December 31, 2010

EDL gloating backfire

10 Comment (s)
The EDL took great delight in reporting the death of Bertie Lewis, a 90 year old from Bolton who recently spoke out against them. "This was the old clown from Bolton who went on tv being a little daft dhimmi mouthing off about edl. 1 less commie rat to worry about," wrote the EDL on their Facebook site.

The only problem was that Bertie had a distinguished war record in Bomber Command and it wasn't long before EDL supporters turned on their leadership.

Michael Jones said: "Man was a war hero, regardless of who he supported. Get a grip admin, you sound just like the idiots we oppose."

Wayne from Blackburn joined the fray. "Stuff like this gives the Muzzies ammunition to ridicule. Remove this post."

Anyway, unlike the EDL I would like to pay our respects to Bertie. He was born in Chicago and grew up in New York and was one of the few Americans to enlist with the RAF. He was 19 when WW2 broke out and two years later worked his way across the Atlantic shovelling coal on a Norwegian ship intent on joining the RAF. He was eventually to become a Flight Sergeant in Bomber Command and took part in 40 missions over Germany.

In more recent years he became an active anti-war campaigner and every weekend would take to the streets of Bolton to spread a peace message.

Last year he took part in a demonstration against the EDL in Bolton. He was knocked over by police but continued his protest from a chair. He later told the Bolton News: “I fought the fascists during the Second World War and if I let someone like the English Defence League, which are the enemy, get away with coming here and protesting then what did I fight the war for?”

Hope not hate

Former neo-Nazi jailed for Auschwitz sign theft

1 Comment (s)
Two-year sentence for Swede who masterminded the crime

A former Swedish neo-Nazi was yesterday jailed for more than two years for masterminding the theft of the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from the entrance of memorial museum on the site of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The 16ft wide sign, a lasting symbol of the Holocaust which states "Work Sets You Free", was removed from the gate of the former Auschwitz camp more than a year ago and found in woods in northern Poland three days later.

A gang of five Poles with a so-called "Swedish connection" was held responsible for the theft. They had planned to ship the sign to Sweden where it was to be sold. The theft provoked international outrage and protests from Israel and Jewish groups worldwide.

An estimated 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were systematically murdered at Auschwitz. The camp site is now a museum and serves as one of the world's most chillingly powerful Holocaust memorials. It is partially funded by the German government and it attracts thousands of visitors annually.

Yesterday, a court in the southern Polish city of Krakow, sentenced Anders Hogstrom, 34 – a former Swedish neo-Nazi who is said to have turned his back on the far right a decade ago – to two years and eight months imprisonment for his role in the theft. Hogstrom, who helped set up a far right, anti-immigrant group called the National Socialist Front in Sweden in the 1990s, told the court calmly after he was sentenced: "Yes I accept the verdict."

A Polish court spokesman said Hogstrom had reached a deal with prosecutors which would allow him to be sent to Sweden to serve his sentence. The court also sentenced two Polish men identified as Marcin Auguscinski and Andrzej Strychalski to jails terms of 30 months and 28 months respectively for stealing the sign and cutting it into three pieces to get it into their getaway vehicle. Auguscinski apparently met Hogstrom more than two years ago while doing odd jobs on his family estate in southern Sweden.

Despite his sentencing, Hogstrom's exact role in the theft remained unclear. The former neo-Nazi, who lives in the southern Swedish city of Karlskrona, is said to have renounced the far right more than a decade ago. He now claims to be a member of a group which helps ex-Nazis to return to normal life. Poland convicted him of masterminding the theft after prosecutors failed to turn up any evidence which supported Hogstrom's claims that he was acting as a middle man in a plot to steal the sign for financial and possibly political gain.

Swedish police arrested him early in 2010. Hogstrom also claimed that rather than being arrested, he had turned himself into the Swedish authorities after he realised that proceeds from the sign's sale was meant for a political campaign to disrupt Swedish general election in September which saw huge gains by the right-wing Sweden Democrat party. No evidence has emerged to support his claim that there was a political element to the theft

Polish prosecutors said Hogstrom had admitted his guilt at the last minute. The most likely cause for Hogstrom's change of heart appears to have been the settlement reached with prosecutors which allows him to return to Sweden to serve his sentence.

But whether the motives behind the sign's theft were political or linked in any way to the election gains by Sweden's anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, remains a mystery. Robert Parys, the Polish prosecutor who headed the investigation, said he was convinced the main motive was financial. What is clear is that the gang, whose members were aged between 25 and 39, had clearly not bargained for the international outcry and nationwide manhunt the theft provoked.

Avner Shalev, chairman of Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial was one of the many Jewish leaders who felt outraged. He said the incident had given "pain to Holocaust survivors and people of conscience everywhere."

Despite the rediscovery of the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign soon after its theft, its place remained occupied yesterday by a copy. The original – under lock and key at the Auschwitz memorial museum – is being repaired and will eventually take its place.


Ex-BNP boss behind anti-abortion group

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Ex-BNP mouthpiece Jim Dowson is putting his weight back behind his anti-abortion fundraising.

He’s turned the old BNP Belfast bunker into a fundraising office for a controversial anti-abortion pressure group who like to hand-out shocking pictures of aborted foetuses to make their point.

Dowson denies being at the helm of the UK Life League which raises thousands of pounds a year. But when we called the secretive ‘not-for-profit’ organisation on Wednesday it was Dowson who answered the phone.

Meanwhile his daughter, who until last month was working for the BNP, is the only named employee on their website. Alice Kernaghan – who got married earlier this year – is named at the end of an anti-abortion campaign letter as the UK Life League’s ‘National Coordinator’. Dowson is also pictured on the website protesting on the steps of Stormont holding a picture of an aborted foetus.

Convicted criminal Dowson walked away from the BNP after a fall-out about funding. He had enjoyed a rocky road with the English-based race hate party which is led by his pal Nick Griffin. This week he told us he was “glad to be shot” of the BNP. And he continued to claim he was never a member of the party – adding that he dislikes what they stand for.

“No I’m not running it – I’m just doing a bit of design work for them [the UK Life League],” said Dowson on Wednesday. I’m glad to be shot of the BNP. It was a very difficult three years. I’m turning my attention to a private marketing project in Spain. But I’m very much a big supporter of the UK Life League.”

The rabid self-proclaimed reverend, originally from Cumbernauld in Scotland, first hit the headlines eleven years ago when he quit his post at the head of anti-abortion group Precious Life over his involvement with loyalists. The Catholic Church, which had previously supported Dowson’s antiabortion stance, distanced themselves from him after he was revealed as the organiser of a flute band which recorded a tape in honour of UFF Milltown Cemetery killer Michael Stone.

For the last three years Dowson has been effectively running the fundraising and membership wings of the BNP. He set up the Belfast office on the outskirts of Belfast where he hoped he could operate without attracting any attention. But in the summer of 2009 the Sunday World infiltrated the office and we later revealed how BNP leader Nick Griffin had sent over his own daughter Jenny to help run things.

The Sunday World understands that the UK Life League has attracted tens of thousands of pounds in funds throughout the last three years – despite being virtually inactive.

Sunday World

December 29, 2010

Does the BNP have a future in Kirklees?

3 Comment (s)
The British National Party had hoped for a surge in support in May’s general and local elections. But the party’s sole Kirklees representative on Kirklees lost his seat, leader Nick Griffin finished a distant third in the BNP’s target Parliamentary seat of Barking while in Dewsbury the party’s vote fell from 5,000 to 3,200. Local government reporter BARRY GIBSON asks if the party has a future.

