Civic nationalism crashes to defeat in Yorkshire by-election

For Britain Movement leader Anne-Marie Waters leafleting in Batley & Spen

Parts of the Batley & Spen constituency in West Yorkshire were among the strongest racial nationalist areas in Britain during the first decade of the 21st century. The BNP’s David Exley won the mainly White working-class Heckmondwike ward at a by-election in August 2003 – one of a series of BNP victories either side of the Pennines, triggered by the Oldham riots of May 2001. Cllr Exley retained his seat in 2004 and a second Heckmondwike councillor was gained in 2005. Even as late as 2010 when the local BNP fought its last campaign, they managed 17.6%.

Admittedly this is just one of the six wards that make up Batley & Spen, but the party also polled very well elsewhere in the constituency in the 2000s, including the Tory wards Liversedge & Gomersal and Birstall & Birkenshaw. Any parliamentary by-election in Batley & Spen should have been (and should still be) good news for any serious pro-White nationalist party.

David Exley (above centre) congratulated by his BNP colleague Nick Cass after he won the 2003 Heckmondwike by-election

Yet when such a by-election first occurred here, it was in dramatic circumstances that made racial nationalist campaigning appear distasteful. A week before the Brexit referendum in June 2016, Batley & Spen’s Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by a deranged Heckmondwike resident who was quickly labelled a ‘far right terrorist’ by the media. Despite living in Heckmondwike, Thomas Mair had no connection whatever with the BNP and was totally unknown to any other British nationalists, apart from the eccentric Alan Harvey (a former NF member long resident in South Africa) to whose newsletter South African Patriot Mair subscribed.

The other mainstream parties gave Labour a clear run in the ensuing by-election held in October 2016 and Labour’s Tracy Brabin won a majority of more than 16,000, with the civic nationalist English Democrats in second place on 4.8% and a much-diminished BNP third on 2.7%.

Reaction to Jo Cox’s murder only briefly disguised an anti-Labour trend among White voters. As in neighbouring Dewsbury, many White voters have been repelled by what they see as an Asian takeover of the local Labour party and by policies of the Asian Labour-led Kirklees council. To some extent these voters (using Brexit as a proxy issue for unmentionable racial concerns) have drifted to the Tories in recent elections. Even though UKIP and the Brexit Party failed to make much progress here, a former UKIP activist formed a populist movement called the Heavy Woollen Independents (a reference to the former staple industry of this area) who polled 12.2% at the 2019 general election, leaving Labour even more dependent on the presumed loyalty of Asian voters, concentrated in the Batley part of the constituency.

Former Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016

So when Tracy Brabin won the inaugural mayoral election for West Yorkshire in May this year, causing a second Batley & Spen parliamentary by-election in five years, one can understand eyes lighting up across various populist and broadly nationalist movements. All the more so because of a mini-scandal that pushed Batley into nationwide headlines in March this year, when a teacher at Batley Grammar School was briefly suspended for showing his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

A crowded ballot paper of sixteen candidates for the by-election – held on July 1st – included several from the spectrum of pro-Brexit, populist, Islam-obsessed or broadly civic nationalism. Perhaps the best known to H&D readers were Anne-Marie Waters – the multiracialist but Islam-obsessed leader of the For Britain Movement, whose party includes several experienced racial nationalists even though its leader and her coterie are sincerely ‘anti-racist’; and Jayda Fransen, the anti-Islam campaigner and former deputy leader of Britain First who is nominal leader of Jim Dowson’s donation-hunting enterprise that calls itself the British Freedom Party (even though it isn’t and perhaps never will be a registered political party – so Ms Fransen had to stand as an Independent).

At the start of her campaign Ms Waters publicised an endorsement from ‘Tommy Robinson’, an ultra-Zionist career criminal who founded the English Defence League. Perhaps she hoped For Britain could become the political wing of the now defunct EDL – if so it was a foolish ambition.

