Monday, 8 November 2010

Submission from D. Franklin

The Advisory Council structure should be abolished. The BNP should be governed by a National Executive directly elected by paid-up BNP members in good standing. At the same time as these elections are held, there should be elections for national officers e.g. Chairman, Treasurer, secretary etc. Persons seeking election to these posts should require a (reasonable) number of nominations from paid-up members to deter frivolous candidates, but not so many that it is onerous.

All members of the National executive should be honorary i.e. unpaid. However they should be able to claim for vouched travel/subsistence expenses and loss of earnings where appropriate. Anyone who is employed and paid by the party should be disqualified from standing for the National Executive. However senior paid officers of the party should normally attend NE meetings to provide information and advice, but they will not be able to vote.

At each NE meeting the National officers and others should present a full report. The Treasurer should present proper management accounts at each meeting and full financial statements at the year end. These statements will be subject to audit by an audit committee. This committee should not have any member who is a member of the NE or be a paid member of staff. The financial statements and the findings of the audit committee should be published to the membership.

The NE should have the power to employ genuine consultants if deemed necessary. However these must be arms lengths transactions, subject to tender if possible and regularly reviewed by the NE. In no circumstances should any consultant act in a role which would give the impression that the consultant is an officer of the party or a member of staff. The main principle in appointing such consultants should be value for money, but preference should be given to BNP members wherever possible.

As regards a "leader", I feel this is only really appropriate where BNP members are elected to a public body. For example, BNP councillors, MPs (when we get some) and MEP's, should elect a leader and deputy from amongst their number.

Discipline. All organisations need some form of disciplinary code. But this must be open, honest, fair and in accordance with the law of the land and the rules of natural justice. It should be seen as a measure to be used sparingly. It should not be used as means to silence dissent or to get rid of "awkward" members.

With respect to branches and groups, I feel their organisation should mirror that of the National Executive. Local groups should be governed by elected committees with a chairman, secretary, treasurer and in this case a local organiser. Local units should hold their own funds and the treasurer should report on the state of the finances to the local committee and the membership. At the year end the treasurer should produce a financial statement which will be subject to audit by another person not on the committee.

In the longer term, I would like to see the BNP move to a system where memberships are issued locally with a proportion of the membership fee remitted to head office funds. Local groups would also be responsible for getting in renewals and maintaining membership records. There should be only 3 classes of membership; ordinary, paid life and honorary life. The latter would be awarded to members of special merit or for long term service.

Those branches and groups which do not already do so, should issue regular bulletins to their members and any registered supporters. Local unit should be encouraged to set up local websites and publish local community newsletters in areas where they are likely to stand candidates.

Dick Franklin

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