other Nation traitors. I used love traveling round Europe when they all had a different currency. It’s just so boring and expensive nowadays.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Preventative detention of Tories? Oh dear, another socialist loony besmirches this site with sick fascist tripe.

      I think you are trashing your own name you peculiar weirdo. The closest party in our history to real national socialists was New Labour.

      • Pete222

        How in the world do you think that? Please identify the links between New Labour and the Night of the Breaking Glass. I might not like New Labour, but they were never ‘fascist’. You seem to forget that Hitler used the word somewhat ironically, merely as a means to getting extra votes. Not in a million years was Hitler in any way allied to ‘socialism’: if he was, please tell me, in words of one syllable, why he rounded all socialists up and executed them?

        • Colonel Mustard

          Why would links between New Labour and the Night of the Breaking Glass prove their inherent fascism? The similarities are much more subtle. The gangster-like quality of the top levels of the regime, the reliance on spin and propaganda (what was Campbell if not a Goebbels figure?), the love of officialdom and universal state bureaucracy, the single party state and duty to nationhood aspirations, the politicisation of government apparatus and civil services, the suspicion, the paranoia, the demonisation of enemies. Even now whenever I hear David Blunkett speak I think “Fascist”.

          Look at what the peculiarly weird and clearly Labour supporting John Border writes here about ‘preventative detention’ for those whose political views he disagrees with. You challenge my comparison but are content with that extremism? If you are another socialist then shame on you.

          • John Border

            Me support Labour? Chump. Labour is one wing of the Tory party. As for detaining Tories and rightwingers like you, it’s tough but fair. It’s simply a way of stopping disease spreading. Once some are corrected, then they can be released under a kind of probation.

            For example, Tories are now trashing our name internationally by their fear and loathing towards humanity, by wishing to attack the poor and those needing asylum, and even hating legal migrants. The UK has sent millions of workers abroad but we dont hear you bleating about that.

            So a spot of re-education is a small price to pay.

            • Colonel Mustard

              I wasn’t ‘talking’ to you loony.

              • John Border

                But I am talking to you, buffoon.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Then talk to the hand you nasty piece of work.

      • John Border

        No, not loony. We have jailed and re-educated rightwingers in the past and can do so again.

        It’s kinder that way. Any who dont respond well – sent to Detroit.

        You are a special kind of plonker, afflicted with serious verbal incontinence. Your history you got from the Beano.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Achtung, baby, and a sieg heil and gusendheit and aufweidersehn and whatever else you fascists are tweeting each other today, as you plot your comeback.

          • John Border

            You are so familiar with sieg heil arent you? But we wont allow you back.

            You duck and dodge Pete222’s question below.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …yes, I don’t quite know how to fall in line goosestepping, like you NSDAPers.

              • John Border

                Answer Pete’s question, you slithering slime.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  His “question” was directed at me, you noodle.

              • John Border

                You silly goose!

        • Fergus Pickering

          We have jailed…? Who has jailed? I suppose it is blacks you would send to Detroit.

        • Colonel Mustard

          I have never read the Beano.

          And you have just re-affirmed how peculiarly weird you are.

          • John Border

            And you should know….

            • Colonel Mustard

              I do hope your more reasonable SNP comrades are taking note apropos our discussion about the danger of a single party state in a newly independent Scotland that you advocate the jailing and even hanging of those with dissenting political views. But then you also endorse that far-left extremist Scargill so I suppose the thought of political violence, intimidation and oppression gives you a thrill.

    • Fergus Pickering

      You’d back what? Preventive detention of Tories? Right.

    • James Lovelace

      You are clearly a mental case.

    • Bill_der_Berg

      You will be pleased to learn that Mr Griffin’s visit to Athens has received some attention from the Washington Post.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/british-far-right-leader-courts-european-allies/2014/01/10/3271b084-7a36-11e3-a647-a19deaf575b3_story.html

  • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

    A few points:

    “Over 80 per cent of voters said they would never even consider voting BNP”

    I seem to recall Tony Blair being PM with 21% of the electorate.

    You mention the bankruptcy and living on a shoestring as if Griffin is some kind of credit crazed loon when in fact it is the hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal battles that has done for him (and those legal battles often a ‘set up’)

    BNP proved successful as people turned away from labour.

