February 28, 2011
The reports - based on the results of a poll of 5,054 people conducted by the anti-fascist organisation Searchlight - stirred up a good deal of shock-horror as, I suppose, they were intended to. Searchlight is a campaigning organisation. Saying "Eek! Look out! Fascists! They're everywhere!" is - not to impugn the good work they do - slightly the point of its existence.
When you look at the question that this 48 per cent figure ("almost half the country", natch, rather than, say, "less than half") answered yes to, the story unravels. These interviewees were asked whether they would "definitely support" or "consider supporting" a non-violent political party that "wants to defend the English, create an English parliament, control immigration and challenge Islamic extremism".
Are these the four key indicators of fascism? "Defend the English" is an almost meaningless phrase - and could just as easily cover the people who bore on about celebrating St George's Day or campaign for authentic Cornish pasties as neo-Nazi boot-boys. The creation of an English Parliament is no more than the logical conclusion of New Labour's wet-blanket plans for a succession of regional talking shops. To "control immigration" was the stated aim of all three main political parties at the last election (well, duh: I challenge you to find the party that stands for abolishing passports and throwing the borders wide open).
And how many people do you see sticking up for Islamic extremism? The aspiration to "challenge" it is hardly a mark of the far Right, unless we're to imagine jackbooted hordes marching in lockstep down Whitehall threatening "firm words and a searching dialogue".
My guess is that 52% were put off supporting this blandly centrist imaginary political party only by the thought of finding unctuous English Assembly Members in cheap suits on their doorsteps at election time.
It is only by wilfully interpreting these things as code-phrases for "send them home", "outlaw Islam" and "kill all the Welsh" do you arrive at the idea that 48% of people would vote for fascists given the chance. And, of course, it's bollocks: they wouldn't and they don't.
A poll on actual parties of the Right gets conducted, for real, and with a much larger sample size, every time we have an election. The BNP is a far Right party that doesn't use fascist imagery and does its best to dissociate itself from violence - and its share of the vote remains more or less what it has always been: that is, pathetic.
London Evening Standard
Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, Luton! Massive cuts of public jobs, increased fuel costs, VAT rises, ‘Allah is a paedo.’ The ‘unstoppable’ English Defence League continue to prove themselves hopelessly out of step with the reality of politics both locally and internationally and insist that the ills of the UK are created by millions of Islamic extremists. In the UK, Muslims represent 3% of the population and the % of extremists is slight. The EDL believe that we are about to be subsumed by sharia law and that Muslims are ‘out-breeding’ ‘white Brits.’ Lads, in grown-up politics the real issues are the Middle East, the economy and the ideological attack on the public sector by the Tories. You have yet to identify or expose any extremists in any of the places you have had your piss-ups. The only extremists arrested have been EDL members. The ‘inclusive’ EDL claim to ‘peacefully oppose’ Islamic extremism and think that ‘ordinary’ Muslims will not be offended by chants of ‘Mohammed is a paedo.’ The leadership blame this on a few ‘loose cannons’ but do not understand that the point of leadership is to control the ‘loose cannons’ and prevent this kind of thing. And this ‘loose cannons’ excuse has no political credibility because it has happened on every demo so far.
The EDL’s Jewish division is also a ‘loose cannon.’ Roberta Moore of the Jewish division has blundered massively over her affiliation with the Jewish Task Force and even the EDL have realised that the JTF, and indeed Moore herself, are a political liability who do no-one any favours. But she is a ‘loose cannon’ and a girl so she is probably just confused, the poor dear. The EDL think that anyone who opposes ‘Islamic extremism’ must be okay and on their side but the reality – which is where the rest of us who can read exist – know otherwise.
Another loose cannon in the morbidly obese shape of Bill Baker has been ‘proscribed.’ The portly leader of the English Nationalist Alliance, friend of pasties everywhere, has been booted out of an increasingly fragmented EDL. In case you don’t remember, the ENA have been piggybacking the EDL for a while now and have had a couple of sparsely attended demos here and there and were utterly humiliated in Brighton last summer. Even the ‘leadership’ of the EDL have realised that Baker is an unreconstructed Nazi and is doing their ‘multicultural racism’ pose no favours. Baker is after the kind of cash that sympathetic idiots willingly handover to the EDL for a ‘burka’ facemask and the thrill of being part of a barney now that they can’t get away with it at footy matches.
The embarrassments continue and it is almost sad to list them. There is the ongoing row over the Birmingham division’s tactless photo op with masks, guns and loyalist flags which the EDL are claiming that us nasty ‘fascist-anti-fascist UAF’ (i.e., anyone who does not like the EDL) have photoshopped. Best of all was the Richard Price incident with Stephen Napoleon-Lennon first supporting him, then saying Price was never part of the leadership and then the total turnaround and saying he was leadership but after being exposed as a sex offender he is now ‘proscribed.’ Some callous wag suggested anti-fascists sing ‘Pricey is a paedo’ at counter-demos but that just not nice. (Oh, and remember, when the EDL go on about ‘Asian drug gangs’ remind them about Price’s conviction for crack and cocaine which I am sure he bought from a respectable ‘white’ dealer and the fact that many EDLers are partial to a toke and a snort now and again and members have been arrested for drugs on demos).
The EDL blunder from crisis to crisis with the diminutive Steven Yaxley-Mainwaring at the helm of an increasingly contradictory, naïve and misguided ship of fools, still convinced that political efficacy is judged by how many pissed idiots you can gather at a Wetherspoons of a Saturday. Well done. Coke snorting woman beating ex-convict Napoleon-Lennon claimed on Newsnight to a rather bored Jeremy Paxman that ‘I ain’t political nor nuffink’ but forgot to mention that photo of him at the BNP meeting with Richard Edmonds. Something the EDL trolls have yet to comment on.
The EDL are always going on about opposition being middle class as if being a balding, fat, unemployed, football hooligan was somehow inherently noble. They should remind themselves that double-barrelled Caxley-Lennon owns a tanning business as well as ‘a couple of properties.’ Not very working clarse that, is it? And neither is Alan Lake founder of the EDL. Captain Yaxley-Mainwaring’s bank account has been frozen over money laundering allegations and it is a commonly held view that he has done a Griffin and siphoned off cash from the burka and hoody proceeds. He has been accused of this in the past by former EDL ‘martyr’ Snowy who also claimed Caxley-Trousers was an Irish republican. And speaking of Ireland, EDL supporters claim that their chant of ‘no surrender’ has no loyalist overtones, i.e., no relation to the footy chant ‘no surrender to the IRA’ – which is like saying the Hitler salute is in fact a Roman one and no negative connotations were intended.
The undoing of the EDL could well be over money like the BNP and Nickclops Griffin who could not keep his hands off all that lovely lolly. There were moves to make people pay for access to the EDL website but this seems to have been shelved as it is such an obvious racket. The website itself still features pro-BNP sentiments which are eventually deleted by the dozy moderators and the section for opponents to comment has been removed. So as the British government are making massive cuts in public spending and affecting pretty much every area of life the EDL fail to expose any extremists. They limp from PR crisis to PR crisis blaming Islam for the world’s ills and Stephen Hyphen-Mainwaring’s legal troubles are coming to a head. But will his Special Branch handler step into the breach and save him in time? No.
The next EDL demo is set for Rochdale on 5th March. See you there.
'Accountant' at Indymedia
February 27, 2011
Huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party if it was not associated with violence and fascist imagery, according to the largest survey into identity and extremism conducted in the UK.
A Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamist extremism, and would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the union flag. Anti-racism campaigners said the findings suggested Britain's mainstream parties were losing touch with public opinion on issues of identity and race.
The poll suggests that the level of backing for a far-right party could equal or even outstrip that in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Austria. France's National Front party hopes to secure 20% in the first round of the presidential vote next year. The Dutch anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders attracted 15.5% of the vote in last year's parliamentary elections.
