September 11, 2008
Posted by Antifascist
It has already become clear from communications received by Lancaster Unity that Ms Reid has been carefully groomed by the BNP with the clear intention of maximising publicity - in much the same way that the party almost capitalised on dancing dope Simone Clarke, former ballerina and now something obscure in the near-dead BNP union Solidarity.
In much the same way that Clarke's disastrous fake engagement to Dickie Barnbrook, the BNP's incompetent and incoherent London Assembly member, was completely stage-managed, the party obviously hoped to use the connection to Mike Reid to give it some spurious respectability, to the extent of Ms Reid using her maiden name for the by-election. Or perhaps it was simply nostalgia - Mike Reid played car dealer Frank Butcher in East Enders, which might have sparked some interesting reminiscences for former second-hand car dealer and now BNP leader Nick Griffin.
Happily, it seems that Darby jumped the gun when he announced Ms Reid's candidacy on Tuesday, for it only took her twenty-four hours to change her mind, claiming, according to her husband Kenneth Gamble (or Gamblin, depending on which newspaper you read): 'She’s worried people would call her a Nazi — and slag her off'. Which just shows how little thought she must have given to the matter.
Simon Darby, who of course knows better than Ms Reid or her husband, insisted that she had NOT pulled out because she feared reprisals. He said: 'It has got nothing to do with politics. She is still a member and still agrees with everything we stand for...it’s personal circumstances that have come up.'
But it might have been another problem that caused Ms Reid to remove herself from the list. According to the Daily Star, a 'man who claimed to be Mrs Reid’s husband said she was "not living” at the home in Braintree where she was registered as a candidate'. This is not exactly unusual for BNP candidates despite being illegal - Barnbrook was said to be living in a different ward when he stood for Barking and Dagenham.
Rumour has it that Ms Reid is furious that Darby released her name when he did and that he immediately attempted to capitalise on the connection with her late father rather than focusing on her and her potential as a councillor, though this doesn't quite ring true to me. If she didn't want her father's name exploited, why not use her married name, whatever it is?
Whichever way you look at it and wherever the truth lies, Simon Darby has clearly cocked-up, not only angering a useful member and her branch but completely destroying a nifty propaganda coup for the BNP in the process. Well done, Darby. Keep up the good work. :-)