For years the British National Party has tried to convince the public that it has changed, that it is no longer racist, that it is a legitimate political party that simply wishes to take part in the democratic process - only to be shown up time and time again as a thoroughly racist group that has absolutely no interest in democracy except where it furthers the BNP's own agenda.
One of the innovations its leader Nick Griffin has brought in to try to convince the electorate that racism in the party is all in the past is to allow a clearly limited number of idiotic non-whites and Jews to join - much to the annoyance of the more hardline members - but that this is all a smokescreen becomes apparent when we read the comments of Griffin's supporters like Graham Williamson, former treasurer of the National Front and old chum of Nick Griffin and boss of the one-man PR company Accentuate, which now seems to be working for the BNP-front Solidarity, who suggested a stunt to deflect any accusations that the fake union was racist:
'The first ‘stunt’ should be a Press Conference launching the Union in Essex unveiling our first Sikh member Pramjit Sadra. This of course helps to counter the racist...accusations.'
That the racism and thuggery of the BNP is now largely covert rather than overt is demonstrated again and again as BNP members and allies, ignoring their leader's pleas to hide their hatred from the public, allow themselves to display their true hatreds either by attacking Iraqi asylum-seekers (Kevin Hughes, who earned himself two and a half years inside) or appearing and lauding Nazi Germany in programmes like the Channel Four documentary Young, Nazi and Proud (Mark Collett who, just a week later, was again sharing a platform with Nick Griffin).
Racism aside (though there is a mountain of evidence that proves the racism of the BNP beyond any shadow of doubt) there is continual thuggery and violence in the party. In just the past few weeks, we've seen David Enderby, the BNP councillor from Redditch, lose an appeal against his conviction for attacking his former wife, her mother and a fourteen-year-old girl at a party. Enderby, who claims he's ex-SAS, is not only still in the BNP but the party's recently-appointed Press Officer Simon Darby has made his views clear about the conviction:
'...the latest attempt to poison the electorate against the BNP involves our Redditch councillor David Enderby. Just a couple of weeks ago I attended David's appeal hearing concerning his ridiculous conviction for assault at Worcester Crown Court.'
The party welcomed the violent thug Kevin Hughes back too.
Another fine example of type of person the BNP wants in its ranks is former candidate Dominic Bugler, who was recently given an ASBO after subjecting his neighbours to 18 months of abuse at his family's hands.
BNP Parliamentary candidate for Hull Brian Wainwright was guilty of a campaign of hate mail against the local mosque, a Muslim councillor and a local anti-fascist activist. A letter in which he claimed, 'Muslim blood will be spilt' included 'SS' and skull and cross bones imagery. Another letter was sent to a local anti-fascist activist threatening that Combat 18 (the Nazi terrorist organisation who take their name from Hitler’s initials) would visit.
Swindon BNP activist Mark Bulman (who has used the pseudonym Bullock) was sentenced to five years after attempting to firebomb a local mosque using a BNP leaflet as a fuse. He also daubed swastikas and racist graffiti on local shops and businesses that he believed to be ‘ethnic’.
In June 2006 BNP councillor Brian Turner was found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence. He escaped a jail sentence and was instead ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in the community. Turner has previous convictions of common assault and police assault after he was convicted of beating up his wife Melanie Turner.Again, just a few of many, many examples.
Part of the process of pretending to be a legitimate political party is for the BNP to act as though it is one and this, in the past couple of years, has including establishing an 'annual' conference. Anyone who has ever been to an annual conference of one of the real political parties or a trades union will know that they are generally an example of democracy in action. Leadership battles are fought, rules are made or amended and proposals are made, seconded, discussed and voted upon by the delegates who are there representing the wishes of their branch of the party/union. Not so with the BNP. After the last leadership challenge, Griffin wrote this:
'It was a pathetic, pitiful, desperate attempt to cause trouble for the most modernised and most successful nationalist party in British history by a handful of cranks left over from the BNP’s most sterile past, aided and abetted by a gaggle of Hollywood Nazis, congenital losers and thieves.'
Griffin then went on to describe the challenger's supporters as 'vermin' and has spent a good deal of time since the challenge vigorously purging them from the party.
The BNP drones on about 'democracy' on every available occasion yet never, in a million years, will Nick Griffin allow a democracy in the BNP. One of his recent blog posts had this to say on the issue of those party members who have unsuccessfully attempted to push through a truly-democratic 'one man, one vote' system:
'This group must now accept that their scheme to put the destiny of the BNP in the hands of anyone who deigns to pay their membership has been comprehensively and permanently rejected, in favour of a system that gives power only to those who have earned it, and who continue to earn it. The argument is over, and anyone trying to raise it again against the repeatedly expressed will of the vast majority of the party will mark themselves out as a would-be saboteur and a candidate for expulsion.'
The BNP always has difficulty finding a venue for any event - even a pub in which to hold a small meeting. To find somewhere that was big enough to pass off as a venue for anything as large as a 'conference' must have been a real problem for them. However, according to one of our correspondents writing in the comments section of a recent post, the BNP's former Blackpool organiser Roy Goodwin is friends with the owners of the New Kimberley Hotel, a run-down dive on New South Promenade, a pretty hefty walk from Blackpool Tower. This hotel, managed by Peter and Susie Metcalfe, was not only happy to host the conference for the BNP last year but was also happy to ignore the anger of the neighboring hotel owners, local trades unions, the local newspaper and many local people at bringing such notoriety to the area.