Anti-fascist groups said the poll's findings challenged the belief that Britons were more tolerant than other Europeans. "This is not because British people are more moderate, but simply because their views have not found a political articulation," said a report by the Searchlight Educational Trust, the anti-fascist charity that commissioned the poll.
According to the survey, 39% of Asian Britons, 34% of white Britons and 21% of black Britons wanted all immigration into the UK to be stopped permanently, or at least until the economy improved. And 43% of Asian Britons, 63% of white Britons and 17% of black Britons agreed with the statement that "immigration into Britain has been a bad thing for the country". Just over half of respondents – 52% – agreed with the proposition that "Muslims create problems in the UK".
Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP who fought a successful campaign against the British National party in his Dagenham and Rainham constituency in east London, said that the findings pointed to a "very real threat of a new potent political constituency built around an assertive English nationalism". The report identified a resurgence of English identity, with 39% preferring to call themselves English rather than British. Just 5% labelled themselves European.
Earlier this month David Cameron delivered a controversial speech on the failings of "state multiculturalism". The speech was seized on by the anti-Islamic English Defence League, which said that the prime minister was "coming round" to its way of thinking. BNP leader Nick Griffin also welcomed the speech as a sign that his party's ideas were entering "the political mainstream".
The poll also identified a majority keen to be allowed to openly criticise religion, with 60% believing they "should be allowed to say whatever they believe about religion". By contrast, fewer than half – 42% – said "people should be allowed to say whatever they believe about race".
February 26, 2011
Antagonism between the two groups has been evident for some time and not just over Baker's lack of Stone Island attire. During last year's "poppy burning" clash in central London it was clear that with the arrival of EDL leaders Kevin Carroll and Stephen Yaxley Lennon, Baker and his smaller but equally vile entourage was somewhat put out when their demo was hijacked by Kevin & co.
Baker who occasionally has the appearance of a badly drawn comic book villain, was the organiser of the drunken demonstration in Dagenham a fortnight ago where a young EDL supporter tragically died after being hit by a train. Baker's excessive boasting about his links to British Nazis and his none too subtle proclamations on his Facebook page of things like "All Muslims Must Die" has left the under-fire EDL leadership, desperate to untangle itself from its myriad of Nazi and wannabe terrorist connections, to declare Baker as a "parasite of a man" who is "an embarrassment himself and his party, but also to those who don't see him for what he is: an opportunist."
Slightly more problematic for the EDL leadership is the war of words that has developed over their Jewish Division's links to terrorists. Roberta Moore who leads the Jewish Division has taken issue with public proclamations from the EDL distancing themselves from the link up with the Jewish Task Force (JTF).
The war of words now threatens to spill over with the Jewish Division claiming that there is a "witch hunt" against Moore on account of her being "a strong Jewish woman". Referring to the faceless administrators of the EDL's Facebook site and web admin's anti-JTF comments made to the Jewish Chronicle describing the Jewish Division as "too extreme" Moore apparently sees this as "one long attack" on herself. In response, the Jewish Division demand that Yaxley Lennon should "sack the Nazis from the admin and apologise to Roberta" who it warns, "has powerful allies in the US and in politics".
Perhaps the removal of Baker's ENA was one step in removing the Nazis that seem to upset the Jewish Division so much. In response to his own banning from the EDL, Baker has surfaced this morning to attack Yaxley-Lennon's PA, Hel Gower.
Gower could be about to earn her stripes as being the fall-gal for all that has happened in the EDL's rocky past fortnight. Gower responded herself to the Jewish Division's attacks on the EDL's admins' by asking "why is she (Moore) talking in the third person as though it isn't her making the comments, dozy tart."
Joint EDL leader Kevin Carroll denied there was any major problem within the organisation, describing it all as "internet talk" made up by "Bolsheviks and hard-line Socialists.
"Roberta is a good girl, she does her own thing. We just can't be tied up with a group like JTF. All this will blow over." If anything Kev, it looks like this is going to run and run.
By Matthew Collins HOPE not hate / Searchlight
Two members of the British National Party tried to carry out a citizen’s arrest on a man who was defacing a party poster in Aberdeen, a court has heard. Steven Thomson, 42, and his son Gregor Thomson, 21, deny assaulting Stefan Knust, but admit trying to detain him while they waited for police in Great Northern Road on March 25 last year.
The men were guarding the poster, after one had been vandalised the night before, when they saw two men run up and throw paint over it, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard yesterday. The pair are alleged to have repeatedly punched Mr Knust on the head and body and repeatedly kicked him.
Steven Thomson, of 5 Gibblestone House, Scalloway, Shetland, told the court he had spent 12 years in the Army, worked in the prison service and been trying to enter the police force when he discovered he suffered from a genetic heart problem. He said a security firm had been hired to protect the poster during the day, but he had been tasked with guarding it at night. Two men ran away after throwing paint on the poster, but Mr Knust fell as he crossed the road, Thomson said.
“I grabbed him with my right hand by his collar,” he said. “He was using his arms to try to break my grip of his clothing.”
Thomson was trying to video the vandalism using a camera, but had accidentally turned the recording function off, the court heard. Thomson told the court he had helped to chase and detain the person who had vandalised the poster the previous night, which had cost £600 to replace. When asked by fiscal depute Victoria White if he was “annoyed and angry” about the vandalism, he replied: “Yes”.
His son, of 10A Summerfield Place, Aberdeen, said they had intended to carry out a “citizen’s arrest”, and “take hold of them with reasonable force” until the police arrived.
Both men have left the BNP, the court heard yesterday.
The case will return to court next month, when Sheriff Malcolm Garden asked to be addressed on when a person is entitled to perform a citizen’s arrest.
The Press and Journal
So says Viqas Sheikh, a global treasury senior business analyst who has been working at Citi for five-and-a-half years. For him there is familiar ring to the words spoken by David Cameron in Munich recently.
“It’s simply a regurgitation of what Tony Blair and others have said – it’s nothing new,” he says. “The dangerous thing is the debate that he made about multiculturalism and the relationship he’s drawing to extremist ideology. It is a show of confusion on behalf of the government. They blame it on multiculturalism, but the deep-rooted problem is something else.”
Viqas, 29, was born in the UK and lived in Pakistan between the ages of 10 and 18, before returning here to complete university. He considers himself a British Muslim.
“I don’t think the two [British and Muslim] are incompatible. Then there’s the terms moderate or extremist – I’m neither, I’m a Muslim.”
Author, journalist and former Docklands columnist Kia Abdullah also falls outside this simple binary split of Islam.
“I’m what I call a liberal Muslim,” says Kia. “I don’t wear a headscarf or pray five times a day but at the same time I dress relatively modestly, I don’t drink alcohol or eat haram (forbidden) food and I’m quite conservative when it comes to things like promiscuity.”
She shares Viqas’ sense of concern about the Prime Minister’s sentiments.
“It made me feel deeply uncomfortable,” she adds. “He made some valid points about integration, but criticising multiculturalism as a root cause of forced marriage and radicalisation was ignorant and fatuous.
“Britain is known for respecting private freedoms – freedom to wear what you want, say what you want, live where you want, be who you want. Hindering these freedoms to create a nation of ‘vanilla flavoured’ people is not going to solve our problems. We need better integration, yes, but vilifying multiculturalism will not achieve it.”
Viqas, who did not want to be photographed, says there are no such tensions in his Canary Wharf workplace.
“A lot of companies have a facility for prayer [multi-faith rooms] or provision for halal food. And when you have that facility to be able to fulfil the obligations to be a Muslim – beyond that there shouldn’t be any other hardship in one’s day-to-day life. We make sure there is communication between the faiths and there isn’t that gap, which can give rise to animosity.”
While Viqas’ workplace may be harmonious, he’s aware that things don’t always run so cohesively.
“We don’t have it at Citi, but I do mix with a wide range of people throughout the City who feel that, on the basis of their faith, they have been discriminated against. It may well be that are considered high maintenance or their belief system is considered contrary.”
In the workplace Kia says she has not faced discrimination head-on either.
