May 31, 2009

British Nasty Party

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A brave whistleblower warns today how race-hatred is still the lifeblood of the evil BNP - and begs People readers: "Vote for anybody but them this week."

Former BNP candidate Christopher Brennan (left) made his plea as the far-right party try to win support for Thursday's vital Euro and local elections.

Leader Nick Griffin and his henchmen are selling themselves as mainstream moderates. But Chris, 21, declared: "Don't be fooled - they are racist to the core."

Chris was just 18 when he stood as a British National Party candidate in multi-cultural Luton, Beds. He said officials routinely branded black people n*****s. And he claimed they told activists to launch violent attacks on their "enemies".

Chris - who quit the party in disgust in 2007 - said: "I've seen the BNP for what they really are. They are hellbent on destroying all that is good in Britain. No matter what is said in public about not being a racist organisation any longer, those beliefs are still at the core of the organisation. The European elections give them a chance to get a foothold in British politics because people are so incensed by the scandal of MPs' expenses. But they are beyond the pale."

The BNP is fielding 450 candidates for the local elections and 66 for the European Parliament poll.


Their campaign is being led by Griffin - convicted in 1998 of distributing material likely to incite racial hatred - and publicity manager Mark Collett. Chris worked alongside both of them during his failed election bid in 2007.

The whistleblower - who joined the BNP as an impressionable 13-year-old - said: "On the outside these men, like many BNP activists, will take the party line of presenting an image of respectability, people the voters can trust. But at secret meetings the talk is of 'breaking the legs of our enemies'."

He went on: "I met Griffin and Collett several times. Griffin congratulated me for standing and told me our country needed 'young blood'. I remember him saying, 'We need to get to the stage when we have 40,000 people to march on to the streets to take our country back from the immigrants'.

"Before my election in 2007, Griffin came to Luton to make speeches where he said the P*kis were to blame for housing shortages in the north. Collett hated black people and made no secret about it - he spoke about n*****s diluting the British race. He and Griffin made it clear how they felt - but made sure they made it clear how we should behave in public for the 'good of the party'."

Chris claimed Collett quoted whole passages from Hitler's book Mein Kampf to a packed meeting in Luton. And he said Collett once told him he idolised the Nazi monster.

Chris revealed: "Collett said he wanted to be just like him - a man of courage and honour is how he put it. He called Mein Kampf his version of the Bible and quoted passages from it, encouraging others to study it."

Chris said party workers were instructed in how to intimidate opponents. He went on: "We were told to find the names and addresses of anyone who campaigned against us. We'd put them under surveillance for several days, photographing them and watching their movements. Some had bricks through their windows and some even had deaththreats and were warned not to carry on. Griffin and Collett knew this was going on - it was talked about openly. In private, the party line is that the ballot is just a stepping stone and after that it will be taken by force."

Chris claimed the party was now being torn apart by jealous rivalries. He said: "Senior figures are at each other's throats, all vying for power and trying to discredit each other."

But he warned the BNP is still a force to be reckoned with at Thursday's polls.

Chris said: "The public may be appalled at MPs' expenses but the reason the BNP is targeting European seats is because of the wages and extortionate expenses members can claim. There's an agreement to claim the highest amount and divide the money between individuals and the party so there is more in the coffers for the next wave of elections. It needs to be stopped - and I hope it is not too late to stop British electors being fooled into voting for them."

He went on: "Having witnessed what I have, no one associated with it is to be trusted and every aspect of the party is devious. Behind the smart suits and the nice smiles are lies and deceit that will threaten our country."

Chris added: "Thousands of people will be thinking the BNP is an alternative to the other parties. But there is a dark side which we have to stop coming to power ever."

Griffin denied all the allegations and branded Chris a Labour mole.

He said: "This man is paid to tell lies about us by an organisation funded by the Labour Party."

He insisted he never said n*****s and only used P*ki to describe a type of street thug not the Muslim community.

And referring to the housing shortage he added: "Why on earth would I blame Pakistanis for a problem caused by Poles, Czechs and Nigerians?" Collett also denied Chris's claims, saying: "He clearly has a personal grievance. It's not what we stand for and the members would not tolerate these claims - they are utterly ludicrous.

"It is a politically motivated stunt on the eve of the elections."

Sunday People

Exposed: ugly face of BNP's leaders

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Prominent members of the British National party are today revealed as Nazi-sympathisers and racists with abhorrent views on such diverse issues as teenage violence, David Beckham and even David Cameron's deceased son, Ivan.

The revelations undermine the party's attempts to paint itself in a more moderate light before the local and European elections and threaten to derail the electoral ambitions of its leader, Nick Griffin, who is standing as a prospective MEP.

At a time when BNP activists are claiming a surge in support in the polls, a reflection, they say, of mounting public outrage over MPs' expenses, the party has been keen to portray itself as a viable alternative to mainstream political parties.

The BNP website boasts that money is flooding into its campaign headquarters. Its administration consultant, Jim Dowson, claims the party's call centre alone received just under 12,000 calls in the first 15 minutes following the BNP's first national television broadcast. And in emails to supporters - or "patriots" as the BNP calls them - Griffin claims almost £400,000 has been stumped up by supporters to help fund the party's European election campaign.

It claims the apparent groundswell in support is down to the "British public waking from the long, deep sleep". Much of the BNP's recent success has been down to its ability to shake off the patina of far-right extremism that has alienated most voters since its inception. But this month the veneer slipped when it emerged that a Salford-based BNP candidate in the European elections had set his Facebook status to read "Wogs go home". Eddy O'Sullivan, 49, wrote: "They are nice people - oh yeah - but can they not be nice people in the fucking Congo or... bongo land or whatever?" O'Sullivan, who also joined an internet group called "Fuck Islam", denied that the comments were racist and insisted they were made in private conversations between individuals. "I also may have had a drink at the time," he added.

Amid the furore, the BNP's leaders promised an investigation into O'Sullivan's comments. The party's officials also circulated urgent emails urging its members that "particular care should be taken when making comments on chat forums and other sites such as Facebook. Do not make the mistake of thinking that comments posted on these sites are secret or hidden. Making inappropriate comments on these sites will be regarded as a very serious disciplinary offence. Please ensure that this message is passed quickly to all members in your area and that it is acted upon. We are entering a very critical time in our party's history and cannot afford careless and stupid talk that can undermine the hard work of our activists."

But the anti-fascist organisation Searchlight has spent months infiltrating the far right's network of websites and chatrooms and found that many BNP activists share O'Sullivan's views.

They include:

• Jeffrey Marshall, senior organiser for the BNP's London European election campaign. Following the death of David Cameron's disabled son Ivan, Marshall claimed in an internet forum discussion: "We live in a country today which is unhealthily dominated by an excess of sentimentality towards the weak and unproductive. No good will come of it."

Later, in response to comments made by others on the site, Marshall is alleged to have written: "There is not a great deal of point in keeping these people alive after all." He said the comments were private and some had been paraphrased and taken out of context. He admitted making the former comment, but said he could not recall making the latter one in an email to the forum, a copy of which is in the Observer's possession.

• Garry Aronsson, Griffin's running mate for the European parliament in the North West, posts an avatar on his personal web page featuring a Nazi SS death's head alongside the statement, "Speak English Or Die!" Aronsson proclaims on the site: "Every time you change your way of life to make immigrants more comfortable you betray OUR future!" He lists his hobbies as "devising slow and terrible ways of paying back the Guardian-reading cunts who have betrayed the British people into poverty and slavery. I AM NOT JOKING."

• Barry Bennett, MEP candidate for the South West, posted several years ago under a pseudonym in a white supremacist forum the bizarre statement that "David Beckham is not white, he's a black man." Bennett, who is half-Jewish according to the BNP's deputy leader, Simon Darby, continued: "Beckham is an insult to Britishness, and I'm glad he's not here." He added: "I know perfectly respectable half-Jews in the BNP... even Hitler had honorary Aryans who were of Jewish descent... so whatever's good enough for Hitler's good enough for me. God rest his soul."

• Russ Green, MEP candidate for the West Midlands, posted recently on Darby's web page: "If we allowed Indians, Africans, etc to join [the BNP], we would become the 'British multi-National party' ... and I really do hope that never happens!" Darby said he echoed Green's sentiments.

• Dave Strickson, a BNP organiser who helps run its eastern region European election campaign, carried on his personal "Thurrock Patriots" blog a recent report of the fatal stabbing of a teenager in east London beneath the words "Another teen stabbed in Coon Town". The site also carried a mock-up racist version of the US dollar entitled "Obama Wog Dollar". Darby said the BNP did not endorse these comments and described them as "beyond the pale".

When confronted in the past about the extreme views of some of its members, the BNP senior hierarchy has often tried to dismiss them as unrepresentative of the party's core membership. But it appears that they run right to the top of the party.

