November 30, 2009

The Iliacometer - What happened in November

22 Comment (s)
On 24th November I posted a taster of some of the Iliacometer ratings for the month. With all byelection results now in I can offer a full review of the month, which was rather pathetic for the BNP. How sad.

Those who have been following my posts will know that I have created six 'performance indicators' (PIs) by which the BNP's performance can be assessed objectively. An earler article set out the basis of these PIs - so I will content myself with giving you the figures, and any relevant observations.

PI.1 Percentage of byelections contested in month: 12%
The lowest figure for some time, well down on the 35% of July, and 33% in September. Put bluntly, the BNP contested just two seats out of seventeen! (During the same month the Greens contested four seats - the Lib Dems sixteen!)

PI.2 Percentage of byelection contested over previous two months : 18%
The purpose of this rolling average is to 'smooth out' the effects of one particularly good or bad month. There is a clear trend over the past few months:
End-August 31% September 30% October 26% November 18%

PI.3 Rate of contesting previously-contested wards : not applicable in Nov

PI.4 Percentage share of the vote retained : not applicable in Nov
None of the seats up in November had been contested at the preceding election, so these PIs do not apply for the month. (The October figures were 50% and 59%).

PI.5 Rolling average percentage vote in 'new' wards : 7.5%
At the end of July this figure was 10.5%; end-October 9.3%. Their performance in 'new' areas seems to be on a downward trend. The days when the BNP could put up a candidate in 'virgin' territory and get 20%+ seem - at least for the moment - to have passed.

PI.6 Rolling average percentage vote in 'abandoned' wards : n/a in Nov
Again, as there were no such cases in November no figure can be calculated.

Summary. Only 17 byelections in the month; none in wards recently contested by the BNP. Where they did stand - Doncaster and Knowsley - they polled 4.3% and 8.6% (average 6.45%). In Doncaster their share may have been reduced by the presence of an English Democrat. And although they had not previously contested the Knowsley seat (Halewood South), they had polled 20% in a neighbouring ward (Halewood North) in 2008 so a very poor result.

They are fielding fewer candidates, who are then polling worse results. That's why I have described November as 'pathetic' for the BNP. Let's hope December follows the trend!

Leading BNP member quits Cumbria party

10 Comment (s)
One of the leading lights in the British National Party in Cumbria has quit saying he is 'sick of defending them.'

Alistair Barbour, 44, of Southwaite, was expected to be the BNP’s General Election candidate in Carlisle. He says he has become disillusioned with party politics and says he may stand as an Independent in local authority elections. He is already a parish councillor in Southwaite.

Mr Barbour said: “I joined the BNP two years ago and was perhaps a little bit naive. I don’t agree with everything they stand for and I’m sick of defending them.”

Mr Barbour, a gas fitter, stood for the BNP in the Penrith West by-election on Eden Council in October and in Currock, Carlisle, at the county council elections in June. He has also been a candidate at Carlisle City Council elections in Castle and Upperby. He says he is not a racist and that he disagrees with some BNP policies. For example, he believes the party was wrong to bar non-whites from joining.

“We are where we are in 21st century Britain,” he said.“You can’t turn the clock back. You need to make the best of what you’ve got. The BNP should take a long, hard look at themselves and how people see them. I realise now that you don’t have to belong to a party. You can have your own thoughts.”

News and Star

BNP: Give Gibraltar back

18 Comment (s)
Wave goodbye to Gibraltar if Nick Griffin gets his way
The BNP would hand the key outpost of Gibraltar to Spain in an astonishing betrayal of its 30,000 British citizens. The move would also deprive the UK of a naval base - defended bitterly for more than 300 years - of huge strategic importance.

Party leader Nick Griffin, elected as an MEP in June, made the offer at a fascist rally in Madrid last week to suck up to European extremists. His bizarre reasoning is that it would help the Spanish combat radicals in nearby northern Africa.

Deceitful Griffin told fellow fanatics: "Taking into account the geographical situation of Gibraltar and the Muslim threat on its door, I would prefer to see a Spanish flag fly in Gibraltar before an Islamic one." He added: "It would be much easier to sort it out if we had nationalist governments in Britain and Spain because it would then be an agreement between equals."

The gaffe was exposed by James Bethell, founder of anti-BNP pressure group Nothing British. Mr Bethell - favourite to be selected by the Tories to fight for the seat of Gosport, Hants - said: "Nick Griffin talks about protecting our national interest but he would surrender our sovereignty to Spanish fascists in a heartbeat. The only flag that should be flying over the Rock is the Union Jack."

A recent referendum on the island, off the southern tip of Spain, saw 99.64 per cent vote to remain British.

The Sun

Racist graffiti outrage after BNP slogan daubed on Church Fenton Railway Station

0 Comment (s)
Offensive BNP graffiti daubed on walls at Church Fenton Railway Station has been condemned as "racist bigotry" by the area's Conservative party candidate.

Tory candidate for Selby and Ainsty Nigel Adams said he was "appalled" at the scrawlings on the railway entrance hall after it was reported to him by a commuter who regularly uses the line. He said this kind of bigotry had no place in the district, and termed it "offensive".

He added: "This graffiti was daubed in an area very close to an Indian restaurant/takeaway. If anyone daubs BNP in big red letters near such an eaterie – the only one within 20 miles – you can only draw one conclusion. The mindless idiots who did this were trying to make a statement about race, so in that case it's racist. Any vandalism is abhorrent, but to daub BNP in big red paint outside an Indian restaurant/takeaway is clearly designed to upset the owner."

He said it was also offensive to commuters travelling to and from work, adding: "We found this so offensive, myself, my assistant and a volunteer have gone to the station and we've removed the graffiti ourselves."

Selby Rail Users' Group secretary Reg French said he had reported the graffiti to Northern Rail as soon as his group became aware of it. He added: "Any graffiti like this is appalling. The group reported this to Northern Rail on Monday as soon as we were informed of it. This is their property so we thought it best to let them deal with its removal."

Selby Times

BNP leader Nick Griffin threatens to expose 'dodgy science' when he represents Europe at climate change summit

1 Comment (s)
BNP leader Nick Griffin has sparked outrage after it emerged that he is to represent the European parliament at next week's climate change summit in Copenhagen

Mr Griffin has vowed to use his place on the delegation to expose the ‘somewhat dodgy’ science behind the climate change movement.

The far-right leader is allowed to attend the crucial summit as a representative of the parliament's environmental committee. But politicians and scientists reacted furiously to his presence at the meeting, which is hoping to forge a new global deal on cutting greenhouse emissions. Many scientists are warning that world temperatures will increase by more than 2C by the end of the century, triggering ice-cap melting, sea-level rises, widespread flooding, the spread of deserts and devastating storms.

But a spokesman for Mr Griffin claimed the summit had handed the BNP a major publicity coup. The spokesman said: ‘It is a global Marxist mantra that is going to be used to beat people around the head, tax us to the hilt, smash nations and impose a one world government.’

He added that it was a ‘big opportunity’ for the BNP because ‘people assume we are only a one trick pony only interested in race and immigration’.

Mr Griffin will be one of 15 representatives chosen to attend the summit on behalf of the EU in Copenhagen. However, Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband described Mr Griffin's views as 'irresponsible and wrong'. He went on to dismiss the BNP's claims that Mr Griffin would have any influence in Copenhagen.

Mr Miliband said: ‘Nick Griffin's views on climate change are irresponsible and wrong. He cannot and does not represent the views of the people of the UK or of Europe. He will not be part of the formal Copenhagen negotiations and rightly he will not be listened to by anyone with any credibility who is part of these negotiations.’

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne, a former MEP, said: ‘Nick Griffin was always going to get some role in the Parliament, because jobs are divvied up fairly. The crying shame is that he is representing Europe at a key summit for the future of humanity, when he does not even concede that man-made climate change exists.’

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, also an MEP, told BBC1's Andrew Marr show: ‘He won't get the right to speak. The Parliament sadly doesn't even get the right to really influence the decisions at all. So this idea that somehow Nick Griffin is going to have any real influence on what happens in Copenhagen is a myth.’

Shadow climate change secretary Greg Clark also condemned the move.

‘It is utterly ridiculous that someone who doesn't even believe in climate change should be seeking to represent Europe in Copenhagen. The BNP does not command the support of the people of Britain, let alone of the rest of Europe,’ he said.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: ‘Membership of the European parliament's delegation to Copenhagen is a matter for the European parliament. Its delegates do not represent the UK government or its views. Nick Griffin will not be part of the UK delegation.’

