John Tyndall (politician)


John Tyndall (politician)

Infobox Politician
name = John Tyndall


caption = puic|
log=2008_July_31

birth_date = birth date|1934|7|14|
birth_place = Exeter, Devon, England
residence =
death_date = death date and age|2005|7|19|1934|7|14
death_place = Hove, East Sussex
office = Chairman of the British National Party
salary =
term_start = 1982
term_end = September 1999
predecessor =
successor = Nick Griffin
party = League of Empire Loyalists 1954-1957,
National Labour party
1957-1960,
British National Party (1960) 1960-1962,
National Socialist movement 1962-1964,
Greater Britain Movement 1964-1967,
National Front
1967-1980,
New National Front
1980-1982,
British National Party
1982-2005
constituency =
majority =
spouse = Valerie Tyndall
children =
footnotes =

John Hutchyns Tyndall (14 July 1934ndash 19 July 2005) was a far-right British nationalist politician best known for leading the National Front in the 1970s and for founding the British National Party in the 1980s. [cite news |url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/farright/story/0,11981,1531859,00.html?gusrc=rss |title=Obituary of John Tyndall |publisher=The Guardian |date=2005-07-19 |first= |last= |accessdate=2007-03-01]

Early life

John Tyndall was born in Exeter in Devon, England on July 14, 1934. The son of the warden of St George's House, a YMCA hostel at Southwark, he grew up in London. He was related to the famous translator of the Bible, William Tyndale and he was also the great-grandson of Irish physicist and natural philosopher John Tyndall, his ancestors having moved to County Waterford in Ireland in the 16th century. [cite news |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1494381/John-Tyndall.html |title=John Tyndall Obituary |publisher="Daily Telegraph" |date=July 20, 2005 |first= |last= |accessdate=2008-08-26] [cite news |url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article545764.ece |title=John Tyndall |publisher="The Times Online" |date=July 20, 2005 |first= |last= |accessdate=2008-08-26]

Political career

Early politics

Tyndall was first politically active in the League of Empire Loyalists (a right-wing pressure group) headed by A.K. Chesterton. In 1957, feeling that the League was not sufficiently active, he and John Bean left to form the National Labour Party. The Labour Party prevented the use of this name, and in 1960 it merged with the White Defence League of Colin Jordan to form the old British National Party (BNP) which was led by John Bean.

Tyndall became deputy national organiser of this party and deputy commander of a private army set up by Colin Jordan called Spearhead, based on the SA of Nazi Germany. The police prosecuted Jordan, Tyndall, Martin Webster and Denis Pirie for paramilitary organising. Tyndall said that he deeply regretted his involvement with this organisation. Until his death, "Spearhead" lived on as Tyndall's personal magazine through which his political thoughts and comments as well as those of others on the right of the BNP were communicated. The magazine made up a great part of his personal revenue because, although he changed parties several times in his life, he retained the copyright over the name "Spearhead".

Tyndall left the old British National Party along with Colin Jordan in 1962 when he set up the National Socialist Movement. He fell out with Jordan over Françoise Dior, a wealthy Frenchwoman who, although she was originally engaged to Tyndall, hastily married Jordan, who had just been released from prison before Tyndall, to avoid being expelled from Britain as an undesirable alien. This act provoked a life long schism between the two allies. He formed the Greater Britain Movement in 1964, taking most of the members of the National Socialist Movement with him. Jordan was well in with the proprietor of the headquarters at 74, Princedale Road, London, W11 (the widow of Arnold Leese), so it was Tyndall who was obliged to quit the building but he retained his copy of the keys and during one of Jordan's prolonged absences, emptied the HQ of all the expensive equipment. A court of justice ruled that it was an internal affair and considering that both litigants were members of the same movement at the time in question, no theft had occurred. The Greater Britain Movement drifted from various accommodation addresses varying from an upper room in a pub named "The Silver Sword" in Petty France, London, SW1, to an address in Holborn, and finally invading the basement of the prestige address of "Westminster Chambers", which eventually became the first HQ of the National Front.

Tyndall spent much of the 1960s developing his ideological programme. He published the book "The Authoritarian State" in 1962, in which he claimed that liberal democracy was a Jewish tool of world domination that needed to be replaced by authoritarianism.

Later, Tyndall continued to develop his ideological programme and produced in 1966 his "Six Principles of Nationalism" which appeared to break with the neo-Nazi NSM and, instead, looked to electoral paths to government, which would be characterized by leadership, corporatism and racial purity and would be regularly ratified by referendums, bringing to mind the earlier calls of Sir Oswald Mosley who, along with his mother, Tyndall deeply respected. He would spend hours in front of a mirror perfecting Mosley's gestures. Tyndall’s new work impressed A. K. Chesterton, who at the same time was helping to reorganise the demoralised far-right.