“I think ‘discrimination’ is too strong a word,” she says. “It’s far more subtle than that. When I worked in a management consultancy, I made most of my contacts by networking at after-work drinks at the local watering hole.
“If I didn’t feel comfortable in this type of environment – and many of my Muslim friends don’t – then my career would certainly have been hindered. I would not suggest that these meetings take place elsewhere, because they are part of British work culture, but I think that companies need to recognise that people from certain demographics are at a disadvantage.”
Viqas does not attend after-work drinks because of his beliefs, but he doesn’t consider this puts him at a disadvantage compared with colleagues.
“I don’t go to bars, and my colleagues respect that – you don’t have to take that extra step,” he says. “There are a number of Muslims in the UK who don’t think the way they live their lives is contrary to anything in the British value system. You won’t necessarily go to the pub on the weekend, but is that absolutely essential to being British?”
Kia believes the majority or Brits are tolerant of these differences and questions Baroness Warsi’s assertion that prejudice against Muslims has passed the ‘dinner-table test’.
“I’m not sure I agree with Baroness Warsi,” she says. “I think there are two main groups that carry prejudice against Muslims: those that identify with the EDL and BNP, and those at the other end of the spectrum who are very privileged and super-educated but who may not have any daily contact with Muslims and hence view them as a frightening entity of ‘other’. I don’t think these groups constitute the majority in this country – or at least I hope they don’t.”
Viqas asserts that problems can stem from a tendency for people to want to “formulate a genre of Muslim”.
“There’s a standard I have to follow in Islam; and I’m not going to change that for the convenience of other people. I don’t want to have impressed on me what I have to believe in – and that’s what David Cameron also did in the speech. It’s patronising.”
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
February 25, 2011
Look: I know it's a stretch, and would involve the biggest electoral earthquake in history (alongside a degree of mass hysteria unseen since Orson Welles thought people might see the joke if he pretended “The War of the Worlds” was real), but they keep banging on about how marvellous it'd be, so let's take them at their word and look at how things might turn out...
Of course, there's the initial problem of the Prime Minister: Griffin isn't exactly what you'd call a “Team Player”. In fact, he conducts himself most of the time like some debauched medieval duke; lying on a chaise longue with a bacon roll and dispensing largesse to his chosen few while casting others into the outer darkness on a whim, because they didn't bow low enough when they entered the throne room.
But let's just pretend he can keep the old megalomania in its box long enough to appoint a Cabinet.
First problem right there.
From where, exactly? Given that one of the prerequisites for Cabinet Minister has traditionally been a certain level of political acumen, intelligence and polish (yes-even from the likes of Michael Gove and John Prescott, though it sticks in the craw to admit...), and that the current reality of the upper echelons of the BNP is an ongoing cage-fight of lickspittles, criminals and semi-literate bootboys whose recent education would probably stretch about as far as reading “Bravo Two Zero” (if there was an edition with pictures), it's a stretch...
Ex-Nazi and convicted criminal Andrew Brons for Home Secretary, anyone? How about white supremacist suspected terrorist Arthur Kemp for the Foreign Office? He is foreign, after all...
(In fact, the Holy Grail of a leading BNP personality without embarrassing baggage will, I'm guessing, continue to elude the Master Race. Clive Jefferson? Highly suspect past activities and a functioning moron who, if he ever could learn to walk and chew gum at the same time would probably forget how to breathe. Patrick Harrington? The red tops would think all their birthdays had come at once. “Reverend” Robert West? Sad little fraud. Etc, etc, etc...)
Anyway. Let's say they're in power with a working majority and it's time to get down to work.
First things first: Immigration.
New Immigration ends immediately, and the Government set about deporting “all the two million plus who are here illegally”.
Given that the “two million plus” figure is from a Party that has a pretty casual relationship with figures, this seems unlikely – but let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
Call me naïve, but I'd guess that tracking down a couple of million people who don't want to be found, establishing their nationalities beyond the doubt of international law and arranging their deportation takes care of pretty much the entire State infrastructure for a few years.
Then, of course, we have the damage to relations with the rest of the world. No more immigration from India? Africa? America? Australia? Europe?
We aren't exactly going to be popular. Think of Britain as the bloke who grabs the mic' at Manumission and announces that he's putting the Birdy Song on.
Oh, and that reminds me: Europe.
We're pulling out.
This policy alone, taken in conjunction with our new stance on Immigration, pretty well guarantees the largest population influx into Britain ever seen.
It's estimated that more than four and a half million Brits live abroad. One and a half million in Europe.
Given that we're no longer a part of the European Club, let's say that a million are no longer eligible for settlement rights, and are asked to return to Blighty.
A substantial majority of the Returnees are going to be retired. and/or elderly. Fancy your chances of a hip replacement in the next six months now?
Add this to possibly another million or so turfed out of other countries and you've got something that amounts to a refugee issue of Third World proportions.
Although it might still be worth it just to hear BNP types droning on about “Bleedin' white Brits – comin' over 'ere takin' our houses an' jobs...”
(Oh, and my Son also points out that, under their immigration policy, Premiership Football would be dead boring...)
Having successfully alienated Britain from the rest of the World, Prime Minister Griffin can get on with the serious business of improving the quality of life at Home. Something he's admittedly rather good at. Well, improving his quality of life at his home, anyway.
The NHS. Simple: “Replace 100,000 NHS Bureaucrats with Doctors, Nurses and Dentists”. Obviously, we don't need to worry our pretty little heads about the implications for unemployment and the problems of recruiting these extra medical staff (we can't get them from abroad, remember...) but I've no doubt that Health Secretary Clive Jefferson will already have those pesky little details ironed out.
Law and Order: The reintroduction of both Corporal and Capital punishment is sure to be a vote winner with BNP voters. Until they get it wrong and start making mistakes, that is.
In fact, looking at their skimpy Manifesto entry on the subject, it's difficult to see what they have against the wilder fringes of Sharia law.
But there's more! A BNP Government will affect every aspect of the National Scene!
Education (back to the 1950's, basically), the Environment (back to 1950's sci-fi, largely), Housing, Defence and Industry will all benefit from that special BNP magic.
In their woeful “proving we're not just a single-issue party” attempt at a manifesto, there are other areas they fail to address entirely.
Transport: With Griffin's working knowledge of the mysteries of complex leasing arrangements surrounding vehicles, I'm sure making the trains run on time will be a doddle.
The Arts & Culture: No mention at all. I'd guess that Eric Pickles would be remembered as a model of generosity and civic philanthropy compared to the barbarians of Griffin's cabinet. (Although self-styled Artist, Filmmaker, Essayist and – in his own fetid imagination - all-round towering Knowledgenarian Jonathan Bowden would certainly make an – er - “entertaining” Minister...)
There are other “policies” that have been discussed in recent years that don't make their Manifesto, but would, no doubt, be called into play once in power to add to the general wellbeing of the Nation.
Like the wizard notion of putting pregnant teenagers under lock and key (in “uniforms”...) in special “homes” under the watchful eye of stern “matrons”. No-one's been allocated the responsibility of taking care of that one yet, but we're expecting Minister Patrick Harrington to volunteer at any moment.
Or the bold, radical initiative to solve the housing shortage at a stroke, employing the simple resource of thousands of second-hand caravans and hundreds of acres of wasteland.
Ideas? The exciting new BNP Government have certainly got 'em!
And as Britain recedes from the world scene and enters a new Golden Age of intolerance, poverty, oppression and ignorance, we can thank the Heavens that...
...thankfully, it'll never happen.
The online group – which has about 120 members – was created in the aftermath of last month’s EDL protest in Shotton town centre over a proposal to turn the former social club into an Islamic culture centre. On the homepage the site administrator – the person who set up the group – says the EDL Deeside Division’s mission is to ‘stop the Islamification of Great Britain’. But it has been slammed by the North Wales Race Equality Network. A spokesman for the group said:
“There are about 200 Muslims out of a population of 149,000 in Flintshire, or about 0.13%, and just 3% in Great Britain. This group is really pursuing something that is a red herring, because the notion Great Britain, let alone Deeside, is to become a Muslim country is just plain stupid.”
