John Hutchyns Tyndall (14 July 1934 – 19 July 2005) was a British nationalist and political activist. He is most noted for his leadership of the National Front and for founding and leading the British National Party, until the leadership passed to Nick Griffin.
Born in Exeter, a son of the warden of St George's House, a YMCA hostel at Southwark, he grew up in London. Related to the famous translator of the Bible, William Tyndale, his ancestors having moved to County Waterford in Ireland in the 16th century.
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 1960s version of the British National Party (BNP) which was led by John Bean.
Tyndall became deputy national organiser of this party and deputy commander of a paramilitary group set up by Colin Jordan called Spearhead, based on the SA of National Socialist 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. Spearhead went to make 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 the wealthy French Françoise Dior who, although she was originally engaged to Tyndall, married Jordan in extreme haste, 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. Jordan attacked him in justice for theft but the court 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-National Socialist 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. Tyndall’s new work impressed A. K. Chesterton, who at the same time was helping to reorganise the nationalist movement.
When the National Front 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. 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 in 1980.
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 British National Party (BNP), Tyndall did little to dispel the perception among some that the BNP was a neo-National Socialist 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, for short terms only. During his time in prison he completed the part-autobiographical part-political book The Eleventh Hour, 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.
On December 12, 2004, Tyndall was arrested by New Labour's race police on the grounds of inciting so-called "racial hatred" following a BBC documentary aired in July 2004. On April 6 2005, he was charged by the British Police with two offences of using words which consist of thought criminality.
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 trial on charges of incitement to racial hatred at Leeds Magistrates' Court just two days later.
His wife, Valerie – whom he met while both were in the National Front in the 1970s - stood as a 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.
- The Eleventh Hour (1998)