Chairman’s Report

Dr Jim Lewthwaite

Introduction

Many people have not yet renewed their subscriptions, others have indicated that they maybe dropping out. This was understandable given the poor showing of Nationalists in elections over the past few years, but it is no longer justifiable given the excellent result achieved by  the party in Wyke on 3rd May. I strongly urge all former members to re-subscribe and invite non-members, whether adherent of other parties or pressure groups or those who have never joined an “electable” party to consider joining the British Democrats, given our recent encouraging performance.

 

The Wyke Campaign

The party paid for all the leaflets used in the campaign which were put out by party members working along side non-party volunteers. Campaigning started long before the announcement of nominations. The key questions were the balance of local and national issues and the logistical peculiarities of leaflet design. For the prospective candidate warm-up leaflet, a small A5 card was chosen. Distribution of this commenced in early February. The main election address commenced distribution as soon as nominations had been submitted. In conjunction with the election address, a supplementary anti-immigration leaflet was distributed. This latter leaflet can be used nationally in any campaign scenario.

 

During leafletting, every opportunity was taken to talk to constituents. What was striking was the number of voters, often intelligent, articulate and affluent who said they would not be voting. They were by no means apathetic or indifferent – rather resigned to the unfairness of the electoral system and the inability of ordinary people to make themselves heard. Turnout in Wyke was 27%; in other words, nearly three quarters of voters in effect voted for “more of the same”!

 

Implications of the Wyke vote

We gained 5.5% of the vote but could have done much better still had the civic Nationalist “Democrats and Veterans” (only set up a few months ago) not gained 5% and the UKIP candidate 4%. In other words, the total Nationalist vote was nearer 15% (for comparison, Labour won with 49%; Tories came second with 31%; we were third; Dems and Vets with 5%; Lib Dems and Greens with 3% each.

 

Clearly, it will be necessary to prevent this from happening in future. UKIP is in terminal decline and may fragment altogether, but the Dems and Vets could be a coming force and we will be negotiating with them as soon as we can. We will certainly build on our success in Bradford South.

 

In general, it is clear that Labour are getting in all over Bradford South – including the sitting M, Judith Cummins (who loathes us!), because UKIP and Tories cannot get their act together. The Dems and Vets are likely to gain the UKIP vote as the latter party declines. The Dems and Vets are close to us, but not racial Nationalists. However we can work with them to challenge and weaken the mainstream block and open up politics to genuine direct democracy.

 

Nationalist unity does not mean uniformity

The author believes that there is overwhelming support for the principle of the  Nationalist movement, co-operating but that does not specifically mean uniting in a single party as in the “glory days” of the NF and BNP. rather it means that various groups agree not to engage in needless fratricide, eg. by standing against each other as in the tragicomedy of Batley and Spen in 2017, or in Facebook/Twitter trolling. This merely benefits the establishment. What speakers at a number of meetings advocate and I endorse, is moving forward in parallel – each party concentrating on wards and constituencies where it is strongest. The important thing is to stop endlessly debating what we would do if in power on ideological grounds, but concentrate on getting there via practical means. Pragmatism does not mean loss of principles – it means distinguishing between recognition of the objective (strategy) and flexibility of means (tactics) – using every opportunity to get closer to the real goal. This does not require us to belong to one party or acknowledge one leader.

 

Final Remarks

In Bradford, we are now in a run of three election years (2019 and 2020 to come) with an election free year of 2021. We shall be working from now on toward the 2019 election, aiming to reach a consensus in 2020. We shall need the support of all party members who can assist with leafleting and canvassing; we shall appeal to members of other Nationalist organisations to help us. We shall attempt to canvass; to organise meetings locally; to put together petitions and set up pressure groups on such issues as traffic control measures and a Town Council for Bradford South Central (Wibsey/Royds/Wyke), with delegated powers as a sort of “White Homeland”, since City Hall is dedicated to spending any available funds in inner-city areas (code for …..) As chairman, I urge all members to do their utmost to move their home towns and villages forward by personal example and by recruiting.

 

My Best Wishes To You All,

Jim Lewthwaite.

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2 Comments

  1. I agree with your perspective Jim.

    In recent years, i can not be the only one who has witnessed a shift in nationalism, from the great comradery we all once experienced, to the more sinister underbelly of the desperate, for various reasons, to cling to some imagined status by turning on fellow nationalists.

    I do not believe that nationalism will ever return to the glory days of 2009. It’s a sad and hard fact, but we must face the truth, that too much damage has been done by infighting, but also accept that methods today of reaching the electorate, are very different to those halcyon days.

