Every one of the hundred and fifty BNP men and women who set out for Liverpool in the pre-dawn fog of freezing morning knew full-well that they faced arrest and ill-treatment at the hands of a British police force out of control.
These were one hundred and fifty people with families, jobs and mortgages, who said tearful goodbyes to their loved-ones that morning in the expectation that they would not return in the evening, and that their homes might be invaded and searched, just as Tory Damian Green’s home was violated, by Labour’s political police.
There are other political parties, for sure, who could turn out one hundred and fifty activists, even on a chill wintery day. But perhaps only the British National Party boasts one hundred and fifty stout hearts willing to risk all they hold dear in the cause of freedom.
Thankfully, all our dark fears proved ill-founded. As we arrived in Liverpool, the jubilant “Liverpool 13″ greeted us with news that the police and Crown Prosecution Service had backed down, the triumph was won and the enemy had already fled the field. The mood changed abruptly from silent and grim-faced determination, to celebratory smiles and back-slapping congratulations.
Few doubted that if the authorities had persisted with their pretence that the “Racism Cuts Both Ways” leaflets were illegal, then Nick Griffin and his followers would all be arrested for distributing them that day. The media would undoubtedly have linked Nick’s arrest to that of Tory Damian Green and drawn adverse conclusions about the malevolence of Labour. But ultimately, Labour’s nerve failed them and they clearly decided that political martyrdom was a gift to the BNP which they could not afford to give.