  • Angus_MacLellan

    That must about the zillionth article written about the imminent demise of the BNP. They are still here and likely to remain, and as already pointed out it was Griffin that alerted us to the grooming scandal. In addition the BNP picked up 1 million votes in the last Euro election, which frightened the politician class into changing immigration policy thereafter.

    • Gavin Cardy

      They’ve never changed immigration policy at all, the inflow carries on unabated.

  • Jez

    Probably for the non corrupted general public we could probably look at Nick Griffin as the man who galvanized the BNP into a rocket that was fired up the backside of the liberal elite to panic them to slow down their social engineering projects.

    To recap: the Northern riots of 2000, 7/7, Grooming Gangs, children murdered like Kris Donald or allegedly Charlene Downes all catapulted the BNP forward and doing so it helped getting it noticed.

    The BNP released pressure for alienated and despised by the establishment populations in the forefront of these new enriched cities.

    To be honest you probably should thank him for bridge to something manageable for you people.

    • Junis

      ‘Grooming Gangs’? It precisely this view why ‘white’ Britons could never arrest Jimmy Savile when he was alive.

      • Bill_der_Berg

        A perplexing claim.

      • Jez

        They couldn’t arrest him because of establishment showbiz corruption and liberal media criminality looking the other way. So the ‘White’ Britons didn’t hear anything about it until he’d croaked.

        The Grooming gangs have destroyed tens of thousands of lives. Proven. This being made possible by the liberal establishment kicking in the teeth the ‘politically incorrect’ rape victims and their families as the screamed for help.

        • Junis

          They looked the other way because he was ‘white’ and you know it.

          • Jez

            Absolute racism there from you. Nice one.

          • Bill_der_Berg

            On the evidence of a former detective, the police turned a blind eye to the muslim grooming gangs to avoid upsetting race relations. It sounds plausible.

  • Matthew Goodwin

    Some really interesting points here, and it is true that the BNP did very well in Labour areas. One study of the BNP vote that you may find interesting is linked to at the end of this blog. And Chris, I obviously disagree that the country is being “Islamified”. Recent research actually points to the opposite, showing for example that British Muslims are just as likely to identify themselves as “British”, to trust institutions and to be just as committed to the British national community. See as just one of several studies the second link below. And about Emmanuel Goldstein. Sadly my life is not that exciting. I am merely an academic who is interested in British politics, with a particular interest in new parties and social movements. Best wishes, Matt.

    BNP study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.1467-9248.2009.00829.x/asset/j.1467-9248.2009.00829.x.pdf?v=1&t=hq9r23hj&s=57eecab7a360c23ecb20feac6b630b71ff4a8433

    British Muslims study: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01402380600842312#.UtAk-GRdUqU

    • Smithersjones2013

      Its far more than whose areas the BNP’s voters come from that associates the BNP with the left. Its the whole centralist authoritarian control narrative that firmly anchors the BNP on the left of politics.

      PS And providing links that come back as “forbidden” don’t exactly advance your case……

      • Chris

        They base the “far right” label on racism being an expression of “inequality”, but this is false. This is not what “inequality” means in political terms. They know it as well.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, the Left does know. Their aim is to twist up the language, and then use that twisted up language to demonize their political opposition. It’s a long established process for the Left.

          • John Border

            Your language is pretty twisted but I dont think you can help it.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …are you still knocking around in here, NSDAPer?

              • John Border

                Obviously, window licker.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …you got any more brilliant fascist thoughts today, lad?

                • John Border

                  I dont like fascists (such as you) and nor do I like those who dont know what fascism is. Chump.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  If you express the desire to jail or hang those whose politics you disagree with then YOU are the fascist. Chump.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …most everybody knows what you fascists are, lad.

                • John Border

                  “most everybody knows” – who are you, John Wayne?! You poor sap, IQ of shoe size and still breathing. LOL!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, John Wayne’s dead, lad. But he liked to kill you fascists in the movies, as I recall.

                • John Border

                  Well he missed you chumpchops!

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …with good reason. He was only aiming at you fascists.

