Nationalism in 2014 – a Who’s Who of who (not) to vote for!

Marine Le Pen (leader of the French National Front) and Geert Wilders (leader of the Dutch Freedom Party) will form the key axis of European nationalism – though Wilders rejects almost all nationalist values, focusing obsessively on the supposed threat of Islam.

Elections to the European Parliament will be held across the 28 nations of the European Union between 22-25 May 2014. The big losers will be conservative and liberal parties. The big winners will be assorted socialist and centre-left parties, but also various groups that could be termed the dissident right, which can be broken down into three types of nationalist:

A) parties that are essentially conservative or neo-conservative in their social and economic policies, but which defy the mainstream post-1945 conservative project of European federalism;
B) parties that are radical nationalist rather than conservative, but which seek to dissociate themselves from mid-20th century nationalist traditions by avoiding anything that offends Jews, and often by explicitly endorsing Zionism and obsessively focusing on Muslims;
C) radical nationalist parties who choose not to go down the Islamo-obsessive route, and in some cases explicitly align themselves with mid-20th century fascist or national socialist traditions.

In this survey, and in our report on the European election results which will appear in H&D 61, we will attempt to indicate which European parties belong to which of the above categories, though as will be seen this is sometimes impossible, with several parties blurring the boundaries.

Austria – Category B
The political mould in Austria is influenced by centuries of religious and dynastic wars. The country’s very name derives from the notion of an eastern Germanic kingdom or empire (Österreich), and in modern times this was reunited in a single Reich for seven years from 1938 to 1945. It might surprise some readers to learn that of the three competing strands in Austrian democratic politics – conservative, socialist and liberal – it is the liberal strand which has traditionally been most in favour of pan-German unity, since conservatives were more strongly Catholic and hostile to northern German Protestantism.
Consequently after 1945, surviving Austrian national socialists and their sympathisers regrouped in the liberal Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), which became one of Europe’s most successful nationalist parties under the leadership of Jörg Haider after 1986. Haider broke away from the party in 2005 and was killed in a car accident three years later, but the FPÖ has revived and refocused on an anti-Islamic strategy.
Alongside the Flemish separatist Vlaams Belang, the FPÖ is a formerly radical nationalist party which has sought to reinvent itself by genuflecting to international Zionism. Though its ideological contortions might cause internal problems in the future, for the moment the FPÖ is again enjoying electoral success, winning 20.5% of last year’s general election vote. They are confidently expected to repeat this success at the Euro-election, returning to their mid-1990s peak support.
The FPÖ’s MEPs will be allied to the French FN and Flemish VB in the strongest nationalist bloc ever seen in the European Parliament. The rival BZÖ, which was formed by former FPÖ leader Haider in 2005 but has since adopted a more “moderate” strategy, will field a slate headed by MEP Angelika Werthmann who defected to the BZÖ from a now-defunct anti-corruption group and has been promoted to replace Jörg Haider’s daughter as number one on the party’s list. However the BZÖ has declined drastically since Haider’s death and is likely to poll only around 2%.

Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Austrian Freedom Party, expects to be toasting further success at this week’s elections.

Belgium – Category B
Of all the 28 countries in the European Union, Belgium is the most artificial state: French-speaking “Walloon” areas include the capital Brussels, an isolated enclave, entirely surrounded by Dutch-speaking Flemish. Flemish nationalists were once repressed by the Belgian state, and turned to the paramilitary and national socialist VMO. To some extent the Flemish nationalist Vlaams Blok grew out of the VMO, and was effectively banned by the Belgian courts for “racism” in 2004. The VB was reformed as the Vlaams Belang, and is now one of Europe’s strongest nationalist parties – allied to the French FN despite traditional cultural divisions.
Like the FPÖ, the VB has tried to shun its national socialist antecedents, and rebranded itself as an Islamo-obsessive, pro-Zionist party. Due to the peculiarities of Belgian politics their MEPs are elected in separate electoral colleges, and the VB only competes in the Flemish section, which elects 12 of the 21 Belgian MEPs.
After the elections, one would expect the VB to ally with the French FN and the Austrian FPÖ.
In the French-speaking half of Belgium, there are racial nationalists in a Belgian version of the FN (a Walloon dominated unitarist party), but these are not electorally significant and for legal reasons might not even be able to contest this year’s elections.

