March 30, 2009

BNP turns to deception as donation fatigue sets in

30 Comment (s)
Sonia Gable investigates the BNP’s latest scam to get money out of its supporters

The fifth begging letter from the British National Party this year shows that the party may have reached the limit of its members’ and supporters’ financial resources and is resorting to yet more lies to fill its coffers.

The letter, printed on garish yellow paper and sent in the second week of March, was a second attempt to raise money for the party’s “Rapid Expansion Plan”. The party was “struggling due to unprecedented growth”, according to the first appeal sent out at the end of February. So many people were “flocking to the BNP” that “we cannot cope”. So “I need you to support the party’s ‘Rapid Expansion Plan’ NOW”, demanded Nick Griffin, the party leader, followed by three exclamation marks.

The BNP needed to win a seat in the European election but it also had to have a “telecommunications system” and a “central administration office to deal with the current huge increase in enquiries, party membership and organisational growth” and the “40,000 – 75,000” enquiries and membership applications that would result from the distribution of “over 30 million leaflets across the UK” over the next six months.

On and on the six-page letter went, bandying about the word “professional” and claiming that £85,150 was needed to cope with a projected 400% growth in the party’s “database” in the next six months.

And the money was needed quickly: Griffin needed “to put the orders in next week”. There was even a marketing brochure for the “professional communications system for medium-sized enterprises” that Griffin said he wanted to buy for £28,650, though nothing about how the BNP’s largely incompetent staff would ever learn how to use it.

Clearly the money was not forthcoming, not in a week or even three. And the problem would not go away. In fact between the February and March letters “we have become even more popular”, Griffin claimed, because of the party’s “massive victory in the Swanley council election”. Only a party with so few councillors could trumpet a single council by-election win as a massive national victory.

Griffin’s marketing consultant, Jim Dowson, must have advised him that outlining the political need for the desired equipment was all very well, but the appeal might work better if supporters thought they were getting a bargain and at the same time benefiting party members. “Normally, the set up costs for what we are doing would cost over £200,000,” the March letter said, “but by using companies owned by members and supporters we have cut the cost down to £85,150”.

The brochure that came with the February letter had one strange omission, the name of the company that was offering the “HiPath 3000” system the BNP wanted to buy. A search readily revealed a five-year-old brochure with an identical front page, except for the inclusion of the company’s name and website. The company was Siemens, the Germany-based global conglomerate operating in IT, communications, energy and many other industries. It was hardly a company owned by a BNP member.

A spokesperson for Siemens Enterprise Communications, which makes the HiPath system, said the company was completely unaware of the BNP’s use of its graphics in its campaign. The system was normally sold to customers through resellers, who would use Siemens’s product information in their own branded brochures. However resellers would not lift Siemens’s images and design in this way and would certainly not produce a brochure without their own name on it.

She also thought it strange that anyone would issue a brochure produced in 2004 for an old version of the communications system that is no longer sold.

So what is going on? Is Griffin afraid to admit that he wants to spend his members’ donations on a product from a German-owned company? Or is the brochure just window dressing, the supplier’s name omitted to make it easier for Griffin to fob members off with some second-hand second-rate equipment bought from Dowson or his ilk, just like the BNP’s “truth truck”, better known as the lie lorry.

Perhaps it is simply that the BNP is worried that any publicity will scare the reseller off. After all, nobody respectable wants to be seen doing business with the BNP.

Fed up

Even before the latest letter, BNP members and supporters were getting thoroughly fed up with the stream of letters from Griffin asking for donations to support this, that or other aspect of the BNP’s “growth” and its European election effort.

The year had barely started when Griffin’s “new year address” landed on hard-pressed supporters’ doormats, with a plea to contribute to the party’s “People’s Defence Fund”. The fund had been set up following the publication on the internet of the BNP members’ list last November, with the aim of raising money to “employ legal experts to defend those of our people suffering hardship, discrimination and persecution in their employment for being members of this party”.

The People’s Defence Fund also had a wider political purpose: to “give a bloody nose to all those little press creeps and the Lab/Tory/Lib Dem sycophants who have built careers on the back of attacking the BNP and our long-suffering people”.

The new year address followed six appeals in 2008 for the “Building to Grow fund”, the London election campaign, to buy the “truth truck” and to publish and distribute the outrageously racist Racism Cuts Both Ways pamphlet. Griffin claimed that all these appeals achieved “amazing results”.

Confident that his members and supporters had bottomless purses or a moronic level of financial acumen, Griffin did not even wait until January was out to launch the party’s appeal for funds to fight the European election. Headed “The Battle for Britain Commences”, it waxed lyrical on how winning “just one” seat in the European Parliament “would put us on the world stage and would lead to an avalanche of popular support throughout this country”.

Controversially a leaflet enclosed with the letter adopted the image of an RAF Spitfire, now revealed to be one flown by the celebrated 303 Squadron of the RAF, made up of Polish airmen rescued from France shortly before the Nazi occupation. The BNP has continued to use the image on its fundraising material in the face of ridicule and accusations of hypocrisy.

The leaflet invited supporters to attend the party’s “2009 European election campaign nationwide roadshow”, which promised “multi-media sound and vision”, speeches from “Chairman Nick Griffin and invited European mystery guest” as well as champagne reception, entertainment and light supper, all at a cost of £30. “I guarantee you will never have seen anything like this,” wrote Griffin.

The reality turned out a bit different. The European mystery guest never showed up and the “roadshow” encountered opposition from local people and last-minute venue cancellations wherever it went.

Hot on the heels of that exuberantly written appeal, full of bold text, underlining and italics, came a more personal and undated letter from Griffin asking supporters to make a standing order of “just £3.00 a week” to “save this country from destruction before it’s too late”.

It was recognition of how our HOPE not hate campaigning was hurting the BNP. “The Labour Party, the liberal media and a whole host of leftist fanatics, led by Searchlight, have now become so concerned about our success, that the latter has employed the services of the WORLD’S TOP campaigning team to prevent us from winning,” wrote Griffin. “Blue State Digital. They’re the team that co-ordinated Barack Obama’s campaign for the White House!

“Your £3 per week can help send Obama’s boys back to Washington with their tails between their legs,” claimed Griffin, after condemning them for being American. Griffin’s own longstanding connections with American nazis are of course quite different.

Those who have responded to these appeals may be regretting it. In January Mark Collett, the BNP’s head of publicity, had to admit responsibility for printing 700,000 “Euro warm up leaflets” without an official imprint, which meant they could not be distributed. We understand that dozens of BNP activists who could have been out canvassing are spending many hours peeling off thousands of tiny stickers to place on the leaflets as straight as they can manage.

The “HiPath 3000” brochure distributed by the BNP likewise has no imprint. Did Collett print that too, in bid to con BNP members into coughing up for their party once more?

* Since Searchlight went to press, the BNP has sent another begging letter, the sixth this year. This one purports to be the “Official Launch 2009 European Election Campaign Fund” – implying that all the fundraising to date, including the Battle for Britain tour, was in some way not official. It also claims that the “Rapid Expansion Plan” appeal succeeded in raising the required £85,000.

Hope not hate

BNP to launch advertising campaign featuring Jesus Christ

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The extremist British National Party (BNP) is to launch an advertising campaign featuring Jesus Christ. The Far Right party will use the advert which features a bible verse quoting Jesus' words about persecution, in the run up to the European Elections in June. It comes after the Church of England passed a resolution at its General Synod last month banning clergy from being members of the party.

The thinktank Ekklesia has monitored attempts by the BNP since 2003 to present itself as a ‘Christian Party’. It has also warned that misleading stories about ‘Christian persecution’ in the UK, as well as appeals by church leaders to recover the idea of 'Christian Britain', have played into the Far Right’s hands.

In recent years the BNP has used religious rhetoric with increasing frequency. In recent local elections, the party's literature included copies of the controversial Mohammed cartoons. It also helped establish a 'Christian Council of Britain'. The goal is to appeal to those in the population who identify with Christianity, but feel panicked both by 'liberal secularism' and the growth of Islam.

An analysis of the BNP membership list by the thinktank Ekklesia highlighted a number of members who were identified as Christian, taking part in Bible studies, running Christian businesses including bookshops or who were active in their churches.

