Hush Hush


Justin Barrett National Party

Justin Barrett

The surreal nature of the crisis enveloping the National Party (NP) began with the revelation of the €400,000 worth of gold bars stored in vaults in Dublin 4, before competing factions claimed online to control the party. An Garda Síochána was called in by Justin Barrett to investigate the financing of the party he co-founded, while he also responded to the desperate queries of journalists from national newspapers on social media with emojis etc. But none of this should take away from the fundamentals of what has taken place. There has been a split in the NP.

The opposing camps have launched bitter online attacks on one another, not only in relation to control of the NP but also to the lack of progress the party has made over the last seven years.

Earlier this year (see The Phoenix 7/4/23) Goldhawk drew attention to the fact that the NP only had a marginal presence at anti-immigrant protests and instead was focused on developing contacts with far-right formations from across Europe. Delegations from the NP visited Finland, Estonia and Belgium to meet representatives of the Uudenmaan Akseli, Conservative People’s Party of Estonia and Vlaams Belang.

Looking at the success of these parties in local, national and European elections, many within the NP came to the conclusion that the party, with Barrett at its head and organised as it is presently, would not make any political headway. The head of this insurgent faction is deputy leader James Reynolds.

A statement issued by the Reynolds faction on the NP website claimed the decision to remove Barrett “was taken due to an overwhelming lack of confidence from active party members in Mr Barrett’s continued ability to lead the party”.

It continued: “Mr Barrett’s hands-off leadership style over the past number of years allowed the party to go to seed. Several of his recent strategic decisions generated opposition in the party and resulted in a lack of confidence in his leadership.”

The Reynolds faction not only control the NP website but also its Twitter and Facebook accounts. They also got the Twitter account used by Barrett to issue public messages suspended and removed all content from his Telegram channel, although they left the account live to confuse anyone looking to access the thoughts of Barrett.

Barrett has not taken things lying down. On his new Telegram channel, he counterclaimed: “I was and am the president of the National Party in law. Social media password possession is not a requirement of this office nor an indication of authority.”

He also made allegations against named members of the NP, saying they would shortly be charged by gardaí with various offences.

Despite the brouhaha, the issues underlying the split remain. Next year local and European elections take place and the NP seem ill prepared for both. It has not profiled candidates in any constituency, unlike Ireland First and the Irish Freedom Party (IFP).

Ex-British army member and far-right agitator Rowan Croft argued on Twitter recently: “I’m not a member of the National Party or anything like that but again the ethos, we don’t punch right regardless. We don’t know how that money accrued. Was it shrewd banking?”

IFP leader Hermann Kelly responded: “No I don’t agree with that… Justin Barrett is a completely different animal, where the vast majority of people in the National Party had no interest in national socialism or a fetish about Adolf Hitler but Justin did and Justin Barrett was the one who was quoting Mein Kampf, which is very damaging.”

Kelly’s contempt for the comedy of the absurd that is the NP can be put in context when you consider he only received 2,441 or 0.7% of the votes in the Dublin European Parliament constituency in 2019. And you can see his pitch for the NP’s membership in his comment about the “vast majority” of them having no interest in Barrett’s Hitlerite politics.

Phil Witte - undelete

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