May 31, 2010

Anti-fascists claim victory as BNP festival cancelled

11 Comment (s)
The BNP have announced that their annual Red, White & Blue festival (RWB) will not be taking place this year. Anti-fascists, who have protested the festival over the past 2 years, are claiming this as a victory.

According to Amber Valley BNP organiser, Lewis Allsebrook, the BNP will be trying to hold a number of smaller events across the region instead of holding one big festival. Dissidents within the BNP are claiming that the this is because few members are interested in buying tickets for this year's event.

The festival has taken place on farmland near Codnor, Derbyshire since 2007. Last year over 1,000 anti-fascists and locals marched against the festival and in 2009 militant anti-fascists attempted to block roads leading to the site. In addition, the farmer who hosts the RWB, the festival organisers and even toilets companies have been targeted for direct action. RWB host Alan Warner has cited the attacks on his property as a reason to give up hosting the event.

The RWB was the BNP's annual "family festival", usually held in August. Before coming to Derbyshire, the event was already notorious for playing Nazi marching music, hosting racist comedians and inspiring drunken violence between party members. Its image has not improved since then.

In 2007 the event passed largely unnoticed by anti-fascists, with only one lone protester turning up to express his views. By 2008 local anti-fascists Notts Stop the BNP were more organised and launched a concerted campaign against the festival. The licensing hearing was picketed and, as a result of mounting pressure, Derbyshire police imposed more serious security conditions on the event. BNP representatives withdrew their application in a huff and stormed out of the hearing.

Meanwhile, Alan Warner received a number of late night visits from activists who stole his flag, locked his gate and painted anti-fascist graffiti on his walls. STS, the company supplying the festival with toilets, also had their depot targeted.

On the weekend of the festival, a rally was held by several hundred anti-fascists responding to callouts from Notts Stop the BNP and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) who had had jumped on the bandwagon at the last minute. This was, unfortunately, marred by squabbling between the two groups. Meanwhile, a group of 100 masked anti-fascists emerged from the fields in an attempt to blockade access roads to the festival site. Fighting between riot police and this bloc resulted in over 30 arrests and led a local paper to plead for the BNP to "Never again" come to the area.

The direct action continued after the event with Warner being targeted two more times as well as RWB organiser, David Shapcott, being visited at his Burnley home.

Last year's festival was marred for the BNP by over 1,000 protesters turning up to march on the farm and the fact that an American white supremacist, who was booked to be one of the event's main speakers, was banned from entering the country. A number of festival goers were later convicted of racially abusing the protesters. Photos from inside the festival showed a pathetic turnout for what was supposed to be a flagship event.

At a meeting of East Midlands BNP organisers last weekend, whose minutes were leaked to Indymedia, the decision to cancel this year's RWB was announced. The local Amber Valley branch of the BNP have made the preposterous claim that the reason for the cancellation was worry about diverting police funds from anti-terrorism to policing the RWB. More cynical commentators have suggested that the campaign against Warner and the plummeting popularity of the festival are more likely reasons.

imc-notts-features

Lawyers body demand ban on English Defence League

2 Comment (s)
The UK-based Association of Pakistani Lawyers (APL) has called for a ban on the far right wing English Defence League following report in the British media that it plans to stoke up racial disorder in Muslim dominated areas of Bradford and Tower Hamlets in East London this summer.

In a statement APL chair Amjad Malik has demanded a ban on this organisation saying it poses a threat to public order and has sinister aims.

“If British society rightly so has no place for Al-Muhejeron, so must be the case with English Defence League which should be proscribed before it’s too late as it threatens the very fabric of British society which is built on ‘tolerance’ and ‘live and let live’ principle,” Barrister Malik said.

Malik declared that the EDL group’s decision to target some of the UK’s most prominent Muslim communities including Bradford is a an attempt to provoke Muslim youth to take law in their own hands as the youth is already feeling disillusioned by past 10 years of negative campaign and governmental actions and foreign policy concerns.

“British Muslim youth feel under the cloud due to a heavy stop and search figures and usage of terror legislation against them. English Defence League has only one agenda and that is to stir public hatred and community tensions turning into riots and create a worst law and order situation having far reaching consequences for future stability in the society.”

He said this agenda of hate and despair is a ploy to divide people and communities who are living peacefully in Britain irrespective of their faith and colour.

Associated Press of Pakistan

Newcastle protests defy the racist EDL

1 Comment (s)
At least 1000 trade unionists, LGBT activists, Muslims, anti-war campaigners, students and others turned out on the streets of Newcastle [Saturday] to succesfully counter the racist English Defence League (EDL) march

The 600-strong EDL march was kept to its Bigg Market march route through pressure from a 600-strong Unite Against Fascism (UAF) counter-march and a 100-plus mobilisation by North East Against Racism (NEAR). It was denied control of Grey's Monument (commonly regarded as the centre of Newcastle) by an anti-racist rally jointly organized by the TUC and Hope not Hate, which attracted at least a further 400 people.

The TUC, UAF and NEAR events were constituted mostly by local anti-racists. In contrast the EDL, a far right marching organization consisting of football hooligans and racists, had bussed in most of its marchers from around the country to allegedly campaign against “the spread of Islam and Islamic extremism”. I overheard a member of its 'Gateshead Division' stating to his friend “Its like a match day”.

The UAF march began at St James Park, home of Newcastle United, and proceeded to move through Newcastle city centre to passionate chants of “EDL, Off our Streets” and “When the EDL spread racist lies, We fight back and organize”.

Its climax was a rally at Newgate street, right next to the EDL march route, where UAF demonstrators cheered speeches from UAF, NUT, RMT and trades council speakers.

As Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of UAF, said, “we have trade unionists on our side who have a history of protecting workers rights. Who do the EDL have? Football hooligans, good at nothing but spreading hatred and violence”.

Josh and Rose, from near Berwick-upon-Tweed, caught the bus to attend the UAF demonstration and commented that it was “great to see this many people demonstrating against the EDL today” and said that they wanted to “see more people challenging racist views in their everyday lives”.

A group of local LGBT activists said the various counter marches, when added up, had resulted in a “good turnout ” of anti-racists, though one said it was "a shame about the separations between them.”

The marches all passed off peacefully, thanks in part to high quality stewarding by UAF and NEAR members. Police kept the anti-racists and EDL members separated at all times, without resorting to using the controversial 'kettling' tactics that provoked widespread condemnation on a number of previous occasions.

Counterfire

May 30, 2010

BNP supporter jailed for racist attack on children

7 Comment (s)
A man who shouted racial abuse at Asian children and chanted "BNP" at them has been jailed for eight months

Steven Moorhouse, 26, of Rushton Hill Close, Pellon, Halifax, admitted racially aggravated common assault and harassment between June and July last year. The children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were aged between eight and 13.

Paul Williams, prosecuting, said Moorhouse made an inappropriate comment to a 12-year-old girl and her two younger brothers took exception. Mr Williams said: "He said, 'Have you got an older sister? I need a woman to keep me off drugs'."

When the boys, eight and 10, objected, Moorhouse unleashed a tirade of racial abuse on them.

"He told them to go back to their own country," said Mr Williams, "While walking away he repeated the phrase, 'BNP, BNP'."

A week later, Moorhouse abused a 13-year-old white girl and her Asian boyfriend and threatened to return with a knife and stab one of them. On July 4 he again used racist language towards the brothers from the earlier incident and swung out at one of them, clipping him with his finger.

Moorhouse – who has previous convictions for assault, threatening behaviour and harassment and committed the latest offences in breach of a suspended sentence – was overheard shouting that he would get the BNP to come and slit someone's throat.

Jailing him, Recorder Richard Mansell QC said: "You resort to violent, threatening, bullying behaviour when things don't go your way."

Evening Courier

EDL member seen kicking officer

4 Comment (s)
A member of the English Defence League who was involved in the disorder which broke out at a rally in Stoke-on-Trent has been jailed for 16 weeks

Jake Payne travelled up to the city from his home with friends to attend the event in Hanley city centre on January 23 this year.

Laura Jones, prosecuting, told North Staffordshire magistrates: "Payne was seen by officers at 3.20pm as part of a crowd in hostile confrontation with police. He was seen to kick out violently at one police officer, then encouraging some of the people in the crowd to behave in a disorderly fashion."

She said Payne admitted he was a member of the EDL and had previous convictions for public order offences. Payne, aged 22 of Florey Gardens, Aylesbury, pleaded guilty to using threatening abusive or insulting words of behaviour with intent and failing to answer to his bail.

Lee Yates, defending, said: "He says he wishes to be sentenced and sent to prison forthwith because he knows from past experience he is unable to comply with community orders."

This is Staffordshire

EDL in the toon

1 Comment (s)
Today, Newcastle breathed a sign of relief as EDL "taliban hunters" poured in to rescue us all from terrorists. I was very pleased with this as although I hadn't seen any I heard there were a lot about.

