Bennett replaced the BNP site with the following message:
The services to this website have been suspended.Later, posting on the British Democracy Forum, Bennett said:
It is with regret that I have been forced to pull this website due to several attempts of theft today with regards to design work and content owned by myself.
It is no secret that I have been in dispute with some elements of the management of the party for sometime now, but had hoped to resolve these issues amicably and AFTER the elections.
However, due to several attempts to steal my work today and combined with the recent deliberate copyright infringement I feel I have been left with no alternative to this action and feel wholly justified in doing so.
The background of my dispute with the party can be read here: (link to Bennett's personal website)
It was my intention to speak out AFTER the election. However, there was little chance of me being around for much longer than 24 hours after Nick's 'industry experts' made several botched attempts to steal my legally owned designs and work, as opposed to reaching an amicable and fair solution. Rather than pay for my work, they chose to steal it. Blame THEM for the timing, not me!Bennett confirmed suspicions that the BNP's unauthorised use of the Marmite logo on the web version of the party's general election broadcast was a clumsy attempt on the part of Nick Griffin and Jim Dowson to gain cheap publicity in the run up to election day. According to Bennett, "This whole thing was a very deliberate copyright infringement designed to create publicity and a fund raising opportunity."
The website was reinstated upon request from decent people who would have been affected by this (the members). It will remain online until after the election. I have stated on numerous occasions that the party can have the website, domain and their legally owned aspects of it at any time and without cost - they have only to ask. The parts I own were made available to them for a fee. Instead, they started downloading them behind my back and tried to lock me out.
Again, blame that on the incompetence of the leadership, not me!
On the back of that open provoking of one of the world's richest companies, Griffin began a campaign of lies and vilification against Unilever, claiming that the "Hate party" depicted in recent Marmite television adverts was based on the BNP - when it was self-evidently based on the widely known fact that consumers either love or hate the concoction. The begging letters quickly followed, and the BNP membership swallowed the deception.
The BNP webmaster's problem was that as the "Marmite" broadcast appeared on the BNP website his was the name in the frame when Unilever, owner of the brand, took out an injunction for copyright infringement. According to Bennett:
The case against Nick was "as a representative of the party" and Nick often brags that he has no assets in his own name to be sued for. Also, the BNP is an 'Unincorporated Association, so to my knowledge, those facing the financial costs were myself directly and/or the party members.Bennett also says: "What's worse, is that I believe I was deliberately put in the frame and left to carry the responsibility whilst those that were responsible went to ground for four days leaving me to stew in my own fear and uncertainty."
Nick Griffin and Jim Dowson deliberately set out to pick this fight with Unilever - not me. I advised strongly against it. Nick proceeded to goad Unilever into action when Unilever wanted a quick settlement and seemed happy with an undertaking not to do it again. That wasn't enough for Nick, he wanted a public fight and a media circus...Later attempts by Griffin and Dowson to pass the "Marmite" broadcast off as a spoof backfired, and Bennett claims he was expected to go to court and "lie through my teeth":
By now, Unilever's lawyers had their teeth in and they were not going to let go. The excuse Jim Dowson gave for this whole sorry affair was that "a third party joker" had uploaded the video, yet this was clearly contradicted by Nick and Jim Dowson in the evidence Unilever's lawyers had obtained for themselves via conversations from Nick and Jim.In a long and angry exposition of the BNP leadership's role in the "Marmite" disaster, Simon Bennett gives much incidental information, revealing that during the saga "website traffic hardly increased at all, the online donations and membership applications remained almost non-existent and the real broadcast bought no more traffic to the website than the 2009 EU broadcast."
Essentially, I was up the proverbial creek and expected by our Chairman and Jim "The Industry Expert" Dowson to go to court and lie through my teeth in order to bail them out of a ridiculous hole they had dug themselves into.
He also stated that there "are a shocking amount of highly questionable shenanigans going on at BNP HQ including threats of violence against good people such as myself and the loss of jobs/contracts/positions if we don't 'Play ball'."
Later, on the BDF forum, Bennett said that he would never have pulled the plug on the BNP website "if it were not for idiotic, erratic, desperate and immoral behavior of the leadership to remove me BEFORE the elections".