Lee Barnes, the BNP's senior legal officer and one of Griffin's closest allies, has posted a video on his personal blog of a black suspect being beaten by police officers in the US and describes it as "brilliant". Barnes adds: "The beating of Rodney King still makes me laugh."

Barnes told the Observer his comments were "nothing to do with colour" but were merely a reflection of his belief that the police should have more powers to punish perpetrators of crime by "giving them a good thrashing".

But anti-fascist groups said such comments portrayed the BNP in its true light. "This is the face of the modern BNP," said a spokesman for Searchlight. "The comments of Nick Griffin's candidates and officials are sickening beyond belief. They have tried to hide their agenda of racism and hate from the voters, and they have failed."

Separately, concerns exist about the historic links between the BNP and extremist groups. Gary Pudsey, a BNP organiser running the Yorkshire and Humber campaign, was once a regular at National Front meetings. A young Pudsey was also photographed with the late Max Waegg, a Nazi second world war pilot who wrote articles for the white supremacist magazine Spearhead

Martin Page is a BNP treasurer and his wife Kim is a senior fundraiser for the party. Both have been photographed alongside Benny Bullman, the lead singer of Whitelaw, the white supremacist band whose songs include Fetch the Noose, We're Coming for You and For White Pride.

And Dowson, the BNP's senior administrator, who appears on the party's website talking about the success of its call centre's fundraising activities, has also been dogged by allegations that he has enjoyed close relationships with hardline loyalist groups in the past. The 45-year-old has also been the public face of the LifeLeague, the militant anti-abortion group that has hijacked Britain's pro-life debate. He has regularly appeared on television to pronounce terminations a sin and has published the names of abortion clinic staff, placing many in fear for their personal safety.

That the BNP has become a magnet for extreme-right sympathisers is understandable given Griffin's own background. The Cambridge graduate was himself a member of the NF before going on to form the International Third Position, a neo-fascist organisation with links to the Italian far right.

But aware of the party's need to raise funds from middle England, Griffin has repeatedly attempted to portray his party as the "reasonable" face of patriotism in its bid to broaden its appeal. The approach has paid dividends, with the party having gained 55 seats on local councils, including a seat on the Greater London Authority. This June it is contesting every UK seat at the European elections and there have been predictions it could win overall control of Stoke City Council.

Darby, Griffin's deputy and the BNP's spokesman, accused Searchlight of "distorting the BNP's message" in a bid to derail its political ambitions. He accused the organisation of being "merely a front for the Labour party, paid for by National Lottery funds". Darby said: "When you put it in the context of what's been happening at Westminster, a few scribblings on Facebook hardly seems something to get worried about."

Previous convictions

Nick Griffin, convicted of violating section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, relating to incitement to racial hatred. He received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Kevin Scott, a BNP supporter and former North East regional organiser, has convictions for assault and threatening behaviour.

Terry Collins, a party member, was jailed for five years after waging a year-long terror campaign against Asian families in Eastbourne.

Joe Owens, a former Merseyside BNP candidate and bodyguard to Nick Griffin, served eight months for sending razor blades to Jewish people and another term for carrying CS gas and knuckledusters.

Colin Smith, former BNP south-east London organiser, has 17 convictions for burglary, theft, stealing cars, possession of drugs and assaulting a police officer.

Tony Lecomber, a former BNP propaganda director, was jailed in 1985 after a nail bomb exploded as he carried it to the Workers' Revolutionary party offices. Jailed again in 1991 for assaulting a Jewish teacher on the Underground.

The Observer

A similar article appears in The News Of The World

BNP leader 'uses black teenager's murder for votes'

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The British National Party leader, Nick Griffin, was last night accused of "sickening" exploitation of the memory of a murdered black teenager, Anthony Walker, who was killed in a Liverpool park.

Mr Griffin was accused of besmirching Walker's memory to stoke up votes ahead of the European elections this week. In a broadcast posted on YouTube, he stands at the spot where the 18-year-old was murdered in July 2005, and says the killing has been labelled as racially motivated but that "this is not the case".

"This was made out as a Stephen Lawrence-style cause célèbre," he says. "The truth is, you talk to any one around here, that isn't the case. Everybody says Anthony Walker was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn't a racist murder and there's no doubt about that."

He goes on to describe a CCTV camera trained on the park entrance as "ridiculous politically correct expenditure on one murder".

Two cousins, Michael Barton, 17, and Paul Taylor, 20, were jailed for Walker's murder, which the judge described as "a racist attack of a type poisonous to any civilised society".

Walker was waiting at a bus stop with his white girlfriend and a black friend when the pair were subjected to "a torrent of racial abuse", according to police. Although they walked away, they were followed in a car and ambushed. Walker's friend and girlfriend managed to escape, but he was struck with an ice pick that was left embedded in his skull.

Yesterday a spokesman for the anti-racist organisation Searchlight said: "Nick Griffin's sickening attempt to smear the memory of Anthony Walker – an innocent boy killed because of the colour of his skin – for his own political purposes reveals the BNP for what they are: racist thugs."


May 30, 2009

Nazi salutes and burning crosses ... now the BNP sets up Scottish youth camps

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It's a nightmare political vision: burning crosses, Nazi salutes and extremist indoctrination. This is the dark heart of the British National Party - an organisation now setting up "youth camps" in Scotland.

The controversial far-right training regime was launched last month in Wiltshire and immediately drew comparisons with the Hitler Youth and Islamic jihad boot camps Now, campaign groups fear a return of the fascist and white-supremacist symbolism seen at previous Scottish events. An outdoor event held in Scotland several years ago saw BNP activists joking about concentration camps and burning a wooden cross in an undisclosed Highland location.

Scott McLean - one of the most senior BNP figures in Scotland - was filmed giving a Nazi salute, and other BNP members were recorded shouting "one-two-three-Auschwitz" before grinning activists gave Hitler salutes to the camera. At one point a man was cheered as he threw petrol on to a burning cross towering over a group of initiates.

At the new brand of camps unveiled last month, children as young as 12 are trained in shooting air rifles and in self-defence, and they learn an alternative version of history as sanctioned by party leader Nick Griffin, who has repeatedly claimed that the Holocaust never happened.

In between shooting lessons, children are instructed in the art of making dangerous weapons from everyday objects. "Dutch Arrows" are manufactured from string and sharpened garden canes, and the BNP website reports that one 13-year-old boy was able to launch an arrow more than 150 metres. Police have confirmed that the darts, if used outside the supervised campsite setting, could constitute offensive weapons.

The BNP told the Sunday Herald that it will roll out camps across Scotland within the next year, and adult activists are using social networking sites such as Bebo to recruit youngsters to the BNP's hardline nationalist cause.

BNP youth leader Mike Howson, a former soldier, said: "We eventually plan to have camps in all the regions. We've achieved our targets for youth recruitment in Scotland. We'll be doing camps there within the next 12 months."

The BNP has applied for government funding to pay for the camps, he added, but has so far been unsuccessful in its bid for state cash. Applications are now being made to charities.

Despite its claims to be a mainstream party, the BNP has faced censure in the past for its alignment with European fascist groups and the Nazi overtones of some of its actions.

Publicity material for the camps is designed to appeal to youths by offering a sense of inclusion and strength. An advert on the BNP's Bebo site promotes the organisation as a "big brother" to its young target audience. It boasts: "Only the YBNP and its big brother the BNP can secure a future for the indigenous children of this land."

Though party leaders say the youth camps are about "moral training" and education, they also aim to lure children with the promise of powerful roles within the adult wing of the party. "The youth wing can only get bigger and better, with older members already being fast-tracked into positions within the party," a BNP statement said.

Campaign groups responded furiously to news of the party's planned expansion among Scottish children. A spokesman for anti-fascist organisation Searchlight said: "Their attempts to politically indoctrinate Scottish youth with their messages of prejudice and division are sickening. There is no place in Scotland for these camp sites of hate."

The recent surge in BNP youth activity has been driven by a conference of European nationalists earlier this year, which brought extremist groups together to "preserve our shared white European heritage". Skinhead delegates from hard-right Czech and German youth groups joined their hosts from the Swedish National Democratic Youth movement.

Revelations over the training and political schooling of children will come as a blow to the BNP, which is struggling to assert itself as a legitimate political force in Thursday's European elections.

Party leader Griffin was convicted in 1998 of inciting racial hatred. He has also referred to the Holocaust as the Holohoax'. Griffin has long sought to emulate the mainstream success of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the right-wing leader of France's National Front. Despite his ambitions, the BNP has been thwarted in recent years by a string of high-profile scandals and exposés.

Senior officials have been caught on camera making bigoted remarks against non-Christians, non-whites and homosexuals, and the party has failed to find any success outside of a few English heartlands.

A message left on Griffin's mobile phone asking to discuss this article elicited the one-word text message response: "Priceless!"

