by Daniel Barge
One mustn't be too hard on Nick Griffin. It's never easy being the leader of an ethno-nationalist party in the modern West, and now that the party, which he formerly led to initial promise and ultimate irrelevance, has finally expelled him, it is all too easy to mock and say things like "serves him right," "good riddance," etc.
Ethno-nationalist parties have two main challenges – first, the withering blast of sheer hatred and evil that comes from the establishment and its various proxies and organs, and secondly the fact that marginalized political movements have a tendency to attract extremely oddball characters.
As a heretic grouping in the modern West, any ethno-nationalist party is sure to have more than its fair share of eccentrics, nutcases, and emotionally brittle people – and this is even without counting all the moles, infiltrators, and agent provocateurs inserted by the opposition.
The tragedy of the BNP, however, was that Griffin proved to be one of those same oddballs that nationalist parties need to be protected from.
While any ethno-nationalist leader has a right – and indeed a duty – to be suspicious of his underlings, Griffin took this to new and destructive heights, developing into a total control freak ruled by the paranoid delusion that the BNP could only flourish if all potential rivals to his own power in the party were kicked out.
This, of course, meant that almost everyone with any talent who gained some prominence in the party was automatically sidelined, undermined, forced to leave, or simply expelled. The list of such departures is long: Richard Barnbrook, Eddy Butler, Arthur Kemp, Jonathan Bowden, Mark Collett, John Bean, and Andrew Brons, among others.
When Griffin took over in 1999, there was plenty of low-hanging fruit for him to base his initial successes on. First of all, Britain was being run by Tony Blair's New Labour government, with its agenda of accelerating immigration, multi-culturalism, and political correctness at rates well outside the comfort zone of ordinary working class Whites. There was also a very convenient civilizational war between Islam and the West brewing.
Secondly, the BNP had obvious image problems – a thug, bootboy image – and obvious image solutions: over in France Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National had mainstreamed its presentation if not its message, which still remained radical. By copying the Front National approach and ditching or downplaying the BNP's more extremist aspects, Griffin started to reap the easy rewards.
If he had been able to stay on this course without then developing into the paranoid control freak he later became, then the BNP would have continued to flourish.
At the root of Griffin's psychosis was financial insecurity. This led drove him to gain a stranglehold on the party's funds, which strengthened his hold on the party, while also weakening the party and alienating key members. Much of the money ended up financing Griffin’s lifestyle as well as various expensive mistakes he made, rather than being used, as it should have been, to promote the party’s message.
It is often said that a captain goes down with his ship, and that a rat is the first to leave a sinking ship. As far as the BNP is concerned, Griffin was both the rat and the unsuccessful captain. He stayed at the helm as he steered the ship into increasingly stormy waters; he stayed there as the rocks started to appear and inch closer; and he stayed there as the water flooded in and the party was annihilated.
Yes, Captain Griffin went down with his ship, but not in any heroic sense, because Griffin was also the self-serving rodent. The only reason he didn't abandon the ship long ago was because no one else would have him (a prominent career in ethno-nationalist politics tends to cut down other job opportunities). Now, with the news that the rump of the BNP has expelled him, we have the odd spectacle of the sunken ship finally abandoning the rat.