Unfortunately, Bennett remains loyal to the BNP, even if it has shown itself to be anything but loyal to him, and we have little sympathy with a man who kept his silence while knowing of the many wrongs and shady dealings of the BNP leadership, and spoke out only when he, personally, was affected.
Below follows the full text of Bennett's statement as it appeared briefly on his own website. Our copy is the rendering which appears on the Vote No To The BNP website.
Marmite-Gate: The Truth behind the Spin.
This will do doubt come as a shock to many of those that read this, particularly those who really don’t want to hear it. However, I have a duty to the members and my conscience, but most of all – to my wife and children to tell the truth behind the spin. The timing of this is also a tragic shame, but I had no say in this matter, its planning, execution or its timing, as you will soon see. So please don’t fall for the old “He must be a red, planted to mess up the election” chestnut. If anyone sabotaged this election, it was Jim Dowson.
Judge that for yourselves by reading on…
This whole thing was a very deliberate copyright infringement designed to create publicity and a fund raising opportunity. What’s worse, is that I believe I was deliberately put in the frame and left to carry the responsibility whilst those that were responsible went to ground for four days leaving me to stew in my own fear and uncertainty.
The publicity Nick and Jim were (and still are) hoping for means nothing. What IS important is the NETT BENEFIT of that publicity, and I can show that the nett benefit was next to nothing. The website traffic hardly increased at all, the online donations and membership applications remained almost non-existent and the real broadcast bought no more traffic to the website than the 2009 EU broadcast. In actual fact, the most successful publicity the party has had in my time was without question – Question Time.
Jim Dowson and Nick Griffin will have you believe that this stunt and the repercussions were all finely tuned, worked out and that everything was all under control. The truth is that they had no idea of the severity of the situation. I was served the injunction as a named defendant and the case against me for copyright infringement appeared cut and dry. If I failed to comply with the injunction I could have faced prison. Even if I complied with the injunction I was facing a massive fine and all the legal costs and associated court fees.
The only legal representation provided to me was from the party’s legal advisor on the day she realised things had gone wrong, and she was in a state of panic advising me only to deny everything. Unilever’s own lawyers make reference to how panicky and stressed she was. The case against Nick was “as a representative of the party” and Nick often brags that he has no assets in his own name to be sued for. Also, the BNP is an ‘Unincorporated Association, so to my knowledge, those facing the financial costs were myself directly and / or the party members.
Furthermore, in the judge’s transcript it is stated that the case against me personally is solid as the broadcast was posted under my name.
Nick Griffin and Jim Dowson deliberately set out to pick this fight with Unilever – not me. I advised strongly against it. Nick proceeded to goad Unilever into action when Unilever wanted a quick settlement and seemed happy with an undertaking not to do it again. That wasn’t enough for Nick, he wanted a public fight and a media circus (one that I was never given a choice in). I did not want to run the gauntlet of TV cameras and publicity for the sake of my children and wife, but I was never consulted or asked. It was the “Nick Griffin Show” – fighting the evil capitalist empire single handed in order to save the nation on our behalf, and he was not passing up the opportunity of more publicity and victimhood status. He picked this fight, not me, and certainly not Unilever.
The problem is that you will pay for it now, as could I, if not with my liberty, freedom or possible bankruptcy, but now certainly with my position as your webmaster. What a result this fight has achieved! A bloody disaster. But then it had disaster written all over it from the outset, but the £120,000 p.a. ‘Industry Expert’ knew better.
By now, Unilever’s lawyers had their teeth in and they were not going to let go. The excuse Jim Dowson gave for this whole sorry affair was that “a third party joker” had uploaded the video, yet this was clearly contradicted by Nick and Jim Dowson in the evidence Unilever’s lawyers had obtained for themselves via conversations from Nick and Jim.
