Monday, December 03, 2007

Blackpool, Oxford and a studio visit

Time flies. I don’t know how Simon Darby and Martin Wingfield manage to keep up their daily blog entries – better self-discipline than me I guess. There again, I do a lot more travelling. Yes, that’s my excuse and I’ll stick to it.

One slight correction from my last entry: The Sardinian photo captioned ‘wildlife haven near the coast’ was actually a Roman bridge. Amazing that more than half of it is still there after 2,000 years. Mind you, there are records of significantly intact Roman building shells in Britain too (including an entire roofless temple near to Hadrian’s Wall) surviving until the 18th century, when profit-hungry landlords set about using the ultra cheap labour that became available as the Machine Age got under steam to rip them down for scraps of extra farmland.

I’ve just finished reading Michael Dames’ fascinating ‘The Avebury Cycle (the companion volume to his ‘The Silbury Treasure’). At Avebury too, whole avenues of Neolithic monuments – almost certainly a vast sculpture to the Earth Goddess of our first farming ancestors – were destroyed at the same time. Even as the gifted and far-sighted antiquarian Stukeley was recording what was there in minute detail in the 1740s, local farmers and hardline Christians were busy destroying them.

So much of our past has been lost, but so much survives. The giant twin henges at Avebury remain a very special place – far superior to fenced-in, tourist-swallowed, uglified Stonehenge. If you’ve never been to Avebury and to nearby Silbury Hill (the biggest prehistoric structure in Europe) then put it a visit to Wiltshire on your ‘to do’ list.

Book going begging

Back on the subject of books, the ‘serious’ one I’ve had on the go recently was Tim May’s ‘The Mongol Art of War.’ Study of the mighty empire built from nomadic Asiatic tribes by Ghengis Khan has been a key factor in the development of modern warfare. The Mongols were the first military force to develop a General Staff system – at a time when Chinese and European armies were generally led by hereditary nobles (typically, brave but clueless), their Mongol opponents were organised as a strict meritocracy, with the promising leaders of each generation picked out early and intensively trained in theory and manoeuvre as well as in actual combat. Thus they learnt from history and the mistakes of others, rather than through costly errors of their own.

The Mongols’ war machine was studied by the Prussians (who made such good use of the General Staff system that Germany was forbidden to have one after the First World War). They were later rediscovered by the Soviet Marshal Tukhachevsky, the British military theoreticians J.F.C. Fuller and Basil Liddell Hart, and of course the German generals who put into practice the theories and experiments conducted by Tukhachevsky (unfortunately but typically for the Russians, purged and shot by Stalin) and by Fuller and Hart (unfortunately but typically for the British, ignored by the military Establishment and condemned for their sympathies with Oswald Mosley).

Despite their pivotal importance and their unbeaten record against European forces, the Mongols have been so ignored that this was billed as the first book-length study of their military organisation. I was therefore – as a firm believer in the dictum that politics is warfare by other means - particularly looking forward to reading it, So I was substantially disappointed to find very little new to me, other than the details of names and battles, which add nothing to one’s understanding of the overall picture, still less of the reasons for the impact of Ghengis Khan and his successors.

The book is therefore not one I’ll be keeping. It’s a good introduction to its subject, and I suppose quite fun for anyone interested in military history, but it’s not going on a required reading list for BNP cadres. Tell you what, I’ll sling it in the back of the car and give it to the first blog reader who asks me for it at a meeting.

Big progress in Barnsley

Spoke at one of the biggest local branch meetings ever the other week. A few years ago Barnsley, in the heart of what used to be Arthur Scargill’s ‘People’s Republic of South Yorkshire’, had just a handful of BNP members. One damp evening last month more than 200 people - the vast majority from Barnsley itself, although stalwart Marlene Guest had brought a coach from nearby Rotherham – packed into a meeting that surely outdid anything seen in the area since the end of the Miners’ Strike.

As I speak about Labour’s serial betrayal of their traditional working class base it becomes clear that many of the audience have come – consciously - precisely for that reason. There’s a real angry radicalism about this meeting; the atmosphere is electric, the enthusiasm palpable. Paul Harris and his team plan to fight every seat on the council next year, and everyone knows that it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a real BNP breakthrough area. Blair’s and Brown’s addiction to globalisation has sown political dragon’s teeth all across South Yorkshire. By the time the coming economic downturn has hit, the crop will be ripe, and Labour will get very badly bitten indeed. All we have to do is keep on course. Steady as she goes!

Last reflections on Blackpool

Despite all the usual bluster from the far-left, our third Annual Conference went ahead in Blackpool without a hitch. It’s been widely covered online already, and features heavily in the new Freedom and ID (both being delivered around the country right now) so I won’t go into any details.

But it was good to see the culture of debate growing further roots in the party. In a strange way I was pleased to see people getting up to speak against a motion I proposed, not because I didn’t want to see it passed (had I not wanted to offer Conference the chance to appoint an extra level of scrutiny of our finances over and above that already in place with the Advisory Council, the independent auditors and the fine-toothed comb of the Electoral Commission, I would not have put the idea forward), but because it’s a sign of growing maturity that a large majority thought things through and didn’t just follow because their leader said ‘walk this way’.

