One such was Nick Eriksen (above), the BNP's London organiser and second-choice candidate for the Greater London Assembly election, who for some time had been laying down mines in the path of his own BNP troops by making some injudicious - but all too telling - comments on his Sir John Bull blog, viz this example:
"I've never understood why so many men have allowed themselves to be brainwashed by the feminazi myth machine into believing that rape is such a serious crime ... Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal.All rather odd from a man who belongs to a party which obsessively scours newspapers for reports of black on white rape and calls for the return of the rope for the guilty parties.
"To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence. A woman would be more inconvenienced by having her handbag snatched. The demonisation of rape is all part of the feminazi desire to obtain power and mastery over men. Men who go along with the rape myth are either morons or traitors."
The London Evening Standard, linked Eriksen to the notorious Sir John Bull blog - which frequently advocated hatred and abuse against women ("Give her a slap" being title of one of Eriksen's articles) - after making an enquiry that was answered by Eriksen, who foolishly included Richard Barnbrook's contact number in his reply.
As BNP members whined to the effect, "Please tell me he didn't say that," unimaginative BNP deputy leader and spokesman Simon Darby fell back on the BNP's stock "it's a smear" excuse, while Eriksen, not enjoying having his own words thrown back at him, complained: "It's typical of the media to distort what the BNP say."
The BNP, on the horns of a dilemma as its local elections campaign got underway, moved quickly to sack Eriksen, but the bad publicity continued in the House of Commons, where Tory MP Charles Walker asked Labour deputy Harriet Harman: "Will you not agree with me that this man, this creature is not fit to run for public office?" Harman did agree, making the very sensible suggestion that "The best way to avoid a BNP member being elected to the London Assembly is to make sure that as many people as possible vote for all the other parties."
The BNP expected great things of Richard Barnbrook in the London Mayoral contest, and believed that one way to help him along was to get the Tory vote up and the Labour vote down. To that end the BNP urged its supporters to give their second preference votes to Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, who failed to appreciate the BNP's largesse:
"I utterly and unreservedly condemn the BNP and have no desire whatsoever to receive a single second-preference vote from a BNP supporter. I hope as many Londoners as possible turn out on May 1 to prevent the election of a BNP candidate."The BNP's catalogue of pre-election cock-ups continued when the party stole an image of Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins (pictured) to use in a racist video aimed at stopping the opening of a Mosque in Cardiff. "These are nasty people and Katherine wants to have absolutely nothing to do with them," a spokesman for the singer said.
Hollow man Simon Darby floundered: "It's ironic, though, that somebody is getting flak for using a picture of a Welsh superstar and they are the bad guys, yet under our noses we are witnessing the Islamification of Wales."
BNP attempts to profit off the back of respectable publisher Usborne Books were scotched when Lancaster Unity reported that the BNP's merchandising arm, Excalibur, was selling the company's wares via its website - grabbing for itself the 25% commission available to bona fide "Usborne organisers".
Whoever the BNP's pretend Usborne organiser was clearly breached the company's stipulations that business should be conducted in an "ethical and honest manner" and that its products should not be sold "through or to any retail outlet, including on-line outlets".
The Lancaster Unity community of readers were quick to inform Usborne of the BNP's scam, and the horrified company moved immediately to end it. Marketing assistant Graeme Williams told our people:
Thank you for your email regarding this serious issue. As I'm sure you are aware Usborne is an extremely well trusted and ethical publisher and would never knowingly sell books via an organisation such as the BNP.The sound of clinking champagne glasses could be heard from BNP Towers with the "election" of two unopposed BNP candidates to the Bay of Colwyn Town Council in North Wales. The bubbly soon turned flat when another BNP candidate, 19 year-old Neil Hughes, said that he had been tricked into standing for the racist party. He said: “I’m shocked. A BNP man came to our house three weeks ago and asked me to sign papers. I thought I was supporting someone else to stand. I don’t want to stand. I’m annoyed about this.”
This situation was only yesterday brought to our attention and we are taking every available step including legal action, to remove our books from their site. I can reassure you that Usborne have not knowingly supplied the BNP
with books and that we will be taking serious steps to prevent anyone else from supplying them.