David Exley used to be the face of the BNP in Kirklees. He sent shockwaves through the district when he was elected to represent Heckmondwike on the council in 2003. But the Birstall man revealed to the Examiner that he left the party in June – just a month after standing as BNP candidate in Cleckheaton in the Kirklees poll and for Batley and Spen in the general election.

He said: “I resigned from the BNP. I shouldn’t really have stood at the elections. The party is not putting the emphasis on policies that appeal to the general public. At this time of year we should be asking about what’s going on with the winter provisions, we ought to have been talking about the economy and what we can do to alleviate those problems.”

Mr Exley blames the party leader for many of the BNP’s problems.

“I think it’s down to the leadership,’’ he said. “I totally lost faith in Nick Griffin’s ability to lead and prioritise. The worst thing that happened to Nick was to be elected to the European Parliament because he’s not able to do that job properly and run the party properly. I know there are a lot of people who are disillusioned.”

Mr Exley is the second former BNP Kirklees councillor to leave the party. Colin Auty, who once represented Dewsbury East, quit the party in 2008 after clashing with Mr Griffin. That leaves just Roger Roberts, the one-time Conservative who represented the BNP on Kirklees until he was defeated at May’s council election. The former Heckmondwike councillor admits the party has problems – but he believes the BNP can rebuild in Kirklees.

“There has been a lot of internal feuding and splits within the party,” he said. “The big problem is Nick Griffin and it has been for a long time. When he was elected to the European Parliament he should have stood down as leader. He has brought the party as far as he can and he should stand down now.”

But the Dewsbury man, who chairs the Kirklees branch of the party, insists the BNP is not finished.

“Within Kirklees there are some members who have withdrawn their support but only two activists have left the party,” he said. “The main nucleus is still there and we have to look to rebuild. We should be moving forward in leaps and bounds because the people have been let down by the two main parties.”

The party ran candidates in every Kirklees ward except Greenhead at May’s council elections. But Mr Roberts revealed that most voters in Huddersfield and the Valleys will not have the chance to vote for the party in next year’s council elections. He said: “I’ve always said it was silly contesting every ward and I think we should concentrate on half a dozen wards – most of them in north Kirklees – where we have a chance.”

The party’s opponents agree with Mr Roberts on one thing – the BNP is not finished in Kirklees. Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them. They are still around, still active and still exploiting issues in the local community.”

Clr Khan believes the party’s three Kirklees councillors were unseated because they failed to deliver for their voters. The Greenhead Labour man said: “The party’s honeymoon was over very quickly because people saw they weren’t offering an alternative. Their wicked lies and myths designed to divide communities weren’t appealing to local people. Therefore, they suffered at the ballot box.”

Clr Andrew Cooper, who leads the Green Party on Kirklees Council, agrees. The Newsome man said: “The BNP had a high watermark of three councillors which fell away very quickly. We’ve always got to be vigilant about these sort of far-right organisations. The views they put forward do not reflect the values we have as a country.”

Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman believes his party can take credit for the BNP’s downturn. He said: “We did get it wrong in areas where we are strong because we weren’t listening to people. But we’ve learned the lesson that if you don’t talk to people about issues which concern them – like immigration – you leave space for the BNP. That doesn’t mean we must take on the BNP’s policies, but we mustn’t exclude people who have concerns.”

University of Huddersfield politics lecturer Dr Andrew Mycock believes the party risks losing out to the English Defence League (EDL) which has held marches in cities across the country against the so-called Islamification of Britain. He said: “Internally the party has started to collapse into huge schisms and there are a lot of questions about Nick Griffin’s style of leadership. But the thing that’s really undermined them is the EDL which has outflanked them.

“The BNP became more mainstream and had to change its constitution to let non-white members join. Many of those on the extremes don’t see it as a party they adhere to any more. The EDL is a far more radical challenge. The BNP has tried to change things through democracy while the EDL is a return to the streets which is deliberately trying to promote conflict.”

Huddersfield Daily Examiner

December 28, 2010

Bishop urges firm stand against racism

3 Comment (s)
The Bishop of St Albans spoke of the need to "stand firm" against racism in society.

The Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith used his Christmas sermon in St Albans Cathedral to warn against "destructive powers which try to divide communities, races and religions". He acknowledged "hatred and unrest" could be found within Britain, using the example of the controversial marches undertaken by far-right group the English Defence League (EDL), which provoked clashes in town and cities during the year.

He said: "But hatred and unrest is not just found in far away places. In the past year we have seen racist marches on our streets in London and Bolton, in Dudley and Peterborough, in Aylesbury and Bradford, led by individuals who want to stir up unrest. Even as I speak, demonstrations are being planned in Luton in six weeks' time which could seriously undermine community relations. Some people are even trying to commandeer Christianity to support their cause."

He also spoke of the violence faced by Christians in Iraq resulting in killings on the grounds of their beliefs. He said: "Still today we live in a world where there are destructive powers which try to divide communities, races and religions. The Christian church in Iraq is one of the oldest in the world, yet 50% of Christians in that country have had to flee since 2003 in the face of extreme violence.

"Tragically, we receive almost daily reports of Christians being attacked or murdered there. This Christmas many church services have been cancelled because of threats. They have appealed for us to pray for their protection."

The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith called for greater compassion among people regardless of their religion.

Bearsden Herald

December 27, 2010

78 English Defence League fanatics claim whiplash injuries...but only 25 were on coach

17 Comment (s)
Seventy-eight English Defence League supporters are trying to claim for whiplash injuries in a coach crash... when only 25 of them were on board.

The claims were lodged after the coach carrying party members from Gateshead to a rally in Preston, Lancs, was involved in a minor collision. Days later dozens of EDL supporters submitted a bid for compensation for whiplash injuries which they said were caused by the crash.

But the coach firm says only 25 people were on the bus - and the vehicle has just 57 seats. Maria Caris, spokesman for Caris Coaches in Gateshead, said she is now considering legal action amid fears her firm is being scammed by members of the extremist party, which opposes the spread of militant Islam.

She said: "They must think we're idiots. There are 78 claims in so far and the phone is still going with people asking for our insurance details. They are all saying they were on the coach."

Recalling the rally - which ended in violent clashes with police - she added: "These 'whiplash injuries' could have been caused when they were fighting with the police in Preston."

Driver Christopher Cartwright said he'd be amazed if any of the 25 on board were hurt in the crash last month. He said: "There was not much more than a scratch on the back corner of the coach."

Yesterday even their own supporters were protesting. EDL's Alan Spence wrote on the party's Facebook site: "Are you taking the piss or what? There were only 20 people on the fucking coach."


December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas to all our supporters!

9 Comment (s)
An extremely Happy Christmas to all of our supporters who celebrate it and our very best wishes to those who don't. Whichever you are, let's all look forward to a great (and peaceful) 2011 for everyone (except the BNP, for whom we wish a speedy bankruptcy). Special thanks from us here at Lancaster Unity to all our friends, fellow writers and readers who have contributed to our success during 2010. Your help and support has been very much appreciated.

We've got a busy and boisterous 2011 ahead of us what with numerous local council seats up for grabs, so we're taking a couple of days off while we sleep off the nut roast/turkey and sulk because Santa didn't bring the iPad despite all the hints. ;-)

Enjoy the holiday! We'll see you soon!

Cheers everyone
All at Lancaster Unity x

December 23, 2010

A Visit From Saint Nicholas: After Clement C Moore (a long way after...)

9 Comment (s)

T'was the night before Christmas,
down Welshpool they say,
and Nick was asleep
(he's far safer that way)

From out in the yard
came a clamour so great
that Griffin leapt up
and looked out to the gate

“It must be Green Arrow”
thought the Leader, quite cross,
“he's been at the lager
and come to see Boss”

But it wasn't the Arrow
out there in the black,
t'was a jolly old fellow
with a beard and a sack

“It's Santa!” cried Nick
with glee and delight,
“And he's brought me some pressies
'pon Christmas Eve night!”

