05 March, 2009


Searchight: could try harder

Wandering aimlessly around cyberspace, something I do rather too much of these days, I came across this piece in Gerry Gable's tedious Searchlight magazine. The guys at Searchlight have, through selfless effort and tireless, Tintinesque investigative journalism, got themselves a scoop.

Which is ... wait for it... (to précis the Searchlight piece)...

The BNP have a distribution warehouse in North Wales. We, the crack Searchlight investigative team, have located it. And here's an inside photo (I wonder where they got that from - probably off a BNP website I shouldn't wonder). And look, we've struck a blow against fascism by defacing the building directory (or, being cowards, crudely photoshopping a picture of said directory).

Wow! This is the acme of "anti-fascist" journalism is it, guys? A political organization we don't like very much has got a commercial-grade base from which to distribute publications and other material. Strikes me, chaps, that you've shot yourself in the foot a touch. There will be many potential punters out there who assume that the BNP operation is run entirely out of Nick Griffin's spare bedroom and is therefore not a serious contender, and here you are revealing to the world that they have the funds and the volume to operate on a small commercial (read "professional") scale. Not one of your better publicity coups, Jez.

Does it strike anyone else that the Labour Establishment is getting desperate? What with this sort of tosh and a Labour prospective parliamentary candidate telling us that voting BNP will give you AIDS, or failing that acne. They seem to have started lashing out at random; never a positive sign.

You display your ignorance. The BNP made a big announcement that it had acquired this wonderful new base to centralise its operations, but kept its location very secret. Even activists and branch officers had no idea where it was.

Searchlight's coup was to find it. The photo of the inside was just to add colour to the story. The article in the magazine had the photos of the outside.

Since Searchlight's exposure the BNP was chucked out of the warehouse and is currently run from people's spare bedrooms, a major step backwards. So much so that the BNP has recently launched a major fundraising drive to centralise its operations again. See "Paying for incompetence" today on www.hopenothate.org.uk.


I am puzzled, therefore, that Searchlight has not bigged up its success on-line. I would have expected either an update/appendix to the on-line version of the original article or, failing that, some reference elsewhere on the site or in articles published in subsequent issues. Particularly since the "coup" is highlighted on the homepage. Perhaps I've missed it; the Searchlight site is both tedious and self-congratulatory and it is difficult maintain concentration on it.

I also notice that one of the commenters to the Lancaster UAF piece seems to think that the Deeside lease was terminated after exactly one year. So were they pushed, the landlord being unwilling to renew the lease, or did they jump, moving as they claim to better premises at the break of lease? Are the BNP putting a brave face on a defeat or are the UAF claiming credit for something that was happening anyway?

I see that North Wales Police also have a presence on site. I would be surprised if a nosy copper hadn't already noticed the presence of an organization called Excalibur and flagged it up.

I am perfectly aware that the BNP exaggerate and spin, as do those ranged against them. I am sceptical about both sides and treat anything they claim with caution. In that regard, Griffin and Gable thoroughly deserve each other.

I will say this, however. If the departure of the BNP from the site is indeed the result of pressure from UAF/Searchlight, that says little for your commitment to democracy. If these people are truly as incompetent, nasty and deluded as you believe, let them present their case to the voters unhindered and let them be found wanting. The British are not as stupid as you seem to think. As I have remarked elsewhere, the activities of the UAF, Hope not Hate, and the hysterical overreaction of the Labour establishment are counterproductive and people will turn to the BNP as much out of resentment at this insulting propaganda as out of belief in what the BNP stands for.

Let the BNP have its local councillors, unmolested. Let Griffin and Darby have their seats in the European Parliament. If they are truly as hollow, hateful and incompetent as you believe, this will become rapidly obvious.

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