    • Chris

      Seeing as the concept of “Britishness” and “Britain” has been degraded to some sort of androgynous, socialist, multicultural Islamic compliant joke; I don’t think that means what you think it does.
      It’s the underlying reason why the census showed an increase in non Muslim people declaring themselves English; an identity which is still endowed with the concepts of liberty, fairness and the western heritage of the Reformation, enlightenment and democracy.
      Much easier to deem them racist instead. Then you don’t have to face the horrors of modern “Britain” created by the morally bankrupt ideologies of cultural relativism, legal pluralism and multiculturalism.

      • John Border

        A fine speech, but as Shakespeare said, “Wind and Piss, signifying nothing”.
        Why do you hate Muslims so deeply? You are foaming at the mouth.

        • Chris

          Ahh, the dark arts of the left.

          You don’t ask “why do i have an issue with Islam”, no, you frame your question to try and create a slur, and tar me with having a viewpoint based on emotion, and therefore invalid.
          Read the Koran, learn some history of Islam, listen to and read what they write and say, and above all; go and meet some Muslims. Then come back to me with some proper questions.

          • John Border

            I know why you have an issue with Islam. You, like others dance to the same hate tune, organised by your masters.

            Yes I slur you, as I know you for what you are – a bigot. I have read the Koran, as ridiculous as the Bible. Perhaps more so.

            I have met Muslims you chump. I dont like what I find. They are as befuddled by religion as Christians, who bomb them daily. Is it any wonder they become mad? You fool.

            Dont talk to me about ‘proper questions’ you complete ignoramus.

    • Gavin Cardy

      Carry on believing recent polls, I read one this week that most muslims support Jihad.
      P.S it was in a mainstream newspaper, now get a proper job you useless lazy GIT.

      • MProblem

        Amen to that. We have been ruled by arrogant, elitist, taxpayer-funded Marxist university professors (but, I repeat myself!) and their collective stupidities far too long. In a sane country, this man would be a burger-flipper or a street-sweeper.

    • John

      In what way is it “obvious” that you, an ‘academic’ {tee hee} would disagree that the country is being “Islamified”. Suppose one has no prior knowledge of your left liberal leanings. At face value one would expect an academic to take heed of the facts placed before him/her and make their judgement henceforth. Why is it to be assumed as a given, that you would “obviously disagree that the country is being “Islamified” “.

      And to my mind, it is obvious that the country is being “Islamified”. I suppose by placing the word Islamified in speech marks your intention is to use the term Islamified to mean specifically the terms, common parlance, negative connotations. Personally I would also assume the word Islamified to denote whether people of the Islamic faith are increasing in number in Britain, which of course they are, and therefore increasing numbers of people of the Islamic faith are making Britain a more Islamic country, in this sence of the word Britain is being Islamified.

      Some of the tenets of the Islamic tradition are undoubtedly admirable. But considering the term Islamified purely on the merits of whether one believes the Islamic cultural, religious and traditional influence to be changing Britain’s authentic liberal way of doing things to its’ detriment then I would also argue that to be the case.

    • K BB

      The Conservatives have collapsed organisationally in so many urban areas that the working class right have nowhere to go but UKIP and the BNP (although they are largely finished since the splits). UKIP are revealing themselves as incompetent oddballs, so many working class voters are finding themselves without proper representation.

    • MProblem

      Why wouldn’t they be committed to Britain? Britain gives them free food, free housing, free medical care, free education, free “cultural centers” and does not require them to do anything in return for all this bounty, plus licks their precious Islamic arses 24/7, all at the expense of the infidel native populations. Who wouldn’t go for a deal like that? Maybe if you actually did a useful, tax-producing job, instead of “working” as a taxpayer funded Marxist university professor (but, I repeat myself!), you might actually see where the indigenous population is coming from.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Surely the BNP are in effect a National Socialist party (their centralist economic policies certainly would sit more comfortably with those of the left) and therefore creatures of the left.

    Still I suppose its understandable that liberal academic types would be horrified to contemplate that people like Griffin are in reality their political cousins (and not too distant ones at that).

    • Chris

      They spread the myth that they are far right to tar libertarians who want to be free and not be enslaved in socialism.