The page states: “We are the Deeside division of the English Defence League. Why English Defence league and not Cymru Defence league? Well to be honest we chose this because of the success of the EDL protest in Shotton. Also there is a large amount of English people that live in Deeside. Nothing taken away from the Cymru Defence League, we are all brothers fighting the same cause. We are not racist, Islam is a religion not a race!”
The launch of the group has also angered Unite Against Fascism national officer Martin Smith, who said the contents of similar EDL pages usually showed racist comments. He added: “Where the EDL tries to claim it is not a racist organisation on groups such as these, you only have to look on the pages to see they are full of racist-type material.”
Plans for the Muslim centre provoked strong protests and about 100 members of the EDL marched through the streets of Shotton to voice their opposition. The BNP also co-ordinated a leaflet campaign against the proposals.
The social club, which has been closed since August, was destroyed by arsonists earlier this month, and a police investigation is ongoing. Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society (FMCS), the group behind the plans, says it will look for an alternative venue.
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
February 24, 2011
“70!” Shout Eddy Butler's camp of Monday's meeting in Yorkshire. “40! No – 35!” Yell the Griffin camp - “And we get more than that!”
It's like watching tramps fighting in a puddle over pennies.
The Griffin camp are increasingly cagey these days about claimed numbers for their meetings. Tired of being laughed out of the (chat) room with claims of “a packed hall last night listened with rapt attention to the words of wisdom of our Dear Leader. A collection raised in excess of a quarter of a million pounds.”, they often prefer now to leave the figures out of it and deal in euphemisms: “a lively audience” or “one of the most successful meetings for a long time”.
To hear them brandish their figures you'd think we were talking about Glastonbury-sized events at the very least. But 70 people? From the whole of Yorkshire? 80 to 100 people (at a meeting graced with the presence of their Leader) in London? In Derby, a friend runs a pub that hosts a monthly meeting of a long-established model railway club. He never has less than 90 turn out for it.
Of course, both camps will illustrate their meeting reports with photographs. The Griffin side's pictures now have a familiar mise en scene - a medium close-up of the Speaker with just a handful of the audience visible. A cynic might almost suggest that the framing's kept tight to disguise the acres of empty seats, the tumbleweed blowing through the room and the three people at the back who thought it was quiz night and got the day wrong.
The BFP (both Parties) haggle over whether their Membership is a few dozen or an even fewer dozen. There are “Nationalist” groups out there whose numbers of breeding pairs have fallen so low that the United Nations have them on the special protection register.
As ever, of course, these are the very people who try and present themselves as “The Saviours Of The Nation”. Given the numbers involved, and assuming they're probably not gifted with super powers (in which event 4 would probably do it), we can assume the Nation is quite okay as it is, thanks.
And in the background is the suspicion that they're all desperate to latch onto the sort of numbers the EDL are currently boasting. The BNP for one, despite their public “proscription” of the EDL and all its works early on in their life, continue to cuddle up to them on any number of “Patriot” websites and blogs and, occasionally, in public (most recently in Barnsley). BNP Members are spotted in the crowd whenever the EDL hold one of their drunken rampages (sorry-that should read “demonstrations”), and yet they still remain in Griffin's fold.
My own theory about the EDL is that they aren't so much a “political” force as an unpleasant fad. A bunch of sheep who enjoy being part of a big gang and causing a rumpus. Obviously, they're currently a lovely little earner for the iffy likes of “Tommy Robinson” and his chums (and, in a way, it's a shame they're not a “Party” because their accounts would make as interesting a read as the BNP's), but most of them are about as “political” as toddlers, and as with all trends they'll move on and one day be as hard to find as Kajagoogoo fans.
But everyone - BNP, BFP, NF, BFP, EDP – would love to capture just a fraction of their numbers. And their money, obviously.
One thing about the Anti-Fascists, be they UAF, CARF, or any number of smaller organisations (and surprisingly few Anti's – like myself - are actually paid-up members of any formal group): We're remarkably consistent in the numbers who will turn out for the Cause. Last year, 8000 people turned out on in filthy weather in Barnsley for the Love Music Hate Racism Carnival. 8000 people?
The BNP could only boast a fraction of that for their last “Festival”.
“Folk Against Fascism” - formed as a reaction to Griffin's attempts to co-opt folk music as being somehow “theirs” - has grown in a couple of years to a large, lively and professional outfit. Just seeing the amount of people wearing the badge at the recent BBC Folk Awards should send a message to him that he was barking up the wrong tree. Again.
But the bottom line – the only numbers that really matter – are the amount of people who will actually vote for the Far-Right: And those are figures that speak for themselves.
Very few. And even fewer every year.
But now I'm falling into the trap of boasting about numbers; shouting about how we've got more Supporters than they have. Honestly - it's pathetic...
(But we have.)
Watching events unfold with a measure of deja vu and perhaps some trepidation are the retired volunteers of the IRA and their allies in Sinn Féin. From the early 1970s and, in particular, the 80s Colonel Gaddafi provided money, arms, surface-to-air missiles and the explosive Semtex to keep the IRA's campaign rolling. Numerous dignitaries, both publicly and secretly, travelled to Tripoli for "solidarity trips". What kind of records were kept of these meetings in Tripoli, is the question being asked in Belfast and Dublin. If Gaddafi goes, will he take his secrets with him?
And never mind the IRA, what would the files tell about the arrival in Libya of a younger – but no less comical – Nick Griffin? The Griff led a deputation to see Gaddafi in the 80s in the hope that the colonel might use his petro dollars to help ignite the flame of British nationalism. "We needed to attract serious money," explained the BNP leader. "Had we been offered it, we would have been very happy to take it." Alas, the colonel sent them away empty-handed. So, as a legacy, we have a nice picture of Nick and his long-time lieutenant Patrick Harrington posing beneath a regal poster of the colonel. And we know, thanks to the Lancaster Unity website, that until recently Harrington was selling Gaddafi's revolutionary Green Book on eBay. But would the Gaddafi files tell us anything else?
If the files are there, who will find them? The world's media are on their way and eager to impress. Our money is on the BBC's John Simpson, for he is on the border now, we are told, having pitched up – "to the utter confusion of the foreign desk" – and claiming he "owns" the story. Sources say he is "dressing up as one of Gaddaffi's women bodyguards as we speak".
Complaints against officers increased by almost 70% from just under 300 in 2006/07 to almost 500 in 2009/10, according to a new report. The number of reported racially-motivated crimes rose from 449 to 879. However, detection rates improved from 59.9% in 2006/07 to 69.3%, above the the Scottish average.
The Accounts Commission and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland compiled the report. It said Grampian Police and the joint police board performed well, but that more progress could be made.
The report said that the force considers members of the public are more prepared to make complaints because they have confidence in its willingness to deal with them. It said that evidence suggests that the force was meticulous in recording complaints and this, coupled with changes in recording processes, may have accounted for some of the increase.
The report revealed an overall reduction in recorded crimes since 2006/07 and crimes of violence, indecency, dishonesty and reckless behaviour were at their lowest level for seven years.
Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, Andrew Laing, said: "Grampian Police force is performing well and demonstrates many of the elements of best value. Levels of public satisfaction are high and improving and, overall, crime rates in the area are falling. However, it is unclear why recorded instances of racially-motivated crime and complaints against the police have increased and the force should make further efforts to understand and explain this."
The force and the board are to produce an improvement plan to show how they intend to address the findings.
Chief Constable Colin McKerracher said: "This is an excellent report that acknowledges the tremendous effort that has gone into our strategy for delivering the highest quality of policing for the people of the north east of Scotland. Over the past few years we have seen our officer numbers rise, crime rates across the region fall to a seven-year low and with detection rates for violent crime at their highest level over the same period."
The force said it recognised and acknowledged the areas for improvement.
