Death of Valerie Tyndall
Valerie Tyndall, widow of BNP founder and former National Front Chairman John Tyndall, died in Hove, Sussex, on 24th June. She had been ill for some time, but retained a lively interest in racial nationalist politics, to which she had dedicated many decades as activist, candidate, daughter, wife and mother.
Valerie’s father Charles Parker was a successful West Midlands businessman who lost an arm during service in the Second World War, but soon perceived the futility and wickedness of that conflict between European brothers. The shocking transformation of England (especially the former industrial dynamo of the Midlands) led him to join the National Front, for whom he was a parliamentary candidate four times, most notably at the Walsall North by-election when he polled 2,724 votes (7.3%).
Thus Valerie grew up in a strongly committed political family. (Her mother Violet was politically active and twice a parliamentary candidate, while remaining an unshakeable rock of domestic organisation at the heart of the Parker and Tyndall families.) During nationalism’s many internecine struggles the Parkers were staunch allies of John Tyndall, who had become chairman of the NF in 1972 and regained the leadership after being briefly ousted in a 1974-76 power struggle. In November 1977 Valerie and John Tyndall were married.
Valerie was therefore stepping into the frontline at the most critical moment of British nationalism’s postwar history. In local elections earlier that year the NF had achieved record support – nearly 120,000 votes in London and around 14,000 members, considerably bigger than today’s BNP. This success was countered by intensified violence from establishment stooges masquerading as the radical left. In August 1977 this violence was seen at its worst in the infamous Lewisham riot.
These were intimidating times for the NF’s leader’s young bride, but Valerie Tyndall began three decades of unflinching nationalist activism, fighting her first parliamentary campaign at the 1979 general election in Brighton Kemptown, next door to her family home in Hove. The following three years (immediately before and after the birth of their daughter Marina) the Tyndalls had to cope with the turbulence of the NF’s break-up. With the financial backing of Valerie’s father and other longstanding Tyndallites, they founded the New National Front in 1980 and the BNP in 1982.
Meanwhile John Tyndall had been bankrupted by the legal disputes surrounding the former NF headquarters Excalibur House, so despite being the mother of an infant daughter, Valerie stepped forward to contest the multi-ethnic Hackney South & Shoreditch constituency in his stead. Nationalism was by now entering its wilderness years, so Valerie was not surprised to poll only 374 votes (1.0%). Nevertheless she knew that she was building the foundations of a movement that would survive the slings and arrows of “anti-racist” fortune, to mount a serious challenge to the multiracialist establishment. Whether running the family home in Hove, hosting meetings and dinners with key activists, or touring the country with her husband, Valerie proved a shrewd analyst of political time and tide. (Notably she was the first to warn JT against admitting Nick Griffin to the BNP in 1994, correctly perceiving that he would prove a cuckoo in the nest.)
In 1997 Valerie fought her final parliamentary campaign as BNP candidate against the former Prime Minister Edward Heath in Old Bexley & Sidcup. This was really a symbolic paper candidature, as Valerie spent most of the campaign supporting JT’s candidature in the East London constituency of Poplar & Canning Town. Later that year she was viciously attacked by an “anti-fascist” gang in Stratford, East London, when the Tyndalls were ambushed on their way to the BNP’s 15th anniversary dinner.
None of this could derail Valerie Tyndall’s devotion to the patriotic cause. She was never disillusioned (though frequently disgusted) by the antics of the Griffinite cabal that twice sought to expel and even proscribe her husband. After this latter proscription she was amused to be told that as a BNP member she was required to shun all contact with the proscribed individual! During her six years as a widow, and as one of the few surviving founder members of the BNP, Valerie remained a loyal supporter of Richard Edmonds’ efforts to rescue the party. She will be there in spirit when a post-Griffin movement rises from the wreckage.