October 17, 2009

BNP ballerina Simone Clarke now teaching children aged three

On its website, the new dancing school prominently proclaims that its teacher is a former principal dancer with the English National Ballet.

Oddly, however, it doesn't mention her name - perhaps because she is Simone Clarke, the ballerina who found herself at the centre of controversy three years ago when her membership of the British National Party was exposed. At the time anti-fascist demonstrators disrupted a performance of Giselle at the London Coliseum in which Miss Clarke, who was dubbed the 'BNP ballerina', took the starring role. Last week she appeared, surrounded by little girls of three and four in tutus, in the community hall in the village of Shadwell, near Leeds, where she runs the Yorkshire Ballet Academy.

Miss Clarke, 39, has been a leading figure in the far-Right BNP. She has shared a stage with leader Nick Griffin and was once engaged to one of the party's councillors, Richard Barnbrook - a man who claimed mixed-race children were 'washing out the identity of the country's indigenous people'. Miss Clarke's move into teaching comes as the Government is scrutinising the BNP's role in public life. It is said to be considering a ban on BNP members working as teachers in schools.

The Yorkshire Ballet Academy is a private dance school and she does not require licensing by the local authority.

Two years ago Miss Clarke appeared with Mr Griffin during a BNP 'Free Speech Evening' in Leicester and pledged: 'I will never, ever leave the BNP because they are the only people who can turn this country around.'

Next Thursday Mr Griffin will appear on the BBC's Question Time in the BNP's biggest media opportunity to date.

Miss Clarke retired from the English National Ballet after the outcry over her membership. In 2007 she was elected to the executive of the BNP-backed Solidarity trade union for a five-year term. Last night she was unavailable for comment.

Shadwell Hall treasurer David Parker, who rents the venue to her for £10 an hour, said: 'She didn't declare her politics. We have had no complaints or negativity. Whether or not the parents know about her views is up to them. I think like most of us our politics are separate from our normal lives.'

Mail Online


Anonymous said...

She must be banned from ever working with children again.

Anonymous said...

Teaching them to goosestep in formation was she?

The dance of the sugar-plum nazi.

Anonymous said...

I bet she'd refuse to teach any asian or black kids.

Vile racist.

Jamie The Antifascist said...

I bet she only teaches pure aryans, it's a complete disgrace that she's allowed to do this. What next? Holocaust denying history teachers teaching primary school kids?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I bet she'd refuse to teach any asian or black kids."

Doubt that myself, otherwise there's have been complaints, there hall bloke said there hadnt

Anonymous said...

Hold a peaceful but noisy demonstration as the kids go in and during the lessons. That'll put the parents off.

Anonymous said...

The only reason why the school failed to name her on their website, except for Clarke's former position within the ballet company, was because they knew full well her links and associations.

Therefore they must support her and her views, but realised the PR implications if they named her.

Now presure must be placed on her and the school to remove her.

Raymond said...

You got to feel sorry for her mixed race daughter who is completely innocent and will have to suffer the consequences of her mother accepting an ideology that sees her as a lesser being

loinah said...

For those of you who don't know it, Shadwell is an upper middle class area of Leeds going towards Wetherby, which means rather than a mixed catchment area, the kids will be almost all white.

iliacus said...

From Lead Ballerina in London to teaching 4 year olds in a community hall in Yorkshire.

Bet she's REALLY glad she threw in her lot with the Nutzis !!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. The Dance of the Sugar-Plum Nazi.

That should be her first gig.

AndyMinion (BatsMan) said...

Tempting as it might be, I really hope no - one tries demonstrating around children.

Not only would that be tantamount to bullying kids AND give the Nazzers a propaganda coup on a plate, but a well - considered bit of pressure on the company through the local press would surely be more effective.

Anonymous said...

I see she's moved to the opposite end of the country to get away from Bumbrook.

milton said...

No sign of an engagement ring there.

Anonymous said...

She is a dangerously confused woman who is certainly not thinking about her child or her child's relationship with her father. Something missing there.

johnse18 said...

A rather hysterical set of reactions. Whatever you may think of the BNP, and I think they are nasty and stupid (but left rather than right wing, being national socialists), they are nonethless a legitimate political party.

All I know about the woman is what I have read, but it seems unlikely she is particularly racist in any personal way. As a ballerina at the ENB she would have had to work with people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and it seems unlikely that she could have held down her position as long as she did had she been in the habit of breaking out into a goose step in the middle of the Nutcracker Pas de Deux.

Her dance + personal partner was (IIRC) of Chinese extraction and she had a child with him. Of course the fact that she later started "stepping out" with a prominent BNP-er may display monumental lack of taste but nothing illegal.

Her quoted political views I seem to remember at the time were fairly anodyne. They were:

1. Concern about unlimited mass immigration. Fair enough. This concern is shared by many, including members of ethnic minorities.

2. Concern about crime and a feeling that it is not being addressed properly by the police. Again fair enough. Many people share this too. It is quite arguable.

3. The opinion that none of the 3 major political parties is taking people's legitimate concerns about 1 and 2 seriously. Again quite a defensible point of view.

Of course her last step - to join the BNP - is where most of us would part company fairly sharply.

But if people's legitimate concerns are not addressed by the "respectable" political parties we shouldnt be too dismayed or surprised if they turn to the non-respectable ones.

Anonymous said...

She's self-employed now so there's nothing anti-fascists (there's no one to sack her) can do except make her racist views known.

Further lobbying of the person renting her the Community Hall should be looked into and more pressure applied to him.

She should not be allowed work with young children. The Government should immediately enact a law against BNP members in teaching positions as Primary School teachers are most responsible for the forming of kids political views.

I know that from experience!