February 22, 2011
Chris Mounteney, an outreach worker for the Soldiers Off The Street charity in Northampton, said he was quizzed last Thursday before he went out to help the homeless on his night shift. The 44-year-old said: “I was told to stop my work because they believed the charity was set up by the BNP. It was ludicrous. Soldiers Off The Streets was set up by Bill Murray, who used to be in the BNP, but he has relinquished his support of them. The charity doesn’t have political links.”
The serviceman did however admit the group’s headquarters were rented off a current member of the BNP.
Mr Mounteney, who works as a welfare officer in the TA centre in Clare Street, Northampton, added: “We are a charity and people need our help. If somebody serves their country they should have proper care and, as a charity, we provide that.”
The row was played out through social networking website Facebook over the weekend with Northamptonshire Police issuing the following statement: “We can confirm that a number of concerns were raised to us by partner agencies. To clarify this, a meeting was held with a representative from Soldiers Off The Street. We support people’s right to engage with legitimate charities and undertake lawful work on their behalf. We have not instructed anyone to stop working with a charity of their choice and would not seek to prevent them from doing so. We are currently investigating this matter.”
Mr Mounteney said he was later told he could continue his charity work and had the full support of the police. He added: “There was a sudden change. I’m hoping that now we can all work in partnership to help the homeless.”
It would appear that the EDL are intent on bringing their terror closer to home. Not content with Jewish extremists who like to blow things up, here is the West Midlands Division of the EDL standing in front of the flags and paraphernalia of the outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force and what appear to be imitation firearms for the purpose of a photo-shoot.
Time after time we hear from the likes of the EDL's leadership how they are a non-racist organisation and how "Tommy Robinson" and Kevin Carroll are proud of their Irish roots.
Perhaps they would like to act now and tell us how their non-sectarian and non-racist organisation will deal with the further adulation of gun-toting extremists, in particular the UVF an organisation that made its name in Ireland by murdering people whose soul crime normally, was that they were born Catholics?
During the EDL's violent march in Leicester, "Tommy Robinson" (real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon) spoke angrily about the protests that had met the recent visit to this country by the pope.
Perhaps this further exposure of the true nature of the EDL and its band of thugs, sycophants and would-be terrorists will serve to remind people that the EDL is just the other side of a coin poisoned by bigotry, violence and hatred
They read here that their grasp of employment jargon is so fleeting that they couldn't actually grasp what “Pro Rata” means (Def: “In Proportion” or “Proportionately”) and had claimed that a 10 hour a week job paying £19,500 pounds per annum (Def: “for a year”) pro rata worked out at the princely sum (Def: “the whole amount, quantity or number”) of £37.50 per hour (Def: “for an hour”).
So. Being brave and honest and ever ready to admit a mistake and make good, they duly amended (Def: “changed”) the story.
And got it wrong again.
They're now claiming that the 10-hour job pays £19.500 per year. (Screen Shot below.)
Idiots (Def: “BNP News Team”).
Simon Kirkpatrick had his sentence increased after his appeal against his conviction failed.
Bolton Crown Court, sitting at Bury Magistrates’ Court, heard that Kirkpatrick opened the Stags Head in Deane at 9am on March 20 last year and allowed drinks to be sold. Pubs had been reminded of their licensing conditions ahead of the EDL rally as part of a large-scale operation to keep public order in the town centre.
Last September, Kirkpatrick, aged 39, of Haynes Street, Morris Green, was convicted of displaying alcohol for sale and knowingly allowing the sale of alcohol otherwise in accordance with his licence.
The court heard that the pub had been visited by police two days before the rally to remind Kirkpatrick that he was not allowed to sell alcohol before 11am. The court heard that EDL supporters were at the pub on March 20, drinking and chanting and being “rowdy”. Licensing officer PC Natalie Dolan told the court that she saw Kirkpatrick laughing and “in good spirits”.
Police had to organise buses to take the EDL supporters into the town centre because of concern about them walking through Deane.
The court refused Kirkpatrick’s appeal, and he must now forfeit his personal licence. He was also ordered to pay £625 costs.
There were massive clashes with police acting extremely brutally. They attacked the blockers with batons, pepper spray, water cannons, armoured vehicles and newly acquired pepperball guns. Several people were seriously injured. But the brutal police violence didn’t stop the broad spectrum of activists who’d travelled to Dresden from making its centre impassable for the fascists. In addition to mass squats, in the old quarter there were also many barricades.
Only about 2,000 fascists of both sexes had dared to go to Dresden and failed with every attempt to carry out demonstrations. Even a spontaneously demonstration called by them in nearby Leipzig ended on the rails of its main railway station before it even began.
All in all a very successful day for the anti-fascist movement in Germany.
Naturally not everyone is happy about that. While the Nazis are sulking, the Saxony police are also proving sore losers and on Saturday stormed the press office of the “Dresden Nazi-free” alliance. The alliance people present were forced to strip naked and submit to a registration of personal data.
Information available so far is that they’ll be charged with conspiracy and public incitement to criminal acts as well as breaches of public order. The raiding police took all computers and storage media. That has led so far to 79 arrests of anti-fascists.
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
February 21, 2011
There is turmoil, and a difficulty of getting an accurate picture of exactly what is going on in the country. The leader of Libya is at best described as erstwhile, a law unto himself; Occasional revolutionary, benevolent dictator, war monger, terrorist and occasional peace maker.
"The Colonel" as Muammar Gadaffi , Libya's dictator for 41 years likes to be known, has few ideological admirers in this country. If anything, he is more bewildering than enlightening. Further to that, he was once the go-to person for people wanting finance and equipment to carry out acts of terror. He didn't really seem that bothered who received his financial backing either. During the 1980s both sides in Northern Ireland's conflict courted Gadaffi. So too did one Nick Griffin, who led his Anti-Semitic National Front up a revolutionary garden path in admiration for the Colonel. This was at a time when Gadaffi was an international pariah not just for the Lockerbie bombing but also the murder of London Police woman Yvonne Fletcher.
Griffin and his sidekick Patrick Harrington, both of whom are considered to have ruined the National Front, were huge admirers of Gadaffi even going all the way to Libya's capital Tripoli, in an attempt to convince him to give them "Petro-dollars".
When Griffin re-entered the far-right, joining the BNP in the mid nineties, he claimed to have put all of that behind him. He and Harrington had parted company and gone their separate ways.
Nowadays however, the BNP look to be facing the same fate as the NF did under Griffin's leadership: Membership is falling, cliques are forming and the party is swinging from one extreme to the other ideologically. In such difficult times is it any wonder that Griffin has once more turned to Harrington for advice? Harrington isn't even a member of the BNP, but as well as being the General Secretary of the BNP-aligned and dubious Trade Union Solidarity , Harrington has also been involved in a series of clashes with people who have criticised Nick Griffin, no more so than former leadership challenger Eddy Butler and Griffin's former Consigliere, Jim Dowson.
Hope not hate
He is also remembered for leading a rebel band that overwhelmed a Union stronghold, Fort Pillow, Tenn., massacring 300 mostly black soldiers and civilians, including children, after the soldiers had dropped their weapons. According to official reports, black soldiers were nailed to logs, buried alive, gunned down where they stood.
Finally, Forrest is remembered as a founder and the first "Grand Wizard’’ of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan, of course, is America’s preeminent terrorist group; in its various permutations, it has been responsible for countless acts of violence against African Americans and others it deemed inferior, including the notorious 1963 church bombing in which four little black girls were killed.
This is the legacy of Nathan Bedford Forrest. At this writing, the state of Mississippi is considering whether to honor that legacy through the issuance of vanity license plates. And perhaps an observer might be forgiven for wondering what in the world there is to consider.
The request to honor Forrest was made by the Mississippi branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group often found neck deep in attempts to rewrite and sanitize the odious history of the Confederacy.
For what it’s worth, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has said he doesn’t think the state legislature will approve the vanity plate. But he rejected a call by the Mississippi NAACP to denounce the idea. "I don’t go around denouncing people," he said, piously.