Tim Yeo, chairman of the Commons environmental audit committee, said the decision to choose Griffin showed the ‘bizarre way’ the parliament operated. He added: ‘If the future prosperity of the human race, in the face of climate change, depends on the contributions of people like Nick Griffin, there is little hope for any of us.’

Professor Alan Thorpe, chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, added: ‘The intergovernmental panel on climate change draws on the views of most of the world's leading climate scientists and they have been quite clear that the evidence shows, with a high degree of certainty, that human activities are now having a substantial effect on the climate. It is simply not the case that there is a substantial number who do not accept a link.’

Mail Online

November 29, 2009

Can the BBC shirk its responsibility if anti-Muslim attacks increase?

5 Comment (s)
I was glad to see the panellists and members of the audience confront British National Party (BNP) Leader, Nick Griffin, head on during the BBC Question Time, with regards to his despicable views of the Nazi Holocaust and ethnic minorities earlier this month. However, I was equally raged when asked about his views on Islam, he was left to openly preach hate and ignorance without any challenge whatsoever from neither the panellists nor members of the audience. A sad sight indeed.

While most commentators are consumed with how he came across long after the programme, with his unchallenged remarks on Islam, it will inevitably lead to more and more attacks on British Muslims. In recent months the so-called English Defence League have openly been demonstrating throughout the country against British Muslims. We have witnessed attacks on mosques in Luton, Sunderland, Woolwich and recently in Bishops Stortford. The national press are also at it. Recently the Daily Express ran with the headline, ‘Now Muslims Demand Full Sharia Law’, clearly an exaggeration. The alarming rise in Islamophobic attacks on British Muslims, sadly fanned by some parts of the media, is flourishing unchallenged by politicians as well as security forces alike.

Under the current climate it was clearly a serious error of judgement on the part of the BBC to give the BNP a national platform. Today the situation facing British Muslims is identical to that of the American McCarthyite era in the 1950s. We are merely seen through the prism of security; surrounded with suspicion and continuously faced with claims of disloyalty that our way of life is incompatible with the British way of life.

No. We are part and parcel of this society and our contributions speak for themselves - not least the Muslim soldiers who fought for Britain during the First and Second World Wars. Yet we are always misunderstood. Yes, there are a handful of Muslims who wrongly, for example, call for Shari’ah Law in the UK. But one bad apple should not equate an entire community.

The BNP and far-right fascists are concealing their true colour under a veil by attacking British Muslims and Islam (because we are an easy target), but they will soon move to the rest of the “non-indigenous” population. By allowing Griffin a seat on their flagship political programme, the BBC has given the once convicted criminal his much craved legitimacy and recognition.

Many commentators have said that ‘the only way to defeat the BNP’s ideas is by having them out in the open and properly contested’. Of course we all agree. But don’t give them a national platform with 8 million viewers. It was completely the wrong setting. If he is to be robustly challenged, let it be in local community centres up and down the country; not a short debate on a panel alongside real mainstream panellists. It has created an unprecedented interest in the BNP which the recent YouGov poll in the Daily Telegraph clearly shows. 22% of people questioned now “seriously consider” voting the BNP. The taboo of voting for the BNP vanished overnight. The BBC cannot shirk its responsibility.

During the summer I was travelling as a Global Fellow of the Prime Minister: learning about culture in India. Every Indian I spoke to said how brilliant, open and free they thought Britain was: as one student said, “The UK is the real land of opportunity.” While there, the Indian media and public were gripped by reports of racist attacks on Indian students in Australia. One student where I was teaching said: “We should cut all ties with Australia until they act.” The image of Australia is now tainted in India. Sadly, I think the image of our country will now be tainted internationally too.

As a young British Muslim, I feel the saga surrounding the BNP and Question Time marked a dark period in our country’s history. A dark week in fact for democracy. Because democracy is not about giving a platform for one to openly preach hate and vilify a whole community without debate. It sadly marked a grave period for mainstream political opinion and a rise for far-right extremism. At the end of the day: there is only one community who will suffer: the Muslim Community.

I, as well as many British Muslims up and down the country, feel let down. Let down by the silence on the panel and in the audience of the unchallenged Griffin attack on Islam, and let down by the BBC for allowing the media hype. As the Guardian wrote, it was “a once in a generation PR opportunity.”

Make no mistake. British Muslims will be left picking up all the pieces of the BBC’s decision. And frankly, from anger, the sentiment amongst British Muslims is now turning to more alienation, disenfranchisement and mistrust with resulting negative implications for our society. No one seems to be challenging the fact that the Far Right are using Muslim extremism as a pretence to gain mainstream following. It appears our politicians and the media alike do not seem to appreciate the real threat the BNP and other far-right fascist groups are posing to British Muslims and for that matter our society.

Tragically, Griffin’s appearance on the Question Time has played into the hands of those who seek to demonise Islam and its teachings. By leaving Griffin’s attacks unchallenged, the BBC has recklessly added fuel to an already ignited fire. And for that the BBC should be held responsible, if as I suspect, there is a rise in anti-Muslim attacks.

Kawsar Zaman is Vice-Chair, Youth Committee, Muslim Council of Britain

The Muslim News

Climate change denier Nick Griffin to represent EU at Copenhagen

2 Comment (s)
BNP leader who believes climate change activists are 'cranks' will be member of European parliament's delegation

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National party, is to represent the European parliament at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, which opens next week. Last night politicians and scientists reacted furiously to news that the far-right politician and climate change denier should be attending the summit on behalf of the EU.

Griffin, who was elected to the European parliament in June, confirmed last night that he would attend as the representative of the parliament's environmental committee. World leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, are hoping to forge a new global agreement to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.

Without such a deal, scientists warn that world temperatures will increase by more than 2C by the end of the century, triggering ice cap melting, sea-level rises, widespread flooding, the spread of deserts and devastating storms.

In a speech in the parliament last week, Griffin denounced those who warn of the consequences of climate change as "cranks". He said they had reached "an Orwellian consensus" that was "based not on scientific agreement, but on bullying, censorship and fraudulent statistics".

"The anti-western intellectual cranks of the left suffered a collective breakdown when communism collapsed. Climate change is their new theology… But the heretics will have a voice in Copenhagen and the truth will out. Climate change is being used to impose an anti-human utopia as deadly as anything conceived by Stalin or Mao."

Griffin will be one of 15 representatives chosen to speak on behalf of the EU in Copenhagen. The shadow climate change secretary, Greg Clark, condemned the move last night. "It is utterly ridiculous that someone who doesn't even believe in climate change should be seeking to represent Europe in Copenhagen. The BNP does not command the support of the people of Britain, let alone of the rest of Europe," he said.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "Membership of the European parliament's delegation to Copenhagen is a matter for the European parliament. Its delegates do not represent the UK government or its views. Nick Griffin will not be part of the UK delegation."

Tim Yeo, chairman of the Commons environmental audit committee, said the decision to choose Griffin showed the "bizarre way" the parliament operated. He added: "If the future prosperity of the human race, in the face of climate change, depends on the contributions of people like Nick Griffin, there is little hope for any of us."

Professor Alan Thorpe, chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council, said Griffin's claim that thousands of scientists dispute the existence of man-made global warming was simply not true. "The intergovernmental panel on climate change draws on the views of most of the world's leading climate scientists and they have been quite clear that the evidence shows, with a high degree of certainty, that human activities are now having a substantial effect on the climate. It is simply not the case that there is a substantial number who do not accept a link."

Bob Ward, of Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said: "Griffin denies the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. This appears to be driven by a dogmatic strand of right-wing ideology that opposes any form of environmental regulation, usually hidden behind the dishonest claim that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy."

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman and a former MEP, said the European parliament always divided up positions on such delegations according to the parliament's political balance. "Griffin was bound to get something at some stage. It is just a shame they didn't send him to Iceland instead."

Critics say Griffin addresses environmental issues when he believes he can use them to advance anti-immigration policies. His party claims that it would improve Britain's transport infrastructure and reduce carbon dioxide levels by reducing the number of immigrants in Britain using roads, cars, trains and buses.

Gerry Gable, publisher of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, said Griffin once tried to win over environmentalists in the 1980s. "His core beliefs – that the white race is being threatened by an invading minority – are the so-called principles that have run through his nasty career."


Playwright Bonnie Greer writes 'BNP: The Opera'

2 Comment (s)
THAT Question Time, with 'creepy' Griffin and Bonnie Greer
Bonnie Greer described sitting next to Nick Griffin on Question Time as "probably the weirdest and most creepy experience of my life". Mandrake can disclose that it has, however, proved inspirational for the American-born playwright, who is planning to stage an opera about the rise of the British National Party.