      • Vorian

        You should go down to south africa and live as a white minority there, perhaps that will set your priorities straight. Let me give you a hint right now, state funded dental care is not a relevant question at all.

    • Mark Scarborough

      I think such a discussion proves that the left/right dichotomy is quite simplistic and even unhelpful. Yes the BNP are ‘left’ economically, but are certainly ‘right’ socially. They thus possess characteristics of both Labour and the Conservatives, but in more extreme forms.

      • Chris

        “‘right’ socially” – no they are not.
        inequality in the political sense is not equatable to racism. Its the conflation of the political “inequality” with the everyday usage of “inequality” that cause the confusion, and allows the myth of racism being on the right of the political spectrum.

        • Mark Scarborough

          Are you suggesting that ‘tough on immigration’ policies aren’t right-wing? (Of which the BNP take a more extreme view) Inequality comes in many forms; be it political, social or economic etc. The BNP purportedly want such equalities, but only for those they deem to be ‘British’. Such a differentiation (usually along racial lines) is an inequality of itself, and makes a mockery of desiring such equalities in the first place.

          • Colonel Mustard

            What do ‘tough on immigration’ policies actually mean? They are more about rhetoric from those who support them and those who oppose them than anything else. If your view of immigration is one dimensional – e.g. it i always good, regardless – then any policies seeking to control or limit immigration, or to control or mitigate its negative consequences, could be characterised as ‘tough on immigration’. Are they really ‘tough’ in a pejorative sense? They might also be described as ‘necessary’, ‘sensible’, ‘duly diligent’, ‘rights protective’, etc.

            Equalities are a red herring. How do equalities factor into issues of sustainability, infrastructure, quality of life, etc.

            Your comment illustrates how dishonestly debated this issue has become and how so often concern about immigration is conflated with racism and discrimination or how opposition to the scale of immigration is conflated with opposition to immigrants per se in an attempt to silence dissent from what is presumed by a vociferous minority to be the viewpoint of the majority (it isn’t as recent polling has shown).

            • John Border

              Your comment illustrates how dishonestly debated this issue has become..

              yes look what you’ve done.

            • John Border

              ‘ How do equalities factor into issues’ I detest jargon like this – it’s the mark of the dull, managerial culture we have now, thanks to Tories. Next time, will you say ” I’ll just run this past you”? “Per se”…come on!

              • Colonel Mustard

                Yes, we understand you detest a lot of things. Fortunately I am free to write my own comments and you are free to disparage them. You choose your words and I’ll choose mind. No-one is forcing you to read them.

                • John Border

                  No-one is stopping you commenting; you feel like victim when no-one is victimising you. There’s too much of that whimpering today.

                  I will disparage your comments if they are predictable jargon, and slag them if they are daft. I will praise you when you are good.

                  Avoid meaningless jargon and cliches. It’s bad. You should listen to me and improve your image.

                  Factor this in, and run it past me when you’re on board. We’ve got to drive up standards per se, maximising clarity in a rigorous and user friendly way, always with team spirit in mind.

          • Fergus Pickering

            What on earth does that last sentence mean? Ah! It is claptrap. I wondered what it was.

          • James Lovelace

            ” ‘tough on immigration’ policies aren’t right-wing?”

            Do you really think that any old layabout could just waltz into communist Russia or communist China, sponge off the indigenous people, perpetrate crimes, and slag them off in the process?

            The communists in China and Russia would not permit that. So, by your logic, Stalin and Mao were “right wing”.

            • Mark Scarborough

              Nonsense. My original point was that the left/right dichotomy is simplistic and unhelpful. I made the point that the BNP possess both right and left-wing policies, which makes placing it on a linear scale very difficult. The debate ensuing from that was whether or not the BNP have right-wing social policies. For me, their anti-immigration, anti-gay marriage, pro-traditional family, pro-church, pro-tough law and order all point towards a ‘conservative’ (preservation of traditional institutions) position and so are right-wing. Indeed, ‘communist’ countries may have been fearful of foreigners, which again highlights my point that to simply label anyone in a complete sense left/right wing is difficult.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Social conservatism is not classically attached to any single portion of the Left/Right political spectrum, yes. Anybody can be a social conservative.

