April 19, 2009

BNP leader "infiltrates" West Bromwich St George's Day parade

Nick Griffin surrounded by his usual entourage of thugs
The appearance of BNP leader Nick Griffin at a St George’s Day parade proved the event was being infiltrated by right wing extremists, it was claimed today.

Mr Griffin and his deputy leader Simon Darby were among up to 20,000 people who turned up at the parade through West Bromwich yesterday. The far-right politicians claimed to be there in non-party political capacity and were without any party paraphernalia, but they both attacked Sandwell’s Labour council for severing its ties with the event over fears it had been hijacked by extremists.

Councillor Derek Rowley, Sandwell’s cabinet member for safer communities, said the pair’s attendance proved the council right in its decision to cut funding for the march, which last year stood at around £10,000. Instead, the authority organised its own fun day this year in Dartmouth Park with Keith Chegwin top of the celebrity billing on Saturday.

He said: “Clearly the parade has been infiltrated by right wing extremists and they were bound to say they weren’t being political.”

Mr Griffin said: “I’m here as an Englishman, not to be party political.”

The attendance of the far right politicians came after an alleged leak of a BNP “war book” calling on extremist skinheads to cover-up their shaven heads in a bid to look more respectable.

Trevor Collins, from parade organisers the Stone Cross St George’s Association, said he couldn’t prevent Mr Griffin from attending the march.

“We couldn’t say to Tony Blair ‘you can come’ and then say to someone else ‘you can’t’ - because then we’d be being political,” he said. “If they come without being party political, then there’s nothing we can do - it’s a democracy.”

He added: “It doesn’t matter what colour you are or where you’re from, what matters today is what’s in your heart. It’s about being English.”

The parade was rescued after local businessman Chris Kelly, from Keltruck, stepped forward with a promise of cash to fund the parade’s legal requirements such as insurance, security and road closures.

Celebrity guests on the march, which started at around 10.30am in Westminster Road, included journalist Adrian Goldberg, former West Bromwich Albion footballer Bob Taylor and marathon runner “Blind” Dave Heeley. Heading the march were armed forces veterans including retired parachute regiment soldier Gordon Griffiths, from Walsall.

The 83-year-old, who served in Italy, Palestine and Egypt among others between 1945 and 1950, said: “It’s been smashing - I marched all the way. Everybody’s been cheering and had their flags out.”

Inspector Howard Lewis-Jones was drafted in from the West Midlands Police HQ in Birmingham to oversee more than 40 officers keeping law and order on the day, which ended with a fair in Dartmouth Park. He said: “It’s gone extremely well. It’s been very well organised right from the speeches at the start to the march itself.”

He added that a small number of cans of alcohol had been confiscated.

Birmingham Post


Anonymous said...

“I’m here as an Englishman, not to be party political.”

Isn't he supposed to be Welsh?

G said...

Griffin orders the party members to cover up their skinheads but seems to like surrounding himself with skinheads on any possible occasion. One rule for me...

Mark Collette said...

"Griffin orders the party members to cover up their skinheads but seems to like surrounding himself with skinheads on any possible occasion."

He always has enjoyed surrounding himself with butch lads like me.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't he supposed to be Welsh?"

Well, he isn't. Wasn't he born in Suffolk?

I'd like to know why some fat ponce from Wales is standing in the North West?

Anonymous said...

“I’m here as an Englishman”Well, this is what Nick Griffin wrote in a letter to the then BNP leader John Tyndall:

"Further, I am not a British Nationalist. I am first and foremost a White Racialist, and second a Welsh Nationalist"(14th November 1994).

Some Englishman.

an ex-fascist said...

Born in Barnet, moved to Suffolk and now resident in Welshpool, but always claimed to me to be Welsh. So why was he parading in West Bromwich "as an Englishman"?

Fwiw I don't have a problem with Welsh people or English people, only hypocrites.

George Smiley said...

Chameleon Gri££in is a Suffolk born Welsh Londoner from Barnet who will be standing in Thurrock (Essex) at the next General Election, after showing a profound commitment to Oldham (Lancs.) in 2001 and Keighley (Yorks.) in 2005!

Anonymous said...

i was actually on the march yesterday and didnt even kno mr griffin was there.

i can understand how this may look, but he wasnt billed to be there so its not as if people turned up just to see him.

as for the last 10 years this march has firsty been about doing something which all the community can enjoy, however sandwell council brought it upon themselves to sabotage the day by changing all their events to saturday 18th april. luckily the runners of the fair stayed for the people on the sunday, but there wasnt anythin else in dartmouth park.

i would like to say that from my point of view the minority of people there have extremists views. the variety of people their was unbelievable, from parents with young children in pushchairs to pensioners enjoying a day out celebrating something English for once.

as chris kelly (the man who eventually had to fund the event) said if you are to stop a march due to people with extremists views turning up then shoulding we shut down every football game in the country? oh no thats right, politicians wont meddle in something worth so much money, but they will deny a community one celebration per year.

the council has turned this into a political subject not the people of west bromwich, if this march was to stop then more people would turn to extremism as we have seen in the muslim community with their hatred for america. i can guarantee that if this march is not properly funded next year and safely carried out then people will march anyway as a protest putting lives at risk with no road closures and no security.

hope my views are shared by others.