"It's a modern opera because the country is an opera," she told me at the launch of her book Obama Music, at the Sanctum Soho Hotel, in London. "It's a conglomeration of voices. The people are speaking and the people are singing."

The 61-year-old author, who is married to a British solicitor-turned-teacher, David Hutchins, said she was involved in discussions with the Royal Opera House about staging her planned work. "I'm talking to ROH2 to see if they're interested," she said.

Greer said her appearance on the controversial edition of the BBC programme, which achieved a record figure of more than eight million viewers, had transformed her life. "It's been a whirlwind," she said. "My life has just changed. I've been a pretty solitary person, and since then I've been walking down the street and people are talking to me. I have just been on a television programme that I do once a year, and it meant so much to people. I feel so humble."

The BBC was criticised for inviting the BNP leader to appear on the panel of its flagship political discussion programme, but Greer said Mark Thompson, the director-general of the corporation, made the correct decision.

"The BBC's job is to educate," she said. "The party does have the same amount of voters as Ukip. It's about the people who decided that that's the party that they want to vote for. The BBC's obligation was to respect that. I think it's about respect: we need to listen to one another. Question Time is enabling that listening to happen. The people made that choice; we don't want a Victorian society where our betters decide what we need."

Greer, who acquired British citizenship in 1997, is the daughter of a Mississippi sharecropper who was stationed in Britain during the Second World War and took part in the D-Day landings.


Anti racism rally takes place in Glasgow

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Protestors take to the streets in an anti racism march

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Glasgow to call for an end to racism. The annual St Andrew's Day march was attended by politicians, trade unionists and faith groups.

The march and rally were organised to remind people of the dangers of allowing prejudice and discrimination to go unchallenged. The march follows a similar event two weeks ago when protestors gathered in Glasgow city centre to oppose a demonstration by the Scottish Defence League – a right wing organisation said to have links with the BNP.

The theme of the event was equality and diversity and was attended by Scottish secretary Jim Murphy. The rally was organised by the STUC with speakers from Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance, Unison and Hope not hate Scotland.

Mr Murphy said: "Racism has no place in a modern society and the vast majority of people in Scotland embrace equality and diversity openly. But it is a sad fact that a very small minority insist on judging people by the colour of their skin and their ethnic background. I have been saying for some time that we need to watch the BNP. Their foothold in Scotland has grown and we cannot become complacent.

"Ten years ago the number of people voting BNP in Scotland numbered just over 3,000. In June of this year that increased ten-fold to 29,000 people in Scotland who decided to put their cross in the BNP box. It was complacency that allowed them to win two seats at the last European elections and it will be complacency that could allow them to win more seats in the future. If that happens it will be a very sad day for politics in this country and will only further legitimise their sickening ideology.

"Their support is now sufficiently large that only the largest stadiums in the country could now accommodate all Scottish BNP voters at once. If this thought doesn't concern people then the problem is only going to get worse."

Demonstrators marched from St Andrew's in the Square ahead of a rally which was held on Rose Street. Speakers included representatives from the Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance, Hope Not Hate Scotland and the STUC.First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister Gordon Brown also voiced their support for the rally.

Mr Salmond said: "The march continues to go from strength to strength and provides an ideal opportunity for all Scots, no matter their race or faith, to come together and send a strong and clear message that racism will not be tolerated in modern Scotland."

Mr Brown said: "The trade union movement has always been at the forefront of fighting racism and I am glad to see that the STUC continues to lead the way in Scotland."

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray also backed the march along with the Conservatives' Annabel Goldie, Tavish Scott of the Liberal Democrats and Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie.


November 28, 2009

Hate crime fears over new London Colney mosque

2 Comment (s)
Vicious leaflets aimed at keeping a mosque out of London Colney have been referred to the police's harm reduction unit. Police are now examining the British National Party (BNP) leaflets headed up "Do you want to live under an oppressive Islamic Sharia government?" as a possible incitement to racial hatred.

The leaflets were delivered to homes in London Colney claiming a planning application to turn Cemex House in Barnet Road into a mosque was part of a wider plot to turn St Albans into an Islamic city. The large site - around 1,900 square metres - with provision for 33 car parking spaces consists of two separate parcels of land on either side of Lowbell Lane.

The man behind the leaflets is Danny Seabrook, 36, a divorced self-employed builder who lives in London Colney. He stood as a county council candidate for the BNP recently in Watford. He denies incitement to racial hatred saying the leaflets are "factual and to the point". He went on: "A mosque would be out of keeping in the village. St Albans is a Christian city. You give an inch and they take a mile. They'll have minarets up there next."

Some of the propagandist language used in the leaflet includes accusations that politicians pander to Islamists' every demand and the majority of residents want to keep the area as it is now.

County Cllr for London Colney, Chris Brazier, said: "This is detestable and I don't think there would have been this reaction if the plan was to turn it into a Christian church. The BNP do seem to be targeting London Colney since they picked up 200 votes in the recent county council elections."

Cllr Brazier conceded that he had received almost 100 letters from residents opposing the plans on legitimate planning grounds including traffic fears, narrowness of the access road, insufficient parking and noise. He maintained there was no suggestion of racism in any of the moderately-worded letters. He said the application had aroused fears that such a large mosque would attract significant numbers of visitors from outside the area, raising traffic and parking issues for residents.

But Peter Trevelyan, acting for the London Colney Islamic Group which has submitted the application, said: "Having been frustrated in its search for suitable premises, the local community currently uses the parish meeting room on White Horse Lane once a week for Friday prayers. The main hall is small and inconvenient in shape and, with 50 people present, is cramped and over-crowded."

He said prayers would take place five times a day but the principal focus for prayer would be at 1pm on Fridays when attendance varied between 40 and 50 men and a handful of women. The majority would walk to the site from homes and employment nearby. But council officers have recommended to a planning meeting on Monday that the scheme should be approved because there would be adequate off street parking and no acceptable harm to highway safety or the free and safe flow of traffic.

The Herts Advertiser

Five-star treat for BNP...and YOU pay

11 Comment (s)
Griffin: living like a king at the taxpayer's expense
Taxpayers will foot the bill for BNP leader Nick Griffin to enjoy a week of five-star treatment at the Copenhagen climate change summit.

Griffin, elected to the European Parliament on the back of the MPs expenses scandal, is one of just three British MEPs attending in an official capacity. As an MEP he is entitled to claim business class flights for the event, as well as his hotel accommodation and a £300 daily allowance. Griffin has been given a place because he is the only member of the EU environment committee who believes global warming is a hoax.

World leaders including Gordon Brown and Barack Obama will also be attending the summit, which hopes to limit the world's carbon emissions.

The BNP said he was justified in using taxpayers' cash. A party spokesman said: "It's very much in Britain's national interests that at least one politician is willing to question and put under scrutiny what we are all being led to believe by the climate change lobby. Nick and the party believe that the whole global warming industry is a huge con."


March to end in anti-racism rally in Glasgow

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Click on image to see it full-size
Hundreds of people are expected to take part in a march and rally against racism in Glasgow later today

The event, in advance of St Andrew's Day, is being organised by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC). The march will set off from St Andrew's in the Square, off Saltmarket, at 1100 GMT for a rally at Glasgow Film Theatre, Rose Street, at noon. The event has received messages of support from Prime Minister Gordon Brown and First Minister Alex Salmond.

Speaking before the march, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy, said: "I am proud to take part in the event, it is right that we tackle racist and fascist views and show to the world that Scotland is against racism. Racism has no place in a modern society and the vast majority of people in Scotland embrace equality and diversity openly".

STUC general secretary, Grahame Smith said: "There is no place in Scotland for the extremist defence leagues, their vile views and their hatred of our Muslim community. Their attacks on Muslims should not be tolerated in our multi-cultural Scottish society. In fighting for a future free from racism we are proud of our record as trade unionists in challenging the racism and bigotry that exists in our society, but we cannot afford to be complacent."

Other organisations taking part in the march and rally include Glasgow Anti-Racist Alliance and Hope not Hate Scotland.


November 27, 2009

Kirklees British National Party member admits to terrorism charges

24 Comment (s)
The Bomb Disposal Team move into Terry Gavan's house
A member of the British National Party is facing a long spell in prison after admitting to keeping an arsenal of homemade weapons at his home.

Terence Gavan, 38, made and stockpiled 54 nail and ball-bearing bombs between May 1999 and May this year. He also manufactured shotguns, pen guns and pistols at his home in Batley, West Yorkshire. Gavan was also found in possession of ammunition, a manual on boobytraps, an improvised munitions handbook and a copy of the Anarchists’ Cookbook.