                However, more contemporarily, the Left is anti-social conservative simply because it helps them destroy contemporary society and culture, which has been a goal of theirs this past century and more. The Frankfurt School, the Marcuseans, the Fabians…. they all embraced the need to destroy contemporary society. They can be properly described as of the Left, hardcore socialists.

                The BNP may respond to a more classically social conservatism split, and they’d be more fascist, or national socialist, thus the social conservatism attached to those movements. But the contemporary Left, also socialist, doesn’t do so. Again, social conservatism is hard to pigeonhole politically, unless you’re dealing with the contemporary socialist, who despises social conservatism.

                .

          • Chris

            The idea that they cant be left wing because they contain their equality within a nationality is pretty disingenuous and an example of how left wingers merely cauterise any socialist/marxist movement which fails/appears negative. Inequality in a political sense means a belief that people are inherently different and individual and that diferent outcomes are natural and not necesarily negative. This does not mean some people are more or less inferior and does not equate to racism. If it did, then would not all socialist movement be right wing, as they all have a hierachy; the hierachy being socialist being more enlightened than regresives…
            In addition, many of the founders of marxism/ socialism appeared to see it as a whitemans political system, suitable only for progresive people/races. So they didn’t appear to see racism as right wing

      • Smithersjones2013

        Well it depends whose right you are talking about. I suspect the Libertarian right would disagree with you

        • John Border

          Wrong, quite wrong. And a reminder of Moseley and his gang so long ago..

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …all socialists… all of the Left.

            • John Border

              Dear old Viceroy’s Grin,

              You really have no idea have you?

              But we should have permanently eliminated the right long ago. It would have been a kindness.

              “Arthur Scargill, Arthur Scargill, we’ll support you evermore”.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Nice line in hypocrisy there. Railing against national socialists – a construct of the left which had the elimination of political opponents as a core belief – and then advocating that a legitimate political viewpoint in a democratic, pluralist political system should be “permanently eliminated”.

                The Arthur Scargill line shows us very clearly which planet you have come from.

                • John Border

                  The people’s flag is deepest red,
                  It shrouded oft our martyr’d dead
                  And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
                  Their hearts’ blood dyed its ev’ry fold.
                  Then raise the scarlet standard high,
                  Within its shade we’ll live and die,
                  Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
                  We’ll keep the red flag flying here

                  For freedom, decency and social justice. Join me.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Quite. Tells us all we need to know about you.

                • John Border

                  For freedom, decency and social justice.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …well, for that, we’d certainly best avoid you NSDAPers.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  And jailing or hanging those whose politics you disagree with, don’t forget that. Doesn’t quite gel with ‘freedom’ and ‘social justice’ though but we understand the Marcusean gambit of heads you win and tails we lose.

                  A century of history demonstrates the bogusness of your “freedom, decency and social justice” boast. It is just a war cry in the pursuit of power to lord it over other people. If you really had any true concept of decency you would not have written the nasty tripe you have indulged in here.

                  Nasty hypocrites the lot of you.

                • John Border

                  ‘A century of history demonstrates the bogusness of your “freedom, decency and social justice” boast.’

                  No – I prefer re-education of socially destructive people. It is only the worst who require more vigorous solutions.

                  Look, if you have a rotten tooth, you will fix it or extract it. Simple.

                  ‘Nasty’? No that’s a Tory trait, which you have in spades. Can’t you be polite?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  “No – I prefer re-education of socially destructive people. It is only the worst who require more vigorous solutions.”

                  Yes, a precedent set by those well known socialist purveyors of ‘freedom, decency and social justice’ Stalin, Beria. Mao, Pol Pot, Cousesceau et al. The left have always persecuted their many victims under the guise of ‘purifying’ society.

                  Personally I find the proposition of ‘re-educating’ any free thinking person for their political views disgusting to the point of obscenity.

                  And politeness? You expect to be treated politely by someone you suggested should have been hung? Go and fuck yourself.

                • John Border

                  Be polite please. you’re very uncivilised.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  “No – I prefer re-education of socially destructive people. It is only the worst who require more vigorous solutions”

                  You will first need to get your paws on political power. You can’t rely on the voters to give you even a sniff of it. Could it be that you and your five comrades (aka ‘the masses’) are planning a coup?

