Thursday, 26 May 2011

“Let’s have a leadership election this summer, and may the best man (or woman) win!”

Nick Griffin uses meeting “banned” by police to unveil plans for rapid constitutional reform through Extraordinary General Meeting.

“Millions of British people are coming to view the British National Party as a sort of insurance policy, or like the fire brigade: they don't think they need us right now, but they're really pleased to have us around, just in case.

“And the way things are going, with the steady toppling of financial dominoes, the Chinese growth bubble about to burst, energy scarcity, and the political elite's meddling in the Middle East guaranteeing future Islamic terrorist bombs in Bluewater and other British shopping centres, they'll be calling for the political fire brigade and claiming on the insurance policy quicker than anyone thinks.”

This was Nick Griffin's message of hope to the determined and enthusiastic audience of more than forty who came despite the inconvenience and uncertainty caused by the police attack on freedom of assembly in Dagenham and the consequent hasty move to a new venue several miles away.

Both the meeting chairman, defiant and dynamic Barking & Dagenham Organiser Paul Sterdy, and Mr. Griffin explained in different ways how this kind of pressure shows increasing desperation by the Powers That Be as they realise that their earlier attempt to use personal grievances, manipulated ambitions and black propaganda to destroy the party from “within” has failed.

Great importance

At the end of his informative and well-received political speech, Mr. Griffin turned to a matter of great importance to the staunch activists present and to our wider audience of British National Party members and supporters.

The whole meeting applauded when he told them that, now that the election is over and the dust has settled, the date will shortly be announced for the EGM which will vote on constitutional changes fleshed out from the principles agreed by an overwhelming majority of the Voting Members at the last Annual Conference.

The aim is to bring the way the party leadership is chosen firmly within the British tradition of participation and responsible democracy.

A key motion will be proposals to have a significant part of the Advisory Council elected by Regional Councils which are in turn comprised of delegates from all groups and branches that meet simple requirements of activity and efficiency.

The other central plank of the proposed reforms and amendments is "to deal with the unfortunate unintended consequences of our desperate scramble to protect ourselves against the threat by Equality Commissioner and Operation Black Vote boss Simon Woolley to have his people swamp us and destroy our party".

"The signature hurdle that we agreed was necessary to protect us against that was a vital precaution then, but it's time move on. We've found to our cost that some people tried to get their challenger over the hurdle by exaggerating real problems and inventing fictional ones; they then had to be disciplined, which led to bad blood and suspicion among those who thought this was too harsh, and anger among those who thought the leadership was being too lenient with dishonest troublemakers. It's a flawed system, and we need to change it.

"We've beaten the CEHR's attempts to remove other key defences against their proposed takeover bid," Mr. Griffin said.

Better system

"So I believe we can now safely move to a system modelled on the familiar British parliamentary by-election. That means just ten nomination signatures, a £500 deposit (returnable to all candidates who secure five per cent or more of the vote), equal coverage as candidates from the party publicity machine and a secret postal ballot of all paid-up members.

"We intend to do away with the problem of a long campaign of divisive one-sided meetings by having a back-to-back programme of one formal hustings meeting in each region, to which all paid-up members from the region in question are invited and at which all candidates have equal time to set out their stalls.

"No other meetings will be necessary – in fact it's likely that most potential candidates wouldn't have the energy for more than the eleven formal meetings in about a fortnight. The whole thing will be demonstrably fair and quick, and then we can all get back to work."

Finally comes the bit that produced the loudest cheers: "We should replace the permanent instability and uncertainty of annual challenges by amending the present section and introducing a fixed four- or five-year term. The first election would take place early this summer. And I'll be standing with a view, if elected, to serving the full term because, regardless of my personal preferences, if that is what the members vote for, that is what they are entitled to get.

"The fantastic response I received all over the country during the recent election campaign made me realise that for me to step down before a successor has developed a degree of recognition and respect from voters would do immense damage to the public's view of our party.

"I said last year that I thought that we should make the change late in 2013, but the ever-growing sympathy I encounter every day out on the streets of our nation has made me believe – somewhat reluctantly – that it would be too soon.

"If the members disagree and think we should have a new leader earlier, this change will give them the perfect opportunity to choose a new one right away, rather than probably waiting for another two years under the present system.

"I'm looking forward to the campaign and hope that a number of candidates will come forward who will engage in constructive criticism and open debate about our perhaps differing views on the way ahead. We need to develop a culture of vigorous discussion within the bounds of civility and responsibility, where in the end the interests of the party overall come before the ambitions of any individual, and all involved agree to respect the democratically expressed wishes of the membership,” Mr. Griffin told our News Team this morning.

Contest this summer

I am of course aware that a few individuals have recently been canvassing for signatures to support a leadership challenge under the existing system. It is also clear that they are struggling to secure enough support to be able to stand. I believe that this is an unhealthy situation, which is why I am pushing for the fixed-term amendment which would automatically allow their candidate – and as many others who wish to throw their hats in the ring – to stand for election this summer.

“If the members do choose someone else, that's fine. I'll serve under them for as long as they'll have me. But I'll be fighting to win this contest, because I'm the best man for the job."

Mr. Griffin has asked for anyone with constructive proposals on details as to how to maximise fair and equal contact between all candidates and party members during the campaign to submit them in writing by June 1st to PO Box 14, Welshpool, SY21 0WE.

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