Bulgaria – Category C
The Ataka (Attack) party was founded by radical Bulgarian nationalist journalist Volen Siderov in 2005 and quickly achieved an electoral breakthrough. Siderov took 21.5% of first preference votes in the 2006 Bulgarian election, and although his party has failed to match this result in subsequent contests, Ataka still has two MEPs and is established as the country’s fourth largest party.
Siderov’s anti-NATO, pro-nationalisation stance – with his uncompromising criticisms of Zionism, international Freemasonry and his own country’s gypsies – will make it difficult for Ataka to cooperate in the European Parliament with more squeamish and self-consciously “moderate” nationalist parties, although Ataka was part of the short-lived “Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty” group which briefly united European Parliamentary nationalists in 2007.

Croatia – Category B/C
Having joined the European Union in July 2013, Croatia will be taking part in Euro-elections for the first time this year. The main nationalist party is the Croatian Party of Rights, which has cordial relations with mainstream European nationalist groups such as the FN but (partly due to a history of splits) has declined in support and currently has no MPs in the Croatian Parliament. It is most unlikely to win any European seats this year.

Cyprus – Category C
An EU member since 2004, politics in Cyprus is still dominated by divisions between Turkish and Greek sections of the island. The National Popular Front (ELAM) is a Greek Cypriot nationalist party which has links to the controversial and increasingly successful Greek national socialist party Golden Dawn. ELAM polled around 1% at the most recent Cypriot parliamentary and presidential elections, and is most unlikely to be winning seats in the European Parliament, unless Cypriot politics undergoes the type of seismic transformation that boosted their sister party in Athens.

Czech Republic – Category A
Racial nationalism in the Czech Republic is confined to extra-parliamentary and sometimes illegal groups: no radical nationalist party will contest this year’s Czech elections. A UKIP-style populist, anti-EU party – Dawn of Direct Democracy, often known simply as Dawn – was founded last year by a half-Japanese businessman who broke away from the main Czech conservative party. Dawn took almost 7% of the vote at last year’s Czech general election and might hope to win one or two European seats this year, in which case they would logically ally with UKIP.

Denmark – Category A/B
The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP) won two European seats in 2009 with 15.3% of the vote – their best result since the party’s foundation in 1995. The DPP is a virulently anti-Islamic party, but not racial nationalist: effectively a more hardline version of UKIP, similar to Geert Wilders’ party in Holland.
Denmark also has a Eurosceptic party with roots in leftist and green movements: the People’s Movement Against the EU, which has one MEP.

Estonia – Category A/B
The newly formed Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE), a merger of two earlier conservative parties, is a UKIP-style eurosceptic party, with an anti-immigration stance, but which also adopts some radical economic policies – including cooperative banks and even currency reform – which would be anathema to UKIP’s neo-Thatcherites. As with many nationalist movements in countries which were formerly part of the Soviet Union, the EKRE’s platform is influenced by hostility to Russian influence.
Given recent events in Ukraine, any EKRE success in this year’s election could have dramatic consequences, though for now the very best they could expect would be to win one of the six Estonian MEPs.
Martin Helme, son of the EKRE leader, recently told a television interviewer that the party’s immigration policy was: “If you’re black, go back. As simple as that. We shouldn’t allow this problem to emerge in the first place.”

Millwall fan Timo Soini would prefer to lead his True Finns party into an alliance with David Cameron’s Conservatives rather than UKIP and would definitely shun any nationalist alliance.

Finland – Category A
The Finns Party (previously known as the True Finns) – led by populist eurosceptic, Catholic convert and Millwall fan Timo Soini – has one MEP and might hope to win a second seat this year. They are allied to UKIP in the European Parliament, though Soini addressed the Conservative Party conference in 2011.

France – Category B/C
Marine Le Pen’s National Front (FN) will provide the big story of this year’s elections, and hopes to be the core of the largest nationalist group ever in the European Parliament. 2009 was one of the FN’s weaker results, when they won only three seats after polling 6.3%. This year they should gain at least an extra ten seats, and opinion polls suggest that they could become the largest French party, overtaking both conservatives and socialists. Marine Le Pen then hopes to negotiate a broad agreement between many diverse European nationalist and eurosceptic groups, though disappointingly she seems to be focusing on an unachievable deal to unite the most moderate and Islamo-obsessive parties, while shunning traditional nationalists such as Hungary’s Jobbik and the Greek Golden Dawn. Her big problem is that the FN itself (partly for reasons deeply rooted in French history and political culture) has aspects which the likes of UKIP or the Danish People’s Party will forever regard as too “extreme”.
France also has a UKIP-style, non-racial eurosceptic party – Arise the Republic (DLR) – but having achieved less than 2% last time, and only 2-3% in recent polls, the DLR is almost certain to win zero MEPs.

