Friday, 24 August 2007

Squirels and Liberals

Like millions of others I waited with baited breath this morning for the results of yesterday's council by-election in the Squirrel's Heath ward in the London Borough of Havering. I wanted to see how well Greg Campbell of the National Liberal Party did. Now the NLP are, as you would expect, advocates of National Liberalism. Is this a revival of the old National Liberals of the 20s, 30s and 40s? Is it a split from the Lib Dems? Ah! is it a split from the continuity Liberal Party - the ones who refused to die after their bosses got in bed with the SDP?

Well...no. Its a lot more interesting than that. The 'new' National Liberal Party is the fledgling political wing of Pat Harrington's Third Way. Formed in 1990, the Third Way was a breakaway from the National Front. By the late 80s the NF had broken down into warring factions one of which was the Official National Front. The ONF contained young radicals Pat Harrington, Graham Williamson, David Kerr and a young Nick Griffin, who eventually went on to better things. It was the 'political soldier' wing of the NF that espoused a new 'third way' between capitalism and communism, often referred to as Third Position politics. When the old NF finally imploded Harington, Kerr and Williamson formed Third Way (Griffin joined the International Third Position, whose politics were identical to Third Way's, but such is life) Nowadays its Williamson who seems to be the chief ideologue of National Liberalism (basically a a hybrid of the Third Position)

Anyway Third Way have never exactly set the UK political scene alight, but they have got a little fiefdom in Havering, hence my interest in Squirel's Heath. Turns out Campbell didn't clinch the seat for National Liberalism, but did get a respectable 170 votes and due to your correspondent's rabid hatred for 'the big three' (Lab/Con/Lib) I can't help but take my hat off to him.

Actually, getting back to Harrington (he's a curious character in the political fringe) he is now heading one of two organisations known as Solidarity - The Union for British Workers, after a falling out with the BNP - not much solidarity in evidence there then.