Thanks to Lancaster UAF
A report that has appeared on the BNP website reveals that the fake union set up by the party is already in trouble and seems likely to go the same way as all the other ventures the BNP has ever been involved in, like Nick Griffin's washout of a money-spinner Affordable Cars and the Albion Life insurance scam.
The source of the problem is that, according to the BNP, 'an unconstitutional attempt has been made to remove General Secretary Pat Harrington from his position'. Harrington has something of a fine union pedigree - he was expelled from the RMT. He was also one of the National Front's 'political soldiers' in the late 1980s alongside Nick Griffin. Other BNP activists involved in the project include Jay Lee, who was recently booted out of Aslef, and John Walker, the BNP's national treasurer, who has had his own troubles with the T&G. Clive Potter, the possible President of Solidarity is a long-time BNP activist from Leicester, who was expelled from Unison for improper conduct. Potter is still listed as President on Solidarity's homepage though it was our understanding that he had been ousted months ago. More info on this point would be appreciated.
The BNP produces its usual kneejerk response to problems in the ranks, blaming any difficulties on somebody else, usually 'reds'. In this case, the party goes into overdrive, claiming that 'Solidarity has been the subject of a far-left sabotage bid, involving several individuals working as a team' and that the bid to boot the useless Harrington out of office 'and to replace him with an unknown individual from Merseyside whose involvement in the BNP has extended to just a few weeks...the local organiser and activists concluded from his behaviour that he could well be a Marxist agent provocateur'.
However, the real problem is made apparent in the next section of the article - and regular readers of this blog will recognise it straight away as a problem that seems to exist wherever the BNP sticks its corporate nose in.
'...Tim Hawke [Solidarity Vice-President] continues to refuse to sign first year accounts so that these can be submitted to the Certification Officer in time. This is despite the fact that the accounts were prepared by an accountant and have been independently and professionally audited by a Barrister and Kenny Smith (head of BNP admin).'
Yes indeed. The BNP - or rather one of its many subsidiaries, is in financial trouble (again). There is really only one reason for not signing accounts off and that is that you do not believe that they are a true statement of the financial affairs of the stated organisation. Clearly, Tim Hawke has doubts about either their accuracy or possibly their legality, and it wouldn't be the first time that a treasurer or someone connected with the financial side of a BNP venture has balked at leaving themselves open to litigation by signing off on a load of rubbish - at least a couple of treasurers have been booted out after doing the same thing.
One of the 'purposes' listed for the formation of Solidarity was to avoid what the BNP interpreted as union corruption. Its statement on formation clearly says; 'We want independent unions that are fully accountable to its members whose finances are transparent...' by which one assumes it to mean the organisation's finances are transparent and not the member's finances, although that's certainly open to doubt.
To get around the problem of awkward people inconveniently refusing to sign dodgy accounts, the BNP proposes to call an Emergency General Meeting to completely subvert the democracy it claims to uphold and increase the size of the Executive from the current three, presumably Harrington, Potter and Hawke, to seven, the additional four being one from Third Way (Harrington's current political affiliation) and a vote-winning three from the BNP. This would ensure that, no matter what dubious transactions take place and no matter what goes on that the members are kept unaware of, all decisions will be made by the patently corrupt BNP and the very co-operative Pat Harrington, Nick Griffin's buddy from the old days.
Under Item 14(a) of the present constitution of the fake union, 'The Executive Committee may suspend or dismiss any Solidarity officer in cases of misconduct. It has the power to remove any incompetent or insubordinate Branch or Regional Officer.'
It looks like Tim Hawke has had it then.
It also looks like the BNP is attempting to retain complete control over the union - which is certainly not the impression the party was trying to make when it first set the whole thing up - presumably because if it ever takes off (which it never will) it'll make pots of money, most of which will be siphoned off to the nearest handy pockets. These accounts, along with membership numbers, should make interesting reading - if they're ever allowed to appear and, of course, if they're accurate.
The BNP and the BNP's union - democracy and accountability in action. Well, not quite.