In an email sent yesterday to BNP supporters, BNP leader Nick Griffin said: “The British National Party is the only political party which genuinely supports Britain's Christian heritage. It is the only party which will defend our ancient faith and nation from the threat of Islamification. What has become of the Christian church in this country? Instead of inclusively ‘embracing all’ which the church claims is its basis, certain groups within that body have banned people from their ranks simply because of their membership in the British National Party.

“Surely if God calls a man to his service, no church has the right to contradict HIS holy will! For many years, the churches in this country scrupulously avoided being politically biased. Nowadays however we see a small number of clerics and bishops openly preaching hatred towards the BNP. Church leaders actively shun the word of God on issues like sodomy, abortion and social justice. With this in mind I invite you to preview our European election billboard (pictured above) aimed at attracting even more Christian voters.

“Jesus was viewed as a revolutionary figure, hated and hounded to death, not by 'evil men' but by the corrupt hypocrites who ran the church. Has nothing changed in two thousand years? On June 4th, the leaders of Britain's churches will find out that millions of good decent people support the British National Party. It's not racist to support British jobs for British workers or to be opposed to militant Islam, it's just common sense and in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

But Jonathan Bartley, co-director of the thinktank Ekklesia said: “This is clearly a gross misrepresentation of both Jesus Christ and Christianity. Jesus was completely opposed to bigotry. He is recorded in the Gospels as challenging those who didn’t welcome foreigners - not as working for their exclusion.

“But the church must critically reflect on how it is aiding the Far Right. Leading figures within the Church of England have become far more vocal recently in their calls to ‘stem the tide of secularism’, and to defend the predominant 'Christian culture' of Britain. The uncomfortable fact is that this puts the Church into the position of arguing the same political point about national identity as the BNP.

“Of course the rationales of these messages are very different. The agenda behind the BNP's claims is essentially a cultural one - partly in opposition to an alleged liberal elite, and partly in an attempt to whip up fear of minority faiths. In contrast, few would question the commitment of the Church of England to combating racism. But the time has come to face the fact that when it uses 'Christian nation' rhetoric, it risks encouraging support for right-wing extremists.

“Church figures should also exercise caution in their uncritical backing for high-profile cases of ‘Christian persecution’ which have featured most prominently in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. These stories have often been misreported, but used nevertheless by church leaders as examples of a wider move of discrimination against Christians. This is creating a victim mentality which will only serve to drive people into the BNP’s hands.

“But the latest advert from the BNP which quotes Jesus Christ should be seen by the church as an opportunity for a new approach. Instead of adopting a defensive stance which pleases those seeking to make political capital out of civic 'de-Christianization', the Church should refocus on the vocation of Jesus, who clearly challenged bigotry in all its forms. Whilst 'Christian nation' rhetoric will only create more BNP support, a focus on Jesus Christ will undermine the party's ideology completely.”


Police close in on race hate duo

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Whittle (left) and Sheppard; runaway racists
Police in Hull say they are close to winning an extradition battle to bring two men back from America wanted for distributing racist material.

Simon Sheppard and Stephen Whittle fled the country last summer after been found guilty of numerous race-hate offences. The trial at Leeds Crown Court came after Sheppard's flat in the Avenues area of the city was raided in 2005. But now, as a judge is set to sentence them in their absence on Monday, Special Branch officers believe they are closer than ever to getting the pair back into the country to face justice.

Adil Kahn, head of diversity and community cohesion for Humberside Police, said: "I think it is a question of when not if for their return to the UK. This has been a lengthy operation, but will on Monday, if the judge decides to sentence them in their absence, be closer to conclusion. The US authorities have been great, but we have had to go through the due process. Sheppard and Whittle will be here to face justice for their victims and for the hard work of all the officers involved in this case."

Sheppard, 51, was found guilty of 16 race hate crimes, 11 in July 2008 and five in January 09. Whittle, 41, was found guilty of five race hate crimes in July 2008.

Sheppard, who boasts on his website about being banned from every library in Hull, was convicted for a series of charges relating to publishing racially inflammatory material, distributing racially inflammatory material or possessing racially inflammatory material with a view to distribution under the Public Order Act 1986. He had been responsible for a website containing anti-semetic views. He also published and distributed a leaflet likening notorious Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz to a holiday resort.

The investigation began when a complaint about a leaflet called Tales Of The Holohoax was reported to police in 2004 after being pushed through the door of a Blackpool synagogue. It was traced back to a post office box in Hull registered to Sheppard. A lengthy police operation took place, with several forces across the country working together.

The pair, who have began calling themselves the Heretical Two, after the racist website Sheppard presided over, disappeared to Ireland, then flew to Los Angeles International Airport and surrendered to officials claiming political asylum. They are currently being held under the Department of Homeland Security at Santa Ana Jail.

On Tuesday a court hearing took place in the US with Sheppard and Whittle addressing the judge. Her Honour Judge Rose Peters reserved judgement which will be handed down in writing.

This is Hull and East Riding

March 28, 2009

Barton in the Beans and the BNP Baptist Chapel

5 Comment (s)
After a bit of prodding, I’ve received a response from the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) about the recent hosting of the British National Party’s Rev Robert West at Barton in the Beans Baptist Chapel (also known as Barton Fabis Baptist Chapel or Barton Chapel). West’s appearance at this venue was noted on a BNP blog, but specific details were removed after Seismic Shock drew it to wider attention. The FIEC administrator was keen to point out that each church is independent, that the Fellowship does not support any political party, and that it is working to make member churches aware of the dangers posed by political extremists. I was also directed to a related church body called ”Affinity”, of which the FIEC is a member and where further details about the chapel are listed. The specific entry is here; there is no minister listed, just a certain “Mrs C S Meller” given as the administrator. There are apparently regular services, though.

Mrs Meller is Christine Meller, and according to this site she and her husband Derek Meller maintain a museum at the Chapel, which is of historic significance and regarded fondly by British Baptists. There is no evidence that either of these persons support the BNP, but it just so happens that there is also a local BNP councillor named Ian Derek Meller, who is described as a member of the Chapel on the website of the North West Leicestershire District Council.

A site run by Searchlight magazine notes:
[Ian] Meller is a former member of the NF who in August 2000 was fined £400 with £55 costs for possessing an offensive weapon – believed to have been a chair leg. When he was arrested Meller was with a 15 strong contingent of NF members led by Mick Shore who was involved in the KKK and who is now also in the BNP. The gang of NF thugs of which Meller was a part were intent on attacking a Gay Pride march in Leicester.
Meller’s supporters claim he was carrying a flagpole.

West, meanwhile, believes that multiracialism is sinful, and that this is the lesson of the story of the Tower of Babel. He also shares Meller’s distaste for homosexuality, and in 2007 his Christian Council of Britain brought Paul Cameron to the UK.

Bartholomew's Notes on Religion

March 27, 2009

Manic Street Preachers stop right-wing group from using music

5 Comment (s)
BNP completely miss the point of 'If You Tolerate This...'

Manic Street Preachers have stopped the the British National Party from using one of their songs, which they did completely without the band's permission.

The far-right political party were hosting a video on their website, and on a youTube account, under the heading 'The Cesspit Called London' which was soundtracked by the band's 1998 Number One single 'If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next'.

Ironically, the lyrics to that song concern the International Brigade – the group of volunteers, including Welsh farmers, who went to Spain to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War. The phrase appeared on a poster published at the time.

The band's label SonyBMG immediately issued cease and desist orders, and the material has now been taken down.


Call for nurses to be banned from joining BNP at conference

3 Comment (s)
Nurses and health staff from the union Unison are to debate whether registered nurses should be banned from joining the far-right British National Party (BNP) at a conference next month.

Police are already banned from joining the BNP because of fears that its extreme political views will affect officers’ conduct. However the publication of a list last year of BNP members showed that several practising and former nurses were members of the party.

The motion, ‘BNP policy is incompatible with nursing’, to be debated at next month’s Health Group Annual Conference in Harrogate in April. It reminds nurses that the Nursing and Midwifery Council code stipulates that nurses should never discriminate against people under their care.

The motion says: ‘Membership of the BNP is wholly incompatible with public service, and this is especially so for Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors who have a unique role in caring for vulnerable people on a daily basis.’ It calls for the government to raise the issue with government and the four Departments of Health to establish legal powers to prevent BNP members and members of other racist groups from employment in nursing roles.