Sunday Herald

Let’s give the BNP publicity ... so we can all see what they really are

0 Comment (s)
Here's shameful confession. When the online list of BNP members was published illegally earlier this year I sneaked a look, then went further and performed the postal code search to see who lived near me. Unhappily several did, and there, on the screen, were their names, addresses, home and mobile phone numbers and email addresses. For a split second, only a second I promise, I was tempted to call them and ask them why they had joined. Then sanity returned to remind me that even looking at such a list, thereby breaching these people's privacy, was a low and uncivilised thing to do. Sorry.

But the curiosity has not left me. Why do these people, living in my area of the city, part of the same community and rubbing shoulders with the same people in the street, believe in such an extreme and repugnant set of policies? What horrors are they encountering that have so riled them into hatred? On going about my business, have I somehow failed to spot Hassidic Jews drinking babies' blood in Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, Eastern European plumbers pimping children in the supermarket, Jihadists beheading Alan from the ironmongers for selling un-Islamic curtain hooks, all whilst stepping over the drugged bodies of black youths and publicly copulating gay men? In which parallel universe do my local BNP supporters do their shopping, and what dystopia has so ruined their lives that would make them give their money to Nick Griffin?

A great deal of academic research has helped us trace the rise of the BNP in English regions of high deprivation and racial tension, highlighting the government's failure to address core issues that stoke a sense of grievance and imagined victimhood from the white working class. Such voters tell us, by supporting fascists, that they feel alienated and abandoned. Some of their anxieties may be justified but most of it is poppycock, since the "immigrants" they imagine are here to steal their livelihoods, culture and opportunities are fellow sufferers, feeling just as marginalised and abandoned as they do.

In these areas of tension, BNP voters are unsurprisingly poor, uneducated, frightened, and highly susceptible to coercion from Griffin's Cambridge-educated forked tongue. What, though, is the excuse for my fellow local souls turning to the hard right, including a few whose pleasant sandstone dwellings sit peacefully amongst mature lime trees, and whose worst social assault is a BMW car alarm going off in the night because a well-fed fox has jumped on it? What forms a racist when their lives are under neither economic nor social pressure? Perhaps we are about to find out.

A few weeks ago I wrote that I believed the British are not sufficiently stupid to return a BNP candidate in the forthcoming European elections. Subsequent polling in the last few days appears to be proving me wrong.

Even more worrying is that the party's sights have swivelled away from their tense, English heartlands of racial strife and are looking north.

The British National Party are currently campaigning hard in Scotland, openly declaring on their website and blogs that they hope to build on two things; the MPs' expenses scandal and the rise of Scottish nationalism. The former is an easy target, but the latter marks a sinister distortion.

Last Saturday in Clydebank, a BNP candidate handed out 2000 leaflets. Many people taking them would have of course instantly binned them. Some may have taken the leaflets home to read. Some definitely stopped to speak with the candidate. A few, allegedly, joined up. No-one, however, demonstrated, or set up a stall in opposition.

Reading the subsequent forums on and linked from the party's website makes the blood run cold, even taking into account (judging by The Scotsman's website) that a significant proportion of people who contribute to online forums seem to be fantasists. Several threads celebrated that Scotland was better at "keeping out immigrants" and that we should be proud of the rise again of our national pride.

This was tempered in other threads by equally disquieting posts declaring that the SNP are "after the Islamic vote", citing the contribution to the Scottish Islamic Foundation, and that former nationalists should now switch to the BNP to stop an independent Scotland ruled by sharia.

Despite being an abhorrent, hate-filled slug, Nick Griffin is a clever, highly educated man, and none of this insane warping of the independence debate is by chance. When given only short and rare opportunities to be questioned, such as during an interview on Sky news last week, Griffin comes across as a calm, professional politician. Griffin's views on interracial marriage, enforced repatriation and homosexuality are unlikely to play well to a public looking for fairness, justice and tolerance, hence that side of the BNP is kept markedly quiet, making sure the party's formal policy declarations remain as insubstantial as gossamer.

Hence it's a fair bet that most of the leaflet recipients in Clydebank know virtually nothing of the hidden wish list of the BNP that leaks out in error from time to time.

This is partly because Griffin and his political thugs are given so little chance to be tested, out from under their stone. Question Time last week, focusing on the European elections, included a UKIP member on its panel, but no BNP representative. Why not? Surely even one question from a black person in the audience about not being allowed to marry who they wished, or being exiled to a country they have never visited, would have been enough to rip the paper-thin mask of civility from the BNP's Janus face?

Griffin is sly enough to realise that our independence debate is already highly volatile and emotional, and as such has decided that we are prime targets for creating a new layer of scaremongering and anxiety-driven hate.

Watching BNP footage of Clydebank residents politely receiving leaflets has made me feel stupid for over-estimating our resistance to this vile manipulation. We are all free to vote for the party of our choice, but we must be absolutely sure we know what it stands for. They're not out to make the trains run on time.

Muriel Gray writing in the Scottish Sunday Herald

BNP election hopes marred by dodgy fascist pals of leader Nick Griffin

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Convicted criminals, Nazi skinheads, violent thugs... not exactly the type of people you'd want to be pals with. But this motley crew of racists and fascists are Nick Griffin's closest European buddies.

The BNP leader is trying his best to project the image of a respectable, well dressed politician in the run-up to the European elections on Thursday. And he knows that, if people find out who he likes to hang out with, his chances will be ruined.

Here we expose the truth about the BNP's European friends...


Andreas Molzer - once booted out of Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPO) for being too extreme - is one of Griffin's closest European allies.

The Austrian MEP runs a newspaper, renowned for spouting racist, xenophonic and anti-Semitic views. The rag - Zur Zeit - has even questioned accepted accounts of the Holocaust and recently featured a fawning interview with Griffin.

Molzer, 57, who is married with five children, was expelled from the FPO in 2005 after he accused it of being too soft on immigration. He was only let back in last year when fellow hard-liner Heinz-Christian Strache, 50, took over the leadership. Strache, 50, has demanded the repeal of Austrian laws banning the swastika and once branded women wearing Islamic dress as "female ninjas".


Italian MEP Roberto Fiore is leader of the neo-fascist Forza Nuova party, which has campaigned for the expulsion of an estimated 150,000 Roma gipsies from Italy.

He has been a political mentor, financial supporter and close friend of BNP leader Griffin since 1980, when he moved to Britain in the wake of the fascist Bologna railway station bombing which killed 85 people, including two British tourists.

While here, he helped Griffin - who hadn't yet joined the BNP - set up his Political Soldiers group after it split from the National Front.

Fiore was convicted in Italy in his absence in 1985 as a result of his involvement in the terrorist Armed Revolutionary Nuclei, whose members had taken part in the Bologna terrorist outrage. His nine year prison sentence was later reduced to five and a half on appeal.


Zoltan Fuzessy is vice president of Hungary's ultra right-wing Jobbik party - but lives in the UK and has fostered close links with the BNP. The father-of-two ran an anti-Jewish hate website until last year and has spoken at BNP meetings.

Jobbik - Movement for a Better Hungary - uses Nazi insignia and has been linked to a deadly series of grenade, petrol bomb and gun attacks on Hungarian gipsies. But all that did not stop Griffin speaking in front of 5,000 Jobbik supporters last year at a rally in Budapest, where he shared a stage with notorious Hungarian racist Gyorgy Budahazy.

When a bunch of fascist yobs were arrested after going on the rampage Griffin toured the police stations where they were being held. The BNP leader insisted he was trying to ensure they were given "due process" and decent treatment.

Last year Budahazy showed his true colours when issuing a joint communique with another fascist leader, Laszlo Toroczkai, calling on Hungarian racists to disrupt the annual Budapest gay parade.

"We will not permit aberrant foreigners of this or that colour to force their alien and sick world on Hungary," it said.


Nick Griffin's BNP aligns itself with the pro-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany whose chairman, Udo Voigt, praises Hitler as a "great statesman".

In August 2002 Griffin attended a festival put on by the NPD's newspaper Deutsche Stimme (German Voice), where he was photographed with Voigt and the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. That month he took part in an NPD summer school with Mahler and Voigt.

Another German ally of BNP is Nazi skinhead leader Jens Puhse, who was recently acquitted of producing and distributing racist CDs. A member of the National Front until it was banned in 1997, he is now leader of the German National Democratic Party and a leading figure in the European National Front (ENF), an umbrella group for some of Europe's most extreme and openly facist organisations.

They include groups that deny the Holocaust, worship Adolf Hitler and other wartime fascist leaders, and have been linked to terrorism.


The BNP admires the National Front and has modelled much of its own modernisation on the resurgent French fascist party. Its leader, Jean Marie Le Pen, served in Algeria in the 1950s and has been accused of torturing prisoners there.

A convicted Holocaust denier, Penn - who is divorced with three daughters - has also been convicted of racism or inciting racial hatred at least six times. In June 1999 he was fined for stating that the Holocaust was "just a detail in the history of the Second World War" and in April 2000 he was fined again and suspended from the European Parliament for assaulting a female candidate from a rival party during an election campaign.