Germany – Category A
Since the decline of the Republican Party – which elected six MEPs in 1989, including party leader and Waffen-SS veteran Franz Schönhuber – no radical German nationalist party has come close to winning a European seat.
Last year the German political mould was shaken, though not quite broken, by a new eurosceptic party – Alternative for Germany (AfD) – polling 4.7% at their first general election outing and only just missing out on the threshold for election to the German Parliament.
Current polls suggest that AfD could poll around 8% this year, gaining perhaps seven MEPs, but for them even UKIP is too radical an ally.
The main radical German nationalist party – the NPD – is facing renewed state persecution, and will have no serious chance of winning seats, even if it hasn’t been formally banned. Similarly the Republikaner Party no longer has any realistic chance of winning MEPs, and neither does the Islam-obsessed PRO movement.

German nationalists have had no European Parliamentary success since the victories of the late Franz Schönhuber’s Republikaner party. Schönhuber (above right) is seen here with lawyer and (then) NPD activist Horst Mahler, who is currently serving a twelve-year prison sentence for daring to challenge the orthodox interpretation of German history.

Greece – Category C
The Greek national socialist party Golden Dawn provided Europe’s most surprising political headlines during the past two years, rising from the furthest margins of Greek politics to poll almost 7% in two general elections in May and June 2012, as the Greek economic crisis threatened to descend into civil war, destabilising the entire European Union project.
Last year the Greek establishment moved to proscribe Golden Dawn, arresting leaders, while in a parallel move to extinguish the national socialist challenge, far left terrorists murdered two Golden Dawn activists in a drive-by shooting at the party headquarters in Athens.
Against this background of legal and terroristic repression, it will be very surprising if Golden Dawn can match their 2012 election campaigns this year, but opinion polls suggest the party could achieve between 9% and 12%, which would give them perhaps four MEPs. In previous European elections the party had never achieved more than 0.5%.
Golden Dawn MEPs would find logical allies in Hungary’s Jobbik, but sadly will probably be shunned by other mainstream nationalists such as Marine Le Pen, pursuing more “moderate” allies.
Greece also has a UKIP-style party – the Independent Greeks, created as a breakaway from the ruling conservatives. They will probably win one or two European seats, but having finished slightly ahead of Golden Dawn in the 2012 general elections, they have since been overtaken by their more radical nationalist rivals. (Similarly the Greek far left have overtaken the moderate socialists.)

Golden Dawn supporters rally outside the Greek Parliament: the jailing of several party leaders seems not to have halted Golden Dawn’s progress.

Hungary – Category C
Alongside Greece, Hungary has Europe’s most successful radical nationalist party. Jobbik polled 14.7% at the 2009 European election, rising to 16.7% at the Hungarian general election the following year. For reasons deeply rooted in the history of Hungarian nationalist resistance to Bolshevism during the 20th century, Jobbik is unembarrassed by open criticism of Zionist Jewry (and earlier Jewish involvement with Communist parties). This has led some other European nationalists to shy away from alliances with Jobbik. There is also a potentially intractable problem of border disputes between Hungary and her neighbours, resulting from the injustices of the Treaty of Trianon after the First World War.
Jobbik looks likely to poll well at the Hungarian general election in April, and gain an extra European seat the following month, but will there be enough radical nationalist colleagues from other countries to form a viable parliamentary bloc?

Jobbik leader Gabor Vona speaking to Hungarian expatriates and press in London: his party is likely to lead a radical nationalist alternative to the Islam-obsessed tendency in European nationalism.

Ireland – none
The Republic of Ireland has no electorally credible racial nationalist, or even eurosceptic nationalist party. The big question in Irish politics will be whether Sinn Féin – political arm of the terrorist IRA – will recapture the seat they lost in 2009, and perhaps even gain a second. In the European Parliament, Sinn Féin MEPs ally with various far left groups, many of which (for example in France and Greece) will also increase their support this year.