They should ensure that standards within the Improving Working Lives initiative are tightened to take account of the importance of diversity, the motion says.

If the motion succeeds, the union will also press the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to support its call for legislation on this issue and issue interim advice to registered nurses of the standards expected of them.

Nursing Times

'sidneysausage', gun nut and boy-racer, comes fourth in Lincs by-election

8 Comment (s)
Despite much hype and a good deal of help from BNP activists from surrounding areas, Steve Fyfe (known as 'sidneysausage' to the Guns 'n Ammo cognoscenti), the party's Grimsby organiser, managed to come a stunning fourth in the Yarborough Ward by-election yesterday - coincidentally his fourth attempt to win a seat on North East Lincolnshire Council. The full result is below:

Yarborough Ward by-election (North East Lincs Council)
Thursday March 26th

Peter Kenneth Bailey: Liberal Democrat 763 (35.8%)
Kath Norton: Conservative 513 (24.1%)
Michael Stephen Taylor: Labour 437 (20.5%)
Steve Fyfe: British National Party 370 (17.4%)
Martin Joseph Grant: The Generalist Party 49 (2.3%)

Mr Sausage Fyfe managed to get an unhealthy 17.4%, which suggests that local anti-fascists need to step up their anti-BNP activity between now and the Euro elections on June 4th, as do we all. You can read considerably more about Fyfe here.

Why women should vote at the European election on June 4th

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Click on image for full-size
Click on image for full-size
You can download this leaflet from Hope not hate (pdf)

March 25, 2009

Bishop slams BNP

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The Bishop of Manchester has branded the far-right BNP a party of 'division, fear and hatred'.

In an outspoken attack, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch said the group had 'a racial analysis at the core of its philosophy' that was incompatible with British democracy. He called for all mainstream parties - and people of all faiths - to reject the BNP in European Parliament elections this summer. The bishop was speaking at a meeting of the full council at Manchester town hall.

"There are those who do not share our vision of Manchester and who will seek political success by preaching a message of division and hatred," he said. "They will use racism and other prejudice to challenge the very diversity which strengthens our city. They will exploit the difficult times which presently face our country, trying to turn one community against the other. They will use difference as a scapegoat, because they have nothing else to offer in response to the issues we face."

The bishop added: "At the heart of our political process is belief in democratic representation - a belief that values difference and, yes, seeks the common good. The BNP does neither. It offers only division, fear and hatred. I make no apology for speaking of the BNP directly. This party has a racial analysis at the core of its philosophy. It claims that it is not a racist party, but it calls at least for a segregation of the races."

The bishop denied his attack was `over the top' and simply giving the BNP 'the oxygen of publicity'. He compared the situation to pre-war Germany, quoting a pastor who regretted failing to speak out against the Nazis.

"I don't need to remind you that the Nazi party was democratically elected by the German population," he added. "That is why a key task for us must be to deliver the maximum possible turnout at the European elections in June."

Bishop Nigel is the first bishop in living memory to address a council meeting in Manchester. He was speaking in support of the cross-party `Hope not Hate' campaign, which is seeking to marginalise the BNP and other extremist groups. The council went on to pass a motion condemning those who 'deliver messages of hate aimed to divide our communities and whip up intolerance and violence against our neighbours'.

The BNP is planning to target the north west region in the June elections, with leader Nick Griffin at the top of their list of candidates.

Simon Darby, deputy leader of the BNP, said: "It is not up to the church to tell people who they can and cannot vote for. He talks about democracy but democracy is when people decide. It is not done by senior members of the church abusing their position by trying to bully people."

Manchester Evening News

Britain ready for black PM, study finds

6 Comment (s)
Barack Obama outside 10 Downing Street last year
Extensive report on British and American racial attitudes shows two countries in close alignment

The most extensive comparison of British and American racial attitudes over the last 50 years has found a softening of prejudice, creating the conditions necessary for a black prime minister to emerge in the UK.

A joint study conducted by Harvard and Manchester universities has found a "deepening tide of tolerance" in the attitudes of both Americans and Britons.

Ed Fieldhouse, the study's co-author and executive director of Manchester's Institute for Social Change, said: "The good news is that in terms of the underlying attitudes of the majority, Britain is in the same place as the United States. Whether it is willingness to work for a black boss or to welcome a non-white person into the family, majority British opinion – just like majority American opinion – is gradually getting more tolerant."

The project's team includes the Guardian's Tom Clark and the American academic Robert Putnam, whose book Bowling Alone catalogued the decrease in American civic engagement and the benefits of "social capital" or social networks to both individuals and communities.

The authors have analysed all available polling from the two countries, including 50-year Gallup series and the poll series British Social Attitudes. They have been able to show that since the 1980s the proportion of whites who admit to discomfort at the idea of a black person marrying into the family has been falling in both nations by around two percentage points each year. In the UK, since the 80s, the percentage of people who object to a black boss has fallen by half from 20% to 10% – a similar decrease to that in America. Last week, Tidjane Thiam was appointed the first black chief executive of the Prudential financial service company.

Though there is little polling on attitudes to black politicians available in the UK, researchers point to an increase in the number of Americans saying they are willing to vote for a black candidate – from 53% in 1967 to 94% today. Given the pattern of change is similar in the UK and US on other variables, the reports' authors argue that the UK may now be ready for a black prime minister.

But the study also bears out the fears of senior British figures including Trevor Phillips, the chair of the equalities and human rights commission, that the lack of routes into politics for black British candidates still means the UK lags behind America in the number of black and ethnic-minority politicians.

Putnam said that the UK had not yet gone through either of the two steps Barack Obama referred to as the Moses and Joshua generation, the Moses generation being black politicians representing black areas, and the Joshua generation being black politicians serving non-black areas.

Putnam said: "Change is taking a similar form on both sides of the Atlantic: exactly as in the US, the generation of Britons uncomfortable with non-whites in positions of power or intimacy is gradually dying off, and being replaced by its more tolerant offspring.

"It is fair to add, however, that the smaller minority population in the UK, as well as the much shallower pool of black politicians and the more centralised political recruitment paths, still tends to work against black representation in Britain."

Obama was elected in the wake of a sustained rise in the number of black elected officials in the US that can be traced back over several decades.

Though the report shows some improvement in minority participation in local politics in the UK, with the total number roughly doubling since the "very low level of the 80s", the authors show this to have stagnated recently.

They conclude: "Its recent failure to grow has less to do with racial prejudice than the fading fortunes of Labour. Non-whites are six times better represented among that party's councillors than among than the Conservatives, and the pattern in all recent local elections has been for Labour to lose seats."


March 24, 2009

Comment: No time to let hatred prosper

0 Comment (s)
A hearty well done to Merseyside Police for their swift and decisive response to the case of PC Steve Bettley. Bettley’s name was on a document which listed 12,000 people who were alleged to be members of the unsavoury British National Party. Over the weekend, Merseyside Police announced PC Bettley had been dismissed from his position.

This is both a sensible and laudable action. PC Bettley’s representation maintains he was not knowingly a member and has tabled its intention to appeal. That is their prerogative and if they have a solid case then an equally solid case for re-instatement is obvious. However, until that point is reached Merseyside Police have taken the only acceptable course, and that is to dismiss.

The BNP’s politics of poison have no place in modern society. Their fundamental bigotry is fuel on the fires of hatred that will bring Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ Speech to reality.

Racial harmony in this country is in an state of uneasy peace. Mass unemployment of the like not seen since the early 1980s may shatter that peace with an immigrant labour force as the focus for malevolence and bitterness.

Two million jobless shows how close that scenario may loom. We must crack down on breeding grounds for hatred and violence. The BNP will bristle with indignation, and claim their opposition to both, but their very existence creates the anti-matter of protesters who will ensure violence whenever the two sides should collide.

We cannot allow the hatred breathing space. Police forces have long been held to be bastions of red-necked intolerance. Merseyside Police’s actions over the weekend have shown it is not an institution to allow those perceptions to linger or fester.