Apparently, the best method of ridding your town of this societal menace is to get pissed and then start on the locals. There was a beautiful moment when one small, older lady (potentially a terrorist!) was being interrogated by a balaclava-wearing bloke (who was twice her size) who kept thrusting an England flag in her face. Nice work, EDL.

The day ended up with loads of EDL on one side and an equally-sized crowd of opposition on the other.

However, the vast majority of the EDL's crowd had to be bussed in from other parts of the country as Newcastle is actually a really tolerant city. Racists - go back were you came from. Newcastle is united.

anna at Indymedia

May 29, 2010

English Defence League: Inside the violent world of Britain's new far right

19 Comment (s)
The English Defence League is planning a series of demonstrations this summer.
(To watch the video, go here)
Undercover Guardian investigation reveals plan by English Defence League to hit racially sensitive areas in attempt to provoke disorder over summer

MPs expressed concern tonight after it emerged that far-right activists are planning to step up their provocative street campaign by targeting some of the UK's highest-profile Muslim communities, raising fears of widespread unrest this summer.

Undercover footage shot by the Guardian reveals the English Defence League, which has staged a number of violent protests in towns and cities across the country this year, is planning to "hit" Bradford and the London borough of Tower Hamlets as it intensifies its street protests. Senior figures in the coalition government were briefed on the threat posed by EDL marches this week. [Today] up to 2,000 EDL supporters are expected to descend on Newcastle for its latest protest.

MPs said the group's decision to target some of the UK's most prominent Muslim communities was a blatant attempt to provoke mayhem and disorder. "This group has no positive agenda," said the Bradford South MP, Gerry Sutcliffe. "It is an agenda of hate that is designed to divide people and communities. We support legitimate protest but this is not legitimate, it is designed to stir up trouble. The people of Bradford will want no part of it."

The English Defence League, which started in Luton last year, has become the most significant far-right street movement in the UK since the National Front in the 1970s. A Guardian investigation has identified a number of known rightwing extremists who are taking an interest in the movement – from convicted football hooligans to members of violent rightwing splinter groups.

Thousands of people have attended its protests – many of which have descended into violence and racist and Islamophobic chanting. Supporters are split into "divisions" spread across the UK and as many as 3,000 people are attracted to its protests.

The group also appears to be drawing support from the armed forces. Its online armed forces division has 842 members and the EDL says many serving soldiers have attended its demonstrations. A spokeswoman for the EDL, whose husband is a serving soldier, said: "The soldiers are fighting Islamic extremism in Afghanistan and Iraq and the EDL are fighting it here … Not all the armed forces support the English Defence League but a majority do."

Following the British National party's poor showing in this month's local and national elections anti-racist campaigners say some far-right activists may be turning away from the ballot box and returning to violent street demonstrations for the first time in three decades.

Nick Lowles, from Searchlight, said: "What we are seeing now is the most serious, most dangerous, political phenomenon that we have had in Britain for a number of years. With EDL protests that are growing week in, week out there is a chance for major disorder and a major political shift to the right in this country."

In undercover footage shot by Guardian Films, EDL spokesman Guramit Singh says its Bradford demonstration "will be huge". He adds: "The problem with Bradford is the security threat, it is a highly populated Muslim area. They are very militant as well. Bradford is a place that has got to be hit."

Singh, who was speaking during an EDL demonstration in Dudley in April, said the organisation would also be targeting Tower Hamlets.

A spokesman for the EDL confirmed it would hold a demonstration in Bradford on 28 August because the city was "on course to be one of the first places to become a no-go area for non-Muslims". The EDL has already announced demonstrations in Cardiff and Dudley.

The former Home Office minister Phil Woolas said: "This is a deliberate attempt by the EDL at division and provocation, to try and push young Muslims into the hands of extremists, in order to perpetuate the divide. It is dangerous."

The EDL claims it is a peaceful and non-racist organisation only concerned with protesting against "militant Islam". However, over the last four months the Guardian has attended its demonstrations and witnessed racism, violence and virulent Islamophobia. During the election campaign David Cameron described the EDL as "dreadful people" and said the organisation would "always be under review".

A spokesman for the Home Office said that although the government was committed to restoring the right to "non-violent protest … violence and intimidation are wholly unacceptable and the police have powers to deal with individuals who commit such acts. The government condemns those who seek to spread hatred."

He added: "Individual members of EDL – like all members of the public – are of course subject to the law, and all suspected criminal offences will be robustly investigated and dealt with by the police."

Guardian

May 28, 2010

How to beat the BNP – and make sure they don't come back

9 Comment (s)
It is only through open debate that we can expose the BNP's false prospectus and vile intentions, argues Margaret Hodge

Several symbolic victories lightened the gloom for Labour at the election, but none more so than the trouncing of the BNP in Barking and Dagenham. I doubled my majority; the BNP was driven into third place by the Tories; and all of its councillors lost their seats. In short, the politics of hatred and racism were decisively rejected.

Four years ago, I warned of the dangers of the rise of the extreme Right, after a surge in BNP support in my area. Some believed that by raising the problem, I was creating it. But I remain convinced that we cannot deal with the issue by ignoring it. All that does is add to the alienation of those who believe that politicians don't listen to their grievances, and haven't a clue about their concerns.

The argument about whether we should share platforms with the BNP is redundant. It is only through open debate that we can expose its false prospectus and vile intentions. That is why, in Barking and Dagenham, the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, consistently refused to debate with me, or the other candidates. He knew he'd lose the argument – on immigration, on the BNP's hideous heritage, and on local concerns and priorities.

The people here looked to the BNP because they have legitimate grievances. They have experienced the most rapid demographic change in the country. All of us would feel some unease if our neighbours suddenly seemed foreign, and the produce in the shops became unfamiliar. The traditional employer, Ford, has cut back from 40,000 workers to 4,000. The sale of council houses created a lack of decent affordable homes. The local Labour Party became too complacent, and there was no mainstream opposition.

The result was a cocktail of circumstances that the BNP could exploit. In 2006, they put forward 13 candidates in the local elections and won 12 seats. With more candidates, they might well have taken control of the council. Our voters felt we had completely lost touch with them.

Our response was to do everything we could to reconnect with people, and give them a positive reason for voting Labour. In our coffee afternoons, street meetings and door-to-door visits, we didn't talk about national issues. Instead, we listened to what voters were concerned about – from potholes, to the resiting of bus stops, to anti-social behaviour. And, of course, they talked about immigration and the impact they felt it was having on housing, jobs, schools and crime.

First, we always tried to deliver on the local concerns, to show people we were listening. Second, we worked hard to stay in touch with those we met, so people got to know their MP and local activists. Finally, we talked about immigration. Voters of every race share the same concerns about the way housing and welfare benefits are allocated. We didn't promise to turn the clock back. But just by listening and showing understanding, we began to restore confidence and trust.

Since 2006, we have almost doubled our party membership, and are now truly representative of our community. In the council wards where the BNP was strongest, we put forward African and Asian candidates – and they won with handsome majorities.

Yet this is the beginning, not the end of the campaign. The BNP retained its deposit in 72 constituencies, and remains a threat to tolerant, democratic politics across Britain. In particular, we still have to find our way through the issue of immigration. To this end, we need a better system for rationing housing and benefits, with priority for those who have lived in an area for longest. This would immediately lance the toxic perception that the allocation systems are unfair. In that way, we could start to change people's attitudes to immigration, and relegate the BNP to the dustbin, where it belongs.

Margaret Hodge is the MP for Barking & Dagenham

Telegraph

MP attacks BNP governor

0 Comment (s)
The Leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young, is to ask the Schools Minister to consider whether it is appropriate for BNP councillors to serve as school governors.

The move follows the matter being raised in the Commons by Stoke-on-Trent South MP Rob Flello yesterday. He asked Sir George to make a statement about the "appropriateness" of BNP councillors being governors.

Mr Flello said: "I am looking at a photograph of a British National Party councillor, Steve Batkin, with some individuals who are doing Nazi salutes outside a war memorial. Will the Leader of the House consider making time for a statement about the appropriateness or otherwise of BNP councillors who hold such appalling views and who consort with such individuals serving on governing bodies such as that of Edensor High School in my constituency?"

This is Staffordshire

Ex-BNP webmaster confirms Jim Dowson owns the BNP

12 Comment (s)
The British National Party learned the hard way that exploiting and cheating its own supporters has unpleasant consequences, when two days before polling day its webmaster removed the BNP website from the internet

Simon Bennett replaced the site, which received more visitors than any other political party website, with a brief statement accusing the party of “several attempts of theft today with regards to design work and content owned by myself”. He also claimed that Arthur Kemp and Jim Dowson, two close aides to Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, had threatened violence against him and his family.

