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Wednesday 25 January 2012

John Bean and the Brent Group’s Endorsement of the British Freedom Party

The Brent Group, led by Roger Bennett, was the skeleton around which the concept of a ‘BNP Parallel Party Structure’ was taking shape, as Andrew Brons and the BNP Ideas group deliberated over how to find a way out of the impasse created by Nick Griffin’s corrupt stranglehold on the BNP. Ultimately, most supporters of the BNP Ideas faction and the Brent Group were of the opinion that a new nationalist party would be formed, but when Andrew Brons instead announced the formation of the Centre for Democratic Nationalism, this caused mixed reactions and exasperation on the part of many members who had wanted in effect a new ethnonationalist party. This week however, Roger Bennett decided to throw in his lot with one of the small nationalist parties seeking to mop up the activists and support base of the ailing BNP: the British Freedom Party. The following excerpt taken from the Brent Group’s site explains the reasoning underpinning his decision:

This statement has caused some surprise, with a mixture of reactions being present in the comment thread to the article on the BNP Ideas site reporting this move. BNP Ideas itself has adopted a neutral tone, in line with the principles of the Centre for Democratic Nationalism which seeks to act as a unifying hub for nationalists in Britain:
How many supporters of the Brent Group will take Roger Bennett’s advice? It is clear that some certainly will follow him into the British Freedom Party, but a comment left by veteran British Nationalist John Bean struck me as very interesting, and potentially portending a significant announcement:
“It is a pity that the Brent Group could not have waited another two weeks before deciding to wind down the organisation. As I see it the problem with the miniature parties trawling for new members, including former BNP members, is that their policies are ultra-nationalist. Despite a few passing expressions of support to fellow nationalists on the Continent (certainly from British Freedom) they want no connections with the European mainland whether through trade agreements or military pacts to increase the effectiveness of our common defence.

It is the opening line of Bean’s comment that struck me: “It is a pity that the Brent Group could not have waited another two weeks before deciding to wind down the organisation.” Why, unless a significant announcement is to be made with respect to the organisation – or proposed organisation - of nationalist politics in Britain today, would he have written this? It suggests that whatever is to be revealed within the next fortnight will prove to be a good political fit with the principles and ideology underpinning the Brent Group; a better fit indeed, than the British Freedom Party.  

Bean’s views with respect to our European neighbours are, in my opinion, worthy of serious consideration, and represent a saner response to contemporary geopolitical realities than Atlanticism. To an extent, they overlap with Guillaume Faye’s Archeofuturist vision of a Euro-Siberian Confederation comprised of ethno-cultural units which in many instances – such as in the cases of Brittany and Padania – would be smaller than our existing nation-states. This model of ethno-cultural devolution within a wider confederation of sovereign states, collaborating in key areas of trade, defence and hi-tech manufacturing and research on behalf of the interests of the native peoples of Europe, possesses a certain appeal, particularly when considering the nature of our external threats, actual and potential. I support Bean’s reservations with respect to the British Freedom Party on this matter. 

John Bean: European Confederation of Sovereign States
Looking further out into cyberspace, peering into the reactions within the nationalist blogosphere that used to be united behind the BNP, responses to Bennett’s BFP endorsement have been mixed, ranging from the equivocal (Northants Patriot) to outright opposition (New Leadership). Other notable nationalist sites have so far failed to pass comment. These include: Sarah Maid of Albion; Wigan Patriot; Southwest Nationalists (however, the Southwest Nationalists blog does display banners promoting Britain First, the BNP and BNP Ideas) and Eddy Butler. Butler has of course thrown his weight fully behind the English Democrats, but his opinions on nationalist politics are often worth reading, and it strikes me as highly likely that he will write a piece on this move. As for the piece covering this issue on the Northants Patriot blog, the author made some salient points with respect to the BFP’s tie-up with the EDL:
Well, there are such links, and Tommy Robinson/Stephen Lennon does of course endorse the BFP, but the EDL rank and file are far from united behind Weston’s party, often voicing support for UKIP instead. This is despite the latter party’s unwillingness to recognise Islamisation as a problem, which is why Weston left UKIP in the first place. Although it may provide the BFP with a boost in the short term, it is true that the link between the two could backfire on the BFP in the long run should it begin to attract a couple of percentage points in the polls. UAF, Searchlight and Hope Not Hate are of course already honing their arguments against what they have termed the “fluffy fascists” of the BFP, and busy peddling the line that the EDL are the new 'blackshirts'. So, if you are a supporter of the Brent Group, what are your thoughts? Will you wait for a fortnight, or have you decided to join the British Freedom Party? Strangely, at the time of writing the British Freedom Party had not commented on this development.