Liverpool Daily Post

March 23, 2009

Mad or bad? Steve Fyfe: BNP candidate and obsessive gunman

36 Comment (s)
BNP candidate and Rambo wannabe Steve Fyfe
A man who regularly stands in elections for the British National Party has boasted about his disregard for “rules and regulations” controlling the use of firearms in the UK.

Steve Fyfe is standing in a council by-election on 26 March, his fourth attempt to get elected to North East Lincolnshire Council. He also contested the last general election for the BNP in Grimsby, where he lives, and was third on the BNP’s list of candidates for Lothian region in the election for the Scottish Parliament in 2007, when the party rounded up anyone in the UK with a Scottish-sounding name to stand, in the absence of more than a handful of supporters in Scotland itself.

Clearly a valued activist, the 34-year-old is also the BNP’s Grimsby organiser and has been a BNP member for seven years. But his numerous postings on internet forums also reveal an unhealthy obsession with guns and contain hints that not everything he owns is legal.

After the Dunblane massacre in 1996, firearms legislation in the UK was tightened up and no member of the public can now own handguns or ammunition for them. Fyfe claims to have a shotgun licence, which enables him to own shotguns with a magazine capacity of no more than two shots. He also says he received a firearms certificate in March 2006, which permits him to own rifles, shotguns with a magazine capacity greater than two and certain types of airguns. He claims to own around £6,000 worth of legally held weapons and to be secretary of a gun club.

A firearms certificate is only granted to people whom the police consider fit to be entrusted with firearms without danger to public safety or to the peace. They must have a record of active membership of a target shooting club or permission to shoot over land.

The certificate imposes severe restrictions on the use of the weapons. In particular a certificate holder cannot permit other people to handle the guns unless they have their own certificate to cover them.

Yet on 11 August 2008 Fyfe, posting as sidneysausage, wrote on a gun trading forum: “However, I don’t do rules and regulations if there is absolutely no point in it whatsoever. If some of my friends want to ‘have a go’ they will bloody well ‘have a go’. Personally, I'll take my friends out to the field where I shoot, somwhere [sic] out of view, with a nice, big backstop, up to 300m away and they can use as many rounds as they care to fire. Who the hell are the police to suggest they might know my friend I’ve known for more than fifteen years better than me?”

On the same day he also boasted: “I have a Long Barrel Revolver”. On 9 January this year he declared: “I'd still prefer my .44 LBR and be able to use cartridges with my nitro”.

Fyfe, who works as a chemical process supervisor in the chemical industry, also has an interest in explosives and their illegal use. On 27 May 2008 he wrote: “I’ve a big box of fireworks in my attic, just waiting for the day when some muslim extremists fly a plane into westminster”.

While it is not surprising that Fyfe’s obsessions and desires do not make him unsuitable to be a BNP candidate, the same cannot be said about his membership of the Territorial Army, in which he serves with the 3rd Royal Anglian Regiment. His postings contain hints that he might be abstracting items from his TA unit. For example on 21 July 2007 he wrote: “The new 30 round H&K mags for the SA80 work really nice in mine. I have ‘aquired’ [sic] one or two. However, if you aren’t in the TA/Army/Navy/Air Force, you can find one or two floating round on ebay.”

Fyfe claims to like extreme and outdoor sports. One of them appears to be driving at dangerous speeds. A long post in January 2006 described how he was caught driving his Subaru Impreza at over 140 miles per hour. Concerned that a conviction and almost certain driving ban would cost him his firearms and shotgun certificates, he said he was hiring Nick Freeman, the specialist motoring lawyer known as Mr Loophole, to get him off.

It is unclear whether Fyfe is a fantasist or whether he really owns restricted weapons and breaks the terms of his firearms certificate. Either way, he is clearly unsuitable for service in the Territorial Army or to be in possession of any lethal weapon.

He may see himself as a Rambo figure, but the reality is different. Writing on 21 November last year about British forces serving in Iraq he explained: “I described the chaps who went as ‘silly Bastards’ because they did not go out of any sense of justice, belief, national pride, or even camaraderie”.

Grimsby’s terrorist line-up

Grimsby has been the home of a number of nazis with a interest in terrorism and weapons.

Back in the 1960s, Donald Mudie, a crank member of Colin Jordan’s National Socialist Movement (NSM), used to hold court at his Grimsby home for people who shared his political views. In the 1970s Mudie, a former newspaper journalist, was one of two security guards at a camp held by the elite nazi League of St George on Mersea Island in Essex. Mudie patrolled the site with a loaded shotgun.

Fast forward to 2002 and Cameron Duncan, a supporter of the British National Party and the Ku Klux Klan. Duncan was caught and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, after a man in the USA with whom he was exchanging emails turned out to be an FBI agent. Duncan had been asking him to obtain firearms and explosives. The agent had infiltrated the KKK for the purpose of catching such dangerous men as Duncan.
Moving inland up the River Humber, we find Martyn Gilleard from Goole, the local branch organiser of the nazi British People’s Party.

Goole, who also had links with the BNP in Scotland, was found in possession of an array of knives, guns, machetes, swords, axes, ammunition and four nail bombs, together with internet instructions for making poison and bombs and significant amounts of racist literature from far-right parties.

The police were surprised to find all this terrorist material when they raided his flat in October 2007 on a tip-off about child pornography. The 39,000 indecent images of children that they also found, some very nasty, did not endear him to the court and he received a total sentence of 16 years in prison.

In December last year Nathan Worrell was jailed for more than seven years after being found guilty of possessing material for terrorist purposes and racially aggravated harassment. Police had found manuals and a video explaining how to make bombs and detonators using household materials at his flat in Grimsby as well as two tubs of weedkiller, three bottles of lighter fluid and fireworks, some of which had been tampered with.

They also found a lot of racist and far-right propaganda, including BNP material and membership cards for other extreme groups.

It would appear that nazis with an interest in terror, violence and firearms are a familiar sight in this part of Britain. The good thing is that the police appear to be keeping track of them, so it's surprising that Steve Fyfe has so far slipped through the net.

Hope not hate

Join the BNP fund-raiser demo at Laindon

1 Comment (s)
Anti-fascists wishing to greet the BNP's Battle of Britain Road fund-raising event can meet up at 6.30 pm Monday 23rd March outside Merrylands Primary School, Cumberland Drive, Laindon, Essex SS15 6QS. This is not the BNP venue but is close to their re-direction point. All people wishing to make a peaceful protest against Nick Griffin and his traveling circus are welcome to pop along.

A likely number is 01268 544231 if you would like to ring up and ask politely if British Heritage (a fake name frequently used by the BNP) is meeting there.

March 22, 2009

Magnum handguns return as loophole found in Dunblane ban

6 Comment (s)
The BNP's propensity for weapons as evidenced by its gun camp for kids
High-powered magnum handguns, almost identical to those used by Thomas Hamilton, the Dunblane child-murderer, are being legally kept and used by firearms enthusiasts.

They are able to procure the weapons and ammunition, both of which they are allowed to keep at home, by exploiting loopholes in laws brought in to ban such guns after the massacre at a primary school in the Perthshire town 13 years ago.

Hamilton, who shot dead 16 children and one teacher before killing himself, used two 9mm semi-automatic handguns and two .357 magnum revolvers manufactured by Smith & Wesson. After the massacre, legislation was tightened with a view to outlawing all such weapons.

However, guns almost identical to the .357 Smith & Wessons, and even larger calibre handguns such as .44 and .45, are easily available to British enthusiasts who possess a Section 1 firearms certificate, which police usually issue without objection to applicants without a significant criminal record.

To circumvent the legislation, the guns are equipped with longer barrels and wire stocks at the back which together extend their length to 2ft. Only “short” firearms are banned. Another loophole is for the barrel of the .357 to be kept short and the six-shot cylinder adapted to take “front-loading” bullets. Although the guns take longer to reload, they are in most other respects identical to Hamilton’s.

Both types of gun derive from a .357 made by Taurus which is almost identical to a Smith & Wesson. They are readily obtainable in the UK at prices starting at about £500.

Confusion among police forces about how to interpret the law has turned the issuing of firearms licences into a “lottery”, campaigners claim.

Those who have kept up their interest in guns since the ban include Stephen Fyfe, who is standing for the British National party at a by-election for North East Lincolnshire council this Thursday. Fyfe, 34, owns six guns including a seven-shot pump-action shotgun and a long-barrelled .44 handgun. He said that bearing arms was a “right”, adding: “Guns are one of the reasons I am standing for election. I take deep offence at being assumed to be a psycho just because of what someone else has done.”

