March 31, 2010

Mark Collett suspended? April Fool or (very) late Christmas present?

49 Comment (s)
The nazi and so-called nationalist forums are agog with the news that Mark Collett has been, according to a BNP Organisers’ Bulletin, 'relieved of all positions within the Party with immediate effect'.

According to a number of posts on these forums, Collett is embroiled in allegations of corruption, sabotage and possible involvement in a plot 'potentially affecting the personal safety of Party chairman Nick Griffin MEP and senior management/fundraising consultant James Dowson'.

Whether any of this is true is doubtful - particularly when you glance at the date - but we hope so. It seems more likely to be the work of one of the many disgruntled and disenfranchised former BNP members who see Collett as a liability to the party and an all-round arrogant pain in the arse.

The alleged Organiser's Bulletin is below. More info as/when/if we get it.
BNP Organisers’ Bulletin - March 2010


For several months the party’s internal security team has been running an extensive and long-running investigation. This was initially tasked to investigate:
  1. Alleged financial irregularities and ‘scamming’ concerning the procurement of print, especially large election print run, leaflets and regular publications including Identity magazine.
  2. The leaking onto the internet of sensitive party information.
  3. The ongoing, co-ordinated and sustained hate campaign, feeding lies to certain anti-BNP blog sites.
More recently, its focus has moved on to the catalogue of recurring and seemingly inexplicable ‘gaffes’ being made at various stages in our preparations for the general election by certain individuals within the party.

As a result of this investigation, a very serious matter has been uncovered.

Earlier this week, the police were made aware of very serious allegations potentially affecting the personal safety of Party chairman Nick Griffin MEP and senior management/fundraising consultant James Dowson. Formal statements have now been made to the police, including by Mr. Griffin.

We therefore concluded that it was necessary to act on this immediately to ensure the safety of those at risk. Thus the timing of this affair was, from the very beginning, out of our hands.

The entire matter is therefore now in the hands of the police. We are unable to provide any further details in order not to prejudice any resulting legal proceedings.

Since political, as opposed to allegedly criminal, conspiracies are not illegal, we are able to say that Mark Collett was conspiring with a small clique of other party officials to launch a ‘palace coup’ against our twice democratically elected party leader, Nick Griffin, and that in order to create the artificial climate of disillusionment necessary for this to stand any chance of success, lies and unfounded rumours have been spread, and were planned to be spread much further. Mr. Collett has therefore been relieved of all positions within the Party with immediate effect.

All General Election leaflets already with the printers will be unaffected. Alternative measures are already being put into place to ensure that late submissions and local election addresses will be produced. Contact details for this and related operations will be issued shortly.

There is also extensive circumstantial evidence that those involved have been working to sabotage our forthcoming local and national election campaigns. More specific examples and details of such underhand efforts will be presented to an emergency meeting of the Advisory Council and key officials from all over the country, which will take place in the Midlands on Monday 5th April.

All in all, we believe we have uncovered the most serious and dangerous threat to this Party and its officers that we have ever witnessed.

We understand that all the evidence and exhibits are now in the hands of the police who are investigating several serious allegations uncovered by our security operation.

Obviously the safety of those named as the intended victims in this alleged plot and the safety of their families are paramount to this party and the police at present. As a precaution and until the police advise us of the ongoing status of the alleged plot, extra security has been provided to several key party officials and aides.

The timing of this couldn’t be worse but we believe that thanks to the diligent and swift actions of our security apparatus we have prevented a most grievous attack on key individuals and rescued our election campaign from a concerted effort to derail it.

No doubt the media will try to exploit this, but the timing was of course not of our choosing, and we trust that, whatever ‘spin’ our opponents try to put on all this, the public will see that we have employed the proper legal channels and procedures to deal with what many will perceive as just another underhand and deeply shady attack on our Party and the right of the public to an effective democratic choice at election time.

Be assured, this party its officials and ELECTED leader and representatives will never bow down to any form of threat from without or within. The Establishment, our undemocratic opponents and their puppets should take note, that the harder they hit us, the tougher we become. The BNP is still on course for its biggest General Election ever, in the course of which our focus on our opposition to the Afghan War will give millions of our fellow Britons the chance to demand an end to that murderous folly. No wonder the Powers That Be are so worried!

The British National Party: We’re here and we’re here to stay!

BNP hires security guards for poster

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Furious BNP chiefs have drafted in security guards - to protect a POSTER

The far-right party splashed out £2,000 on its first billboard campaign in Scotland. But just hours after the massive sign was unveiled, it was targeted by outraged protesters and torn down. And since being replaced, the poster has been pelted with paint, covered in graffiti branding the BNP "nazi scum" and even set on fire. The party has now hired two security guards to keep an eye on the Aberdeen billboard round the clock.

Barry Scott, the BNP's north east organiser, said: "We thought we might get a problem with graffiti but we never expected the poster would be destroyed. If people have a problem with the BNP we would rather they emailed us."

On their website, the BNP boasts that the poster on Aberdeen's Great Northern Road is "yet another breakthrough" for the party. But local Labour councillor George Adam said: "There are certainly people who are extremely concerned about this, who think the poster is offensive."

And Ken Ferguson, of the Scottish Socialist Party, added: "It's not surprising that a poster for the BNP has attracted hostility. Their racist views are repugnant to the vast majority of people in Scotland."

Grampian Police said four men aged between 20 and 25 have been charged in connection with three incidents involving the billboard.


English Teabaggers: The EDL vs “COMMUNISM!!!!”

6 Comment (s)
A couple of left-wing websites have noted the English Defence League’s new target: union power and Communism. A couple of days ago the EDL’s site told us that
The EDL know that unions have a part to play to protect workers’ rights, to ensure that employees are treated fairly in the workplace. However it would seem that these unions have become more powerful, more influential and more militant in the political sphere, this is where vested interests infringe upon a democratic political platform, so much so that democracy seems to be ebbing away right before our eyes and its replacement………COMMUNISM!!!!

Great Britain doesn’t do Communism, it never has, yet Communists are afforded more influence and more power as the Labour party look to fund its upcoming election campaign.
Lenin’s Tomb and Barrykade suggest that this is the organisation’s “true colours”, and this is shows that the EDL has an agenda beyond simply opposing “Islamic extremism” – attention is drawn to the fact that the EDL has a millionaire businessman sugar-daddy.

There are, though, a couple of other factors: It’s clear that the EDL would rather people support parties such as UKIP or the English Democrats over mainstream parties, and Labour’s association with the Unite union is a topical knocking-point. Perhaps we are also seeing the importing of rhetoric from the USA, where the crudest 1950s-style anti-Communist posturing has enjoyed a renewed lease of life over the past year or so. I recently noted Pamela Geller’s reference to Obama as the “mad Commie clown”, and this kind of thing is now commonplace among the “teabaggers” – Geller has written posts commending the EDL to American conservatives, and the EDL in turn has directed traffic to her site.

More widely, Communist groups have shown up at Unite Against Fascism anti-EDL events waving around hammer-and-sickle iconography, and the Trotskyist SWP looms large within the UAF. Naturally, just as the UAF denounces the EDL of having semi-hidden far-right links (a subject I have also written on), so the EDL will point to the UAF’s far-left links, as a matter of tit-for-tat. There are also, of course, actual links between far-left groups and Islamists.

Meanwhile, EDL members are also planning a rally on a “Not Compatible with Britain” theme, attacking the BNP along with neo-Nazis and Communists. Anarchists don’t get off lightly, either…

Bartholomew's Notes on Religion

Don't give them a toehold in Aylesbury

0 Comment (s)
The leader of a Buckinghamshire union has put out a call for help from activists

Steve Bell, branch secretary for the Bucks Health Branch of Unison, will hold a meeting a week before a planned protest by the English Defence League in Aylesbury.

Mr Bell said: "The EDL, whileclaiming not to be racist or fascist, has on previous demonstrations been giving Nazi salutes and shouting slogans that could be considered racist. BNP (British National Party) and other fascist activists have also been witnessed at these events. It is also clear that if their ideas are not challenged then the local community in which they are active, will see a rise in racist incidents.