There were more BNP dirty tricks at the University of York when party member Tony Bamber gained access to the post room and used the mail system to deliver anti-Muslim literature to university staff. Disgusted university authorities reported the matter to the police. The BNP's unapologetic Simon Darby, falling back on the fact that party member Bamber had not used the BNP's name on his leaflets, said: "It's not something we would put out directly but what does he say that's not true? It's the blunt truth. If he had told lies I would have disassociated ourselves and the party from it."
Darby's statement that the BNP would not "directly" put out the hate-mongering trash contained in Bamber's leaflets is worth noting. The leaflets were the work of the "Preston Pals", which is a group of energetic Lancashire BNP racists - ripping off the memory of the World War One Preston Pals army company, as it happens - and their only purpose was to raise support for the BNP. These were BNP leaflets, whether official or not, and their distribution is of continuing interest to the police.
Griffin's strange and costly case against the Decembrist rebels again came before the High Court in Manchester, and was instructive in how ill-versed the former law student and his BNP legal team are in what is supposed to be their area of expertise.
Griffin and the BNP team seriously believed that an English court could, should and would have jurisdiction over goods held in Scotland by a person residing in Scotland, and that it should have jurisdiction over bank accounts held and operated in Scotland with banks incorporated in Scotland. Even legal ignoramuses would suspect this not to be the case.
The point was being argued so that Griffin could nail Nicholla and Kenny Smith, resident in Scotland.
In an interview with resident yes-man Simon Darby, an overconfident and completely wrong Griffin said: "[What the rebels] may not realise, is that every hour he [Adrian Davies, the rebels' barrister] takes up arguing on that point, if it's knocked out the costs of that will go directly against them, basically no questions asked. So, it's a very reckless game I think."
In the event Judge Pelling QC ordered all parties in the action, claimants and defendants, to pay their own costs for the day. The costs to the BNP to date were put at £30,000. The rebel defendants, including the Smiths, agreed to return all BNP property held by them, and the BNP agreed to return property stolen from Sadie Graham in a BNP Security raid on her home.
The hearing achieved nothing that could not have been achieved out of court, and achieved it at enormous cost. The matter of alleged breach of confidence on the part of the rebels remained outstanding pending a further hearing, but events later in the year would put a new and interesting slant on this.
Plans to cut services to pensioners and children, and to throw public employees out of work without redundancy payments aren't usually things you'll see advertised on BNP election addresses, yet these were the ideas put forward when BNP group leader Richard Barnbrook made the party's opposition budget proposals public at Barking and Dagenham borough council.
This was a chance for Barnbrook and the BNP to shine, but - Barnbrook being Barnbrook and the BNP being the BNP - even the impartial help and advice of the council's Chief Financial Officer could not stop either from making fools of themselves, as the ever-dependable Searchlight reported:
Barnbrook managed to struggle though his speech, prompted by Councillor Robert Bailey whenever he stumbled over his lines, though even Bailey seemed not to notice that the figures in Barnbrook’s speech bore little resemblance to those in his document. Questions proved somewhat harder as Barnbrook does not excel at thinking on his feet.The BNP budget was, not unnaturally, rejected on a vote, but unheeding of the old but good advice that if you should find yourself in a hole then it's a smart idea to stop digging, Barnbrook offered to respond to Labour questions on the BNP budget by email.
First up was Val Rush, the Executive Member for community safety and parks, who challenged Barnbrook’s claim that he could cut the parks’ police budget by £150,000 by running it in-house. “It already is run in-house”, she informed him and asked him what the precise cuts were that would save £150,000. He was unable to say, the first of many occasions on which he could not explain how he had arrived at his figures.
Barnbrook was also unaware that rubbish collection was already run in-house in the borough and that the law would not allow the council to use money saved by the BNP’s cuts to build council houses, as he had proposed.
As for the 10,000 new council houses that a BNP leaflet was demanding, Barnbrook said they would be built on brownfield sites, but was unable to name a single such site in the borough.
One Labour councillor queried Barnbrook on the proposed restructuring of the council's Human Resources department, which according to Barnbrook would save £3 million of its current £6.5 million budget. “The detail of the new structure will come from the relevant Chief Officers once the Labour Administration has been removed,” Barnbrook replied, meaninglessly, adding, when asked about the costs of redundancies, that the BNP "is not going to burden taxpayers with redundancy payments".
Apparently it would rather burden them with an expensive rash of unwinnable employment cases.