Gerry Gable, publisher of Searchlight, the antifascist magazine, and a former gun hobbyist who turned in his weapons when the law was changed, said: “I have watched as obsessive single men and boys with access to guns and who play around in the hate-filled atmosphere of the extreme right have sparked dozens of firearms incidents across the western world since Dunblane. If I was the home secretary I would be very worried indeed.”

Sunday Times

Homophobia: the forgotten hate crime

1 Comment (s)
New report says that the abuse and violence suffered by lesbians and gay men is on the rise

Michael Causer's only crime was to be openly gay. For this the trainee hairdresser was dragged from his bed last July and viciously beaten. His piercings were forcibly removed with a knife, according to some witnesses. He died nine days later in hospital from brain injuries.

Tomorrow James O'Connor, 19, will be sentenced after admitting the murder of the 18-year-old in Liverpool, in a case which, campaigners say, illustrates a rising and little-reported tide of homophobia in Britain.

New research to be published next week reveals widespread anecdotal evidence that gay and lesbian people experience severe daily harassment and abuse which they do not report to the police. The survey shows that, although society's attitude towards gay and lesbian people appears to be more tolerant, bubbling beneath the surface, and often unreported, is a stream of abuse and harassment.

Earlier this month, Gerald Edwards, 59, was stabbed to death in the home in Bromley, Kent, that he shared with his partner, Chris Bevan, who was seriously injured in what police believe was a homophobic attack.

Next week's report, published by the charity Galop, the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence and Policing Group and the Metropolitan Police, found that homophobic hate crime is seriously under-reported, partly because of out-of-date contact numbers and addresses, but also because of fears of reprisals and a belief that the police don't take them seriously.

But those incidents that are reported to lesbian and gay groups can take place in daylight, often feature casual violence and verbal abuse, and frequently take the form of persistent bullying from neighbours. Researchers found that nearly half of all victims reporting to lesbian and gay organisations knew their aggressor.

Over a quarter of all incidents involved physical violence. Figures from the Met show that in the last year reported homophobic hate crime in London has risen by more than 5 per cent, from 1,008 to 1,062 incidents. London's gay and lesbian population is thought to stand at around 750,000.

National figures on homophobic incidents are not collected by the Home Office, however. A survey by Stonewall, the gay rights charity, published last year found that one in five gay people had been the victim of a hate crime in the last three years.

Stonewall also published a report earlier this month which revealed a "deeply alarming" amount of homophobia in schools. The report is the largest survey of both primary and secondary schoolteachers on the issue of homophobic bullying.

Called The Teachers' Report, it showed that around 150,000 pupils are affected by anti-gay bullying. Not only are children who are thought to be gay victims of name-calling and abuse, but pupils are picked out because they are boys who work hard or girls who play sport or because they have gay parents.

Nine in 10 secondary school teachers and two in five primary school teachers said pupils experience homophobic bullying, even if they are not gay.

Deborah Gold, chief executive of Galop, said: "Homophobic and transphobic crime is certainly not going down. Whether it's going up or whether there's increased reporting is hard to say. But it is as significant a problem as it always has been.

"On the face of it there's increased acceptance [of gay people], but when you look at homophobic bullying in schools or the abuse people face when they are leaving their homes from neighbours or kids shouting at them, it's a significant problem."


March 21, 2009

'BNP membership' Police Officer sacked

7 Comment (s)
A police constable whose name appeared on a leaked list of British National Party (BNP) members has been sacked, Merseyside Police said.

Pc Steve Bettley's name was on a document listing details of 12,000 BNP people which was published online. Merseyside Police conducted an investigation into the allegation and concluded he had "knowingly been a member of the BNP". Mr Bettley denied being a party member and will appeal against his dismissal. Officers and police staff are banned from joining or promoting the BNP.

The officer, who was briefly the driver for chief constable Bernard Hogan Howe, had been suspended from duty since the list became public last November.

A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said: "A police misconduct panel has dismissed Constable Steve Bettley after concluding he had knowingly been a member of the British National Party from March 2007 and up to March 2008."

Constable Bettley would like to place on record that he condemns racism and does not support the views of the British National Party
Merseyside Police Federation spokesman

Deputy Chief Constable Bernard Lawson added: "As soon as we were made aware that Mr Bettley had been named on a BNP membership list an investigation was instigated and he was immediately suspended. We have an overriding legal duty to promote race equality and retain public confidence."

Throughout the inquiry Merseyside Police consulted with the Black Police Association and the Independent Advisory Group.

A spokesman for the Merseyside Police Federation, which represented Pc Bettley at the misconduct hearings, said he accepted his name was on the BNP list but he denied being a member of the party. He said he was enrolled in the party by a family member without his knowledge and he planned to appeal against the dismissal.

"We are disappointed with the finding and sanction of the Misconduct Panel and do not believe that there is any evidence presented to the panel which would indicate that he was knowingly a member of the BNP. Consequently the Police Federation believe that their decision that he was a member and can no longer serve with Merseyside Constabulary is flawed," the spokesman said.

The spokesman added: "The Police Federation will be fully supporting Constable Bettley through the appeals process which includes a Chief Constables Review and Police Appeals Panel. Constable Bettley would like to place on record that he condemns racism and does not support the views of the British National Party."

BBC News

BNP in compensation claim for hall booking cancellation

12 Comment (s)
The British National Party has said it wants a village hall committee to reimburse it for money lost when a booking was cancelled at short notice.

As reported in Friday's Echo, Devon members of the far-right party were due to host a fundraising Second World War-themed dinner at the Broadclyst Victory Hall last night, with leader Nick Griffin being the guest of honour.

The event was cancelled on Thursday by the hall's committee after personal details of the booking secretary were circulated by anti-BNP campaigners. Now the party says it wants to be paid back money it spent on food for the event, expected to be attended by 150 people.

Michael Turner, the party's South West elections officer, said: "The lady who organised the food was really upset when she heard it had been called off. She was in tears. Because this lady has paid out the money for the food, which will now be ruined, we will be seeking compensation for the loss, which I think is only fair. I'm waiting for the bills to come in and I shall give them to the hall committee. They just cancelled it without thinking about these things."

The meeting had been organised with the Victory Hall committee on the condition that it remained a private event.

The committee decided to cancel the booking when the personal telephone number of hall booking secretary Roy Elkins was circulated by a group called Hope Not Hate, which also published the number on its website, suggesting anti-fascist campaigners call him to complain about the meeting.

Mr Elkins said: "I do not think we should have to lay down rules about who is allowed to hire the hall and who is not. We are an independent committee and should be able to take bookings as we see fit."

The BNP said it would now hold the fundraising event in Axminster tonight and would attempt to lay on transport to it.

Douglas Hull, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Axminster, said: "If people are silly enough to support the BNP, then let them. There are a few local members and they do nothing for Axminster."

Express and Echo

March 20, 2009

Protest forces village to pull plug on BNP

39 Comment (s)
Oh dear. Another venue bites the dust.
A visit by British National Party leader Nick Griffin to a village hall has been cancelled at short notice after pressure was put on the venue's booking secretary by anti-BNP campaigners.

Mr Griffin, whose party has been accused of racism because of its right-wing immigration policies, was due to address a black tie fundraising event at Broadclyst's Victory Hall this evening. But the group Hope not Hate, which campaigns against the BNP, used its website to publish the home telephone number of Roy Elkins, the hall's chairman and booking secretary, and urged people to contact him. It also sent out a number of emails containing the information.

Yesterday the BNP confirmed that its booking had been cancelled. Despite the setback, the party said it had found an alternative venue for the Battle of Britain-themed night, which is part of a national tour which organisers hope will enable them to raise £500,000 to allow the BNP to field candidates for every seat in June's European elections.

BNP spokesman Simon Danby said a campaign of intimidation and harassment had followed the party's roadshow around the country. "It is common practice for these groups to target village hall committee members," he said. "Some have had threats to their property and their homes. We are a legitimate political party and it is disgraceful that these people, many of whom have nothing to do with the BNP, have been targeted. It's very sinister."