Italy – Category A (?)
After the collapse of the postwar Italian political system in the early 1990s, some formerly radical nationalists allied with the corrupt tycoon and populist conservative Silvio Berlusconi in a cross-party alliance against the Left. This resulted in Gianfranco Fini, leader of the former neo-fascist party MSI, rebranding his party as the National Alliance (AN), and then merging with Berlusconi’s forces as the People of Freedom (PdL). Fini served for five years as Italy’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister under Berlusconi, and then for another five years as Speaker of the Italian Parliament.
In recent years Fini broke away from Berlusconi over the latter’s financial crimes, but has if anything become even more politically liberal, and is now unrecognisable as the young neo-fascist protegé of MSI founder Giorgio Almirante back in the 1970s.
Fini’s ex-fascists split from Berlusconi’s coalition in 2010 to create a new “Future and Freedom” party, but this has suffered further splits over how far to embrace either (or both) social and economic liberalism, and has now been deserted by most of its founders.
In advance of this year’s elections, the most credible Italian nationalist party seems to be Brothers of Italy, founded at the end of 2012 and led by a former youth activist in the AN, Giorgia Meloni, and another ex-fascist, Ignazio La Russa, who was Defence Minister alongside Fini in Berlusconi’s government. They will hope to reach the 4% threshold to elect an MEP, a hurdle that is certainly too high for any of the more radical nationalist parties, such as Roberto Fiore’s Forza Nuova.
Despite its leaders’ fascist pedigree, Brothers of Italy is really a conservative party, as is its smaller rival The Right (La Destra), led by another former MSI activist Francesco Storace, who was President of the Lazio region around Rome from 2000 to 2005 and then had a year as Health Minister in a Berlusconi government.
The most radical challenge to the Italian establishment is from the populist comedian Beppe Grillo, whose Five Star Movement is polling around 25% and is in some ways comparable to the U.S. Tea Party. While he reflects widespread disillusionment, Grillo himself has no substantial nationalist programme.
The regionalist Northern League, which was a major force in Italian politics after 1993 and had some racial nationalist aspects (though alienating southern Italian neo-fascists) now seems in decline and could even fall below the 4% threshold, having lost many anti-system protest voters to Grillo.

Fratelli d’Italia leaders Ignazio La Russa, Giorgia Meloni and Francesco Storace at a campaign launch: their party (though far more ‘moderate’ than its predecessors) is at present the most successful to have emerged from the fragmented Italian fascist tradition.

Latvia – Category A
As with several nations that emerged from the former Soviet bloc, Latvia’s politics is complicated by the symbolism of 20th century anti-communism, with nationalists paying homage to political ancestors who were allied to national socialism seventy years ago, but whose modern politics have little or no radical edge.
The National Alliance is the fourth-largest party in Latvia, and has an anti-immigration and anti-Russian platform. It was formed as a coalition of For Fatherland and Freedom (which despite its radical sounding name was actually a free-market conservative party allied to Britain’s Conservatives), with the more hardline nationalist All for Latvia. They have one MEP, but are unlikely to join even the most moderate efforts to create a European Parliamentary nationalist bloc.

Lithuania – Category A
Order and Justice – the third-largest party in Lithuania – is allied to UKIP and has two MEPs. A potential wild card in Lithuanian politics is an anti-corruption party founded in 2012 – The Way of Courage – who gained 8% at the 2012 general election, and has some potential to rally populist nationalist voters. The national socialist Lithuanian National Union has no legal status and will be unable to contest the elections.

Luxembourg – Category A
In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – one of the original pioneers of the European unity project – there are no serious nationalist parties, and the only significant eurosceptic party is the Alternative Democratic Reform Party, which polled 7.4% in the 2009 elections but would need more than double that support to win a European seat.

Malta – Category C
Norman Lowell’s Imperium Europa is (alongside Golden Dawn) the most radical nationalist party contesting the European Parliamentary elections. Founded in 2000, Imperium Europa has frequently been subjected to legal repression, and would need a Greek-style political revolution to win a European seat. The eurosceptic Libertas Malta, which contested the 2009 elections, is no longer active.

Netherlands – Category A/B
Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom (PVV) is Europe’s most prominent anti-Islamic party. Though most of his party’s programme would be compatible with the likes of UKIP, his extreme Islamophobic rhetoric makes Nigel Farage nervous. The PVV’s closest allies are the Flemish VB and the Austrian FPÖ, and Marine Le Pen hopes that these three parties will ally with her FN after the May elections to form the most credible nationalist bloc in the history of the European Union. But will the policies of such a bloc amount to anything beyond Islamophobia?
The PVV currently has four MEPs, and might hope possibly to gain one more this year. Wilders will then have a difficult choice as to how far to pursue an alliance with Le Pen which would alienate some of his existing friends such as the Danish People’s Party.

