While financial woe is nothing to cheer about as many of us have found out in the last five years of poor economic growth and a string of financial scandals that have largely gone unpunished but an article published by the Independent detailing the British National Party’s (BNP) apparent financial troubles is a more than legitimate exception the rule. The BNP, despite their recent rise, have always been a party despised by many Britons, even among fellow far right groups.
There should be no shock if you were to witness off the cuff yelps of joy to the news that its leader Nick Griffin (who is probably as, if not, more unpopular than the party and its platform itself) suggested in a speech to party faithful that in order to raise funds, they had to “begin collecting scrap” while comically enquiring “the price of copper”.
While this may seem quite comical and admittedly satisfying for anybody with a fleeting affinity with the human race, the BNP’S financial problems are serious to say the least. The BNP has been in financial arrears for some time since their poor showing in the last general election underlined when the BNP “declared that at 31 December 2010 it owed £582,961 and had £15,846 in the bank”. Numbers like these would terminal for a business never mind a well disliked party short on friends and high on enemies that would like nothing better than to see the party file for bankruptcy.
The BNP has been in decline for last three years with many of its members leaving the party exposing deep division among its leadership and indeed its rank and file. Its decline has been underlined by gruesome local election defeats with the party losing many of its local councillors and a MEP (who left the BNP with only one MEP, Nick Griffin).
It’s no real surprise considering the party platform was, for the lack of a better word, disgusting. No party can really expect to stay in power at the local level for any amount of time if one of their councillors can, with a straight face, state their objection to “the building of new schools in the (Burnley) area because they would encourage children of different backgrounds to integrate”.
While the BNP’s demise is not so shocking due their unreasonable stance on just about every issue that is relevant to British people, It is surprising that they’re floundering in an political and economic climate where far right parties and movements usually thrive. Matthew Goodwin excellently illustrated this point when he wrote in a guardian article:
“Consider this: despite economic recession; despite deep cuts to local services; despite continuing public concern over immigration; despite high levels of dissatisfaction with the main parties; despite ongoing political distrust; despite an unpopular coalition government that includes the Liberal Democrats – home for many protest voters; despite continuing public anger over the expenses scandal and more recent media and cash-for-access scandals; and despite a Labour party that has not yet reconnected fully with its core base – the BNP has completely failed to make even an electoral squeak. At one time, voters in some parts of the country appeared willing to back the party. Today, they appear completely uninterested. In my view, the British National party's quest for electoral success is finished and Griffin's attempted strategy of "modernisation" lies in ruins”.
In sum, the British National Party may be in dire straits and may, as many hope (including many of its far right counterparts), dissolve but unfortunately, the BNP are not the be all, end all of Britain's far right movement and as Goodwin rightly pointed out, the real point of focus is “what will emerge to fill the vacuum”.
 A. McSmith, 2013, British National Party ‘so poor should sell scrap metal, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-national-party-so-poor-it-should-sell-scrap-metal-8471793.html
 Political Scrapbook, 2012, Falling Apart: Six BNP Councillors Who Should Lose Their Seats In May, http://politicalscrapbook.net/2012/04/bnp-councillors-local-elections-may-2012/
 M. Goodwin, 2012, The BNP finished as electoral force, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/04/bnp-local-elections-electoral-force-finished