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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