One concern that Barnbrook seemed to believe to be of paramount importance to the citizens of Barking and Dagenham was TB and the importation of bushmeat. The BNP wanted to spend £400,000 to deal with these supposed problems but had no idea exactly how the money would be spent. Perhaps £400,000 was a pretty figure that Barnbrook liked the look of, since all he could offer up to his questioner was: “I suggest you ask the Chief Executive to help you if you want to compile figures so that you can copy the BNP’s good ideas and claim them as yours”. Searchlight added:
Barnbrook was equally unilluminating on how he would achieve his projected cuts in services for pensioners, refusing to provide any explanation or breakdown of any of his figures. Asked for more details of the research the BNP had carried out to demonstrate the need for its proposals, he said, “Obviously you cannot expect the BNP to prove the point by handing over it’s [sic] own confidential records to an extremist organisation like the labour party”.As polling day drew closer, Simon Darby thought he'd give the BNP troops a boost. Writing that he had been in top-level negotiations with another party, the BNP deputy-leader announced "a breakthrough", as if the BNP was on the verge of something momentous. Apparently Darby had reached a deal with "representatives" of the Pensioners Party in which that party would endorse BNP candidates in certain areas of the country.
The names of the endorsed BNP candidates duly appeared on the Pensioners Party website, but without mentioning their BNP affiliations. The BNP's keyboard army was ecstatic, Darby and the Pensioners Party the heroes of the hour. But all was not as it seemed.
In his rush to overstate the importance of his "deal" not only did Darby neglect to mention that the Pensioners Party had only six members and no influence whatsoever beyond a moribund and rarely visited website, he was hardly up-front about those "representatives" he negotiated with, since when members of the public contacted the party over the BNP's claims they appeared to know nothing about it.
The Pensioners Party quickly took down the offending BNP names and announced an inquiry - presumably into which of its six members talked to Darby and put the names up in the first place. Darby quietly let the matter drop.
With the local election campaign hotting up with the mid-point of April BNP confidence in its prospects reached unrealistic heights, much as it had the year before. The BNP stood unopposed in a number of obscure town and parish council elections, each unopposed "election" being lauded by the party, which liked to defraud its own members by equating parish councillors with borough and district councillors and adding them to its tally of "real" councillors. And as the campaign went on, so more and more politicians, community leaders and churchmen came out to oppose the BNP. Even Everton and Liverpool football clubs hit out at the BNP for using images of their grounds on one of its websites. A spokesman for Everton FC said: "If they are attempting to draw a link between this football club and its supporters then they are a disgrace and should be condemned for even attempting it.” Meanwhile, Hope Not Hate's tour bus set off to take the anti-fascist message around the country, supported by the Daily Mirror, showbiz personalities, sporting heroes and a host of other celebrities.
Richard Barnbrook again made a fool of himself on St. George's Day. The BNP's London mayoral candidate, got up in armour and mounted on a pony, led a St. George's Day parade in Barking that, according to Searchlight, failed to reach double figures and was witnessed only by eight accompanying policemen mounted on bicycles.
The same Searchlight article exposed lies contained in London Assembly candidate Bob Bailey's profile on a BNP website, in which it was claimed that the BNP had secured 5,000 new council homes in Barking and Dagenham. Searchlight said:
We asked an Executive member of the council where these houses were and how the BNP had secured them. She told us: “They have been pushed and pushed at a number of Assembly meetings to identify this, finally at the meeting before last, Rustem and Bailey both admitted that they had lied”.Searchlight Cymru was also on the case of Penygroes BNP candidate Kevin Edwards, who falsely claimed on his election leaflets that soldiers in Birmingham hospitals were told to remove their uniforms so as not to upset Muslim staff, and that homosexuality was being "taught" to children as young as four. Searchlight Cymru demanded an explanation from Edwards, which was not forthcoming. Previously Edwards had been in hot water when Penygroes councillor Sian Thomas told the South Wales Guardian that many of the residents who had signed Edwards's nomination papers had been unaware that he intended to stand for the BNP.