He admitted 22 charges, including six under the Terrorism Act, when he appeared at Woolwich Crown Court on 26 November 2009.

The Judge, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith QC, adjourned sentence until 15 January and remanded Gavan in custody.

Gavan was arrested at his home in Colbeck Terrace on 21 May following a West Yorkshire police operation. He admitted four counts of making explosives and four counts of possessing explosives over a ten-year period. They consisted of four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) incorporating ball-bearings, 21 IEDs with nails, two “victim-operated” IEDs with nails and a further 28 explosives classified as IEDs.

He also pleaded guilty three counts of manufacturing prohibited weapons, four counts of possession of prohibited weapons and one count of possession of ammunition without a certificate. In all, police found nine homemade or converted firearms at the property.

These were a .22 ME9 para air-cartridge pistol, an 8mm blank-cartridge, pistol, a home-made .22 rimfire single shotgun, two homemade .22 rimfire pen gun, a .22 single shot pistol. There were also two homemade pistols and one homemade shotgun, fitted with silencers or sound moderators.

Between 31 December 2005 and 22 February this year Gavan reactivated a British Service No 4 Mark I rifle. Also found in his home were two Brocock revolver gas guns. Gavan further admitted six charges of possession of documents containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

These were books with the titles Boobytraps, Improvised Weapons Manual and Guerilla Warfare and Special Forces Operations 1961, and two electronic PDF files including the Anarchists’ Cookbook volume 4.

No doubt the BNP will say Gavan was not and never has been a BNP member. However Searchlight has been monitoring this case for some time and we can reveal that Gavan not only was a BNP member, he also held gold membership. Just to help the BNP administration team find details of their latest villain, we are reliably informed Terry Gavan has the membership number 130757.

HOPE not hate

November 26, 2009

BNP and Labour candidates to fight it out in Dalton town council by-election

24 Comment (s)
Two parties are going head to head in a town council by-election

Labour and the British National Party are to fight for a seat on Dalton Town Council. Dan Martin, for Labour, and Mike Ashburner (pictured left, in the sexy T-shirt), Furness and South Lakeland BNP organiser, were the only two nominations received by last Friday’s closing date. The by-election is set to take place on December 10. The vacancy arose when former Dalton mayor Dermot O’Connor left the town to be nearer his family in Wigan.

Dalton town councillor Bill Bleasdale – who represents the Tories on the borough and county councils – says the town council is usually apolitical. He said: “Normally someone is co-opted straight onto the town council but ten voters can declare a by-election. Anybody from any political party can stand in a democracy. It is disappointing that there aren’t any more candidates showing an interest. The public has got disillusioned with politics nationally which is why the BNP got representation on the European Parliament. They are a protest party.”

Mr Martin, who lives in Dalton and teaches at George Hastwell School on Walney, urged voters to send a message to the BNP that “their nasty brand of politics is not welcome in this town.”

The Ulverston-born 33-year-old, whose father was a Liberal Democrat councillor in Cartmel, said: “Like everyone here, I am very proud of Dalton – and I want to fight for a fair deal for the residents here. Dalton needs a hardworking town councillor who lives here and cares about the issues that matter to families. I think the last thing we need is someone coming here and trying to use our town council to stir up trouble.

“The British National Party care nothing about the concerns of people here – they just want to whip up tension and division. Huge damage would be done to our community if we elected a member of a party that judges people because of what they are and not who they are. I believe that I can represent your interests, and send a message that says Dalton is still a welcoming town.”

Mr Ashburner, from Barrow, who admitted he has no links with Dalton, said it was the BNP’s policy to go for any vacancies that come up. He denied the party was out to cause trouble. Mr Ashburner said: “My main aims are to tackle anti-social behaviour and clean up the streets. I noticed walking around just how much rubbish there was. My other main problem I aim to tackle is the Islamification of Dalton. There are proposals to build a mosque in the area and they are currently looking for plots. I am going to make sure there is not a mosque built in Dalton.”

Cumbria County Council spokesman Gareth Cosslett said the council knows of no current plans to build a new place of worship in Dalton. He said : “Nothing is being built locally. The only thing that happens every Friday afternoon is one room in the Multicultural Centre in Barrow is used by Muslims as a prayer room. The rest of the week it’s used to teach English and a variety of other things. The whole point of the centre is to connect people and help them with social issues.

“The county council isn’t aware of anyone wanting to build a mosque in Dalton or anywhere nearby – but we’re not the planning authority. Our view would be that if they did, they would have as much right to build it as anyone would to build a church.”

North-West Evening Mail

November 25, 2009

Twisted History

45 Comment (s)
When an article of mine looking at the role of African, Caribbean and South Asian troops in the British army during the two World Wars was published on Remembrance Sunday, some people criticised me for “re-writing history in favour of the BME community.

So I thought I’d see what the BNP had to say on the subject, by way of comparison. To be totally honest, I hoped to find ammunition for another article like my original “They’re taking our Spitfires!” After all, making your political opponents look ridiculous is often a good way to defeat them.

Of course I didn’t expect to find anything about non-white troops fighting for Britain in the two World Wars; but I was surprised to find nothing about the white British troops in those wars either. There’s a picture of Churchill on the home page, but no profile – though figures of legend such as Hereward the Wake get one – and he’s not one of the “British Giants”. The section on defending us from invasion has a Spitfire picture, but while there’s an article on Boudicca, there’s no Battle of Britain.

Potteries historians note there’s no RJ Mitchell, nor James Brindley and Josiah Wedgwood. I guess Wedgwood’s politics were wrong, as social and political reformers are notable by their absence. Whole political movements are missing too – nothing on the Chartists or Suffragettes, and for a party supposedly all for the working class, no mention of the Levellers, the Tolpuddle Martyrs or the Jarrow Marchers.

Art and literature are clearly for wimps – Shakespeare gets a mention but not Dickens, Jane Austen, George Eliot or the Bronte sisters; no Wordsworth or Tennyson, and no sign of Dr Johnson (another snub to Staffordshire!). There’s a serious lack of the “Christian heritage” the BNP claim to defend too, but lengthy articles full of glossy illustrations on the “Gods of the Ancient Britons” and Anglo-Saxon gods. No Quakers, no Methodists – all that social reform and concern for justice and the poor must be totally the wrong values for the BNP!

And I thought that was about it – a version of history ending with the British Empire at its height full of the sort of uplifting stories of powerful men taught when a quarter of the globe was coloured pink – a sort of “Boys Own Yarns” meets “1066 and all that”. The makings of a witty little item, perhaps.

But it’s not that simple, and not actually funny at all when you look a bit deeper.

On every page of this site, there’s a flyer for a book called “March of the Titans” by Arthur Kemp. If you click on this, you can buy the book via the BNP’s merchandising site, or you can read it on line. If you do so, you’ll find the whole of human history twisted to support the following:
“revealed in this work is the one true cause of the rise and fall of the world’s greatest empires – that all civilizations rise and fall according to their racial homogeneity and nothing else – a nation can survive wars, defeats, natural catastrophes, but not racial dissolution”.
Arthur Kemp moved to Britain from a murky past in South Africa in 1996 and is responsible for writing the BNP’s education and training manuals and the content of their website. He also runs the party’s merchandising arm, Excalibur.

If you are under any doubts at all about the ideology still at the heart of the BNP, you’ll find it within the pages of Kemp’s book, in all its ugliness. Note that this isn’t just a link among many other links – it’s an integral part of the BNP’s history section. Some items on the main site are lifted straight from it – “British Genius” is simply Kemp’s list of clever white folks with the non-Brits cut out.

Still, it might not have done the BNP’s reputation much good to include Kemp’s analysis of the Second World War, where sympathies seem to be very much with the Third Reich. He’s full of praise for Nazi science and medicine, and their banning of vivisection, but draws a discreet veil over the issue of how such “progress” was made with the frequent use of unwilling human “guinea pigs”. Here are a few extracts on what Kemp calls the “Second Great Brothers’ War”.

By 26 May – 16 days into the campaign – the Allied army in the north was trapped along a coastal enclave next to the town of Dunkirk. For reasons which have never been explained (the most common belief is that Hitler wanted to let the British escape so as to facilitate a peace with them at a later stage) the German panzers were deliberately stopped outside the town.

So it was that when Winston Churchill became prime minister of Britain on 10 May 1940, his first act the next day was to announce that German cities would be targeted for bombing attacks. The same month the first German cities were bombed by British aircraft. The German air force however avoided bombing British cities, concentrating on the strategically more important airfields and ports, launching the first of these major raids during August 1940.