Essentially, I was up the proverbial creek and expected by our Chairman and Jim “The Industry Expert” Dowson to go to court and lie through my teeth in order to bail them out of a ridiculous hole they had dug themselves into. I had warned them not to proceed, but both were insistent that this is a brilliant publicity stunt deliberately designed to create publicity (and ultimately generate funds) as was proven by the immediate fund raising appeal sent out that day. They were under the impression that it would be a breeze and that Unilever’s lawyers would issue an injunction and writ for copyright infringement and then immediately back off once Nick threatened to eat a jar of Marmite on live TV. How pathetic and desperate. Perhaps if the whole thing was done legally and executed by real experts and not Laurel and Hardy, it may have worked to our political advantage.
After a weekend of worrying myself sick, with my wife in bits and to use Nick’s own words – Unilever’s lawyers crawling all over ME like a rash, I took the only sensible and legal option available. To tell the truth. I was not prepared to spend five years in prison for perjury just to protect the financial interests of fools. To be honest, the truth is long overdue anyway as there are a shocking amount of highly questionable shenanigans going on at BNP HQ including threats of violence against good people such as myself and the loss of jobs / contracts /positions if we don’t ‘Play ball’.
In short, with one of the idiots responsible for this expensive little caper laying low and sunning himself in Spain with the £120,000+ per year he is paid from your donations to pull stunts like this, and with the others laying low, I decided to protect myself and family and not carry the can for their sheer greed and incompetence or rely on their incompetent advice or inabilities, so I told Unilever’s lawyers the truth. Lying to the Royal High Courts of Justice was never an option for me.
Jim Dowson constantly makes references to his Loyalist ‘connections’ and ‘Irish murder gangs’ in the hope of intimidating people and just about everyone bar me is terrified of him and lives in fear of losing their income if they cross him or do not ‘put up and shut up’ or turn a blind eye and deaf ear.
Unfortunately for him, I can earn more money outside of the party which renders that particular threat null and void. The physical threats of violence also back-fired on him as I refused to be intimidated, as did the bribes of ‘a slice of the pie’. Jim Dowson now controls just about every aspect of the party structure (including the recently acquired print services) and also the party’s finances with one exception. You’ve guessed it – the website!
Jim has been at loggerheads with me for over a year and has tried every trick in the book to gain control of the website so he can bolt it onto his spam-machine without any idea of how websites work. I have always been against it as I feel it should be first and foremost a political tool, not a money making machine.
He has tried undermining it with his call centre staff informing callers not to donate or join online as the website was insecure and that their £100,000 telephone system was the only secure way to join or donate. He tried bribery and Nick also tried to convince me that I’d be better protected legally from copyright infringements if the website was made into a limited company. When presented with the financial implications and costs and also the lack of protection it actually offered and further presented with the idea of not infringing copyrights in the first place, he backed down.
So, here we are today…
A deliberate copyright infringement mysteriously posted IN MY NAME! Wow, isn’t that a coincidence? On Tuesday this week (27th) I had Nick on my case again insisting that in order to properly ‘protect me’ in future he and Jim will set the website up as a limited company after the election and I should remain just a little anonymous monkey in the background doing all the monkey work whilst they take the very noble burden of risk (and potential profit of course). Naturally, after this scare I’m bound to agree, surely?
Just imagine it… All your web donations and membership fees not just now being carved up in commission between Paul Golding, Jim Dowson, Jenny Griffin and possibly several others, all of whom do virtually or absolutely nothing to generate the funds, but now you may well have to pay legal fees, chartered accountancy fees, salaries and possibly vehicle costs, travel, stationery and no-end of other ‘legitimate’ Ltd. Company’s business expenditure!
Here’s a better idea. Stop acting like amateurs and stop blatantly breaking the law for financial gain with no political advancement. That way I could continue to develop the website at the minimal fee I charge, and apart from every man and his dog taking a ’slice of the pie’, the rest at least goes directly to its intended destination. Furthermore, the website can be developed freely by a decent, honest and experienced web developer and not under the control and dictatorship of a catering-salesman with as much experience in web development as I have in rocket science!