Presumably, he would be equally nonjudgmental if his state were to consider similar honors to Osama bin Laden, convicted spy Robert Hanssen or Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Their legacies, after all, are combined in Forrest: terrorist, traitor, mass murderer.
On April 12, it will be 150 years since the Civil War began. That is the distance from telegraph lines to smart phones, from steam engines to space shuttles, from Lincoln to Obama. And yet even after all that time, some of us are still unable to conquer the moral cowardice exemplified by Gov. Barbour and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The South fought in defense of racism and slavery. It was soundly defeated, racism and slavery soundly repudiated. You’d think from that loss the South would have learned signal lessons of human rights and human dignity.
The past exists for one overriding purpose: to prepare us for the future. It is the great and wise teacher, though its lessons are often purchased at monstrous cost. Such was surely the case with the Civil War: 620,000 lives — 2 percent of the population — lost, the South left devastated.
Yet sometimes, you wonder if the South even knows it lost.
Because, instead of learning those costly lessons and moving forward, too much of the South has spent too much of the last century and a half denying them and looking backward. It did so first through the expedient of lynch mob violence and Jim Crow laws. Now it clings to discredited 19th Century symbols like driftwood, obsessively reworks history trying to make the facts other than what they are.
But the facts are immutable.
You wish the South would finally accept that and move on. Instead, too many in that storied region are still absorbed in fighting a war that ended in 1865, seeking to vindicate a cause long ago lost. A man who betrayed this country, founded a terrorist group and committed mass murder is a man unworthy of honor.
It is pathetic that that even needs to be said.
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
Germany opened its first new reform synagogue since the Holocaust on Sunday, marking a
major step in the revival of Reform Judaism, which traces its roots to the country. The synagogue in the northern city of Hameln was built on the foundation of its predecessor, which was destroyed by the Nazis during the "Kristallnacht" pogrom in 1938. The congregation received financial backing for the synagogue primarily from local and state government.
"It's incredible that, after the Shoah, in Germany a synagogue could be built with money that came from German political organisations," the congregation's president Rachel Dohme told Reuters.
The city's reform congregation was founded in 1997 and has some 200 members, the majority of which are from the former Soviet Union. Reform, or liberal, Judaism was pioneered in Germany by Israel Jacobson two centuries ago. It holds the equality of sexes for rights and responsibilities and allows for sermons in local languages. About 20 percent of Jews in Germany currently follow Reform Judaism, a figure Dohme said highlights a growing pluralism in the German-Jewish community in the past decade.
"People are moving away from Orthodox Judaism and looking for a modern Judaism", Dohme said. "In the next couple of decades there will be a major switch."
Germany's Jewish population has grown quickly since the collapse of the Soviet Union two decades ago brought an influx of Jews from Eastern Europe. The country's Jewish population is around 200,000 -- most of which are emigres from the former Soviet Union. There were more than a half-million Jews in Germany before Adolf Hitler took power in 1933.
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
Both the BNP – which tries to hide its long history of fascism – and the racist street thugs of the EDL have sought to deny connections between the two organisations, although the EDL’s leader “Tommy Robinson” is a former BNP member and other fascists are central to its organisation. But the links between the two groups were exposed when members of the EDL’s Yorkshire division turned out to defend the BNP’s stall in Barnsley as local trade unionists and antifascists marched against them.
The BNP is standing in the Barnsley Central byelection on 3 March. Local trade unionists and antifascists organised the march to oppose the BNP after the fascist party’s leader Nick Griffin’s recent visits to the town and the BNP’s attempts to maintain a stall in the town centre. The BNP wants to whip up support for its poinsonous racist and fascist ideas – local people are determined to oppose them.
The trade union and antifascist demo marched through the centre of Barnsley to show their opposition at the site where the BNP hold a stall.
Demonstrators were shocked when 50 EDL members marched up from a pub shouting abusive slogans. For an hour, police kept both groups penned in and refused to allow the trades council march to proceed. But the antifascist demonstrators inisted they would march and the police eventually led the EDL back to the pub where they had been drinking earlier.
The trade union demonstration then proceeded through the town centre, chanting and outnumbering the fascists on the BNP stall and the EDL bully boys who had come to defend the BNP.
A rally in the centre of town was addressed by a number of speakers including the national president of the UCU and regional speakers from the GMB and FBU unions. The rally finished with a call to leaflet and campaign against the BNP in the byelection.
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
February 20, 2011
EDL chief Tommy Robinson, 28, said he was last year arrested for ‘financial irregularities’ and was issued with a Luton Crown Court order on August 11 preventing him from making any withdrawals from or charging any purchases to his accounts.
In a YouTube video Mr Robinson, who has just moved home to an unknown location from Lower Stondon, said he is entitled to take out £250 each week to cover living expenses while the investigation is ongoing. But other than that he cannot touch the money, the amount of which is unknown, although Mr Robinson, who led the 1,500- strong EDL rally in Luton town centre on February 5, said the figure is £6,000.
He said in the online video: “The £250 comes out of my own bank account which has my money in it anyway. I have had to stop working because if I do work, and say I earn £600, next week it goes into a frozen account and I am allowed £250. My solicitor has told me these orders are called disruption tactics in order to disrupt my life, disrupt everything I am doing and pretty much stop what we are saying, put pressure on me – and of course it has put pressure on me.
“This doesn’t cover my living costs. It prohibits me from dealing with any finances at all and that’s all in order to stop the EDL and our goals and what we are doing. They have given me this because between the years 2007 and 2009 I had more money going through my bank accounts than I paid tax on. Whoopy doo. It wasn’t all my money anyway. I bought a couple of properties and I have got partners that I am 50 per cent with. This will all come out if they decide to charge me.
“They haven’t charged me so they slapped this restraining order on me. I’ve been on it for six months. My bail date was February. My solicitor said they would probably bail me for another six months and I’ve been bailed until July again. They are just keeping my money frozen for 24 months. I’ve only got that £6,000 in my account and that’s going to run out soon. I can’t work because I can’t take any credit card payments at my tanning shop and the business is struggling.”
A police spokeswoman said: “A person has been arrested in connection with money laundering but as the investigation is still ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.
By Sophie Scott of Luton on Sunday
We started our lives in Highfields where lived too Christians, Afro-Carribeans, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Bangladeshis. When we started looking for a house for ourselves across East Park Road, we were told by the white house owners that they cannot sell their house because our food smells of garlic; we have different culture and our white neighbours do not like Asians and coloured people. These sort of remarks gave us the shock of our lives.
When I used to tell them that I was a teacher in a Grammar School, they would say: "Really".
St Peter's Church Vicar, Rev Carlile, involved me in Leicester Voluntary Community Relations Council. At those times, there was no Hindu Mandir, no Gurdwara and no Mosque.
The first Islamic centre started at St Peter's Road, the first gurdwara opened at New Walk and Hindu mandir started at Weymouth Street. White population Christians started visiting these Asian religious places of worship and people like us from different faiths began to be invited by different organisations to give a talk to them about our religions, cultures, customs, traditions etc.
A new awakening about understanding each other sprang up in the city and the county.
Then came 1972. In spite of Leicester City Council's efforts to discourage the Ugandan Asians from coming to Leicester, they came in thousands and started their businesses in the Belgrave-Melton Road areas. The Gujarati community brought better understanding, multiculturalism, wealth and respect to all the Asians, the blacks and the whites and brought them nearer to each other.
Indian, Italian, Irish, Polish, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Punjabi restaurants opened their door for the white population and they were not put off anymore from the garlic smell.
BBC Radio started Asian programme "Milan" with me which later on became 6.0 Five Show in English and is now Asian Network. People from all faiths started respecting each other's faiths and cultures. More and more gurdwaras, mandirs and mosques have come in our city. They are all co-existing next to each other along with the churches and synagogues.