"That is why the Bucks Health branch of Unison believes that we need to challenge their ideas and organise to defeat them, so that the ideas they represent do not get a toehold in the Aylesbury area. These ideas are not welcome and are divisive and will set back our struggle to defend the public sector and the terms and conditions of our members."

Mr Bell has invited members of the Labour movement and the local community to work out how to challenge EDL's ideas. The meeting will take place on April 26 at 7.30pm at the Multicultural Centre.

The Bucks Herald

March 30, 2010

Lancashire NUT condemns Bolton police tactics

2 Comment (s)
Below is an emergency motion submitted to and passed unanimously by Lancashire NUT. We would encourage other trades unionists to submit a similar motion to their own unions and hope that this inspires them to do so. The motion is addressed to the Greater Manchester Police Authority (and possibly the Independent Police Complaints Commission).

Complaints from individuals about the behaviour of the police during the protest in Bolton should be made via the complaints links here.

The Lancashire Division of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) notes with great concern the behaviour and actions of the police officers who were on duty, presumably under the control of the Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Peter Fahy and the Bolton Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Hartley, on Saturday 20th March at the Unite Against Fascism protest against the English Defence League in Bolton town centre. Several of our members were present to defend the freedom of all the different communities in Bolton to co-exist without threat of violence and witnessed the events that occurred during the day.

Any impartial assessment of the manner in which the officers were deployed would clearly show that the GMP was not “committed to increasing the public’s confidence that we are dealing with the issues that matter to them” and nor to ”being open and accountable about our performance” but planned instead to make it easier for the self- proclaimed racist EDL to behave in ways that in any other context would have been judged as illegal, as its members have been repeatedly violent towards ethnic minorities and came to Bolton intending to provoke further violence. The evidence for this was clearly available on several EDL-linked websites in advance - and even more so since. The EDL were repeatedly threatening violence and were actually violent – there was a lot of racist chanting and a considerable number of missiles were thrown across the square but at no time was this seen to be addressed by any officers. The GMP then distorted reports of the events that day to protect both themselves and the EDL and to criticise only those opposing the EDL.

At the same time, the police tactics used against those opposing fascism and racism were clearly not aimed at building “more cohesive, empowered and active communities” nor, in any acceptable sense ensuring that they were making “communities safer”, both key elements of the ‘National Community Safety Plan’.

We assert this because of the use of inflammatory tactics such as:
  • The use of riot police against UAF supporters when there was no violence being shown
  • The corralling of sections of the crowd and denying others access to the protest (when it is unclear what legal right the Police have to effectively detain those who have committed no offence)
  • The use of video surveillance, to send in targeted riot police to grab and hustle off anyone who attempted to speak out against the EDL.
  • The repeated and totally false implication by police representatives that the higher number of arrests of UAF supporters should be seen as indicative of the level of violence shown by them. It indicates only the higher level of targeting of the UAF groups by the police.
  • We further assert that many citizens of Bolton also simply wished to speak out against the EDL. They were prevented from doing so by being stopped from joining others in Victoria Square. Defending yourself through speech is not a criminal or civil offence in our democracy.
All these made the manner in which the demonstration was managed by the Chief Constable and his team totally unacceptable.

We urgently call on the executive Director and all the other 18 members of the Greater Manchester Police Authority to investigate the way that the GMP behaved in Bolton and we call on it to acknowledge the repeated tactical failings of its senior officers, which could too readily have lead to tragic consequences on several occasions. Lessons could readily be learned from the much more measured and effective work of the police forces recently in Blackpool and Preston.

SOTS and the BNP need to be more transparent about their links

6 Comment (s)
Bill Murray, director of the Soldiers off the Street, claims that his veterans organisation has “no connection” with the British National Party. He claims it is misleading to suggest he has substantial links with the extremist party. In a recent email to Garry Bushell, the well-known TV journalist and who recently suspended his patronage with SOTS, Murray wrote:
“We have NO conection with the BNP. I was a member and resigned there is a hate campaign going on with Tim Montgomerie, James Bethell and Maurice Cousins with their site Nothing British ”
Specifically, Murray claims he left the BNP in August 2009. But strong links between Murray and the BNP remain well established. For example, in November 2009 Nick Griffin said it was “politically beneficial” to be linked with SOTS. He told Scottish media:
“It’s politically beneficial for us to be seen with these organisations. We are also involved in other veteran organisations such as Help for Heroes and Soldiers off the Street. It definitely doesn’t hurt the party to be connected to these groups.”
On the Soldiers off the Street’s links page, there is posted the crest and a link to a company called Easy Security Services Ltd (company number 06706626). ESS is a security firm which, according to its Companies House records, has Daniel McDonald listed as one of its directors. McDonald is also a BNP PPC for Horsham.

According to the BNP supporting blog TITVS ADVXAS, in August 2009 Roger Phillips, deputy West Wales BNP organiser, sent a message out to party supporters saying:
“… a new charity has launched in the UK that we support and if any of you can offer any kind of help or assistance could you please contact them on the link below. An article can be found here on The Green Arrow website and the Soldiers off the Street website.”
And Murray’s Facebook “friends” (all screen grabs were taken on 25th March 2010)?

Bob Bailey – leader of Barking BNP, councillor and Romford PPC.

Chris Beverley – BNP councillor, PPC for Morley and Outwood and Chief of Staff to Andrew Brons MEP.

Clive Jefferson – BNP PPC for Copeland and Campaign Co-ordinator to Nick Griffin MEP. Jefferson is also listed as being on the EU pay roll.

Mark Collett – Head of publicity and BNP PPC for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough.

Peter Mullins – BNP Defence spokesman.

Is it not time SOTS was more transparent about its links and associations with the BNP?

For more information on Soldiers off the Street please read our briefing by clicking here.

There is Nothing British about the BNP

BNP attacks 'morals' of gay MP

4 Comment (s)
A BNP leader has publicly criticised a Sussex MP for being homosexual and has called for kissing between men in public to be outlawed

A BNP leader has publicly criticised a Sussex MP for being homosexual and has called for kissing between men in public to be outlawed. Nick Prince, the leader of the BNP in East Sussex who is standing for parliament in Hastings, launched the verbal attack on Greg Barker, the Conservative MP for Bexhill. Barker last year made headlines when he left his wife and children to enter a gay relationship.

Speaking to local paper the Bexhill Observer, Prince criticised both gay adoption and same-sex public displays of affection such as kissing. He then turned on Mr Barker, saying:

“In the case of Greg Barker, it is a question of morals and honesty. He went to the electorate a married man with a nice young family but now he goes to the electorate five years later a homosexual man. I don’t believe it to be homophobic to raise this issue when we are talking about a guy in his early forties – it is a little late in life to be confused.”

Mr Barker, who has a majority of more than 13,000, responded by saying that the BNP was ‘beyond the pale’ but that he didn’t intend to enter a debate of that nature. The BNP are planning to field a local candidate in his constituency.

Prince's comments come after BNP leader Nick Griffin told an interviewer recently that his party had become more gay friendly.

Pink Paper

I don't know whats worse - a paedo or a BNP teacher

6 Comment (s)
Tory leader David Cameron's pledge to change the law should he become Prime Minister to ensure that members of the racist British National Party are unable to become teachers, is a vote winner for black parents like myself. The surprise, as the head of the teacher's union the NASUWT told me the other day, is that it was a Tory leader and not a Labour prime minister who took the stand.

It wasn't that hard getting Cameron's vow. All I did was ask him whether he would allow any of his children to be taught by school staff who not only negated their existence, but denied their rights to citizenship. Responding to my question at his 'meet the black folk' hustings in south London recently, the Tory leader took a few moments of rhetoric before realising that he had to make that promise there and then because gathered around him were the great and the good of the black middle-classes.

The black middle-classes are the very people he needs to attract to beat Prime Minister Brown at the polls. And for the middle-classes the issue of who your children are taught by, is of paramount importance.

