* BNP performs perfect U-turn over Ebanks' court fund
* Accusations of theft and fraud pop up like mushrooms
The fun started when the moderators of the BNP forum, including the fake Birmingham City councillor Sharon Ebanks, resigned en masse. Lee Barnes, the BNP's resident control freak and legal beagle (because he's clearly no legal eagle) had it closed down immediately and a notice posted saying in effect that the BNP would be monitoring it ruthlessly for posts they deemed could be described as inflammatory or indeed anywhere near the edge of legality, and that the moderators would be lesser creatures, there only to do the bidding of the BNP's upper echelon.
The BNP, who drone on about freedom of speech on every possible occasion, has always denied it to its members though at the moment Nick Griffin is probably nervous about his impending court case for incitement to racial hatred in October and is no doubt anxious to avoid any potential for more charges between now and then.
Angered by their fall from grace, the moderators resigned and took their complaints to the Stormfront nazi forum which seems to be the average BNP member's second home.
The response was both immediate and vitriolic. The BNP's hypocritical public stance on freedom of speech was compared unfavourably with what it does on its own forum, which seems to be the immediate removal of dissenters and their posts as soon as they appear.
Both Griffin and Barnes came in for much angry criticism for their refusal to negotiate or even discuss anything that the membership might perceive to be a problem - but the latter caught the worst of the flak for what the rank and file see as his warped idea of white nationalism, his repeatedly-stated support for Israel in the conflict with Lebanon and the control he seems to be exerting over all aspects of BNP policy. Lee Barnes does not appear to be well-liked within the party which is a bit of a bugger really because he seems to be positioning himself for a takeover.
The BNP's unaccountably popular Sharon Ebanks, former would-be councillor for Birmingham's Kingstanding Ward, finally booted out after a long drawn-out High Court battle over the seat at a cost to the Birmingham council tax payer estimated to be around £100,000, was highly prominent in this messy weekend. It was she who asked that the news of her resignation as a moderator on the BNP forum was posted to Stormfront, thus kicking off twenty pages worth of criticism for the party and several (mostly critical) new threads. Somehow I don't think she's going to be in the party for much longer, particularly as one of the threads speculated on who should be leader of the BNP and she came a very firm second. Griffin hates competition and gets rid of it as soon as it appears to threaten him.
It wasn't long before Ebanks' supporters started going on about the 'terrible' way she had been treated over the election cock-up at Kingstanding.
A little background may be necessary here. Ebanks stood for the ward in the elections in May. She was announced as the winner though it very soon became apparent that there had been a miscount. Rather than stand down and reap the propaganda rewards of the council's incompetence, Ebanks - on party advice - stayed to fight. Of course she lost and was left with a legal bill of roughly £5000. The BNP appealed to its members, raising roughly £7000.
Her mistreatment was that the party had allegedly told her that it would not be footing the bill for the case, thus posing the questions; 'Why not?' and 'What happened to the £7000?'
Party members were even more annoyed to hear that Ebanks had had to resort to selling her own goods to pay the bill - though I have to say this seems unlikely as he councillor's allowance alone for the short period she held the seat would have been something approaching £3000. Nevertheless, the claim was made and the questions asked. This sparked off a huge amount of furious posts on Stormfront - many hinting at long-term fraud and theft within the party and mostly pointing the finger at Griffin himself as the sponge that's eternally soaking up party funds - some of which spun off to become articles in their own right on other websites. For instance, Northwest Nationalist's blog ran this:
'BNP Head Office using party funds fraudulently........................
We are receiving a fair few reports of this coming in from all over the Country. Of course, this has always been so, Nick Griffin started the money scams with his AFFORDABLE CARS venture using BNP party monies. He has never stopped ripping off the poor old BNP party members.
There will be more on this very soon..........................
The BNP collection for the BOADICEA bus ?
The BNP collecting for help to legally represent Nick Griffin and Mark Collett, when I understand, they both receive 'Legal Aid' for their Race case in Leeds.
There is also some talk about a fund for Sharon Ebanks that was/is still being collected, due to having won/not won the Kingstanding, Birmingham ward in the recent elections. Ebanks has been left with a fairly hefty bill apparently.
Another nationalist that was 'left in the lurch' was the popular Tess Culnane from London. She was left with a whopping bill of six figures, after a Court case battle , when she had stood in an election.
There is still 'bad blood' from the very first RED/WHITE/BLUE Festival in Clitheroe. Apparently a bill for over £1,000 + was never paid to a local member and his hotel, in the town by Nick Griffin.
Nick Griffin also has used many ruses in order to have his ever expanding farmhouse and family home built and renovated.
The TRAFALGAR Club is another nice little earner/sluch fund for the Griffin clan.
I have a document by old Walter Carr who was the Hereford - Worcester BNP Organiser from 2000. mentioning all this. Things haven't changed under Mr. Griffin.
Being as Nick Griffin has been made a bankrupt on at least one occasion, he should never be allowed around the BNP funds'
The result of all this fuss was a post stating that Ebanks had been told that her legal bill would after all be paid by the party. Mysteriously, one post suggested (or tried to suggest but was largely ignored) that Ebanks had been told about this reversal the day before all the fuss started. Damage limitation anyone? Curiously, the forum has been put back up too, though the old moderators are out and the new hierarchy appears to be in place and ready to censor as and when they deem it necessary.
The upshot of all this is that the populist British National Party has made itself extremely unpopular with its membership by denying them free speech on the forum, by refusing to pay what they promised to pay (then backtracking), by mistreating one of the more prominent figures in the party and by apparently attempting to steal or at least redirect money donated by its members for a specific cause. All of this in a single (long) weekend. There's efficiency for you.
All of this has caused and will cause a whole bunch of problems for Griffin and his little gang of chums at the top of the party. Disgruntled members will be watching very closely and won't miss an apportunity to have a go at Griffin and the appalling Barnes whenever the opportunity arises. More power to them.