April 30, 2010

BNP supporter spoofs 'The Spoof' (maybe)

17 Comment (s)
Q: When is a spoof not a spoof? A: When it's BNP propaganda.
For those of you who have yet to come across 'The Spoof', it's an online repository of spoof articles, many of which look like they might be hysterically funny but turn out to be about as entertaining as reading back issues of Punch while waiting for the dentist to clean off the blood from the patient before you.

The article that caught my eye was titled 'IMF Shock "Only Nick Griffin's BNP Can Fix The British Economy!"'. With a title like that and with all we know about the BNP's financial corruption and mismanagement, it looked like essential reading, if only for the odd snigger after a busy day.

It started off fairly promisingly and looked like it might be a tad more subtle than the usual fare (like 'Scientist proves Kerry Katona doesn't actually exist' or 'Entire UK Population To Hide From Inspector Morse').
'Red faces all around when Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund amazed journalists and commentators at a news conference this morning In Berlin by announcing that only the British National Party has put forward enough spending cuts to save an almost certain imminent collapse of the British economy within the next few months.

Mr Strauss Khan endorsed the plans of Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP to make the real and substantial spending cuts necessary to cut the deficit and get Britain on track to regain her financial independence from abroad.

"Only the British National party" he said "has proposed enough cuts to prevent Britain from going begging for a bailout to the International Monetary Fund within the next few months of an election win by any of the three wings of the British One Party State."'
Hmm. That phrase 'British One Party State' seems strangely familiar...
'Mr. Griffin commented "Unlike the other parties we will hide nothing, we will open all the books on the economy to the British people and the British media and trust them to understand, instead of hearing bits of the facts filtered through the the spin doctors in Number 11 or the main party's phoney think-tanks."'
Odd then that Griffin can't even open the books (or indeed, balance them) for the BNP itself, let alone the entire UK, but there you go. The article continues:
'Before releasing the full economic policy as listed below this report, Mr Strauss-Kahn gave some interesting highlights drawn up by his advisors:

The British National Party will begin by carefully explaining to the British people the truth about the economy and explain why a number of jobs, but less than those proposed by the other parties, will be lost for a while in public services. It will seek to get the British people on board in the spirit of the Blitz, when Britains [sic] united together to make sacrifices now to lay the foundations for a strong economy in the future for their children...'
The article then drifts into a complete (and long) reproduction of the finance section from the BNP's manifesto. Not funny at all, in fact.

So who would post something like this? Well, that at least is easily explained because the item was provided by a writer named 'sarasara'. Sarasara's homepage turns out to be a YouTube channel packed with pro-BNP and EDL videos and this little image at the top, which might help to explain things.

A search of other stories by Sarasara reveals that he, she or it has been a busy little bee on the BNP's behalf. A story named Secret MI5 Report Highlights Nick Griffin Threat is another puff-piece for the BNP, while others attack the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Unite Against Fascism, Billy Bragg and anyone even vaguely anti-fascist or linked in any way to anyone who has dared to question the BNP.

In fact it's pretty clear where Sarasara's political sympathies lie, particularly when, on reading an article about a fictitious invitation to Nick Griffin to visit Israel, the phrase 'fascist far-left anti-Israel UAF' is used. Sarasara's 'satires' are no such thing - they are pro-BNP propaganda, pure and simple.

The Spoof, naturally, has a set of fairly familiar terms and conditions for the writers who submit their stories, one of which is:
'You must not use the website for any of the following...to impersonate any third party or otherwise mislead as to the origin of your content'
I would suggest that providing political propaganda in the guise of satire is breaching that condition and I would ask that readers complain about this to the site's webmaster or the site's administrator. It's one thing to be attacked by humour - we do it all the time - but it's quite another to have an innocent site (if it is one) used to unwittingly spread the BNP's filth, lies and idiocies.

Annoyingly, Mark Lowton, the owner (or at least the site registrant) of The Spoof, lives here in Lancaster, so purely because I'm a nosey bastard, I searched to see what other domains he had an interest in and immediately one popped up, so to speak - www.bountifulpenis.com. Says it all really, doesn't it.

BNP leader unable to tell if caller is British

4 Comment (s)
British National Party leader Nick Griffin today said he was unable to tell if a caller to a radio phone-in was British as he couldn't see what he looked like. He told the Nottingham man – who said three of his grandparents were born outside Britain – that he could class himself as "civically British" but not "indigenous British".

His remarks came as he took calls from listeners on BBC Radio 4's The World at One. During the phone-in, caller Sean Fowlston asked: "Would you be good enough to tell me whether I am British or not, given that three of my grandparents were foreign-born?"

Mr Griffin said: "It doesn't matter where on earth they come from, obviously I can't you see you down the radio."

He then added: "You're British."

But pressed why it would make a difference what colour the man was, Mr Griffin went on: "It would make a difference in particular, if he was what the BBC would call white, then I would assume from his name he was Irish, and I am part-Irish as well. We regard the Irish as completely part of Britain."

Asked why he would need to see him to know whether he was British or not, Mr Griffin said: "Because if I could see him I could tell whether his three ancestors were Irish or not."

During the phone-in Mr Griffin was asked if the Royal Family were "indigenous" British as their ancestors originally came from Germany in the 18th century. Mr Griffin said: "Erm, well that was part of the Royal Family. They are a fairly old mixed-up bunch of Europeans, but they are fully integrated. Once you reach a stage where you simply can't tell, when the whole community regards someone as being part of the indigenous, that is when they are indigenous. That is the case in the Amazon jungle, why is it different here?"

This is Nottingham

Multi-tasking the BNP way

4 Comment (s)
The Sunday Telegraph at the weekend mentioned in passing - Chris Robert's one of the BNP's candidates in next month's local council elections in the borough. Chris isn't from the borough. In fact he lives in Benfleet, near Southend, around 20 miles from Barking. However, in his nomination form, Mr Roberts gives an address in Arden Crescent, Dagenham — which just happens to be the home of the BNP’s London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook.

Now Chris is going to have an interesting few weeks between now and polling day because in addition to standing for Barking and Dagenham council and seeking the support of the good people of Valance ward, he's also, as it happens, the BNP's prospective parliamentary candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock.

Basildon, Barking and Dagenham - same thing really.....Would be interesting to know how Mr Robert's plans to campaign. Is it one day in the borough, the next in Basildon and Thurrock? Or does he shuttle back and forward kissing babies and canvassing in both?

This is the same Chris Roberts incidentally who on 09 October 2009 said: "Any tom, dick or harry can pitch up to help deliver leaflets."

One's things for sure as far as Barking and Dagenham is considered, he's standing at a time when the BNP group on the council is at a low ebb. So impressive has been the leadership of messrs Bailey and Barnbrook - that half their current colleagues have decided to quit - so the Doncaster's (x3) Steed, Tuffs and Jarvis aren't standing for re-election next month. Now if one wanted to be unkind, one could say that this is no great loss given their total failure to (turn-up) or to do any casework on behalf of local residents. But it's quite a turnover of personnel.

Here's hoping that councillors Bailey and Barnbrook encourage the BNP's new council candidates to actually take their responsibilties seriously if they are successful at the ballot box on May 6th.

I wouldn't put money on it however.

News from Barking and Dagenham

BNP leader Nick Griffin calls for his Weaver Vale candidate Colin Marsh to quit over displaying Nazi insignia on Facebook

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BNP leader Nick Griffin has called for the party’s Weaver Vale candidate Colin Marsh to be sacked for displaying SS and neo-Nazi group Combat 18 insignia on a social networking site.

With just days to go until the General Election, Griffin, appearing on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show today (Friday, April 30), said: “If that’s genuine and he’s put those on, he’s going to be thrown out because those organisations are proscribed to members of the British National Party.”

Nothing British About the BNP, an anti-BNP campaign group, also say the election candidate’s Facebook friends include a number of violent neo-Nazis. The group’s deputy editor Maurice Cousins said: “Colin Marsh is a vile neo-Nazi sympathiser with values inimical to Britain’s liberal democratic way of life.”

The Chronicle contacted the BNP about the claims. Spokesman John Walker, who is himself a candidate in Alyn and Deeside, Flintshire, said there were no plans for Marsh to step down but confirmed there will be an investigation.

Chester Chronicle

NUJ rejects application from BNP member

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The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has this week rejected a membership application because it came from a member of the British National Party.

The application had been refused because of the individual's work as a BNP organiser, the union confirmed to Journalism.co.uk. The individual's links with the party were clearly stated as part of the application.

"His actions aren't compatible with membership of the NUJ," a spokesman said, adding that other unions would adhere to similar rules. A BNP member entering the union would contradict with the NUJ's Code of Conduct, which all journalists joining the union must sign, the spokesman suggested. Section 10 of the code says : "A journalist (…) produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation."

At an event promoting the cross-media EXPOSE the BNP campaign, deputy general secretary of the union Michelle Stanistreet called on the British Media to exact more scrutiny of the BNP and its policies.