Far from considering such a community relations disaster something that should be avoided this year, the New Kimberley is once again allowing the BNP to infest its premises to the detriment of the immediate area and of course Blackpool itself.
The local TUC, Blackpool and Fylde College Student's Union, the newspapers, the NUS, the local MPs and numerous local councillors have all condemned the hotel for hosting the conference and the BNP for having the audacity to believe that Blackpool would welcome its presence but all to no avail.
That the BNP ignores local opinion is no great surprise. After all, it has no real interest in people or their opinions. The New Kimberley however, is an entirely different matter.
Blackpool has, of late, lost some of the edge it had over its competition as a holiday and nightlife resort. With super-cheap flights available, stag and hen parties (long a staple of the Blackpool scene) are increasingly choosing to jet off to Malaga or somesuch place instead. The astonishing decision not to use Blackpool as the site for a so-called 'super casino' has also hit the town hard, leaving depression and anger in its wake. If nothing else, the super casino would have generated a massive business boom for the area. Blackpool hoteliers and tradespeople are working hard to get Blackpool back to the hugely-successful resort it was until a very short time ago and the very last thing the townspeople want is for it to be tarnished by association with the racists and thugs in the British National Party.
One would have expected the party and the BNP-supporting New Kimberley to have realised that the BNP wasn't wanted in Blackpool when all its seven candidates were rejected by the electorate at last May's local government elections - but racists have never been noted for their intelligence.
It's up to us then to drum some sense into the hoteliers who want to pollute Blackpool with this filth. It's up to us to let the New Kimberley know that the BNP is not wanted in Blackpool and that the hotel is wrong both to invite them to the town and to expect us to sit back complacently and let them get on with it.
Almost all of the senior members of the BNP have strong connections with more overtly racist or nazi groups. Nick Griffin himself is former National Front and has lost none of his hatreds over the years, even if they have been tempered in public thanks to the law.
We've seen the effects that the BNP has when it moves into any town - racist attacks increase, racist stickers appear and other racist groups move in to take any scraps that are left and stir up more hatred wherever they can. The British People's Party, a virulently Nazi group that also pretends to be a political party, has been plastering highly offensive stickers all over Blackpool recently and the National Front stickered the town pretty comprehensively just after the last BNP 'conference'.
This is what the New Kimberley has invited to Blackpool and this is why we all need to make the effort to let the New Kimberley know precisely how we feel about this. It's no good telling the hotel owners that the BNP is a racist party - they already know that after inviting them last year and if what our correspondent said its true and they are indeed friends of the former Blackpool BNP organiser Roy Goodwin, they will know precisely what the party is all about and they will approve of its disgusting views.
One of our friends called the hotel and was informed that a) the BNP conference had been cancelled, and b) that the owner of the hotel was a Mohammed Abdul - presumably the New Kimberley's idea of a joke because neither of these statements is true. We're working on finding out who the owner is (and we will) but we need to you ring the hotel and attempt to speak to the managers (Peter and Susie Metcalfe) to put them right on why they should not be holding the conference there at all and we need this done as soon as possible (particularly over the weekend though that's not essential).
If you've rung before, ring again. You can't email them because they don't appear to have moved into the 20th century yet, let alone the 21st.
We will have the demonstration outside the hotel on November 17th at midday and it will be a large demonstration that will show those inside the hotel that plenty of us are prepared to take a stand against the BNP wherever it sticks its ugly shaven head. In the meantime, the hotel needs to know that its invitation to the BNP is intolerable and that under no circumstances will we allow the conference to go ahead without continual and loud protest.
We're working on checking out suppliers to the New Kimberley, the coach companies who bring many of its guests and the trade organisations who work with the hotel and once we have the information we are seeking, we'll pass that along to you. In the meantime, let's get calling and making our voices heard.
The New Kimberley, 585-589 New South Promenade, Blackpool FY4 1NQ, is run by Peter and Susie Metcalfe and can be reached at 01253 341184.
Curiously, the New Kimberley Hotel is registered at Companies House as the address for a company called Goldprime Properties UK Ltd (Company No. 05357988) whose accounts (in a neatly ironic twist) similarly to the BNP's own, are long overdue, its last return having been required but not forthcoming on 9.3.2006. There is a proposal lodged with Companies House to strike Goldprime from the register of trading companies.
Perhaps the BNP chose the New Kimberley because the hotel's financial position so closely mirrored that of its own, both being apparently close to going under. Or perhaps it's simply the moral bankruptcy that the party and the hotel share that the BNP finds so appealing. Either way, the parallels are beginning to seem uncanny.
It's not surprising that the New Kimberley isn't doing too well. We've been checking through the reviews from guests who have stayed there. One, a person calling himself Jacks2607, wrote this back in June 2006:
'The new Kimberly hotel Blackpool, its an utter disgrace, the food was absolutely disgusting, the manager was a complete waste of time. Our rooms had holes in the walls and during our stay the rooms were NEVER hoovered, it was damn right filthy. The portable appliance tests were over a year out of date and some even 2 years!. Everyone else on the holiday with us agreed. I reccommend this hotel to NO ONE. We would have been better off in a shanty town.'
A tatty third-rate hotel hosting a fake conference for a tatty third-rate party.
It's time to start pushing this protest forward and to let the New Kimberley know that it is doing the people of Blackpool and the region around it an immense disservice by allowing this bunch of thugs, thieves, racists and trainee-terrorists to infest it.