New Regional Treasurer, Richard Barnbrook, Structural Reorganisation and A New Autumn Anti-War Campaign: A Report from the BNP’s Advisory Council Meeting
Blunt talking and decisive action on finances, the appointment of a new regional treasurer, Richard Barnbrook’s situation, important structural reorganisation and plans for a new anti-Afghan war campaign dominated today’s BNP Advisory Council meeting.
“The main part of meeting focussed on discussing finances,” BNP chairman Nick Griffin told BNP News this evening.
“There was a very full discussion of how the current financial situation had arisen,” Mr Griffin said.
“More importantly, the meeting discussed what was necessary to put it right and what was necessary to avoid this situation arising again.
“The core of the problem was identified as a matter of the party growing faster than our systems could cope.
“New controls have been put in place, but in addition to that, we have created a new national scrutiny committee consisting of East Midlands regional organiser Geoff Dickens, Wales regional organiser Brian Mahoney, East Midlands regional treasurer James Mole, national treasurer David Hannam and one more non-AC member whose name will be announced shortly,” Mr Griffin continued.
“Mr Dickens and Mr Mahoney have decades of experience in managing business with bigger turnovers with the BNP and will bring their expertise to bear on the committee.”
The new scrutiny committee has been tasked with examining the structure of the treasury department and making concrete moves to ensure that there is a clear division between those who manage the accounts and those who authorise outlays.
The committee had its first meeting immediately after the AC meeting and will continue over the rest of the weekend, with the instruction to prepare a final report within a week.
“This committee has been given the mission to transparently study everything so that the national treasurer can be completely protected from malicious allegations,” Mr Griffin said.
Next on the agenda was the issue of the regional treasury work. It was agreed that there was far too much work for one man to do both national and regional treasury work and that new scrutiny committee member Mr Mole would be appointed new Regional Treasurer with immediate effect.
Mr Mole has run the treasury of the East Midlands region for several years to great success and is the logical person to take control of the finances for those regions that do not yet control their own accounts.
“Mr Mole and Mr Hannam will be presenting training at the upcoming Summer School for other regions to become completely self-sufficient,” Mr Griffin said.
Next on the agenda was the recent decision by Richard Barnbrook to lay down the BNP whip in the Greater London Assembly.
Mr Griffin said the meeting had discussed the matter in full and had unanimously agreed to ask Mr Barnbrook to reconsider his decision. A further statement on the matter will be issued in due course.
During the membership report, the important issue of new member drop-out rates was flagged up as being of critical importance.
The BNP’s call centre, which for the first time has been employed in gathering proper business intelligence for the party, has ascertained through a 250-strong poll of new members, that the main reason for the failure to renew is lack of local contact after joining.
“Put simply, the party has not been performing as well as it should have,” Mr Griffin said.
“The ability to quickly produce data analysis of the sort presented at the AC meeting is a huge leap forward, but we need to act upon it as well,” he said.
New monthly reports from the membership department will allow head office and national organisers to determine precisely which units are performing to standard.
“In this way, the party will be able to determine its effective reach by comparing inquiries to conversion rates, activity levels and inquirer activity levels,” Mr Griffin said.
“We need to up our game and we will be cutting out non-performing dead wood. The ability to quickly call up and poll large numbers of people is a major asset in helping to determine what is wrong and how to put it right.
“We are going to use this tool to maximum effect and will transform the grassroots organisation of this party,” he said.
Finally, Mr Griffin said, the AC meeting also discussed the new autumn campaign which the party was going to launch.
“It will focus on the ‘Bring our Boys Home’ theme and an anti-Afghan war programme will be rolled out through leaflets, petitions and online campaigning,” Mr Griffin said.
“Membership data analysis has shown that most new members join the party in autumn, and this new campaign will act as a springboard for all regions to start recruiting again in earnest,” he said.