Le Pen was Griffin's star guest during the BNP's European campaign in April 2004. After he claimed that Britain was being "invaded" by the Third World at a press conference in Manchester, protesters hurled rocks and eggs at his car.

Griffin's attention has now turned to Bruno Gollnisch, Le Pen's deputy, who is challenging Le Pen's daughter for leadership of the FN. Gollnisch, who is married with three children, has also been convicted for denying the Holocaust, for which he spent three months in prison in 2007.

Griffin brought Gollnisch over to Britain in April last year, where he addressed a private gathering of BNP supporters in London.


The leader of Sweden's fascist National Democrats (ND) party was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2003 for assault and rioting after he and a fascist mob attacked a Gay Pride festival in Stockholm.

Marc Abramsson also runs the socalled Action Group (AKG), which provides security for Swedish fascist meetings and visiting fascists such as Griffin. This heavy mob is largely composed of members of the nazi Blood and Honour network.

Griffin has forged a close relationship with the ND leader, helping the party in European election campaigns. Abramsson was ND candidate in the 2004 European election.


Filip Dewinter leads Belgium's far-right nationalist party Vlaams Belang (Flemmish Interest), which took over from the Vlaams Blok party after it was found in contempt of the law on racism and xenophobia and banned.

At a meeting of Vlaams Blok in 1991, former journalist Dewinter proclaimed: "Our own people first! And yes, Vlaams Blok chooses a Flemish Flanders. And yes, Vlaams Blok chooses a white Europe!" Griffin's most recent public contact with VB was in December 2006 when he went to Belgium to attend the "Euro-Rus Congress", a pan-European event organised by VB's Kris Romain.


Republic Leader of the far-right National Party (Narodni Strana), which has its own paramilitary squad, Petra Edelmannova was the brains behind a racist TV ad aired in the Czech Republic last month which called for a "final solution" to the issue of gipsies in her country.

In the broadcast, accompanied by the slogan "Stop Favouring Gipsies", she stresses the case for "repatriating the Czech Republic's entire Roma community to India".

An avid racist, she was arrested in October 2006 following a demonstration in Prague's Wenceslas Square under a banner reading "Let's incinerate Muslim hatred". She had handed out leaflets illustrated with caricatures of Muslim figures and the caption "Let's Burn Hatred".

Last August Edelmannova, who is married with a daughter, gave a speech at the BNP's Red, White and Blue festival in Codnor, Derbys. Two months later, Griffin repaid the favour by addressing a National Party rally where he railed against the accession of Turkey to the EU, saying that the introduction of millions of Muslims into the EU would "drive down wages, living standards and increase taxes".

Daily Mirror

BNP boss Nick Griffin's racist rant against boxer Amir Khan

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Nick Griffin believes people like boxing star like Amir Khan should be encouraged to leave Britain.

His BNP party wants to create firm incentives for non-white Britons to leave their homeland, but he dismissed claims that Britain would lose talent. He said of Khan: "Perhaps we will lose one good boxer, but there are more important things."

Griffin spoke out at the launch of the party's manifesto in Manchester where he is their top candidate for a seat in the region for the European elections.

Yesterday the people of Oldham flocked to support the Mirror's Hope Not Hate bus. In 2001, race riots in Oldham shocked the country and the BNP see it as a fertile ground to spread hate and garner support.

Student Stephen Kennedy, 18, from Springhead, Oldham, remembers the race riots. He said: "There were burnt out cars in streets and it was a scary place to be. The BNP would just drag us back to those dark days."

Today the Daily Mirror bus is backstage at Stoke's Love Music Hate Racism Festival from 10am.


BNP puppets are not the real threat

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Underground art and music are far more effective recruitment tools for the far right

A few days ago the youth BNP's charmless Billy Brit appeared in my Facebook feed. There was something both bizarre and inept about the clip: a pale cream sub-Sesame Street puppet speaks in a castrato voice in front of a backdrop that looks like it's been set-dressed by the guy who does beheading videos. The puppet reads an old-fashioned tum-tee-tum rhyme, name-checking a canon of white heroes, the kind of stirring stuff a nostalgic middle-aged BNP activist might remember learning by rote at school. It's both awkward and hectoring; Edward I is catchily described as "a tall articulate giver of law", a garbled phrase that sounds like it was cribbed from a prewar textbook. "Physics and maths" are glossed as the "essential stuff" which made racial hero Isaac Newton such an upstanding chap.

As an effective recruitment tool for Britain's under-13s, Billy Brit must rank about as high as BNP-branded conkers or a chance to sit on Nick Griffin's knee. The injunction to vote at the end suggests that it's not really aimed at kids at all, but is a viral come-on to the highly ironised stoner constituency who surf YouTube looking for the next Peer Pressure or Numa Numa Boy. Inevitably, Billy has already been parodied on the internet and the threat he represents to the nation's youth is surely slight. Despite the hand-wringing, I also find it hard to get exercised by the recent "revelation" that BNP activists are trawling social networking sites such as Bebo and Facebook. Everyone's online these days, from amputee fetishists to coffee-coloured burka-wearing Francophile miscegenaters like myself. The young generation of "internet natives" has grown up wandering through the digital forest, exposed to the shadows to a degree their parents don't yet comprehend.

This isn't to say I'm complacent about fascists sniffing round the fringes of youth culture. Like paedophiles and science fiction fans, the far right were quick to wise up to the internet, and since the early 1990s I've occasionally surfed my way through their offerings, intrigued by the constantly mutating subculture of white nationalism. Worried liberals usually invoke the image of the skinhead thug, but there's always been a second strand to fascism, a culture that's less big boots and more socks and sandals, a cranky, vegetarian, pagan, back-to-the-land folksiness that in its current incarnation has real potential appeal to environmentally conscious, anti-globalist young people.

You get hints of it even in mainstream BNP material. The party has done a good job of getting its members out of acid-wash and into Austin Reed, and anyone near a camera has hair of a reasonable length, but they can't quite stamp out the runes. Griffin, their leader, has released an album of folk songs, whose cover is like something from a Norwegian blood metal band, complete with runic title and an image of the black sun, a pagan occult symbol much beloved of neo-Nazis. It's hard to say exactly what it represents to this reasonable middle-of-the-road politician, but his party maintains links with racist neopagan groups around Europe, many of which profess a version of Odinism or Icelandic Asatru where the black sun features as a religious symbol. More Odinist than most are the Tempelhof gesellschaft, an Austrian outfit which believes that the Aryan race is of extraterrestrial origin (Aldebaran, since you ask), destined to dominate the other races, due to the "vril" energy pumped out by the black sun. If Griffin's actually from Aldebaran, wouldn't that technically make him an asylum seeker?

Taking the mick out of fringe Nazi occultism is like shooting fish in a barrel, but in the US, racist Odinism has become a major force in the prison system, compelling authorities there to recognise it as a legitimate religion. The glamour of Nordic myths has long been an influence on the overlapping youth cultures of heavy metal, fantasy, and role-playing. As an obsessive teenage Dungeons and Dragons player I drew sigils on my exercise books and invented characters with horned helmets and multisyllabic names. Though (self-evidently) I was a giant nerd, I never became a metal fan. I did go through a Tolkien phase, during which it never occurred to me there was a racial dimension to his borrowings from Norse and Anglo-Saxon. So I felt a little soiled to discover that since the release of the movies, a huge white nationalist Tolkien fanbase has developed.

Only a fraction of the users of Nordic imagery are racists, but this culture is a much more credible recruiting tool for disaffected white kids than a sock puppet. There are strands within industrial music, goth, neofolk and emo which flirt with fascist imagery. This is nothing new (as any Joy Division fan can attest) and doesn't necessarily amount to anything more sinister than a wish to shock, shared by teenagers since the dawn of time. A tiny minority of bands are overtly "political", but it's not hard to detect a certain, um, tendency in the aesthetic of labels such as Slaughter in Art, whose blurb for the album Blut Unter Den Fahnen describes it as "apocalyptic war music ... a homage to the victims of allied bombardments, and in particular to the town of Dresden. Martial post-industrial, orchestral, neoclassical with dark ambient. Heroic imagery with some German historical excerpts."

