News and Comment    
    John Tyndall remarks on current political events and casts his hat into the BNP leadership ring    

This criminal Government

The air attack launched against Iraq by British and American forces last month was a criminal act - by any criteria that might be applied. It was a crime against the people of Iraq. It was a crime against international law - if you judge such a concept important (and this Government is always saying that it does). Most important of all, it was a crime against Britain. Iraq does not threaten any genuine British interest, and we should only attack those nations that threaten our interests. In addition, the attack postively harmed Britain’s interests because of the fresh wave of hatred it has provoked throughout the Middle East against this country - and quite deservedly so.

It might also be said that, in addition to hatred, Britain will have earned itself the further contempt of the Arab World because, as every informed person in that world will know, this was just another demonstration of the fact that Britain has no real foreign policy of its own but a policy merely of doing wnatever in the worla tne Americans tell it to do (no-one can possibly take seriously the news story that it was on British initiative that the raid was carried out; things simply do not happen that way in modern ‘Anglo-American’ relations).

The Blair Government has attempted to justify the raid by saying that it was to defend our aircraft from being shot down in the ‘no-fly zones’ above Iraq. But the fact is that not a single British (or American) plane has been touched over the no-fly zones in the past ten years - and all this is quite separate from the question of what those planes should bedoing flying over Iraq anyway!

Possibly, in the next few weeks some more evidence may come to light as to the real reasons for the latest attack, but of one thing we can be sure: a government that quite pathetically fails to stand up for any real British interest when it is threatened (as in Northern Ireland or in our fishing waters, for instance) has not ordered this particular operation out of patriotic duty.

Much more likely is it that the operation is connected with the Government’s total commitment to assist what it perceives as the interests of Israel in the region. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq is seen as the big, bad bogy for Israel. That is the main reason for the constant campaign against Saddam in the ‘British’ media.

This aside, the attack on Iraq may have some useful spin-off as a diversion from other matters as a general election in Britain looms near. Operations of war, though ordinarily loathsome to Labour politicians, are often welcome from this standpoint.

Tyndall to challenge for BNP leadership

JOHN TYNDALL, editor and publisher of Spearhead, announced at the beginning of March his intention to run for the office of British National Party leader against the present incumbent Nick Griffin later this year.

The BNP Constitution provides for such a challenge in any party year. Mr. Tyndall’s official nomination will be submitted in June, and a ballot of all paid-up members must follow within three months from that time.

Mr. Tyndall was BNP leader for more than 17 years between the foundation of the party in 1982 and his displacement by Mr. Griffin following a ballot in 1999. It was during those years that the party grew from relative obscurity to the position of being able to fight every region in England and Scotland in the Euro Election of the latter year.

After he had been defeated by Mr. Griffin in the 1999 membership ballot, Mr. Tyndall declared that he would continue to serve the party loyally and urged all members, regardless of their leadership preferences, to do the same (see Spearhead, October 1999). At the same time he said of Mr. Griffin’s election: "...the question of whether the members have taken the right decision will be determined by results." At that time he was of the view that one year would not be time enough for these results to be fairly assessed; between one and two years would be necessary.

In announcing his candidature, Mr. Tyndall said that numerous events of the past few months had combined together for a fair assessment of the new leadership to be made, and that it is now time to let the members of the party decide whether Mr. Griffin should carry on as leader or be replaced.

His decision to stand against Mr. Griffin this year, he said, had been made by him alone, but he had been urged by many members, verbally and in correspondence, to make the challenge.

Mr. Tyndall said that it would have been preferable for such a contest not to be held in a year in which a general election is probable. However, in 2002 there will be some very important local government elections. He did not believe that the present situation in the party allowed for any longer delay.

Mr. Tyndall will be calling to others in the party to agree to a ‘pact’ whereby internally contentious and controversial issues bearing on the party leadership election will not be aired publicly in the run-up to the general election. This of course would not preclude such issues being dealt with in internal communications and debate.

Mr. Tyndall has also said that it is vital that those members of the party who wish to see him restored to the leadership ensure to renew their memberships this year so as to make them eligible to vote in the coming internal election.

Peter the fall guy?

This magazine is not likely to be accused of harbouring a bias in favour of Peter Mandelson.

But there is something stomach-wrenching about the way in which Mandelson is currently being treated by the New Labour gang as a convenient bucket in which to tip its mounting pile of rotten garbage. The recent scandal in which the former Ulster secretary was found to have schemed to get British passports for the Indian Hinduja brothers in exchange for donations to the Labour Party lifted the lid off a web of sleaze and corruption that clearly extends far beyond the so-called "Prince of Darkness."

It has now become commonplace to say of this: So what? Or they're all at it! or "Things have been worse" or "They're worse on the continent." In other words, many wrongs make a right! The truth is the British public and its counterparts all over the so called free world have become pretty well conditioned to accept a standard of morality in politics that would not be accepted for two minutes in most other institutions. Andrew Alexander had it well summed up when commenting in the Daily Mail on the second of February:-

‘The commonplace dishonesty in politics may explain, but does not excuse, glaring examples, especially when they land colleagues in trouble or promote suspicions that rather more than a check on the address of the Passport Office was involved in the famous 'phone call to the Home Office.

‘It was, in fact, the constant dishonesty of politicians which drove me to abandon daily reporting of parliament some 16 years ago...

‘Like so many moral failings, the dishonesty of politicians can start in quite a small way. A newly arrived MP finds himself expected to 'attack' the other side. He may well have already been campaigning on the grounds that his local opponent is a menace to society and his party to civilisation.

‘In which case he is happy to keep it up. Less combative arrivals are easily sucked in. Only a few remain aloof.

‘MPs may come into politics with a real enthusiasm about individual issues. But the chief prize for the great majority is not particular reforms but their party getting - and keeping - power.’

Which seems to indicate that as long as the present political system endures - a system which for ever requires the politicians of one party to keep their noses in front of those of the others - we can expect little change. The reward for honesty and decency in a politician is for him and his party to be losers in the party game.

So it really is difficult to come down too hard on the Mandlesons of this world. They are simply the creatures of the system with which we are stuck - a system which makes dishonesty an essential ingredient of political survival, just as it makes trickery and wheeler-dealing of the kind involving the Hinduja's passports the everyday norm.

    Spearhead Online