Bennett’s action meant that supporters could no longer make online donations or membership applications. For the first time for many months, BNP e-news bulletins came without a donation button.

Bennett had been in dispute with Dowson, the convicted criminal who in effect owns the BNP, for a year, but matters came to a head when Griffin insisted, against Bennett’s advice, on adding an image of a jar of Marmite to a version of the BNP’s television election broadcast pre-released on the party website.

Simon Bennett (above) pulled the plug on the
BNP website alleging Jim Dowson tried to steal his work

According to a longer statement by Bennett, this “very deliberate copyright infringement” was a stunt by Griffin and Dowson to provoke a reaction from Unilever, which owns the Marmite brand, and so “create publicity and a fund raising opportunity”. In the event, Bennett claimed, website traffic, donations and membership applications barely increased at all.

After Unilever responded by launching proceedings over copyright infringement, Griffin and Dowson realised they had underestimated the severity of the legal and financial consequences and came up with pathetic excuses, such as a claim that a “joker” had amended the film. When Unilever’s lawyers refused to believe them, Bennett says he was expected “to go to court and lie through my teeth in order to bail them out of a ridiculous hole they had dug themselves into”.

Griffin and Dowson had misjudged Bennett. Unlike they themselves and their more sycophantic supporters, Bennett “was not prepared to spend five years in prison for perjury just to protect the financial interests of fools” and told Unilever’s lawyers the truth.

Bennett had refused to do their bidding so Griffin and Dowson wanted him out. Bennett was prepared to go but wanted to be paid for his website design work. Claiming he had invested around £40,000 into the site, he said he was not prepared simply to hand it over to Griffin and Dowson so that they could use it to make more money. “It was my bloody hard work, commitment and money that developed that site into the success it became,” wrote Bennett, “and for Dowson to try and force control of it for his own advantage made me feel sick.”

Money is what it is all about – not for Bennett but for Griffin and Dowson, who, Bennett claims, is paid £120,000 a year by the party. As Searchlight already knew from other sources, Bennett’s dispute with Dowson started over the fact that the telesales staff at Dowson’s call centre earned commission from subscriptions and party memberships and so were telling party members not to renew their membership on the website because it was “unsafe and had been hacked”.

Bennett complained to Griffin who said he would look into it. Shortly afterwards he was contacted by the call centre manager, Kate Hunt, and Dowson. A heated exchange ended with Dowson threatening: “I am a Glasgow/Belfast man as you are about to find out. I was patient simon [sic] but you crossed the line sir, its time some manners were put on you.”

Bennett had crossed Dowson and could not win. As Bennett says in his statement, confirming the conclusions of Searchlight’s investigations: “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!”

By the Sunday after election day the BNP had a new website up and running, set up by Chris Barnett who, Bennett says, used to run a web server for an online pornographic studio in Birmingham. But the story was not over. Bennett also had control of the party’s Facebook site, with its nearly 26,000 members, and its Twitter feed. He now linked them to a new website of his own on which he exposed Dowson’s financial dealings with the BNP and called for reform of the party.

As well as setting up his own site Bennett posted on various far-right internet forums, disclosing the nefarious ways the BNP operates. On one he revealed that Kemp, the BNP’s website editor who had moved through a variety of party posts, had also threatened Bennett and had once opposed Griffin.

“He threatened to drive to Cornwall, rip my head off off and shove it up my @rse,” wrote Bennett. “I expected better of him too, but I noticed the change in his anti-griffin attitude once he started ‘fund-raising’ for our best friend Jim. From that day on he became very pro-Jim and pro-griffin, even though he knew they planned his downfall at the EU election planning meeting in 2008. They humiliated him, stripped him of his position, income and dignity. He suffered it for over a year until he was offered a scrap of food which he grabbed with both hands and stabbed me in the back to get to it.”

Bennett also removed Griffin’s personal MEP’s website though not the similar websites he runs for Andrew Brons, the BNP’s other MEP, and Richard Barnbrook, the party’s London Assembly member, with whom he has no dispute.

The BNP has taken legal proceedings against Bennett, presumably paid for out of members’ donations, but that has not silenced him. Bennett is gradually adding to his new website, which is likely to become a centre for any moves to oust Griffin from the BNP leadership in the coming months.

Searchlight

May 27, 2010

BNP man’s poll form had forgeries

14 Comment (s)
A man has been cautioned after signatures on the nomination forms of a defeated BNP candidate in the General Election were found to have been forged.

South Wales Police received a number of complaints from members of the public concerned that their details had been used on Richard Barnes’ nomination form. Mr Barnes stood for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney in the recent election, but received only 1,173 votes.

Before a prospective candidate is allowed to stand, he or she must obtain 10 signatures: a proposer, a seconder and those who signed the nomination papers. Police investigated the claims and as a result a 30-year-old man was arrested and later cautioned for tampering with ballot nomination papers after he was found to be responsible for forging signatures.

A South Wales Police spokesman said: “Mr Barnes was unaware of the actions and the man was cautioned on May 16.”

Ronald Fealey, of Penydarren, was one of those who had his name used to forge a signature. He said: “Someone told me my name was on the nomination form and I thought they were taking the Mick about it. My son downloaded the nomination form and there my name was. I reported it to the returning officer and they informed the police. I don’t know why my name was chosen, it possibly could have been out of a hat for all I know.”

Katy Meredith, of Church Street, Penydarren, was also a victim of the deception. She did not sign the nomination papers and said she did not vote BNP.

The Echo contacted the BNP but received no response.

Merthyr Tydfil Council was unable to help the Echo contact Richard Barnes, but did say: “Fraudulently signing election nomination papers is a criminal offence. Therefore, when Merthyr council was officially made aware that there was a potential issue with one of the candidates’ nomination papers the week after the election, the matter was referred directly to South Wales Police for investigation. Merthyr council has no further role.”

Wales Online

EDL Walsall demo cancelled

5 Comment (s)
The controversial English Defence League have called off a planned demonstration against a proposed mosque in Walsall after learning that the biggest single group opposed to the scheme are Muslims. George Makin reports.

The anti-Islamic EDL had announced they would hold a demonstration on June 19 against a scheme to build a new place of worship in Vicarage Close which had previously been denied planning permission by the Walsall council. Proposers of the development have announced their intention to appeal the decision.

The EDL’s proposed demonstration led to a joint statement by the leaders of all three party leaders on Walsall council, fearful of a repeat of violent clashes which have occurred at other EDL events, that the rightwing group was not wanted in the town.

During negotiations with police EDL organiser were surprised to learn the original planning application had been opposed by many Muslims in Walsall who claim there are enough mosques in the borough already.

The EDL are now planning for a demonstration in Dudley on June 19 and for another in Alum Rock in Birmingham at a later date.

The Stirrer

May 26, 2010

BNP man sentenced after shoving two women at East Croydon station

5 Comment (s)
A BNP thug who ran for council has been given a year's community service for assaulting two female pacifist campaigners.

David Clarke, who got 518 votes when he stood in Heathfield for this year's local elections, was sentenced on four counts of assaulting anti-racism campaigners. Clarke, of Dunley Drive, New Addington, pushed and shoved Lorna Nelson-Homian, James Cox, Nigel Green and Silvia Beckett in two separate attacks last May outside East Croydon train station.

Croydon Magistrates' Court handed the 41-year-old a 12-month community order last week and ordered him to pay costs of £650. Clarke denied attacking the Hope Not Hate campaigners but was found guilty on April 30.

Giving evidence in relation to the first incident on May 27, campaigner Nigel Green said: "I saw him [Clarke] walking towards me. He was walking right towards me and I could see there would be problems. I decided to stop and put the leaflets behind my back. But he gestured for me to give him a leaflet and he basically snatched them out of my hand. They were thrown down on the street and that was quite a shock to me. Then he sort of pushed me and grabbed my arm and twirled me around. I was very shaken because I had done nothing to provoke him."

Prosecutor Daniel Irving told the court how after the first assault Clarke left, only to return to repeatedly shove Ms Beckett to get to Mr Green. The court heard Clarke almost knocked the woman off her feet.

Mr Irving told the court that when Clarke spotted other Hope Not Hate campaigners two days later he screamed at them: "F****** scumbags, filth on our streets, taking all our jobs."

Then Clarke again snatched leaflets, threw them on the floor and shoved Ms Nelson-Homian and Mr Cox.

This is Croydon Today

PFA takes a stand over Wayne Brown’s BNP revelations

0 Comment (s)
For this to come from within a dressing room is very disappointing, says Bobby Barnes

Leicester player Wayne Brown’s admission that he voted for the British National Party at the General Election has angered teammates, including PFA chairman Chris Powell, and fellow professionals – and has come as a major disappointment to the Professional Footballers’ Association.

