Now that the local elections are behind us, it is an appropriate time to reply to Andrew Brons’s article which critically tackled my three-part ‘Beyond the Fringe’ (BTF) series of articles, as well as to make an announcement about the formation of a new party that is in the process of being set up (its name and further details will be announced within the next six weeks). The individuals involved have backgrounds in politics, marketing and academia.
It was encouraging to see that the BTF series was reproduced in its entirety on the Nationalist Unity Forum, and that the articles elicited a range of reactions and lively debate. Most of the commentary was prompted by Andrew Brons’s considered response which took the form of an article entitled ‘Musing Analysed – Parts of Them are Good!’ This in itself suggests that some merit was perceived in their content, although not unnaturally, the reception that they have received has not been uncritical. That the articles have stirred up a certain amount of debate is to be welcomed, as is the fact that this debate is helping to differentiate those who wish to make a positive fresh start in politics from those who do not. Amongst the latter are those who belong to what could be dubbed the ‘Reichest Tendency’, a small but vocal minority who have long bedevilled nationalism in this country through their bizarre obsession with an imported ideology spawned in the last century.
In his response, Brons made a number of specific criticisms, with those in his conclusion being of a pertinent and practical nature. Others however, perhaps arose from a lack of clarity on my part. For example, one criticism related to his conclusion that I had asserted that the BNP’s collapse had not been attributable to the media, with some specific examples being provided of how media hostility had been detrimental to the party’s fortunes. Whilst recognising that media hostility did play a role in its demise (I have written about this previously), even without this stance, the BNP would have failed for the serious reasons that were outlined in part I of the series. The decision was taken not to focus upon the attitude of the media, for there was little or nothing that could have been done to change this.
Although Brons can be said to have made a credible case against the formation of another nationalist party, I did not and do not find his case persuasive; to be credible is not necessarily to be convincing. My opinion with respect to the necessity of forming a new political party has only been reinforced by the recent local election results. As to the details of how that should be achieved, it was not the intent of the BTF series to provide this information. Such practical matters will become self-evident through the party’s creation and subsequent growth. This does not signify an absence of thought regarding this matter or a lack of planning, but rather a desire not to give too much away to prospective opponents of the concept.
Brons placed great store upon the failure of breakaway parties. This assumes a somewhat proprietorial attitude towards nationalism and nationalist politics. Having never belonged to any political party myself, my reflections have not been addressed exclusively to former and existing members of the BNP, but rather to all in this country who think and feel that the first and foremost duty of the state should be to advance the welfare, prosperity and security of the members of the national community as a whole, rather than the particularistic interests that promote globalism, globalisation and our attendant loss of sovereignty and identity. It is therefore addressed to a wide readership including members of other parties such as the English Democrats, the Democratic Nationalists, UKIP and the BFP, individuals who have traditionally supported the mainstream parties, and those of no political affiliation whatsoever. The new party concept is not supposed to appeal only to those who have been involved in the nationalist movement, but to those who whilst sharing its core values have up until this point been repelled by some of its fringe obsessions and the less savoury behaviour and opinions of a number of its prominent spokesmen (Clive Wakley has grasped this point perfectly). Thus the title of ‘Beyond the Fringe’. The goal may seem grandiose, but the ultimate aim is to create a mass party.
What has been proposed therefore, is not a ‘breakaway party’, but a new party altogether; an exercise that could be deemed to be even harder than establishing a breakaway party, but one that is nonetheless necessary owing to the manifest serious shortcomings of existing parties.
The criticism was also levelled that I had made the assumption that a certain percentage of the vote would somehow fall into the lap of a new party. Whilst I did identify a potential baseline of electoral support by aggregating votes cast for particular parties, it was stressed that this was a potential share rather than being automatically available. As shown by the election of the BNP’s two MEPs, it is far from necessary to obtain 30% of the vote to succeed in EU elections.
Brons implied that I assumed that candidates from competing nationalist parties would stand aside to allow a new party to fight elections without them hindering its prospects, yet this is something that I neither stated nor believe would be the case. A central objective of a new party, as was reiterated throughout the ‘Beyond the Fringe’ series, would be to establish recognition as a credible and moderate nationalist party, as well as being such a party rather than just appearing to be. As such, it ought to render the challenges of the existing small parties irrelevant, although of course competing with UKIP in EU elections would be a serious business.
With respect to the five specific practical questions posed by Brons in his conclusion, my responses are as outlined below.
1. How do we overcome the dilemma that breakaway parties always fail if the parent party is still operative?
Response: I am not proposing a breakaway party. This will not be ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ of the BNP, but it will contain former BNP members, as well as people who would never have considered joining the BNP.
2. How do we prepare a party to win seats in the European Parliament against all of the competition that will undoubtedly be there?
Response: The answer to this question depends very much upon how large and how strong the party has become by the spring of 2014. Whatever the case, the concentration of resources will play a crucial role.
3. How do we make this Westminster breakthrough in 2015?
Response: Once again, a perfectly legitimate question, and a very tough one to answer. The same observations apply as in the preceding answer.
4. When we have recovered the serious small party status that we had in 2010, how do we progress to become a large party? How many of the factors that determine that are within our gift and how many are beyond our control?
Response: If our message, and indeed our policy, is what the public wants and the party is rational, credible and moderate, that question will answer itself. It will grow.
5. Is it possible to change the political culture of a party without changing the type of people we recruit?
Response: As stated in the answer to the first question, this will not be BNP Mark II, thus the type of people recruited will be more varied. ManxmanGreenhaugh was correct in his observation that ‘There needs to be a split between the ‘old school’ nationalists and the modernisers.’
Forthcoming articles dealing with the question of perception in the media and within the nationalist movement will provide further clarification with respect to some of these issues.
I welcome Andrew Brons’s qualified positive response and also the pertinent set of practical questions that he raises in his conclusion. I fully acknowledge that it will be no easy task to take this concept, realise it and make it succeed, but if we do not try, only one outcome is certain: failure. Without an animating desire to initiate and realise the positive changes required to protect and advance the well-being, freedom and security of our people, there will be no action and success. Ultimately, the success of this endeavour will rest upon the motivation and dedication of those who share the goals outlined in the BTF series, and who find the forthcoming detailed party concept to their taste. That detailed exposition will however have to wait until another day.
For those of you who are perhaps mystified as to why this decision has been taken and think that the concept of a new party is a waste of time, then please refer to the three constituent articles of 'Beyond the Fringe' by following the links below:
- Part 1 dealt with the electoral failure of nationalist politics in general and nationalist parties in particular, highlighting the weaknesses of each of the visible small parties.
- Part 3 examined the potential baseline of support for a new party, as well as: electoral strategy, tactics, linguistic usage and general principles of party organisation.