Anne-Marie Waters outside Batley Grammar School during the campaign, where she attempted to make an issue out of the school’s suspension of one of its teachers for showing pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed

The results declared early on the morning of July 2nd told their own story. Ms Waters finished twelfth of sixteen candidates with 97 votes (0.3%), while Ms Fransen was fifteenth with 50 votes (0.1%). This was little short of a disaster for civic, Islam-obsessed nationalism – especially since unlike Ms Fransen and her paymaster Dowson, Ms Waters and For Britain had attempted to fight a serious campaign, with seasoned political veterans including Eddy Butler and his wife Sue travelling from Essex, and former BNP activist Gary Bergin travelling from the Wirral.

Nor can they point to any other candidate from the same spectrum having cornered the White vote, as this entire spectrum polled poorly. The English Democrats (who at least had a relatively local candidate) fared best of a bad bunch with 207 votes (0.5%), followed by UKIP on 0.4%, the anti-lockdown Freedom Alliance on 0.3%, the SDP (once a centrist party but now pro-Brexit populists) on 0.1% a fraction ahead of Ms Fransen, and the ex-UKIP splinter Heritage Party (absolutely no connection to H&D!) polling even worse than Ms Fransen with a truly microscopic 0.05%.

Unlike the May local elections covered in Issue 102, one cannot explain these results in terms of a resurgent Tory Party taking the votes of pro-Brexit, racially conscious Whites. Contrary to expectations, the Tory vote actually fell here compared to 2019, and despite maverick charlatan George Galloway taking most of the Muslim vote, Labour managed to hold the seat, confounding pundits and bookmakers’ odds. The Tory campaign in the final few days was handicapped by the scandal that forced health minister Matt Hancock to resign last weekend, but almost every observer assumed this would merely reduce the size of an expected Tory victory.

The by-election result declared at 5.20 am. Candidates on stage include Anne-Marie Waters (second left); Labour winner Kim Leadbeater (with red rosette next to returning officer, centre); and George Galloway (far right). Jayda Fransen is not present, since she and Jim Dowson again fought no real campaign, in another cynical betrayal of British Freedom Party donors.

I’m writing this article within hours of the result, so this is very much an instant analysis, but these are some of the lessons I think we can draw from what was surely the most significant by-election in years for our broadly-defined movement.

  • Lunatic acts of political violence are a disaster for every wing of our movement, since even the most moderate civic nationalists are tarred by association in the minds of many potentially sympathetic voters. I’ve no doubt that many racially conscious folk cast their votes for Labour’s Kim Leadbeater because she is the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox.
  • Outside Northern Ireland and some Scottish islands, very few Whites in the UK now define their politics in religious terms – and they regard those who do as a bit mad. No offence to those H&D readers who are religious believers and for whom this is the centre of their lives, but we should not fool ourselves about faith’s lack of electoral impact. Even racially conscious voters do not respond well to a campaign that is ‘over the top’ in shrill references to Islam. We can imply such things in sensibly worded racial nationalist leaflets, but hysterical ‘Islamophobia’ is not a vote-winner.
  • George Galloway won most of the Muslim vote in Batley by campaigning on issues related to Palestine and Kashmir; but there is no equivalent bonus to be won among White voters by wrapping oneself in the Israeli flag. Aggressive Zionism is not a vote-winner among non-Jewish Britons, neither does it serve as an alibi for ‘racism’ as some former BNP veteran campaigners seem to believe.
  • While Kim Leadbeater undoubtedly lost many Muslim votes because she is a lesbian (in addition to other factors depressing the Asian Labour vote), and Anne-Marie Waters perhaps lost a few socially conservative White voters for the same reason, homosexuality is no longer an issue for the vast majority of White voters, though the ‘trans’ nonsense is another matter.
  • There continues to be no electoral benefit in campaigning against the government’s handling of the pandemic. Several parties focused on anti-lockdown policies all polled very poorly, especially the one for whom Covid-scepticism is its raison d’être, the Freedom Alliance whose candidate attracted only 100 votes (0.3%).
  • Brexit’s electoral relevance is at last fading, and the Tory party’s hold over sections of the White working class is a lot weaker than many pundits have assumed. It’s Hartlepool (the ultra-Brexity constituency that fell to the Tories by a big majority two months ago) that’s the exceptional ‘outlier’; there are far more constituencies broadly similar to Batley & Spen, including neighbouring Dewsbury, presently held by the Tories.
  • Kim Leadbeater won mainly due to White voters retaining (or returning to) traditional Labour loyalties. She lost most of the Muslim vote to George Galloway. In the probably unlikely event that Galloway can recruit high quality Muslim candidates to his new ‘Workers Party’, Labour might have difficulties in some other seats, but it’s more likely that they will just have problems turning out their Muslim voters after Keir Starmer’s shift of Labour policy away from hardline anti-Zionism. Most especially the modern left’s obsession with issues such as ‘trans rights’ will be a handicap in Muslim areas across Britain.
  • The many and various consequences of multiracialism continue to provide rich electoral potential for racial nationalists, if and when we get our own act together. Many For Britain activists logically belong in the same party as British Democrats leader Dr Jim Lewthwaite and Patriotic Alternative leaders Mark Collett and Laura Towler, as well as many other movement activists and veterans of the old BNP who are (temporarily?) in political retirement.