He said he still expected between 100 and 200 BNP supporters from around Devon and Cornwall to attend the event, which would be held at a location due to be announced later today.

Gerry Gable, of anti-fascist magazine Searchlight and the Hope not Hate website, defended his actions in publishing Mr Elkin's telephone number.

"This is a tactic we have used around the country and it is proving effective," he said. "We always ask people to be polite to the person who answers the telephone when they make their point. We are perfectly within our rights to be doing this. With the BNP it's not just a few rotten apples, it's the whole barrel that's rotten."

The BNP outraged Broadclyst villagers last year when it held a public meeting in the Victory Hall.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Broadclyst and Whimple Derek Button said he was glad the village would not be hosting the party once again.

"Some people might say that we're a village hall committee and we're obliged to let the village hall without let or hindrance to anyone who applies," he said. "I might have been tempted to tell the BNP the hall was booked up for the next 49 years."

He said he was sorry Mr Elkins had been involved in the matter without his consent.

"Roy is a man who has given much of his life to the service of Broadclyst and it's a great shame that he's been dragged into this," he added.

Mr Elkins, of Beech Close, Broadclyst, chose not to comment.

Express and Echo

March 19, 2009

Local parents reject BNP governor

15 Comment (s)
Parents of children at Hereward Primary School have condemned the nomination of local BNP leader Pat Richardson as a school governor.

Richardson put herself forward for the role after no candidates came forward from the local community.

Speaking to the Epping Forest Guardian, Hannah Martin, who lives on the Oakwood estate and whose three year old goes to Hereward, said she was disgusted at the prospect of Richardson becoming governor. She said: "My son is mixed race and I know there are lots of black children at the school. Teachers and staff here have always been brilliant in making everyone feel welcome, and I think there is a danger that this would ruin all that."

Sam Kelly, a mother of two whose 10 year old son is at the school, said: "My son has been here for seven years and I have never known any problems over race. I think the school needs to think what kind of message this would send out."

Local father Lee Thurland said: "I don't know much about the BNP but what I have heard I don't like."

The school, which has been praised by OfSTED for its multi-cultural environment, will have to decide whether to accept the nomination of the councillor from the far-right party, which advocates the "repatriation" of non-white people.

Richardson said: "I would hope to bring some common sense to the decision-making process down there."

"Common sense" is what the BNP commonly refers to its policy of alienating and expelling non-white and mixed race people. Advancing such racist policies in a primary school is very ominous indeed.

If you think you would make a better school governor than the local leader of an extremist political party, you can submit your nomination via the town council:

Town Clerk : Enid Walsh
Loughton Town Council
Buckingham Court
Rectory Lane
Essex, UK.
IG10 2QZ
Tel : +44 (0)20 8508 4200
Fax: +44 (0)20 8508 4400

Epping Forest BNP Watch

MP Nicholas Soames "appalled" at BNP use of Churchill image

11 Comment (s)
Churchill shows precisely what he thinks of Nick Griffin
Winston Churchill's grandson has spoken of his outrage over the use of his grandfather's image in right-wing propaganda.

Mid Sussex MP Nicholas Soames reacted angrily after discovering a picture was being used as part of the British National Party's Battle For Britain election campaign.

BNP leader Nick Griffin visited Crawley Down's Haven Centre on Thursday last week to make a speech to local party supporters. During his visit he posed next to a poster of Sir Winston.

A furious Mr Soames told the Courier and Observer: "I am outraged and appalled by the use of the picture by the BNP. They have no right to use my grandfather's name, who would have thought them a vile bunch. I am taking what steps I can and so is my family to see what can be done to prevent the name being used. I deplore the BNP action. It is a disgrace and I hope that anyone who looks at the adverts will find them repulsive."

East Grinstead Courier and Observer

March 18, 2009

BNP organiser arrested over harassment claim

17 Comment (s)
The British National Party’s regional organiser in the North-East has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment, The Northern Echo has learnt.

Ken Booth, who lives in Fenham, Newcastle, was arrested yesterday by Northumbria Police and bailed pending further inquiries. Mr Booth’s arrest is understood to have followed a complaint made to police by a Muslim councillor in the city.

The 54-year-old, who is standing in the European elections in the spring and has previously stood for Newcastle City Council, in Fenham, took over the role of regional organiser for the party from Kevin Scott in 2006. He is expected to answer bail at a police station in the city in the middle of next month.

Mr Booth would not directly comment on his arrest when contacted by The Echo, but a spokesman for the party said it was an example of “politically correct Britain”. He said: “The public can see what is happening and I am sure that in this particular instance we, as a party, have got nothing to fear. People in the North-East are sick and tired of this politically correct nonsense.”

Mr Booth, who describes himself on the BNP website as the single parent of three boys and an elected parent governor, has stood for the party several times in local elections. In January, he finished in third place in a by-election for the Fenham ward. Last year, Mr Booth hit out at efforts to “destabilise” the BNP after his and the details of hundreds of other party members were leaked onto the internet.

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “We can confirm a 54-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment and has been bailed pending further inquiries.”

Acting Chief Inspector Sav Patsalos, of Northumbria police, added: “When any such incidents are brought to our attention they are treated very seriously and we take appropriate action.”

A spokesman for Newcastle City Council said: “It is a police matter and we are not prepared to comment.”

The Northern Echo

Crawley Police anger at BNP crime slur

3 Comment (s)
Nick Griffin caught out telling porkies again
A slur by a right-wing politician has provoked an angry response from police.

British National Party leader Nick Griffin used Crawley as an example of rising crime across Britain, during a speech in the area last week. But his estimate of crime figures was more than 10 times higher than the reality.

Speaking at a party meeting in Crawley Down last Thursday, Mr Griffin said England only saw 300 burglaries a year in the 1930s. He added: "There must be more than that in Crawley in a month."

Police figures show there have been less than 300 in Crawley in the last year.

Chief Inspector Steve Curry, district commander of Crawley Police, said: "Mr Griffin is clearly not well informed and his comments are quite wrong. If allowed to remain unchecked, they could contribute to affecting some people's perception and indeed their fear of crime. From 1 April 2008 to today, 266 people have had their homes burgled in Crawley. I want to see this number reduced further so more people don't have to go through this experience."

Mr Griffin spoke as part of the BNP's Battle For Britain campaign for the European elections on June 4. During his speech at the Haven Centre, he branded Islam a "bizarre medievalist desert sect."

Arif Syed, chairman of Broadfield Mosque, said: "Within the democratic system we live in, Mr Griffin can hold what views he chooses. The fact of the matter is that three great religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have their roots in the desert regions of the Middle East. It is difficult to believe that any religion would survive the test of time if it was as exclusive and insular as Mr Griffin appears to suggest."

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Griffin promised to punish Britain's current leaders for "treason". He said handing power to Europe would see Britain, which he claimed invented freedom and democracy, "ruled by unelected foreigners."

Speaking about the increasing influence of Islam in the UK, he added: "We resent it, we reject it and we intend to stop it."

The BNP's Battle For Britain campaign likens the "flood" of immigration from Eastern Europe to the threat of invasion from Nazi Germany.

Mr Griffin said: "We are fighting exactly the same struggle in material terms as they were in 1940. They were standing for freedom then and we are the only ones standing for freedom now."

Crawley News

Leaders' united fight against BNP

0 Comment (s)
Faith, community and business leaders have gathered in Manchester to show a united front against the British National Party (BNP).

The Manchester Diocese of the Church of England held a signing of a pledge to fight the BNP at Manchester Cathedral. The faith leaders are urging people not to vote for the party at the Euro elections on 4 June. BNP leader Nick Griffin is standing in the North West.

The BNP described the pledge as "bullying, intimidation and blackmail".

The giant pledge read: "We oppose the racist and fascist BNP who stand to undermine 'our' Manchester."

Figures include the Bishop of Bolton, the Bishop of Middleton and the only black dean of a UK cathedral, Rodgers Govender, Dean of Manchester Cathedral. The faith leaders said: "As leaders of Greater Manchester Faith Communities, we want to express our support for the local religious leaders. Alongside them, we express our concern at the racist history and policies of the British National Party, which is fielding a candidate. We say 'no' to the BNP's view of the world."