Santa stood in the yard
just scratching his head
studying maps
in an old A to Zed

“Are you looking for me?”
Asked Griffin, excited,
“Have you brought me a gift?
If you have, I'm delighted!”

“It's not you I'm after,
you're not on my list,
I'm after directions
if you could assist.”

“Not on your list!”
Cried Griffin, dismayed,
“Pray tell me why not!
What's this sick masquerade?!”

“You're not on my list,
to be quite precise,
'cos Griffin, old chum,
you just haven't been nice.”

“Not nice?” spluttered Nick
“Not nice – that's a blow!
Tell me, in what way not nice?
I must know!”

Santa consulted
a book from his sleigh.
“Says here you're a wrong'un.
Right here. Okay?”

“You're a mealy-mouthed racist,
and a conman to boot.
A jumped up dictator
in a 3 XL suit.”

“You lie to the country
and lie to your Members,
you've lied all your life,
thinking no-one remembers!”

“You sit here in Welshpool,
and appeal to the Nation,
hoping little old ladies will
send a donation.”

“You say it's for court fees,
or for a Truth Truck,
but it never shows up
in Accounts, does it, Chuck?”

“As long as Nick Griffin
treats others like poo,
there'll be no Christmas treats
in my sack for you!”

Griffin was downcast,
and stared at his feet.
“Not even satsumas?
Or chocolates to eat?”

“Not a sausage, old boy!”
Said Santa, quite stern,
“A harsh lesson, I know-
but one you should learn!”

“So who gets the pressies?”
Asked Nick, with a tear,
“Where will you go, if
you're not coming here?”

“I've got gifts for all
who've learned not to hate.
and believe we're all equal
(and that ain't you, mate...)”

“For teachers and preachers
and union folk,
(that's real unions, mind-
not that Harrington bloke...)”

“For all anti-racists-
Black, White and Yellow-
There's pressies and treats-
but not you, old fellow!”

And with that, Dear old Santa
climbed back in his sleigh,
shouting: “Dasher and Dancer!
Away, lads, away!”

And as Griffin watched,
Santa flew from the yard,
leaving poor Nick
not so much as a card.

And he heard a feint cry,
as he went back indoors:
“Merry Christmas to all!
And Griffin, Up Yours!”

(I'd just like to wish a Merry Christmas, Winterval, Eid (a bit late, I know...), Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanza or whatever else you may be celebrating to all our Readers. Although not some of our Readers, obviously – you know who you are...

See you in 2011!)

Professor, 80, fled from Nazi occupied Austria and championed Special Needs Education

0 Comment (s)
Peter Mittler, today a University of Manchester Professor
One of Britain’s most distinguished academics has revealed his remarkable escape from Nazi-occupied Austria as a young boy.

Peter Mittler, the 80-year-old Emeritus Professor of Special Needs Education at the University of Manchester, is one of the country’s great champions for the intellectually disabled and has advised the government and the United Nations. But as an eight-year-old Jewish boy in Vienna, his parents put him on the Kindertransport – the rescue mission which brought 10,000 children to Britain to escape Nazi persecution.

Prof Mittler has revealed his remarkable flight in a new memoir, Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: A Personal Journey. He tells how his oppression as a child in Hitler’s Austria led to his pioneering work for special needs education and a lifelong determination to fight injustice. And he expresses his eternal gratitude to Britain for taking him in.

“There were children of all ages on the train but there were also adults to look after us,” wrote Prof Mittler. “We were allowed a little carry-on bag and were given a label with a number and our name which the Germans inspected at the Dutch border – and that was the most frightening part. I remember sleeping in a bunk on the way to Harwich and discovering sheets and blankets for the first time – we only knew quilts in Austria. And they gave use bacon and eggs on the boat without understanding that many Jewish people wouldn’t be able to eat that. But the Kindertransport showed Britain at its best: they took 10,000 of us while the United States only took 1,000. I am forever grateful.”

In the months before Prof Mittler’s escape, Jews had their businesses looted, were banned from work and public places, and saw their children thrown out of school.

In his book, Prof Mittler recounts how a stormtrooper appeared at the family’s front door on April 2, 1938 – the day of his eighth birthday party – and ordered his mother to scrub the streets. She handed the man a ‘donation’ to be left alone. When he arrived in Britain, Prof Mittler was taken in by a family of strangers. He would not be reunited with his mother and father – a prominent anti-Nazi Socialist who made it over to work as a research chemist – until 1942.

Prof Mittler became head of Britain’s first research centre for special educational needs at The University of Manchester in 1968. It grew to become the largest of its kind in Europe. Prof Mittler said: “My own oppression led to a lifelong interest in fighting injustice and changing legislation to help people with disabilities.”

Manchester Evening News

December 22, 2010

Killers were known to police for links to far-right group and football violence

9 Comment (s)
Daryll Jones, left, and Mark Jackson
Two murderers of a vulnerable Lincoln man had links to the far-right English Defence League, according to police.

Daryll Jones, 17, and Mark Jackson, 21, were two of the top targets in Lincolnshire Police's attempts to ban people from the Sincil Bank area on Lincoln City match days. They were identified by football intelligence officers along with ten others in Operation Argyll.

As reported in the Echo, this operation aims to use civil football banning orders to stop people hanging around with suspected troublemakers. But the cases against Jones and Jackson, of Yarborough Road, Lincoln, were put on hold after they were arrested on suspicion of killing football enthusiast Shaun Rossington.

Asperger's sufferer Shaun, 21, of Dunkirk Road, was found to have suffered more than 40 injuries. He was punched, kicked and stamped on during the attack on grassland, off Searby Road, on June 3. Jones and Jackson were found guilty of his murder, along with two others, at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday.

Lincolnshire Police football intelligence officer PC Karl Williams said: "When we initially started Operation Argyll, Jones and Jackson were quite prominent. If they had not been charged with murder, they would have been on the scheme. We started to get information on these two every time Lincoln City had a game and there were some indications they were connected to the English Defence League."

In September 2009, Jones and Jackson were banned from entering Lincoln City's Sincil Bank stadium and Lincoln United's Ashby Avenue. Police issued the warnings after the pair were identified in a group that caused disorder at Ashby Avenue and Lincoln train station on August 22, 2009. Jones pleaded guilty to one public order offence related to these incidents last March.

PC Williams said: "The ultimate aim of the operation is to target those youths not only causing problems at the football, but in the city centre and at night on the estates. It was a case if we are able to ban them from the football, it's taking away the chance of them getting convicted of more serious offences. We were compiling the cases on Jones and Jackson and they were quite strong. They were two of our strongest ones and I have no doubt whatsoever we would have got them banned."

Nicolas Shelbourne, 27, of Laughton Way, Lincoln, and Jordan O'Rouke, 17, were also convicted of Shaun's murder. Jurors found a 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, guilty of manslaughter. A 16-year-old boy was cleared of all charges. A 14-year-old girl was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Lincolnshire Echo

Police arrest EDL protest’s leader

4 Comment (s)
ONE of the leaders of the English Defence League (EDL) has been arrested after police received complaints about his speech during their protest in Peterborough on 11th December.

Guramit Singh (28), from Nottingham, was arrested yesterday (22nd December) on suspicion of intentionally causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

Cambridgeshire Police received two complaints after Mr Singh, an unofficial leader and spokesman for the EDL, gave a speech during the EDL’s two-hour protest in the city on Saturday, December 11.