There are more mainstream tendrils to socks-and-sandals fascism, which should concern voters considering the BNP as a protest vote in Thursday's EU elections. Next to Billy Brit, the youth BNP site offers a video in which a young man explains that "nationalism is not only an idea for the conscious mind but for the subconscious mind, what is more commonly known as the heart, the soul, or the folk soul." The idea of a racial soul, operating at a preconscious "blood" level, will be familiar to students of Germany's Völkisch movement - which provided much of the ideological impetus for national socialism. This was a huge cultural tendency, which also gave rise to such things as Steiner schools and biodynamic farming, and many neo-Völkisch sects survive today across Europe, united in little but their hatred of modernity, immigration and multiculturalism. The BNP describes itself as "Britain's only real Green party", and claims that overpopulation, driven by immigration, is the main cause of our ecological woes. These "green" policies are really the tip of a Völkisch iceberg, and around Europe a Völkisch paganism is being refurbished to appeal to young people who crave some kind of rebirth or revolution, and often look for it in the anti-globalisation movement. The idea that the destruction of the environment is linked to the repression of ethnic identity is particularly insidious. When accompanied by the notion, common to certain strands of fascism and environmentalism, that through technology, modernity has not only destroyed nature, but also the spiritual dimension of life, you get the beginnings of a politics that could really speak to the next generation, brought up within the current pale green orthodoxy. Personally I'm far more bothered about that than a stupid puppet.


British National Party accused of hostile takeover of trade union

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The British National Party has been accused of executing a “hostile takeover” of a trade union that subsequently accepted a £5,000 undeclared donation from Nick Griffin, the leader of the party.

Clive Potter, a founder of Solidarity, the nationalist trade union, told The Times that he and other members of its executive were ousted by allies of Mr Griffin because they wanted to remain independent of the BNP.

In documents to the Certification Office, the regulator of trade unions, former members of the executive claim that the union has been hijacked by “disaffected former officials and an outside political party”.

They said that the union had been subjected to “hostile attacks from unauthorised former officials and outside elements, namely the British National Party”. The split raises questions about Solidarity’s links to the BNP as it has been previously accused of, but has denied, being a front for the party. Many members also belong to the BNP and its president, Adam Walker, is a candidate for the party in the forthcoming European election.

The Times revealed on Thursday that Solidarity was the recipient of a £5,000 donation, originally sent to Mr Griffin, that is under review by the Electoral Commission. Mr Griffin admitted that he did not inform the authorities about the donation, which appeared to be from a political supporter, although he paid it into his own account before transferring it to Solidarity. Donations of more than £1,000 to individual party members must be declared if they are for political use.

Mr Griffin said that he gave the money to the union because the donor wanted to remain anonymous and he believed that he would have had to declare it if passed to the BNP.

Patrick Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity, a former organiser for the National Front and a friend of Mr Griffin, told The Times that the union was completely independent of the BNP. Mr Harrington, who is not a member of the BNP, said that Mr Potter’s accusations should be dismissed as they were from a “disgruntled former official”.

Although the alleged takeover occurred in 2007, it has not been aired publicly. Several disputes from it will be decided in a hearing next month by the Certification Officer.

Mr Potter, a former member of the BNP, told The Times that he helped to set up Solidarity in 2005 as a “mass nationalist trade union” that was to be independent of any political party. “If it isn’t independent then it fails. Unfortunately, as I found out later, Mr Griffin had other ideas,” he said.

After a series of disagreements with Mr Harrington, and following what he claims was interference from Mr Griffin, Mr Potter was ousted in 2007 along with members of the executive who supported him. He will claim that his removal was “unconstitutional”. Mr Harrington denied any impropriety and said that elections to the union’s executive were held properly.As a result of the split, two separate trade unions, both known as Solidarity, have been operating since 2007. One branch, which is run by Mr Harrington and accepted the donation from Mr Griffin, has acted for people who have been dismissed from their jobs because of association with the BNP.

Mr Potter said that his branch operates on “paper only” as it has no money — its bank account was frozen after the acrimony between the warring factions. He said that as a believer in BNP ideals but an opposer of Mr Griffin, he wanted a return to the “status quo” in leadership of the union.

In the final council by-election before next week’s county and European Parliament polls, the BNP pushed the Conservatives into third place. Labour’s vote held up in North Ormesby and Bramble Farm, Middlesbrough, where the far Right won 19.1 per cent of the vote. That would not be enough for it to win in the North East Euro constituency, which has only three seats. The BNP says its best chance for a European win is in the North West, where Nick Griffin is running. He predicts the party could win up to six seats and claims it is spending £500,000 on a national campaign. The BNP is fielding 450 candidates for the local elections and 66 for the European Parliament, at least one for every constituency in England, Scotland and Wales.

Money talks
  • Any trade union that intends to spend money on political objectives must set up a separate political fund. This arose from the Trade Union Act 1913
  • Before a political fund can be established, the union must ballot all its members. A simple majority of members is enough to pass the resolution
  • The certification officer must approve both the ballot and the political fund rules before they are put to the vote. This ensures that there is a fair voting process
  • The political fund can be spent on both affiliated political parties and more general campaigning. Each union publishes accounts of its expenditure to the certification officer. These are available to all members of the union
  • Any union member can choose to be exempted from the political fund at any time. There can be no discrimination against members who opt for exemption Unions must review their decisions to have a political fund every ten years. This is done by ballot
Times Online

May 29, 2009

2000 posts and a treat - Young Nazi and Proud, starring naziboy Mark Collett

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As it's the 2000th post on the current incarnation of the blog, we thought it was time to remind you of what a dickhead Mark Collett can be. Therefore, we have a treat for you, in the form of a repeat of the video Young, Nazi and Proud, followed by the Searchlight review.

Young Nazi and Stupid!

The man tipped to become the next leader of the British National Party has admitted he is a nazi sympathiser and is inspired by images of German nazis "sieg heiling" in the streets.

Mark Collett, leader of the Young BNP and a member of the party's ruling Advisory Council, made the admission to Channel Four last month. In a revealing documentary, he boasted of his support for Hitler's Germany, said he would prefer to live in 1930s Germany than in many cities of northern England today and declared that he could not understand why people should find images of German soldiers giving nazi salutes upsetting.

The BNP leadership moved swiftly to limit the fallout by publicly sacking Collett as leader of the Young BNP and announcing a tribunal to consider his very membership of the party. However, Searchlight has learnt that this is a scam to reduce political damage to the party. On Sunday 10 November, less than a week after the programme was broadcast, Collett shared a platform with Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, at a party meeting in Bradford.

Young, Nazi and Proud was an hour-long documentary that examined the new, respectable face of the BNP. For eight months, programme maker David Modell chronicled Collett's political and personal life. What emerged was an intriguing insight into the mind of a man who hopes one day to lead the party.

Collett was shown squaring up to Anti Nazi League protesters at Leeds town hall, confidently canvassing voters in Bradford and giving articulate interviews to television stations. Yet we also witnessed the real Mark Collett: insecure, vain and a social misfit.

"Collett was a case study in artless, idiotic arrogance. Pumping iron semi-naked in his basement and getting a little too animated about watching 'a brain-dead white slag' snogging a black man suggested there was something a little repressed about the boy," noted Gareth McLean in his review of the programme for The Guardian.

"We saw a swaggering young man high on self-delusion," wrote Andrew Anthony in The Observer. "A shot of him strutting manfully in front of Anti Nazi League demonstrators seemed to capture his almost pathological vanity ... What I found most shocking, though, were not Collett's views - as predictable as they were reprehensible - but the knowledge that he was a fan of Alan Partridge. How could he appreciate the absurdity of Partridge, you wondered, without recognising his own?"

In one of the most revealing insights into his character, Collett discussed with much bitterness the break-up of a relationship. After attacking his former girlfriend, he told Modell: "I like to break people. When you've broken them and sucked that last bit of life out of them. That's it.

"When people say that I am evil, yeah I am. But it all depends. I'm either the sweetest angel or the most evil being you've ever encountered. It just depends which side you push me. Never kill people. Push them to the point of despair where they do it themselves because that's when you've really won."

In another scene, the arrogant Collett told the reporter: "Hitler will live on forever and maybe I will too".

Searchlight had long known that Collett was a hardline nazi. He began his political life in the National Front and became its student organiser before switching his allegiance to the BNP. For the past two years he has been a regular on the nazi Blood and Honour music scene and, during a personal dispute with the former Yorkshire NF organiser, Tony White, boasted of a close connection with Whitelaw, a band linked to the British Movement. At the BNP's Red, White and Blue festival last year, Collett made a hardline speech in favour of "white power".

Despite his obvious nazi credentials, Collett became leader of the Young BNP after engineering the removal of its previous leader, Paul Golding. In the local elections last May, Collett coordinated the BNP campaign in Bradford and in June, as he finished his studies at Leeds University, he became a full-timer for the party.

Last spring he was approached by Channel Four with the idea of the programme. Despite the historical antipathy of previous programmes on Channel Four to the BNP and only six months after the damaging Panorama documentary, Collett needed little persuading to co-operate. A man whose ego is probably matched only by that of his leader, Collett believed it was an opportunity to become a household name. Unfortunately for the little Hitler, his eagerness to impress was his own downfall.

Among his more illuminating quotes were:
"National Socialism was the best solution for the German people in the 1930s."

"I honestly can't understand how a man who's seen the inner city hell of Britain today can't look back on that era [Hitler's Germany] with a certain nostalgia and think yeah, those people marching through the streets and all those happy people out in the streets, you know, saluting and everything, was a bad thing."