BNP members are banned from joining the police force, the military and the prison service. The idea that they would be acceptable in schools suggests that we protect prisoner's rights against racists better than we protect school children. All children, white or non-white, need to be protected from racists - in the just the same as they are protected from paedophiles. And I don’t know which is worst a BNP or a paedophile teacher.

Labour don't get it. They don't get why a black parent would take such an extreme view. They don't understand that when you make sacrifices for your children's education that it is demoralising to hear the Labour Education Secretary Ed Balls, capitulate to the recommendation by a former chief inspector of schools that it is okay for the BNP to be teachers. That has lost Labour mine and other black votes. Which black parent is going to vote for a political party which says we'll let racists teach your kids?

Mr Balls, would you allow your children to be taught by someone who negates their very existence and denies their rights to citizenship? We need to know before May 6. And after that we need to make sure that Cameron doesn't back down from his promise if he is the incumbent at 10 Downing Street.

VOICE Online

Banned, play that challenged the BNP

7 Comment (s)
Dudley council accused of caving in to far right after pulling plug on 'Moonfleece'

A critically acclaimed play about the British National Party and homophobia which has toured the most racially sensitive areas of the country in an effort to "start a conversation about the far right" has been barred from a stage in Dudley for fear of community disapproval.

The play's production team yesterday expressed their dismay at the decision to pull Moonfleece from the Mill Theatre in Dudley's Dormston Centre, and claimed the move was tantamount to appeasing right-wing and BNP sympathisers. The play – the latest offering from the controversial Philip Ridley – was scheduled to be staged in the West Midlands on Thursday, two days before a rally by the far-right group the English Defence League is due to take place in the same town.

Last week, the producer, Will Young, received a message from the theatre informing him that, after lengthy discussions, it had decided not to stage the play for fear of offending the local community. Yesterday, Dudley council said: "The booking was cancelled as the school (in which the theatre is based) did not feel some of the issues raised within the play were suitable for a school and community setting."

Ridley told The Independent that he was outraged by the "hypocrisy" of the decision and said he was "heart-broken" that the play would not be staged in an area where its racial issues were relevant. This month the play opened in east London near Barking and Dagenham, which polled 19.4 per cent in favour of the BNP in last year's European elections.

Young said they had deliberately planned a tour that took in areas where the BNP was popular – Bradford, Leicester, Birmingham, Doncaster and Dudley – before returning to London in April for stints at the Riverside Studios and Greenwich Theatre. Some residents in Dudley recently began a protest aimed at the building of a mosque, which was finally refused planning permission.

"It's about homophobia and racism and he [Ridley] didn't want it to play in a theatre made up of your usual theatre-goers, who are relatively removed from the issues to which the play relates. So we went looking for areas with people who are not big theatre audiences," added Young. He said he had been told by the theatre that the area had very strong support for the BNP and there was concern about complaints from this faction.

Moonfleece centres on a young, right-wing activist who is forced to reassess his beliefs as the brutality of the new-look BNP is exposed, and has a multi-cultural cast including Sean Verey and Krupa Pattani. David Mercatali, the play's director, said he was "extremely disappointed" by the decision, especially as the play had sparked interesting reactions in the areas it had already shown, which include Bradford and Birmingham's Aston area.


US 'Christian militants' charged after FBI raids

2 Comment (s)
Nine alleged members of a radical US Christian militia group have been charged with conspiring to kill police officers and wage war against the US. The suspects were detained in a series of FBI raids across the Mid-West, while one remains at large.

Prosecutors say the eight men and one woman belonged to the Hutaree group. It is alleged they planned to kill a police officer in Michigan and then stage a second attack on the funeral, using landmines and roadside bombs.

The FBI raided properties in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana over the weekend in the belief that the group was planning a reconnaissance exercise.

"The indictment... outlines an insidious plan by anti-government extremists to murder a law enforcement officer in order to lure police from across the nation to the funeral where they would be attacked with explosive devices," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "Thankfully, this alleged plot has been thwarted and a severe blow has been dealt to a dangerous organisation that today stands accused of conspiring to levy war against the United States."

A website in the name of the group shows video footage of military-style training exercises and describes Hutaree as "Christian warriors". It is edited to a backing track of rock music. A statement on the website says the group are preparing to defend themselves upon the arrival of the Antichrist. The website says Hutaree is "preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive".

In the indictment, Hutaree is described as an "anti-government extremist organisation" advocating violence against the police.


New anti-fascist network set up

0 Comment (s)
The unity conference of anti-fascist activists held in Nottingham on Saturday 27 March resolved to create new national anti-fascist network based on a class-struggle approach. Representatives from campaigns which attended were nominated to serve on the committee, and other campaigns that gave their support for the conference but were unable to attend will be invited to send reps too.

Contact the new network via the Nottingham group on

This network will build nationally, in cooperation with others when possible but if necessary independently of the the UAF, against BNP and EDL mobilisations; and share political material that can be used to counteract more effectively the EDL and the BNP across the country by dealing on a working-class basis with the social issues which the BNP and EDL feed on.

Over 50 anti-fascists attended the conference. Campaigns in several Midlands towns and cities, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside and London areas, and a number of trade union delegations, including from the RMT London Transport Region.

The conference opened with speeches from the president of NORSCARF (North Staffordshire Campaign against Racism and Fascism) on EDL activities in Stoke and from a representative of the Notts Stop the BNP campaign. Workshops were held on: combating the EDL; campaigning against the BNP; and working in the trade unions. Resolutions drafted by the Nottingham group were discussed and adopted after a number of minor amendments.

An emergency motion was also passed condemning the arrests made at the protest against the EDL’s provocation in Bolton on 20 March.

Workers' Liberty

March 29, 2010

Punk star’s anger at rally claim

1 Comment (s)
Undertones star Feargal Sharkey has asked Facebook to remove profiles claiming he was supporting a protest by a far-right political group taking place in Cardiff later this year.

A page on the site advertising the Welsh Defence League’s ‘No Sharia’ demonstration contained a profile, claiming to be the Teenage Kicks singer, saying he would be at the event offering his support. But when Wales on Sunday contacted Sharkey, now chief executive of UK Music, an organisation that protects the rights of the commercial music industry, he said was unaware of it and he supported anti-racism projects.

Just three weeks ago the singer spoke at the annual Hope, Not Hate rally in County Durham which celebrated multiculturalism. He said: “Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’m now in the process of contacting Facebook and getting a number of bogus addresses removed.”

The ‘static demo’ is due to go ahead in June outside Cardiff Central railway station. The online description of the march states: “It will be a peaceful event to show our displeasure at the increasing influence of medieval Sharia Law in this country.”

A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said that they were aware of the planned demonstration.

Wales Online

BNP deputy leader slams Christian political action

6 Comment (s)
Christians should stop interfering in the electoral process, according to the deputy leader of the British National Party (BNP)

During a tense interview with the BBC’s Politics Show (North East and Cumbria edition) Simon Darby said: “Well, there’s an issue here that the church consistently, every time there is an election, interferes in the electoral process. Perhaps if the church took the attitude that they’ve got a problem with falling congregations and the fact that churches are being rapidly turned into mosques all over this country, people would, would listen to them.”

Mr Darby’s controversial comments came in response to a remark by the show’s presenter, Richard Moss. During the interview Mr Moss put it to Mr Darby that church leaders were right to urge Christians not to vote for the BNP as it contradicted Christian virtues of “tolerance” and “generosity of spirit”.

Mr Darby’s unprecedented attack on the democratic rights of Christians comes at a time when many believers feel that their faith is being sidelined by politicians. The BNP has previously attempted to depict itself as the protector of the nation’s Christian heritage.

However, a number of senior church leaders have previously warned Christians of the dangers posed by the BNP. Last October Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, cautioned that the BNP must not be allowed to hijack Christianity. Lord Carey called for all Christians to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder in rejection of Nick Griffin’s notion that ‘Christianity’ has anything to do with his despicable views”.

The former Bishop of Rochester has also warned that the values held by the British National Party are not Christian. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali warned that the BNP’s “narrow, racist vision” is not in line with Christian traditions. And last May the Archbishops of Canterbury and York jointly urged the public not to vote for the British National Party out of dissatisfaction with MP’s expenses.