People of different faiths and cultures are neighbours of each other. Our state schools are teaching all the major religions, having Christian worship and school assemblies very amicably. All the children and their parents have accepted the multi-faith teaching gladly. Hence multiculturalism is a great success in Leicester.
In 1979, my wife and myself were invited to Her Majesty's Garden Party and there we were introduced to the late Queen Mother.
Her sweet and memorable words are still ringing in my ears.
She said: "Great Britain is like a garden with beautiful flowers of different colours. For thousands of years, people of different cultures, faiths and backgrounds have been coming to this land and have contributed to the enrichment of British culture which is a mix of so many cultures. I welcome you both to this country and your contribute to the enrichment of our culture with your Asian values."
This is multiculturalism, where people do follow their own faiths and live their own lives like good neighbours. All of us also have common values, the common laws of the land, common language, common citizenship and one country and loyalty to one head of the State — Her Majesty the Queen.
We all are united against extremism, killing of innocent people in our cities.
We proved beyond any doubt on October 8, 2010 when gathering around the Clock Tower in solidarity against the EDL march and again on October 10 when the people of all faiths, colours and backgrounds showed their unity. It was the strength of multiculturalism on show.
Letter from Kartar Singh Sandhu to the Leicester Mercury
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
February 19, 2011
Like some unfortunate soul with an addiction to self-harm, they just don't know when to stop hurting themselves.
There was Griffin's splendid brainwave of appointing Mr & Mrs Kitchen to a major position within the Party. Unusual in that it was actually one of the few positions not yet recorded on DVD and available to aficionados of esoteric entertainment.
Or the curious decision, at a time when even their most faithful supporters are leaving the fold in droves, to alienate (and, apparently, to “proscribe”) the site of one of their few remaining disciples; the entertainingly disturbed Paul Morris.
They're even bleating about wanting to appear on “Question Time” again, despite the fact that the 2009 audience hadn't been treated to the sight of a man being so conclusively beaten up since Joe Pesci in “Casino”, and mounting evidence that the main people who'd love to see Griffin (or Brons, or Darby – it makes no odds) thrown to the wolves once again are their opponents.
This is a “party” whose leader, at a time when even the few remaining faithful are saying “enough with the begging letters!” outdoes himself with the slimiest, most craven, nakedly grasping and cynical missive yet. (“Monday was Valentine's Day. It got me thinking about love, in different forms”. Which, quite frankly, Nick, is not the language to use at a time when you're trying to make people forget about the Kitchens...)
And now, in an effort to demonstrate that they “aren't just a single-issue party”, they publish a hard-hitting piece on their Site about a scandalous misuse of public money during a time of swingeing cuts (Screen Capture below):
Very impressive journalism, chaps!
Except you don't know what “Pro Rata” means.
(Many thanks to “Wes” for the tip!)
Does this mean they are no longer organising the BNP's third-rate family booze-fest, the Red, White and Blue? If you know, let us know...
February 18, 2011
The far-right party alleges Mr Barwell breached the Data Protection Act when he sent a questionnaire, filled in by Clifford Le May, to the Advertiser nearly a year and a half ago. In the pamphlet, Mr Le May urged the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to "stop ruining our community by stuffing New Addington with violent immigrants who have no right to live among decent civilised white people". He also referred to Mr Barwell, who he ran against for the Croydon Central seat in the general election last May, as a "traitor to his race and nation".
Now Mr Barwell has received a letter from the BNP threatening to take the matter to the Information Commissioner. Mr Barwell told the Advertiser: "It's completely bizarre. I've never heard of anyone in a political party complain about their views being made public. Perhaps he is ashamed of what he said, as he should be."
In the letter, Tony Martin, the BNP's Croydon and Sutton branch organiser, wrote: "In mid 2009, Clifford Le May received a questionnaire sent out by your organisation. Cliff filled in and returned the completed questionnaire only for it to be printed in the Croydon Advertiser. Recently I have been looking into the legality of this leak and who is responsible.
"It looks illegal under the Data Protection Act 1998 and Gavin Barwell has confessed to this indiscretion on his blog. I contacted the Information Commissioner's Office and was told to contact you first before making any official complaint."
When the Advertiser contacted Mr Martin, who has replaced Charlotte Lewis as Croydon and Sutton branch organiser, he pointed out a promise made on www.croydonconservatives.com not to share information with third parties. The disclaimer, under the heading Information Collection and Use, reads: "We never sell or share information to anyone outside the Conservative Party."
Mr Martin added: "I want to get the message across that we are not prepared to be trodden on.
"The Conservatives promise never to share information but this is exactly what they did. We're not looking for compensation, but an apology."
Mr Barwell admitted the privacy disclaimer existed but added: "Were it the response of a private individual I wouldn't have released it. But this was someone running for public office, so people have a right to know his views."
After giving Mr Barwell a deadline of seven days to respond to his concerns, Mr Martin says he now intends to submit an official complaint to the Information Commissioner.
This is Croydon Today
Thanks to Supporter from Croydon for the heads-up
Last week the Daily Star, owned by the Jewish media tycoon Richard Desmond, ran a front-page story headlined “EDL to become political party.” The story said: “In the Daily Star phone poll yesterday, 98 per cent of readers said they agreed with the EDL’s policies.”
The paper’s editorial was headed: “Don’t dare ignore the EDL” and said: “Whether you like them or not, Tommy [Robinson – the pseudonym of EDL leader Stephen Lennon] and his followers will have to be taken very seriously”. But after heavy criticism, the paper ran several negative stories about the EDL – including one about an ex-Marine angry that the group planned a protest “in his name” against Muslim Respect councillors in Birmingham who were unwilling to take part in a standing ovation for the Royal Marines Reserve. The Daily Star’s editor, Dawn Neesom, refused to say whether the stories were a deliberate shift in editorial stance. A spokesman said: “The Daily Star will clearly not be endorsing EDL in the future.”
Community and political leaders have warned of the dangers of giving the EDL publicity which can be misinterpreted. Danny Stone, director of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism said: “The EDL create tension and provoke anger wherever they go. Their tactics are violent. They deserve no sympathy, rather to be shunned by the British public and media. It ill behoves any newspaper to give the EDL the oxygen of publicity they so crave.”
A spokesman for the Board of Deputies said: “Whether or not the EDL have political aspirations, responsible media outlets should be exposing their insidious agenda of intolerance and intimidation, just as surely as all extremist groups and ideologies should be exposed. If the far right chooses to reinvent itself following the humiliation of last year’s elections, the media shouldn’t become an unwitting, and still less a willing accomplice.”
Much of the negative publicity for the Daily Star has focused on Mr Desmond, who has said he knew nothing of the paper’s views on the EDL “until it hit the breakfast table”.
Harsh criticism came from the veteran media commentator Roy Greenslade, but his post on the Guardian website was hastily amended after he wrote of Mr Desmond: “As a Jew, he may well have negative views of Muslims.”
The Guardian later removed the sentence on the grounds of “inappropriate language,” but it remained visible in the reader comments. Describing the underlying agenda of the EDL as being “antisemitic”, Mr Greenslade said: “[Desmond] ought to think very carefully about letting the Star use far right politics to build sales. He should remember what happened in Europe in the 1930s where Jewish minorities were demonised in the media for their religious beliefs.”
He told the JC he was pleased the sentence had been removed: “How stupid. I didn’t mean that and I don’t know what I was thinking. It’s contradictory, isn’t it? There I was going on about stereotypes and I immediately stepped into a stereotype. I sometimes wonder at myself.”
EDL launches US partnership
The head of the EDL’s Jewish division, Roberta Moore, has announced a partnership with far-right American group Jewish Task Force. JTF leader Victor Vancier said: “The Jewish establishment in the UK, the ’self hating Jews’ have condemned the EDL because they support the Muslim invasion of England. It’s pathetic, and I’m sad to hear it includes the so-called Orthodox. They have to be politically correct, even as we go to the gas chambers. This co-operation will turn into something big.”
