If Lord Acton had met Nick Griffin he would have added a caveat to his famous apothegm about power tending to corrupt and absolute power corrupting absolutely, that for some individuals, even the slightest taste of power has that effect. Then there is an even older saying, that the love of money is the root of all evil.
It is as fitting as it is ironic that words of wisdom from holy scripture written by Jews should also write Mr Griffin's political epitaph, because although in recent years he has been peddling the Islamic menace, earlier on in his career, he peddled the Jewish one. Now he must face the fact that as with so many politicians - from the truly great, to the mediocre, to the simply aspiring - his most formidable enemy turns out to have been himself, and his own base instincts. How did all this come about?
After seizing the reigns of power from the late John Tyndall, a man who trusted him, took him in when nobody else would touch him, only to see that act of kindness rewarded with a knife in the back, Griffin set about modernising the British National Party. This was necessary if for no other reason than the simple fact that any campaigning organisation must stay abreast of 21st Century technology if it hopes to make an impact on the world, on the country, or on anything.
Then he decided that the BNP should be in effect a one man band, or at the very least a ship tightly controlled by him and his clique, so that anyone who showed the slightest dissent was unceremoniously booted out.
The BNP enjoyed some success at the ballot box, and when Griffin and Andrew Brons were elected to the European Parliament, it might have got somewhere. Instead, the Party ran up a mountain of debts, though it remains to be seen on what.
Today's report from the Royal Courts of Justice can be found here
- archived link here
. Today's judgment is the vindication of last month's BBC Panorama
programme, and Griffin's problems are really only just beginning.
To start with, Lord Justice Ward's judgment wasn't simply in the High Court but the Court of Appeal. After losing in the Court of Appeal there is usually nowhere to go, certainly not in a matter of this nature. The £45,000 Griffin has now forfeited was not a judgment but in effect security for costs. There is more to be found - or not found as the case may be - and there are other cases pending. And this all without the involvement of the police or other legal authorities.
Another indication of the depth of Griffin's plight is that his opponents were represented by Adrian Davies, an advocate who has acted for many unpopular defendants and litigants, often on a pro bono
basis. This indicates that even the moderates and the lawyers have now deserted Griffin.
blogspot will keep the reader abreast of any new developments up to the minute. Meanwhile, Griffin himself will surely be headed round the corner to Carey Street - the bankruptcy court - for the second time in his life. It remains to be seen if Mr Plod will also be pursuing him, or a specialist Inland Revenue unit.
A sad ending to a tale that had once showed so much promise. One final thing, if a year or two from now, Mr Griffin's story appears in a resurrected News Of The World
or some such gutter rag under the legend I Was A Searchlight Mole all along
, and claiming he was working for Gerry Gable
from the 1990s, don't believe a word of it.