In a joint statement, Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu warned that the party’s views “are the very opposite of the values of justice, compassion and human dignity which are rooted in our Christian heritage”.

The BNP currently holds two seats in the European parliament, and is hoping to make gains in the upcoming General Election.

The Christian Institute

We Like Glyn Ward

8 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.

Thursday's by-election in the Glyn Ward of the Bay of Colwyn Town Council could normally pass without in-depth political analysis, but since it was contested by the BNP - who also contested it at the last all-out elections in May 2008 - it's worth reviewing. Bear in mind also that the BNP has been moderately active in this area with a handful of members being elected (usually unopposed) to community councils (though even this has usually ended in tears with resignations and miscellaneous bickering!).

Now I must start by pointing out that the Bay of Colwyn Town Council is, in fact, that uniquely Welsh thing, a Community Council. The Welsh equivalent of a Parish Council (diestablishment having taken place in Wales, they shun the use of parishes for civil purposes). Its powers are very limited, and it is hardly a hotbed of political interest or activism - shown by the fact that only five names were put forward in May 2008 for the four seats on offer.

The result on that occasion was:

Plaid Cymru - 709 - Elected
Labour - 546 - Elected
Labour - 414 - Elected
Independent - 196 - Elected
BNP - 143 - not elected

Note that none of the parties came close to fielding a full slate of candidates, and that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats couldn't nominate a single name! Note also that the BNP was just 54 votes short of being elected.

At the byelection on March 25th there were six candidates (but still no Conservative), and they polled:

Labour - 150
Plaid Cymru - 121
Liberal Democrat - 78
Independent - 62
BNP - 35
Independent - 26

It's very difficult to make comparisons because of the switch from people being able to vote for up to four candidates to a single vote. There were probably round 900 votes cast in 2008, and 472 at the by-election. What we do know is that on Thursday the BNP share of the vote was 7.4%.

Oh, and one other interesting footnote. The gentleman from Plaid Cymru who polled 709 votes in 2008 was one Abdul Mukith Khan. We like Glyn ward!

March 28, 2010

'I live and breathe the BNP!!!' - School governor's vile boast

13 Comment (s)
Debra Kent with Porky Griffin and Kent's partner James Clayton
Primary school governor Debra Kent is facing the axe after The People unmasked her as a racist. Kent - standing as an MP for the BNP - peddles her vile views on far-right websites. She even brags: "I live and breathe the BNP!!!!" A People probe found mum-of-one Kent, 30, has branded Britain a "multicultural hellhole" and said immigrants act "like savages".

She is part of an online group called "Stop the ethnic cleansing of Britain", has joined a campaign to ban non-white British footballers and another calling for halal meat to be outlawed. She supports a group named "If you don't like our country GET OUT" and another called "NO MORE MOSQUES". And we can reveal she went to a British National Party rally where racists torched a gollywog. Writing on Facebook, Kent later dubbed the rally "fab".

We launched our probe after parents at Latchford C of E Aided Primary School in Kent's hometown of Warrington, Cheshire, voiced alarm when she was chosen as BNP candidate for the new constituency of Lancaster and Fleetwood at the General Election. Partner James Clayton will fight Blackpool North and Cleveleys.

Education chiefs pledged Kent will be booted out because by law school governors have a duty to work for racial harmony. School head Jacqui Wightman said: "The views of the BNP go against all those we hold dear."

And Warrington education boss Pinaki Ghoshal said: "We would not support the continued presence of a BNP candidate on a school's board of governors."

Kent, who has a seven-year-old son, bragged: "I'm young, I'm successful, I'm a woman and I'm standing up for Christian values by standing as a BNP candidate. Get over it."

Sunday People

BNP faces cash probe over EU fund

3 Comment (s)
The British National Party faces a new probe after its chief fundraiser secured more than £111,000 of European Union cash

James Dowson, who raised money for the party’s general election campaign, received the funds in 2006 under an EU programme to promote peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. His organisation Solas NI claimed to be a “victim support group”, but it is now dormant, its offices shuttered and its phone lines closed.

A Dowson spokesman said: “As far as Jim Dowson is aware, Solas NI complied with all its legal, regulatory, funding and public disclosure obligations and requirements in full during the time he was a trustee.”

Dowson is also the mastermind behind a BNP fundraising and call centre on an industrial estate in Dundonald, Belfast. Since spring 2009, the BNP has carried out almost all its telephone fundraising and recruitment from the office, known as “The Bunker”.

The revelation about the EU donation follows the admission by BNP boss Nick Griffin that he is claiming more than £200,000 in European Parliamentary expenses. A spokesman for anti- fascist group Searchlight said: “Not a day goes by without the BNP attacking so-called EU waste, but they have their noses buried deeper in the trough of EU grants and expenses than just about any other party.”

Searchlight is writing to the EU anti-fraud office to call for a probe into the Dowson grant.


British National Party goes upmarket to target white middle class

7 Comment (s)
Legal defeat prompts far-right party to 'refocus its propaganda on a new front'

The British National Party is attempting to cloak its image as a party of violent, racist thugs by appealing to middle-class voters at the general election.

Nick Griffin, the BNP's leader, has signalled a radical change in strategy for the forthcoming campaign after his widely derided performance last October on BBC1's Question Time, which draws a large middle-class audience. It will attempt to capitalise on disillusionment with both Labour and the Conservatives over the expenses and lobbying scandals.

The BNP's legal officer, Lee Barnes, in an article sent to activists, claims the BNP has "won over" the white working class and that it is now time to use "propaganda" to reach out to a wider circle of voters. Yet the strategy remains targeted at white voters, with Mr Barnes telling activists they must appeal to the "white liberal middle class" and the "white Tory middle class".

The move is a sign that the court defeat inflicted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission over the BNP's ban on non-white members has forced the party to modify its election campaign strategy away from race to broader issues of class. Yet critics described the plan as a cosmetic move to cover up its racist beliefs and showed that the BNP had gone as far as it could in picking up working-class votes.

Last week Robert Grierson, a barrister, was selected to stand as a candidate for the BNP in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, where the Conservatives have a majority of more than 12,000. After his selection Mr Grierson was forced to resign from St Philips Chambers in Birmingham where he has worked as a tax barrister for 10 years. "I felt I had to stand up and take the flak I will no doubt get. This shows that the BNP is not a party of skinheads and knuckle-draggers," he said. But Sutton Coldfield's MP, the Tory frontbencher Andrew Mitchell, described his BNP opponent as "an extremist in a suit".

The BNP's top target seats remain the working-class constituencies of Stoke Central and Barking, and the strategy is unlikely to have a significant effect. Last year, however, a BNP candidate won a shock victory in a council seat in Sevenoaks, Kent, the heart of Middle England.

In his article, Mr Barnes dismissed the "smug, selfish, apathetic, politically correct parents" of middle-class voters, but said it was time to appeal to the next generation who are under 45. He claimed this group were suffering "racial discrimination" when applying for university places. He wrote: "As a result of the Equality Commission case we must now refocus our propaganda on a new front – that of the Nationalist Classless Society and the creation of a meritocracy as opposed to the racist multi-cultural system. Even though we have failed to market ourselves properly to the White Working Class we have won them over.

"But we must now also reach out [to] the children of the White Liberal Middle Class and White Tory Middle Class and explain to them how mass immigration, New Labour and Cameron's Tories and multiculturalism have betrayed them."

The BNP is fielding 300 candidates at the general election, expected on 6 May, and more than 1,000 in the local elections on the same day.

A spokesman for Searchlight, the anti-fascist organisation, said: "This is an indication of Nick Griffin's desperation as he is unable to break through to the extent he had hoped following the European elections and he is casting around for a new strategy. This will inevitably increase divisions within the BNP which have already been created by his disastrous Question Time performance and his defeat at the hands of the Equality and Human Rights Commission."


