Sunday, 2 June 2013

British National Party from John Tyndall to Nick Griffin

British National Party from John Tyndall to Nick Griffin

In 1980 due to discrepancies involving the way the National Front used to operate getting regulary involved in street confrontations, John Tyndall founded the New National Front and made a serious attempt to distance himself from what had been characterized as Neo-Nazism. It was an attempt to force a rethink within the National Front and on his magazine Spearhead, John Tyndall indicated that he hoped that the schism would be only temporary.

However, electoral disaster dictated political reality and in 1982 the New National Front became the British National Party with more moderate views that led John Tyndall to say in 1983 after the General Election that the party’s more moderate image had been sufficiently attractive to invite 3,000 enquiries from those willing to joining a political party that at the start had only 2,500 members. This moderate approach also led to policy changes and regarding immigration the party went from ‘mandatory repatriation’ to ‘voluntary repatriation’.

However, John Tyndall’s and in particular references to images depicting Nazi symbols haunted him for the remaining of his political career and by the end of 1998, the political party that had started with 2,500 members in 1982 had only 1,000 members. This led to a leadership election in which Tyndall had only 30% support and following which Nick Griffin became British National Party Leader. In his heyday, John Tyndall managed to obtain 35,832 votes in 1997 that were pale by comparison to the 563,743 votes obtained by Nick Griffin in 2010. In 2010, the party lost seats but saw support at national level grow from 192,746 votes in 2005 to 563,743 in 2010 and a record number of electoral deposits were saved.

A more moderate British National Party has had its political agenda imitated by other political parties like the United Kingdom Independence Party and forced other political parties to at least mention the issues presented by the British National Party in a much wider political debate.

Undoubtedly, the views across the party vary in terms of the strength of feelings regarding several issues but the main objectives are shared across the entire organisation across the country. The British political scene has been evolving. Membership of so called mainstream political parties like the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party has been falling steadily and only last year, across Britain, more than 60 per cent of those entitled to vote did not vote in spite of all kinds of schemes including Postal Ballots that were designed to entice people to vote.

Undoubtedly, the origins of the British National Party and the constant campaign carried out by the mass media, political parties and parapolitical organisations to demonise the British National Party and its members has had an impact in terms of electoral results but, despite demonization, the British National Party has been proven right every step of the way forecasting developments that are now a reality.

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