November 18, 2008Before reading this, you should appreciate that there are very strict limitations on what we are allowed to print and we intend to stay strictly within the law in the comments that we allow.
Having said all that, this breach of data security is startlingly bad for the BNP, not simply for the fact that the party has lost data - almost everyone seems to have managed to do that recently - but for the nature of that information.
Not only does the data, now available online, include the entire membership list with full names (and former names where there have been changes for any reason), addresses, contact numbers, email addresses and in many cases the member's age, particularly where those members are under eighteen. Yes, that's right. This list includes members as young as fourteen, male and female. Where a family membership is bought and paid for, the whole family is listed.
As if this isn't bad enough, the notes that are attached to many of the entries leave a lot of the members open to difficulties in their jobs, some of them being in the armed forces or the police and the BNP too - an illegal combination, and where not illegal, frequently frowned upon. Other members are noted as construction managers, receptionists, district nurses, lay preachers, police officers, company directors and teachers among many others.
Like this wasn't enough, the BNP has also listed hobbies or interests where for some reason they are deemed relevant. Thus we have short-wave radio hams, amateur historians, pagans, line-dancers and even a witch (male).
The contributors to nazi sites, many of whom are also members of the BNP, are suddenly in a frenzy, expecting to be outed at any moment. Here's just one comment from the North-West Nationalist blog:
'I've just had a call, I'm on it to. I want my fucking member money back, like has been mentioned here, I could lose my fucking job. I'm bloody angry.'Not surprising really. I'd be pretty pissed off too.
Curiously, there are quite a number of BNP members abroad, presumably ex-pats or those working abroad temporarily - Australia, the USA, United Arab Emirates, Sao Paulo, Spain and the Netherlands were some that I noticed. Isn't the BNP opposed to foreign workers? I'm sure it was last time I looked.
One final thing (for the moment, because I'm sure this one will run and run): the list appears to include the December rebels. At first, I took this to mean that the membership list was a year out of date but after a good look through, it's become clear that by keeping a running list (as opposed to a clean list each membership year) the party is able to claim a much larger membership than it in fact has. Some of the additions to the list are as recent as September of this year, indicating that some of the members listed - though how many is anyone's guess - are not in fact members at all. The implication is pretty clear (to me, at least) - BNP members are being defrauded when they have been told that the membership is growing exponentially. Take off all the dead members, those who have resigned (many still listed along with their reasons for leaving) and the most recent batch of rebels and the size drops considerably.
It's been suggested that the party's former treasurer John Walker is responsible for posting the list up publicly. We wouldn't know but by doing so, the poster has stuck a stick of dynamite under Griffin's rear end. The consequences and the repercussions may be interesting to watch.
Just as a complete aside, I should point out that we do not have a copy of this list, nor do we want one. The information we had was obtained online and appears suddenly to have been removed, at least for the moment...