"Journalism comes with a responsibility. We have to face the reality of what happens when we don't do our job properly. We are encouraging our members to scrutinise people from across the political parties. But at the minute the BNP just isn't being scrutinised properly," she said.

"We need people to know the difference between what these people are saying on TV and what they actually stand for. This needs to be exposed through the media."

The NUJ criticised BBC's decision to put Nick Griffin on Question Time in October: "The union argues that the format of the show does not allow the BNP’s dishonest propaganda to be properly challenged." In February the union launched a guide to journalists reporting the BNP ahead of the general election.

A BNP spokesperson said the decision by the union was "hardly surprising". "The NUJ bosses wouldn't want anyone blowing the whistle on the extent of their doctoring of news reports concerning the British National Party," the spokesperson said.


County Durham teenager convicted of terror plot

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A teenage white supremacist from County Durham has been found guilty of terrorism offences.

Nicky Davison, 19, was convicted of three separate charges of possessing records useful in committing or preparing acts of terrorism.
Newcastle Crown Court heard he was part of a white supremacist group called the Aryan Strike Force, with his father.
Terror manuals were found on computers at the home he shared with his mother in Annfield Plain last June.

The teenager's father, Ian Davison, has already admitted preparing for acts of terrorism and producing a chemical weapon, the deadly poison ricin, one of the world's most dangerous substances.
The pair will be sentenced together.

The court heard Nicky Davison helped his father administer the Aryan Strike Force website, which aimed to carry out terrorist operations and overthrow the government.
The former milkman's assistant, of Grampian Way, Annfield Plain, was a founder member of the web group set up by his 41-year-old father.

The jury at Newcastle Crown Court took 50 minutes to convict the teenager after hearing the group planned to fight against what it called the Zionist Occupied Government and believed the state had been taken over by Jews.
Racist father

Jurors heard a police raid at the home he shared with his mother and younger brother found copies of The Poor Man's James Bond and the Anarchist's Cookbook on two computers.

Nicky Davison denied any knowledge of the documents and the court was told a "mischievous" friend had downloaded them.
In his defence, Davison said he joined the group to please his racist father.
After the verdict, Det Supt Neil Malkin of Durham Police said: "Violent extremism will not be tolerated.

"The hard work carried out by officers to collect the wealth of evidence that has helped secure this conviction demonstrates Durham Constabulary's determination to disrupt extreme right-wing activity in all its forms.
"This has been a complex case requiring careful deliberation of the evidence by the jury over a period of three weeks and the successful conviction of Nicky Davison underlines the quality of the investigation."

BBC News

BNP candidate spat at, pushed and screamed at anti-racist campaigners

5 Comment (s)
A BNP thug – and potential councillor – has been convicted of assaulting two female pacifist protesters just days before the local elections.

David Clarke, who hopes to win a seat in the Heathfield ward, was also found guilty at Croydon Magistrates' Court of two other attacks on anti-racism campaigners. Clarke pushed, shoved and spat at Lorna Nelson-Homian, James Cox, Nigel Green and Silvia Beckett in two separate attacks last May outside East Croydon train station.

Giving evidence on Wednesday in relation to the first incident on May 27, Hope Not Hate campaigner Nigel Green said: "I saw him [Clarke] walking towards me. He was walking right towards me and I could see there would be problems. I decided to stop and put the leaflets behind my back. But he gestured for me to give him a leaflet and he basically snatched them out of my hand. They were thrown down on the street and that was quite a shock to me. Then he sort of pushed me and grabbed my arm and twirled me around. I was very shaken because I had done nothing to provoke him."

Prosecutor Daniel Irving told the court how after the first assault Clarke left only to return to repeatedly shove Ms Beckett to get to Mr Green. The court heard Clarke almost knocked the woman off her feet. Mr Irving told the court that when Clarke spotted other Hope Not Hate campaigners two days later he screamed at them: "F****** scumbags, filth on our streets, taking all our jobs."

Then Clarke again snatched leaflets, threw them on the floor and shoved Ms Nelson-Homian and Mr Cox.

Chloe-Jane Belton, defending, told the court it was the victims who assaulted the BNP council candidate and spat at him. But magistrates rejected this version of events and chair of the bench Mike Watkinson ordered reports to be prepared before his sentencing on May 17. Clarke – who was flanked by eight British National Party members in the courtroom – nodded his head in disgust as the verdict was read out.

Speaking after the verdict, Ms Nelson-Homian said: "This has gone to show that their veil of credibility has come down. The BNP always resort to their thuggish violent roots."

Speaking to the Advertiser, Clarke confirmed he would still be standing at the elections next Thursday.

Croydon Today

How exciting! I've never met proper racists before...

4 Comment (s)
He's got a nice complexion, but Nick Griffin could do with a history lesson. Deborah Ross gets under the BNP leader's skin on the campaign trail in Essex

So, I'm off to spend the day with the British National Party which appals almost everyone I know – "Poor you"; "Say you're busy"; "Can't you pull a sickie?" – but I find I'm peculiarly thrilled and excited.

Perhaps I've always lived in some kind of bubble, but I've never met proper racists before. Once, when I was a kid, a girl down the road called me a "dirty yid" but my mum punched her and that was that, pretty much, and I've never witnessed or been involved in any instances since. Might they wear uniforms? March? Say Auschwitz was all one big, fat, stonking lie? As days out go, it has to be better than a stately home. (Although Blenheim Palace is said to be good, with a more than decent café).

I find the BNP in Barking and Dagenham, which basically means going east on the District line until you fall off at the end. This is where they already have 12 councillors (they need 14 more to gain control of the council), and where Nick Griffin, the leader, is standing as an MP against Labour's Margaret Hodge (majority: 8,883). They are all out canvassing today, and have gathered on a street on the vast Becontree Estate, which is comprised of 27,000 council homes and, apparently, houses 167,000 people. As I tip up, an altercation is already taking place – oh, joy of joys – between a BNP man in a sandy-coloured suit and a fat, white tattooed fellow with a neck thicker than his head and a Staffordshire bull terrier snarling at his side. "You got a problem with my bird, looking over the fence," the tattooed man is shouting, while jabbing the sandy-suited man in the chest. "Next time you come over, I'll hit you with a shovel!"

My God, you don't get this at Blenheim! Hit him with the shovel! Quick, someone find him a shovel! But, disappointingly, the minders manage to talk the tattooed man down. What was that all about? I ask. "That," says one of the minders, "was because Richard Barnbrook [the sandy-suited man, a BNP councillor] looked over the other fellow's fence where his girlfriend was having a bonfire, and he got cross about it." The minder is friendly and later updates me on where dog-fighting is at these days. "They use them Japanese akita dogs now. They can pick up a Staffie and it's gone." He also says: "I can't give you my real name, love, for security reasons, but it's Terry."

Back to work, pounding the streets, along with Nick and some of the other candidates – "I have two mixed-race grandchildren," says one happily, "but that's all right, because we never talk politics at home" – and the minder who would be nameless, if only he weren't Terry. Nick is not wearing a uniform, alas, and does not march. He just sort of pootles along. But he does have a glass eye, which is something. The eye is blue and spookily opaque, giving him the look of a dead fish that's been rather too long on the slab. He lost it while doing up a derelict house in France. He'd been burning rubbish on the fire when a shotgun cartridge, concealed in the rubbish, exploded in his face. "Ouch!" I say. "Didn't hurt at all," he says. What? Your eye is blown out and there is no pain? Pull the other one, although, I should warn you, it is just as Jewish as the first. He says: "It's like when someone has been stabbed, and they don't feel it. I guess it's a natural reaction when you've been injured. You've got more chance of getting away and surviving if you don't initially feel pain or whatever." A car passes. A young black woman sticks her head out the window, shouts "racist bastard" and speeds off. Is that painful? I ask. "No," he says. "You have to have the skin of a rhinoceros, doing this job." Actually, Nick has rather nice skin; he's 52, but possibly looks younger. Your beauty regime, Nick? Clinique? Clarins? Eve Lom? "I've never smoked ... I don't know actually ... it's just the way things are." Clinique, I'm thinking.

The job, today, is to press the flesh and distribute flyers. The flyers come with the headline "New Labour Have Changed The Face of Barking & Dagenham" and juxtapose two photographs. One shows pretty, white young women in tea-dresses, lining a street on what appears to be VE Day, and has a "From this..." arrow on it. The other, meanwhile, has a "To this..." arrow on it, and shows three women in burkhas, one of whom is giving the finger. I confess I have never personally seen a woman in a burkha give the finger but, like I said, perhaps I've lived in some kind of bubble.

Anyway, Nick's shtick, if you'll excuse my Yiddish, which you better had, or my mum will punch you, is that Hodge has been moving Labour-voting immigrants into the borough "on a huge scale" to see off the BNP threat. Some residents certainly believe this. "See that turning? Hodge has filled it with Africans," says one. The BNP even have a leaflet, "Africans for Essex" , which claims that the Government has paid Africans up to £50,000 to move here and "ensure safe majority seats in the future". However, as it turns out, the incentive scheme was open to everyone, not just immigrants, and how many took advantage? Just 39, of which six were white, 15 Asian, 13 black and five not recorded. Just 39, then, in a population of 167,000 which, as far as I can work out, represents an uptake of 0.02 per cent. Come on, Nick, I say. You're a Cambridge graduate. Surely you can see an uptake of 0.02 per cent isn't exactly the worry of the century, or even the week. You couldn't even brush your teeth and make that worry last. It's not a leaflet-worthy worry, is it? "It's symptomatic," he says. Of what? "In the last few years 5,000 natives have moved out of Barking and Dagenham and they've been replaced by Africans. The Labour Party hasn't had a programme by that name, but there has been deliberate gerrymandering."

Richard Barnbrook interrupts. "Nick," he says, "there is a man round the corner who is very angry with the BNP. He says you're the cause of bringing in all the immigrants." We go to see this man, who lives in a house with rotting windows and, for some reason, two lampposts lying horizontally across the concrete out front. "Nick," says the man, "I'll be straight with ya. Because you've got in here, they've [Labour] given 'em [immigrants] incentives from Hackney and every other borough ... That's what's happened." And this is what happens, I suppose, when gerrymandering accusations come back to bite you on the bum. I ask the man: are you blaming Nick? "I am," says the man. Might you want to hit him with a shovel? I haven't seen anyone hit with a shovel all day. Nick says: "Labour are bringing them [immigrants] in to deal with BNP votes, but if you go back to Hackney and Tower Hamlets in the Seventies, when the BNP wasn't there, and the National Front weren't a threat, the Labour Party still swamped them with immigrants, and they'll do the same here in Barking, whether we are here or not. Immigrants are cheap labour, and that's what it's really about, isn't it...?" Whoa, Nick, I say. I'm only here for the crack. I'm only here because I thought it would be more fun than Blenheim. I don't want to get involved. But to say the population is being deliberately manipulated, and to then say, actually, it's all down to the free market... It's manifestly contradictory, Nick. "I'm not a racist," says Nick, by way of reply. And neither is the man on the doorstep. "In 1964," he says, "my best friend was a black man." I say: Nick, why do you always use the world "swamped"? Nobody likes it. "The people round here do," he replies.

What is a racist? If you are worried that this country is becoming over-crowded, is that racism? I don't know. I put it to Nick. Nick, what is a racist? "It's a phrase that was invented by Leon Trotsky, who was a mass murderer, to demonise his political opponents. That's the first thing," he says. "But I think the definition that the ethnic minorities use is prejudice plus power. If that definition is used then, self-evidently, the BNP cannot be racist because we do not have any power."

And if you did have power, what's the first thing you would do? "Get out of Europe." Has there ever been an ideal time to live in Britain? "I think being a member of a yeoman's family under Elizabeth I would have been pretty good, before the theft of Parliament. The people were free. There was Shakespeare," Do you like Shakespeare? "I do, yes." Do you read Shakespeare? "I don't get that much time."

Barking actually has a lower proportion of people from ethnic minorities than most other London boroughs, so perhaps what's happening here isn't about a rise in immigration, but a rise in the fear of immigration. A recent report from the Institute for Public Policy Research even revealed that support for the BNP is actually weaker in areas of high immigration rather than stronger. It seems the less you have to do with immigrants, the more you will take against them. Nick himself lives in mid-Wales, which isn't the most mixed of areas. In fact, my husband is from mid-Wales and I was the first Jew my mother-in-law had ever met. ("What is a Jew exactly?" she asked. "I suppose," I replied, "Jews don't believe Christ was the Messiah." "I see," she said, before going to lie down for the afternoon).

I ask Nick if immigration has had a direct impact on his life. "I'll give you an example," he says. "I was campaigning in Birmingham, three or four years ago, and I put a leaflet though a letterbox and a boxer dog stood the other side and ripped the top off my finger. I went off to get a tetanus jab and get it sorted out, and the doctor there was a south Indian, and everyone else in A&E thought it was hilarious, but I was grateful to him for the treatment." But Nick, you big silly, that's a positive anecdote! He looks crestfallen, then continues: "Britain steals health workers from countries that are far poorer than us and need those health workers far more. I've got nothing against someone working in our health service from abroad, the shame is they were trained somewhere else and we've pinched them." Anyone would think he was making it up as he goes along.

Terry, meanwhile, is wondering why all we journalists ever want to talk about is immigration. Terry, I say, have you seen your own flyers? Terry, I add, why do you go to dog-fights, anyhow? You should be ashamed of yourself. "You can't avoid them where I live, love." he says. I ask Nick about John Tyndall, the founder of the National Front. What are your memories of him? "He was ideologically a fascist," he says, "but a gentle person." He insists that the BNP is not just the National Front in new clothes. What's the main difference? "We're electable." And who is an "indigenous Brit?" "You can see it at a DNA level," he says. "The fact is, if your maternal grandmother was born in this country before 1948, you are about 80 per cent likely to be descended from people who came here when the last ice melted 18,000 years ago. Until very recently, the last wave of invasion we had was in 1066." So is someone descended from a Norman an indigenous Brit? "Yes, as a matter of fact, because one of the phrases is 'before legal memory', which is the time of Edward I."

Am I an indigenous Brit, Nick? "Yes, because Jews were here before legal memory. There will always be a blurring of populations around the edges but the idea we are a nation of mongrels is most bizarre. It's almost a form of inverse Nazi race science." Inverse Nazi race science? Can you study that anywhere? The LSE? "If you have a mongrel race you must be able to have a pure race. As a matter of fact, you can't really have either. You wouldn't dream of going up to a Maori, whose people have only been in New Zealand for a thousand years, and saying: 'You're not indigenous,' whereas we've been here for 18,000 years." Well, the fact is we "swamped" the Maoris, and the Aborigines and the Native Americans. We did more than "swamp". We stole their land. If countries belong to their indigenous populations, as you say, shouldn't we now give those lands back? "That colonisation of other countries was wrong, but I'm not going to let it happen to mine," he says.

We end up in a pub on the Goresbrook Road, where we drink beer outside in the sun. Have you seen Shane Meadows's film, This Is England, I ask Nick. "Yes," he says. And? "It wasn't particularly good. It was shallow propaganda." A black fella walks by with one of those old-fashioned, Victorian bulldogs. It's a lovely dog, if called Razor, so Terry and I get up to make a big fuss of it. "Great dog," says Terry, to the owner. "Cheers," says the owner. Terry, who would still be nameless if only he were, then says: "See? We're not so bad. We talk to darkies."

I think it's probably Blenheim next weekend. Leeds Castle is also said to be good.


NUJ fears job cuts and apathy could prevent 'proper' media scrutiny of BNP

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The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) last night launched its campaign to encourage the British media to give greater scrutiny to far-right political parties or risk political apathy letting in the British National Party.

Michelle Stanistreet, deputy general secretary of the NUJ was the main speaker at the EXPOSE event in Sheffield, a city represented in the European Parliament by BNP candidate Andrew Brons.

"Journalism comes with a responsibility. We have to face the reality of what happens when we don't do our job properly. We are encouraging our members to scrutinise people from across the political parties. But at the minute the BNP just isn't being scrutinised properly," Stanistreet said. "We need people to know the difference between what these people are saying on TV and what they actually stand for. This needs to be exposed through the media."

The NUJ has previously spoken out against the BBC's decision to put Nick Griffin on Question Time and has created a guide to journalists for reporting the BNP.

The panel, including the Sheffield Star's Julia Armstrong, also criticised falling standards in reporting for allowing extreme policies to go unchallenged. Armstrong, who has been targetted by the Redwatch site, said that cuts made by Johnston Press were leading directly to "churnalism". She said: "Because of the cuts made over the last two to three years it's tough to do your job."

Referring to the new Atex technology being introduced by the group, which is the subject of tomorrow's strike action by Johnston Press journalists in Scarborough, she said: "Our new content management system is more 'mismanagement'. The Johnston Press slogan is 'life is local', but it doesn't believe that. Life isn't local to them, it's centralised."

On the proposed relocation of sub-editors from Scarborough newspapers to Sheffield, she said: "It basically means job losses. People won't make that journey. They will either take up reporting positions and take a cut in pay or take redundancy."

Dr Rhetta Moran, secretary of Greater Manchester Unite Against Facism and an NUJ member, also featured at the event, which was attended mostly by student journalists.

Moran was arrested at the English Defence League's protest in Bolton on 20 March and the union is working with her to appeal against her arrest. She said: "The difference between the EDL and the BNP is becoming more fluid. The reality is that neither gets the scrutiny it should in the media. Above all we need to raise awareness of the need to vote."


BNP serve to attack Britishness

1 Comment (s)
What a paradox we witnessed last Friday when the most abhorrent political party in our history, the BNP, launched their manifesto on St George's Day.

I am sure that Nick Griffin must be aware that St George is not an "indigenous" Briton. Indeed, St George was most probably born in Eastern Turkey, became a senior soldier in the Roman Imperial Guard before being executed for his Christian beliefs on April 23, 303. He is not only the patron saint of England but the saint of at least seven other countries including Ethiopia, Russia and Georgia.

Under the immigration policy of the BNP, St George may well be our Saint but he would not be allowed into this country. How do they square that circle? The BNP define an "indigenous" Briton as someone whose "...ancestors were the earliest settlers here after the last great Ice Age..." How many people reading this would pass that test? I know I and my family would not.

They also talk about the "Threat to our security posed by Islamism. What a ridiculous view! Terrorism is our enemy, not Islam. The attackers on 9/11 did not differentiate between any religious beliefs...many Muslims lost their lives on that terrible day, just as other Muslims have been killed on other attacks.

St George symbolises all that is great about our country and the way we have always integrated with people of different cultural backgrounds throughout our history.

The actions of Westminster politicians in recent years is disgraceful and we must send them a powerful message at this election, leaving them in no doubt that we are all disgusted by their behaviour. But let's not legitimise parties like the BNP, who, rather than represent the core of all our Britishness, actually attack the very heart of it.

Redditch and Alcester Standard

April 29, 2010

BNP candidate sends hate mail to rival

7 Comment (s)
In an abusive letter, the BNP candidate for Croydon Central has called Conservative Gavin Barwell a “traitor” to his race and said he would like to see him “hung for treason”.

Cliff Le May, wrote to Mr Barwell at his campaign office after he received David Cameron’s letter urging residents not to vote for Andrew Pelling. The letter, which was seen by Mr Barwell’s wife and his seven-year-old son reads: “You dirty, sleazy scumbags. If I have my way I will see you all hung for treason.”

Mr Barwell said he received the letter after a long day on the campaign trail and because he was tired, left it out when he went to bed, where it was seen by his family. He said: “I just think it shows what kind of people these are. I don’t understand why people, when they have different views, can’t just be polite about it. If he wants to write to me about being in the EU or immigration that’s fine, but there is no need for personal abuse.”

Mr Le May was unrepentant when asked why he wrote the letter. He said: “I am referring to the entire Conservative Party – they are dirty, sleazy scumbags. This is a personal view, not a party view.”

Mr Le May did not think his letter was “harsh” and did not care his words had been seen by a child.

Your local Guardian

The BNP are like Monty Python's Gumbys

6 Comment (s)
A boringly serious election campaign is immeasurably brightened by the performances of the BNP. On the Today programme this morning, Nick “Cuddly” Griffin was stumped by an evidently wholly unexpected question about immigration. Since the BNP proposed “shutting the doors” of Britain “to everybody”, Sarah Montague politely asked whether other countries re-patariating Brits would be a price that Griffin was happy to pay. His reply could be paraphrased as “Oh, hadn’t thought of that”, though his best riposte was that not many French people wanted to come to Britain. Wonder why, Nick?

But he’s not as amusing as the hilarious Richard “Chuckles” Barnbrook, the BNP representative on the London Assembly, who did a fantastic imitation of John Cleese’s member of the Gumby family on the television news. All he needed was a knotted hanky on his head, as he was asked how his proposed ban on schoolchildren visiting mosques would work. He managed a very slow answer in which he said that no child would be allowed to visit places of worship that were not of their own denomination. It was like something had exploded in his head.


Aylesbury protest: 'This won't be the last'

4 Comment (s)
The national leader of the English Defence League yesterday warned that Saturday's demonstration in Aylesbury could be the first of many after a bitter row erupted with police and council bosses.

Officers were hoping to keep EDL members on the outskirts of town before a rally in Market Square, to prevent skirmishes with counter demonstrators. But yesterday Tommy Robinson – not his real name – said EDL protestors are now planning to evade police and instead gather in Vale Park – where an anti-EDL demonstration is due to be held.

He said: "If our demonstration doesn't go how we want it to go, we'll come back in six weeks. No other place has tried to block us like this one has."

The EDL fell foul of police and council chiefs after trying to put up a stage and use loudspeakers – which they need a licence for. At a tense meeting on Monday, they were also told that they were not allowed to carry wooden framed banners. Coachloads of EDL members would have been met by police and escorted to Market Square, where they would have been contained inside solid barriers.

Robinson said ominously: "We don't think they're doing well if they want it to go peacefully.

The Bucks Herald

April 28, 2010

Dissent derails Stoke BNP election campaign

10 Comment (s)
Alby Walker: could not stand the BNP’s nazis and Holocaust deniers
Simon Darby, the deputy BNP leader, once promised that he would never desert the people of Dudley North, where he had stood in previous elections. In January he did just that.

He had set his sights on the more winnable constituency of Stoke-on-Trent Central. Over the past few years Alby Walker, the Stoke BNP council group leader, had given the BNP a measure of respectability, gradually gaining nine council seats and ‘setting the party on the road to ‘taking control. This steady progress has now been derailed. Darby and Nick Griffin, the party leader, in their rush for glory pushed Walker aside and declared Darby the candidate. Walker stood down as branch organiser shortly before Christmas causing the local party to fracture.

Wary of Walker’s popularity in the local BNP and the local community, the BNP cautioned its followers not to attack him. Darby damned him with faint praise on his blog, claiming that Walker had endorsed his campaign and would act as his election agent. However, on the day Darby launched his campaign Walker threw a spanner in the works with an announcement that he had left the BNP and would stand against Darby as an independent. The gloves came off. Darby began impugning Walker’s reputation, insinuating that the local Labour party had bought him off.

On a regional BBC programme Walker stated, “there’s a vein of Holocaust denying within the BNP that I cannot identify myself with. They’ve still got senior members of the BNP who will be candidates in the general election that have nazi, naziesque sympathies.”

He also accused Griffin of using the BNP “as some kind of vehicle to make himself rich and famous”. He added later that the BNP insisted its candidates undergo training on how to answer questions about the Holocaust, aware that its antisemitism was its Achilles heel.

The BNP responded viciously, stating that Walker had jumped ‘before he was pushed because of his “pressing mental health issues”, an accusation that is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes the world over. ‘It also insinuated that Walker was a former football hooligan. The statement was quickly removed from the party website but the damage was done. Ellie Walker, Alby’s wife who was also a BNP councillor, declared herself independent. It was to be expected, stated Simon Darby though gritted teeth.

Walker’s resignation has seriously affected Stoke BNP. In 2008 the party fielded a record 11 council candidates; this year it has only six, two of whom are councillors seeking re-election. Michael Coleman, who took over ‘from Walker, conceded that he had approached 25 people to contest the 20 available city council seats for the BNP but most declined.

“I have had a bit of a falling-out with people over this and it has caused a rift within the group,” Coleman admitted. “We thought we would be able to ‘put up about 14 candidates this year. The Alby Walker situation has also damaged us to a degree, as some of the people who would have stood for us have left because they feel he has been treated badly.”

Only a few months ago the BNP looked likely to emerge as the dominant force on a fractured city council. Instead, having found only four new candidates, Coleman is squandering one in an act of petty spite by putting him up against ‘Alby Walker in Abbey Green in an attempt to damage Walker’s chances of re-election. The remaining BNP councillor in Abbey Green, Melanie Baddley, enters the general election, in which she is contesting Stoke North, with her reputation tarnished following the arrest of her husband over an alleged drugs offence. He is currently on police bail.

Stoke BNP also has to contend with the emergence of the England First Party (EFP) in the city, which is giving disgruntled former BNP activists a vehicle for their discontent. Coleman dismissed it as “just vengeful hatred” from former members “directed against myself and possibly a few others in the BNP”. No doubt he is incensed that Spencer Cartlidge, once a regular BNP candidate who left before the 2008 elections, is challenging BNP councillor Anthony Simmonds in Weston and Meir North.

Another EFP candidate, Mark Leat, is a former BNP councillor for Longton North who was sacked from the BNP and subsequently defeated, but is contesting the ward again. The BNP could not find anyone to stand ‘against him. The EFP is also contesting Fenton, where the BNP polled 36.1% ‘in 2006 but is not standing this time. This, perhaps more than anything else, is indicative of the turmoil within the BNP in Stoke.


CNN takes a quick peek at the BNP

11 Comment (s)

Croydon BNP election candidate guilty of attacking four anti-fascist protesters

5 Comment (s)
A British National Party election candidate for Croydon Council has been found guilty of attacking four anti-fascist protesters

David Clarke [pictured, left, grinning on his way into court] of Dunley Drive, New Addington, was found guilty of four counts of assaulting protesters outside of East Croydon station on May 27 and May 29 last year. Mr Clarke is currently running for election as a councillor for Heathfield Ward.

Croydon Magistrates Court heard the first incident occurred at 6.50pm on May 27 as anti-fascist protesters were handing out leaflets in an attempt to try and dissuade people from supporting the BNP at the station. Two days later on May 29 he is accused of assaulting another two protesters, James Cox and his partner, Lorna Nelson-Homian.

Clarke will be sentenced on May 18.