March 27, 2010

No time limit for Nazi convictions

1 Comment (s)
Heinrich Boere at court in Germany last week
It is part of society's obligation to the victims to make a serious effort to hold Nazi criminals such as Heinrich Boere to account

There no doubt are many people who wonder whether the conviction this past week in Germany of 88-year-old Heinrich Boere for Nazi crimes committed during the second world war serves any useful purpose. They can point to the fact that more than 60 years have passed since he committed his crimes and that he was not a mass murderer, the likes of those who helped run the death camps or served in the infamous Einsatzgruppen mobile killing units. But a closer look at his case will show why his prosecution and conviction in Aachen were, indeed, justified and the life sentence he received so important.

A resident of Maastricht, Netherlands, Boere, the son of a Dutch father and a German mother, volunteered to serve in the Waffen-SS shortly after the Nazis occupied Holland. After service on the eastern front he returned home, where he voluntarily joined Sonderkommando Feldmeijer, a unit whose primary function was the murder of members of the Dutch resistance and those opposed to the Nazis. In the course of Operation Silbertanne (silver fir tree), at least 54 individuals were killed, three of whom Boere admitted shooting to death – Fritz Bicknese, Teun de Groot and FW Kusters.

After the war, Boere escaped to Germany for fear of prosecution – and, in fact, was sentenced to death in absentia by a Dutch court in 1949 for the three murders. Holland asked for his extradition from Germany, but he was the beneficiary of the Fuhrererlass, a law promulgated by Hitler granting German citizenship to foreign Nazi collaborators. Since Germany refused in principle to extradite its citizens to stand trial in other countries, Boere had no reason to fear the Dutch court. He could, in theory, have been prosecuted in Germany, but for more than five decades that was not the case. In this respect, he was spared by the unofficial local prosecution policy on Nazi war criminals, which usually refrained from prosecuting individuals who were not officers, even if they had personally committed murder.

About two years ago, however, the state attorneys in Dortmund, headed by Ulrich Maas, announced that they would seek to prosecute Boere and they successfully contested a decision that he was not fit for trial. And thus, in November 2009, the Dutch executioner found himself in a German court facing the charges which he had escaped for more than 60 years.

Boere's conviction and life sentence are therefore more than justified, but they are also highly significant for several additional reasons. The first is that the Boere case is a precedent for Germany, where there are other instances of foreign Nazi collaborators who escaped from their countries of origin for fear of prosecution and who have hereto never faced legal action in Germany. The most famous of these cases are those of a Dutchman, Klaas Carl Faber, and a Dane, Søren Kam. The former, like Boere, served in Sonderkommando Feldmeijer and was sentenced to death in Holland in 1947 for the murder of at least 11 individuals. In 1952, he escaped from a Dutch prison to Germany, which has refused all requests for his extradition and has so far failed to bring him to justice. The latter, who is accused of murdering Carl Clemmensen, a Danish anti-Nazi newspaper editor, also escaped to Germany and was treated in the same manner. Thus Boere's conviction will hopefully serve as a precedent which will be applied in additional cases.

Several more personal factors specific to the Boere case add to its significance. The first is that he never expressed true regret for his crimes. On the contrary, at his trial, he said openly that he was very proud to have been accepted as a volunteer for the Waffen-SS and that during the war, at no time did he ever feel he had committed any crimes. His defence of coercion based on "superior orders" was totally rejected by the court. In that respect, it was the son of his victim Teun de Groot (the oldest of 12 children who has the same name as his father), who astutely remarked to reporters that if Boere had truly been sorry for the murders he committed, he should have returned to Holland to face justice and serve his punishment.

The presence in the courtroom in Aachen of children of Boere's victims was also an opportunity to learn first hand of the devastating impact of his crimes on the families of those murdered. And their insistence that he be tried despite his age reinforces the significance of justice, even when long delayed, as part of the obligations of society to the Nazis' victims to make a serious effort to hold Holocaust perpetrators accountable. This elementary truth and the successful result of the proceeding send a powerful message that the efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice are still very worthwhile and just as necessary today as they have been in previous generations.

Efraim Zuroff - Comment is free

MPs join forces in bid to fight the British National Party at the polls

0 Comment (s)
Three of Portsmouth's leading politicians have agreed to unite against the BNP at the general election

While Mike Hancock, Sarah McCarthy-Fry and Flick Drummond may sit on opposing sides of the democratic divide, all have pledged to include anti-fascist messages on their election leaflets and communications. The pact was made last night at a meeting of Portsmouth Unite Against Fascism at which 130 people pledged their opposition to BNP candidate Geoff Crompton, who will stand in Portsmouth South at the next election.

It was estimated by organiser Simon Magorian as the biggest ever Portsmouth anti-fascist rally. He said: 'People of all ages and political opinions came. 'They know we can stop the fascists. I was at the Anti-Nazi League Portsmouth launch in 1977. This was bigger. It was the biggest ever.'

Mr Hancock and Ms McCarthy-Fry spoke, along with UAF national secretary Weyman Bennett and local group leaders. Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South Flick Drummond was in the audience, while Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, sent apologies.

Ms McCarthy-Fry, Labour MP for Portsmouth North, said: 'We have weeks to debate party politics, but we're all united against the BNP. They pretend not to be racists, but very quickly their concern about crime turns into blaming it on asylum seekers.'

Mr Hancock, the Lib Dem Portsmouth South MP agreed: 'Its manifesto is about dividing communities. We stand together against them. We love our city - it's all about its diverse community. We will stand up for that, and for each other in the face of these bullies. We will all include clear messages on our communication that we oppose these fascists.'

Weyman Bennett said: 'The BNP is a fascist party attempting to win respectability. But we've already won an important battle. Its policies are racist but they fear to admit it in public. That's because people don't want to be associated with racism. Together, we can build on that.'

Lizzie Hug, 18, an art student from Portsmouth, said: 'The rise of the BNP scares me. Racist graffitti is springing up. We have to stand up against it. The UAF can make a difference and it's important people stand up to be counted.'

Paul Smitherman, 58, of Esslemont Road, Southsea, said: 'People here in Portsmouth look at who you are, not what colour your skin is. The BNP isn't a democratic party because they want to take away rights of people on the basis of what they look like. We have to take them on and show them their ideas are rubbish.'

The News

Sheriff slams EDL member’s fight bid during demo

0 Comment (s)
A far-right English Defence League supporter who travelled to Edinburgh looking for a fight during an anti-Nazi demonstration has been fined £500

Scott Buchan tried to break through a human barrier of police officers guarding a 2,000 people-strong march by the anti-fascist group Scotland United. The 23 year-old was arrested for breach of the peace on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile last month and spent two nights in police cells.

Sheriff Frank Crowe hit out at Englishman Buchan Thursday for stirring up trouble in “a tense situation.” He told him: “We have enough trouble in this city without you coming up and causing trouble.”

Hundreds of police officers were deployed across the capital on 20 February amid fears the rival rallies could clash. The Scottish and English Defence League members were drinking in the High Street’s Bank Bar at 11.30am according to fiscal depute Graham Fraser. He previously told Edinburgh Sheriff Court: “There was a public order situation in Edinburgh on Saturday because of a rally by the Scotland United group and a counter demonstration by an organisation known as the Scottish and English Defence League. Police were deployed on the High Street near the Bank Bar as there was some anticipation that members of the Scottish and English Defence League were within the bar drinking.”

As the Scotland United rally passed the pub, EDL members spilled out onto the street. Some were ushered away, but Buchan began shouting at the demonstrators and hitting police officers.

Mr Fraser added: “The accused was among the Scottish and English Defence League supporters and was deliberately bumping into police officers. He walked into the road in front of cars and then shouted, “f***ing come on then.” This was directed at the rival supporters and police. The situation escalated into a violent one and the accused was looking for a fight. He was accordingly arrested. This is a very busy street in the centre of Edinburgh with a significant number of tourists even at this time of the year and it was an unattractive and unpleasant experience for them. He clearly intended to cause disruption.”

Window-fitter Buchan, of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, then spent two nights in cells at St Leonard’s Police Station before appearing in court. He pled guilty to breach of the peace and was ordered to report to his local police station in England every week.