Mr Singh was addressing around 1,000 EDL supporters and hundreds of onlooking members of the public during his speech, which was delivered outside Peterborough Magistrates’ Court and has since been uploaded onto YouTube.

A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire Police said: “A 28-year-old man from Nottingham was arrested on suspicion of intentionally causing religiously aggravated harassment alarm or distress, under section four of the public order act 1986.

“He was questioned in Nottingham and has now been bailed.

“Police are investigating whether any further criminal offences were committed during protests in Peterborough.

“The arrested man will return to a police station in Cambridgeshire in February.”

The EDL held its protest claiming to be against Islamic extremism and its perceived rise in England.

The protesters went from outside the Peterborough United Football Ground, in London Road, to Peterborough Magistrates’ Court in Lower Bridge Street, where they gathered for a static protest and were addressed by Mr Singh.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the other unofficial leader of the EDL, confirmed that Mr Singh had been arrested.

Mr Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, said: “Guramit was arrested in the morning.

“The EDL are fully behind him and we don’t think there was anything wrong with his speech.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he has been arrested but it does disappoint me.”

The EDL’s decision to come to Peterborough to march and protest sparked the biggest policing operation in the history of the city.

Around 1,000 officers from 18 forces across the country were drafted in to police the EDL march as well as the counter demonstration which was organised by Peterborough Trades Union Council.

The operation cost Cambridgeshire Police an estimated £750,000 to pay overtime and draft extra officers in for the day. It resulted in 10 arrests on the day.

Police investigations are ongoing following the marches and officers have asked anyone with information to contact them on 0345 456 4564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Peterborough Today

Why We 'No Platform' Fascists at Goldsmiths

4 Comment (s)
This week the Student Assembly almost unanimously voted in favour of reaffirming our no platform policy for fascist organisations. I’d like to explain exactly what this means, to debunk some common myths, and why it is so important.

What does “No Platform” mean?

In essence this policy means that the Students’ Union will not allow any activity by fascist organisations to take place on campus at Goldsmiths. This ranges from setting up fascist societies to inviting fascists to speak or debate on campus.

Why is this important?

We don’t “no platform” racists/sexists/homophobes since these views stem from ignorance, which should be confronted and challenged. However, fascism is something completely different. Fascism doesn’t stem from ignorance, it is a carefully thought out political ideology which fundamentally rests on violence to terrorise ethnic minorities, religious groups, and LGBT people.

It is not a normal political ideology which accepts the democratic process, but instead uses democracy to destroy it. The examples are all too numerous, but everywhere fascism has got to power, democracy has always been the first victim.

Therefore, allowing fascist organisations the legitimacy to speak or organise on our campus is to indirectly help their growth. We have a responsibility to defend all students, and black, ethnic, religious and LGBT groups have a right to study in an environment free of danger to their wellbeing.

Isn’t this denying free speech?

In essence it is. In the same way that laws deny us complete freedom so as to preserve freedoms for everyone, we deny fascists freedom of speech since their goal is to destroy it. Is this contradictory? Not really, it is the foundation of freedom.

For example, we don’t have the freedom to murder, since that would infringe on people’s right to live. Equally, students have a right to study free from fear, and since fascism exists to deny this freedom it is imperative that we stand against it.

We don’t “no platform” fascists because we disagree with their views. We “no platform” them because they pose a physical threat to students at Goldsmiths.

How are fascists a threat?

The English Defence League organise marches, mainly in predominately Muslim areas of the UK. When they march they terrorise the local Asian populations, in Stoke, Luton, Dudley and Leicester, over the past year, Asian shops, religious places, and people have been physically attacked on EDL marches.

EDL members in Dudley and London have put pigs’ heads outside Mosques, reminiscent of how the National Front used to throw bacon on Jewish graves in the 1970s.

Aren’t Universities a place for diverse views?

As stated above, the threat organisations like the BNP and EDL pose is a physical one, not an intellectual one. Fascist groups in Rome just a few years ago attempted to storm a meeting on campus with iron bars. These same fascist groups regularly loiter outside the gay district of Rome, ready to attack people leaving bars in the area. Intellectual debate cannot take place in an environment where people feel physically threatened for who they are.

Won’t this make victims out of fascists?

The key for fascist groups such as the EDL and BNP is to look legitimate, and to some extent respectable. This strategy has worked wonders for fascists in Europe, where in places like France, Italy and Austria, they actually hold serious power within government. Appearing on mainstream media, speaking on university campuses, and winning local elections are all important ways of gaining such legitimacy; looking like victims is not one of them. This would assume people felt sorry for Hitler when he began losing the war, or Mussolini when he was deposed from Italy. Some people may disagree with the tactic of no platform, but the idea that upholding this policy will then drive these same people into the arms of the fascists is simply not true.

Is it legal?

The National Union of Students hold a no platform policy, Goldsmiths SU has held it for over three years now. It has never been challenged on a legal basis, and never will be as no platform breaks no laws.

We are hoping to host a debate on no platform in the new year, so watch this space and be part of the debate!

James Haywood at Goldsmiths Students’ Union

Many thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up

December 21, 2010

Griffin stuffed

9 Comment (s)
Enough to put ANYONE off their Christmas dinner...
Nick Griffin has today taken a right old stuffing after a judge ruled against him for the unfair dismissal of four former BNP employees. The BNP leader has been ordered to pay £45,000 in court costs within 28 days and pay another £40,000 in compensation to Steve Blake, Kenny Smith, Ian Dawson, and Nichola Smith. Some commentators believe his own legal fees could reach as much as £30,000.

It is also worth remembering that the BNP has still not paid the compensation for unfair dismissal to Michaela McKenzie, despite being ordered to do so last June. The compensation and legal fees is believed to have run into the tens of thousands.

All in all, it's turning out to be a pretty awful Christmas for Griffin.

Hope not hate

Note: The full judgement is here for those who wish to read it. Thanks to all who sent in the link.

December 20, 2010

BNP's Griffin Adams Corbett Adams to stand in Oldham East by-election (possibly)

16 Comment (s)
There are times when I worry about Nick Griffin and his happy band of idiots. On the one hand, they claim to be able to run an entire country, while on the other they are clearly unable to organise a piss-up in a pub.

Take the coming Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, called following the eviction of former Labour MP Phil Woolas for telling porkies about one of his opponents. Seeing an opportunity to get his ghastly face before the public again (and seemingly unconcerned at the bewilderment of his Euro-constituents, to whom he is expected to have some commitment) Nick Griffin promptly announced that he was intending to stand at the invitation, he claimed, of the local BNP branch. Though not according to the people in the BNP who communicate with us, who claim that he had parachuted himself in, in the same way that he did in Barking at the General Election, where he won a derisory 4,916 votes despite a full-on campaign in the constituency.

Presumably Griffin has realised that standing and losing in every seat in the country is not likely to enhance whatever credibility he thinks he has, because just a couple of days after the party announced his candidacy, rumour suggested that he had changed his mind and that Derek Adams, a favourite of the idiotic Clive Jefferson and a stooge candidate in the most recent (and most farcical) BNP leadership election, was to stand instead, to the fury of the local group.

Just a day later, long-time activist and liaison to BNP-friendly far-right groups in Germany, Chris Beverley, wrote on his Morley Patriot blog;
'I was in Oldham this afternoon with Andrew Brons and two Leeds activists to help with an activity in the town connected with the upcoming by-election in the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency...Our candidate in the election is long-term local activist Anita Corbett who has stood for election in Oldham on a number of occasions.'
Now, a mere two days after this announcement, former BNP elections officer Eddy Butler has further news for us. He writes;
'Clive Jefferson would seem to have got his way and has ran roughshod over the local branch and imposed Derek Adams as the BNP candidate in the forthcoming Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. I expect Derek Adams to be announced as the candidate at the press conference due to be held later today (Monday).