All of these questions and more will be the background to a discussion of nationalist strategy post-Brexit and post-Covid. We look forward to hearing readers’ views in forthcoming editions of H&D.

H&D Exclusive: Griffin and Dowson’s ‘British Freedom Party’ collapses

But it’s not OK to be a shyster and a traitor Nick, as your former friends Joe Finnie and Steve Squire will tell you!

During the last few days the British Freedom Party, led by former Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen but run behind the scenes by Nick Griffin’s business partner Jim Dowson, has collapsed amid accusations of financial misconduct and connections to the ‘anti-fascist’ organisation Hope not Hate.

The BFP was part of an international network coordinated by the Italian racial nationalist Roberto Fiore, who might have thought he had started to assemble a credible team after the recruitment of former London BNP organiser Steve Squire and former Glasgow BNP organiser Joe Finnie.

Although the party has not yet registered with the Electoral Commission, so could not yet use its name on ballot papers, Mr Finnie was standing effectively as a British Freedom Party candidate in the Scottish Parliamentary elections on May 6th, as were Jim Dowson and Jayda Fransen.

Steve Squire (above left) welcomed into the British Freedom Party at the start of January this year by BFP leader Jayda Fransen: less than four months later he has discovered the truth about the BFP and resigned

However H&D understands that Mr Finnie and Mr Squire quit the party this week, alleging (among other irregularities) that Jim Dowson has maintained continual and improper contact with Hope not Hate‘s laughably titled ‘head of intelligence’ – the foul-mouthed buffoon Matthew Collins – and a member of Collins’ family.

Mr Dowson will doubtless move on to other business opportunities. There is always some corner of the political or anti-abortion scene where a fast buck can be made, although since Nick Griffin was appointed last summer as editor of the BFP’s newspaper The Britannia only one further issue has appeared!

The collapse of the British Freedom Party is surely the end of Nick Griffin’s career in nationalist politics. He clearly believed that the BFP would be his vehicle for a comeback, instead it has been a one-way ticket to further ignominy and oblivion.

The inside story of the BFP’s collapse, the exposure of Hope not Hate‘s ‘intelligence’ operation, and the political death of Nick Griffin will appear in the May edition of Heritage and Destiny.

Jim Dowson enters electoral politics as Scotland prepares for May 6th polls

Jim Dowson (above left) with ally, turned enemy, turned ally again Nick Griffin.

Jim Dowson – right-hand man to former BNP leader Nick Griffin – is making his debut as a Scottish parliamentary candidate. 56-year-old Dowson has extensive experience in political fundraising and publicity, initially for the anti-abortion movement, and despite his longstanding Ulster Loyalism has in recent years built bridges with a small Catholic and Irish nationalist group in the Republic.

