Sunday, 9 September 2007

Don't dismiss King Nick

As a sort of postscript to my previous ramblings below, I often hear from other political trainspotters and weirdoes that far too much column inches and credence is given the supposed rise of the BNP. "They're small fry, far too much fuss is made of them" is often spouted. Nonsense! The BNP in effect have only been around since the autumn of 1999 when Nick Griffin deposed John Tyndall. Formed in 1982 they were really going nowhere under Tyndall, until their retreat from street politics in '94. This start to their modernisation process gave Griffin the chance to worm his way to the top espousing the euro-nationalism that gave Le Pen and Haider the limelight. In 2002 they gained 3 councillors, five years later they have 50 - now that takes some doing even when you take the immigration issue into account. It took the Greens 30 years to get over the 100 mark. Whilst the BNP are still far from getting MPs, they have every chance of getting MEPs in 2009.

Griffin recently won a leadership contest trouncing a Tyndallite with 91% of the vote. The membership made the right decision. Griffin is confident, an able speaker and knows how to turn the media's hostility back on them. And, apart from the odd Shinner, he's the only politician I've seen to get the Newsnight crowd all flustered.