You’re the members and this is YOUR party, YOUR website and I worked for YOU, not Nick, not Jim, not Gerry Gable, not MI5, CI5, MFI or anyone else . Let the smear stories commence. This will probably all be blamed on me being a red, a mole, a spy, a state asset, or work-overload, lack of vitamins, health, state of mind, paranoia, poor diet or just plain old mental instability. Please, let me assure you all that I am none of the above or suffering from any of the above quoted inflictions. If I was it must be highly contagious, as this party has lost so many good people for the above afflictions. Funny that isn’t it? It’s always everyone else being a mole that’s the problem- never Nick’s own incompetence!
Jim Dowson has a history of copyright infringement and is not by any means an “industry expert” in any field whatsoever that I can find, as can be seen by googling his name or the Pro Life League or Precious Life UK. His only industry experience is as a ‘catering salesman’. Many other marketing and fund-raising business ventures he has been involved in have ended up dissolved without ever filing accounts. With a history like that, it doesn’t bode well for the future of the party really. Many of his wild claims of success can be proven as bare faced lies. He has a severe habit of exaggerating figures and then contradicting himself later on. His incompetence is almost as astounding as his arrogance. This I’m afraid to say, is the man in whom our Chairman has invested the future of our party and hopes for our country.
I tried to raise my concerns about Jim Dowson, his past and his continual bad practices and mistakes with the Chairman over a year ago. Myself, Peter Mullins and Mike Howson were subjected to what was a court style hearing in which we were told in no uncertain terms to mind our own business and if anyone picks a fight with Jim they pick a fight with him (Nick Griffin). Unfortunately, the fight was already well under way. Mike Howson, it should be pointed out, has stated since that his “guts turned to water” that day. He has been Jim Dowson’s poodle ever since and with the exception of myself, just about anyone who has ever dared to cross swords with Jim have been removed from their positions, sacked or expelled. We cannot afford to lose any more good quality people only to be replaced by buffoons, morons, yes-men or those too afraid to stand up for what is right and proper.
Both Nick and Jim (and a few other gullible fools) will continuously point to the massive success and growth of the party over the “Dowson Era”, but you need to look a little closer and analyse this claim or even break it down completely. Firstly, to make such a claim is a complete smack in the face for all the decent and honest activists and members that have worked their fingers to the bone and walked the streets until their feet were blistered. It also suggests that my work over the last two and half years, and our army of blogger’s efforts have provided little or no gain.
The simple fact is this; In the current political climate, and with mainstream parties in disarray over immigration, the expenses scandal, global warming scams, economic disaster and a new influx of members from a new and fresh professional website with no-end of social networking you could rightly expect natural rapid growth. The growth to which Jim refers has very little, if anything to do with anything he has implemented whatsoever. All Jim has done is arrive in the right place at the right time and spot an opportunity to fleece money from good people by preying on their hopes and fears. Let’s be honest here, a trained monkey could write a more professional fund raising appeal than the current “1980 Readers Digest” style begging letter we currently all have to cringe over and suffer.
Then we need to question where the money raised is being spent or invested. The vast majority of the “Admin Infrastructure” to which Jim claims to have expertly set-up is nothing more than a basic requirement to any business or organisation and one of which almost anyone with half a brain or business experience would recognise and implement easily, cost effectively and securely. The current way in which this infrastructure is organised relies on and is driven by financial gain, greed and a competitive commission based environment. Just the sort of environment I would expect from any sales-based organisation. This party is now being driven by money – not politics or ideology. This is fundamentally wrong and will prove to be our failure. Of course we need funds to survive, but when our motivations, aspirations and hopes are driven by or dictated by finances, then we are on a collision course with failure.
In the “Real World” of business, turnover means nothing, what matters is profit. Profit stems growth, product development, training and staff development. Ten million pounds of turnover is worthless if our expenditure is eleven million, as are all the offices Jim cares to open in order to impress the sheeple. Jim constantly crows about how much money we turn over, yet fails to address the profit margin, where that profit (which does not exist) is spent, and where it is invested. We are told and expected to believe that all the party finances are funnelled through Jim’s shady business as no-one will deal with the party. This is a nonsense and nothing more than a smokescreen designed to stop inquisitive people questioning or looking deeper into the whole set-up.