Returning to Edinburgh today for sentencing, Buchan’s defence agent Peter Winning said the young father now realised his actions were “unsavoury.” He said: “He spent two nights in custody for his trouble and has travelled up from England overnight at considerable expense. It is fair to say it was a fairly unsavoury incident and he now realises that. He is a full-time window fitter earning £300 per week and has a partner and a two year-old child to support, with another one on the way.”

Fining Buchan £500, Sheriff Crowe said: “We have enough trouble in this city without you coming up and causing trouble. You are entitled to protest if you are concerned about issues and make your views known to other people. But in this country you were committing a breach of the peace by persistently misbehaving in a very tense situation.”

Two other men arrested during the demonstrations are also due to be sentenced this month.


March 26, 2010

‘Racist’ London BNP chief threatened with suspension

13 Comment (s)
“Offensive”: the BNP’s Bob Bailey, here in Barking, faces suspension as councillor
The BNP's London campaign chief was today facing suspension as a councillor after launching a racist “tirade” against Nigerian church-goers

Bob Bailey, 44, took an “antagonistic and offensive” tone when a black pastor applied for planning permission to convert Barking offices into a church. A meeting in Barking town hall was in uproar when Mr Bailey said: “We don't want any more Nigerian churches in the borough.” The public gallery was packed with members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

He said he had visited the premises and told the planning committee meeting last July: “These people eat off the ground.” He added: “We don't want the amount of black children.” A rival councillor called him a “racist pig”.

Barking and Dagenham council's standards committee was meeting today to decide whether to suspend the leader of the 12-strong BNP opposition for up to six months. A preliminary report by the council's monitoring officer found that Mr Bailey, a former Royal Marine, had brought the authority into disrepute, failed to treat others with respect and may have breached equality laws. Mr Bailey, who was said by a doctor last year to have a “possible personality disorder” when he claimed that he was banned from driving because of “conspiracy against the indigenous people”, is responsible for the BNP's London campaign in the general election and borough elections.

Barking is the BNP's number one target seat as its national leader Nick Griffin is standing against the sitting Labour MP, Margaret Hodge.

The church, whose 400-strong congregation is predominantly Nigerian, was granted permission to convert offices into a place of worship, despite Mr Bailey voting against. He was said to have breached planning laws by “closing his mind” and being “biased” against the application. He claimed there were already more than 20 Nigerian churches in the borough — the most in London and more than any other denomination.

The council report said: “Mr Bailey made a series of comments expressed in a derogatory tone. The comments were intended to, and did in fact, cause offence on racial grounds.”

Pastor Thomas Aderounmu, 55, of the Redeemed Church, said today the remarks would encourage ethnic minorities to vote against the BNP in May. He said: “It was just derogatory statements. He was very specific on Nigeria. I don't know what Nigerians have done to him. It was very personal. Their actions will work against them.”

London Evening Standard

Orange Order 'must distance itself from BNP candidate'

2 Comment (s)
An assembly member has called on the Orange Order to distance itself from a member who is to stand as a BNP candidate in the general election. Nick Baker, a district master of the Orange Order in Devon, is to contest Torridge and West Devon for the far right party.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has refused to comment on the issue. However, Alliance MLA Anna Lo said: "I really think they should distance themselves from Nick Baker."

Describing the BNP as a "xenophobic, bigoted party", Ms Lo added "the Orange Order here should not want to have anything to do with his standing in this party".

"I certainly believe that they need to make it very clear that they have nothing to do with him and they don't support his views, they don't support him standing for the BNP for the next general election and the Orange Order here do not support racism," she said.

The order has said the issue was a matter for the Grand Lodge of England. Its grand master, Ron Bather, told the Irish News newspaper: "As an institution we try not to interfere with the political views of any of our members. We're not a far-right organisation. We have members from all over the world but ore members are entitled to stand for whatever political organisation they so wish. It doesn't mean that the institution supports those views in any way."

On its website, the BNP describes Mr Baker as "a family man who is deeply concerned over the implications of economic decline and growing national debt which will burden generations yet to come. He is opposed to Britain's participation in the Afghanistan conflict and will campaign for the immediate withdrawal of our forces from that country."


March 25, 2010

Stoke-on-Trent BNP Group Reduced To 7

2 Comment (s)
Stoke-on-Trent BNP councillors have been reduced in numbers to 7 from the initial 9 earlier in the year.

After Alby Walker stepped down as BNP group leader in the city the group were reduced to 8 and at todays full council meeting Councillor Ellie Walker was sitting away from the rest of the BNP group and sat with her husband with the non aligned councillors.

During a vote on the nominations for appointment to school governing bodies which included Councillor Steve Batkin from the BNP being nominated as a governor at Endsor High School Ellie Walker abstained from the vote, effectively voting against the BNP group who all voted in favour of all the nominations.

We have been told that Ellie has moved away from the BNP and is just waiting for the paperwork to be completed by Member Services.

Alby Walker confirmed that Ellie has moved away from the party during his speech on item 14 of the agenda asking the council to arrange a suitable event each year to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

Pit n Pots

Union urges papers to ban BNP adverts

2 Comment (s)
Newspapers warned of consequences of accepting political ads in the election

Editors of local newspapers in London boroughs targeted by the BNP have been called on to reject political advertising by the far-right party. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bectu, the media and entertainment union, and the campaign group, Expose the BNP, have written to local newspapers in Barking and Dagenham, Romford and Havering urging them to resist pressure from the BNP. The party is fielding 154 candidates at the general election.

In 2008, Archant London, one of the country's biggest media groups, caused outrage after it printed BNP adverts for the Greater London Authority elections in its London newspapers, including the Ham & High and Hackney Gazette.

Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ, said: "Newspapers should not take money from an organisation that advocates racist policies that would directly discriminate against the communities they serve. Publishing ads from far-right organisations seriously threatens the reputation of a company's titles and journalists."

Alexandra Fawcett, a media lawyer at Mishcon de Reya, said: "Newspapers are entitled to publish or reject adverts as they see fit. In deciding whether to run the BNP's adverts, each paper will weigh the financial benefit of publishing against the likely reputational damage of associating their brand with an organisation like the BNP. As a private company, a paper's decision isn't open to challenge under the Human Rights Act even though refusing to run the adverts might impact on the BNP's right to free speech."

Mary Brodbin, of Expose the BNP, observed: "The BNP is not a normal, respectable or legitimate political party –- it is an organisation that aims to disenfranchise a significant section of British society, and it encourages violence to achieve those ends. No newspaper can afford to be associated with the BNP and its methods."

A spokesman at the Board of Deputies praised the campaign and said: "The BNP are entitled to peddle their twisted ideology just as newspaper editors and the NUJ are entitled to contribute to the fight against them by seeking to curtail their advertising campaigns. The NUJ is to be congratulated for its principled stance."

The Board is urging communities to "support any party of their choice which stands opposed to the destructive politics of hatred, to vote for freedom not fear, partnerships not prejudice, and hope not hate".

A spokesman for the BNP said that the appeal was "disgraceful" and an "outrageous" attempt to "silence free speech".

Jewish Chronicle

St Philips barrister resigns to stand for BNP in general election

3 Comment (s)
A tax barrister at Birmingham’s St Philips Chambers who went to the same Cambridge University college as British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin has resigned from the set so he can fight a seat for the party at the upcoming general election.

Robert Grierson, who was until today a door tenant specialising in tax, trusts and wills and estate work, intends to contest the Sutton Coldfield seat at the forthcoming general election.

The BNP website states: “Barrister Robert Grierson will contest the Sutton Coldfield constituency […] Mr Grierson who was educated at King Edward’s School, which was the school that Enoch Powell attended [sic]. Robert then went on to attend Downing College Cambridge, the same college where Nick Griffin MEP received his higher education.”

In a statement St Philips said: “Robert Grierson has resigned from his position as a door tenant of St Philips Chambers from 25 March 2010. He accepted that his candidacy in the forthcoming election was a distraction to the proper work and approach of St Philips Chambers, its members and its staff. As far as St Philips Chambers is aware Mr Grierson remains in practice as a barrister as a sole practitioner from his home address, which has in fact been the position since December 2008.