In the interim, British bombers had been raiding German cities for almost four months: finally, after a bombing raid on Berlin itself, Hitler authorized the Luftwaffe to start bombing British cities in return.
Nazi atrocities are given a sinister positive gloss: note the phrases “granted euthanasia” and “mercy killings” for the murder of disabled people.
In all, some 5,000 retarded and deformed children were granted euthanasia by the German government before the end of the war – with each case being individually reviewed by a specially appointed committee. The policy of administering euthanasia to retarded and deformed children was then also extended to incurably insane adults. Thanks to the German habit of keeping meticulous records, the exact number of incurably insane adults granted euthanasia is known: 70,273. Although the adult euthanasia project was conducted in secret, it was impossible to conceal such things from the German public, and by 1941, news of the mercy killings had been leaked. Growing public pressure on the Nazi government forced the abandonment of the program in that year.

The Concentration Camps

Nazi Germany is however most known for its concentration camps, and particularly those in which large numbers of emaciated and dead prisoners were discovered at the end of the war, and which have become synonymous with any image of that era. The first concentration camps were set up soon after the Nazis came to power, with the best known being Dachau, which is situated to the north of Munich.

These camps were in fact large prisons, and the prisoners were sentenced by civil courts to fixed terms of imprisonment which depended upon the crime committed. These crimes could be overtly political – membership or activism in the banned Communist Party was common – but was also extended to all other crimes, including conventional criminal activities such as theft or robbery. Eventually homosexuals were also interned: although this would only occur quite a while later.

All things said, to have been a Jew in Nazi Germany could not have been a pleasant experience: but, as the over 4.3 million claims against the post war German state from Jews who suffered as a result of this persecution, (by 1998 the German state had paid out over $50 billion in reparations), certainly far fewer died than what is most often claimed. Increasingly, all the evidence urges a complete revision of this aspect of the history of World War Two.

The effect of the Jewish factor was a primary reason for the outbreak of the war and lay behind much of the Allies’ double standards when reacting to German and Soviet aggression at the beginning of the war.
So much for Griffin’s claim to have left the bad old days of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism behind him; this book so keenly promoted by the BNP also says:
The well known Jewish propensity for business and the ability to accumulate vast amounts of money – a phenomena well known to this day – was the source of much original anti-Jewish feeling.

Whether by deliberate plan or accident, the situation has arisen whereby Jews have ended up dominating the mass media forms of both the USA, and to a slightly smaller extent, of Western Europe. The ownership of the mass media by a small group of Jews is well documented and full details are easily obtainable on the Internet. Given the long association between Jews and assorted left-wing causes, varying from hard-core Communism to all manner of pro-Black activities, it is therefore not surprising that the mass media then also mirrors an uniformly pro-non-White message in its portrayal of current events and opinion. This Jewish domination of the mass media means that what is generally construed as ‘public opinion’ is in fact always presented in a way which is as sympathetic as possible to Jewish interests.

This Jewish domination of the media can, and does, have serious consequences, so vividly illustrated by the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.. These events were triggered exclusively by the unflagging US support given to Israel against the Palestinians. The fact that the USA – and much of the West – continues to support Israel at any cost – including the deaths of thousands of its own citizens – is the surest evidence yet of the power of the Jewish lobby in both the mass media (which generates ‘public opinion’) and of the Jewish lobby’s famed control over the US government, and to a lesser extent, the governments of Western Europe.
Note particularly the claim that “These events were triggered exclusively by the unflagging US support given to Israel against the Palestinians”. Consider for a moment what our local BNP councillors might have to say if such a comment was made by, say, a Muslim student union officer…

And in case you think it’s just the Jews Kemp despises, here are a few words about Christianity, from the people who are telling us they are the true defenders of the faith:
The introduction of Christianity has to count as the single greatest ideological catastrophe to ever strike Europe.

So it was that Christianity came to be the dominant religion of Europe – the first religion to convert by mass murder. The original White religion had never tried to convert followers upon pain of death, and had never waged a war in its name – and as such it was psychologically unprepared to do battle with a Middle Eastern religion which engendered a genocidal fanaticism amongst its followers. Once the Christians had run out of pagans to kill, they turned upon themselves in a violent and bloody fratricidal conflict which saw the Church split and the various protagonists kill each other in a crazed blood lust.
I ’m an agnostic, and my point here is not to defend Christianity, or for that matter Judaism or British strategy in World War Two; it’s to highlight the BNP’s hypocrisy. Their enthusiasm for our “Christian” heritage and sudden keenness to see it promoted in schools is surely exposed here as just another means to divide “us” from “them”.

Remember that this book was written by one of Nick Griffin’s right-hand men, who strongly influences party ideology. The new website might look pretty flashy, but it’s just a new set of sheep’s clothing for the same very dangerous wolf.

Pits'n'Pots - The Radical Press

Germany's far-right flops

0 Comment (s)
Support for the National Democratic Party of Germany is sliding, and it's resorting to premium-rate phone lines to stay afloat

When the Berlin wall fell apart, back in November 1989, fears that Germany's forthcoming reunification would lead to the revival of violent nationalism and bitter revisionism were looming all over Europe. Were those anticipating the Third Reich spirit's renaissance right? Looking at the reunified Germany 20 years on, they surely were not.

Ever since the wall came down, Germany's political establishment has made efforts to ease the anxieties of its neighbours to the east, namely Poland and the Czech Republic. Critics of Germany's détente with both countries have been marginalised and deprived of any tangible influence on German politics.

Evidence of this tendency was visible this week, when foreign minister Guido Westerwelle intervened to stop a figure unpopular with Poles being appointment to a museum post. The Federation of Expellees (Bund der Vertriebenen) had been trying to place its chairwoman, Erika Steinbach, on the board of a planned museum about the ethnic Germans expelled from countries in central Europe after the second world war. Steinbach's candidature was unacceptable to many Poles, as back in 1991, she was one of the Bundestag members who voted against the recognition of the German-Polish border. By blocking her bid, Germany's incumbent government has once again proved its commitment to the reconciliation process.

Still, German nationalism is not quite dead, and if it has a face, it is that of the BNP's sister organisation, the NPD (National Democratic party of Germany). There was a time when the neo-Nazi party was on the ascendancy. In 2004, the NPD managed to break into Saxony's state parliament with a 9.2% share of the vote, followed by its success in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern two years later. Prior to 1989, both states were part of East Germany, and since the reunification they have suffered from soaring unemployment, deindustrialisation and migration to the west. The NPD has managed to spin political capital from the eastern Germans' dissatisfaction, just like the BNP has seduced a section of British society.

But the similarities end right there. While the BNP's leader rejoices in his Question Time debut, and his party benefits from two recently gained seats at the European parliament, his fellow travellers in Germany are making desperate attempts to save their own party from imminent bankruptcy. The NPD has found itself in financial dire straits owing to a series of accounting irregularities, for which it was fined a total of €2.5m in April. Last year the party's treasurer was arrested on suspicion of transferring €627,000 from the party's accounts to his own company. Perhaps the best measure of the NPD's desperation is that it launched a 0900 prefix phone line, mostly employed by German sex-line operators, through which its supporters can donate much-needed euros. "Every phone call counts!", encourages the NPD's website.

In the most recent Bundestag elections, the nationalists pulled a meagre 1.5% share of the vote, overtaken by the German Pirate party, who received 2%. In the light of all these setbacks, it seems that, after years of rising fortunes, the BNP's German allies have found themselves at the edge of a steep political slope. This rise-and-fall scenario could very well repeat itself in the UK.


EasyJet pulls in-flight magazine over Holocaust fashion shoot

0 Comment (s)
EasyJet has apologised for using images of models posing at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
Airline apologises for poor taste of fashion spread that used Jewish Museum and Holocaust memorial as backdrop

The budget airline easyJet has been forced to withdraw almost 300,000 copies of its in-flight magazine because of protests over its use of Holocaust memorial sites as a backdrop for a fashion feature.

An eight-page spread in the November edition of the magazine, easyJet Traveller, depicted models posing at the Jewish Museum in Berlin and leaning against the pillars of the Holocaust memorial. The magazine has been removed from all flights after complaints from Jewish organisations in Europe and from passengers, particularly on flights to Tel Aviv, one of the airline's destinations.

An advertising agency contracted to produce the feature for easyJet received written permission to photograph its models outside the museum but not at the Holocaust memorial, a field of 2,700 concrete pillars with an underground information hub in the centre of the city.