The PFA has worked hard for many years with a number of anti-racism bodies to try and eradicate racism from our sport, at all levels, and according to Deputy Chief Executive Bobby Banes, Brown’s comments have ‘set the movement back’.

Brown, whose announcement caused angry scenes within the Leicester dressing room, was told to stay away from the club after reporting for duty before Leicester’s play-off semi final clashes with Cardiff, and was urged to make a public apology.

The player’s future is now shrouded in doubt and when asked whether it would be hard for Brown to stay at Leicester, or even find a new club, Bobby Barnes said: “I would like to think so. We have a zero tolerance policy on issues like this. Football has worked hard over the years to really be a beacon in the fight against racism and it is very discouraging to hear these comments when you think of the tireless work so many people, and so many organisations, have put in to get to where we are today.

“In my day as a player you had to contend with racist comments coming from the terraces, so for this to come from within a dressing room is very, very disappointing and our members are angry that Wayne Brown was not prepared to abide by our mission statement.”

To listen to what else the PFA Deputy Chief Executive had to say, click here.

Give Me Football

Crime and offence

11 Comment (s)
Kieron Trent and Matt Tait, part of the BNP mob
that brought violence to the streets of Barking and Dagenham
The wheels of justice often grind very slowly. A few days before polling day, David Clarke, a thuggish BNP activist, failed election fraudster and would-be Croydon councillor, was convicted on four counts of assault on anti-fascist leafleters in May last year. He had repeatedly pushed and grabbed at two campaigners and then returned two days later to swear at two others, push them and grab their leaflets.

Released on bail awaiting sentencing, he made the local press again when a female companion allegedly performed a sex act on him in full view in The George pub in Croydon, a regular BNP watering hole.

An eyewitness also connected him to a threat by a gang of local BNP activists earlier this year to cut the throat of an anti-fascist campaigner.

Election fraud is a habitual weapon in the BNP armoury. The Sunday Telegraph revealed that a number of BNP candidates for Barking and Dagenham council had placed themselves on the Electoral Register at “front” addresses in the borough when they were really living elsewhere. They included Jeffrey Marshall, the BNP’s central London organiser, Eddy Butler, a key organiser of the party’s local campaign, and Chris Roberts, a paid aide to the BNP’s London Assembly member. All three also stood in the general election, Marshall in Bethnal Green and Bow, Butler in Harlow and Roberts in Basildon South and Thurrock East.

HOPE not hate has produced many leaflets quoting the vile remarks by Marshall, who welcomed the death of David Cameron’s disabled son. That did not stop Tony Gladwin, the BNP’s parliamentary candidate in Southend West and a council candidate in Basildon. Gladwin, a regular on the East of England BNP security team, posted offensive jokes on his Facebook page ridiculing victims of the thalidomide tragedy, who suffered severe birth defects as a result of the drug.

The election campaign brought reports from several parts of the country of BNP thugs trying to run off HOPE not hate activists. Mostly they failed either because of a police presence or because trade unionists and others on the HOPE not hate teams refused to be intimidated.

The most serious incident took place in Barking the day before the election. Nick Griffin, the BNP leader and Barking parliamentary candidate, protected by car loads of Essex “BNP Security” and other thugs from further afield, clashed with local people in front of a BBC film crew. Young black and white kids shouted down the would-be MP and some Asian lads were more explicit in their threats but limited their action to lobbing a few tomatoes in his direction.

The BNP heavies responded by bundling Griffin out of the line of fruity fire and then piling into two cars to hunt the Asian youths.

BBC video footage shows the well known foulmouthed drunk and failed BNP councillor Robert Bailey leading the confrontation. They tracked down the three Asian youngsters, called them over and shouted abuse. The smallest youth faced down Bailey at which point it is clear that Bailey’s touched him twice with his hands and the youth backed away. After more shouting and Bailey telling them to get on their fucking way, the smallest youth spat at Bailey.

At this Bailey went berserk, threw him to the ground and aimed a series of kicks at him. Bailey is a former Royal Marine commando, but has clearly lost his fighting skills, probably as a result of his predilection for strong drink. He fell backwards to the ground after tripping over his victim and the kerb and his BNP colleagues rushed into battle as the two other Asian youths tried to protect their friend.


(above) BNP former councillor Robert Bailey confronts Asian youths just before viciously assaulting one of the men. (below) Questioned by Searchlight editor Nick Lowles, Nick Griffin defends Bailey’s conduct


Among the BNP group were Matt Tait, the BNP’s rich brat parliamentary candidate in Milton Keynes South, and Kieron Trent, the BNP’s only candidate for Milton Keynes council and a keen kick boxer. Both had been imported for the rough stuff and Trent is clearly visible landing blows and kicks to someone on the ground joined by a fourth BNP heavy.

As Searchlight went to press two Asian youths have been charged with assault and affray and Bailey only with assault. All have been released on police bail. It is unclear why only the Asian youths attracted the more serious charge.

There were at least two independent witnesses on the BBC film, who could help identify Trent and Tait, whose photographs we reproduce here. We will be happy to pass on their addresses if the police ask us.

At the local election count, Searchlight’s editor Nick Lowles asked Griffin whether he was happy with Bailey kicking the lad in the head. Griffin, surrounded by some of his thugs including one of those who seriously assaulted a reporter from The Times in February, tried to evade the issue, saying the young man had threatened to kill him earlier in the day. Put on the spot and in front of the media, Griffin eventually admitted that in his view kicking a man in the head while on the ground was acceptable self-defence.

In south London Cormac Hollingsworth, a HOPE not hate activist and Labour Party council candidate was leafleting when he was assaulted by a man screaming “f***ing Labour bastard”. As the thug, well known from National Front marches, rained blows on Cormac and kicked him while on the ground, Cormac captured a photo of his attacker on his mobile phone, enabling us to find a better photo of the same man. The matter is in the hands of the police.

Like rats with their backs to the wall, BNP activists, in-between fighting each other, are likely to seek more revenge for their abject failure at the ballot box.

Searchlight

May 25, 2010

Race hate boss porkies to PCC exposed

6 Comment (s)
Racist leader whinges that he is not in the BNP then is filmed at party fundraiser!

This is the footage that proves BNP big wig Jim Dowson has been telling porkies!
Barefaced race hate Glaswegian Dowson has asked the Press Complaints Commission to rule that the Sunday World was wrong to say he was a member of the BNP – he told them had never been a member, yet here he is delivering a rousing right-wing speech – proving he’s up to his neck in the far right party.

Last year we revealed Dowson was behind the secret fundraising centre which is tucked away in east Belfast. But after our first story he appeared on UTV and gave an interview to say he was not connected with the political side of the BNP and was just a businessman running a call centre. He even said he didn’t agree with the BNP’s politics! And he has complained to the Press Complaints Commission because we said he was a life member.

Poor affronted Jim told the PCC in an indignant letter: “They also allege that I am a BNP life member when I have never been a member of the party ever in my life!”

But a video passed to us by anti-fascist magazine Searchlight shows Jim praising the racist party and urging people to join up. And he’s even captioned North West Fundraiser. And we’ve since discovered that Jim may not have paid his membership to the BNP – because according to sources he owns it!

He has been BNP leader Nick Griffin’s right-hand man – to such an extent he has caused angry rumblings within the party. During the seven minute video, which was taken during a fundraising event in Blackburn, Lancashire two months ago, Dowson repeatedly uses the phrases ‘we’ and ‘us’ when talking about the BNP.

We’ve picked out some of his most ‘rousing’ rants so you can make up your own mind if convicted criminal Dowson is in the BNP.

“We’re living with the Chinese and the Koreans,” says BNP Jim with a BNP backdrop, as the title BNP North West fundraiser is put on the screen of the BNP internet TV channel. “They’re now the top of the tree. They’re going to be the ones who dominate the world. But it doesn’t matter how many cheap radios they build or cheap cars they build – they’ll never have what we have and that’s British blood.”

He then rambles on about soldiers and famous wars and battles including Waterloo, Agincourt, The Falklands and Afghanistan. He tells the crowd: “The same blood is in you as they had. You are the sum total of your ancestors. Think what they suffered; think what they gave to build this Great Britain. How can Trevor Phillips (black head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission) ever hope to destroy us? I’ll tell you how, by destroying the British National Party. The only bulwark against tyranny is the BNP – you people have joined, given, you’ve campaigned, you’ve leafleted. We are the frontline. We are the thin red line against total destruction, annihilation and oblivion. We are the people who are standing in guard.”

He then babbles on about the film Zulu, which he thinks is called Rourke’s Drift, and likens the BNP to the British soldiers who repelled wave after wave of Zulu warriors during the Boer War. He then slags off the British people who he says have run away because they are too scared to join the BNP in case they lose their job or get into trouble.