Also in hot water were BNP district councillors in Epping Forest, who condemned the setting up of a multi-faith forum in the district. Independent councillor Steve Murray, speaking at the council meeting where the BNP's remarks were made, said: "In 26 years (as a councillor) that was one of the most disgraceful contributions I've heard in this chamber. Because of a contribution like that there's even more reason why we need a multi-faith forum like this. We want to work together, we want community cohesion and we recognise that there is more that links faiths together than divides them", while deputy council leader Chris Whitbread told the BNP:
"It's about the wider good, and you as a party are not about the wider good. We've sat through meeting after meeting where you've sat silently and do nothing for your community. When we discuss the needs of your community you disappear and tonight you come here and you talk about dividing our community, and you don't even turn up when we discuss The Broadway or anything else. You are a disgrace to this council and you are a disgrace to our community. I am so cross that you could say that tonight, and for a start get your facts straight. This council is not paying for this body, this body is for the good of our community, you should retract your remarks."With polling just days away, idiotic deputy BNP group leader on Barking and Dagenham council Bob Bailey thought it a great idea to ape leader Richard Barnbrook and make a public fool of himself. London Assembly candidate Bailey was involved in a spat with the Barking and Dagenham Recorder newspaper, not being pleased with their coverage of the BNP's election campaign. Bailey telephoned the paper's news editor Sally Lowe and released a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse at her. Later, with other BNP members, he arrived at the offices of the paper in a BNP campaign car and gave a highly public repeat performance over a megaphone before being moved on by the police.
Recorder editor Chris Carter said afterwards: "I am shocked that someone who claims to be a member of a legitimate political party behaves in this way. It is not acceptable that a member of my staff should be subjected to abuse like this and I will be considering making an official complaint to the Standards Board for England."
Strange behaviour on the part of BNP candidates continued when journalists from the Barnsley Chronicle went to question busted corrupt copper Simon Goodricke, standing as a BNP candidate in Barnsley's Hoyland Milton ward. News had reached the Chronicle that Goodricke had a "past", a past the BNP was keen to keep from Barnsley's voters.
The Yorkshire Star, reporting on Goodricke, said:
Goodricke is a former West Midlands detective who was kicked out of the force and jailed for 18 months for perverting the course of justice and conning a pensioner out of £1,000. Described in court as a 'gambling addict', he borrowed £200,000 from a crooked businessman to try to deal with his massive debts. He was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court after being found guilty of tipping off two corrupt businessmen, including the one who had loaned him money, that they were the centre of an international police inquiry into a money laundering plot and scam to swindle £100million from Colombian drugs barons.Barnsley Chronicle journalists believed they saw an uncooperative Goodricke with a handgun and called the police, unaware that Goodricke had also called the police with the claim that the Chronicle journalists were taking pictures of young children. Goodricke's house was searched by the police but nothing was found at the time. Local BNP organiser Ian Sutton said: "We are happy with him as our candidate and have given him all our support."
Goodricke, aged 46, who now lives in Pennine View, Darton, used his position as a CID officer in Solihull to get information from the National Criminal Intelligence Service which he then passed on to a fraudster Graham Alexander.
cheating on supposed ballerina fiance Simone Clarke with a Finnish nurse. As only the News of the World could put it:
The racist ranter —bidding to be London mayor—was secretly bedding Finn Annika Tavilampi when he proposed to English National Ballet star Simone Clarke. Barnbrook—who studies Hitler—ADVANCED on Annika, 28, after spotting her on an online dating site, BLITZED her with filthy texts and pictures— and asked her to MARRY him too.A day later the Daily Mail revealed that Barnbrook still had a wife, an American lady serving in the Metropolitan police who split with Barnbrook due to his "rotten politics". Un-named due to her police position, she told the Mail: "In the end [Barnbrook] said: 'If you don't like my politics you can get out.'"
"Richard sent me photos of his private parts before I'd even met him," says the redhead. "I thought this was very odd for a politician."
She only discovered the full depths of the London councillor's extremism when she found a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf under his bed.
"If I'd known before that he was a sleazebag I probably wouldn't have gone anywhere near him," says Annika. "He was average in bed. And then there was his drinking — I've only ever seen him properly sober a couple of times. But I still fell for him."
The BNP had a torrid time that week, as a growing number of organisations and celebrities called on the public to oppose them, and the party leadership became ever more cautious about its prospects. We at Lancaster Unity were optimistic that the BNP would not add much to its tally of existing councillors on polling day, largely due to its own internal divisions, its incompetence, its propensity for gathering negative headlines - and one of the best anti-fascist campaigns ever mounted.
To be continued...