September 07, 2008
Posted by Antifascist
Martin Wingfield, the current editor of the BNP's trashy tabloid, the Voice of Freedom, has reacted badly to the article in last Wednesday's Mirror about the party's Youth Camp, where future members of the Hitl - BNP were given 'ideological training', lectures in how to argue with their 'Marxist' teachers and shown how to handle - among other things - knives and guns.
Admitting that he is no 'fan of youth organisations connected to political parties', Wingfield refers directly to the ideological training, stating that it leaves the party 'vulnerable to the brainwashing charge'. Well, yes, because that's what it is. But he is not only concerned about brainwashing. As he rightly points out;
'In nationalist politics over the years, we have only received detrimental publicity concerning our youth wings - from the leafletting at school gates charge, through to targeting football supporters and now to learning about guns and knives at a summer camp.'
He should know. Wingfield has been around the far-right for donkey's years and no doubt remembers the furore caused once when a bunch of fascists turned up to leaflet outside a West Country school's gates and were promptly reported to the police. Eventually, nearly a dozen of them were nicked.
Or perhaps he's thinking of the attempts to leaflet crowds of football fans when a good few of the BNP's supporters are violent football hooligans (like the late Luke Smith, chosen by the party - despite his extensive record of hooliganism - to become a councillor in Burnley).
Possibly he remembers back to before the days of the Red, White and Blue, when the BNP ran a youth camp at which the main attraction was weapons training using paintball guns - the BNP has always had a penchant for playing toy soldiers. On this occasion, one of the kids thought he'd quite like to keep one of the paintball guns for himself but was caught and asked in no uncertain terms if he was trying to commit suicide. Why? Because the guns belonged to former-Griffin bodyguard and gangster Joe Owens, a self-confessed thug who has been accused of a zillion crimes including a number of murders.
Whether Wingfield remembers these incidents from personal experience or not, he writes;
'...all those associated with the Young BNP [give] our youngsters an exciting time and a grounding in the values that are important to us'
Presumably those values include a grounding in using guns and knives, a pastime that earned this rebuke from Home Office Minister Tony McNulty;
'[It is] disgraceful to teach children to use weapons at a time when the scourge of knife crime among the young [is] such a problem...I have never seen anything so irresponsible. Teaching young children to use knives and guns is reprehensible but it is what you expect from such a sick and twisted party.'
Perhaps Wingfield really does believe that the BNP running kiddie gun camps is out of order - or possibly he just has a stick up his arse at the moment because Searchlight has got hold of the fact that his favourite toy - Voice of Freedom - could be about to be taken away from him (read the current issue of Searchlight for more details). Either way, he isn't any too happy as redundancy looms. Unlike his lord and master, Nick Griffin, there will be no £30,000 pay-off if he's thrown on to the scrapheap.