It appears that Clive believes that UKIP will out poll the BNP which is why he persuaded Nick Griffin not to stand. It is also apparent that neither Clive Jefferson nor Nick Griffin trust the local officers and activists in Oldham which is why they are imposing Derek Adams.

Clive Jefferson is busy upsetting everyone who he sees as getting in his way. There are a number of senior officers who he is busy denigrating. That is how he operates.'
Generally speaking, when it comes to having a pop at Griffin or Jefferson, Butler tends to be on target. And if true, how embarrassing for Griffin's fellow BNP Euro MEP Andrew Brons, who was out campaigning on Saturday with Chris Beverley and Anita Corbett in the latter's bid to take the seat.

Personally, I don't think Griffin has backed off from the seat because of any threat by UKIP or anyone else. Rather, it's that the BNP's disastrous financial situation has got in the way and the party can't afford to get a decent campaign up and running. This is more or less confirmed by Butler, who pointed out in a post on his blog yesterday;
'Most printers used to dealing with such orders have not been paid following the last election. Several of our most reliable printers are taking the BNP to court over unpaid invoices involving in total six figure sums...In short there will be a major problem in getting the leaflets printed in time.'
So who is actually going to stand for the BNP in this entirely unwinnable seat? A local candidate with no leaflets or a leafletless stooge parachuted in by a moron? Either way, it should be a laugh for us.

Marine Le Pen under fire for comparing Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation

2 Comment (s)
Marie Le Pen - a racist, just like Papa
The daughter of French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was under fire Sunday for comparing Muslims praying in the streets outside overcrowded mosques in France to the Nazi occupation

The daughter of French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was under fire Sunday for comparing Muslims praying in the streets outside overcrowded mosques in France to the Nazi occupation. Marine Le Pen said Friday at a rally of the anti-immigrant National Front that there were "ten to fifteen" places in France where Muslims worshipped in the streets outside mosques when these were full.

"For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it's about occupation, then we could also talk about it (Muslim prayers in the streets), because that is occupation of territory," she said at the gathering in Lyon. It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of districts in which religious laws apply. It's an occupation," she said at the rally that was part of her bid to take the party leadership when her father steps down in January. There are of course no tanks, there are no soldiers but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents," the 42-year-old noted.

The comments sparked condemnation from politicians from President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party and from the opposition Socialists and the Greens.

"This is the true face of the far right which has not changed in the slightest, and Marine Le Pen is just as dangerous as Jean-Marie Le Pen," Socialist Party spokesman Benoit Hamon said Saturday.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has several convictions for racism and anti-Semitism, shocked Europe in 2002 by coming in second in the French presidential elections.

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) said Saturday that Marine Le Pen's comments were "insulting towards the Muslims of France" and were an "incitement to hatred and violence against them."

On Sunday, an anti-racist group said it planned to file a civil lawsuit against her.

"Comparing Muslims to an army of occupation is humiliating. To be treated like invaders, like fascists, that is just not possible," said Mouloud Aounit, head of the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples (MRAP).

Paris' Goutte d'Or district, where mosques are so full on Fridays that many believers end up praying on the streets outside, is one of the ares that Le Pen was referring to in her Lyon speech. Police in June banned a "pork sausage and wine" street party planned by extremist groups to combat what they saw as the "Islamisation" of the neighbourhood. The plan sparked outrage from politicians and anti-racism groups who said it was blatantly racist and could lead to violence on the streets.

That controversy came after a government-sponsored debate on national identity spotlighted anxieties about the integration of France's five to six million Muslims.

On Sunday locals in the Goutte d'Or district said they were well used to comments like Le Pen's.

"Most Muslims feel threatened. They won't leave us alone," said a grocery store worker who gave his name as Hakim.

"With the cold and the dirt, we'd love to have a clean hall to pray in but we don't have the choice," said Walid Ben, who works in a fabric shop in the area.

"I understand that it bothers people (if Muslims pray in the streets) but what solution is Marine Le Pen proposing?" he asked.

Ahlul Bayt News Agency

December 19, 2010

EDL has 'left BNP a mere sideshow'

7 Comment (s)
The head of Britain's leading anti-fascist organisation has said the English Defence League has replaced the British National Party as the major force on the far right of British politics.

Nick Lowles of Searchlight said the BNP had become a "sideshow" since the crushing defeat of its leader Nick Griffin in Barking at this year's general election. In recent months, he said, the EDL's anti-Muslim message had given the party a wider appeal. At the same time, the violence EDL rallies attracted meant the organisation received a great deal of media attention.

He added that the BNP were stuck with an old-fashioned neo-fascist image which alienated many who were prepared to back the EDL.

Mr Lowles has made it clear that Searchlight will no longer limit its operations to the fight against traditional neo-Nazi organisations. In the new year it will launch a think tank to examine new forms of extremism such as the anti-Muslim politics of the EDL and totalitarian Islamism.

Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, Florida, is the controversial cleric who was first invited and then "uninvited" by the EDL, allegedly on the grounds of his racism and homophobia. In August this year, giving a deposition in a court case in which he was a witness, Mr Jones described Judaism as "a religion of the devil", along with Hinduism and Buddhism.

Gainesville is best known as the home of the University of Florida, where there are about 2,000 Jews in the year-round community with three congregations, Conservative, Reform and Jewish Renewal to serve them. On the campus itself, Hillel and Chabad-Lubavitch cater for nearly 7,000 Jewish students.

According to Rabbi Berl Goldman, co-director of the Lubavitch Chabad Jewish Centre on campus, Pastor Jones is not even on the local community's radar. He said: "I've been here 10 years and I don't know of any formal ties or relationship between Jones and faith-based organisations. I've never seen him at any meetings of the Campus Ministry Co-operative which has representatives of all different faiths and denominations in Gainesville. The Jewish community is very distressed at his provocative actions."

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Centre (the Montgomery, Alabama-based civil rights organisation) confirmed that Pastor Jones is extremely isolated. "I very much doubt if he has connections with anyone except a dozen or so followers."

Jewish Chronicle

December 18, 2010

Racist CCC’s Comic Book Complaint: The Gods Must be Crazy

2 Comment (s)
The white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) is calling for a boycott of the upcoming movie “Thor,” based on the Marvel comic book story and directed by Kenneth Branagh. One would think that a film fantasy about a Nordic god (played by blond, blue-eyed Australian actor Chris Hemsworth) performing heroic acts would have a racist group like the CCC squealing with delight.

Not so. The CCC is upset about the casting of British actor Idris Elba, who is black, as Heimdall, the all-seeing, all-hearing sentry of Asgard, one of the nine worlds of Norse mythology. After all, Heimdall is supposed to be a Nordic god and, as such, he’s supposed to be white, the CCC declares.

Only in the warped worldview of a group like the CCC could the Hollywood depiction of a nonhuman fictional character derived from mythology as imagined by comic book writers be seen as a racial affront.

The decision to cast Golden Globe-nominated Elba as Heimdall was announced in late 2009, and it resulted in a flurry of discussion on comic book fan sites. Some fans have expressed reservations about the casting, but unlike the CCC, most were concerned about remaining true to the comic story line rather than taking issue with Elba’s race. Most, however, seem fine with the casting. One pointed out that the Asgardians, as represented in Marvel comics, are a diverse bunch, anyway, noting that some have died and been reborn as others, including “a black dude,” according to one fan, and that the Asgard have also accepted non-human aliens into their ranks. Another mentioned Heimdall’s nine mothers, so who’s to say what he might look like? And yet another summed it up like this: “Long as the movie doesn’t suck, I have no reason to care about the casting.”