    I commend every nationalists hard work, but i have gradually come to understand that if nationalism does not accept that what worked in 2009, does not work today, we will be left behind, forever in the misconception that success is simply about replicating what made 2009 the zenith of nationalism. Election wise, our enemies of the Left, no longer even need to conduct a smear campaign against our candidates, to damage us. What we are seeing of late, is Labour attack Tory candidates, I witnessed myself some pretty vile and ruthless smear tactics in the 2015 General election when i stood in my own constituency, on Tory candidates by Labour. While some will be breathing a sigh of relief that Labour have held off attacking our candidates, and sitting back, enjoying the fireworks of Labour’s efforts to smear Tory candidates, they are missing the message this sends to us. That is, that mainstream parties no longer see nationalist candidates even remotely a threat, as was the case in 2009. The desperate attempt by Labour to challenge the BNP constitution in 2010, endorsed their fear. Let’s be brutally honest, in present climes, we are just not worth the effort to them. They now focus on their real threat, ie the opposition. It is our own failings that has brought about us being viewed today, pretty much as just an amusing sideshow. The past should serve as what not to do, from here on.

    The mood of the people has changed. The dynamics have changed, and for those reasons, we must either move with the times, or better, be ahead of the game. Yet, to do this, we must accept that we will not witness a 2009 again for some years, unless we adapt to an ever changing political climate.

    The truth is, we are not recruiting. We have stagnated. We have been seeing new nationalist parties set up on a table for four, in a Wetherspoons, believing that all they have to do is replicate the BNP 2009, and they’ll be sitting on Question Time, nest year. We are not recruiting a new generation to carry the torch for us in future years, but regurgitating the failures to match or surpass 2009, when from there, it was in the process of decline. As more and more new organisations and parties appear on the scene with self appointed leaders, they fool themselves that they have something new. They don’t. The few members a new party sets out with, are not a new generation of nationalists, but the same old nationalists, just jumping ship. Anne Marie Waters is a good example. She believes that she has something new, when the reality is that most of her members are tired old hasbeens who followed her from UKIP, and who most likely were Tories who jumped ship to UKIP in the first place. It’s no more than population shift, with the failures that they suffered in one party, just being carried on into the next party that they’ve decided to jump ship to. So deluded, they believe that they are something new.

    By coincidence, ex BNP and nationalists in the SW met Sunday to discuss where we go from here, now we must accept that the past success of the BNP and the NF, were a product of their time. The pressure to close down nationalism is i believe, at it’s most dangerous, and we must act accordingly. It’s all very well being defiant and shouting from the rooftops your right to free speech and democracy, until you observe what imprisoned some of our people. However much we can do this or we can do that, for the enemy, it’s simple. Just introduce more and more sub clauses of the Terrorism Bill and that can take the most prominent out of circulation for a couple of years, courtesy of Her Majesty’s prisons.

    What i believe we have been seeing of late, is a culmination of all these new and old organisations and parties, blame their failures on anything but their own work. A dog eat dog culture has appeared in nationalism, where we no longer see one organisation congratulating another nationalist organisation for something they may have achieved, but in it’s place, we see some organisations turn on fellow nationalists in delusion that if their competition is defamed, the better chance they have of becoming successful

    One aspect that we discussed Sunday, was the wealth of experienced older nationalists we have that are no longer acting activists due to age and ill health, nor attached to any party or organisation any more. All their experience and talents are going to waste, as it’s still regarded that a nationalist must be a member of any of the parties and organisations, in order to be an asset to nationalism, when independently, they can still be a valuable asset to the movement.

    Nationalist parties uniting as one, will never work. Too many egos, different ideologies, different objectives, and too much bad blood from what has gone before. Yet the dedicated can certainly co-operate with those others in a network.

    I am organising a one day meeting, as a result of our discussion on Sunday, where i am inviting those with years of experience, such as yourself Jim, to come along and hear some suggested plans, debate the issue, give us valuable input, with a long term goal of new strategies designed to move with the times, and our options in this increasingly hostile approach to nationalism, by our Government, simply under a banner of co-operation. It will be around the end of September, midway for those traveling.

  2. I think as regard to the BDP that it had a window of opportunity but it blew it, there were many activists who were prepared to work hard for the party when it was formed, but the party never really got off the ground and become what many of us hoped it would. It had been expected that once a National Headquarters had been set up the party would spread throughout the country, this never happened. Why would anyone bother to join a non-active group. The BDP idea that the party would grow from the bottom up was / is / will always be a non-starter, if experienced Nationalists can’t do it then new people certainly can’t.
    The only hope for Nationalists is that the lemmings still in the BNP, come together with what’s left of the NF and BDP and start a skeleton organisation which Nationalists can slot into.

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