Watching that absurd pillock Nick Griffin gurn and sweat his way through Question Time last night like an odious, boss-eyed toad poured into a suit inspired me to have another look at the BNP membership list that was leaked last year (http://wikileaks.org/leak/bnp-membership-list.txt).
Bizarre bunch, with a few more surprising weirdos among the run-of-the- mill bampots and utter tossbags. As well as the expected nightclub bouncers, body builders, martial arts instructors, ex-servicemen, former policemen, prison officers, army surplus store owners and military history buffs, I counted around 30 musicians, 15 proof readers and 10 artists (self-defined). There are 15 or so former Tory councillors/local party officials/canvassers, about 5 of the same from Labour, a couple of Lib-Dems, a bunch of UKIP defectors, another bunch of defectors to UKIP and about 10 assorted shop stewards and union reps. There's even 3 former Green party activists - part of a weird environmental/conservationist/heritage fringe, who are presumably dedicated to preserving England's green and pleasant land just as it was for the 'indigenous' Britons during the last ice age. Worrying number of people who are into camping and fishing and stuff too - next time I take to the hills I'll be a bit more suspicious of anyone else I meet.
This all comes from the 'Interesting Notes' column, which also contains the following curiosities:
"Will not be renewing 07 (objects to being told he shouldn't wear a bomber jacket)"
"member describes himself as a witch: potential embarrassment if active"
"Pubic speaker [sic]. Has two suits of medieval 14th & 15th century armour and can joust for rallies"
"Hobbies: amateur radio & 'church-crawling'. Quaker"
"Former policeman (anti-terrorist branch, Met)"
"Media worker (Sky TV), background in PR/advertising. Pleased to offer advice"
"Semi-professional multi musician (traditional/British folk). Pagan. Classic motorcycle enthusiast. Huntsman"
"Active Odinist/member of Pagan organisations. Hobbies: folklore"
"Ex-Conservative and then Lib-Dem councillor, ex-chairman of local Green Party and UKIP member Minister of Religion. Cert. Ed. Hobbies: steam railways" [missed a couple of parties out there]
"Hobbies: artist: oil painting (willing to paint pictures for raffles, etc). Writer: screenplays"
"Will not be renewing 07 ("Jehova God only real hope for mankind") Company director"
"Specialist in pre Raphaelite style portraiture."
"Hobbies: sewing crafts, knitting, animal welfare, military history"
"Hobbies: walking, cycling, bird watching, church architecture/history, bell ringing"
"Activist Tour guide (Peterborough Cathedral). Writer for local paper (church/village history). Runs a Christian singing group. Vegan/supporter of organic produce. Members of the Woodland Trust, National Trust, VIVAI, Anglican Society, Open Doors, British Israel World Federation"
"Hobbies: military vehicles - owner of a WW2 jeep. Singer with a ladies' barbershop chorus and quartet. Solo singer: Vera Lynn act."
"Will not be renewing 07 (embarrassed by revelations in Private Eye re. councillors)"
"Composer/musician/lecurer. Doctor of Philosophy (Composition) PhD. Cert. ED:FE, BA (Hons), BTEC computer software. Soundtrack writer, ethnomusicologist. Hobbies: music (performance), rambling/hiking, ornithology, history, poetry"
"Osteopath (Classical). Reflexology. Former lecturer in osteopathy. Advisor on posture/diet/nutrition/health matters. Hobbies: marathon running, camping, motorcycling, folk music. Writing (health issues). Working with nature/conservation organisations" [and lynching...]
"Retired chiropodist. Devout Christian lay preacher (non-conformist churches: Baptist, United Reformed, Presbyterian etc). Hobbies: walking, Scottish country dancing, horse riding, writing, poetry."
"activist - Makes kites with BNP logos etc."
Oh, and in case you happen to have a stamp, an envelope and something really unpleasant to put in it handy, Nick Griffin's address is on there too. (It's in Wales, not England, strangely.)