"You’ve done well, Nicky," said Duke, as they sat in the back seat of the bullet proof car. "You’ve pulled that party together. It was a rag-tag mob of criminal gangsters and street fighters before you re-organised it."
Nick Griffin bent his head. "All learned through you, El Duke." Only David Duke’s closest comrades called him "El Duke".
"Yeah, well it’s common sense really. We didn’t make much of a head way with the old robes and fiery crosses. We had a lot of fun, mind you, but the time comes when you have to chuck away those swastikas and put on a suit. It’s the public image, always." He looked at his watch. "Faster, Siegfried!" he said to the driver. "We don’t want out English friend to be late for the Movement."
The Movement! Griffin felt his heart swell. The car had taken a circuitous route, but now drove into a car park under what looked like an unlit building. Following Duke and the bodyguards through reinforced door after reinforced door, Griffin arrived at a huge room which was filled with young men, tattooed and wearing Viking helmets and black T-shirts with the White on White logo. Duke led him through the crowd, up to the podium at one end and introduced him with the words: "the British are coming, Yee ha" and he was standing there above them, an Aryan among Aryans. His voice rang through the room and his audience’s eyes glittered.
"The British National Party isn't about selling out its ideas, which are your ideas too. It’s about selling your ideas. That means using saleable words - freedom, security, identity, democracy.
"Nobody can criticise you, nobody can attack you on those ideas." Then, as he wanted to present a nobler vision than that of being a salesman, and to offer the heady sniff of power he went on, "Perhaps one day, by being rather more subtle, we'll control the British broadcasting media and then perhaps the British people might change their mind and say every single one must go.
"But if you hold it out as your sole aim to start with you are going to get nowhere, so instead of talking about racial purity, you talk about identity."
The room filled with applause, cheers and whooping. He left the podium; they stood up for him, shouting his name.
"That was great, Nicky," said Duke afterwards, at their final meeting in his office. "Keep up the fight, my Aryan warrior." He clapped him on the back, then grasping his arm with one hand, with the other he shook Griffin’s own hand heartily. When Griffin had gone, smiling modestly, the Duke opened a drawer, pulled out his trusty old bed sheet and wiped the lees of sweat away.
Yes, Griffin did feel like an Aryan warrior, but he knew he didn’t look like one He longed to be six foot two with blue eyes, not for his own vanity but because then he could lead the Movement and clear Britain of its dark filth. And after Britain, then Europe. But he had come a long way. The party was gaining momentum. They had a few councillors now. He himself had been voted in as an MEP. They were really going places against enormous odds. One day, if Hollywood was taken over by Duke’s kind instead of the liberal Jewish conspiracy, Russell Crowe would play him in a film, as he had played the gladiator Maximus or the Master and Commander. Or maybe Mel Gibson would be a better choice, the heroic Braveheart who had led his people to victory against the foreign invaders. Though they were English. . . But history had always confused him.
Now the sneering ultra left establishment that ran the BBC had asked him to appear on a political programme with four other guests. He would face them on their own ground and defeat them. He would stay calm, measured, a man of the people, not rising to their bait. He had briefed himself on the issues of the day, like that war in Afghanistan and the postal strike. This would be his start of the journey from the beer hall to the Reichstag. It would make a fine opening to the film.
While they were waiting in the studio for the cameras to roll he mentally cast the other panellists - Jack Straw (Ian Richardson or was he dead now?), Chris Huhne (some actor from The Bill), David Dimbleby (David Dimbleby) Baroness Sayeeda Warsi (Shilpa Shetty) and Bonnie Greer (Whitney Houston). In spite of their racial origins, both Warsi and Greer really were strikingly good looking women. There could be a fine scene in the film where they fought each other for his favours.
The programme began, and while the mongrel crowd howled and the Jew Straw waffled, he thought Warsi revealed herself to be a stuck up bitch, but Greer, sitting next to him, was speaking to him pleasantly, addressing him as "Nick". Her voice was beautiful and it was undoubtedly flattering that this cultured woman was listening to him with attention. She was getting the measure of him, feeling his worth. He moved a little closer to her. Someone mentioned the Holocaust. That old chestnut! Wouldn’t they ever get over it? He laughed it off. Someone else mentioned David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. He grabbed at some words, "I was trying to make sure some youngsters weren’t led astray," he said, gulping a bit and a momentary vision of the Duke, in full bed sheet, hood and carrying a flaming cross, appeared before his eyes.
