The NF are busy trying to absorb disillusioned BNP supporters but there is factionalism afoot with the Fronters.
Eddy, Steady, Go!: Eddy Morrison and The NF by ‘Malatesta’
Despite the threat of the BNP making headway in the forthcoming general election, there appears to be ructions afoot in the weird world of nationalism. Lovable rogue Eddy Morrison is a long term fascist and alcoholic (a condition which he refers to as a ‘disability’ but is more like an ‘inability’) and held in suspicion by many on the far right. His relationships with various ‘players’ on the scene have been turbulent to say the least, joining any or all of the grupuscules that emerge from round the s-bend of far right politics and which often dissolve at best in acrimony and tears (Nationalist Alliance), at worst, in internecine murder (Combat 18, Wolf's Hook White Brotherhood). He is currently involved in the splitting the NF in two.
The NF have recently been trying to reinvigorate the glory days of the 1970s when convicted Nazi John Tyndall and Martin Webster (close, err… ‘associate’ of Nick Griffin) were creating a viable alternative to state politics until usurped by Thatcher’s canny misappropriation of their xenophobic rhetoric. Simultaneously, the dissatisfaction of many BNP supporters is increasing: with Griffin’s abysmal TV appearance widely ridiculed; his disappearance to the EU with his clique and then reappearance to challenge for the Barking seat; his bowing to pressure to include non-white members in the party; and not least, the unaccountability of the party’s funds. Defections are rife. The NF is hoping to absorb these dissatisfied punters and bring them into a more extremist fascist party.
Until recently, the NF were presided over by ageing racist and technophobe Tom Holmes who has been involved in fascism for over 40 years and put a lot of time and money into what is proving to be a mainly fruitless venture. Morrison only joined the National Front recently and is still a probationary member but this has not stopped him from participating in, if not initiating, a coup. His appalling history of splinter groups and factionalism bodes ill for the Fronters as he has always managed to leave chaos in his wake.
Given that much activity in far right circles is done through the internet Holmes’ technophobic tendencies have done him few favours. He does have a mobile though. His side of the story has been propagated by sympathisers who actually know what a modem is. Morrison may be a dipsomaniac oaf but at least he is vaguely computer literate. With the emerging split any possible members are going to be faced with confusion and diverted into either Morrison’s faction or that of the loyalists. Other dissatisfied (and not so dissatisfied) BNP members have also been diverted into the EDL. Despite Griffin’s claim that they are a ‘proscribed organisation’ links and dual membership have been exposed.
History Repeats … Eddy’s Past.
Morrison has a long history of splits, factionalising and general malfeasance with even John Tyndall warning about him. He has a few trusty followers but many on the far right are cautious of him, if only because of his chronic alcoholism. In April 1983, Tyndall wrote a piece entitled The Wanderings and Posturings of the Pathetic Eddy Morrison in Spearhead. In it he cited many of Morrison’s moves and called him “a specimen who has constantly ratted on everyone who has posed trust in him, and always in an atmosphere of shady plotting and intrigue.” Don’t just take ‘JT’s’ word for it: the good folks over at VNN helpfully supplied us with Eddy’s at times hilarious resume.
1982 - National Action Party but expelled “after a drunken Morrison falls into a swastika emblazoned cake.” Then hangs out with Tim Hepple, Searchlight spy. Oops!
1987 - National Workers Party.
1988 to mid 1990s: BNP.
1999 - National Front again.
2000 –leaves NF again.
2001 - Movement for National Unity.
2002 - Aryan Unity online.
2002 -White Nationalist Party
2003 - 'retirement from politics'.
2003 - Spearhead Group
2004 - Nationalist Alliance
2005 - British People's Party.
2006 – BPP leader then drunk most of the time.
2008 – Resigns from BPP.
2009 – NF again.
Engineering The Split
In September a Bradford meeting not attended by Holmes or his crony Bernard Franklin acted somewhat ‘unconstitutionally.’ The members at the meeting, eager for (small) change and perhaps realising the possibility of attracting disaffected BNP supporters and their subsidies, voted in a new directorate which ousted Franklin as deputy chairman and voted in Ian Edwards, who is more sympathetic to Morrison’s faction. The rebels allowed Holmes to keep his position as leader but perhaps this is because he is the main signature on the bank accounts and holds the membership list. Maybe not. Holmes reacted to these moves with what appears to be a typewritten and photocopied letter to the membership contesting the legitimacy of the vote. A split between Holmes loyalists and Morrison’s cronies appeared.