“It is reiterated that St Philips Chambers was not aware that Mr Grierson was a member of the BNP and further that any views Mr Grierson purports to hold or express in the forthcoming election must be taken to be his own personal views and not that of St Philips Chambers or any of its members. Apparently he joined the BNP in September 2009, a significant time after ceasing to be a member of chambers.”

Christine Kings, chambers director at Outer Temple Chambers, highlighted the fact that the Bar Council’s equality code requires sets to have an equality and diversity policy in place, adding that St Philips could have been ostracised due to Grierson’s BNP membership.

“If I were a solicitor and concerned about equality and diversity I wouldn’t instruct a chambers that didn’t take action on this,” she said, adding: “I couldn’t stay in a chambers that had a member of the BNP as a member and expect that many colleagues would find it difficult. Many chambers have constitutions that will provide for suspension or dismissal of a member - it will depend on the terms of a constitution.”

A judge at Central London County Court recently ruled that the BNP’s constitution, which no longer restricts membership along racial lines, but requires members to uphold the “integrity of the indigenous British” was still likely to be discriminatory.

Maurice Cousins, a researcher at the campaign group Nothing British about the BNP, said: “If you look at the Front National in France, it has a long history of attracting doctors, lawyers and even a few millionaires. This is emblematic of how the BNP has become more respectable to some individuals in the professions - this is a new breed of candidate. It’s a bit of a stain on the legal profession.”

The Lawyer

BNP barred from election debate

2 Comment (s)
The British National Party has sensationally been barred from attending an election debate this evening

A row had broken out locally after Hastings MP Michael Foster refused to share the stage with his BNP rival Nick Prince at the hustings at the Crown House, Marina, St Leonards. This led to Tory hopeful Amber Rudd and Lib Dem candidate Nick Perry also pulling out of the event. This would have left just representatives of the BNP, United Kingdon Independence Party and the English Democrats.

However, the organiser of the event confirmed to the Observer this afternoon that the BNP candidate had had his invitation taken away. Brett McLean arranged the debate in his role as head of the local Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and described Mr Foster's stance as "a nail in the coffin for democracy".

However, he has been left facing an embarrassing climb-down after the national heads of the FSB ordered him to exclude the far-right party. He explained to the Observer: "I was told that the FSB wants nothing at all to do with the British National Party."

The Observer was unable to contact Mr Foster to ask whether he would now reconsider appearing. However, the MP had previously said he would turn up to the hustings - which gets underway at 6pm - and leave if the BNP were present.

Anti-fascists have also planned a series of demonstrations outside the venue and everyone going in will have to agree to be searched.

Bexhill Observer

Birmingham barrister set to stand as BNP election candidate

7 Comment (s)
A Birmingham barrister is set to stand in the General Election as a BNP candidate, according to the party’s website

Robert Grierson will contest Sutton Coldfield – which is held by Conservative Andrew Mitchell with a majority of more than 12,000.

Mr Grierson has been a barrister for 18 years specialising in tax, trust, wills and estates work. He is currently a door tenant at St Philip Chambers in Birmingham city centre, which means he works with the Chambers but is not a member.

James Burbidge QC, head of the Chambers, said he was previously unaware of his involvement with the BNP.

“Mr Grierson’s political persuasions, his beliefs and his association with the British National Party were not known to Chambers when he applied for and was accepted for a door tenancy,” Mr Burbidge said. “As is well known across the Midlands and in the wider legal community, St Philips Chambers operate a strict non-discriminatory policy towards its members, staff, lay and professional clients and members of the public alike.”

Mr Grierson and the BNP were unavailable for comment but he told the BNP website he believed he had a chance of making an impact on May 6.

“I am certain I can provide an effective challenge to the sitting Tory MP in Sutton Coldfield,” he said.

According to the website, Mr Grierson was born in Witton and educated at King Edward’s School before attending Downing College Cambridge, the same as BNP leader Nick Griffin.

MP Tom Watson (Lab, West Bromwich East) said the revelation that a barrister was standing in the West Midlands for the BNP would trouble many in the business community. He said: “I’m sure no self-respecting business would want to use the services of a barrister standing for a party which holds such extreme views.”

Birmingham Mail

In My View - Schools and the BNP

0 Comment (s)
In the 21st century, there should be no place for racism, or for the far right's politics of hate, in our schools

The Maurice Smith review was set up to assess what measures are needed to make this a reality. But, by failing to ban the most obvious measure -banning BNP members from working in schools - the review is a missed opportunity.

Membership of the BNP is incompatible with being part of the team delivering education. In fact, the union sees it as incompatible with delivering any public services at all. Our communities are diverse, and multi-racial and public service workers must be able to treat everyone equally.

Schools should be places where children learn values of equality, fairness and inclusion - values that will help create a just and fair society. Allowing BNP members to peddle their message of hate, or the freedom to discriminate against those from ethnic minorities, flies in the face of these principles.

The second missed opportunity of the review was the little attention it paid to the role of support staff. In today's schools, support staff play a significant role in delivering education. They can also have a closer, one-on-one relationship with the pupils they work with. Support staff monitor break-times and areas such as libraries. If left unchecked, support staff who are BNP members could let racist bullying take place.

The review could have also gone one step further, and highlighted the role support staff can play in encouraging community cohesion. Research shows that support staff more closely reflect the community they serve, than teachers. Given the right training, support staff could use this advantage to spread a more inclusive atmosphere in the school and beyond.

Last year UNISON health members voted to keep the BNP out of the NHS. It has already been banned for members of the police and prison officers, for very good reasons. Children deserve to be protected from the influence of the BNP, and UNISON will be pressing for this when the promised review of the guidance set out by Maurice Smith takes place next year.

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, writing in Nursery World

EDL attend anti-racist meeting

3 Comment (s)
A public meeting called by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in Bristol was attended by local trade unionists and anti-racist activists. However, a Bristol trade unionist has reported that up to 15 supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) also attended. They attempted to film, photograph and disrupt the meeting.

When the man who appeared to be the leading EDL member spoke, he argued that they were not racists or fascists but were 'anti-Islamic extremists'. The meeting then deteriorated. Insults were flying around and people were going chest to chest. The police were eventually called.

While waiting for the police a trade unionist spoke to one of the EDL members and found they had no political argument to back up their attacks on Muslims. He couldn't explain what the EDL meant by Islamic fundamentalism. They took offence at being called racists or fascists. One was a plumber who had been out of work since last May. It appeared to the trade unionist that they were being manipulated by racists for their own political aims and objectives.

This shows the complicated and confused nature of those attracted to the EDL. It is crucial that genuine and democratic discussion and debate takes place on how to challenge racism and the far-right. This event shows that increasingly there is a need to properly steward such meetings.

Socialist Party

March 24, 2010

The ugly truth behind a BNP council

10 Comment (s)
On Friday, May 7, Britain could wake up to its first British National Party-run council. The previous day many parts of the country will hold local elections - and the far-right party is in striking distance of winning control of Barking and Dagenham Council.

The BNP is already the official opposition there, with 12 councillors. Its leader, Nick Griffin, is standing in Barking in the general election.

"Our drive to take the council, well, that's the real prize. It really is," Griffin said earlier this year.

Last month, BNP councillor Bob Bailey said: "We are on the verge of making history by taking this council and Margaret Hodge's and Jon Cruddas' parliamentary seats."

What would a BNP council's policies be? What would it do on schools, on caring for the elderly and most vulnerable? How would it allocate a £200million annual budget? The shadow budget drawn up in Barking and Dagenham last year and the party's manifesto allow us to see how BNP policies would work.

Should it win in East London, its strategy is to set its sights on Stoke-on-Trent, which has similar elections next year. Barking and Dagenham would be the science lab to test these dogmatic ideas...

The BNP plans to take a new homes site identified by the council and use it instead to park 1,000 caravans as local authority housing. At just £1,000 each, these old caravans led local campaigners to dub this a "Steptoe & Son solution" to social housing. The site would be a potential eyesore with no facilities, nowhere for kids to play and no substitute for real homes for some of the most vulnerable.