"Honestly now, would you prefer your kid growing up in Oldham and Burnley or 1930s Germany? It would be better for your child to grow up there."

"I'm going to level with you. I'd never say this on camera, yeah, and you can say this to whoever you want, 'cos it's true. The Jews have been thrown out of every country, including England. There's not a single European country the Jews have not been thrown out of. And let's face it, David, when it happens so many times it's not just persecution. There's no smoke without fire."
The BNP's decision to sack Collett as leader of the Young BNP and consider his future membership has been presented as an example of the new BNP discarding its nazi past.

"To journalists who have alleged over the past couple of years that 'the BNP hasn't really changed', this action provides the proof that it really has," Nick Griffin announced the day after the programme. "Because extremist sentiments which would once have been commonplace and accepted - even flaunted - within the BNP have now led us to sack one of our best, most capable and organisationally most useful young assets."

In reality Griffin has no intention of losing someone who he sees as a possible replacement. Collett has had to stand down, but this is probably temporary or only for public consumption. Indeed, Collett and Griffin are believed to have watched the programme together.

Only days after the programme, when Collett was allegedly facing an internal tribunal, the two shared a platform at a BNP meeting in South Bradford. Collett apologised for the political damage he might have caused the party but heaped the blame on a disreputable programme maker.

Griffin has taken a similar line. In a statement on the BNP website he declared: "Despite its dismay at some of his comments and determination not take tough action over them, the party leadership does recognise and value the self-restraint Mr Collett showed when an individual he had somewhat naively come to regard as a friend revealed the extent to which he had betrayed both his personal confidence and his professional word about how he would conduct the filming for the programme.

"Then again, it would have been a thousand times better if Mark had not put himself - and hence the party - in such a position in the first place."

In behaviour now typical of him, Griffin absolves himself of any responsibility for this debacle. Being leader he should have had some control over the entire project but he overlooks that in his attack on the programme makers.

Collett's admissions reveal the true nazi beliefs of many in the BNP leadership. Griffin's public repudiation of him while privately backing him exposes the lizard-type nature of the leader himself. The reality is, as many BNP members privately concede, Young, Nazi and Proud will return to haunt the party in the future.


Live Nation drawn into BNP billboard row

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BECTU has written to venue and theatre operator Live Nation criticising its parent company for selling advertising space to the British National Party.

Live Nation, which is now Britain's largest theatre group, was four years ago spun off from ClearChannel, the multi-national communications giant which owns more than 200 steet-side advertising hoardings in the UK, and runs LED screens in London's Picadilly Circus.

ClearChannel has caused a political storm by agreeing to sell advertising space to the British National Party in the runup to the European and council elections on June 4th. Anti-facist group Searchlight has organised a postal protest against the move which it says has prompted thousands of complaints to the company, although ClearChannel disputes the actual numbers.

Live Nation owns many landmark UK theatres, including the Edinburgh Playhouse, Liverpool Empire, Torquay Princess, and several West End venues.

In a letter to Live Nation's UK President, BECTU's General Secretary outlines the concerns of members in many of the company's venues that their employer could be accused of being indirectly linked to the British National Party.

The sale of advertising space by ClearChannel runs counter to a cross-party condemnation of the BNP, with parties like UKIP and the Conservatives making strenuous efforts to distance themselves from the BNP's racist policies.

The union has called for ClearChannel to cancel the BNP's planned billboard advertising campaign, and join BECTU in condemning the party's activites.

This is not the first time that the BNP has caused controversy in the arts world. In 2007 the English National Ballet's principal dancer Simone Clarke was outed as a BNP member, leading to protests from numerous civil groups including BECTU.

Text of letter from BECTU to Live Nation:

28 May 2009

Paul Latham
Live Nation UK

Dear Paul

RE: British National Party Advertising

It has been brought to BECTU’s attention that the British National Party has, apparently, recently been sold substantial advertising space on Clear Channel Billboards around the UK. I am sure you will appreciate that the activities of the BNP are abhorrent to BECTU members, and, like a great many decent people everywhere, they would be deeply concerned at the prospect of commercial companies making profits on the back of such activities.

Equally, I am sure you will also appreciate that, given the recent corporate history of Live Nation and Clear Channel, there will be particular concern amongst those of our members employed by you. I have no doubt that they would wish to be reassured that their employer is in no way associated with, or condones any promotion of, the BNP.

I would therefore invite you to reassure our members on this, by joining with BECTU in condemning the activities of the BNP, and expressing your opposition to Clear Channel selling advertising space to them. I would hope that you would also call upon Clear Channel’s owners to condemn the BNP, and to withdraw from this arrangement immediately.

Yours sincerely

General Secretary


Black anti-fascist campaigner beaten by 'BNP thugs'

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Racial tension leading up to the European and local elections spilled out onto the streets of London this week after a black anti-fascist campaigner was beaten by a pair of white 'BNP' thugs.

Cops were called to Eltham High Street last Saturday afternoon when the volunteer from Unite Against Fascism was set upon by two men said to be "defending" the British National Party. Their victim had been handing out leaflets urging people not to vote for the controversial far-right party, widely tipped to make an electoral breakthrough on June 4.

Speaking to the News Shopper, fellow UAF volunteer Michael Coulston, 43, from Lewisham, saw the argument start, he said:

"A couple of guys kept walking past and shouting stuff which defended the BNP. They said the BNP acts to protect the British people. But then a black guy shouted out that he was British too. An argument started and then the two white men started punching and kicking him."

The attackers fled before police arrived and the investigation closed as the attackers were not captured on CCTV - The victim escaped without serious injury.

A spokeswoman for Greenwich police said:

"We take incidents of this nature very seriously. This kind of aggressive behaviour will simply not be tolerated and anyone arrested will be thoroughly investigated."

London Daily News

BNP activist held over assault claim

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A British National Party activist who has run for council and to be an MP was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his deaf wife.

Clive Courtney, 55, was yesterday being questioned by Avon and Somerset police for alleged violence against his spouse, Julie, at their home in Pensford.

Mr Courtney has been a local organiser of the right-wing party for Bristol and has been active during the current local election campaigns.

A police spokesman told the Bristol Evening Post: "I can confirm that last night, at about 11.25pm, we were called to a disturbance at a Hillcrest address in Pensford. Subsequently, a 55-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and is being questioned at Bath police station."

It is thought construction engineer Mr Courtney's teenage step-daughter was also at home during the alleged assault on Wednesday night. As of yesterday evening, he had not been charged with any offence.

Bristol Evening Post

Holocaust survivor warns Britain not to give power to BNP

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A Holocaust survivor and Second World War veteran last night begged Britain: "Don't give power to the Nazis."

Gisela Feldman, 84, and Ken Reilly, 83, joined the Daily Mirror Hope Not Hate bus in Manchester to ask people to vote against the BNP in next week's European elections. Jewish Gisela was 15 when she fled Germany in 1938 as the Nazis killed her father.

She said: "We cannot allow the fascist BNP into our politics no matter what they promise. "I lived through the Nazi regime and remember the Brown Shirts marching through Berlin. We didn't know of the hatred flourishing beneath."

Ken fought in the Royal Armoured Corps during D-Day and the Battle of Arnhem. He said: "We must look through the BNP's false brandishments. Hatred is an abomination and we must vote for hope not hate."

Comic Eddie Izzard, who joined us at the Imperial War Museum North, said: "Meeting Gisela and Ken reminds us of the sacrifices their generation made so we can live in a hate-free society. But now, 60 years on, we've got the BNP dragging us back in time. Voting against the BNP is to vote for hope against hate."


British National Party begs for money in desperate memos

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The British National Party has sent out a series of memos appealing for donations in a move that raises further questions about the finances of the party.

Political organisers as well as its leader, Nick Griffin, have sent “desperate” pleas for relatively small sums of money, despite claims by the BNP that it has £500,000 for the European and county council elections.

Mr Griffin sent an e-mail this week saying that the party needed to raise £5,000 to pay for hardware for its website that it “simply could not afford”.

“I have personally donated £250 to this appeal to set things in motion,” he wrote.

Another memo from Bob Bailey, the London organiser for the party, said that it had been unable to raise enough funds to produce an A4 leaflet. “We desperately need donations no matter how small,” he wrote.

The party has declared donations of £21,132 for the first quarter of this year. Only those of more than £5,000 must be submitted to the Electoral Commission and Mr Griffin said that the remainder of its funding for the campaign came from “ordinary” Britons.

However Searchlight, the organisation that campaigns against the BNP, claimed that the party had exaggerated its resources and was “essentially running a paper campaign”.

The accusation was denied by Mr Griffin, who told The Times: “The leaflets have gone out, the election broadcasts have been made. It’s everywhere. It’s a huge campaign.”

Further questions were raised about the party’s funding after Mr Griffin admitted that he paid a £5,000 political donation into his personal bank account without declaring it.