His previous electoral experience was on the Britain First slate in Scotland at the 2014 European elections, but most of Dowson’s recent political activity has been in collaboration with Nick Griffin, the former BNP leader with whom Dowson first worked professionally almost fifteen years ago. They split for a few years after Griffin (to no-one’s surprise) failed to pay bills, but a reunion was promoted by the Italian nationalist Roberto Fiore, who is the real organiser behind Dowson and Griffin’s new venture, the British Freedom Party.

The BFP, whose figurehead leader is former Britain First deputy chief Jayda Fransen, has not yet registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission, so its three candidates next month cannot have the party name on ballot papers.

Ms Fransen will be an independent candidate for Glasgow Southside in the Scottish Parliament election, opposing Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, while her colleague Joe Finnie (a former BNP organiser who remained loyal to Griffin after the latter’s expulsion from the party he once led) will contest Glasgow Pollok, against the SNP’s Justice minister Humza Yousaf.

Jayda Fransen (above right) with her ‘deputy’ Nick Griffin, who will no doubt be sharpening the knives in the party office kitchen if the party raises any serious money or support.

These two campaigns have long been expected and mentioned in previous editions of H&D. The new development is in Airdrie & Shotts, where Jim Dowson has only recently decided to stand as a candidate himself. At first we understood he was going to stand both in the Scottish parliamentary election and in a Westminster by-election that will be held a week later on May 13th. In the event he decided not to stand in the Westminster contest.

H&D understands that Mr Dowson saw a political opportunity in Airdrie & Shotts for two reasons. Firstly the farcical and money-wasting circumstances, where the sitting Westminster MP Neil Gray has triggered an unnecessary by-election because of his decision to stand for the Holyrood parliament (a farce worsened by the returning officer who quite pathetically decided that he and his team could not safely and competently hold the by-election on May 6th alongside the Holyrood polls).

And secondly because in typical ‘woke’ fashion, the ‘Scottish’ National Party is putting up yet another Asian candidate in the Westminster contest.

For some reason neither Mr Finnie nor Mr Dowson have put the word ‘Independent’ on their nomination papers for Holyrood, so they will appear on the ballot as ‘no description’.

Anum Qaisar-Javed, former general secretary of Muslim Friends of Labour, defected to the SNP a few years ago and will be the party’s candidate in the Airdrie & Shotts by-election on May 13th

Mr Finnie is unlucky to be facing opposition in Pollok from the anti-woke party Reclaim’s only Scottish candidate as well as UKIP.

Various other parties are fielding candidates across Scotland either to the right of the Tories on immigration and social issues; still flogging the dead horse of Brexit; or committed to anti-lockdown or anti-vaccination campaigns that have attracted some support from sections of our movement.

Scotland’s parliamentary election is similar to that for the Greater London Assembly in that there are first-past-the-post elections for constituency MSPs, plus additional MSPs elected via a proportional list system – one very important difference being that in London this list covers the entire city region, whereas the Scottish Parliament has eight regions each with their own list.

This means in practice that (unlike London) a fringe party stands little chance of getting an MSP elected unless their support is very heavily concentrated in just one of these regions. Whereas the system does favour the more substantial smaller parties, notably the Greens and Liberal Democrats, and in theory protects 21st century Scotland from one-party SNP domination.

Leo Kearse, ‘right-wing comedian’ and Reclaim candidate for Glasgow Pollok

Parties standing at the 2021 election include:

Reclaim (anti-woke party led at a UK level by actor and London mayoral candidate Laurence Fox)
– comedian Leo Kearse is standing both for the Glasgow regional list and in the Glasgow Pollok constituency

Freedom Alliance (a new anti-lockdown party)
– all eight regional slates;
– constituency candidates in Banffshire & Buchan Coast; Edinburgh N & Leith; Caithness, Sutherland & Ross; Glasgow Southside

Reform UK (the Scottish branch of the former Brexit Party, led by Richard Tice and associated with Nigel Farage before the latter’s retirement from party politics)
– all eight regional slates