Under BNP policy, social housing - and caravans - would go to "UK citizens only", leaving vulnerable people to sleep on the streets.

Social work professionals say the best place for children in care is with foster families, but the BNP differs. It wants to take the several hundred children in care in Barking and put them into boarding school. While some children do still live in care homes in Britain, there are rarely more than eight per home.

The BNP's proposals would mean a return to Victorian-style "workfare", their alternative to welfare.

The BNP plans to build an institution in Barking & Dagenham for all mothers under 21 to live in, with single mothers and babies taken into care. Failure to comply with the homes rules could result in the mother being sent to prison and the baby being taken into to care.

The Corporate Grants Programme, which would affect 27 organisations including Victim Support, Relate and the Volunteer Bureau, all of which provide vital community services, would be halved by the BNP.

Bob Bailey, leader of the council's BNP group, calls the arrival of people from ethnic minorities into Barking and Dagenham "genocidal". He says the BNP would cut the "PC madness" of translation services, where one of the key groups of people to be affected would be blind people who require translation to and from Braille.

Bob Bailey claims that "only by voting for the BNP and electing a BNP council will the elderly and poor have a real champion in this chamber". Yet nationally the party supports the Tories in raising the inheritance tax threshold to £1million and it wants to cut "personal taxes".

One of the areas the BNP has earmarked for cuts is the Building Schools for the Future programme. This would delay much-needed work on all the borough's secondary schools. National policy is to scrap GCSEs for O levels and to cut the Talented and Gifted Young People programme.

In its 2009 county council election manifesto the BNP says mixing white and non-white children is "destroying perfectly good local secondary schools". It adds that schools are "riddled with tension between pupils from an Islamic background and everyone else". This is despite the fact that schools in Barking and Dagenham recently received their best ever performance rating as most improved in Outer London.

BNP deputy chairman Simon Darby has called integrated schools "political paedophilia". The BNP would prefer to segregate children in an apartheid system, so that children from other ethnic backgrounds are taught separately - leading to a divided community, destroying children's friendships, and setting up ethnic tension in the future.

The party also wants all children with special needs to be taken out of the mainstream and put into special schools.

The BNP plans to cut council tax to "among the lowest of any London borough" in five years, yet its proposals cost almost £1million above existing spending. Its savings would be £18.6million, while its proposals cost £19.5million. Leader of the BNP group, Bob Bailey, says Labour relies on council tax for "loony left PC projects". But in the wake of a global recession tax cuts could severely impact on the poorest in society.

The BNP would get rid of the popular Dagenham Town Show, slashing the events budget and ending opportunities for local families to have a free weekend out every July.

In Barking and Dagenham, the BNP voted against congratulating British athletes on their success at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It does not consider athletes such as Amir Khan and Kelly Holmes to be British, and previously held a policy of supporting Denmark - and not England - in a World Cup as the only all-white team.

The party also opposed grants to local sports clubs including Barking Rugby Club and Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club, who between them coach hundreds of local children every weekend. Instead they suggested spending £50,000 on fixing up the town hall so they could webcast meetings.

The party likes to talk up knife crime in Barking and Dagenham. In September 2008, Richard Barnbrook, a BNP member of the London Assembly, broadcast a video blog about two murders in Barking that never actually happened. He was censured for his deliberate scare tactic. Yet when the council launched a campaign to ask the Government for stronger powers to deal with shops that sell knives to children, the BNP opposed it.

The BNP claims to be the "only truly environmental party unlike the fake 'Greens' who are merely a front for the far left of the Labour regime". Yet the party would end the building of wind turbines in Barking and Dagenham - London's first wind farm - and opposes "climate change dogma".


Controversy as Christian Party debates with BNP

3 Comment (s)
There has been a mixed response to a controversial televised debate between the leader of the Christian Party, George Hargreaves and the leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin.

There has been some surprise over the apparent areas of agreement between the two men, who plan to stand against each other in the Barking constituency in this year’s general election. The debate was broadcast on the Christian-based channel Revelation TV [22 March]. The BNP said yesterday (23 March) that the debate had been conducted “in an orderly and highly civilised fashion”.

In their own statement on the event, the Christian Party said that Griffin had presented “many concerning doctrines and policies wrapped in seemingly honest patriotic truths”.

The main point of difference between the two candidates seemed to concern ethnicity. Early on in the debate, Hargreaves said that “the BNP does not exist for my future or any other Black or ethnic minority Christian. And since in Christ racial division are demolished – ‘for there is neither Greek nor Jew, but all are one in Christ Jesus’– the BNP does not exist for the wider church”.

However, the Christian Party was not entirely critical of the BNP. In their statement today, they said that Griffin “made clear and strong statements about the dangers of radical Islam and how present policy is persecuting Christians, family values and British people, whilst seemingly embracing and promoting foreign religions”.

They added, “The Christian Party share similar concerns, although their solutions will be radically different in tone”.

For their part, the BNP claimed that Griffin “showed time and time again that the BNP was none of the things which the far leftist cranks claimed it to be, and at one stage Revd Hargreaves apologised to the BNP leader for a billboard last year which attacked the BNP in a most derogatory manner”.

Outside the studio, activists from Unite Against Fascism and Hope Not Hate demonstrated against the BNP. The BNP today dismissed Hope Not Hate as a “Communist Party front”.

Response to the debate has been mixed. One Christian viewer, posting a comment on the Revelation TV website, wrote that he was disappointed “that Rev Hargreaves was not more critical of Griffin's position towards his whole racial ideology which he made no effort to hide. I suppose in pursuit of fairness the honourable reverend forgot the reality of this man”.

However, Christian Concern For Our Nation (CCFON) has already endorsed George Hargreaves’ election bid. In an email to supporters on 18 March, CCFON’s Director, Andrea Williams, said “We would like George Hargreaves to gain a seat in Parliament”, explaining that, “He has been involved in every major Christian interest campaign in the last decade”.

But the next day, she admitted that the comments had received a “mixed reaction”. She insisted that, “In no way does an endorsement of George Hargreaves mean we do not support Christians in other political parties”.

The situation is complicated because CCFON is the main force behind Christians and Candidates 2010. This initiative will involve hustings events, chaired by former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali, at which Christians can question leading politicians. It is unusual for hustings to be run by an organisation that has already endorsed a particular party or candidate.

Griffin and Hargreaves will continue to campaign against each other in the Barking constituency. Barking’s Labour MP, Margaret Hodge, recently expressed concern that voters who support the Christian Party could inadvertently help the BNP to win the seat.


Listen again: Belfast and the BNP

2 Comment (s)
Why has the British National Party chosen Northern Ireland as its new fundraising hub? Andy Martin investigates.

Listen now:
Next on: Tomorrow, 19:30 on BBC Radio Ulster

March 23, 2010

Police violence and arrests at Bolton

17 Comment (s)

Above is a video of an 89 year old World War 2 veteran and anti-war campaigner Bertie Lewis being knocked down by riot police at the Bolton Stop the EDL protest. He served in RAF Bomber Command against Hitler and many of his comrades were killed.

The incident happened while he was protesting against the misnamed English Defence League an extreme Islamophobic fascist organisation, which had come to Bolton to stir up anti-Muslim hatred. The EDL is made up primarily of soccer hooligans. When Bertie Lewis was knocked down by the police in the Town Square of his home town in Bolton on Saturday, he was part of a group of other pensioners and disabled people.

In the film above, you can see Bertie brutally shoved aside (at 26 seconds) by a police officer carting someone off.

A counter-demonstration organised by Unite Against Fascism mobilised over 2000 anti-fascists which prevented the EDL from rampaging through the Asian areas of Bolton. The EDL had previously rampaged through Luton and Stoke assaulting Asians, attacking property and cars. White people who objected were denounced as "race traitors".

Numerous anti-EDL demonstrators were arrested - some extremely brutally - with the police deliberately targeting protest leaders. The film above may be useful for those who intend to take action against them. The video can be downloaded from here.

The police are not currently banned from joining the EDL as they are with the BNP.