National Front

When the National Front (NF) was formed in 1967, Tyndall pressed for the inclusion of the Greater Britain Movement. Eventually, a compromise was reached to allow individual members to join the NF, and Tyndall disbanded the Greater Britain Movement when they all had done so. Tyndall swiftly rose to the rank of Chairman when John O'Brien resigned, in which his principal responsibility was theory and political thinking.

Under Tyndall's guidance the Front grew in membership and gained many votes, peaking during the February general election of 1974. This success was not so much due to Tyndall's leadership but was a direct result of Martin Webster's tactics of banging the drums in the streets. However Tyndall's leadership faced a number of challenges from both populists and Strasserites, beginning with a running feud with Roy Painter, then his replacement as leader by John Kingsley Read and culminating in the two groups uniting to form the National Party in 1976. After this split Tyndall was able to regain the Chair and re-establish his control in the NF. For the 1979 general election, the Front put up 303 candidates but the results were disappointing: it lost its deposit everywhere. Internal recriminations saw Tyndall removed from all his positions and he opted to depart, setting up the New National Front (NNF) in 1980.

BNP

As NNF leader, Tyndall sought to work with other groups and as a result the British National Party emerged in 1982 after he amalgamated his group with the British Democratic Party, elements of the Constitutional Movement and those members of the British Movement loyal to Ray Hill.

During his tenure as leader of the new BNP, Tyndall did little to dispel the perception among some that the BNP was a neo-Nazi organisation, and strongly resisted any attempts to soften the party's policies or image. Tyndall was convicted of incitement to racial hatred in 1986 and was jailed three times. During his time in prison, he completed the part-autobiographical part-political book "The Eleventh Hour" (ISBN 0-9513686-2-1), which he subsequently revised several times.

Deposed as leader

In 1999, Tyndall lost the leadership of the BNP to Nick Griffin. Afterwards he threatened, at times, to run against Griffin to regain the leadership, although he did not act on his threats. Griffin briefly expelled Tyndall, along with his two closest allies in the party Richard Edmonds and John Morse, from the BNP in 2002 for being a disruptive influence, although Tyndall was reinstated after a court case. In 2004, Tyndall joined in signing the New Orleans Protocol. The New Orleans Protocol seeks to "mainstream our cause" by reducing violence and internecine warfare, and was written by David Duke. When he signed, Tyndall made it clear that he was not acting on behalf of the BNP. For a time, he also became associated with Eddy Morrison who had split from the White Nationalist Party and organised a Spearhead Support Group to back Tyndall. However the alliance fell apart when Tyndall made it clear that he did not support Morrison's attempts to set up a new party (which eventually emerged as the Nationalist Alliance).

On December 12, 2004, Tyndall was arrested on suspicion of incitement to racial hatred towards Michael Howard's Jewish roots and towards black people, following a BBC documentary aired in July 2004. On April 6, 2005, he was charged by police with two offences of using words or behaviour intended or likely to stir up racial hatred.

Tyndall was found dead at his home in Hove, Sussex, on July 19, 2005, less than a week after his 71st birthday. He was due to stand on charges of incitement to racial hatred at Leeds Magistrates just two days later (July 21, 2005).

Personal life

His wife, Valeriendash whom he met while both were in the National Front in the 1970sndash stood as an NF candidate in Brighton, Kemptown, in the 1979 general election, and as BNP candidate in Hackney, South & Shoreditch in the 1983 general election and at Old Bexley & Sidcup in the 1997 general election. Her father, Charles Parker, became a leading member of the BNP in its early years and provided the party with a source of funding.

Elections contested by John Tyndall

Elections contested by Valerie Tyndall

Bibliography

*"The Authoritarian State". 1967. OCLC 43505111
*"Death in the Lebanon" London : G. Bles, 1971. ISBN 071380291X
*" Six Principles of Nationalism" (1966)
*"The case for economic nationalism". Croydon : National Front Policy Committee, [1975] ISBN 0905109007
*"The Eleventh Hour: A call for British Rebirth". London: Albion Press, 1988. ISBN 0951368605

References

External links

* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=cPXf_9qZ7mI John Tyndall, excerpts from EURO Intl. Conference 2004 -I/II]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=N6pIqPOGbqs John Tyndall, excerpts from EURO Intl. Conference 2004 -Ii/II]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/4094275.stm Recent BNP arrests] BBC report of 14 December 2004
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1454617,00.html BNP men bailed in race case] "The Guardian", 8 April 2005
* "Guardian" [http://www.guardian.co.uk/farright/story/0,11981,1531859,00.html?gusrc=rss obituary of John Tyndall] , July 19 2005
* "Guardian" story: [http://www.guardian.co.uk/farright/story/0,11981,1532047,00.html A racist, violent neo-nazi to the end: BNP founder Tyndall dies] , July 20 2005
* [http://www.bnp.org.uk/news_detail.php?newsId=402 "BNP News" : OBITUARY: JOHN TYNDALL 14/7/1934 – 18/7/2005] (19 July 2005)
* [http://www.anl.org.uk/09-britain-nazis.htm Information on Tyndall from the Anti-Nazi League]


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