He then says of the BNP: “We will turn this country round. People like (Trevor) Phillips and (Jack) Straw have mistaken us for being soft. There’s nothing soft about Blackburn and if Trevor Phillips and any of his cronies came here they would soon find out.”

He says he has helped turn the party around from being an amateurish party with no offices to having five UK offices, two MEP’s and are now bigger than UKIP.

“This party is going places – think what we have achieved,” says BNP Jim.

He talks about the leaked BNP list and tells anyone in the audience that if they weren’t on it, why weren’t they on it.

“When the list came out they thought we’d all run and hide. I was manning the phones that week and all week we got people in their 70s phoning saying ‘sign me up’ – they were joining in their 100s.”

The speech was part of a fundraiser in Blackburn which took place just before the election. But sadly for Jim the election was an unmitigated disaster. The party hoped to get four MP’s elected to Westminster but failed to secure a single seat. They had boasted about taking control of Barking and Dagenham council but were wiped out 51-0 by Labour. Furthermore BNP sources are blaming Jim Dowson.

As revealed last week he, and the Belfast office, were being held responsible for the election blunder. Anti-fascist magazine Searchlight ran a ‘Hope not Hate’ campaign against the BNP during the election and Irish correspondent Matthew Collins hailed it a total success.

“Jim Dowson and his operation of shadow companies has as good as bought the BNP,” says Matthew. “From our point of view, he’s the best thing to ever happen to the BNP. We’ve already begun to drive his party out of our council chambers and I’m sure the people of Northern Ireland will follow suit and chose hope over hate.”

Sunday World

County Durham BNP teacher race claims dismissed

16 Comment (s)
Allegations that a British National Party activist posted racist comments online while working as a teacher in County Durham have been dismissed

The General Teaching Council (GTC) had heard Adam Walker used a school laptop to post descriptions of some immigrants as "savage animals" and "filth". Mr Walker, from Spennymoor, said he had been singled out because of his views.

The GTC found him guilty of a single charge of misconduct after he admitted using a laptop during lessons. Mr Walker was the first teacher to appear before the GTC accused of racial intolerance. It was alleged the views expressed in the postings constituted unacceptable professional conduct.

He resigned from Houghton Kepier Sports College, in Houghton-le-Spring, in 2007 after his head teacher asked IT staff to investigate his use of the internet.

The GTC panel said it was "troubled" by some of the postings made by Mr Walker, who also claimed Britain was becoming a "dumping ground for the filth of the Third World". But the three-member committee said it was not satisfied that the "intemperate" views expressed by Mr Walker during his time at the school were suggestive of intolerance.

The hearing was told that in one posting, it was alleged Mr Walker claimed the BNP had risen in popularity because "they are the only party who are making a stand and are prepared to protect the rights of citizens against the savage animals New Labour and Bliar (sic) are filling our communities with".

The teacher's trade union representative, Patrick Harrington, said Mr Walker accepted he was wrong to use a computer to access the online forum during school time. However, he argued that none of the terms used by Mr Walker had demonstrated racial or religious intolerance.

BBC

Griffin tries to buy time with resignation ploy

9 Comment (s)
Under pressure from a series of revelations by the British National Party’s former webmaster Simon Bennett and calls for new leadership by party activists and organisers stung by their disastrous election results, Nick Griffin has announced that he will step down as leader “by the end of 2013”.

His declaration, made to a meeting of the party’s Advisory Council and key organisers on 22 May, is unlikely to satisfy those who have been contributing to Bennett’s website trying to win support for a leadership challenge this year. Many will consider that three and a half years is too long for the party to stagnate under Griffin, and will be all too well aware of Griffin’s past form at wriggling out of awkward situations and commitments.

According to a statement on the BNP website, Griffin intends to concentrate on getting re-elected to the European Parliament in 2014. He then intends “to help the other European nationalist parties to achieve the level of sophistication which the BNP has been able to build up, because a victory for any one of these parties is a victory to all of us”.

These “European nationalist parties” are likely to include some of Europe’s most hardline racist and fascist organisations. Griffin and his fellow BNP MEP Andrew Brons are members of the Alliance of European National Movements, a far-right group in the European Parliament formed in Budapest last October. Its other members are the three MEPs from Hungary’s fascist Jobbik party and the three French National Front MEPs.

The group is also supported by Italy’s Fiamma Tricolore, the Belgian National Front and the Swedish National Democrats, none of which have MEPs.

Griffin’s announcement shows that he remains more an internationalist fascist than a British nationalist, true to the politics he learned from his mentor, the convicted Italian terrorist Roberto Fiore. No doubt he has also become accustomed to the European Parliament’s generous salary and expenses regime.

Between now and 2013, Griffin intends to concentrate on “putting into place of the last ‘building blocks’ of the BNP’s administrative and political machine”. This is a more buoyant description than in his e-newsletters since the election in which he said that the party’s “underdeveloped elections department” had to be overhauled and restructured.

Griffin would then make way for “a younger person who does not have any baggage which can be used against the party,” a recognition that his presence is a liability for the party. Finding a person without “baggage”, who “will be able to drive support up to where it [the BNP] can be a serious contender for power” may be hard. Until now, any person fitting that description has left the party either in one of Griffin’s “purges” or because they have discovered that the party is not what they expected it to be.

The extended Advisory Council meeting also heard “consultant” Jim Dowson claim that “contrary to internet rumour-mongers”, the BNP owns the “Truth Truck” advertising vehicle for which Dowson raised a reported £80,000 or more in 2008. This was apparently confirmed in person by Jennie Noble, “the BNP treasurer who paid for the vehicle”.

If that is true then why did the BNP’s solicitors tell bailiffs trying to seize the vehicle to meet a debt that it was owned by an unconnected third party?

Dowson also stated that he did not take a commission on transactions through the BNP’s Belfast call centre. However he was silent on whether his call centre staff, who include friends and relations of Dowson and Griffin, were paid commission on party memberships and other sales, as evidenced by Bennett.

He did however reveal that he, under the guise of his “Midas Consultancy” business, was paid £165,000 for raising £2.6 million in donations for the party since January 2008.

Whether Dowson really has raised £2.6 million cannot be verified at present. The 2008 accounts showed an increase in donations of £662,000 over 2007, but the 2009 accounts will not be available until the end of July, provided the party manages to submit them on time. The BNP claimed to have raised over £500,000 for its European election campaign and there have been some fundraising appeals since then, such as to fight the legal action by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over the BNP’s “whites only” membership criterion, but central party fundraising for this year’s elections seemed to have stalled. Much of the money to pay for general election deposits and leaflets was raised locally by party branches, with no input from Dowson.

Even if Dowson has raised a seven-figure sum, BNP members might raise eyebrows at the amount paid to a consultant who is always keen to point out that he is not a party member.

The meeting was told that BNP membership now stands at “just under 14,000 … increasing by several hundred every month” and that the rate at which BNP members fail to renew has decreased from over 70% to less 20%, now doubt testament to the harassment several members have reported from Dowson’s call centre – people rejoin just to stop the constant phone calls. The BNP has past form in exaggerating its membership and we can only wait to see how these claims compare with the audited figures in the party’s 2009 and 2010 accounts.

Missing from the announcements was any response to the numerous members who are calling for greater transparency in the BNP’s finances.

Griffin concluded by claiming that the party had “emerged from the meeting re-energised and ready for the ongoing struggle to save our nation from destruction at the hands of the old parties”, which is a rather creative way of describing the widespread disillusionment following the twin blows of the party’s capitulation over admitting “non-white” members and its rout in the general and local elections.

Hope not hate

May 24, 2010

BNP teacher 'described immigrants as filth'

6 Comment (s)
A teacher posted comments on the internet describing some immigrants as "savage animals" and "filth", a disciplinary panel heard

Adam Walker, a British National Party member, used a school laptop to access an online forum in which he claimed parts of Britain were a "dumping ground" for the Third World, the General Teaching Council was told on Monday.

Mr Walker is the first teacher to appear before the GTC accused of racial intolerance. He resigned from Houghton Kepier Sports College in Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, in 2007.

Opening the case against the former soldier, Bradley Albuery, GTC presenting officer, alleged that the postings demonstrated views suggestive of both racial and religious intolerance. In one posting, Mr Walker claimed the BNP had risen in popularity because "they are the only party who are making a stand and are prepared to protect the rights of citizens against the savage animals New Labour and Bliar (sic) are filling our communities with".

In another posting on the same day, Mr Walker wrote: "By following recent media coverage of illegal animals and how they are allowed to stay here despite committing heinous crimes, I am, to say the very least, disgusted."

Another posting claimed that some immigrants hated people who were white and had western values.

Under existing legislation, BNP members are not banned from being teachers. But the GTC has the power to ban teachers from the classroom and issue suspensions or formal reprimands for bringing the profession into disrepute.