Others signatures are from Greater Manchester's Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities groups.

Simon Darby, deputy leader of the BNP said the action was "wholly disgusting and unnecessary." He added: "This is bullying, intimidation and blackmail. If people have made up their mind to vote for us, they will do. It is not for the church to tell people who they can and can't vote for. They are throwing themselves at at the altar of political correctness."


BNP secretary quits to set up own party

5 Comment (s)
A BNP member has quit to set up a new political group in Stoke-on-Trent.

Craig Pond has formed the Potteries Community Federation (PCF) after resigning as the BNP's Stoke branch secretary and policy group chairman. The 45-year-old, of Chell Heath, who stood for election for the far-right party last year, has been joined by fellow ex-BNP figures, Sam Tunstall and Terence Cope. But he said his new group also includes former Labour supporters on its fledgling membership list.

Mr Pond said the PCF will be independent in its political outlook, and will focus on devising commonsense policies to improve the city. He said: "We will be unique in the city, and possibly even in the country, in that we will be based around a political think-tank. There are some very politically savvy people in Stoke-on-Trent who are sitting around doing nothing, and we want to bring them together. In this city, you have to choose between supporting the Labour/Tory/Lib Dem coalition at one end, or the BNP at the other, but we aim to fit squarely between the two."

Mr Pond said he felt the BNP had become "stigmatised" by its views and actions, and was reluctant to develop effective local policies.

He admitted that some voters may be put off by his former BNP ties. But he said he was confident his new party would be able to mount an effective campaign for council seats in the next local elections.

The Sentinel

Leafleting in Colchester this week - come along and help

0 Comment (s)
The BNP have been leafleting in Colchester. We will be leafleting against the BNP in Colchester this Thursday 19th March from 12 noon until 1pm. Meeting outside Colchester Town Hall.

We will also be leafleting in Maldon High Street on Saturday 21st March from 10am until 1pm, at the Moot Hall

Please come along and help.

Deputies fight BNP election campaign

0 Comment (s)
The Board of Deputies has launched a nationwide campaign to stop the BNP from winning seats in the European elections in June.

Under the slogan “Your voice or Theirs”, the Board will be distributing 1,000 special kits containing posters, leaflets and balloons in the next four weeks to help grassroots activists run local campaigns to get people out to vote for a mainstream party. Previous elections have shown that a high turn-out usually means defeat for the extreme right-wing party.

The Board has identified the areas most at risk as those with the biggest Jewish populations - the North West, where BNP leader Nick Griffin will be standing, London and the South East. In the South East, where 10 seats are available, the BNP needs only 7.5 per cent of the vote to win a seat and only 8.5 per cent in the other two areas.

Henry Grunwald QC, President of the Board said: “As a community, we need to unite to say no to the politics of hate and extremism wherever they may be. The unhappy reality is that the BNP is gaining momentum and may well be successful in the forthcoming elections.

“I, for one, am not prepared to say that I sat back and did nothing whilst a national racist campaign is launched across Britain. The Board of Deputies is doing everything it can to support local community groups in our collective fight against the BNP and I hope that, collectively, we will rise to the occasion.

“We want the community to spread the word about the elections and the threat posed by the BNP. Use your democratic right and register to vote by May 18 or the elections on June 4. The higher the turnout across the country, the harder it is for the BNP to succeed. Every vote for a mainstream political party is a vote against extremism.”

Jewish Chronicle

March 17, 2009

Griffin to visit Exeter

10 Comment (s)
Griffin and his travelling fundraising circus will be performing with the Battle of Britain road show this Friday March 20th at the Broadclyst Village (Victory) Hall, about 10km northeast of Exeter on the B3181. They used the same venue when Griffin visited Exeter last year.

The hall's trustees seem to think that because the BNP is a political party they have no reason to bar them.

If you wish to speak to somebody at the hall, politely please, you can reach them on 01392 461528.

For more information, click on the links below:

BNP opponents stage Exeter protest
Campaigners protest at BNP leaflet handout
Broadclyst residents' fury after secret BNP rally held in village
Mum takes kids out of village youth club led by BNP member

The BNP's attacks on Marxists are truly rich

0 Comment (s)
How does the British National Party have the effrontery to criticise Marxists (which it does regularly)? The BNP's own economically illiterate platform is no better than its send-them-home policy, for which it is infamous.

The party's economic policies make me wonder how many party hacks have read an economic textbook, because I can't find any evidence that anyone in the party understands the subject.

The party demands "the selective exclusion of foreign-made goods from British markets and the reduction of foreign imports" - a guaranteed way to make Britain poorer. After all, it is the greater efficiencies and lower prices that imports bring that make us rich.

Yet the BNP believes that their economic isolationism will bring unemployment "to an end, and secure, well-paid employment will flourish". The empirical evidence disagrees: free trade raises wages, while protectionism depresses them.

Equally ghastly is the BNP's use of the "British jobs for British workers" slogan, failing to recognise the huge economic boost provided by Polish migrants over the past few years.

Together, the BNP's policies give it little credibility in attacking Marxists. And for a party claiming to stand up for Britain, its impoverishing platform ought, for its members, to be an embarassment.


German Boys Join Anti-Immigrant, Neo-Nazi Groups, Study Shows

0 Comment (s)
A study funded by Germany’s Interior Ministry showed that more than twice as many German boys belong to anti-immigrant or neo-Nazi groups than claim membership of the major political parties’ youth organizations.

Out of more than 26,000 youths surveyed in 2007 and 2008, 4.9 percent of boys said they belonged to a “right-wing group or ‘Kamaradschaft’,” the study by Hanover-based research institute KFN showed. That compares with as many as 2 percent that belong to youth organizations for established parties.

“It’s shocking that these right-wing groups can be more successful at mobilizing our youth than the established parties,” KFN Director Christian Pfeiffer told reporters today in Berlin. While a comparison between such groups is inexact, since many established party youth clubs charge membership fees, Pfeiffer said it was instructive.

Last month, about 6,000 German skinhead and neo-Nazi groups in the eastern city of Dresden staged one of their biggest demonstrations since German reunification in 1990. The groups, mostly made up of youths tied to the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party, used the 64th anniversary of the 1945 firebombing of Dresden on Feb. 14 to hold a “mourning march.”

Speaking alongside German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at a press conference, Pfeiffer said he didn’t know whether the 4.9 percent figure had increased, since a comparable number wasn’t available from previous studies. Some 2.6 percent of girls said they belonged to anti-immigrant and neo-Nazi organizations.

Kamaradschaften are clubs that offer a forum for symbols and songs that often recall Germany’s Nazi past. The display of Nazi symbols is prohibited in Germany.

The study also revealed that 29.7 percent of youths agreed with the statement that there are “too many foreigners in Germany;” another 34.8 percent tended toward that position, according to the study, Youth in Germany as Victims and Perpetrators of Violence.


March 16, 2009

BNP attack on unlikely "Marxist agitator"

3 Comment (s)
The latest edition of the BNP's irregular (in more ways than one) "Debden Patriot" newsletter is devoted to "revealing" the supposed Marxist conspiracy to impose a communist dictatorship on Loughton's Debden estate.

The attack is particularly aimed at Methodist church-going Loughton Residents Association (LRA) councillor Rose Brookes, dubbed "Red Rose" by the BNP for "her long history of far-left activism with Marxist front-groups" (She lists her activities as "voluntary work for Barnardos and raised funds for a charity for bereaved children" - not activities one normally associates with the workers control of production). The leaflet is a transparent smear campaign against a jovial and hard-working councillor whose only "crime" is her vocal opposition to racism. In the BNP's bizarre little world, anti-racism and Marxism are one and the same, although members of the Conservative party have also been among those to actively campaign locally against the problem of racism. They consider that all opposition to their fascist politics is communist.

Oddly, the leaflet was distributed mainly to residents in the Broadway ward, which is not Rose Brookes' seat and has never been contested by the LRA. She won the Alderton ward seat last year in a massive swing against the BNP (see chart) - another "crime" that the BNP cannot forgive her for.

BNP activists are highly territorial. It seems they would prefer a truce in the style of the Nazi-Soviet Pact: the LRA can have the supposedly middle-class areas of the town, while the BNP can have a monopoly in the working-class areas. No doubt the pressure is on from national HQ to prevent further losses, which could have a negative impact on Nick Griffin's control freakish leadership.