Uwe Neumärer, a spokesman for the Foundation for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, said: "We only give permission to projects that have a connection to the memorial, the Holocaust or some aspect of commemoration."

Samantha Day, an easyJet spokeswoman, said the magazine's contents had been brought to the airline's attention on Friday, three weeks after it had first gone into circulation. The magazine was produced by an external agency.

"We realised that to hold a fashion shoot in front of the memorial was inappropriate and insensitive, and we didn't wish to offend anyone. It's not quite clear why we didn't spot it earlier," she said. The airline had received a very few complaints about the magazine, "but it can take a few days for customer service complaints to come through and for them to be addressed".

In the publication's fashion feature, models pose in Berlin fashion designers' outfits and the specific locations are clearly identified in the text. Under the headline A Quick Guide to the Chic Side of Berlin, an accompanying article reads: "Ravaged by war and torn in two by conflicting ideologies, Berlin may not be a picture-perfect jewel … but it's a treasure trove for the culture vulture … no visit would be complete without exploring the testaments to the city's turbulent past, such as … the Jewish Museum and the Holocaust memorial."

INK, the publishing house responsible for the magazine, said the article was meant to encourage people to visit the memorial. "The shoot was intended to not only promote local design talent … but to raise awareness. From an educational perspective, it is of utmost importance that visitors to Berlin see the Jewish Museum … and Holocaust memorial," it said in a written statement.

Oliver Bloom, an artist from London, had written to the magazine's editor to complain after seeing the article during a flight between Venice and Gatwick this month. "As soon as I saw the images and recognised where they'd been shot, I just realised what a contradiction it was," he said. "The memorial is designed as a place to make you feel quite strange, full of monoliths, tombstones, and it's to help you meditate on the human life lost. To have a fashion shoot there with models, is a contradiction in terms, and shows complete insensitivity and a level of ignorance about the Holocaust."

Bloom also contacted the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. "I told them how distasteful I thought it was. I'm still waiting for a reply from the editor."

easyJet said it "profusely" apologised to anyone offended by the "inappropriate fashion photo shoot … featured in this month's issue of the in-flight magazine", and said it was reviewing its co-operation with INK.

One person responding to the issue on the German news website wrote: "What next? A tourism photo shoot in Auschwitz?"

When the Holocaust memorial opened in 2005, its architect, Peter Eisenman, created a stir by suggesting that visitors to the site should be allowed to have picnics at the stones, and use the place as a thoroughfare, enabling it to be integrated into the city's infrastructure. But rules were soon introduced and security guards now monitor the memorial round the clock.


November 24, 2009

Barry Gardiner MP hits out at BNP over Wembley video

7 Comment (s)
A far-right group has described scenes of Wembley's diverse population as “horrific” in an online video

Members of the British National Party (BNP) from South Wales can be heard saying “it's not our country anymore” as they drive down High Road, in footage uploaded to video sharing website Youtube.

As residents from different the areas diverse community walk passed the camera voices can be heard in the background saying “how can anybody say immigration is a good thing”. One man says “you've got your pajamas on” as the camera, aimed out of a car window, passes a man wearing traditional clothing.

Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North, hit out at the BNP in Parliament, describing the footage as “revolting” and challenging the party to contest his Brent North seat. He said: “My understanding is that if you are born here you are British. To say “Briton” means people who came here several hundred years ago is simply rubbish. You can apply for citizenship or you can be born here. Most of the people in Wembley were born here.”

Simon Darby, vice chairman of the BNP, said: “There may well be a case for putting up a candidate in Brent North, I don't know.”

He added: “This isn't integration it's colonisation. It's not a question of integrating it's replacing the local population. That area was predominantly indigenous, white and British. It's fallen down and down where we are on course for there being no, or a negligible amount of indigenous people.”

When asked what he meant by indigenous, he said: “Indigenous Britons are white. It's an inconvenient fact – indigenous Britons are white.”

Harrow Times

The Iliacometer - a November preview

14 Comment (s)
This article was submitted by one of our readers, Iliacus. We welcome any contributions from our supporters (as long as those contributions conform to the law and are in reasonably good taste). Please send your articles to us via email.

At the end of October I set out a number of 'performance indicators' by which the electoral progress of the BNP might be assessed.

By the end of the week, following a Knowsley by-election, I will be able to post the full details for November, with evidence of any trends in polling, but for the moment here is an update on indicators a and ai - which assess their ability to contest elections.

Here are the monthly figures since July for seats contested; by-elections which have taken place; and the percentage contested by the BNP - my indicator a):

July 8 - 23 - 35%
August 2 - 9 - 22%
September 8 - 24 - 33%
October 8 - 38 - 21%
November 2 - 17 - 12%

Yes, you read that correctly - in 17 by-elections across Britain the so-called British National Party managed to find just 2 candidates (Conservatives 15, Labour 11, Lib Dems 16! , Greens 4). That's 12% - less than one in eight! (In July and September they were contesting a third of seats, or more.)

On my indicator ai) which aims to smooth out monthly variations by taking a rolling figure across the previous two months the trend was:

End-August 31% September 30% October 26% November 18%

I see a trend there - and it cheers me more than it will please the BNP! Back in a few days with news of the other indicators on the Iliacometer! Not to be missed!

HOPE not hate leaflets help defeat BNP

2 Comment (s)
A Hope not hate weekend of action helped ensure a derisory result for a BNP candidate at a local election last week. Dave Owen, who was contesting a Doncaster council by-election in Rossington ward on 19 November, received only 101 votes, coming fifth with 4.3%.

Local Methodists, supported by members of Doncaster Racial Equality Council, distributed anti-BNP leaflets in the ward as part of the national HOPE not hate weekend of activity on 7-8 November. Activists reported a good reception from residents, who had no time for the BNP. They also leafleted extensively in Doncaster town centre and Bentley.

Owen, 59, who lives in Stainforth, has contested local elections for the BNP on several occasions and last June stood for mayor of Doncaster, coming fifth with 10.9%. The mayoral election was won by Peter Davies standing for the English Democrats, which opposes immigration, the EU and “political correctness” and wants to “put England First”. The English Democrats came second (to Labour) in Rossington and undoubtedly captured potential BNP votes – though that is not to minimise the importance of HOPE not hate’s activity.

Hope not hate

November 23, 2009

Question Crime - Taxpayers' £143k bill to protect Nick Griffin at the Beeb

18 Comment (s)
Nick Griffin's disastrous appearance on Question Time landed taxpayers with a £143,000 security bill for protecting the BNP leader. That's how much police spent dealing with angry protesters outside BBC Television Centre, closing roads and using a helicopter to keep the far-right boss safe.

Furious critics have demanded Beeb chiefs cough up the cash out of the £17.5million they pocketed in bonuses last year.

Labour MP Andy Slaughter, whose constituency covers TV Centre at White City, West London, said: "It was a decision by managers to put him on the programme so maybe they should put their money where their mouth is. People will be horrified to find out that so much public money has been spent giving a fascist party their best-ever publicity."

The decision to invite Griffin on to Question Time sparked a furious backlash. Police had to draft in thousands of officers after anti-fascist groups called a demonstration. Diverting cops who should have been fighting crime in other areas cost £109,000 alone. Another £13,000 was spent on overtime pay for extra officers. The helicopter, transport costs, barriers and sign posting road closures added a further £21,000 to the bill.

BBC heads refused to say how much it spent on extra security for Griffin, claiming freedom of information laws didn't apply because staff may be put in danger. But Mr Slaughter branded the notion "ludicrous".

He added: said: "If the police can tell you how much it cost why can't the BBC? They should come clean about how much money they have wasted."

Mr Slaughter had tried to persuade the BBC to film Question Time at another location where Griffin's appearance wouldn't cause as much disruption. And he argued that allowing the racist BNP a platform in such a diverse area of the country was an insult to locals.

Before the show Beeb staff went around removing signs so any protesters who did break in would not be able to find senior managers' offices.

Griffin was humiliated when the audience and fellow panellists exposed and ridiculed his vile views. But he later presented himself as a victim in a bid to win sympathy.


Prey for the BNP

1 Comment (s)
The Sikhs who join in the hatred of Muslims are deluded if they expect to avoid racial exclusion

Rajinder Singh, a British Sikh with an extreme dislike of Muslims, is, according to the BNP, "the kind of immigrant you want if you're going to have them". And if, as expected, the party members vote to allow ethnic minorities to join, Singh will be the first to be conferred this "honour". Sikh organisations have dismissed him – and fellow BNP wannabe "Ammo Singh" (a pseudonym) – as unrepresentative, and it is easy to write them off as self-hating lunatics or pranksters. But to do so is to obscure the larger realities of how race, religion and hate operate.