Concluding his opening statement, Mr Albuery said: "This case is not about the BNP or whether teachers should be members of that lawful party. This case is about the actions and behaviour of a registered teacher, using a school property on school premises in school time."

Mr Walker, from Spennymoor, County Durham, is alleged to have spent more than eight hours using the laptop for purposes not connected to his school duties. The teacher, who worked at Houghton Kepier for more than six years, resigned after his head teacher asked IT staff to investigate his use of the internet.

In a statement read to the hearing, Mr Walker said that he had not communicated his political thoughts and beliefs to staff or pupils at the school.

"I have always sought to bring out the best in my pupils,” he said. "I have certainly never discriminated against an individual on grounds of race, faith or sexuality. Part of why I became a teacher is to help people overcome social disadvantage and reach their full potential."

Commenting on the content of his postings, Mr Walker said he had been influenced by media coverage of a female PC shot dead by two illegal immigrants and the murder of British hostage Ken Bigley in Iraq.

"Looking back now I feel that I was unduly influenced by the hostile climate the media created," he said. "This led me to express intemperate views which lacked complexity and balance. I should have taken more time to think about the possible offence my words might have caused and I think I could have expressed myself more carefully and positively. I have never condemned all immigrants or asylum seekers. My comments relate to those I perceive as coming to our country and committing criminal offences or otherwise behaving badly. In many cases, I cut and pasted views from a variety of sources in order to provoke debate and these were not attributed.”

More than a dozen uniformed police officers were on duty outside the GTC's offices in central Birmingham, where demonstrators had gathered during the hearing on Monday.

The hearing continues.

Telegraph

The Truth Truck of Doom strikes again!

15 Comment (s)
I'd be willing to bet that Nick Griffin frequently rues the day that he ever had the idea of conning the membership of the BNP into donating to the so-called Truth Truck appeal. Ever since it appeared, the truck has been nothing but trouble, only encouraging thick idiots like Clive Jefferson to disturb the peace by driving around while shouting incoherent rubbish at a bewildered public.

But that's been far from the worst problem - the main one being the question of who actually owns the bloody thing. Griffin raised the money on the back of a purchase of a new truck, apparently changed his mind (without telling anyone) and decided a decent second-hand truck would be better value for money, and has since been vilified for apparently leasing the truck from Dowson instead, rather than fulfilling his side of the bargain and buying one, second-hand or not.

One of Griffin's main problems is that he is a liar in a party of liars. It must be hard to be consistent (or indeed, coherent) in one's lies if everyone else is lying and changing stories all the time. Thus, at times, tales of fraud and incompetence within the BNP disappear into the ether not because they are untrue, but because they get lost in a swirling mish-mash of truth, lie, bullshit and ignorance. But just occasionally, a lie reveals a greater lie...

In a post on the BNP website in which Griffin refers to his intention to stand down as party leader in 2013 (assuming he isn't booted out or jailed before then), he has decided to clear the air about a number of things, among them the ownership of the Lie Lorry. He says;
'The Truth Truck is owned by the BNP, contrary to internet rumour-mongers, a fact confirmed in person by the BNP treasurer who paid for the vehicle, Jennie Noble.'
Fair enough. So why, on May 22nd 2009, was it reported that;
'...High Court Enforcement Officers attempting to seize the vehicle [the truck] to settle judgements on behalf of freelance journalist Mark Croucher were informed that the vehicle did not, in fact, belong to the BNP. This was confirmed in a subsequent letter from the BNPs solicitors, Gilbert Davies & Partners of Welshpool who wrote, “the goods referred to are registered in the name of another person who…has no connection with the judgement debtors”.'
If the Lie Lorry does in fact belong to the BNP, Mark Croucher was lied to and, incidentally, so were the BNP's solicitors, who would hardly have told Croucher what they did unless they believed it to be the truth. If the Lie Lorry does NOT belong to the BNP, the party is lying to the public and its membership, and Jennie Noble appears to be complicit in that lie. Either way, this whole Truth Truck/Lie Lorry scam smacks of fraud hastily and untidily being covered-up.

Heads the BNP is lying: tails the BNP is lying. Take your pick.

Image courtesy of this great thread on b3ta.

Griffin to resign. In 2013. Allegedly.

22 Comment (s)
In a move clearly designed to smother any chance of a successful leadership challenge for at least three years, Nick Griffin has told a meeting of the BNP's Advisory Council that he intends to step down at the end 0f 2013.

The carefully crafted plan is designed to undermine support for any potential leadership challengers among the voting membership, large numbers of which will be satisfied that Griffin has apparently set a date for his departure and given promises that he intends to modernise the BNP's election fighting capability.

“By then I would have been leader of the BNP for 15 years and that is long enough,” said Griffin. “It will be time to make way for a younger person who does not have any baggage which can be used against the party.”

Griffin claims he needs the time to put into place the last “building blocks” of the BNP’s administrative and political machine, according to the BNP website.

“This is going to take at least 18 months to implement and after that I intend to hand the party over to someone who will be able to drive support up to where it can be a serious contender for power,” said Griffin.

Griffin's utter political ineptness has been amply demonstrated over the past few weeks of the general election, though somehow the political greenhorns and Griffin cultists among the BNP membership have been fooled (or have fooled themselves) into believing that the party's obliteration was in fact an advance, and that their millstone of a leader remains the man to take them forward.

It would certainly be difficult for Griffin to take the BNP any further backward.

In the meantime, sheltering behind the cover of his putative resignation date and the claims of needing time to put the BNP's electoral machine in order, Griffin will be free to pick off potential challengers and root out dissent within the party. Anybody even thinking about a leadership challenge can and will, on all past form, be labelled a "wrecker" unwilling to give Griffin time to complete his modernisation.

Griffin will also be banking on the virtual certainty of improved voting percentages in local elections, especially by-elections, in which low turnouts favour the party - something denied them in the high turnout general election.

Griffin had already secured his continuance at the helm of the BNP with the introduction of a Byzantine nomination system, which no challenger has any realistic chance of surmounting, and so is perfectly safe, but another danger was the prospect of a breakaway led by some of the party's better known figures. The shuffle announced to the Advisory Council is also designed to short-circuit that possibility.

We have to admit that there is a touch of genius about this manoeuvre. It will almost certainly buy Griffin the time he needs in the short term to consolidate his position, since Griffin knows better than anybody the limited reasoning power of his membership and its submissive reluctance to query his motives.

The question is, what will the internal opposition do to counter Griffin's moves, and will enough of those calling for Griffin's head over the past fortnight or so remain onside to make continued opposition worthwhile?

May 23, 2010

BNP licks wounds after poll wipe-out

6 Comment (s)
As the dust settles after the general election, the far-right British National Party (BNP) is reassessing its strategy after its much-hoped for success turned into a spectacular defeat

After winning its first two seats in the European Parliament last year, the BNP had promised to create a "political earthquake" in the May 6 elections by winning its first MP in Barking, east of London. On the night, however, leader Nick Griffin did not even come close to unseating incumbent Labour MP Margaret Hodge -- and the party lost all 12 of the local councillors that it won here four years ago.

"You're not wanted here and your vile politics have no place in British democracy. Pack your bags and go," a defiant Hodge said in her victory speech.

Their poor showing was a surprise and goes against a European trend -- the far-right entered parliament for the first time in Hungary this year, holds power in Slovakia and Italy and contested presidential elections in Austria. But experts warn it is too soon to write them off, as the party won half a million votes nationwide, a tripling of its support since the 2005 election.

"It certainly wouldn't be wise to be complacent about the BNP's demise," said Dr. Robert Ford of the University of Manchester.

One reason for this is that the key concerns that drove the party's support show no signs of going away, in particular immigration, which the BNP has promised to halt and reverse with a voluntary repatriation scheme. National politicians avoid the issue - but Hodge has tried to tackle it ever since the BNP won its 12 council seats in 2006, as well as a perception among many working-class voters that the Labour party has abandoned them. While she can do little about the influx of migrants, she assured voters she would address the perceived unfairness in the way they use public services, in particular social housing, and sought to listen to their other concerns.

"Was I certain we would win? No," she told AFP - but hundreds of hours of campaigning, with the help of anti-fascist groups, ensured she took 54 percent of the vote compared to Griffin's 15 percent.

The message she sent to her Labour party -- currently embroiled in a leadership election after Gordon Brown stepped down -- was that they had to engage with the BNP. "You can't beat them by ignoring them," she said.

In a radio interview shortly after polling day, Griffin admitted the party "took the most terrible battering" in Barking but blamed in part the "very high expectations" after the EU elections last year. The BNP campaign was damaged by the arrest of its publicity chief on suspicion of threatening to kill Griffin, and the taking down of the website by a disgruntled party member just two days before polling day.