Director Branagh reportedly contacted Elba personally in 2009, saying, “I know this isn’t a big role, but I would really love to see you play it.” Elba’s agent, Rupert Fowler, said the actor liked the script and the movie and wanted to work with Branagh. Calls and E-mails to Marvel Comics and Branagh’s agency had not been returned by the time of publication.

Comics devotees point out that the Marvel series doesn’t attempt to accurately portray Norse mythology, but that evidently offered no comfort to the CCC (assuming it understood that to begin with). “It’s not enough that Marvel attacks conservatives [sic] values,” but “now mythological Gods must be re-invented with black skin,” the group’s statement says. “Marvel Studios believes that white people should have nothing that is unique to themselves. … Can you imagine the outrage if the same multi-cultural makeover was applied to other races?”

But multicultural makeovers have been common when Hollywood has brought action-comic heroes to the big screen – and the CCC has been strangely quiet before now.

They had no problem when Angelina Jolie – who is white – was cast as fictional African-American assassin Fox in the 2008 movie adaptation of “Wanted.” Nor did they complain – though one wonders why not – when Samuel L. Jackson, who is black, was cast as comic-book hero Nick Fury in “Iron Man” 1 and 2. (Maybe it’s because Fury has alternated between white and black in comics.) They didn’t seem to mind when, in the 1989 movie “Batman,” black actor Billy Dee Williams portrayed Gotham City district attorney Harvey Dent, destined to become the villain Two-Face – who, in turn, was portrayed by white actors Tommy Lee Jones in “Batman Forever” in 1995, and Aaron Eckhart in 2008’s “The Dark Knight.” No word from the CCC when black actor Michael Clark Duncan portrayed crime boss Wilson Fisk in the 2003 film “Daredevil,” another comic book knock-off. And, just for the record, comic book heroine Catwoman has been portrayed on television and in cinema by Eartha Kitt (black), Julie Newmar (white), Halle Berry (black) and Michelle Pfeiffer (white), among others.

In fact, it’s odd that the CCC is more upset about comic portrayals of mythological Norse characters than, say, Denzel Washington playing Don Pedro, an Italian nobleman in Branagh’s 1993 “Hamlet,” or, for that matter, Morgan Freeman playing God in the 2003 movie “Bruce Almighty.” Perhaps they are soothed by the fact that virtually every Western movie portrayal of Jesus – who was of Middle Eastern, not European, descent – has been done by white actors.

For his part, Elba has waved off criticism of his casting in “Thor,” telling TV Times in April, “Hang about, Thor’s mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That’s OK, but the color of my skin is wrong?”

The CCC’s boycott announcement is garnering more ridicule than support in the comic and movie fan world. One blogger pointed out that the “world’s crappiest racists are mad about the Thor movie,” and said that “everyone else in the fucking movie is white, so if Marvel is actually running a vicious anti-white people campaign, they’re doing a spectacularly shitty job of it.”


EDL protesters fined for threats to police

2 Comment (s)
Two protesters involved in the English Defence League (EDL) march in Peterborough have been fined for using threatening behaviour towards police.

Scott Whitehead (32) and James Black (22) appeared separately at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday (17th December). They both pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive behaviour likely to cause harrassment, alarm and distress and were both fined £150 by District Judge Ken Sheraton.

Black, of Heathyfields Road, Farnham, Surrey, was punished for throwing a coin at mounted police officers last Saturday as the EDL march proceeded across Town Bridge towards Bridge Street. Prosecutor Graham Dalley said that although Black’s coin did not hit anyone, mounted police put their helmet visors down to protect their faces.

Black appeared at court wearing a dark-hooded top bearing the writing: “English Defence League. Surrey Division”.

Defending himself, Black said he only acted in that way to get the police’s attention as he felt threatened by the proximity of the mounted officers. He said: “The horse came towards a group of EDL on the bridge. Some went down the steps at the side of the bridge, I was following but the horse came straight in front of me and trod on my foot.”

Meanwhile, father-of-four Whitehead, of Pilton Close, Peterborough, apologised for his drunken behaviour after shouting abuse at the mounted officers following the march.

Mr Dalley, prosecuting, said Whitehead had shouted insults at the officers at around 5.15pm, a few hours after the EDL march had finished, before attempting to grab the reins of one of the horses in Bridge Street. Whitehead, who also represented himself, said: “I just want to apologise for my behaviour and for wasting both police and court time.”

Judge Sheraton, while sentencing Whitehead, said: “I think it’s about time you grew up.”

He fined Whitehead and Black £150 each and ordered them both to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the court hearing, Inspector Matt Snow said he could not say whether a horse trod on Black’s foot but he rejected Black’s claims that a mounted officer had acted inappropriately during the march.

He said: “The riders have to make a judgement under the circumstances as to the amount of force that is required. I presume in that officer’s mind there was a reasonably large number of EDL protesters in the area at the time and that he acted for the public safety.”

Peterborough is being held up as an example of how to effectively police an EDL march and associated counter-protests. Supt Paul Fullwood said Cambridgeshire police had received calls from other forces including police from Luton who are preparing for an EDL march in February, asking for information about how they handled the event.

Ten arrests were made on the day, with the EDL and the Peterborough Trades Union Council marches passing generally peacefully.

Supt Fullwood said: “We learned from forces that had policed similar protests, taking into account the good and the bad aspects, and formed our own plans. Since then we have been approached by a number of different forces asking how we handled the situation.”

Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Travel ban for English Defence League Birmingham men

4 Comment (s)
Two English Defence League supporters have been banned from joining protests outside their home city for 10 years

Richard Price, 41, and Collum Keyes, 23, were given Anti-social Behaviour Orders (Asbo) restricting their protests to Birmingham until 2020. Police said it was the first time the ban had been applied to anyone linked to the group, which says it is against Islamic extremism and terrorism.

The pair previously pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at a march in May. They had also pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour during the protest in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and were sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday.

Judge Lord Parmoor sentenced Price to 12 weeks in prison and and fined Keyes £150. He said both men travelled with the group to foment disorder and gave them a 10-year Asbo to stop them taking part in or controlling any protest more than 10 miles away from Birmingham city centre. They have also been banned from distributing any material for the group or encouraging others to attend protests outside the city.

Det Con Andy Haworth, of the National Domestic Extremism Unit, said: "While the defence leagues are entitled to protest, violence has been a persistent feature of their demonstrations, and we hope the success of today's application will prevent that violence."

Pc Mike Ellis, of Thames Valley Police, said: "This is a clear signal to those who would use violence and disorder to further their extreme and racist views, to intimidate and create fear within minority communities."


December 17, 2010

BNP leader Nick Griffin avoids contempt of court penalties

20 Comment (s)
BNP escapes penalties but equality watchdog still claims victory saying legal action forced changes to party constitution

BNP leader Nick Griffin has fought off a bid to have him declared guilty of contempt of court. The Equality and Human Rights Commission accused him of failing to comply with a central London county court judgment ordering the removal of potentially racist clauses from his party's constitution.

Robin Allen QC, appearing for the watchdog, said the BNP was "playing with" the commission and its officials instead of obeying the judgment. But Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Mr Justice Ramsey, sitting at the high court in London, refused to take action against Griffin, BNP deputy Simon Darby and party officer Tanya Lumby.