What has been lost in the storm over Nick Griffin's BBC appearance and the debate over the freedom to voice hatred in the guise of "white rights" is that modern racism survives through a parasitical alliance of vicious groups and ideologies, each of which thinks it is superior to and more entitled to preservation and growth than the others. What they share is a commitment to delusions of absolute racial or religious grandeur and purity even as they compete for victim status.

The two Sikhs' hostility to Islam is strong enough for them to overlook the contempt in which the BNP ultimately holds all racial minorities. Communities in Britain with links to the Indian subcontinent have, over time, seceded from their rich shared heritage and the assertive "Asian" banner under which they fought successfully for their rights in the 1960s and 1970s. Dispersed into the sectarian religious identities of Sikh, Hindu and Muslim, they have all but forgotten how to mobilise together against the threat of an opportunistic ethnic majoritarianism that does not, ultimately, make fine distinctions among those it perceives as outsiders.

Generalising labels like "Asian" may have their drawbacks but, as Arun Kundnani of the Institute of Race Relations notes of Sunrise Radio's bizarre decision to drop "Asian" from its banner under sustained pressure from extremist groups like the World Hindu Council, the hope underlying such disaffiliation is that "racist whites could be persuaded to exclude Hindus and Sikhs from their hatred, and focus instead solely on Muslims". A 2006 Runnymede Trust survey claims that as many as 80% of Hindus and Sikhs in Britain wished to be seen as specifically distinct from Muslims. "Don't Freak, I'm a Sikh", urged T-shirts printed after the 7 July bombings.

Griffin's assertion that "many" Hindus and Sikhs support the BNP is a wild exaggeration. But we need to face up to the messy reality of a society where ethno-religious fragmentation and tensions between minority groups work to the advantage of majority chauvinism. Kundnani points out that as early as 2002 the BNP was able to persuade a tiny Sikh faction called the Shere-e-Punjab to participate in its anti-Muslim campaign. Even if such collaborators are a tiny fringe, minority communities need to be aware of the ways in which their participation in divisive categories and separatist communal warfare only strengthens the positions of the racists who seek to subordinate them entirely.

Anti-immigrant views among migrants are not new, but what extremisms also share is an exaggerated fear that other groups are numerically overwhelming theirs. When Sikh-Muslim gang fights broke out in Slough, the language used mimicked the defensive territorial language of the BNP. "Muslims run Slough," one gang member insisted at the time. "Why are Sikhs coming from outside?"

Ammo Singh told the BBC, which has made a habit of using fringe groups as representatives of entire communities, that Islam was planning to take over Britain through "a combination of immigration, high birth rate and conversion".

Rajinder Singh, like many Hindus and Sikhs, has invoked the 1947 partition of India, in which he lost his father, as the cause of his enmity towards Muslims. This selective emphasis conveniently obscures two facts. The first is that it was the British empire and its policies of divide and rule which culminated in the partition that was its last official act. The second is that all three communities are fully responsible for the horrific butchery, bloodletting and rape that followed. Rather than mourning the tragedy of partition, men like Rajinder Singh seek to re-enact it in Britain, once again under the aegis of British racial supremacism.

The time has come for us to recognise racial and religious hatred in all its manifestations for what it is and take a stand against it – alongside right-thinking whites – not only when it is directed at us, but also when it is undertaken in our name. The colour line hasn't disappeared yet, but the real struggle is between fascist hatreds and humane solidarity.

Comment is free

Spitfire is not BNP's to use, says Sikh pilot who fought the Nazis

4 Comment (s)
One of the last surviving Indian Second World War fighter pilots has launched an attack on the BNP after it used images of a Spitfire in its campaign.

Mohinder Singh Pujji hit out at the far-Right party, and urged all British ethnic minorities not to shun the forces. The 92-year-old RAF Squadron Leader flew a Spitfire in the Battle of Britain and also met Sir Winston Churchill. He was one of only 18 Indian pilots in the RAF in the war, and the only Sikh to fly wearing his turban.

Sqn Ldr Pujji said he was outraged at the way the BNP has used imagery from the war: "The BNP are wrong to use the Spitfire as representative of their party. They forget people from different backgrounds helped in the Second World War. I am proof of this - I was flying a Spitfire. I also met Winston Churchill. Even in those days, there were ethnic minorities fighting for the British. I would recommend the armed forces for young people, regardless of race."

Sqn Ldr Pujji was born in Shimla, India, and volunteered for the RAF in 1940 after qualifying as a pilot in 1937.He was shot down twice and flew missions in North Africa and Burma, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he flew commercial airlines, settling in Newham before moving to Gravesend. He was made a freeman of Newham in 2005.

Last week BNP leader Nick Griffin announced his intention to contest the Barking constituency, in Newham's neighbouring borough, at the election.

London Evening Standard

How racist is Barking?

3 Comment (s)
East London borough Barking became the centre of a political battle when it was announced that British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin is to stand against Labour MP Margaret Hodge at the next general election.

Voice reporters Janelle Oswald, Jack Wellby and Wendy Tuffour took to the streets of Barking to find out how locals feel about the area, the far-right BNP, and whether Griffin could be successful in the next general election.

Name: *James Shelly
Age: 65
Occupation: Former civil servant
Race/nationality: White English

“I’m originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne but I have lived in London since I was nine. The main changes of London are that there are too many no-go areas for folks like myself.

“Immigrants move into an area, take over and refuse to mix, and Barking is a prime example. Barking has every single nationality walking on its streets talking different languages, yet nobody understands each other.

“Without a shadow of a doubt I feel like a minority in Barking, yet I am English. I have been living in a block of flats since 1995, yet I have never seen a white person move in. But every other country from the world comes and lives. I’m the only white on the block. I am not able to make friends with anybody because nobody speaks English.

“Another annoying thing about Barking and other neighbouring boroughs are that all the traditional spots such as pubs, bingo halls and private members clubs, including The British Legion, are closing and are being replaced with temples and mosques, which is outrageous. Where are we supposed to go?

“There are many ideas that Nick Griffin has suggested and promoted within his campaign that I agree with. England is no longer England...

“Islam is taking over the UK, which is why we now call Ilford Lane, Banga Lane, and let’s not forget the Africans that continue to come here by the dozens.

“England is not for the white people but for others to come and exploit. The immigrants that move in to our area also bring their criminal mentality. We have never had so many robberies and crime.”

Name: *Sheila Smith
Age: 55
Occupation: Former child minder
Race/nationality: White English

“I hate Barking! It is no longer an area to feel proud of but a haven for all foreigners, especially coloured people, to come and exploit, which is why I will vote for the BNP.

“Don’t get me wrong because I am not racially prejudiced, but I have to vote for those that represent me, and Nick does. When my daughter was pregnant with her fourth child, she was turned down for a larger property because she was not a priority, yet an African woman with no kids was given the premises.

“My son was fined more then £400 for allegedly calling a coloured man a racist name, which he didn’t. He’s not a racist because I have brought him up proper, plus he is used to people of all nationalities because I used to look after coloured children. However, he was taken to court and punished. Where is the justice?

Nick will definitely win in Barking because he represents us – the forgotten white folks. The Conservative and the Labour party are not addressing our needs but everybody else.

Name: Zakir Udiv
Age: 18
Occupation: Student
Race/nationality: British Asian

“I enjoy living in Barking and have never experienced any racism. I will take the election next year seriously as I don’t want the BNP to come into this area. I don’t think they will win as I don’t believe that this is a racist borough.”

Name: Tracey Leacock
Age: 36
Occupation: Retail worker
Race/nationality: African-Caribbean

“Racism has never gone away since I was in school. The BNP have support because of the number of different people in Barking now. In the past it was predominantly English with some ethnic minorities, but now you’ve got everybody here.”

Name: Andrew Whitney
Age: 22
Occupation: Youth worker
Race/nationality: Guyanese

I have lived in Barking for 14 years and have had a lot of good experiences and made many close friends. Barking is not a bad area but there needs to be more support for young people.

“When I was younger I had a lot of problems with racism but now I think it takes on subtler forms because the area is populated with so many different cultures. I have mixed feelings about taking part in the elections, but people should probably vote to prevent the BNP from winning in Barking.

Name: Michael Houdoire
Age: 28
Occupation: Recruitment consultant
Race/nationality: White British

“I have lived in Barking all my life and I don’t like it. All you have to do is look around and you can see the high level of deprived families in the area. White families feel disenfranchised and the council are not doing very much for these people.