Geert Wilders (right) in Jerusalem with Yishai Fleisher, a hardline Zionist propagandist and former Director of Israel National Radio (Arutz Sheva). They were in the Zionist capital for a showing of Wilders’ film ‘Fitna’.

Poland – Category A
The main Polish opposition party Law and Justice (which in the European Parliament has been allied to British and Latvian conservatives) will be fighting this year’s elections on a joint ticket agreed with “Right Wing of the Republic”, a socially conservative party focused on maintaining Poland’s Catholic traditions and opposition to abortion. If the British Conservative Party were to move away from euroscepticism, these parties would probably ally with UKIP but have little in common with radical nationalists.

Portugal – Category C
The main Portuguese nationalist movement is the National Renovator Party (PNR), which has forged links with other European nationalist parties including Golden Dawn and the German NPD. The PNR is unlikely to mount a substantial electoral challenge this year. As in Spain, surviving supporters of the pre-1970s dictatorship tend to support the main conservative party, and there is no UKIP-style challenge to this establishment.

Romania – Category C
There are two nationalist parties in Romania, which have been strong enough to elect MEPs, but have adopted maverick policies which put them at odds with potential allies in the European Parliament. Some of these problems are chronic, given the border disputes between Hungary and Romania, and the potential for Romanians to take offence at Western European anti-gypsy policies, which could be interpreted as anti-Romanian.
However part of the problem is related to the personalities of the two Romanian nationalist leaders. Vadim Tudor, founder of the Greater Romania Party (which elected three MEPs in 2009), built his political career as an ostentatious anti-semite, but then shifted towards a more pro-Zionist policy, hiring Jewish public relations adviser Nati Meir. A couple of years later Tudor sacked Meir and reverted to an anti-Jewish policy.
The rival nationalist New Generation Party (Christian Democratic) is led by the owner of well known football club Steaua Bucharest, Gigi Becali. Briefly allied with Tudor’s party in 2009, Becali’s organisation is regarded as even more anti-Jewish, and following in the tradition of the Iron Guard (whose leader Corneliu Codreanu was venerated by Nick Griffin’s NF faction during the 1980s). In May 2013 Becali was given a three year prison sentence for a fraud involving 1990s land deals, and though he has conducted football business from his prison cell, his party is unlikely to campaign substantially this year.

Gigi Becali – leader of the New Generation party and owner of Steaua Bucharest football club – was elected to the European Parliament but jailed by his country’s rulers.

Slovakia – Category A/B
The Slovak National Party (SNS – founded out of the break-up of the Soviet bloc in 1989) is a eurosceptic party whose politics are complicated by hostility to their Hungarian neighbours. The party is often accused of neo-fascist tendencies due to their support for the historic legacy of Slovak leader Jozef Tiso, who was allied to national socialist Germany, but realistically its 21st century politics are not very radical. The SNS has one MEP, who is allied to UKIP.

Slovenia – Category C
The Slovenian National Party (SNS) is an example of the post-Cold War tendency for nationalist parties in Eastern Europe to challenge the New World Order while adopting some semi-nostalgic policies of sympathy with the old communist bloc. For reasons linked to Balkan history, the party is strongly anti-Catholic. The SNS polled 2.9% at the 2009 European elections, and would need to treble this vote to gain an MEP.

Spain – Category A/C
After Gen. Franco’s death in 1975, almost all those who had supported his nationalist forces during and after the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 aligned themselves with the conservative People’s Party (PP). There are various nationalist parties – such as the national socialist National Alliance (AN), led by veteran lawyer Pedro Pablo Peña – but none (either of the radical or UKIP style) have had any chance of winning European Parliamentary seats.
At the start of 2014 dissident right-wingers broke away from the governing PP to form Vox, a new party that seems more eurosceptic and more hardline in its opposition to ETA terrorism and might manage the 2% required to elect a Spanish MEP. This is the third eurosceptic party in recent years to take its name from a Latin noun, after Robert Kilroy-Silk’s UKIP breakaway Veritas and the Irish businessman Declan Ganley’s Libertas. Each of these earlier parties sank without trace!
As in many other European countries, the only form of nationalist or traditionalist sentiment that is deemed acceptable is in a form which opposes the existing state: i.e. regionalist and separatist parties in Catalonia, the Basque country, Valencia, etc. Some of these join forces for electoral purposes and elect a couple of MEPs. In November 2014 the Catalan regional government plans to stage a referendum on whether to break away from Spain and create an independent Catalonia, but the government in Madrid has so far ruled this is unconstitutional.
Within Catalan nationalism, there is a growing anti-immigration and anti-Islamic party – Platform for Catalonia. Later this year H&D will publish a special feature on the relationship between ethnic nationalism and regionalism/separatism.