The hour long programme seemed to last forever but finally it ended. He’d been told there was usually a dinner after the show but no-one mentioned it. As he left the BBC building Bill Thugge, his body-guard, stood protectively close, but he was distant in his manner, and the red marks on his face where he had had his eagle and swastika tattoos removed were throbbing and angry looking. His other henchmen were avoiding his eyes.
"It wasn’t so bad was it?" he said to one of his lieutenants. "That Bonnie Greer was eating out of my hand, talking to me about history." The lieutenant was silent, then growled. "We’ll limit the damage as much as possible. Back to head-quarters to write a few press releases."
In her elegant flat Bonnie Greer was lying on her Ron Arad sofa listening to Laurie Anderson playing the violin with an edgy passion. The phone buzzed. Checking that the number was one on her approved list of callers, Bonnie answered it, nodding at Laurie, who put down her bow. "It’s Sayeeda here," said Baroness Warsi. "I wanted to see how you are after that ordeal."
Bonnie’s lovely low pitched voice was an octave higher than usual. "I’ve just had my third shower and thrown out the clothes I was wearing. Eerrgh, errgh. You know he nestled up to me. He was like some creep coming onto you in a pub."
"I’ve not had that experience," said Sayeeda. "But I literally felt for you, Bonnie. I felt my skin crawl for you. "
"Errgh, errgh, errgh, euch, euch," said the normally eloquent Bonnie. "He wanted to stay in touch. In touch! Euch, euch."
"David Duke called you," Griffin’s wife said curtly. She could barely bring out the words and she wouldn’t look at him.
Griffin’s hands were still shaking but he managed to dial the private number that he was proud of being one of the few to know.
"Hi there, Nicky," said Duke. "That was a surprise, you know. I invited you in good faith to address the young members of the Movement and you tell 8 million Limeys that it was to stop them from being led astray. I feel a bit hurt. Betrayed even."
Griffin swallowed. "I didn’t mean it, you know I didn’t. It’s all part of the public face," he said. "I can’t go on the BBC and say that I hang out with the Ku Klux Klan."
"Oh, I realise that," said Duke. "I was only teasing you. But you did screw up badly there, Nicky. What you said about me was a lie that anyone could have seen through, even the great British public morons. Don’t tell dumb lies like that. You should have stood with your head high. When they got on to that Holocaust crap you should have denounced the fact that thousands are held in European jails for talking about history. And why did you crawl to that black mammy who should be scrubbing your doorstep?" He went on for another quarter of an hour but at the end he said in a more kindly tone, "Come on. Nicky. There are young lions in our Movement. They want to hear you roar! Keep on with it, fellow warrior." He ended the call.
"He wasn’t pleased?" said his wife, coldly.
"It could have been worse."
"How?" said his wife. "If you had done a dance? It isn’t Russell Crowe or Mel Gibson who would play you in a film, it’s Ricky Gervais. The David Brent bloke. Because that’s what you looked like."
Griffin sighed, made up his milky Ovaltine, went to his bedroom and picked up Mein Kampf, which lay at his bedside. It had been a tough day. After a while he began to think of that chocolate voiced honey trap. She had come on to him, she had been deliberately trying to get him worked up with her hot, sexy, African ways. If it hadn’t been for her he would have parried the questions, Straw would have blown away, he would have impressed that Warsi woman and won over the folks at home. But she, the sultry bitch, she had screwed it for him. Adolf would never have agreed to appear on a platform with a black woman. He had let Adolf down.
He could hear his wife going to bed in the room next door. He must try and sleep. After putting on his black pyjamas with the death head pattern, he pulled back the duvet. There, lying on the fitted sheet, was a goat’s head. He gasped but did not scream. This happened about four times a year. Lee John Barnes, the party intellectual and legal adviser had broken in again after a sacrifice to Odin. He would be in a foul mood tomorrow, spilling his guts to the media, ranting to all and sundry. If only he could be got rid of. But Barnes had the footage of Griffin in a compromising position with ...