But Griffin also said Labour had put together a "fantastic" operation and said the BNP's trouncing must be taken as a "wake-up call". The party has a serious image problem, however. Despite Griffin's modernising efforts over the past decade, the media and many voters still see it as racist and Ford warned this could prevent them ever winning power.

"It's not that there isn't a potential support for the kind of politics that the BNP represent, it just looks increasingly unlikely that the BNP will be the party that successfully mobilises that potential," he said.

This view is reflected on the streets of Barking, where Rashid Aleem, 41, pointed to Griffin's appearance on a prime-time TV debate last year as the moment when it became clear what the party stood for. Although he cites immigration as a concern, he told AFP: "People saw that and realised he's using the influx of eastern European immigrants as a front for his real agenda, which is racist."

Unemployed construction worker Guy Kerr, 47, admits he is the kind of person the BNP courts and backs their policies on more jobs for indigenous British workers and to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

"But they're racist," he said, adding: "I honestly thought they would get in here and I'm glad they didn't."

Yahoo

BNP's copyright-breaching habits spread to the lower ranks

11 Comment (s)
Green Arrow: copyright thief, idiot and bigot
The BNP's breach of copyright over the recent use of a Marmite jar in a broadcast without permission is likely to cost the party a hefty five-figure sum - corporate lawyers tending to dislike people who steal their company's intellectual property without either paying the going rate or at least asking their permission before use.

But it's not just the BNP itself that is happy to breach copyright law - the habit seems to have been passed on to at least one of the party's supporters.

Exactly six months ago, we reported that the cretinous bigot Paul Morris (yes, Green Arrow), one of Nick Griffin's most vocal arselickers, had stolen the work of artist Mark Simpson, who had supplied the artwork for a Green Arrow series for DC Comics back in 2006. When he had realised this, Simpson emailed Morris to object, only to be told by the petulant Morris that '…the origins of the Green Arrow name had nothing to do with some pathetic socialist comic hero', though what that had to do with the theft of someone else's well-crafted artwork wasn't made clear.

In any case, Simpson was informed that the image would be removed and that was an end to the matter as far as he was concerned. He had, it seems, only strayed on to the Green Arrow site by accident and, like most humans with a brain, was unlikely ever to visit the site again through choice.

However, Paul 'I love Porky Griffin' Morris, is not only a devoted creep, he is also a serial liar, as Denise reports in her excellent article here. And it is this article that led to one of our readers popping over for a quick peek at the Green Arrow site (screenshot, above), where he discovered that the image Morris had agreed to remove is not only still in place but appears to have doubled in size.

Perhaps this is Morris's way of thumbing his nose at the artist who dared to question his right to do whatever he pleases - Morris is nothing if not pompous and arrogant - but he may find that the owner of DC Comics, Warner Brothers, is even less forgiving than the owner of the Marmite brand, Unilever. Let's hope so, because we'd like our readers to complain about his theft of copyright images to DC Comics directly.

Naturally there are circumstances under which organisations would seek the permissions that Paul Morris should have sought. In his case though, he shouldn't bother, because DC Comics is pretty unequivocal on the matter.
'What follows are detailed guidelines for submitting a request for the right to use our materials...here’s a list of requests for which we will NOT grant permission'

'Military, government, or other political organizations, or requests of a military, governmental or political nature.'
Whoops. Feel free to contact the relevant people at DC Comics via email on dc_publicity@dccomics.com to express your surprise and dismay at seeing the artwork of one of their fine artists sullied by association with this rabidly racist buffoon. If enough people email them, we're pretty sure that DC will take a look at the Green Arrow site. Once they do that and see the kind of lunatic ramblings that take place there, a takedown notice should follow swiftly.

Thanks to Paul S for the heads-up.

Anti fascist campaigners plan counter demonstrations against the BNP

2 Comment (s)
Anti-rascism campaigners are planning counter demonstrations after learning the British National Party are to hold a series of protests in Birmingham.

The campaigners, political figures and trade unionists will get orange-clad toxic waste disposal workers to stuff an effigy of BNP leader Nick Griffin in a dustbin in Victoria Square.

The group have expressed horror that the BNP and two other organisations have threatened to hold three days of protests in Central Birmingham in support of fellow member Adam Walker, who will appear in front of the General Teaching Council in the city, accused of posting racially and religiously intolerant material on the internet from his school during working hours.

Birmingham Unity say they want to stop the BNP from using schools as a platform. A statement, signed by a number of Birmingham MPs and other figures, said: “We believe our schools should be places of tolerance and learning not ignorance and hatred.

“In the recent elections the BNP were soundly rejected in nearly every seat they previously held or threatened to take. That’s why we want to make it clear to the BNP that we are the majority. We are from all communities, from trade unions, from all faiths and none. We love our city, we love our diversity and they are not welcome here.”

The campaigners will gather for their peaceful rally in front of the GTC Council building in Victoria Square on Monday from 8pm.

James Whittall, spokesman for the BNP, confirmed their protests were still going ahead and labelled the case against Mr Walker a “witch hunt”.

Birmingham Mail

May 22, 2010

From the bunker - desperate Griffin blames Bennett

17 Comment (s)
Wildly flailing about for ideas to head off growing rank and file disaffection and to find scapegoats for the widespread demoralisation of the BNP membership in the wake of a disastrous general election performance, Nick Griffin has determined to fix much of the blame for his own abject incompetence on ousted webmaster Simon Bennett.

In an email sent on Friday afternoon, Griffin writes:
At the height of the General Election campaign, at a time when millions of leaflets were hitting doorsteps around the country, our website was destroyed by a treacherous former employee.

This unforgiveable act of treason contributed to the loss of dozens of election deposits around the country. [Our emphasis]

For several weeks a group of loyal Party officials and volunteers have been working hard getting the entire BNP internet operation up and running once again.

"It has been a hard slog but now things are moving once again. Instead of depending on one person to run the entire BNP cyberspace presence we now have a team of people working together, technicians, designers, writers and moderators," said BNP webmaster Paul Golding.
The idea that the loss of the BNP's website cost the party any votes at all is inane and is already being ridiculed for the fiction it is by formerly loyal Griffinites.

In the past few days leading figures in the BNP have taken out a free blogspot called "The BNP Truth Chronicles - Countering the smears, lies, crackpots and traitors" aimed squarely at vilifying Simon Bennett. The location of the blogspot has been widely disseminated, not least by tame poodles "Bev Kerry" of the snake-pit VNN, and the cringingly sycophantic Paul Morris (who has sacked the entire moderating team of his barely visited grovel-fest of a forum).

Scales have been falling from previously unquestioning BNP eyes by the hundred since the magnitude of the BNP reverse became apparent as the hours of May 7th ticked on. The myth of Nick Griffin's infallibility has been firmly pricked. Formerly pliant members are now admitting that his Question Time performance was a disaster, that the BNP's Euro "success" was not quite what it seemed, and that the party's Griffin-led general election "strategy" was a complete failure.

The more intelligent of the grass roots and middle-ranking members aren't buying Griffin's excuses or his crude attempts to scapegoat Simon Bennett, and seem fairly resolute in their demand that Griffin stand down from the leadership.

Griffin is undoubtedly watching and waiting to see who comes forward to head up any putative rebellion, the name most talked about being that of Eddy Butler, who left the Barking and Dagenham count openly discussing ways and means of deposing Griffin with Richard Barnbrook.

Butler, of course, is already in the frame to take a share of the blame for Griffin's ineptitude, while it is believed that Barnbrook continues to smoulder that he was abruptly shoved aside as the BNP's Barking PPC by the carpet-bagging Griffin on the promise that he would lead the BNP group on Barking and Dagenham Council - an empty promise, as it turned out, and one which inevitably angered drink loving street-fighter Bob Bailey, the sitting group leader, who resigned as the BNP's London organiser this week.

In the meantime the beleaguered Griffin has launched his standard containment strategy of shifting the blame for his own yawning deficiencies and smearing his enemies as traitors and plants, a strategy he has deployed with unimaginative predictability ever since he first rose to exceedingly minor prominence in the 1980s National Front.

Previously untroubled backwaters of the Internet, where BNP members debated in a quietly deranged way among themselves while contending with the odd anti-fascist interloper, have become targets for blunt but counter-productive Griffinite and Covert Tactics trolling, notably the BNP sub-forum at the British Democracy Forum, where BNP members and supporters are overwhelmingly in favour of change at the top of the BNP. A rash of quickly banned new arrivals whose presence threatened to turn BDF into a replica of VNN caused the forum's owners to institute a "zero tolerance" policy in tandem with "draconian moderating".