The majority seemed swayed by warnings about the potential for problems at some stage in the future if a small group (most likely liberal civic nationalists) decided to push themselves onto the suggested scrutiny panel and then use the position to make trouble. Of course, guarding against power grabs by small self-chosen groups is a major part of the raison d’etre for the Voting Membership system and our moves to vest power in the hands of a combination of popularly elected leader and highly motivated and educated activist hardcore. The experience of the old National Front, wrecked by endless squabbles on its Directorate rightly put all of the genuine old hands who went through those disasters off the idea of Committee rule.

Whether motions were accepted or defeated, all were debated very sensibly and extensively. Simon Darby, chairing the conference day itself, somehow managed to let literally everyone who wanted to speak have their say, and still got through all the business spot on time (Mark Clutterbuck from Bristol chaired the Saturday training day with the same seemingly effortless quiet ease).

The far-left had pledged to stop the event, but failed yet again. In the place of ‘hundreds’ or even ‘thousands’ of demonstrators they managed a paltry seventy. They are, however, playing an interesting game online, making much of a photograph of Mark Collett and Dave Hannam looking out of a window. They shouldn’t have been, because our security team had told people not to do so, and they’ve both had a verbal wigging for doing so. But the interesting point is that several dozen other people looked out too, and also had to be right by security. But their photos are remarkable by their absence. For that matter, even I looked out briefly while upstairs in my room preparing material for one session. I’d completely forgotten about the by now somewhat damp and windblown demonstrators, but I’m pretty sure I was caught on film by them before I closed the blinds.

A Useful Rule of Thumb

Needless to say, if we were to criticise or discipline someone who the opposition knew were no use to us, or even some kind of troublemaker, then it would be a still of me at the window that they’d be crowing over (“Griffin the Hypocrite” . But both Mark and Dave are very valuable members of our central team (Mark’s work on things such as Identity, recruitment booklets, full colour election addresses, CD booklets, etc, and Dave’s with Great White Records alongside Alan Smith, involve very special skills which just don’t grow on trees). Hence the relentless efforts of the opposition to demonise them. Here’s a general Rule of Thumb: While people shouldn’t do things they’ve been told not to, if our opponents attack someone on our side, you can be pretty sure we’d be very much poorer without them. The time to worry is when our opponents start to praise people!

This Rule was also demonstrated in Oxford, where several hundred violent freaks from all over the country joined up with a collection of silly overgrown schoolgirls (of both sexes) and a gang of Muslim thugs (armed with iron bars) to try to stop my appearance at the Union Debating Society to speak and answer questions of freedom of speech and whether it should have any limits.

Here too, the event itself has already been extensively reported (all around the world, in fact) so I won’t go over it again. But did you notice how I have been extensively criticised by the liberal-left for having had the audacity to be escorted by a BNP security team that was not made up of ballet dancers and a fluffy-haired Boyband? ‘BNP Security’ – it does what it says on the label, and I don’t mind telling you that I was damned glad to have Martin and his team with me. True, some of them aren’t exactly oil-paintings, but what use is an oil-painting when a gang of Marxist fanatics in balaclavas want to beat you to pulp?

No-one who has not attended a ‘proper’ university like Oxford can have the faintest idea of just how cut off in their own world of glittering spires and upper class isolation most students are. It is in fact impossible to ‘debate’ with people who simply refuse to believe that things such as racial attacks on white people, or Muslim grooming of other communities’ girls, occur. It’s like trying to discuss basic physics with people who refuse to accept the existence of gravity. Oh well, they’ll most of them find out about such things when they grow up, and various apples fall on their heads.

Still, the public reaction to all the fuss around the debate has been excellent. Our enquiry lines were red hot, the breaking of the 40 year ‘No Platform’ policy of the hard-left has won the BNP even more support and recognition among free speech lovers than ever, and we were in the public eye in a positive (not least because most Brits do instinctively side with the underdog) sense in one last burst of political awareness before the Christmas Political Closed Season kicks in. A great way to end the political year.

New talent at Great White Records

Returning to the subject of Great White Records, I spent an interesting evening in their Yorkshire studios the other night. Alan wanted a ‘chorus’ to drop into a specially done Christmas song that’s being put together as a sample/advertisement for a forthcoming album by new young talent Joe Smith (no relation to Alan). Several hours of takes and overlays later, we actually sound rather good. It just shows what a good sound engineer with a big bank of highly sophisticated equipment can do, because when we started it sounded truly awful.

Joe’s album will be a welcome new departure for Great White, as it’s very much Britpop, a really ‘young’ sound very different to the folk/folk rock/country sound of the early CDs.

Personally, as you’ll already know if you’re a long-term reader of my ramblings, I’m ‘into’ traditional folk and country music in a big way. But I’m also very well aware that 99.7% of youngsters are not, and that it’s them that we need to reach out to with music more than anybody else.

Joe’s got bags of talent and character, but happily doesn’t come over as self-obsessed or arrogant like some lads his age when they suddenly discover they have a special talent. Alan and Dave at GWR are very excited about what he can do, and are keen to get his debut album out as quickly as possible. In the meantime (though all concerned readily admit that it’s as ‘cheesy’ as Christmas songs always are) watch out for the online Christmas release (complete with video footage of my meagre contribution) shortly, and have listen to what Joe’s getting up to here: