What do ex-pop star Dane Bowers and the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, have in common? They’re both publicity predators, prowling at the fringes of big news and ready to leap in and attach their teeth into the rump of a story that will get them attention.
Griffin is all over the news at the moment, attaching himself to the coat tails of the BNP’s London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook, who was invited to Buckingham Palace for a garden party and sought to bring Griffin as his significant other to the party. But Griffin, in true publicity predator style, has now consumed the story entirely.
According to the Daily Mail: “The leader of the British National Party yesterday pulled out of the Royal garden party following a public outcry over his invitation. Nick Griffin said he had ‘no wish to embarrass the Queen’ by attending Buckingham Palace on July 21.”
The far right have always been good at propaganda and at getting ink – Goebbels was an astonishing propagandist who turned the swastika into the world’s most recognisable brand logos. Griffin’s trick, learned from pop stars and the 24/7 news cycle, has been to insert himself into the soap opera of the news cycle. Soap, as we know, demands a rich mix of people and always rewards the most Machiavellian characters with big story lines.
You just have to look at Dane Bowers for proof. Bowers is back in the life of his ex, Katie Price aka Jordan, determinedly reinserting himself into the ongoing soap opera that is the Pete’n’Jordan bust up, calling her as his alibi after being arrested for drink driving outside her house. It’s a guaranteed method of reclaiming fame – this fresh injection of notoriety should last him a good fifteen months, even if he and Jordan are not an item again after all.
Griffin’s predatory ambitions are – at the moment, anyway – much more short term. He’s hoping to turn his ‘noble’ gesture to the Queen into votes at next week’s local and European elections. If that works, then the long game begins and Griffin the publicity predator will be red in tooth and claw.
In the meantime, both Griffin and Bowers are successfully writing themselves into the news-soap. For proof, all you need to look at is the reaction of Middle England. Right now, Griffin and Bowers are the names on a huge number of people’s lips.