If Nick thinks he has secured any party assets or property that has been purchased and held in the name of Jim Dowson’s Adlorries Ltd by appointing his daughter as a director, then I am sorry to point out that he may just have had the wool well and truly pulled over his eyes. Jenny is a director indeed, but has no share capital whatsoever and therefore has no claim to the company’s assets, finances or profits.
This party needs a clean-up if it is EVER to be taken seriously as a political force. I’ve started the ball rolling, it is now in the hands of the good, honest members that have the courage to face up to the facts and reality of what we are faced with. It is also up to the senior members and Advisory Council to stand up and be counted. Failure to face these issues now – and head on, will result in colossal and terminal failure. It is also in the hands of Nick Griffin to do the right thing and allow this party to develop on a solid base built on integrity, skill and transparency.
I think I can assume the Chairman will no longer be requiring my services, so all that is left for me to say is that it has been an absolute honour and a pleasure working with and for the decent and honest members, but an absolute chore, no, nightmare, working with Nick Griffin and Jim Dowson.
Coming Soon on www.SimonBennett.co.uk/Twitter & Facebook:
Jim Dowson and the £10,000 party laptops – you paid for – (£3,499 RRP) – that were also available for free with a mobile phone dongle!
The website donation thermometer appeal for the £22k Truth Truck (book value £8k) that actually raised over £80k.
The website DDoS attack that become ‘The World’s Biggest Cyber Attack known to the Universe’ and which needed more industry experts than NASA to resolve. Funded to the tune of £ thousands by the members. Actual cost: £750 to a 19 year old genius that lives at home with his parents!
Jim Dowson’s fixation with and history of infringing copyrights and breaking the data protections act.
The Jim Dowson £21,000 ’state of the art’ database system paid for by you. Also available from PC World for £156 inc VAT. Superior and FREE database systems were offered by me but were rejected for no logical reasons.
The phone bugging, spyware software, key loggers and paranoia that infects the leadership.
and lots, LOTS more…
Everything I claim in this post can be supported by evidence. I leave you with these tasters to bring you up to speed with Jim “The Industry Expert” Dowson;
An Observer investigation today raises serious concerns about the operations of the LifeLeague, the militant anti-abortion group that has hijacked Britain’s pro-life debate.
The concerns come as it emerges that a rival pro-life organisation is considering legal action against the group’s founder, James Dowson, for alleged breach of copyright.
Dowson, 43, is the public face of the league. He regularly appears on television to pronounce abortion a sin. With his hard-hitting campaigns and highly provocative tactics, such as publishing the home addresses of abortion clinic staff, he ensures the league is often in the headlines. This weekend its members are out in strength, joining other pro-life organisations at demonstrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act.
Little is known about Dowson. It is reported that he lives in Scotland and is a Protestant minister. Neither, it transpires, is strictly true. Dowson has never been ordained as a minister. And although he claims to live in Glasgow, he spends most of his time in Northern Ireland where land registry records show he owns a buy-to-let property in Comber, a small town in County Down. Dowson, his wife, Anne, and their son, James, 20, who bought a title and calls himself the Laird of Glencairn, actually live at another address in County Down, a four-bedroom semi in Ballygowan. Dowson also has a house in Cumbernauld, Glasgow, where he owns a mission hall.
The LifeLeague’s website pledges to spend donations ‘wisely’ but tracing where the money goes is difficult. Documents at Companies House show Dowson originally set up the league as a private company but it remains dormant and has never filed meaningful accounts. Instead it is run as a society, which means it only has to share its accounts with its members. ‘We do not publish our accounts as that would play into the hands of the pro-abortionists,’ Dowson said.
Nor is it clear where the league is based. Its offices are usually listed at a service address in Piccadilly, London. But the reality is Dowson operates out of an office in east Belfast where he is also involved in a support network for victims of the Troubles.
It has been alleged that Dowson, who has a tattoo bearing the words ‘Abronhill Protestant Boys Flute Band’, produced music cassettes during the 1990s promoting the loyalist cause. ‘I was in a flute band,’ said Dowson, a former member of the hardline Protestant group, the Loyal Orange Lodge of Scotland. ‘But then so were thousands of other people. My enemies have stretched this to suggest I supported the paramilitaries. It’s utter nonsense.’
