Those of us who fancy a laugh in the anti-fascist movement tend to look no further than the blog of Mr Barnes, who holds a first degree in law. Here is a guy who likes to blog about conspiracy theories, some bizarre belief in a Norse God, and of course his beloved nationalist cause (he seems to have fallen out with the BNP recently – he has had his BNP email addy removed).
For some time the stuff he posts kept me amused at just how batty the guy actually was. His “logic” was so hard to follow at times it really did make you wonder if it came from a sane person or not. Recently after reading several posts I decided to check on the facts he presented. Around the time of the BNP website problems, which the party and others put down to some pinko-leftie denial of service attack Barnes blogged that he had:
“On sunday morning I contacted the Counter-Terrorism Unit, Scotland Yard and MI5 to inform them that one of the largest DOS attacks in British electronic warfare history was underway against the BNP”.So I first emailed all concerned and waited and waited. I got replies from both stating that they couldn’t answer if that was true due to freedom of information rules. Mmmm, he wasn’t getting away that easily – so I decided to phone the press offices of those organisations. CTU wouldn’t entertain giving me any kind of answer, but I got interesting replies from both M15 and the Met/Scotland Yard (I treated Scotland Yard and the CTU separately phoning both switchboards in turn). The replies were as expected until a very nice lady in the Met mentioned that she couldn’t answer my questions unless I was phoning to support an earlier report. So I decided to do just that, support Mr Barnes concern about the BNP website being down, so she checked the computer – guess what? – computer said no – there had been no contact recorded on the subject. She assured me that it would appear on the system, and in her words “even the nuttier stuff is logged”. So armed with the new method I tried Scotland Yard who repeated the process – but this time the guy some information, “oh wait he said these are complaints 'about' the BNP, not by them”. He confirmed there were no reports, as did M15, but they took a while and asked me so many questions I think they may have started a file on me now.
A short time later Barnes alleged on his blog:
“Image - members of the same coalition as the UAF demonstrating for free speech and exercising their right of protest in order to kill a police horse and murder a policeman”.With the following photo
So again this set my non LLB refined miss-speaking alarms off. So I first contacted Getty who confirmed that the photo was taken in London at a demo in early 2009. So I phoned the Met, who couldn’t answer the question there and then, but pointed me in the direction of the inquiry form and suggested I try that. So I did, after a while I received a request for more information from the Head of the Mets Mounted Division. After supplying the information requested the Chief Inspector replied that:
“As the Head of the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch I can confirm the following:The Chief Inspector used the term leaflet because the screen shot I had sent did appear to be a leaflet in hindsight – I have also supplied him with the URL since for his info – at his request.
The leaflet '21st Century British Nationalism' dated 9th June 2009 shows a picture of a police officers and horses at a demonstration. In the picture it is Metropolitan Police officers and horses; the photograph was taken at a demonstration in London very early in 2009. The leaflet reports an officer and police horse were killed; neither horse or officer were killed. The report that both were fatally injured is completely inaccurate”.
So to be fair I gave Barnes the chance to reply, I asked him where he got the info from, I had several posts in threads comments section asking him to reply – but he never did – I wonder why?
Now I have only checked on two subjects from the Barnes blog to date – but both of them have proved to be false – is he just miss-speaking, to borrow Hilary Clinton's excuse or is a symptom of something more? For that I will leave you to decide.