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Nick Griffin declares his support for Jeremy Corbyn

The former BNP leader threatens to vote Labour.

The former leader of the British National Party, self-declared “lifelong white rights fighter” and all-round grotesque has-been Nick Griffin has found a new political project to funnel his bile into.

The Labour Party.

In a tweet, he has threatened to vote Labour for the first time in his life, because somewhere along our bizarre political spectrum, Jeremy Corbyn’s reticence about condemning the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for a chemical attack killing dozens of his own people has chimed with Griffin’s own worldview.

“IF he sticks to his guns then for the first time in my life I will vote Labour,” Griffin tweeted. “Right now NOTHING is more important than resisting the psychotic rush to WW3 of Boris and the neocons.”


This tweet falls between one calling Donald Trump wise and another condemning BBC lies.

While online onlookers boggle at Griffin pledging this unlikely allegiance, it has long been the policy of far-right politicians in the UK to urge the government to keep out of foreign wars. Ukip sums up this view in its 2017 manifesto:

“Ukip will avoid allowing Britain to become embroiled in foreign wars. We will maintain our sceptical view of neoconservative arguments for attempting to deliver change in the Middle East at gunpoint. You cannot bomb people into democracy.”

This stance comes from apparent fears about terrorism and immigration spreading to the west (though it really just sounds like xenophobia), whereas the Labour leader’s dovish approach, however controversial within his own party, is based on the devastating effects he believes western intervention can have on the Middle East. 

I'm a mole, innit.

Arsène Wenger. Credit: Getty
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My biggest regret of the Wenger era? How we, the fans, treated him at the end

Arsenal’s greatest coach deserved better treatment from the Club’s supporters. 

I have no coherent memories of Arsenal before Arsène Wenger, who will leave the Club at the end of the season. I am aware of the Club having a new manager, but my continuous memories of my team are of Wenger at the helm.

They were good years to remember: three league titles, seven FA Cups, the most of any single manager in English football. He leaves the Club as the most successful manager in its history.

I think one of the reasons why in recent years he has taken a pasting from Arsenal fans is that the world before him now seems unimaginable, and not just for those of us who can't really remember it. As he himself once said, it is hard to go back to sausages when you are used to caviar, and while the last few years cannot be seen as below par as far as the great sweep of Arsenal’s history goes, they were below par by the standards he himself had set. Not quite sausages, but not caviar either.

There was the period of financial restraint from 2005 onwards, in which the struggle to repay the cost of a new stadium meant missing out on top player. A team that combined promising young talent with the simply bang-average went nine years without a trophy. Those years had plenty of excitement: a 2-1 victory over Manchester United with late, late goals from Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry, a delicious 5-2 thumping of Tottenham Hotspur, and races for the Champions League that went to the last day. It was a time that seemed to hold the promise a second great age of Wenger once the debt was cleared. But instead of a return to the league triumphs of the past, Wenger’s second spree of trophy-winning was confined to the FA Cup. The club went from always being challenging for the league, to always finishing in the Champions League places, to struggling to finish in the top six. Again, nothing to be sniffed at, but short of his earlier triumphs.

If, as feels likely, Arsenal’s dire away form means the hunt for a Uefa Cup victory ends at Atletico Madrid, many will feel that Wenger missed a trick in not stepping down after his FA Cup triumph over Chelsea last year, in one of the most thrilling FA Cup Finals in years. (I particularly enjoyed this one as I watched it with my best man, a Chelsea fan.) 

No one could claim that this season was a good one, but the saddest thing for me was not the turgid performances away from home nor the limp exit from the FA Cup, nor even finishing below Tottenham again. It was hearing Arsenal fans, in the world-class stadium that Wenger built for us, booing and criticising him.

And I think, that, when we look back on Wenger’s transformation both of Arsenal and of English football in general, more than whether he should have called it a day a little earlier, we will wonder how Arsenal fans could have forgotten the achievements of a man who did so much for us.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.