The Electoral Commission confirmed that it was reviewing the donation, which appeared to come from an elderly woman who wished to remain anonymous. Mr Griffin said that he had passed the money to Solidarity, a trade union, because it would have been declared if given to the party.

The Times

May 28, 2009

Can the BNP ever lose its racist reputation?

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A vandalised British National Party billboard in John Street, Carlisle
Splattered with paint and daubed with the words “Nazi scum”. . . an attack on a British National Party billboard in Carlisle shows emotions are running high ahead of European Parliament and county council elections.

Yet the far-right party, which has condemned the vandalism, insists it has received a positive response from voters across Cumbria as it canvasses for next Thursday’s ballots.

Some remain less enthusiastically inclined towards the BNP though. They are concerned a low turnout or an anti-establishment voting trend – in fury at the Westminster expenses scandal – could play right into the party’s hands and deliver the mass protest vote it has been hoping for. Those worries have triggered a campaign to limit any BNP gains.

Opinions about the BNP have rarely hit the middle ground since its formation in the early 1980s by John Tyndall, a former chairman of the National Front. He was a man photographed in Nazi uniform – without attending fancy dress parties – and who described Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf as his bible.

Other members have also been reported making extreme pro-Nazi, racist or homophobic comments over the years. Mark Collett, the BNP’s director of publicity, was made infamous by the 2002 television documentary Young, Nazi and Proud.

Former deputy leader Tony Lecomber was jailed for possessing explosives in 1985 and again in 1991 for assaulting a Jewish teacher.

Party chairman Nick Griffin, who visited Whitehaven on Saturday, has tried with limited success to rid the party of its racist image. But controversy continues to follow him. He denied the Holocaust ever happened in a party publication in 1996 and received a suspended jail sentence two years later for inciting racial hatred.

Mr Griffin – his party’s lead Euro election candidate for the north west – this week claimed the ‘controlled media’ had resorted to rehashing comments made a decade and a half ago to throw the BNP into a poor light.

“I have gone on record repeatedly as saying such things [Holocaust rejection] were immature politics and all of us have moved on,” he said.

Yet his insistence on having turned a corner has done little to wipe the slate clean of suspicions which still stalk the party. There was outrage last week at the prospect of Mr Griffin attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Yesterday he announced he would not be attending the garden party, in order not to embarrass the Queen.

And leading clergymen – including University of Cumbria chancellor Dr John Sentamu – have pleaded with the public not to let the Westminster expenses scandal convert into BNP votes, in protest against the three major parties.

Carlisle Against Racism has been a prominent campaign group against the BNP, which is standing in 42 of the 84 council seats. By the end of this week, it will have distributed 30,000 copies of its anti-BNP leaflets to homes including those in Carlisle, Longtown, Brampton, Penrith, Wigton, Silloth and Alston. Chairman Brent Kennedy believes the newly glossed image of the party – activists wearing suits proffering slick campaign leaflets – could lure many towards an alternative.

“They don’t know about the truth,” he said. “People just see the glossy leaflets – the false image they are physically putting out.”

He and other campaigners have been working to gather support for their work in Carlisle city centre. Mr Kennedy said: “We have had people saying they are going to vote BNP because they are racist. Some are people who are not racist but desperate because of the economic crisis and angry about MPs enriching themselves. On the other hand, a big majority were really supportive. They were thanking us for campaigning against the BNP, which the political parties are not doing.”

The anti-racism activist, who claims he has been attacked and intimidated while carrying out his work, has clear fears should the BNP taste electoral success.

“I’m worried there will be an increase of racist abuse and attacks on people and political opponents of theirs if they get a Euro MP elected. I have already contacted the police about that,” he revealed.

The church has also been drawn into the electioneering arena with Dr Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams urging people to use “great vigilance” when deciding who to vote for. They claimed some parties would exploit the current political situation if elected and said the BNP fostered “fear and division within communities, especially between people of different faiths or racial background”.

“This is not a moment for voting in favour of any political party whose core ideology is about sowing division in our communities and hostility on grounds of race, creed or colour,” they added. “It is an opportunity for renewing the vision of a community united by mutual respect, high ethical standards and the pursuit of justice and peace.”

BNP supporters in Cumbria are undoubtedly in a minority. But in the European elections – where a proportional representation voting system is used to ensure the number of MPs from each political party reflects the share of votes they received regionally – that could be enough to secure a seat. That is a factor which has mobilised trade unions. The Public and Commercial Services Union has launched a Make Your Vote Count campaign, backed by the Northern TUC, and will be in Carlisle on Saturday. May 30.

Regional co-ordinator Gordon Rowntree said: “Because the European elections use proportional representation there is a fear there. In the north west Nick Griffin could be elected. That’s why we’re working to get turnout higher because that would help the other political parties.”

Clive Jefferson, the BNP’s Cumbrian organiser, maintains his party has moved on and away from the racism linked to it in its early days. He said: “All of the opposition or people who would tar us with the same brush are using things from decades ago. It’s not relevant to the party today.”

The activist, who said his chairman did not encounter any aggression in Whitehaven on Saturday and criticised senior churchmen for their comments, vehemently denied his party was racist.

“It’s not racist, fascist or Nazi, as left-wing extremists dub us. I don’t think the majority of people think that now. What we’ve got are left-wing extremists, as I would call them, peddling this kind of rubbish,” he added.

Mr Jefferson also denied activists used any intimidation and said: “If anyone is telling you that, I would like them to tell me. It should be reported to police. This will not be tolerated. That’s not how we go about things. We are a political party.”

He described the vandal attacks on the poster in Caldewgate, Carlisle, as “nasty”.

Polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm on Thursday, June 4. Cumbria County Council ballot papers will be counted the following day. The European count will be delayed until other countries have voted on June 6 and 7.

News and Star

Anti-immigrant and Europhobic – far right parties ride populist wave

1 Comment (s)
Members of Jobbik, a far-right Hungarian party which has
been using Auschwitz slogans in its attempt to pick up votes.

In Europe's biggest port, where nearly half the population of 600,000 is of immigrant origin, Geert Wilders appears to be knocking on an open door.

The platinum-blond, Islam-baiting populist is soaring in opinion surveys in the Netherlands, hammering the anti-immigration message to double his ratings this year to the point where his Freedom party is challenging to be the strongest in the country, according to a leading weekly tracking poll.

Wilders' acolytes are also poised to enter the European parliament for the first time after elections for the EU's sole democratically elected institution, covering 375 million people across 27 countries, take place next week.

"He's a clown, crazy," said Aarjen Heida, a Rotterdam banker, of the ­iconoclast banned from Britain for "hate speech" and facing trial in the Netherlands. "But he's dangerous. A lot of people will vote for him. People are unhappy with the way things are going here and often that has to do with foreigners."

Hans Oole, a retired Rotterdam food engineer, insisted he would not vote for Wilders next week. "I don't like the way he says things. But sometimes he's right. Most Dutch people are really afraid of Islam and it is coming all over."

According to city statistics, ethnic Dutch residents will be a minority in Rotterdam within a few years. At present just over one third of children under 14 are ethnically Dutch. Wilders, who likens Islam to fascism and the Qur'an to Mein Kampf, exploits such figures to argue that the Netherlands is being swamped by immigration. He also hates the EU, pledging to try to abolish the European parliament when his party ­colleagues take their seats in July. He hopes to win five of the 25 Dutch seats.

Wilders' success represents, in part, a souring of traditional Dutch enthusiasm for the EU. It also appears symptomatic of a broader insurrectionary mood across Europe that is expected to favour extremists, mavericks and populists in the voting taking place over four days from next Thursday. Overt racism and the calculated use of Nazi language are featuring in what is otherwise a lacklustre campaign.

In Austria, the hard-right Freedom party of Heinz-Christian Strache, tipped to take up to 20% of the vote, is pandering openly to antisemitism. "A veto of Turkey and Israel joining the EU," declare the party posters despite the fact that Israel, unlike Turkey, is not negotiating to join.

Last week in the Czech Republic, state television broadcast a campaign slot from the small, fascist National party calling the large Roma community "parasites" and echoing Nazi formulation of the Holocaust policy from 1942 by demanding "a final solution of the Gypsy question".

The party is not expected to get into the European parliament, but in ­Hungary the far-right Jobbik, which boasts black-shirted paramilitaries and maintains relations with the British National party, has been using Auschwitz slogans and running a lurid anti-Gypsy campaign. It, like the BNP, could make an electoral breakthrough and win a seat in the parliament which is sited alternately and at great cost in Strasbourg and Brussels.

If the far right is making inroads, the hard left, too, may benefit from the disenchantment with mainstream parties, notably in two of the core EU countries, Germany and France.

The new anti-capitalist party of a postman Trotskyist, Olivier Besancenot, is predicted to win around 10% of the vote in France, while the New Left in Germany – former East German communists allied with West German social democratic defectors – could do likewise. Both parties' gains will hurt the mainstream social democrats.