                • John Border

                  Yes and we know where you live, Berky.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  I know where you live too, Bordure. In a left-wing fantasy world where capitalism is on the verge of collapse and revolution is just around the corner.

                • John Border

                  Hi Bill der Berk

                  You will have 2 years of reeducation. Then made to repay your debt to society.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  In that case I’d better learn the left-wing catechism :

                  Four legs good, two legs bad. Four legs good, two legs bad.

                • John Border

                  You’ve got it! You will thank me for saving you from being robbed by bankers and fooled by UKIP.

                  Which is not a UK party BTW, as it has no standing in Scotland.So it’s only an English party, serving bigots there.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  Promises, promises. Lefties tend to change their tune when they get into power. Look at your pin-up, Ken Livingstone. He toured the world persuading fat cat financiers to set up business in London.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  O great Stalin, O leader of the peoples,
                  Thou who broughtest man to birth.
                  Thou who fructifies the earth,
                  Thou who restorest to centuries,
                  Thou who makest bloom the spring,
                  Thou who makest vibrate the musical chords…
                  Thou, splendour of my spring, O thou,
                  Sun reflected by millions of hearts.

                • John Border

                  Wonderful lyrics…come back Joe, all is forgiven.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  Don’t let your hero Arthur Scargill hear you say that. Forgiveness indeed! What did Uncle Joe do wrong?

              • Chris

                “But we should have permanently eliminated the right long ago.” – there it is. Anyone “regressive” must go. Be they Jews, Slav, Gypsies or English people.

                • John Border

                  You of course are a liar, in the style of Goebbels. I want to dissolve rightwingers of any country.

                  I want to see them yoked to a job which pays pennies – thats what they want for others. And that job is permanent, not a few months. That’ll larn ’em.

                • Chris

                  Ok. Thanks for your input.

                • John Border

                  OK thanks for your capitulation to facts.

                  Not many honest people here so you are the exception.

                • berosos_bubos

                  You’re very confused. How do you know what their income is ?

                • John Border

                  Who’s they, booboo?

              • berosos_bubos

                Yes you’ve just proved you’re in the wrong, isn’t that what AH tried ?

                • John Border

                  Eh?

              • Bill_der_Berg

                When it comes to identifying Left and Right, Franco’s mob are the disadvantaged teenagers in the woodpile. Authoritarian but without a big state. Violent crushing of dissent. Believers in a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy. Gave clandestine help to the Nazis. Courted by Churchill and seen by some as defenders of western civilisation.

                Where do they come on the left-right spectrum/

                • John Border

                  Your post is garbled and confused. Take up yoga or something, Bill der Berk.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  Sorry, John Ordure.

                  What is this ‘Left’ you keep babbling about? The Labour Party? The SWP? None of the above?

                  Do you even know?

                • John Border

                  First dont be sorry – it’s so middle class and false, innit?

                  *Ordure ! the very word makes me think of you! Mmmm!

                  *None of the above, chumpolini!

                  *Nice to share , Billy der Berk!

                  Tot siens!!

                  Bless.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  Of course it’s false, Just like “For freedom, decency and social justice”.

                  None of the above, eh? So it may be the CP, ICC or some other set of initials. Or maybe Class War?

                  Chin up Comrade Ordure. there may be revolution one day. Not in your lifetime, nor in the lifetimes of your great great grandchildren, but some day.

                  May the Great Helmsman guide your footsteps.

                • John Border

                  You’re losing the plot, Billy the Berk.

                • Bill_der_Berg

                  The Left lost the plot in 1924.

          • Colonel Mustard

            National socialists, the clue is in the name, whether New Labour in 1997 or the SNP flavour, like you.

      • berosos_bubos

        But it is the left that is against free speech eg BBC, EU, PC

        • John Border

          And C.O.D., AUP, TWU, and RIP.

      • Bill_der_Berg

        “Yes the BNP are ‘left’ economically, but are certainly ‘right’ socially.”

        Look at the Attlee government. They were pro-US and helped to create NATO; they increased military spending and took the decision to develop nuclear weapons, and they used troops against striking dockers. They were also involved in the deposing of Iran’s Mossadeq.

