Anti Fascism,  UK Politics

Nick Griffin – ‘our nation’s Nelson Mandela’ – to write autobiography?

This is a cross post by Edmund Standing

BNP Legal Director Lee Barnes is now hoping that Nick Griffin will be jailed. Here’s why:

Go on Phillips you bent race relations terrorist and profiteer go ahead and bang Nick Griffin up – that way he will become our nations [sic] Nelson Mandela.

You think the party cannot function without Nick.

Think again.

He will love sitting in jail working on his autobiography.

Well, it worked for one of Griffin’s predecessors, of course, who wrote his infamous autobiography while languishing in Landsberg Prison.

Such an autobiography would give Griffin the chance to detail his employment history, thereby dispelling the persistent claims that far from being the ‘working class hero’ his followers seem to think he is, Griffin is actually a workshy scrounger, who has freeloaded his way through a string of far-right organisations, culminating in the Griffin family business that is the contemporary BNP.

To be fair, even Griffin’s opponents on the far-right scene are at least willing to admit that he has done some work during his political ‘career’. For example, his former comrades of the International Third Position (ITP), an openly fascist pseudo-religious cult Griffin helped to set up and run in the early ’90s, recall him working during the time he was with them:

In 1990 it was decided by the ITP to buy in printing equipment, so as to enhance our political independence and to provide the beginnings of an economic base for the movement. This was our first major step in the Counter-Power strategy. Mr. Griffin was, unfortunately, put in charge.

He promptly found the only alcoholic, suspect-homosexual vendor of printing equipment in the country. He paid down many thousands of pounds of another nationalist’s money for a set-up that we were told would be ample for our needs. Four or five months after the money had been paid down, we still had not received the equipment. It was only through the perseverance of other leaders that we tracked down the shyster businessman who had been paid for it and forced a delivery. The upshot, however, was that Mr. Griffin had outlaid a huge sum for what can only be described as junk. Of course, by this time Mr. Griffin had lost interest in this particular venture and was moving on to other ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. This event, coupled with too many others of a similar, if less serious, nature, led Mr. Griffin to be kept wholly out of anything connected with money.

OK, so that didn’t go so well, but there was other work, specifically a car dealership. Adrian Davies, a far-right British lawyer, mentioned this in a 2004 statement about the BNP:

The short answer to the question why I am not a member of the BNP is not about personality differences or fine points of ideology. You do not need to like people to work with them, as the Brown/Blair working relationship shows. The completely ideologically pure party has a membership of one.

Rather, my reasons are firstly that the BNP does not fulfil the minimal criteria for a properly run party, and secondly that I am pessimistic about the prospects of reform from within. I will develop these points as briefly as the subject matter allows.

The lack of constitutional safeguards against the abuse of disciplinary powers mean that anyone contemplating a challenge, or even questioning the ruling clique’s mismanagement of affairs, is likely to be expelled on some specious pretext by a rigged tribunal.

If instances are needed, in the summer of 2000, Nick Griffin expelled Treasurer Mike Newland for protesting at the plainly unacceptable blurring of the boundaries between the chairman’s private business concerns as a second hand (Japanese) car dealer on the one hand, and party finances on the other, not to mention the making of wholly illegal payments to Tony Lecomber (whose criminal record is so obvious a liability to the party that one is driven to speculate why Nick Griffin does not cut this albatross from around his neck… but I digress). Deputy Chairman Sharron Edwards was then expelled for asking questions about the accounts that Nick Griffin could not answer. Finally. Steve Edwards was expelled for being married to Sharron Edwards, who had asked awkward questions about the accounts that Nick Griffin could not answer!

Nick Griffin the second hand Japanese car salesman? Oh dear.

Griffin’s mother-in-law, it turns out, isn’t exactly impressed with her son-in-law’s work ethic:

Muriel Cook, mum of Griffin’s wife Jackie, says Griffin hardly ever worked when his children were young – and is merely hiding his vile views to win votes.

Muriel, a widow, says: “Nick is still a racist. He still holds those views – always has. He wants to see an all-white Britain, but that will never happen…he’s living in the Dark Ages.”

For 24 years Muriel has held her tongue while her daughter supported her husband’s poisonous political ambitions. But after eight million viewers watched Griffin on Question Time, she spoke out.

Muriel, 72, describes her privately-educated son-in-law as a deluded, fame-hungry pretender. And she dismisses his pandering to white working-class voters as “laughable”.

She says that he refused for years to get a “proper” job and put his Nazi-inspired dream of a racially-pure Britain ahead of his family.

When young Jackie Cook met Griffin in the late 1970s, Muriel and her husband Reginald could never have imagined their daughter’s boyfriend would one day become the most reviled man in Britain.

Griffin should have been every mother’s dream – a Cambridge student with fantastic career prospects. But while studying, Griffin had become deeply involved in extremist politics. And after graduating in 1980, he committed himself full-time to the rabid racism of the National Front.

Jackie, 46, once claimed she thought her partner would turn his back on the far right, but when they married in 1985 Griffin clung to the politics of hate – and nurse Jackie became the main breadwinner.

Before he became BNP leader in 1999, Griffin’s highest paid job was teaching English to foreign students.

He also reportedly had spells felling trees and assisting archeological digs – but many employers detested his political beliefs.

Now, as an MEP in Brussels, Griffin is paid £58,000 after tax, an income way beyond that of his working-class supporters. Muriel says: “He pretends to be a man of the people, but the truth is he hasn’t done an honest day’s work in his life. My daughter is a nurse and has always had a full-time job. She was working 12-hour shifts even when their children were babies.

“She did everything – brought money into the house and raised the children. Nick played at his silly politics but never really contributed financially.”

Sharon Ebanks, former chief organiser of Birmingham BNP branch has recently had her say on Griffin as well:

He’s a greedy, debauched, self centred, lying, two faced wanker whose real power lies in preying on the uneducated, the working class, and the poor.

Griffin isn’t there to help them, he’s there to help himself, just as he’s always done.

No doubt Nick Griffin’s autobiography – should one ever see the light of day – will clear up all these ‘misunderstandings’. It would also be interesting to hear Griffin’s slant on what happened during the 2001 Oldham race riots. Former Combat 18 activist Darren Wells told the BBC:

We met in a pub away from the town centre that the police had no idea about. Just the top C18 hooligans, some of the real heavy duty football hooligans from different northern firms like Manchester United, some lads from Stoke, Stockport, all these teams made a good show, and some of the real troublemakers from Oldham itself were all there…

When we were in that pub drinking with some BNP supporters, they mentioned that Griffin was in town and that he wanted to come down and have a drink with us. And when C18 were asked if they had a problem they said no, bring him down. He’s welcome to come down for a drink…

And at no time did he make any effort at all to try and stop people drinking with C18 people, he didn’t make any effort at all to stop people going after a violent confrontation with Asian gangs. Griffin’s words that stick with me were “We’re all on the same side”.