February 17, 2011
The court heard that Simon Kirkpatrick, who is appealing against a conviction, opened the Stags Head in Deane at 9am on March 20 last year and allowed drinks to be sold. In September last year, Kirkpatrick, aged 39, of Haynes Street, Morris Green, was convicted of displaying alcohol for sale and knowingly allowing the sale of alcohol otherwise in accordance with his licence.
Bolton Crown Court heard yesterday that the pub had been visited two days before the rally and officers reminded Kirkpatrick of his licence conditions, which included not selling alcohol before 11am. He was also advised to hire qualified door staff for the day and was told to serve drinks in plastic containers.
The court heard that on March 20, English Defence League (EDL) supporters were at the pub. Police had to organise buses to take people into the town centre because they were concerned about them walking through Deane — a predominantly Asian area.
Licensing officer Natalie Dolan told the court she arrived at the pub at about 11am. She said: “I could see quite a large number of people outside the pub. It was rowdy and there were police cordoning off areas to prevent them from going to the next-door pub. They were drinking and smoking and some were chanting. I could see Simon Kirkpatrick with what looked like a plastic cigarette and he was with acquaintances, laughing and joking. He was in good spirits.”
She added that she did not see any door staff and there were glasses on the tables.
The appeal continues.
The Bolton News
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
Thomas had been locked away in a dark shed for many, many months now. He hadn't been taken out to see the crowds of merry onlookers – who so loved to see him and shout and throw things whenever he came down their street – since last June.
“And to think the Fat Controller, Sir Nicking Twatt, said such nice things about me in the past.”
Thomas had once been the pride of The Fat Controller's company. He had cost a lot of money, and Sir Nicking had been very busy writing letters to his friends across the Island asking everyone to send cheques to pay for “A brand new and custom built Truth Truck”.
Thomas had thought this was a bit funny at the time, because he knew he wasn't “brand new and custom built”; in fact he was already driving around a different island, advertising different things.
But Sir Nicking, after writing thousands of letters and counting hundreds of cheques, had soon collected enough money to buy Thomas.
“In fact”, Sir Nicking used to laugh with him when they were alone; “I collected three times as much money as I needed!”
Sir Nicking was a very, very clever Fat Controller, thought Thomas, and the people who sent him so much money were very, very silly.
He remembered the wonderful day when Sir Nicking had proudly unveiled him. “You're a really useful moneymaker”, he'd whispered lovingly to him.
And Thomas had once been on a marvellous tour of the Island, when he had happily tooted his horn as people came out of their houses to shake their fists at him and shout things he couldn't quite understand.
It all seemed a very long time ago now, as he sat in this dark, dark shed.
He wasn't even sure any more that he had ever really been “bought”. He might have just been borrowed from his old owner.
Then a voice in the darkness made Thomas jump. In the gloom at the back of the shed was an old, rusty bus covered in an oily tarpaulin.
“I was Sir Nicking's Really Useful Moneymaker once...” said the bus. “My name's Boudica”.
“I've heard of you...” said Thomas; “but I've never actually seen you before.”
“Hardly anyone ever did”, said Boudica. “I was just another thing for Sir Nicking to raise money for and then forget about...”
“And now he's done exactly the same thing to you...”
Thomas felt sad. It had all been very exciting to think that he was going to be so important to Sir Nicking's plans, but now he knew that he would just be quietly forgotten about, now that he'd served his purpose.
Suddenly, the door of the shed opened.
It was Sir Nicking Twatt himself, carrying a strange-looking object.
Sir Nicking put the object down and left the shed, bolting the door behind him.
Thomas and Boudica looked at their new neighbour.
It was a sad-looking computer.
“Hello.” Said the computer: “My name's Alfred...”
The JTF leader Victor Vancier has also posted a podcast where he said: “We were contacted by the English Defence League last few weeks and we have agreed we want to work together on joint projects. They are a major organisation, with mass media coverage.
“I wanted to be sure they were not the BNP, we would never work Holocaust deniers or Nazis. They wave Israeli flags, they support the Jewish people. They want Jewish members. We are happy to work with them to save England from the millions of Muslim invaders. We want to work as a united front.”
He added: “The Jewish establishment in the UK, the ‘self hating Jews’ have condemned the EDL because they support the Muslim invasion. It’s pathetic, including the so-called Orthodox. They have to be politically correct, as we go to the gas chambers. We are not interested in this, and neither is the EDL. This will turn into something big.”
Mr Vancier is banned from entering Israel because of his allegiance to the late Rabbi Meir Kahane and his Kach party – outlawed in Israel in 1994 as “terrorist organisations.” The group now raises money for Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
He spent five years in prison from 1987 for 18 bomb attacks against Soviet targets in the US to protest the treatment of Soviet Jews. His website claims US President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and calls Secretary of State Hilary Clinton “a vicious Jew hater.”
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up
A memorial bridge to a young girl who died crossing the A249 has been defaced with far right nationalist graffiti.
Slogans including “kill Muslims” “keep Britain British” and “EDL” - the acronym for anti Islamist group the English Defence League - have been scratched into the moss on Jade’s Crossing in Detling.
The bridge was erected as a memorial to Jade Hobbs, who was killed along with her grandmother while crossing the busy road in 2000. The tragedy led to a successful campaign by Jade’s mother Caroline Hobbs and husband Paul to build a permanent footbridge. They have since moved from the area as the memories were too painful.
The English Defence League was formed in 2009 in response to a protest against Royal Anglian Regiment troops returning from the Afghan War. The group organises street marches purportedly against “muslim extremism.”
February 16, 2011
The former is pretty clear so we'll deal with that one first. Twenty-six year old Holmes has just been booted out of the BNP after evidence was revealed that showed he was grooming an underage girl. Quite why Holmes got the boot when the likes of Paedo Collett and his idiot chum David Hannam were allowed to get away with their little attempt at underage sex, who knows. However, Holmes is still going on about his innocence, claiming both that he wasn't interested in having sex with the girl even if she was sixteen and that he acted appropriately at all times. Holmes has tried this one over at the British Democracy Forum, too, stating very clearly,
'Never mentioned anything about getting her to have sex with me when she's 16, actually.'Oh dear, what a terrible liar Tom has become. And here's the proof, from his Facebook page...
Awww :( 2 years" shows pretty clearly that he's perfectly well aware of the girl's age, the pervert.
Holmes is apparently still claiming that he intends to stand as an Independent in his next local election, handing the seat over to the BNP if he wins. He won't, of course. The public doesn't take too well to men approaching thirty making remarks about fourteen year olds opening their legs for him, even if he is only hoping it will happen two years hence. As far as I recall, that's referred to as grooming.
Talking of perverts, we hear that Clive Jefferson, the stupidest man in the BNP, has apparently begun to bow under pressure from increasingly angry party members (and a hostile media) and has been begging Mark Walker or Pat Harrington to support him in persuading Porky Griffin to give the Kitchens the boot ASAP, preferably before even more information about Granny Kitchen's porn hits the media. Quite what anything in the BNP has to do with Harrington, we don't know, but he seems to have an uncommonly tight hold on both Griffin and the party. Perhaps Mrs K has been giving him lessons.
The interesting thing about this, assuming it's true, is that Jefferson wants to kick the Kitchens out but appears to be unable to. Why? As far as we know, he's been booting people out of the party wholesale for months - what makes the Kitchens so special?
Our correspondent suggests that the Kitchens will be gone by this weekend. Maybe but we doubt it. Martin Reynolds has been involved in porn and all kinds of shit (literally) for years and he's still around. Still, things could hot up in more ways than one as Spring approaches - we're told that there are quite a few more BNP-related revelations on their way. Can't wait.
Meanwhile, GrannyGate has claimed a victim. Paul Morris (not that one), the BNP's Eastern regional organiser, has jacked in his job in disgust at the adverse publicity that the Kitchens have spawned and the party's apparent unwillingness to get rid of them post haste. I doubt very much that he'll be the last to go - this story seems set to carry on a while yet.