Its losses in Alderton and Fairmead wards last year have shaken the local BNP, demonstrating that the LRA can win votes from across the community. In fact, class differences are dissipating with the Conservatives the only party to actually increase both its share and its number of votes in the BNP's largely working-class Broadway stronghold last year. With council accommodation mostly sold off under right-to-buy, Loughtonians are more aspirational and class/party loyalties have loosened, particularly with the decline of loyalty to the Labour party. This has benefitted the BNP in Broadway and, previously, in Alderton and Fairmead. But they are feeling the possibility of a crunch on their vote and the desperate personal smears are an attempt to warn the LRA off their remaining patch of support.

The LRA has been making in-roads into the Broadway ward with a campaign to register Debden estate's green spaces as village greens and save them from development. The BNP does not have the nous to consider such a move. Now it is nervous that the LRA will contest Broadway and break the BNP vote, in the same way the BNP broke the Labour vote. The attack on Rose Brookes is therefore the rearguard action of a retreating force that can only resort to traducing those who have democratically triumphed over them.

The BNP have so far capitalised on this decline in class-based ideology to advance their race-based ideology. But there is only so far racism can be a vehicle for public support in a town that is 99 per cent white. They are seeking other avenues: attempting to revive class politics with attacks on the LRA as "middle-class nosey parkers" (an ironic twist, given that they accuse the LRA of being Marxist class warriors) and portraying themselves as an alternative residents' voice, although they don't have any track-record of success. These are likely to be far less successful than the racist line they have pushed so far, which has largely focused on black students at Epping Forest College who they accuse of drug-dealing and anti-social behaviour (an accusation that the police have refuted).

The truth is that the BNP in Loughton is a cornered animal fighting for its life. And slowly but surely, other political forces - namely the Conservatives and the LRA - are beating them back on their territory. Desperate accusations of Marxist insurgency are all they have. Yet, McCarthyite red-baiting is likely to be far less successful than black-bashing. The electorate are not fools.

Epping Forest BNP Watch

BNP man faces eviction

3 Comment (s)
A former BNP candidate is facing the boot from his home following his conviction for racially abusing his German next-door neighbour.

Roy West, 44, directed a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse at Bernd Kugow during the dispute at his home in Glenmore Grove, Dukinfield, in a row over a Union Jack flag. West had tried to attach it to Mr Kugow's shed - and when Mr Kugow objected, West flew into a rage.

West called his neighbour a 'Kraut', swore and and told him go back to 'Krautland'. West, who already had three St George's flags and a Cornish flag in his back garden, also told his neighbour to 'remember Dunkirk'. Unemployed West later made a tearful apology when he went to Mr Kugow's house with a box of chocolates and a handwritten letter.

West, who always denied the allegation, changed his plea at Tameside magistrates' court last month and admitted racial harassment. He was fined £125 and ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim's surcharge.

Landlord New Charter is starting legal proceedings to evict West and his partner Pauline Branson, 48. The housing association said West breached the tenancy agreement after being convicted for causing 'nuisance and annoyance' to his neighbour.

Group chief executive Ian Munro said: "Hate crimes are fortunately rare in our communities. But this was 'wholly unacceptable, vile, offensive and distasteful' - words the judge used in his sentencing. West has used the internet since his conviction to doubt the credibility of his victims and the credibility of the judicial system. We have warned him these actions may constitute harassment and will take injunctive action if these continue."

West and Ms Branson moved to the property in August 2006 after complaining of harassment at their previous home in Hyde, where windows were smashed and he was verbally abused.

New Charter has served a possession notice on tenant Ms Branson. Legal proceedings are due to start on Monday.

West stood as a BNP candidate in last May's local elections in Dukinfield, polling 734 votes and finishing second. After his arrest in October, the BNP leadership complained that he was the victim of a 'malicious prosecution' and tried to organise a demonstration to protest against the arrest. But the protest was called off when West said he wanted the case to remain a private matter.

Manchester Evening News

March 14, 2009

Weekend briefing

16 Comment (s)
Sneaking into Wigan following the multiple refusal of other venues in nearby Leigh to host its increasingly fugitive "Battle for Britain" fund-raising roadshow, the BNP is claiming an attendance of "well over one hundred people" for the event - notoriously symbolised by a stolen graphic showing a World War Two Spitfire flown by a Polish fighter ace.

Even giving the BNP the benefit of considerable doubt, "well over one hundred people" seems to us to be a very small number of activists to draw on from the populous North-west region for what was a heavily trailed showcase event, held on Friday night.

It is difficult to see how the BNP can claim the Wigan meeting the success it does, when according to the same party its ordinary branch meetings regularly attract an attendance of around one hundred. The North-west being home to a sizeable number of truculent anti-Griffin BNP dissidents is one possible reason for the derisory regional turnout.

An increasingly active and effective coalition of anti-fascists and concerned locals is very possibly another.

What is clear is that the BNP was seriously wrong-footed in the North-west. Not only was it forced to arrange a number of fall-back venues for its high profile roadshow, but the claim that there was "standing room only" at the final location is also an admission of how small and unsuitable it really was.

Prior to the roadshow a group of Liverpool BNP activists found themselves in an altercation outside the Ellesmere public house in Leigh that led to one person sustaining minor injuries and the arrest of another. There was also damage to BNP vehicles when locals objected to the presence of the BNP and its advertising trailer. We understand that the BNP members got out of their vehicles to confront the locals and had the worst of the ensuing violence.

BNP websites are now claiming that the violence was instigated by "blacks".

As I write, there is a certain amount of online speculation among far-Rightists that the Liverpool BNP contingent was ordered to the Ellesmere pub as a ruse to throw anti-fascist campaigners off the scent. Another way of putting it is that the BNP hung its Liverpool members out to dry, since the group and its advertising trailer could not fail to attract the attention of campaigners. Naturally, BNP Security was safely indoors protecting Nick Griffin from whatever threats to life and limb the party leader risks at the hands of his own members, and the Liverpool members were left to hold their own.

On Thursday, in a blatant attempt to inflame anti-Muslim passions, newly elected BNP councillor Paul Golding (of the dodgy family background) drove the BNP's Lie Lorry to Luton, the scene, earlier in the week, of a confrontation sparked when police allowed 20 Muslim religious extremists to demonstrate against the homecoming parade of the Royal Anglian Regiment.

"BNP’s Truth Truck Faces down Islamist Extremists in Luton" screams a headline on the BNP's website, for all the world as if Golding had single-handedly confronted an army of scimitar-wielding Dervishes.

The truth of Luton is that just 20 isolated lunatics failed to gain any support at all from a local Muslim population numbering 30,000 - since 99.93% of Luton's remaining Muslims managed to ignore the campaign of publicity and recruitment conducted by the extremists in the weeks preceding.

We think that says a lot for Luton's Muslim community - quite a number of whom were in the crowds cheering the Anglians along, as local news footage clearly shows.

The failure of the extremists to attract any support at all is not something you would know about from the subsequent hysterical media coverage of the affair, much of which would have been more at home on the pages of a BNP publication.

While politicians and community leaders in Luton worked hard (and largely uncredited) to repair the damage caused by the twenty extremists the opportunistic BNP worked just as hard to undo it. On the BNP website Golding brags that he took the Lie Lorry to Luton's largest mosque - an action that could only have been intended to provoke, and might well have resulted in violence.

Not being quite the British Lion he likes others to think he is, Golding "faced down" the Muslim faithful by driving off when some of them made unspecified "threatening moves" towards the Lie Lorry - which, translated, means that people were entering and leaving the Mosque as usual and a nervous Golding got cold feet.

Nick Griffin's grasping reaction to Luton was to fire off another in his interminable series of begging emails, hysterically claiming that the 20 isolated lunatics at the root of the trouble constituted a "horde of Muslim extremists". If a grouplet of just 20 can be extrapolated into a "horde" then we're left wondering if the "well over one hundred people" attending the BNP's Wigan roadshow is a product of the same imaginative thinking.

Taken together with a 2.5% vote loss in Rainhill (St. Helens) ward - in the heart of the North-west - in a by-election on Thursday, not the most glorious week in the BNP's history.