Dowson has addressed a far-right conference in London and last year he invited Nick Griffin, head of the British National Party, to Belfast. ‘We invited all the parties to Belfast to explain their position on abortion,’ he said. Dowson denies he is a far-right sympathiser. ‘I refuse nobody,’ he said. ‘I am a Christian Socialist. I find the whole of the right-wing utterly ridiculous.’
Despite the league’s claims that it is a large-scale organisation with thousands of members, most of its work is carried out by Dowson, his sister-in-law, Marion, and his wife.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, another pro-life group, is considering legal action against Dowson for allegedly using some of its literature in league campaigns. ‘There is a dispute between us relating to intellectual property and it is in the hands of the lawyers,’ said John Smeaton, SPUC’s director. The Christian Institute also has concerns the LifeLeague has used its literature. Dowson denies the claims.
Daily Telegraph April 2nd 2006:
James Dowson does not concern himself with moral qualms. The consequences of his inflammatory comments, he believes, are not something with which he should be unduly bothered.
His stance, he says, is unequivocal: “I don’t suggest – or ever condone – violence. I advocate nothing that is out with the law. I most certainly do not urge people to send abusive letters or emails to these people.” (But he’s pretty prolific with the abusive emails himself).
The events of the past week, in which Mr Dowson and his UK Life League have been criticised in the media, have buoyed his belief that the end justifies the means. “We have got column inches, our enemies are running scared,” he says.
Mr Dowson sees it all as a triumph. He makes no bones about it: the name of the game is publicity. Yes, he happily acknowledges, as a Glasgow Protestant he once belonged to the Orange Order and, yes, he has two convictions (now spent) for breach of the peace.
In the next few weeks, he also hopes to have a fleet of lorries on the road across the country, which he will use to picket abortion clinics. (One of which he “sold” to the BNP.)
Final Message to Nick:
Do not send your ‘heavies’ or ageing goon-squad to my door (as is standard practice) as I possess no party property or assets, and you know it. If you do, they will be broadcast live on video to several high profile websites. I will post the SQL dump of your website to you, as I am legally obliged to do. I will also release the domain to the TAG of your choice whenever you provide it to me. That is the end of my legal obligation to you as I have always made clear.
On the BDF forum, Bennett later made this interesting post:
Evidence from the server company alerting me to the illegal downloading of the entire [BNP] site:
I noticed this though which is rather odd:
> May 4 16:25:20 ace1 pure-ftpd: (email@example.com@126.96.36.199) [NOTICE] /home/bnpmain/public_html//wp-content/uploads/alby-walker-nick-griffin-300x186.jpg downloaded (17677
> bytes, 1281.57KB/sec)
> May 4 16:25:22 ace1 pure-ftpd: (firstname.lastname@example.org@188.8.131.52) [NOTICE] /home/bnpmain/public_html//wp-content/uploads/alby-walker-nick-griffin.jpg downloaded (34945 bytes, 4
> May 4 16:25:24 ace1 pure-ftpd: (email@example.com@184.108.40.206) [NOTICE] /home/bnpmain/public_html//wp-content/uploads/aleqm5gb8vbh5cpl1xg4axqhh0zs4aftbw.jpg downloaded (1585
> 6 bytes, 966.32KB/sec)
> May 4 16:25:26 ace1 pure-ftpd: (firstname.lastname@example.org@220.127.116.11) [NOTICE] /home/bnpmain/public_html//wp-content/uploads/aleqm5gb8vbh5cpl1xg4axqhh0zs4aftbw.thumbnail.jpg downloa
> ded (3679 bytes, 314.96KB/sec)
> May 4 16:25:27 ace1 pure-ftpd: (email@example.com@18.104.22.168) [NOTICE] /home/bnpmain/public_html//wp-content/uploads/ali-north-wales-150x150.jpg downloaded (6758 bytes, 355
It appears someone logged in as 'arthur' is downloading a copy of the whole site from a UK IP address; I hope that's okay?