The chances of the Europhobic extremists entering the parliament are strengthened by the wretched turnout expected next week.

"The low turnout means that those who do vote have very strong opinions. That will bring in more extremist politicians," said Sara Hagemann, a Danish analyst at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. "You'll see a lot of protest voters in Europe and a lot of apathy towards political elites."

The lack of interest in the election, or protesting by abstaining, could spell a crisis of legitimacy for the parliament and of credibility for the EU more broadly. It is virtually certain that voters will stay away in record numbers, making participation the lowest since voting for the parliament started 30 years ago.

A Eurobarometer poll predicts a turnout of 34%, more than 10 points down on 2004, but that may prove to be optimistic since the pollsters have consistently overestimated participation rates. A poll-tracking study being run by the London School of Economics and ­Trinity College Dublin predicts a turnout of around 30%, meaning that more than two out of three voters across the EU will boycott the ballot.

"The risk of abstention is that it allows Eurosceptics and extremists to take over our debate and our future," José Manuel Barroso, the European commission president, warned recently.

Mobilising voters is made more difficult by the fact that the election does not decide a government, nor are the 736 MEPs elected able to initiate European laws, reinforcing the popular notion that the parliament is a remote, irrelevant talking shop.

In fact, voter turnout is in inverse proportion to the parliament's growing powers. Turnout has fallen in each of the seven elections since 1979, while every treaty reshaping the way the EU is run has increased the parliament's clout. It now has a say in shaping around 75% of European law.

From next year, if the Lisbon treaty is implemented following a second referendum in Ireland in October, it will be empowered to "co-decide" almost all European laws, making the parliament one of the big winners of the Lisbon streamlining reforms.

In what already looks like a doomed attempt to combat indifference and drum up interest in the ballot, the parliament itself – as opposed to the competing parties – has hired a German PR firm and spent some €18m (£15.6m) of European taxpayers' money trying to sell the election.

"Come on! It's just a few minutes, maybe you can combine [voting] with a walk in the park or a drink in a cafe. Not much effort to tell Europe what you want," pleads the parliament propaganda. It is falling on closed ears. The lavish spending only compounds the ­parliament's problems, reinforcing the conviction that MEPs are either wasting taxpayers' money or pocketing it.

With around 9,000 candidates running for the 736 seats and with each national ballot turning on the idiosyncrasies of 27 vastly different countries, variations in voting behaviour will be marked. In Germany, for example, the poll will be analysed closely for what it portends for the general election in September, Europe's most important political contest this year. In France, it is likely to be seen as a referendum on two years of President Nicolas Sarkozy, while in Italy, the election will be scrutinised to see if Silvio Berlusconi's marital breakdown is damaging his popularity.

Despite the national variations, trans-national trends are discernible as voters look like venting their anger on incumbents because of the economic crisis, and growing unemployment.

The French, Italian, and Polish governments may be the big exceptions to this trend. But Euroscepticism, previously a British and, to a lesser extent, a Scandinavian characteristic, is spreading even into the historical heartland of the EU, such as the Netherlands.

"The Dutch have become very cantankerous. It's very sad," said a senior EU official. "They've gone from being the most pro-European country to one of the most anti-European."

While Wilders pledges to destroy the EU "from within", the hard-left Socialist party's pitch is for "more Netherlands, less Brussels". And among the centrist parties in government in the Netherlands, there is little positive being said about Brussels or the EU. "Even among the non-extreme parties, scepticism has crept in," said Hagemann.

Leading this new movement of Eurosceptics and seeking to establish it as a more powerful transnational political force in Europe are David Cameron's Conservatives, who are pledged to end two decades of alliance with the mainstream European centre-right (the European People's party) and form a new caucus of European Conservatives.

The entry of several dozen extremists and populists will make the parliament a more raucous, bad-tempered place, but will not substantively affect the balance of power between Christian Democrats, social democrats and liberals.

But Cameron's move should have more impact. He has been helped by the entry of central European countries in 2004. He will depend on rightwingers from Poland and the Czech Republic and a few other countries to set up the new grouping, which will signify the biggest change in the new five-year parliament.

The LSE-Trinity College study predicts more than 60 seats from up to nine countries for the new Conservative caucus, making it the fourth biggest in the parliament. It will be loud in its condemnation of the Lisbon treaty and will campaign for the "repatriation" of powers from Brussels to national capitals.

"We will be very united in limiting European power," said Konrad Szymanski, a Polish MEP from the rightwing Law and Justice party which will supply the second biggest bloc of MEPs after the British.

The election will usher in a busy few months at the top of European politics – Barroso's expected renomination as head of a new commission a fortnight later at a European summit; a German election; an Irish referendum; and probably a contest for the two plum posts of first European president and foreign minister.

But the low turnout and predicted gains for anti-Europeans will get this burst of high-powered politicking off to a bad start.


Anti-BNP alliance now in final push

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The groups battling to prevent the British National Party gaining a seat in the European elections on June 4 will launch their final offensive this week.

The Board of Deputies-backed Your Voice Not Theirs initiative, the Hope Not Hate campaign and the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight will be putting all their efforts into getting voters out to polling stations.

European elections are decided by proportional representation. The BNP needs as little as eight per cent of the vote to win a seat and that could be enough in the North West, if voters stay at home, to send BNP leader Nick Griffin to Brussels.

If the BNP wins a seat, it will give them an income of around £250,000 plus expenses. It will also give Griffin the opportunity to forge stronger links with other far-right parties in Europe, such as the National Party in the Czech Republic, which has just run a broadcast calling for a “final solution” for the Roma, provoking echoes of the Nazis’ Final Solution for the Jewish people.

The anti-BNP alliance has realised that their task has been made harder by the revelations of the Westminster expenses scandal and the effect this has had on the electorate. However, they believe they can still keep the BNP out of Europe.

Searchlight founder Gerry Gable said: “There will be a moment of danger if people don’t come out to vote. We hope everyone thinks it’s worthwhile to do so. There has been considerable coverage in the daily papers and television and the BNP has been roundly criticised. In the North West area, about one million pieces of anti-BNP material have been distributed. In other areas, we have asked postmen to exercise the conscience clause not to give out their material”.

Ruth Smeeth of Your Voice Not Theirs said: “The message to everyone is simple: get out and vote. We must do everything to stop the BNP being given legitimacy as a political party”.

Jewish Chronicle

Church plea to avoid BNP 'like the plague'

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Churches throughout Leicestershire are calling for voters to shun the British National Party at the upcoming European and county council elections.

They have taken the radical step after the far-right party's controversial attempts to recruit the Christian vote by using religious imagery in its campaign material.

The Diocese of Leicester said it was "deeply concerned" by the BNP's suggestion that its policies – which include withdrawing aid from countries which do not take back legal immigrants – were in line with Christian beliefs. At services on Sunday many congregations will be urged to take a stand against the party at the ballot box next Thursday.

Clergy said they feared the current wave of political turmoil and voter apathy may lead to the BNP winning seats at County Hall and Brussels, even with a relatively small number of votes. The BNP has 48 candidates standing in next week's county council election and five standing for seats representing the East Midlands in the European parliament.

As part of its campaign it produced posters which bear a passage from John's gospel, a traditional image of Christ and the slogan "What would Jesus do? Vote BNP." The Diocese of Leicester said it was "totally opposed" to BNP policies.

Director of social responsibility Peter Yates said: "In fact, BNP policies would have turned Jesus, Mary and Joseph away from their party and from our shores when they were fleeing from Herod and seeking asylum. Churches Together in Leicestershire are totally opposed to the BNP's attempts to stir up racial and religious hatred, use false and distorted claims to exploit people's fears, and create suspicion between communities."

The Rev John Seaman is the priest at the parish church in Whitwick, where a BNP candidate is standing for a county council seat. He compared the church's campaign to that of the Confessing Church, which formed in Nazi Germany to oppose fascism.

He said: "It is a very unusual step. We do not want to be getting into party politics but I feel we have been left with no alternative but to counter this literature that the BNP have produced."

Worshippers will be urged to vote against the BNP in the church's weekly notice sheet this weekend.

The Rev Seaman said he was also considering using his Sunday sermon to call for people to make a stand. He said: "The worry is that if voters do not turn out we will let in people who encourage and foster racist policies – that is the last thing we want to happen here in Leicestershire."

At the Good Shepherd Church in Loughborough, the Rev Eric Whitley condemned BNP campaign tactics for being misleading and disguising the party's true policies. He said: "If you look at their underlying policies and what they stand for there is nothing Christian about the BNP at all – I would advise people to avoid them like the plague."

BNP deputy chairman Simon Darby said he believed that Leicestershire voters "would not take kindly" to being told by the Church who they should and should not vote for. He said: "The Diocese of Leicester does not have the monopoly on Christianity. I think their interests would be better served defending the Christian faith rather than criticising us."

Leicester Mercury