        On the hand, they had a nationalisation programme and, of course, laid the foundations of the welfare state.

        So were they right-wing or left-wing?

    • Colonel Mustard

      Absolutely, national socialist, like New Labour, with an interesting polarisation of their two extremisms. The BNP demonising immigration to falsify the ‘British’, New Labour falsifying immigration to demonise the English.

      • James Lovelace

        Yep. The Left will consider Irish nationalism, Welsh nationalism, Scottish nationalism to all be progressive, leftist causes. Only English nationalism is classed as “far right”.

    • Vorian

      Yeah certainly, BNP want native british to remain a majority in UK, that can described as nothing else then national socialism.. Well, atleast to a PC turd. In any other country, Japan, South Korea, BNP would be viewed as just another party.

  • Chris

    Why is the spectator giving time, and an article to this idiot Matthew Goodwin?.
    While the country was being Islamified with extremist salafist ideology he spent his time on the BNP? Really?
    He creates the “academic” equivalent to Emanualle Goldstein videos. This is appaling Spectator. Utterly appaling. The bien pensant liberal media now includes the Spectator.

    And Griffin and the BNP are far left. The likes of goodwin manipulate the political concept of inequality. Just read up on the socialist of the 30s and 40s.

  • Jez

    “disgruntled activists argue that Griffin has single-handedly ruined their one chance at a breakthrough before (in their eyes) the tides of immigration and ethnic change take hold and change Britain forever.”

    Lol! In the eyes of ‘disgruntled activists’. Well that isolates 60%+ of the over 25 year old electorate. Must be (in their eyes) a BNP activist to hold such incorrect assumptions.

  • Curnonsky

    Isn’t it odd that all the major parties go on and on about broadening their appeal to all sectors of the electorate but one – the white working class. They are apparently too toxic to touch, left only to fringe figures like Griffin.

    • MProblem

      They like the white working class when it comes to collecting their taxes, though. Same as in the U.S.

  • AnotherDave

    As I understand it, the BNP are the radical alternatives to the Labour Party, not the Conservatives.

    • Andy

      You understand correctly. The BNP did particularly well in Labour areas.

      • Vorian

        Yes, of course, it is the working class native whites that are the main victims of the multiculturalist anti-white massimmigration policies.

        • Junis

          Wrong, my friend. Britain’s working class whites are not the victim of anything anti-white, they’re the victim of the great selfishness of the ‘white’ middle and upper classes. If the BNP did not have any usefullness to the latter, the government would have outlawed them along time ago. Britain’s working class are betrwayed by the economic selfishness of the ‘white’ upper class. Why else do you think C4 produced the ‘documentary’ ‘Benefits street’? The real enemies of the ‘white’ working class are not Muslims and blacks, they’re the classes above them.

          • Bill_der_Berg

            If immigration is harmful to the white working class then, as night folllows day, those ‘blacks’ (and others) who favour continued immigration will be seen as enemies.

    • telemachus

      They must not be mentioned in the same breath
      *
      Now to UKIP and Nick Griffin……

      • Colonel Mustard

        New Labour and the BNP, national socialist parties both.

        The BNP and New Labour, national socialist parties both.

        New Labour and the BNP, discriminatory extremist parties both.

        And now, ‘One Nation Labour’. Hmm.

        • Curnonsky

          Doesn’t “One Nation Labour” translate to “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer”?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Let’s hope not. But I fear the worst judging by their last period in government.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Here are some ‘remora’ for you – national socialist quotations that remind me of Labour and why.

        “It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of the nation, that the position of the individual is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole.”

        ‘One Nation Labour’ (Miliband); ‘New Labour is nothing less than the political wing of the British people as a whole” (Blair)

        “In relation to the political decontamination of our public life, the government will embark upon a systematic campaign to restore the nation’s moral and material health. The whole educational system, theater, film, literature, the press and broadcasting – all these will be used as a means to this end.”