Abolish the Scottish Parliament (a new party led by John Mortimer who founded the British Union & Sovereignty Party, later renamed the British Sovereignty Party)
– seven of the eight regional slates (not contesting Highlands & Islands region)

Scottish Family Party (anti-woke, social conservatives)
– all eight regional slates;
– constituency candidates in Renfrewshire N & W; Mid Fife & Glenrothes; Edinburgh S; Coatbridge & Chryston; Strathkelvin & Bearsden; Edinburgh Pentlands; Perthshire N

UKIP (a now much-diminished force across the UK, and especially so in Scotland)
– all eight regional slates;
– constituency candidates in Glasgow Pollok; Edinburgh C; Eastwood; Moray; Motherwell & Wishaw

Scottish Libertarian Party (a rare example of a party that’s both pro-Brexit and pro-independence; but mainly a US style small-state, pro-market, pro-privatisation party)
– all eight regional slates;
– constituency candidates in Aberdeen S & N Kincardine; Dumbarton; Kilmarnock & Irvine Valley; Glasgow Pollok; Kirkcaldy; Edinburgh C; Edinburgh W; Caithness, Sutherland & Ross; Motherwell & Wishaw

Restore Scotland (another pro-Brexit but pro-independence party; has attracted a very small number of veteran SNP activists who were also pro-Brexit; seems to be concentrated in the north / Highlands)
– regional slates in Highlands & Islands; NE Scotland;
– constituency candidates in Dundee City West; Banffshire & Buchan Coast; Inverness & Nairn; Shetland

Vanguard (sometimes known as Scottish Vanguard Party; founded by former Brexit Party candidate and barrister Michael Banks; no known connection to the Ulster Vanguard Party of 1970s fame)
– regional slate South Scotland; plus the Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale constituency

Social Democratic Party (a pro-Brexit party whose other policies seem more like the old right-wing of Labour; rump of the old SDP that supported David Owen, though Owen is no longer in any way associated with the party)
– regional slate Lothian.

Numerous other parties are standing representing leftist, liberal or establishment political traditions. H&D will report here and in the next issue of the magazine on these elections and their implications for racial nationalism.

Beyond a joke: Nick Griffin’s latest reinvention

Nick Griffin (above left) with his latest flag of convenience

Former BNP chairman Nick Griffin has in typically shameless fashion begun yet another reinvention.

Just seven months ago Griffin was guest speaker at a memorial rally in Dresden to mark the 75th anniversary of the city’s terror bombing by British and American air forces in February 1945.

As he had done when picketing Coventry Cathedral in 1996, Griffin was posing in Dresden as a ‘radical’ nationalist condemning wartime prime minister Winston Churchill and his Bomber Command chief Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris as war criminals.

A decade or so ago Griffin played a very different tune, losing no opportunity to associate himself with Churchillian and wartime images and stating in one video that his version of the BNP would have welcomed Churchill “with open arms” had he been alive today.

In recent years Griffin has again cynically toyed with the sort of anti-Zionist ‘radicalism’ that he embraced in the 1980s and early 1990s, but now it’s back to sub-Churchillian posturing.

The new context is that Griffin is joining the British Freedom Party, whose main organiser is his close business adviser Jim Dowson and whose leader (for the time being) is Jayda Fransen, formerly Paul Golding’s right-hand woman in the Islam-obsessed ‘Britain First’.

Ms Fransen has appointed Griffin as editor of the BFP’s newspaper The Britannia which practically worships Churchill and eagerly promotes every facet of Second World War mythology.

The sad thing is that Ms Fransen seems sincere if deluded: it’s tragic to see her being used as Griffin’s latest dupe.

No doubt Ms Fransen has no memory of the last time a political leader appointed Griffin as (deputy) editor of a nationalist journal. We can give her a clue – it didn’t end well for the leader concerned!

Griffin’s previous sub-Churchillian posturing was in 2009, though before and since that episode he portrayed Churchill and his wartime allies as criminals – now it’s time for yet another somersault

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