Spain has an excellent cadre of nationalist leaders – including veteran lawyer Pedro Pablo (above) – but most potential nationalist voters since the death of Gen. Franco have stayed with the mainstream conservative party.

Sweden – Category A/B
The Sweden Democrats – like the Flemish VB and the Austrian FPÖ – have trimmed their nationalist and immigration policies in the direction of Islamo-obsession, and have many Christian immigrants among their candidates. Having won no European representation in 2009 (falling just short of the 4% threshold), they made a breakthrough the following year to gain 20 seats in the Swedish Parliament. They are sure to gain one or two MEPs this year, and will be part of any negotiations to create a new European nationalist bloc, with or without Marine Le Pen’s FN.
The far more radical National Democrats, who have had ties to the BNP, sadly have no chance of winning a European seat.

United Kingdom – Category A
There will be no radical nationalists elected from the UK this year, with the BNP certain to lose its two MEPs (one of whom – Andrew Brons – has already left the BNP to join the new British Democratic Party but will be retiring from the Parliament this year, as he always pledged to do). No post-BNP party has yet established firm electoral foundations.
UKIP is certain to increase its support, and has a 50-50 chance of emerging as the largest single party – though it is highly questionable where its eurosceptic but multiracialist agenda can go from there.
In Northern Ireland (where three MEPs are elected under a different voting system) UKIP is standing for the first time, but in any case will be irrelevant. Sinn Féin will top the poll: the majority Protestant community remaining divided and without effective representation.

Soon after their election to the European Parliament in 2009, the BNP’s Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons were attacked by ‘anti-fascists’ in Westminster. Andrew Brons retired from Brussels this year; Nick Griffin is certain to be defeated; and British nationalism is an a trough of depression five years after its greatest triumph.

The European Parliamentary system allows MEPs to form transnational groups reflecting a shared ideology: these groups gain an officially recognised status, extra funding, staff etc., if they can attract a minimum of 25 MEPs from seven different states.
UKIP-style parties (i.e. Category A above) currently form a group called Europe of Freedom and Democracy, while several more moderate eurosceptic parties choose to ally with the British Conservative Party as “European Conservatives and Reformists”.
At present nationalist parties (whether Category B or C above) have not managed to secure sufficient numbers to form a group. In the next H&D we will report on Marine Le Pen’s post-election efforts to do so.

 
UK Nationalist Line-Up

Just before this edition of H&D went to press, candidates’ lists for the 2014 European elections were confirmed. Nick Griffin will of course head the BNP list in North West England. The desperate state of the BNP in 2014 is reflected in Simon Darby’s inclusion on the North West slate – Darby is a former West Midlands councillor who now lives in Wales and has no North West connection.

Cathy Duffy – soon to be the last remaining BNP councillor – heads the slate in the East Midlands, where she is joined by the Rev. Robert West and Geoff Dickens, whose backing was crucial in Griffin’s narrow leadership victory three years ago.

In Yorkshire the BNP’s Rotherham organiser Marlene Guest – one of the region’s few remaining Griffin loyalists – will head the slate in a doomed effort to retain the European parliamentary seat won by Andrew Brons five years ago. Number two on the slate is former teacher Adam Walker, imported from the North East region due to the shortage of credible Yorkshire BNP candidates.

Former BNP councillor Chris Beverley: now the lead European candidate for the English Democrats in the Yorkshire & Humber region.

The English Democrat slate opposing Mrs Guest is headed by Chris Beverley, who works in the Andrew Brons European office and was a BNP councillor on Leeds City Council from 2006 to 2010. Two fellow ex-BNP candidates – Tom Redmond from Leeds and Ian Sutton from Barnsley – are also on the EDs’ Yorkshire slate.
Elsewhere former BNP and NF activist Gary Butler is an ED candidate for South East England. The lead ED candidate in the West Midlands is Kevin Sills, veteran of several nationalist parties including Ian Anderson’s NF faction, later renamed National Democrats.