  1. I'm not sure British Freedoms ties to the EDL have that much potential to harm them, no more than the ties between the Labour party and UAF. However, it clearly hasn't been the catalyst for a massive influx of new members either. Rather than the rank and file of the EDL having a closer affinity with UKIP's policies, I suspect that the reason many are choosing to support them rather than the BFP is simply that it already has a higher profile. Many concerned nationalists feel they are running out of time and want to feel like they are doing something productive. As for John Beans comments on waiting a couple of weeks I think he must have been referring to the upcoming meeting of the CDN, which I believe is being held in Yorkshire in the next week or so. It'll be interesting to find out what Brons has planned for the future and hopefully he will address the concerns of those who are simply fed up of waiting for something to happen.

  2. It's true to say that the attitude of many EDL activists with respect to the relative merits of supporting UKIP or the BFP is rooted in UKIP's greater visibility and strength, rather than in a preference for UKIP's policies over the BFP's.

    Yes, it'll certainly be interesting to see what comes out of the inaugural meeting of the Centre for Democratic Nationalism. I wonder if Brons foresees an extended role for the Democratic Nationalists in his vision?

  3. The problem for the BFP, is that the EDL doesn't have a hive mentality (thankfully), we are a collective of individuals. Tommy Robinson had no right to unilaterally align us with a political party. We are a populist movement united together for one reason, the rise of Islamism, but we all have different political view points.

    You are right that there are a high percentage of Ukippers in the EDL. On the original forum, we kept politics to a relevant minimum, to stop it being flooded with vociferous BNP supporters. However, in the run up to the election, we relaxed the rules as it was topical. I was very surprised at the number of people who said that they supported UKIP.

    But it isn't just rank and file members who are irritated by events and direction. The original zetaboards forum was closed down overnight, this was an excellent well run forum staffed by excellent people. It was closed we believe because it was asking the wrong questions, like why is Roberta More still part of the EDL when she is a loose cannon and is damaging the EDL. The forum was run separately from Facebook EDL pages, by separate people. None of the moderators or admin (of which I was one), were ever given a reason or explanation as to why it was shutdown.

    We have our ideas as to why, like asking the wrong questions and where the funding comes from and who is really pulling the strings.

    Then up pops another new forum with Simon Bennett as admin and a charge of £30 per year to use the forum, which they later changed to being a premium member.

    Things like that alienated members, the issue with Snowy and where did the money go, was another, Roberta Moore being supposedly expelled and a big statement from Tommy about it, only to see them turning up arm in arm at the next demo.

    The undiscussed association with the BFP was the last straw for some people. There was no mandate to do that. One of the great strengths of the EDL was that it was apolitical, you could 'join' and be part of it whatever your views.

    I think that the BFP are going to get very little out of their association with the EDL. I think Tommy did a very good job, but I think he's taken it as far as he can and it now needs someone with vision to take it further, otherwise it will just wither away, just like the UBA.

    As for a political party that might get somewhere, I think the only way one will succeed in Britain is if it has the following. A large financial backer, a charismatic leader like Geert Wilders who can think on his feet and who has no baggage or 'past' that can be dug up. That also applies to anyone in the newly formed party, once you start letting into people with a 'history' you're doomed, the Lefties and the media will be on it like vultures.

  4. Evidently neither you nor Mr Bean have read our policies. Our position isn't incompatible with the kind of Eurofederation posited by Guillaume Faye, except for the fact that we are unionists and oppose the break up of the UK into smaller parts, in recognition of our collective strength and shared heritage.

    Our opposition to membership of the EU should not be taken as isolationist, anti-European or 'Atlanticist', because we are actively exploring alternatives that would allow us to maintain productive exchange in trade, innovation and culture with our friends on the continent (for an elaboration of some options, see

    The BNP dinosaur has had years to configure itself into a patriotic force credible with a broad-cross-section of the population. It has failed, and failed dismally. No mere reshuffling of the usual suspects will make the slightest difference.

    The British Freedom Party has discarded crude, unpopular racial nationalism for an agile nationalism that retains the core objectives of cultural defence and maintenance of Britain's native majority.

    Our party is attracting new thinkers and a young generation of committed, smart and capable activists. This, I would argue, is the way forward for patriotic politics - not back into the Jurassic swamp of racism, anti-Semitism and thuggery.

    Cultural nationalism is the thinking man's nationalism. We use our heads, but not (as has so often been the way in patriotic politics) like a bull charging at a gate.


    Dr George Whale
    National Nominating Officer
    British Freedom Party.


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