Unity meeting in Yorkshire, February 2012

On the very day that Nick Griffin admitted his party’s debts had risen to £850,000, moves towards post-Griffin nationalist unity took another step forward in Bradford, West Yorkshire on 4th February, at a meeting hosted by the Democratic Nationalists.  Speakers included Andrew Brons MEP, Peter Rushton of the England First Party and Heritage and Destiny magazine, and Dave Jones of the British Peoples Party.

Dr Paul Rimmer, seen here addressing a BNP meeting, left the BNP to become a UKIP council candidate last year, but attended the nationalist unity meeting in Bradford on 4th February 2012

Dr Paul Rimmer, seen here addressing a BNP meeting, left the BNP to become a UKIP council candidate last year, but attended the nationalist unity meeting in Bradford on 4th February 2012

Other notable guests included Dr Paul Rimmer, a former BNP activist who was a UKIP council candidate for Liverpool City Council in 2011;  Cllr Brian Parker, one of the few BNP councillors to win re-election, from Marsden ward, Pendle;  former BNP councillor Dr Jim Lewthwaite, whose old Bradford City Council ward included the meeting venue;  Milton Ellis of the National Front;  former England First Party councillor Mark Cotterill, editor of Heritage and Destiny;  Ian White of the once active but now defunct York BNP;  Austin Stoneham of Manchester BNP;  British Movement activists including Steve Crabtree of Dewsbury;  veteran Bradford nationalists Dave Brown and Gerry Robinson;  legendary Pendle and Burnley superactivist Rob Storey;  Fred Spencer of Blackburn, election agent for the BNP’s successful Mill Hill by-election campaign;  Tony Justice, former English Democrat council candidate in Rossendale;  Jeremy Bedford-Turner of the Iona London Forum;  and Tony McDonnell, former Leeds BNP organiser.

Blizzard conditions and conflicting commitments in other parts of the country prevented many others from attending: messages of support were read to the meeting from Richard Edmonds, former national organiser of the BNP and currently planning the National Front campaign for the Greater London Assembly, and from Ken Booth, former BNP regional organiser for North East England who is now co-ordinator of the cross-party North East Patriots group.

Despite the heavy snow more than fifty nationalists took part in the meeting, and resolved to put in place new structures for discussions and agreements between nationalist groups, including an electoral pact to ensure that post-Griffin nationalism does not descend into chaos.

A summary of the address to this meeting by Peter Rushton of Heritage and Destiny follows:

Nationalist politics can be summed up in two words: identity and power.  Our challenge is how to achieve power without surrendering our identity, and without adopting for the sake of short-term media ‘respectablity’, policies which would destroy the identity of our people.

It is often asserted by self-styled nationalist modernisers — without providing any evidence — that we can only win power by giving up central nationalist principles.  These ‘modernisers’ confuse power with elected office, which in itself does not confer power.  Indeed the political ideas of the far left have exerted a powerful influence over our political life without their advocates ever winning an election.

Conversely there are other tendencies in the nationalist movement who argue that we should spend all our time polishing a factional halo, defining ever more narrowly what our political identity should be, and shunning every other faction that fails to match up precisely to one’s own ideological blueprint.

These are the twin toxic tendencies of 21st century nationalism.  On the one hand an exclusive sect of modernisers who shut out the rest of the movement because some aspect of their ideas might be too ‘extreme’ and might offend the mainstream media — journalists who detest us in any case.  On the other hand another exclusive sect, again shutting out the rest of the movement, whom they label as traitors because they don’t accept every dot and comma of a presumed perfect nationalist agenda, or fail to accept the infallibility of one or another perfect messianic leader.

Andrew Brons MEP addressed the Unity Meeting in Bradford

Andrew Brons MEP addressed the Unity Meeting in Bradford

We need to shun these toxic tendencies, and we should perceive that identity and power are not exclusive alternatives.  Nationalism is about preserving identity and obtaining power.

One example came up during discussion at this Bradford meeting.  Many nationalist spokesmen assert a supposed Islamic threat, and the need for a counter-jihad — but nationalist politics should be determined by rational assessment of our national interest, not by a theological agenda.  If there is a threat to Britain from Islamic countries, then let us be shown the evidence, not a mishmash of quotations from the Koran and bizarre assertions about the Ottoman armies at the gates of Vienna in 1683.

Yes, historical evidence is important: but a thorough analysis of that evidence would show that Muslims have had little or no influence over British government policy, above the level of local council planning applications.  Other interest groups — notably Zionist lobby groups — have been far more successful in influencing a British foreign policy that no longer serves our own national interests.

Can we not avoid the toxic delusion of imposing a theological blueprint on our politics; or the toxic arrogance of assuming that our ‘respectability’ in the eyes of the mainstream media requires shunning the views of other nationalists as too ‘extreme’?

Twenty-five years ago I first became a nationalist after seeing the way that Thatcherite Conservatism was prepared to right off whole swathes of our nation.  The industrial heartlands of England — the engine room that powered the greatest empire the world has ever seen — were consigned to the scrap heap.

Today we are surely capable of finding more that unites us as nationalists than divides us.  Can we not at least put in place structures to ensure that different nationalist groups, even if we cannot agree on a full common manifesto, are at least able to agree not to stand against each other, which would disastrously confuse potential voters and set back our movement for a generation or more?

Surely we are better than that: let’s prove it.

Meeting chairman Ivan Winters, of the Democratic Nationalists

Meeting chairman Ivan Winters, of the Democratic Nationalists

Dr Jim Lewthwaite, meeting organiser

Dr Jim Lewthwaite, meeting organiser

Heritage and Destiny's Peter Rushton

Heritage and Destiny's Peter Rushton

EFP chairman Mark Cotterill

EFP chairman Mark Cotterill

Dave Jones of the British Peoples Party

Dave Jones of the British Peoples Party

Tony Justice, former English Democrat candidate in Rossendale, Lancashire.

Tony Justice, former English Democrat candidate in Rossendale, Lancashire.

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