Lorna Nelson-Homian, one of Clarke's four victims, said: "I think the verdict today shows that the BNP's veil of credibility has once again fallen down. BNP policies are racist, and this case shows they always resort back to their violent roots."

Croydon Guardian

BNP "too racist" for black vicar

7 Comment (s)
A black reverend who defected from the BNP because it was “too racist” is standing in the general election as a Christian Party candidate for the Croydon Central seat.

Reverend James Gitau, 63 from West Croydon, joined the BNP and went on the campaign trail on April 10 with Nick Griffin in Barking and Dagenham, the constituency where he is standing.

The Kenyan, who moved to Britain in 1997, said: “I actually decided to join them when they opened up for all races. I campaigned for them to open up to other races. I asked them to give me one of the constituency seats in Croydon and they refused so I decided to leave. I also realised then that they were too racist.”

Rev Gitau will be standing against BNP candidate Cliff Le May in Croydon Central who has come under fire for his racist views.

He wrote to London Mayor Boris Johnson asking him to “stop ruining our community by stuffing New Addington with violent immigrants who have no right to live among decent civilised white people” and called Gavin Barwell a traitor to his “race and nation” for the Conservative’s immigration policy.

Rev Gitau, who is affiliated to the United Holy Church of America, said he was approached by the Christian Party on April 17 who encouraged him to leave the BNP and join their party. However, he said he still gave advice to BNP leader Nick Griffin. He said: “I am giving him advice and telling him that racism is not the way forward.”

Mr Gitau said he told Nick Griffin there should be immigration controls but “genuine immigrants” should be allowed into the country. Rev Gitau said one of the reasons he campaigned to join the BNP was because it was “the only party that boldly speaks against sodomy in public”.

However, he hastened to add, he was not homophobic. He said: “I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and he preaches against homosexuality. I don’t hate homosexuals, I love them. They are my friends, they are human beings. We should love them but teach them to be better people.”

Rev Gitau said he wanted homosexuals in Croydon to vote for him “because we are all sinners”.

Croydon Guardian

Husband of BNP parliamentary candidate quits 'to protect party'

3 Comment (s)
THE husband of a BNP Parliamentary candidate has quit the party following his recent arrest over an alleged drugs offence.

Clifford Baddeley was arrested last month on suspicion of possessing cannabis. The arrest led to police searching the house he shares with his wife Melanie, who is the far-right party's Parliamentary candidate in the Stoke-on-Trent North constituency.

Mr Baddeley, who has not been charged with any offences, remains on police bail while officers complete their investigation. The unemployed 49-year-old, of Holehouse Road, Abbey Hulton, has admitted to using cannabis in the past to relieve the pain of arthritis. However, he says he has since stopped using the drug.

BNP figures say Mr Baddeley left the party to avoid causing further embarrassment in the run-up to the May 6 polls. His departure comes after BNP chairman Nick Griffin was forced to defend Mr Baddeley's conduct at the party's election manifesto launch in Stoke on Friday.

Mr Griffin had unveiled a range of tough new crime policies, including the death penalty for drug dealers, in front of the media. But he was later forced to admit he would not be taking any disciplinary action against Mr Baddeley on the grounds that he had been using cannabis medicinally.

Mr Baddeley told The Sentinel last week that he was ashamed of the embarrassment his arrest had caused for his wife and the party. He was unavailable for comment last night on his decision to step down.

Mrs Baddeley said she accepted her husband's resignation from the party and wanted to focus on her campaign. She said: "Following the manifesto launch on Friday, when questions were raised about Clifford, he has decided to resign from the party. He stepped down, because he was aware of the embarrassment his situation was causing for the party."

Stoke-on-Trent City Council BNP group leader Councillor Michael Coleman, who is standing for election in the Stoke-on-Trent South constituency, said he felt Mr Baddeley had made the right decision. And he hinted that his departure may be temporary if the ongoing police inquiry finds no evidence of any wrongdoing.

He said: "It is true that Mr Baddeley has resigned in light of everything that has happened. He is doing this to protect the party and our reputation, but he wasn't pushed; it was his choice to leave. I'm sure that when this has all blown over, he will come back to us."

He added: "His medical condition is absolutely awful and we are taking a lenient approach because of that."

This is Staffordshire

New BNP? Same old nazis and thugs

4 Comment (s)
The BNP claims it has changed. A quick review of its election candidates shows that they are the same old nazis, thugs and racists that they always were

Tom Gower
Coventry North East

Gower works full-time as the BNP enquiries officer. He is also the Coventry contact for the racist and pagan Woden’s Folk and was involved in the English Heathen Front (EHF), ‘a racist group espousing “blood and soil” ideology. The EHF was the English “chapter” of the Allgermanische Heidnische Front (AHF), an international network of “tribes” that evolved out of the Norsk Hedensk Front, a group founded in 1993 by Varg Vikernes, the Norwegian black metal musician and murderer whose own brand of heathenism included a heavy dose of national socialism, antisemitism, eugenics and racism.

Shelley Rose
Luton North

A rising star in the BNP, Rose is part of a social group of BNP activists in the East Midlands and an antisemite who wrote on her Facebook page, “I would rather put myself out and pay a bit more at a smaller local shop, than line the pockets of the kikes that run Tesco”. She attended the National Front Remembrance Day parade in 2009 with Chris Hurst, the BNP PPC ‘for Twickenham.

Robin Evans

Evans was once a Blackburn BNP councillor but found the council budget too much to cope with. “It’s all mumbo jumbo, I don’t understand a word of it,” he stated. He resigned from the BNP in 2003 after an internal dispute and joined the openly fascist British National Socialist Party, returning to the BNP.

Ken Booth
Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Booth is the former North East National Front organiser who caused widespread disgust in 2007 when he compared the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz to Disneyland. He refused to believe the “official figures” of those who died in the Holocaust and did not recognise the “authenticity” of the buildings at Auschwitz.

Lynne Mozar

Mozar, who runs the BNP’s Trafalgar Club fundraising group, is notorious for her appearance on the Sky TV documentary BNP Wives in which “in private sometimes” she admitted calling black people “niggers”. ‘She also claimed that “Pakis” was the ‘“legal term for them [Asians]”. While manning a stall opposite a mosque in Fareham, Mozar shouted “fat slag” at a passerby who questioned her views.

Mathew Tait
Milton Keynes South

Tait, the Buckinghamshire BNP organiser, travelled to the cancelled 2010 American Renaissance conference, where he moaned to those who turned up that the Equality and Human Rights Commission court case had forced the BNP to accept “people who we would wish to not have in our country really to be members of our party”.

Mike Shore

Until 2003 Shore was the National Front’s East Midlands organiser and treasurer. He was also Midlands convener of a British incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan. His conversion to the BNP came as a surprise to former colleagues.

Richard Hamilton
Milton Keynes North

A former soldier, Hamilton took part in the mock trial and execution of a gollywog at the 2009 BNP Red, White and Blue festival. The News of the World noted that before the trial, “Hamilton’s ghettoblaster blared out songs supporting Hitler and attacking ‘niggers’”. The BNP claimed his membership had been “suspended” as a result of the affair, though evidently not for very long.

Chris Beverley
Morley and Outwood

Beverley is a leading figure in Yorkshire BNP and a key link with the National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany whose leader believes that Hitler was a “great statesman”. Beverley works as PA and constituency office manager for Andrew Brons, the BNP MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, and recently refused to condemn Hitler in a radio broadcast saying that he did not hate him.

Ian Meller
Leicestershire North West

Meller, a BNP councillor in North West Leicestershire, is a former National Front activist who took part in a demonstration against a Gay Pride march in Leicester in August 2000. Meller, then 35, was fined £400 and £55 costs for carrying an offensive weapon, believed to have been a chair leg.

Charlotte Lewis
Carshalton and Wallington

Lewis was jailed for six months in 2001 for sending a series of “chilling” death threats to employees of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) animal research laboratory in Cambridgeshire. She posts racist comments on social networking sites but claims she is ‘not a racist but a “racial survivalist”. ‘In 2009 Croydon Council considered taking action against her after she boasted of participating in a racist hate campaign against her neighbours.

Barry Bennett

Bennett was, until recently, a regular user of the American-based nazi Stormfront website, despite being half Jewish, “from ancestry not religion” he is keen to stress. “I believe in National Socialism, WW2 style, it was best, no other power had anything like it,” ‘he wrote. “The ideology was fantastic. The culture, nothing like it. If it was here now, I’d defect to Germany.”

Eddy Butler

Butler has been involved with the far right since the early 1980s when he was the Tower Hamlets organiser for the National Front. After he joined the BNP he and a team of thugs laid into a group of anti-fascists with hammers and other weapons in east London in 1992. In 1993 he organised the “Rights for whites” campaign that won the BNP its first councillor, Derek Beackon, in a Tower Hamlets by-election, though he only held the seat for seven months. Until his sudden demotion Butler was the BNP’s national organiser and elections officer. He is also standing for Barking and Dagenham council, despite still living in Loughton.

Chris Forster
Hayes and Harlington

A National Front supporter in the 1970s and a former treasurer of the Conservative Monday Club, Forster, who is also standing for Barking and Dagenham council, works as a psychic but failed to foresee Searchlight’s exposé of him in the Evening Standard in 2009. Forster helped compile the BNP’s 2009/10 Barking and Dagenham council budget, which attracted great opprobrium. Hypocritically, he is married to a Chinese woman with whom he has a child.

Tess Culnane

Tess Culnane was a BNP member until a row with the party after which she stormed off to join the National Front for which she stood in the 2008 London Assembly election. She also addressed meetings of the openly Nazi British People’s Party. The BNP denounced the NF as “neo-fascist” but this has not proved an impediment to Culnane rejoining the BNP and working for Richard Barnbrook, the BNP’s London Assembly member.

Edward Sheppard
Coventry North West

Sheppard stood for the BNP in the 2001 general election in Coventry North East, but could not stand in 2005 as he was jailed for three years in 2002 for shooting a man at point blank range. Mold Crown Court heard how Christopher Willans had mistakenly knocked on Sheppard’s window, believing it to be part of a property owned by a close friend. ‘On discovering his mistake, Willans apologised to Sheppard and left the area. While walking home Willans was confronted by Sheppard who shot him at close range with a .22 calibre pistol through his car window.

Marlene Guest

Guest is the Rotherham BNP organiser. Like Mozar she appeared on the Sky TV BNP Wives documentary in which she claimed that the number of deaths in the Holocaust had been exaggerated and that the Jews were putting Germany on a guilt trip. ‘Asked if any good had come out of ‘the Holocaust, she replied: “Well, apparently, didn’t they get a lot of dentistry and plastic surgery”, referring to the Nazis’ barbaric “medical experiments”.

Jeffrey Marshall
Eastbury ward, Barking and Dagenham Council

Marshall, the central London BNP organiser, displayed the poisonous side of the BNP in February 2009 following the death of the six-year-old son of David Cameron, the Conservative Party leader. In a cruel and warped outburst against those who had expressed their condolences at the death of Ivan, who suffered from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, Marshall wrote in an internet politics group: “We live in a country today which is unhealthily dominated by an excess of sentimentality towards the weak and unproductive. No good will come of it.”

Marshall continued his sick tirade, stating that although it would be “a kindness” to kill children with disabilities, this was not the same as advocating such a measure as compulsory state policy. “But so what if it is,” he declared. “At least we would all know where we stand. There is actually not a great deal of point in keeping these sort of people alive, after all.”

Sharif Abdel Gawad
Bolton and Undercliffe ward, Bradford Council

Abdel Gawad of Bowling, Bradford, was convicted for possession of heroin by Bradford magistrates in December 2007. He first stood for the BNP in Bradford in May 2006, when his candidacy caused uproar in the party because of his less than Aryan credentials. The party insisted that he was of Armenian descent and most certainly “Christian” not a Muslim. Interviewed by The Independent he said he was “concerned about law and order, particularly the drugs epidemic in Bradford”.

Hope not hate

Essex weekly takes down BNP story after complaints

4 Comment (s)
A report or a BNP press release?
A weekly newspaper has removed an article about the British National Party from its website after complaints from readers

Last week's edition of the Brentwood Gazette featured a report on a BNP election meeting in the town which presented the party in what some claimed was a flattering light. The story's intro read: "Proud nationalists were asked to dig deep to support an election candidate when the Brentwood branch of the BNP met for the first time.

It continued: "Buoyant supporters packed into the back room of a patriotic pub for the inaugural meeting of the Brentwood and Chelmsford branch, which has been founded in response to the party's growing membership."

The story, originally published in print last Wednesday, swiftly generated a host of comments on the paper's thisistotalessex.co.uk website.

Will from Chelmsford wrote: "I am surprised that the reporter who attended this meeting didn't make a contribution to the BNP themselves, from the tone of the article it sounds like they're already a fully paid up member! So much for impartiality and journalistic integrity."

Kev, also from Chelmsford, wrote: "Where have journalism and editing gone on this site? No questions raised or cross examining? None at all. This looks as though a BNP press release has been regurgitated in its entirety. Hardly the actions of an independent media during the run up to a general election."

One reader, who asked not to be named, contacted HTFP to say she would be reporting the paper to the Press Complaints Commission over the story. However the story, along with all the comments, has now been taken down from the site.

Brentwood Gazette editor-in-chief Alan Geere has so far not responded to requests for a comment on the episode.

Hold the front page

April 27, 2010

Where's there's a BNP will, there's a cock-up...

0 Comment (s)
It doesn’t do much for the far-right BNP’s “learn our language” stance on immigration when a candidate uses poor grammar in his campaign 'leaflet'.

Will Blair’s challenge for the Rother Valley parliamentary seat is currently being publicised by eight sheets of home-printed A4, clumsily stapled together. It consists simply of a single “policy” diatribe about immigration and foreigners. There's no mention of any local issues at all, although there's a lot about what has supposedly been happening in Birmingham.

At the height of it Mr Blair' grumbles: “We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!”

Four pages later, he concludes: “If your [sic] coming here for free housing and benefits please try somewhere else.”

Mr Blair would no doubt want immigrants to abide by the laws of this country while they are learning the language. So he might like to think about this.

There are no official election details about his campaign agent, or indeed any contact information, despite Mr Blair currently representing Maltby on Rotherham Borough Council. And that makes his "leaflet" illegal.

Under the Representation of the People Act 1983, Section 110 any printed election material must contain the name and address of its printer and promoter. Failure to do so could result in investigation by the police and a fine of up to £5,000. It could even result in a petition to re-run the election, should the candidate actually win.

All this information is readily available in a handy guide for candidates produced by the Electoral Commission, the independent body charged protecting the integrity of and public confidence in the democratic process.

So Rother Valley's voters could be forgiven for wondering why they should vote for a man who wants to help make the country's laws, but who is evidently unaware of the basic legal requirements of standing for Parliament.

Rotherham Advertiser

Another fine example of BNP brains...

26 Comment (s)
Click on image to see it full-size
Hey, Peryn Parsons of the BNP, it might help if you knew the name of the town in which you're campaigning. Major fail by the BNP.

Cheers to the anonymous reader who spotted this classic and sent it in. :-)

Blair Peach killed by police at 1979 protest, Met report finds

3 Comment (s)
The anti-fascist protester Blair Peach was almost certainly killed by police at a demonstration in 1979, according to a secret report released today.

Documents published on the Metropolitan police's website shed new light on the death of Peach, a 33-year-old teacher from New Zealand, whose death marked one of the most controversial events in modern policing history.

A campaigner against the far right, Peach died from a blow to the head during a demonstration against the National Front in Southall, west London.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan police commissioner, said the report made "uncomfortable reading" but unequivocally accepted the finding that a Met officer was likely to be responsible for the death and expressed his "regret".

Peach's family have campaigned to see the crucial report for more than 30 years. It said it could "reasonably be concluded that a police officer struck the fatal blow". A police van carrying six officers was identified as having been at the scene when the fatal blow was struck.

The 130-page report was produced by Commander John Cass, who ran the Met's internal complaints bureau and led the investigation into Peach's death. It reveals:

• Peach was almost certainly killed by an officer from its elite riot squad, known as the Special Patrol Group (SPG). A number of witnesses said they saw him being struck by a police officer, and the report found that "there is no evidence to show he received the injury to the side of his head in any other way".

• Despite concluding Peach was killed by a police officer, Cass said there was insufficient evidence to charge any officer over the death, a decision echoed by the director of public prosecutions, to whom his report was delivered. An inquest into the death later returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

• Suspicions centred on the SPG carrier U.11, the first vehicle to arrive on Beechcroft Avenue, the street where Peach was found staggering around and concussed. Cass said there was an "indication" that one officer in particular, who first emerged from the carrier but whose name has been redacted from the report, was responsible.

• The criminal investigation into Peach's death was hampered by SPG officers, who Cass concluded had lied to him to cover up the actions of their colleagues. He "strongly recommended" that three officers should be charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, giving detailed evidence to show how they were engaged in a "deliberate attempt to conceal the presence of the carrier at the scene at that time". None were ever charged.

• From the outset, the Cass investigation appeared unlikely to find an officer guilty. He defined Peach as a member of a "rebellious crowd" in his terms of reference, adding: "Without condoning the death I refer to Archbold 38th edition para 2528: 'In case of riot or rebellious assembly the officers endeavouring to disperse the riot are justified in killing them at common law if the riot cannot otherwise be suppressed'."

Along with the Cass report, the Met has released more than 3,000 pages of supporting forensic science documents, witness statements, interviews with officers and legal analysis.

They include all the detailed evidence gathered by police in the weeks and months after Peach was killed. The nature of his injuries led at least one pathologist to conclude Peach's skull was crushed with an unauthorised weapon, such as a lead-weighted cosh or police radio.