In North West England the ED slate includes two BNP defectors from Merseyside – Paul Rimmer and Steve McEllenborough – as well as Anthony Backhouse, a former candidate for the UKIP splinter group Veritas.

Whereas there would once have been keen competition to become a BNP parliamentary candidate, by the start of March 2014 the party’s national elections officer Alwyn Deacon was reduced to advertising on the party’s website for any members willing to stand. In a desperate effort to cobble together full slates in every region, farcical nominations ensued such as the Preston based Tony Bamber standing at the opposite corner of England in the South East region.

At least two smaller eurosceptic parties will be fielding candidates this year. Nikki Sinclaire will be defending the West Midlands seat that she won in 2009, but having quit UKIP in 2010 in protest at the party’s alleged “far right” tendencies, she will stand this year for her new “We Demand a Referendum Now” party, whose activities will confined to the West Midlands despite unfulfilled boasts that Sun columnist Katie Hopkins would be standing for Ms Sinclaire’s party in the South West England region.

In a crowded West Midlands field another UKIP defector, Mike Nattrass MEP, is set to defend his seat under the label “An Independence From Europe”. Mr Nattrass’s party is also contesting the other English regions: bizarrely their lead candidate in the South East is the Dutch MEP Laurence Stassen, who had been leader of Geert Wilders’ Dutch Freedom Party group in the European Parliament but quit last month in a row over Wilders’ apparent move towards a “racist” immigration policy. Ms Stassen represents the liberal, non-racist faction who wanted Wilders’ party merely to oppose Islamist extremism and the EU.

Former Stoke councillor Michael Coleman, lead candidate for the BNP in the West Midlands region for the European Parliament.

The dying BNP – once a powerful force in the West Midlands region, which came close to electing an MEP in 2009 – has published a slate headed by former Stoke BNP councillor Michael Coleman, who was convicted of “racially aggravated harassment” in 2012 and given an eight-month suspended prison sentence. Second on the West Midlands BNP slate is Nick Griffin’s daughter Jennifer Matthys.

Meanwhile ex-UKIP activist Paul Weston is heading his own Liberty GB slate in South East England. Weston made a name for himself a couple of years ago when he briefly led the British Freedom Party, an attempt to create a political wing of the English Defence League. As H&D revealed at the time, Weston travelled to Canada for meetings with a notorious terrorist group, the Jewish Defence League. Also on Weston’s slate is former BNP student activist Jack Buckby and Enza Ferreri, the party’s Italian-born press officer.

Contrary to earlier promises the BNP will not be standing candidates in Northern Ireland at this year’s election, no doubt fearing humiliation at the hands of UKIP, who have been recruiting significant activists in the Orange Order including defectors from both the Democratic Unionist Party and the “official” Ulster Unionist Party. UKIP will compete for loyalist votes with Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV), the party led by former DUP MEP Jim Allister.

Although claiming to be the political heirs of Sir Oswald Mosley’s pro-European Union Movement, the New British Union decided not to contest this year’s election. Neither the National Front nor the relatively new British Democratic Party will field European candidates, so the only European Parliamentary choices for most English nationalist voters will be between the BNP and the English Democrats, apart from in South East England, where they have the additional option of Paul Weston’s Liberty GB.

Jim Dowson’s Britain First party had been expected to run a spoiler campaign against Nick Griffin in North West England, but have instead taken the pragmatic option of spending their deposit money on slates in Scotland and Wales, which buys them television broadcast time (only viewable of course by Scottish and Welsh voters). Though now based in Northern Ireland, Jim Dowson was active in Scottish anti-abortion politics some years ago, so his decision to head the BFP’s Scottish slate makes some sense. Paul Golding’s candidature in Wales is less explicable: his only connection with the principality dates back to his years working for Nick Griffin. The BFP seems to be putting most of its efforts into street activities in a bid to seize the political ground once held by the EDL.

The uncertain nationalist scene in Europe is matched in the UK, though at a significantly lower level of electoral ambition. The BNP is likely to respond to electoral rejection by drifting further towards “extremist” fringe politics, but unlike in Greece and Eastern Europe this radical posturing will be essentially hollow, without any ideological core commitment at the top of the party.

Peter Rushton, Manchester, England

This article was first published in Heritage and Destiny magazine, issue #60 (May/June 2014). If you require a free sample copy, email us at – heritageanddestiny@yahoo.com

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