It was gratifying to hear the name of our party, Patria, mentioned on Newsnight last night, in Chris Mason’s report, prior to the studio discussion of the misnamed “far-right”.
Mr Brons again denied that the BNP’s results in the 2010 general election had been poor, citing that party’s higher average number of votes per constituency as compared with that of UKIP in support of his contention. However, if one compares the BNP’s average share of the vote in 2010 with its average share of the vote in 2005, in the seats it contested in both general elections, then the decline is seen to be significant.
It was clear by 2010 that the BNP was going backwards in terms of electoral performance, a fact which by itself justified a leadership challenge, despite the constitution and its arbiter, the leader, by that stage permitting it in no more than name.
But the other, equally urgent, imperatives for an attempted challenge were: the financial maladministration which allowed a small party to become burdened with half a million pounds of debt to its suppliers; and the personnel mismanagement which dismissed from their posts a number of senior officers who had discussed the idea of raising the debt question formally with the leader, in a meeting of the party’s Advisory Council. Mr Brons made no mention of these issues.
Margaret Hodge appeared to relish a sense of schadenfreude at the BNP’s decline. She seemed to entertain the quaint notion that decline had something to do with the Labour Party, rather than the inadequacy of the BNP’s leadership.
No Labour MP has any reason to regard the outcome of the 2010 general election with satisfaction. Let us remember that, after spending a great deal of money, Labour, which was the governing party, lost that election, while their partners in crime, the Conservatives, who also spent a great deal of money, failed to win a parliamentary majority.
This attitude on the part of the electorate of “A plague on both your houses” bodes well for a small new patriotic party like Patria, since the causes of the electorate’s disgust with the political Establishment have not disappeared, but on the contrary have grown stronger over the three years since the general election.
Mrs Hodge puffed UKIP, referring to its leader as “charismatic”. She attempted to draw a rather far-fetched distinction between a party that is “racist” and one that is merely “xenophobic”, with the latter in her view being the more acceptable face of the “far-right”.
Mr Brons made the good point that Mr Farage had appeared on the BBC’s Question Time more often than any other politician.
UKIP is trying to sound tough on immigration, just as Mrs Thatcher did before the 1979 general election, in order to win patriotic votes. It’s only if one reads the small print of their manifesto (which most voters will never do) that it becomes clear that UKIP would do as little to prevent immigration as she did, or as John Major did after her.
Mr Brons said, towards the end of the discussion, that it was no business of a political party to take a view on whether the Holocaust had actually occurred in the way that most history books tell us. He added that he had never believed that the Holocaust had never happened.
He did not say that he had also never believed that nuclear weapons were anything but real, or that he had never held any number of other eccentric beliefs, but then one is only allowed so much time to get one’s message across to the viewing public.
The leader of the BNP was noticeable by his absence from the debate. Apparently he had been invited to take part. Whatever happened to “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”? Perhaps he now feels that one can have too much of a good thing, after all.