It was already known that when Cass raided lockers at the SPG headquarters he uncovered a stash of unauthorised weapons, including illegal truncheons, knives, two crowbars, a whip, a 3ft wooden stave and a lead-weighted leather stick.

One officer was caught trying to hide a metal cosh, although it was not the weapon that killed Peach. Another officer was found with a collection of Nazi regalia.

In his report, Cass said the arsenal of weapons caused him "grave concern", but claimed there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the officers involved.

A total of 14 witnesses told investigators they saw "a police officer hit the deceased on the head" but, according to Cass, there were discrepancies in their evidence and most could not identify the officer.

The Met has resisted publishing any material relating to the death of Peach for almost 30 years.

That decision was reversed last year after an investigation by the Guardian into the parallels between events surrounding Peach's death in April 1979 and the death of Ian Tomlinson, a 47-year-old newspaper vendor who died during last year's G20 protests in London.

Stephenson intervened to support the release of the report after Tomlinson's death.

Today the commissioner said he was sorry officers had behaved in the way described by Cass. "But I am particularly sorry that we haven't brought it to that definitive point where we can absolutely say what happened, why it happened, and what was the legitimacy or otherwise of that."

He said that, 31 years on, the Met was a "completely different" force, citing what he said were rigorous inquiries following the death of Tomlinson at last year's G20 protests.

Peach's long-term partner, Celia Stubbs, said she was "relieved" to see the report after so long. Along with relatives of Peach, and the officers named in the report, she first received the documents on Friday.

"This report totally vindicates what we have always believed – that Blair was killed by one of six officers from Unit 1 of the Special Patrol Group whose names have been in the public domain over all these years," she said.

Her lawyer, Raju Bhatt, said he was still examining the documents, but his initial reading indicated Cass had tried but struggled to "undermine" evidence suggesting one of his officers killed Peach.

"What I read in this report is a senior investigating officer desperately trying to explain away this death, but despite himself, he is driven by the weight of the evidence to conclude that the death was caused by one of his officers," he said.

Names of officers and witnesses are blanked out of the report, but their identities can easily be established from published material, including several unofficial reports into Peach's death and transcripts from his inquest, where several officers gave evidence.

Bhatt said friends of Peach would gather outside Scotland Yard today, and read out the names of the six suspected officers inside the SPG carrier U.11.

The names include five officers serving under Alan Murray, the SPG inspector in charge of the carrier. Aged 29 at the time at the time of the death, Murray resigned from the Met in anger at what he believed was an unfair inquiry by Cass.

Last night Murray, who is now a lecturer in corporate social responsibility at Sheffield University, declined to comment on the Cass report, saying he had not been given time to digest its findings.

Deborah Coles, co-director of Inquest, an organisation that was set up in 1981 partly in response to Peach's death and provides advice on contentious deaths, called on the Met commissioner to concede that the force was responsible for Peach's death.

"The whole police investigation into what happened on 23 April 1979 was clearly designed as an exercise in managing the fallout from the events of that iconic day in Southall, to exonerate police violence in the face of legitimate public protest," she said. "The echoes of that exercise sound across the decades to the events of the G20 protest and the death of Ian Tomlinson in 2009."

The Guardian

BNP manifesto seeks more than votes

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Nick Griffin's manifesto reveals a party keen to turn voters into supporters of a racially 'pure' Britain, 'bound together by blood'

What does the BNP manifesto tell us about the party?

Nick Griffin's manifesto feigns engagement with widespread popular concerns over the economy, public sector cuts and war, while ignoring others, like climate change – which is presented as a myth. Above all, it seeks to profit from the current high profile of the immigration debate.

The party wants to make immigrants, and in particular Muslims, the scapegoats for everything – falling living and educational standards, rising crime, terrorist activities, even traffic congestion. This allows the BNP to address real issues such as poverty and social decay, without identifying any of their causes, like disparities of wealth and income. Its targets are not those who make huge profits from social inequality, but those who suffer from it most.

The party has won a degree of legitimacy thanks to the acceptance by mainstream politicians that there is indeed an immigration "problem". But this is not enough for the BNP. It is not like UKIP – happy to whip up xenophobia for electoral purposes. The BNP seeks more than an electorate, it wants to turn voters into supporters – committed, hardline, racist authoritarians. This involves winning "soft" racists to a more ideological identification with the party's core beliefs, centred on notions of racial purity.

The BNP manifesto therefore claims being British "is to belong to a special chain of unique people who have the natural law right to remain a majority in their ancestral homeland". It presents "white British" people as a community of destiny, "bound together by blood", whose "ability to create and sustain social and political structures … is an expression of innate genetic nature". Sound familiar?

The extent of social engineering that would be required to realise this biological fantasy is downplayed in the manifesto. Opposition to mixed-race relationships, for example, is implicit but not stated, presumably for legal reasons. Instead the party vows simply to abolish multiculturalism.

Having identified the primary "cause" of society's problems, the BNP proposes "straightforward" solutions: a halt to immigration and asylum, the introduction of a voluntary repatriation scheme, the deportation of all illegal immigrants. Discrimination against ethnic minorities would be enshrined in housing, immigration and education policies. Like Pétain's Vichy regime, a BNP government would introduce retrospective legislation to review all citizenship granted over the past 13 years.

BNP authoritarianism is social – the reintroduction of capital punishment for murder and drug dealing, the establishment of a penal colony in South Georgia for repeat offenders – but it is also political – the criminalisation of journalists who "knowingly" publish "falsehoods", the sacking of "politically correct" senior police officers, prison sentences for political "intimidation".

This manifesto asserts the supremacy of one "dominant ethnic, cultural and political group". The BNP is attempting to create deep social divisions by scapegoating those who do not belong to this group. The party's economic outlook, meanwhile, champions small businesses and the nation state against "international profit" and "a rootless, amorphous globalist philosophy". Once in power, the party would use repression against opponents.

These are features of a political current that has existed before. It has a name. The BNP has simply adapted its legacy to contemporary conditions. Its name is fascism. Those who dispute this should take a closer look at the BNP manifesto.

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Young, nazi and out of a job

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Mark Collett: accused of financial irregularities and threatening Nick Griffin
A record number of general election candidates masks a British National Party suffering from internal tensions, a series of embarrassments and continuing questions over its finances

As British National Party members were still taking in the implications of the extensive constitutional changes forced on them by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, they were hit by news of the suspension of the party’s national publicity officer.

A bulletin to party organisers on 31 March accused Mark Collett of “conspiring with a small clique of other party officials to launch a ‘palace coup’” against Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, and spreading “lies and unfounded rumours”. He had therefore been “relieved of all positions within the party with immediate effect”.

Collett, 29, was also accused of “financial irregularities and scamming” over printing BNP election material and its Identity magazine, leaking sensitive party information on the internet and feeding “lies” to anti-BNP blog sites. And there had been a “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”.

The same bulletin stated that the police had been “made aware of very serious allegations potentially affecting the personal safety” of Griffin and Jim Dowson, the BNP’s fundraising and management consultant.

The “other party officials” said to ‘have conspired with Collett were not named. However two days after the announcement Emma Colgate resigned as the party’s staff manager saying she wanted to devote herself full-time to the election campaign in Thurrock, where she is standing for parliament and also hoping to get more BNP councillors elected.

“We’re in with a real chance in Thurrock and I want to give it my best shot,” she said. “I cannot properly work fill-time [sic] on the campaign while being paid by EU taxpayers to manage our European staff.”

As it was a party position from which she had resigned, this was a clear admission that the BNP had been ‘using EU taxpayers’ money to fund its party apparatus.

There was also a rapid exit by ‘Eddy Butler from his position as the BNP’s national organiser and national elections officer. His replacement, Clive Jefferson, is a rising star in the party. Appointed as North West regional organiser and national nominating officer last year, he too is on the BNP’s European Parliament payroll.

However Butler was “still very much with the BNP and is set to play a leading role in the party’s attempt to take control of the Barking and Dagenham council,” a special meeting of party officers and organisers was told.

The meeting, rapidly convened ‘on Easter Monday, “unanimously” appointed a “four man strong subcommittee” to listen to an alleged tape recording of a conversation between Collett and the party treasurer David Hannam, which the party claims would enable the police to “investigate a number of potential crimes including threats to murder, assault, fraud and falsification of accounts”, according to a BNP statement issued afterwards.

The committee declared the tape genuine, although the statement did not explain how they arrived at that verdict. However it is understood that the police are unlikely to bring any charges because the tape has been “edited”.

Perhaps the BNP did not really want a prosecution as a court case might reveal a lot more than it wishes to be made public.

Butler’s precise role in the BNP’s Barking and Dagenham campaign is unclear. Last November Griffin anno-unced that Richard Barnbrook, the BNP’s London Assembly member, would spearhead the campaign. ‘Perhaps he has not been producing ‘the canvassing returns Griffin expects.