The commission was seeking fines against them for contempt, or possibly the sequestration of party assets. The application stemmed from the county court's ruling that the BNP constitution breached discrimination laws because of a clause banning non-white members. The constitution underwent revision, but last March Judge Paul Collins ruled at the county court that the new version was indirectly discriminatory against those of mixed-race because it required party applicants to oppose "any form of integration or assimilation of ... the indigenous British".

Another section required new members to submit to a two-hour vetting visit at their home by BNP officials, which Collins ruled could be seen as "intimidatory". The county judge ordered both sections to be removed from the constitution.

The commission took the BNP to the high court accusing it of being in contempt by failing to comply with that order. Today, as BNP supporters demonstrated outside the royal courts of justice, Lord Justice Moore-Bick said he had reached "the clear conclusion" that the commission's legal action could not succeed.

The commission's legal group director, John Wadham, said today's ruling "makes no difference to the substance of our action against the BNP", which had finally obeyed the county court judgment.

"Mr Griffin failed to properly implement that judgment until we took these proceedings in the high court. When the commission began proceedings against the BNP in June last year the party's constitution was plainly illegal. We asked that they amend it at the time. Had they done so we could have avoided court proceedings. Eighteen months and seven court hearings later Mr Griffin has finally amended the constitution to bring it in line with what the commission had originally requested."

Wadham said the commission would continue to monitor any changes to the BNP's constitution "to ensure membership is made genuinely accessible".

"If we consider that it is not we will decide what regulatory action may again be necessary."


Young hooligans given match ban

2 Comment (s)
Two Preston North End fans have been banned from football matches for three years

Ryan Parker, 19, of Moorside Avenue, Ribbleton, and Craig Billington, 22, of Newfield Drive, Blackburn, were allegedly involved in disorder at games, Preston Magistrates’ Court was told. Police say the pair were members of the Preston Foot Patrol (PFP) gang, made up of around 30 people aged between 16-22.

Parker was allegedly involved in violence or disorder around matches. Police said he had “caused or contributed” to the trouble between March 2006 and September 2010. And Billington was allegedly involved in disorder between July 2007 and September 2010, the court was told.

Officers applied for civil banning orders for the pair, meaning police have to prove to the court that the pair are “likely to engage in violence and disorder” and a banning order would prevent them from doing so. Both Billington and Parker have been convicted of violent disorder over a brawl in the Academy pub on Church Street, Preston, on St George’s Day, for which they will be sentenced on December 23 along with three other defendants.

PC Paul Elliott, Preston police’s football intelligence officer, said the Academy incident was a “trigger offence” which led to police applying for the bans. He added: “They are in relation to lads who were part of the PFP risk supporters.Over a period of two to three years they have been profiled by myself in relation to their activities at football matches, associating with that risk group and they have previously been involved in disorder in Hull and Staffordshire.”

He said that the PFP group are “fairly well organised.” But because of the powers of civil banning order, which stop hooligans going into the city centre for four hours before or after a match and prevents them from going to Deepdale or any other ground, the activities of the PFP at football have reduced.

Some of the group attached themselves to the English Defence League, which held a protest in the city last month.

PC Elliott added: “They have declined over the past 18 months since we started getting these banning orders. We have not really seen them. At the last Friday night game against Hull on November 12 there were 20-25 Preston Foot Patrol lads out in the New Hall Lane area handing out EDL leaflets for the Preston EDL event. They have moved away from football because of the restrictions we have placed on them. It has been years since there has been disorder at Deepdale stadium itself.”

Lancashire Evening Post

Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up

December 16, 2010

Immigration does not cause unemployment

8 Comment (s)
This article was submitted by one of our readers, Roddy Newman. 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.

Fringe racist parties sometimes claim that immigration causes unemployment, and although their claim is untrue, as I will explain, many people who at the moment would not dream of voting for such parties, believe that myth, and may thus vote for them in the future.

For example, this June 2010 Pew Research poll revealed that 50% of Americans agree with the statement: "immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing and health care".

So, if the West ever has to go through the mass unemployment of the 1930's again, fringe racist parties could grow dramatically if the immigration causes unemployment myth is not debunked, as, for example in the US in the 1930's, many Mexicans, some of them US citizens, were rounded up and deported, because of claims that they were taking scarce jobs which white Americans could do.

Of course, if immigration did cause unemployment, countries like the US and Australia, whose populations almost all emigrated to those places in recent centuries, would have over 99% unemployment. The fact that they do not, and the fact that the large numbers of immigrants from all over the world who the US has been taking in every year since 1965, when people from all over the world were for the first time given the opportunity to move the US, do not continually increase the American unemployment rate, prove that racist parties are wrong when they say that immigration causes unemployment. In reality, immigrants spend all, or most of the money they earn in the countries which they move to, which creates jobs for the people who have to grow, or make, or provide, or sell the goods and services which immigrants buy or use.

So immigration simply increases the size of national economies, and people like Texas Republican politician Lamar Smith, who said this year that the USA's 15 million unemployment rate could be cut in half by taking jobs off 8 million illegal immigrants, and French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who used to say that the then 2 million immigrants in France were the reason for France's then 2 million unemployment rate, are wrong.

Of course, far right parties like the French NF are run by the least intelligent politicians in their countries, so it is to be expected that they should make incorrect statements like that. This Edinburgh University study found that BNP voters had a lower average IQ level than big 3 party, Green, SNP, and Plaid Cymru voters, and non-voters.

Because BNP type views appeal most to the least intelligent types of people, it is also thus to be expected that Green Party voters, who were found by the Edinburgh University researchers to have the highest average IQ level, have a more intelligent attitude to immigration than other types of voters, which is why the Green Party want to, for example, build a museum to highlight the contribution which immigrants have made to the UK.

Of course, the immigration causes unemployment myth, is part of a pattern of similar, relatively low intelligence, racist politician claims, by, in particular, BNP politicians, and all of those claims have to be refuted if racist parties are to be comprehensively defeated at the ballot box.

For example, the BNP win votes by moralising about Islamist terrorism when they may well have more terrorist connections than any other fascist party on the planet, as I showed in this article.

The BNP won votes after the expenses scandal by moralising about the corruption of the big 3 parties, but the BNP, and the also racist UKIP, are very corrupt, as I explained in this article.

The BNP wins also votes by moralising about violent Islamists, but both the leaders they have had, admired a now dead American fascist party leader who openly advocated killing all of the world's billions of non-white and Jewish people, as I pointed out in this article. Another way the BNP wins votes, is by moralising about crime, but their fascist ideology helps to create murderers and rapists, as I showed in this article. Moreover, BNP candidates and officials have a remarkable number of convictions for violent crime, as I explained in this article.

Finally, the BNP wins votes by moralising about Islamist extremism, when its founder was an admirer of Arnold Leese, a pre-World War 2 British fascist party leader who advocated gassing Jews long before the Nazis did (in 1928), as I pointed out in this article.

As these kinds of BNP moralising lead to not only an increase in BNP support, but also to racist and religious violence, and other hate crimes, it would be a good idea for anti-racist lawyers to sue the BNP for telling deliberate and malicious lies to incite racist and religious hatred, which
is the parent of racist and religious hate crimes. As I showed in this article, an American civil rights law firm has bankrupted numerous racist organisations and activists by suing them for compensation after hate crimes, but British law is stricter than American law, so it would be
possible to sue the BNP for not just engaging in hate crimes, but also for inciting hatred, which is why BNP leader Nick Griffin was successfully prosecuted for inciting racial hatred after he denied the Holocaust in a magazine.

Richard Barnbrook warned not to bully staff

7 Comment (s)
Richard Barnbrook has been warned not to bully members of staff at City Hall after a former employee accused him of "continual bullying" which reduced one member of staff to tears.