Leeds Argy Bargy
However, there is more to this saga. Morrison, like many of his ilk, has a tendency to spout off on the various far right forums and gets more and more vitriolic as the booze takes hold. Tommy Williams, who is BNP, claimed he had the NF’s membership list, something which Morrison denied. As the row over the list intensified, Morrison got more mouthy and Tommy took offence. Morrison and Williams exchanged more words so Tommy went round to Morrison’s flat to prove it. Williams arrived with Dave Howard who filmed Williams banging on the door in an attempt to confront him. Morrison, wisely, chose not to venture too far outdoors and waited until Williams and Howard got bored and left having made their ‘point.’ From here on accounts vary. Morrison is alleged to have contacted the police, something which irked various forum members who said he had ‘grassed.’
Morrison has been accused of being a grass in the past, of passing information on to the left and working for Special Branch/MI5. However, this is an accusation levelled by many fascists against rivals, so the truth of this, short of a full confession, is hard to ascertain. Morrison allegedly said that Williams was tooled up, something which he denies. Williams said he was only armed with the membership list which he intended to return to prove that he had had it all along. Williams and Howard documented the whole incident with a video camera and so the transcripts should reveal who is telling the truth. Whilst Tommy was visiting Eddy, and this really irked Tommy, someone popped round to Chez Williams and put an NF sticker on his door. And you know how hard they are to get off!
Williams and Howard were quick to put their story up on VNNuk which was supported by Bev Kerry, VNN moderator: VNN members, being pro-BNP, were obviously on the side of Williams and Howard who post as Sir Rolf Of Harris and The Truth At Last and run the Covert Undercover Nuisance Tactics website. The fallout was inevitable: the anti-Griffinites on the Northwest Nationalists condemned the incident as faction fighting whilst eagerly publishing Tyndall’s attack on Morrison’s credibility. Other sites sided with Morrison and his NF faction.
The role of these assorted fascist forums is interesting and revealing and makes these fallouts easier to monitor. Many of the posters, some seemingly intoxicated, are often clumsy and details leak out over identities in their haste to either slag people off or put their opinions forward. When they are not outing each other on rival websites that is. Revealing adversaries names and addresses is a common tactic like calling people ‘grass’, ‘nonce’ or ‘red.’ On their Covert site, Williams and Howard have been slagging various NF members off in somewhat excessive terms lately. This is something that they specialise in and they use the site as an attack on anti-Griffin/BNP strains in far-right politics. They are particularly unpleasant about key members of the Northwest Nationalists who in turn have set up various websites in retaliation (Williamson Watch on fellow alcoholic and splitter Sid Williamson, Griffin Watch on the ‘glorious leader’) and spend much of their time firing equal amounts of bile and frustration at each other. Which can be very entertaining.
Is It The Readies, Eddy?
Currently the NF website features Eddy’s statement on the NF website and discusses how the “thorough and much overdue reorganisation of the National Front got under way earlier this year, the NF Leadership team have overcome all obstacles thrown in their way and made some great steps forward.” That is by usurping Franklin and attempting to marginalise Holmes. Morrison then goes on to list his plans for the new NF, including the new magazine which will “be like the late and much missed Spearhead.” This is presumably the Spearhead that slagged Eddy off in on uncertain terms. There then follows the usual crackpot ambitions and offers of NF yuletide cards at a tenner a pop, all wishing you a White Supremacist Christmas no doubt. Eddy is not an adherent to the concept of employment so there is clearly the attraction of membership fees and merchandise at stake. However, Holmes is on to this and, via a web intermediary, sent out this plea: “Can anyone thinking of donating to the NF or sending cheque's or ordering from the NF please ignore ALL PO Box's or postal address's apart from NF Chairman Tom Holmes.” This has precedent: when Eddy quit the BPP the tiny party were quick to transfer their cash to a new account, presumably before Eddy could drink it.
What is of interest here is how anyone given Morrison’s history would actually follow or support him in the NF? He has been a member of dozens of factions and parties, been accused of grassing, has a history of disruption and a serious drink problem: his apparent untrustworthiness is exceptional even for the most extreme fascist loser. The situation is down to both ego and the numbers game as well as a social desperation. To be the ‘Führer’ of a party, however tiny, gives people a sense of purpose in an otherwise bleak and marginalised existence. These obscure fascist groups are stuck for numbers and rather than opting for quality they go for quantity, taking on anyone who shows a vague interest despite their questionable history. With inevitable results. As they hold views that the vast majority of people think are either repulsive or demented, they can only congregate with likeminded people and remain socially ostracised. The membership of an obscure fascist clique helps remedy this isolation. And characters like Morrison will continue to thrive there. We can maybe take solace in this fact, that alcohol and egomania have done more to damage fascism than anything else.