“Working-class people are losing their jobs and they feel polarised and want to connect with people. Some see Nick Griffin as a working-class guy who shares their views. I don’t think most people know fully about his beliefs.

“I will be examining all the candidates and I’ll have to decide on election day, but I definitely won’t vote for the BNP.”

Name: Terry Rampling
Age: 22
Occupation: Charity worker
Race/nationality: White British

“My work takes me to lots of different areas of London and I can see no noticeable difference between Barking and other areas. The people seem friendly. I have no idea why Nick Griffin has chosen Barking. Griffin’s views are counterproductive and I don’t align with anything he believes in.”

Name: Dami Soneye
Age: 23
Occupation: Housing officer
Race/nationality: Black Nigerian

“When we first moved into the area 10 years ago it was very racist. We suffered abuse, had tyres slashed, bricks through our windows and I was bullied at school. Over the years things have got better because a lot of ethnic minorities have moved into the area.

“Nick Griffin knows that some white people in Barking want ethnic minorities out. However, I don’t think the BNP will win as there are a lot more black people around now who want to have a voice in Barking. I’ve always voted for Labour after my mum told me to when I was 18!”

* Names have been changed

The Voice

November 22, 2009

Journalists conflict over whether to keep fascists out of the media

3 Comment (s)
Reporters and broadcast journalists engaged in a fierce debate at the weekend on whether to allow the views of fascist BNP members to appear in print.

A motion at media union NUJ conference, calling for "no platform" for fascists attempting to pose as respectable politicians, sparked claims of "censorship" from some journalists, but other delegates urged the union to back "any journalist who refuses to work with the BNP." The NUJ's press and public relations workers' branch collectively demanded that conference especially supports "black union members who refuse to allow BNP members to use their publication or TV or radio channel as a platform."

The sharp exchanges took place as a photograph of delegates arriving at the conference was revealed to have been posted on the Redwatch internet site, which fascists have used to target union and anti-nazi activists. As some delegates urged an immediate ban on all photography at the conference, student journalist Elizabeth Houghton insisted that the union should not be cowed by the fascists.

"If you say that photography must be banned because nazis may use any photo to intimidate journalists, photographers might as well grab their cameras now and throw them on the funeral pyre of freedom of expression," she declared.

Although a motion calling on the union to work to protect reporters and their families from BNP threats because of their coverage was passed, conference voted against the "no platform" call and, instead, "advised journalists to report the BNP responsibly." But Norfolk delegate David Peel insisted that the decision should not stop journalists standing up to the fascist party.

"I fought the National Front in the 1970s and it breaks my heart that I'm still in this fight, but I will refuse to work with the BNP," he asserted.

Conference also responded to the "deliberate media distortions" of the construction strikes earlier this year, when a fight over national union agreements was portrayed in the press as demands for "British jobs for British workers." Delegates urged the union to campaign "to remind journalists covering industrial disputes of the importance of reporting fairly all sides."

Morning Star

Four arrests after Wrexham protest

11 Comment (s)
Four people were arrested as Welsh Defence League (WDL) protestors were met with a strong police presence in Wrexham yesterday.

Around 50 members of the anti-Islam group gathered in the Wetherspoon’s pub in the town centre from 11am. The WDL said they were protesting against the proposed new mosque in Wrexham and Muslim extremists.

Regent Street was closed by police as they dealt with the protestors who left the pub. Police said the day passed without “significant incident” thanks to the large-scale force presence. Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Ian Shannon, said: “I am pleased with the success of the police operation.

Jeff Hurford, of Unite Against Fascism who held a counter protest, said: “People from Wrexham were very supportive of us and it was good that so many people turned out to show the WDL they are not welcome.”

Wales Online

BNP bigot using stolen DC Comics artwork

6 Comment (s)

Artist Mark Simpson got a nasty surprise when he googled “Green Arrow”, the name of a left-leaning DC Comics hero for which Simpson supplied artwork in 2006, for there, right at the top of the listings, were links to the blog of bigotted BNP coward Paul Morris, who had ripped off not only the “Green Arrow” name but also Simpson’s distinctive artwork.

Simpson, usually known as Jock, was aghast to find his graphics adorning drunken ranter Morris’s blog and emailed the caravan-piss-up-againster to object.

Morris replied that “…the origins of the Green Arrow name had nothing to do with some pathetic socialist comic hero”.

Yeah, well, of course not. It’s all a coincidence that right from the off, when Morris’s bile-full blog was first hosted by Blogger, that he used the Green Arrow name and ripped-off copyrighted Green Arrow artwork.

Simpson tweeted that Morris’s use of his images was “leaving a horrible taste in my mouth”, and said that he had informed DC Comics’ legal department – “heads are gonna roll”, he said. Shortly after that, Simpson added that “They’re going to take it down”, but nearly 24 hours later Morris continues to infringe DC Comics’ copyright.

Norfolk Unity

Twenty-eight arrests at Spanish event attended by BNP's Griffin

7 Comment (s)
Spanish police Saturday detained 28 members of a far-right party who tried to disrupt an event held by a rival far-right group attended by British National Party leader Nick Griffin at a Madrid hotel.

The detained are all members of Spain's far-right Patriotic Socialist Movement and they were arrested after they attacked doormen at the hotel who were trying to prevent them from entering, a police spokesman said. Four people were lightly injured in the scuffle but did not require medical care, he added.

The National Democracy Party which staged the event said it had requested police protection because of fears that far-left groups might try to disrupt it as has happened in the past.

It was not immediately clear why members of the Patriotic Socialist Movement tried to disrupt the event, which featured in addition to Griffin, the leader of Italian far-right party Forza Nuova, Roberto Fiore, and National Democracy leader Manuel Canduela.

In June Griffin and another BNP member won seats in the European Parliament elections, a first for the party which advocates the voluntary repatriation of immigrants. It has no seats in the national parliament.


November 21, 2009

More intimidation tactics by Peter Tierney and Merseyside BNP

10 Comment (s)
Today, activists from Liverpool Antifascists delivered leaflets in Halewood. The event was an overall success, but once again Merseyside BNP revealed that they rely more on intimidation tactics than on politics to get their point across.

As we set off from the Summerfield on Hillfoot Avenue, there was a brief encounter with a BNP supporter. Mistaking the antifascists for the BNP, he had joined us and asked whether Peter Tierney would be turning up soon. One activist explained to him that he was in the wrong group, whilst grabbing the opportunity to offer him a leaflet and explain why the BNP were not the party for anybody genuinely concerned with the plight of the working class. Events later in the day suggested that an antifascist making a similar mistake would have gotten more than a leaflet.

Despite the gloomy weather, there was a good turnout of activists, who managed to cover a significant area and deliver 500 leaflets in the surrounding working class estates. The event was extremely succesful and, as with a leafleting session around the shops the previous week, the response from the public was an overwhelmingly positive one.

On the way back to the original meeting point, however, we encountered Peter and Andrew Tierney. The brothers, along with an unidentified third fascist, had been delivering leaflets of their own and were just about to leave in Peter’s Land Rover. When they recognised several of the antifascists, however, they were quick to grab their cameras and start taking pictures.

Within moments, they were circling around the tired group of leafleters, taking photos as close as they could and chasing around those who tried to turn their face away. Their clear aim was to intimidate and provoke a small group of passers-by (at this point, they had distributed all their material and had nothing on them to identify their allegiances) which included two women, one of them elderly. At one point Peter, still awaiting trial for assaulting an antifascist back in April, referred to one man as a “shithouse” for not rising to the provocation. His brother Andrew, whose photographs and videos have emerged on Redwatch and various other neo-Nazi hate sites, suggested instigating a third-party assault. “Let’s get some local lads in, nothing to do with us, of course,” were his exact words, after feigning gangster-status by declaring that the leafleters should leave because “this is our territory.”

However, Liverpool Antifascists held our ground. If we had left, we risked being followed, which left individuals particularly vulnerable once they had to part ways. And if we had arisen to the provocation, it looked as though more BNP supporters would have emerged from the nearby pub to support the Tierney brothers. Instead, we stayed where we were until the two thugs got bored, seeing they weren’t getting a rise, and scuttled off.

To those familiar with the BNP, or indeed the Tierneys, this incident will come as no surprise. It also serves as a timely reminder that the party remain, despite their propaganda line, violent goons willing to threaten and intimidate anybody who dares oppose their fascist politics.

We must make sure, no matter what, that these thugs are not allowed to gain ground in Liverpool, Knowsley, or elsewhere.

¡No Pasarán!

Liverpool Antifascists