Zero tolerance is something practiced by Nick Griffin throughout his turbulent, purge-filled years as leader of the BNP. Self-preservation was never so well embodied in the being of one man. He isn't big enough to admit his failings and walk away. Self-sacrifice for the good of the cause isn't a thought that ever entered into his head. With a year to pass before local council elections are due, and several years to come before the next Euros, he has all the time in the world to identify his real and potential internal enemies and isolate them before danger threatens.

The question is, now that the spell of Griffin has been broken for so many, will those preparing to topple him - as we know they are - just for once have the wits and strategic sense to attempt to outsmart him on their own terms instead of his; that is to say, will they realise, as they fight over whatever remains of the BNP, that from the beginning a desperate Griffin can be relied upon to play dirty, and that there's very little point to upholding the Queensberry Rules when the man they are fighting has loaded his gloves with lead?

May 21, 2010

Leeds racism row singer loses unfair dismissal claim against police

6 Comment (s)
A racism row singer fired from his day job with West Yorkshire Police has lost his claim for unfair dismissal

Gary Marsden I'Anson, of Morley, was arrested and sacked over his alleged association with the British National Party and for using work time to compile right-wing CDs and DVDs for his rock band Anglo Saxon. The police imaging officer of 23 years claimed West Yorkshire Police unfairly dismissed and discriminated against him. But an employment tribunal in Leeds has ruled against Mr I'Anson.

Deputy Chief Constable David Crompton said: "This case was significantly aggravated by the fact that force computers were being used in order to generate material which was clearly supportive of the BNP and which had content that was unquestionably contrary to the aims and values of the force."

Now jobless Mr I'Anson, 48, said: "It's a sad day for freedom of speech, artistic expression, liberty, democracy and human rights. It is a good day for political correctness."

Mr I'Anson denies any political links to the BNP and says he is not racist but an 'anti-terrorist patriot.' He said police were "talking nonsense" over claims he is associated with the BNP.

In 2007 Mr I'Anson was arrested on suspicion of possession of written material with intent to incite racial hatred. He denied any wrongdoing and no charges were brought. After being suspended on full pay he was eventually sacked in February 2009, after a two-year investigation.

Yorkshire Evening Post

Note: l'Anson is a liar when he claims he has no connection to the BNP. More details here.

Bob Bailey resigns as head of London BNP

5 Comment (s)
Bob Bailey putting the boot in
Bob "it's all a conspiracy" Bailey has resigned as head of London BNP after losing his seat and getting arrested for assault. According to to a statement by London BNP, Bob stood down in order to:
"concentrate on clearing his name following unfounded allegations of assault during the recent London Elections"
Before claiming that:
"Bob leaves London BNP in good shape"
Under his leadership the BNP lost every single seat they held in the capital. These included his own and the council seat of the BNP's only London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook. Barnbrook has so far failed to mention this defeat, although he does admit that:
"We didn’t do nearly as well as we’d hoped."
However, all is not lost. As he puts it on his blog:
"the result, disappointing as it was, doesn’t actually change anything"
Oh dear. I think we're stuck in the first stage of grief here Richard.

Tory Troll

BNP teacher could be banned in GTC 'first'

3 Comment (s)
After admitting anti-Muslim postings, he faces historic charge of religious intolerance

A BNP supporter could become the first teacher to be struck off for religious intolerance next Monday. Adam Walker will appear before a General Teaching Council (GTC) panel on Monday, charged with making anti-Muslim comments on a website while using a school laptop.

Mr Walker, who used to teach at Houghton Kepier Sports College at Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, quit the school in 2007. He admits writing the comments - made under a pseudonym - but claims they had no link to his work as a design and technology teacher.

Legal wrangles have been going on for over a year, and his team has succeeded in removing former NUT president Judy Moorhouse from the disciplinary panel, arguing that her union's policies mean she would be biased against him. Fears of clashes between the BNP, protesters and police led to the case being postponed at the beginning of last year. But his lawyers were unsuccessful in their claim that website administrators were wrong to reveal his identity and his posts should not be used in evidence.

Mr Walker, now working as campaigns co-ordinator for BNP MEP Andrew Brons, has vowed to take the case to the "highest level" if found guilty.

Teaching union the NASUWT has accused the GTC of allowing the BNP to use the case to attract publicity.

Mr Walker's brother Mark, who taught at Sunnydale Community College in Shildon, County Durham, lost his employment tribunal case for unfair dismissal last month. He claimed he had been fired for his political views and involvement with the BNP. But the panel said the school had been justified in its actions on account of his sickness record.

TES

May 20, 2010

EDL - Young British and Angry - Highlights

9 Comment (s)

BBC3 broadcast a TV documentary called "Young British and Angry" about the EDL. You can always criticise a documentary for something it did not show, but overall this film was pretty good, and it did try to be balanced, showing both racist thugs and decent people in the EDL. As to whether all these EDL supporters are letting themselves be USED by Fascist provocateurs however, "Young British and Angry" did not show any of the dozens of photos of EDL making Nazi salutes, they ignored videos of EDL calling police "Paki loving Bastards", and ignored evidence of BNP activist Chris Renton's role as Commander of the EDL. The programme showed unprovoked EDL violence and rioting, and showed EDL supporters chanting racist abuse.

The film made good points about links between EDL support and poverty, but failed to ask whether poverty's much of an issue in the life of millionaire EDL backer Alan Lake. It's also unclear what EDL stunts like vandalising KFC restaurants, harassing their staff, and attending sectarian rallies in Ireland have to do with opposing Islamist terrorism.

"Young British and Angry" also showed the tiny number of ethnic minority supporters in the EDL. When it comes to using football fans as cannon-fodder, right-wing provocateurs are just as happy to use gullible black people as they are to use gullible whites. As a case in point, the programme showed EDL poster-boy and Asian Rangers fan Abdul, who made very sensible comments. However (much as I despise the IRA) the programme did not say anything about the context of sectarian bigotry among some Rangers fans, and did not show Abdul singing sectarian hate-songs which celebrate mass-murderer Michael Stone and which talk about punching and knee-capping "Taigs" (Catholics)...

bnpinfo

May 19, 2010

Police crackdown on hate crime across London

9 Comment (s)
Raids across London have been carried out by the Metropolitan Police as part of an operation to crackdown on hate crime

A number of officers simultaneously raided properties across the city at about 0000 BST on Tuesday. Seventy-seven people have been arrested for a range of offences including serious assault and harassment. More arrests are expected to be made later. The action comes a day after the International Day Against Homophobia.

The raids are aimed at bringing hate crime offenders to justice. Police are particularly focusing their attentions on homophobic and domestic violence within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. Between March 2009 and April 2010 there were 51,839 domestic violence offences, 9,914 racial offences and 1,336 homophobic offences committed in London. To crack down on such offences the Met has about 230 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Liaison officers supporting police work.

Det Supt Darren Williams said: "Today's operations represent part of the proactive approach the MPS take to bring those responsible to justice. We know that all hate crime is under reported and this remains a challenge for us. We will continue to work hard to gain the trust and confidence of all communities so that victims feel that they can come forward and tell police. My message to all victims is that if you feel you can't tell the police - tell someone."

BBC

Philadelphia man ordered deported for serving as Nazi guard

2 Comment (s)
The main entrance to Buchenwald
A U.S. immigration judge has ordered an 85-year-old retired steelworker deported to Austria, or any other country that will accept him, for serving as an armed Nazi death camp guard during World War II.

Anton Geiser and his attorney did not immediately return calls and an e-mail for comment on the decision announced Tuesday by the Justice Department. Judge Charles Honeyman issued the 14-page order out of Philadelphia on Monday. Geiser was born in what is now part of Croatia and came to the United States from Austria in 1956. He has lived in Sharon, about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, since 1960. He became a citizen in 1962 and is married with three sons.

"As a Nazi concentration camp guard during World War II, Anton Geiser must be held to account for his role in the persecution of countless men, women and children," Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer said in a statement Tuesday. "The long passage of time will not diminish our resolve to deny refuge to such individuals."

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said Geiser was not in custody. He can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington.

Geiser has acknowledged being an armed guard who watched over and escorted prisoners at three Nazi death camps. He has argued that his service was not voluntary and that he was therefore eligible to emigrate under the Refugee Relief Act of 1953. Federal prosecutors have instead cited the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act to exclude citizenship and deport "aliens who persecuted any person on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion, under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany."

Geiser, an ethnic German, was drafted into the German army at 17 and served as an armed SS Death Head guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin for much of 1943. He later was transferred to an SS officer training camp at Arolsen, where he escorted prisoners to and from the Buchenwald camp, where tens of thousands of Jews and others were exterminated. He was at Arolsen until April 1945. Geiser has denied harming any prisoners, though he has acknowledged having orders to shoot prisoners who tried to escape.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh revoked his citizenship under the Holtzman amendment, and he lost a U.S. Third Circuit appeal in 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his case last year.

The Philadelphia Inquirer