Barnbrook and Butler are both standing for election in Goresbrook ward, where the BNP currently has two councillors. Butler recently put himself on the electoral register in Dagenham, despite remaining on the register at his real home in Loughton, Essex. Barnbrook and Bob Bailey, the BNP’s council group leader, pulled a similar trick at the time of their election in 2006. They got away with it then, but Butler and some other BNP candidates who have suddenly “moved” to Barking and Dagenham are likely to face investigation if elected.

Even so, the BNP has only managed to find 34 candidates for the 51 council seats in the borough, making it near impossible for it to win the 26 councillors needed to gain control.

This is not the BNP’s only problem. Delays have beset the party’s general election manifesto. As we went to press, the BNP said it would be launched in Stoke-on-Trent on 23 April, less than two weeks before polling day. The party has previously announced that its main election themes would be withdrawal from Afghanistan, immigration and “the global warming conspiracy”. ‘On the issue that is near the top in most voters’ minds, the economy, the fascist party has little to say.

Whether the manifesto delay is one of the “gaffes” being blamed on Collett is not known, but Collett would most likely have been responsible for its design and printing.

One huge gaffe unlikely to be Collett’s responsibility, because it occurred on 14 April well after ‘Collett’s departure, was the Normandy veteran fiasco. The previous day HOPE not hate sent an email to supporters asking them to join its big day of action on 17 April. Headed “I fought the Nazis. Will you?” it consisted of a personal message from Kenneth Riley, a Normandy veteran who fought in the Tank Division.

Amazingly the next day the BNP posted a nearly word-for-word identical message on its website, excepted that it implored people to support the party. ‘It was signed off by “Bob Head”, who claimed to have been “attached to the 51st Highland Division”. Instead of asking for volunteers, it solicited ‘£20 donations.

Riley was furious that the BNP had “stolen” his words and put his name to a new email for HOPE not hate to raise money for the anti-BNP campaign. ‘The Normandy Veterans Association said it had never heard of Head and ‘cast doubt on his claimed service record and medals.

Head’s email was one of only a small number appealing for donations for the BNP’s election campaign. Unlike in the run-up to last year’s European election, the BNP’s fundraising effort this year has been lacklustre. No begging letters have been dispatched for some time ‘and appeals on the party’s website and by email have been unambitious. Website donation links go straight to a form without any exhortation to encourage generosity.

The official launch of the BNP’s campaign fund on 10 April claimed ‘that the party had already raised £275,000, including £165,000 in election deposits, and was looking for another £180,000. The party was not being entirely straight. Most general election candidates are expected to pay their own £500 deposits or raise the money locally.

For several weeks the party has been reporting branch meetings around the country that have raised highly unlikely sums, considering that most of its supporters come from the lower socio-economic groups. Revelations that Griffin and Andrew Brons, his fellow MEP, have been misusing their European parliamentary expenses, coupled with the Collett “financial irregularities” accusation, cannot have enhanced the confidence of potential donors that their money would be well spent.

To add to the party’s financial woes, the Electoral Commission announced on 15 April that it had upgraded its review of the British National Party’s accounts to a formal investigation.

The BNP has already been fined £1,000 because its 2008 accounts ‘were submitted nearly six months late. They came with a report from the party’s auditors, Silver & Co, stating that they did not give a true and fair view and did not “comply with the requirements of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 as adequate records have not been made available”. Even Griffin admitted the accounts were “inadequate”.

The Electoral Commission emphasised that the fact that an investigation had been launched did ‘not mean that electoral rules had ‘been breached. A statement by the commission explained that “no conclusion has been reached and therefore no assumption should be made as to whether a breach of the ‘rules has occurred”.

That did not stop the BNP describing the investigation as “an obviously politically motivated attack” and claiming ludicrously that the party had been assured it would be closed the following week.

Meanwhile the embarrassing leaks of financial information that the BNP tried to blame on Collett appear to be continuing. Earlier this year it emerged that the BNP had paid over £360,000 to businesses connected with Dowson during the first 11 months of 2009, a significant proportion of the party’s budget. This fact and the central position Dowson holds in the BNP’s operations gave rise to our conclusion that Dowson in effect owns the BNP.

The latest leak suggests that Dowson’s hold over the party continues, with more than £51,000 paid to his company Adlorries.com in March alone.

It has been suggested that Dowson was responsible for Collett’s suspension and supporters of Collett have thrown the “financial irregularities” accusation back at Dowson. Many in the BNP are suspicious of the close relationship between Griffin and Dowson, who claims he is not a party member.

Whether Collett’s BNP career is truly over remains to be seen. His Wikipedia page, which was hastily updated to record his suspension, states that his membership was reinstated a week later, though he has not got his old job back.

Collett has bounced back twice before, once after he notoriously starred in the television documentary Young, Nazi and Proud, in which he said he was inspired by images of German Nazis “sieg heiling” in the streets, the second time after the internal rebellion in the BNP in winter 2007-08, when he was widely accused of incompetence. He claims to remain “completely loyal” to the party and has offered to help with local election material.


April 26, 2010

On the front line of the war against the BNP

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The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is at war. The next two weeks will determine whether the area becomes the jewel in the crown for the British National Party – a BNP-controlled council with command of a £200 million-a-year budget. And sometimes, as this week, the warfare becomes physical. Police were called to Barking town centre after a punch-up began during a BNP canvassing session. And there were angry scenes in Dagenham last week when anti-fascist campaigner Billy Bragg had a stand-up row with Richard Barnbrook, the BNP’s London Assembly member.

But even Bragg, a Barking man by birth, has not grasped the seriousness of the situation according to one leading campaigner. “They think that a vote for the BNP is a way of lashing out against the local council”, Bragg said last week. Wrong, says Sam Tarry, organiser for the anti-fascist Hope not Hate campaign and a Labour council candidate in Dagenham. “That shame that used to exist about voting BNP is gone. It’s well beyond a protest now. The BNP have been gaining nationally for five or six years. I think the council is going to be very, very tight.”

The 2006 local elections saw 12 BNP councillors elected to Barking and Dagenham council, making them the biggest BNP council group in the country. According to campaign group Searchlight, the organisers behind Hope not Hate, the party only needs to swing six marginal council wards to gain control.

Away from the town hall, Barking Labour candidate and culture minister Margaret Hodge and Jon Cruddas in the new Dagenham and Rainham contituency seem quietly confident of their own electoral success. But a late BNP surge could yet see Cruddas (notional majority 6,581) unseated by his Conservative opponent. And in November, BNP leader Nick Griffin announced he was standing for Parliament in Barking. Griffin vowed to spend more than the party has ever spent on a constituency campaign: no idle threat, with he and his fellow MEP Andrew Brons now on the Brussels payroll. How much of a threat is he to Labour?

“Griffin’s not here to win a parliamentary seat – the council’s the real prize”, Tarry insists. “He’s here to take the heat off the councillors. Obviously our strategy is to bind those things together. Locally he’s seen as an outsider, someone coming to take advantage of the situation.”

When I arrive in Dagenham, Hope not Hate’s footsoldiers have been out in force at the weekend: 548 to be precise, a record number for any election campaign, delivering glossy leaflets and full-colour Hope not Hate tabloid newspapers. “We got the whole borough done. It was fantastic”, says an activist.

Labour’s big guns, too, are out in force, at least for Hodge. On the day I visit her North Street offices, David Blunkett has been and gone, deputy leader Harriet Harman and her predecessor John Prescott are planning a visit, and health minister Baroness Thornton has just dropped in for a cup of tea. The trainers on her feet prove she has been out canvassing.

“If people are going to support us, they are really going to support us,” she says, echoing some of Sam Tarry’s views. “There’s a strong Labour vote and quite a sizeable BNP vote.”

Indeed, she met some BNP voters today. How did she deal with them? “I said, look, these guys are Nazis! – I feel I’m old enough and mature enough – if it’s someone older I say, ‘did your father fight in the war? Do you want people who like Adolf Hitler running the borough?’”

For all the common cause they have, Searchlight and Labour do not always agree on how to fight the BNP. And neither do Hodge and Cruddas’ offices. Hodge’s profile dominates her literature in a “top of the ticket” strategy. Cruddas gets a more equal billing with his council candidates. Some privately think Hodge’s approach is not the best way to protect the council. But there is no doubting the Barking MP’s sheer hard work: she has pounded the pavements regularly every weekend for the past two years and is currently canvassing three times a day.

Darren Rodwell, Hodge’s campaign manager, is proud of what has been achieved. Three years ago, he says, only 7 per cent of the electorate were on Barking’s contacts database, compared to 54 per cent now. Would he stake his home on a Labour victory, I ask. “I’m as confident as I can be; I would never do anything that would risk my family”, he smiles, before admitting that, in any case, he would move out if the BNP won.

How the impressive efforts in Barking and Dagenham compare to the BNP’s own canvassing is hard to say: at the time of writing, my questions to them were unanswered. But the far-right party has not come from nowhere – its voting figures at general elections have grown steadily for nearly 20 years – and with two Brussels seats and the chance of a Westminster seat, it is certainly not going nowhere. Whether that continues depends on Barking and Dagenham.