        Authoritarian New Labour; the politicisation of culture and the public sector; the recent assault on press freedom orchestrated by Common Purpose

        “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”

        Dumbing down in education and culture; Reaching out to the wildly clapping audience seals of QT

        “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

        Campbell, McBride, Spin and Lies

        “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”

        The orchestrated Labour script; ‘Bedroom Tax’, ‘Cost of Living Crisis’

        “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as h**l, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”

        Look around at post-New Labour crowded, paranoid, segregated, ghettoised, multi-cultural, devolved, EU and nanny state imposed upon Britain

        And my personal favourite:-

        “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”

        ‘Yes, I am a socialist. What I do say is that there are big unfairnesses in our society, and part of the job of government is to bring about social justice and to tackle those unfairnesses.’ (Miliband)

        • Chris

          Brilliant.

          • Bill_der_Berg

            “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”

            One of the keys to achieving this is to win the support of ‘The Sun’. Both Labour and Conservatives try to do this.

        • telemachus

          Those without the energy of your goodself Nico will not have scrolled down to see that you are guilty of the oldest trick in the book, namely the quotes out of context
          Of course any reasonable political organisation should have as a creed

          • Colonel Mustard

            Aha, the biter bit. Nice try but your resorting to that lefty troll trick of the familiar diminutive reveals how hard this struck home, how desperate you are to respond and how impoverished your rebuttal. As you have been told before, no-one has ever called me ‘Nico’ in my long life and even ‘Son’ would be less revealing of the straw you are clutching at.

            Nothing is out of context. Labour are indeed a national socialist gang. Their latest proposal to force teachers to renew a licence every few years is typical of their dark desire to control everything, to insert their doctrinal bureaucracy into every aspect of our lives. The very instincts you boast of here, your admiration for dictators and their deeds, tells us all we need to know about Labour and their repulsive acolytes like you.

            • James Lovelace

              “Nothing is out of context. Labour are indeed a national socialist gang”

              The BNP are avowedly socialists, and have policies (like nationalisation) that were considered to be THE definition of a socialist party by Labour for decades (remember the fight over Clause 4?)

            • telemachus

              So what does Gove do to teachers
              Lambasts and denigrates them
              How does that help quality of teaching?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …who says the mouthy albino poshboy is any different than the rest of you leftists?

            • telemachus

              Johnson is playing games
              The worst thing Londoners did was to ditch Ken who was for real

        • trotters1957

          That’s hilarious, Colonel Blimp.
          You don’t seem to know anything about political economy, not even about Toryism. Just a very brief lesson.
          Broad Left = belief in equality, democracy, internationalism.
          Broad Right = belief in inequality, hierarchy, nationalism.

    • @PhilKean1

      .
      You are correct.

      And when authors refer to the BNP as being of the “far right” – it quite often means that they, themselves, come from the opposite direction.
      .

    • HookesLaw

      Do (or did) the BNP believe in collectivism welfare and nationalisation and the strength and power of the trade unions then? A favorite phrase of the BNP is ‘liblabcon’

      • James Lovelace

        The BNP believe in collectivism and nationalisation. They are only opposed to trade unionism because most of the trade unions in Britain are controlled by communists.

        • Kugelschreiber

          JamesLovelace

          Actually, I have the impression that Nick Griffin is quite supportive of the Trade Unions.

          Although obviously, if he was leader, I don’t suppose he’d be exactly happy if there were loads of strikes! But then we have the SECRET BALLOT nowadays, so hopefully that is unlikely!

          The trouble is, for me anyway, ALL trade unions today support employing foreign labour from abroad, as far as I know (tell me if I’m wrong) except for SOLIDARITY, the trade union that has friendly links with the BNP

          I used to be very supportive of most Trade Unions until I found that out about them.

          Yes I care about people in other countries, but I don’t think that the most sensible way to care about them is to cram them all into our already overcrowded country!

  • HookesLaw

    I hardly think Griffin brought anybody respectability. But the far right do not need to vote BNP anymore they have anoither party they can use.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Only Tory dimwits would wrongly acknowledge the BNP as being of the right. But there again after all Cameron’s political cross dressing I suppose its understandable that Tories are confused and don’t know their left from their right!

      • Chris

        Why do you think they still vote for statist cultural marxist equality dave?

    • Gavin Cardy

      Would that party be the hard talking LABOUR party and the Racist Diane Abbott?

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