Those of us on the left who’ve ever had any interest in party organisation will be all too aware how often splits can occur. The recent wrecking behaviour of Galloway supporters in Respect is a classic example. So it is great to see that a potentially much more serious split is taking place in Britain’s main fascist party, the BNP.
Two key activists in the party, Kenny Smith and Sadie Graham were purged from the party after they attempted to maneuver against Mark Collett, the party’s publicity officer. Collett seems quite unpopular and general opinion among many activists appears to be that he is being protected by leader Nick Griffin. I remember Collett’s appearance in a couple of TV documentaries which showed him to be a particularly unpleasant neo-Nazi.
Now, many organisers and party officials seem to be resigning in protest at Griffin’s betrayal of the party for personal reasons. This is great news, of course, because a party in disarray is an unsuccessful party. Griffin’s authority is now being directly challenged and it looks like he’ll either have to get rid of his chum Collett or face more resignations. It all stems from various dark accusations of nefarious acts connected with Collett, as well as a claim that the BNP’s ‘intelligence team’ have hacked into blog sites and deleted posts.
Read the Lancaster Unite Against Fascism post for a more coherent explanation of what has gone down, and how grave the BNP’s problems appear to be. I’m going to have a celebratory cigarette.