Neo Nazi activist Tess Culnane who worked for Barnbrook for nine months, alleged that he:
  • Failed to respond to requests from members of the public "on the few occasions he attended City Hall" and threatened the complainant with dismissal when she brought such requests to him
  • Had a "continual bullying manner" and constantly threatened to sack his staff and replace them with his own people.
  • Forced the Complainant’s colleague, X, to resign because of his perpetual hectoring manner. The Complainant alleges that, on one occasion, Mr Barnbrook reduced X to tears, followed her into the ladies’ toilet to continue to bully her, and then followed her into the City Hall café to continue to verbally abuse X and threaten her with the sack.
Culnane also submitted a recorded telephone conversation with Barnbrook and statements from three other witnesses.

The Standards Committee decided that there was not enough firm evidence to refer the complaint for further investigation. However they noted that they were still "extremely concerned about the nature of the allegations" and referred Mr Barnbrook for official guidance from the Monitoring Officer "as a precautionary measure, sought to safeguard existing and future staff."

Last year Barnbrook was suspended by Barking and Dagenham Council for making false claims about murders in the borough. He then went on to lose his seat on the council this May alongside every other BNP councillor in London. He has since been expelled from the British National Party and has indicated his intention to stand as an independent member of the London Assembly in 2012.

Tory Troll

December 15, 2010

Polish Neo-Nazi web site editors get prison sentences

6 Comment (s)
A District Court in the western city of Wroclaw has sentenced three editors of the neo-Nazi Redwatch web site for propagating racism.

Mariusz T. from the southern city of Bielsko-Biala, Andrzej P. from the coastal city of Swinoujscie and Bartosz B. from the northern town of Slupsk were sentenced to up to one and half year in prison for promoting a totalitarian regime in Poland and encouraging hatred towards people of different ethnic origin, nationality, race and religion.

The Polish Redwatch site included a so-called “death list” containing personal data of people who ‘supported’ homosexuality. In July 2006, Polish police shut down the website after a political activist whose name was on the list was stabbed.

The Redwatch web site belongs to a British fascist organization “Blood and Honour”, which has branches in Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.

Redwatch publishes photographs and personal information of left-wing, anarchist, anti-fascist, gay and feminist activists. It also popularizes racial hatred and incites violence against people called “enemies of the race”.

BNP leader Nick Griffin to stand in Oldham East byelection

2 Comment (s)
Far-right figurehead is latest candidate to confirm bid for seat left empty following Phil Woolas court case

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National party, will contest the Oldham East and Saddleworth byelection, the far-right party confirmed today. Griffin, who currently serves as MEP for the North West, is the latest candidate to confirm his bid to enter the race for the seat left empty by Labour's Phil Woolas.

Judges ordered a rerun of the constituency election after ruling last month at a specially convened court that Woolas had lied to win his seat in May by 103 votes, exploiting racial tensions in order to defeat Liberal Democrat Elwyn Watkins.

Watkins took Woolas to court under the rarely used section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, claiming that the outcome was influenced by Labour leaflets making false allegations in an effort to sway the white vote in the constituency by wrongly accusing Watkins of wooing Islamist extremists and of not condemning threats of violence.

Woolas was stripped of his seat and banned from standing for election for three years, in the first such judgment for 99 years. He was subsequently expelled by the Labour party and earlier this month failed in an appeal at the high court against the decision.

The Labour party is expected to move a writ in the new year confirming the byelection date. Oldham East is a three-way marginal and the election will see the Lib Dems and Conservatives fighting against each other at the polls for the first time since going into coalition together in May.

The Conservatives today announced that Kashif Ali, who came third in the constituency at the May 2010 election, will stand again.

At the weekend Labour selected Debbie Abrahams, while Watkins will stand again for the Lib Dems.

Griffin's decision to stand comes after a humiliating showing for his party at the general election, when the BNP failed to win a single parliamentary seat at the general election, despite fielding more than 300 candidates.

The BNP leader stood in Barking, where he came third after polling just 4,916 votes despite a sustained campaign in the constituency.

BNP candidate Alwyn Stott came fourth in Oldham East at the general election, with 5.7% of the vote.

The decision by the BNP to field its leader in the race comes on the day that the party came under the spotlight for breaking electoral law in 2008 by "failing to keep accounting records sufficient to explain, with reasonable accuracy, the financial position of the party at the time".

The Electoral Commission said the party was guilty of a "clear failure" to keep accurate financial records for 2008, adding that it was "frustrating" that it could not impose a penalty on the party because the law at the time did not allow it.


December 14, 2010

BNP found guilty of 'failing to keep accurate financial records'

15 Comment (s)
The British National Party was guilty of a "clear failure" to keep accurate financial records for 2008, the Electoral Commission said today. But the commission said that although this was a breach of the law, no sanctions were available to punish the BNP.

After an investigation into the party's affairs for 2008, the commission said: "The registered treasurers for the party in 2008 breached the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 by failing to keep accounting records sufficient to explain, with reasonable accuracy, the financial position of the party at the time."

However, there was no sanction or penalty available to punish the treasurers. Penalties were brought into force this month, but cannot be applied retrospectively.

The commission said because of the state of the records, it could not be certain that the party's submitted reports of donations were accurate. But the investigation "found no specific evidence to lead to the conclusion that they were not accurate".

Chief executive of the Electoral Commission Peter Wardle said: "Political parties are required by law to keep accurate financial records, and this clear failure to do so is a serious matter. It undermines the party's ability to demonstrate, and the commission's ability to verify, that the party is complying with the law. It is frustrating that, although we established that the party breached party funding law by not keeping adequate financial records, there are no sanctions available to us in relation to this breach.

"This has now changed for breaches of the law that occur after December 1 2010, when we have access to a new set of powers and sanctions. We have written to the party setting out our concerns. We will be meeting with senior party officials as soon as possible to ensure that their procedures for complying with the law are adequate, and monitoring the party to ensure they implement any necessary changes without delay."


US pastor who vowed to burn Qur'an will not be at EDL rally

18 Comment (s)
The English Defence League has cancelled a planned appearance by church
pastor Terry Jones at a rally in February. Photograph: John Raoux/AP
Far-right group announces that Terry Jones is no longer welcome due to his 'homophobic and racist' views

The US pastor who planned a mass burning of the Qur'an on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks this year will not be attending a far-right rally in the UK, it emerged tonight.

The English Defence League said at the weekend it was "proud to announce" that Terry Jones would be speaking about "the evils of Islam" at its rally in Luton in February. However it issued a new statement on its website today saying Jones was no longer welcome because it had "reservations" about some of his views.

"The EDL can confirm that Pastor Jones will not be attending the English Defence League demonstration against sharia in Luton on 5 February," it read. EDL spokesman Guramit Singh said the decision had been taken after the group carried out "further research" on Jones and discovered he held some "homophobic and racist" views.

This evening Jones, a pentecostal preacher who runs the Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, Florida, denied he was homophobic or racist, adding that the EDL had bowed to pressure from the government and media. "Of course there are issues they do not agree with us on just as there are issues on which we do not agree with them. But I was coming to speak on the dangers of radical Islam and I think on that there is agreement."

Jones said he still planned to come to the UK in February but would not be attending the EDL rally in Luton.

Tonight Nick Lowles, from anti-racist group Hope Not Hate, said a campaign to persuade Theresa May to ban Jones would continue. "We don't trust Jones or the EDL so we will continue to call on the home secretary stop this man coming into the country."

The home secretary has the power to exclude or deport Jones if his presence in the UK could threaten national security, public order or the safety of citizens, or if she believes his views glorify terrorism, promote violence or encourage other serious crime.

Jones made headlines earlier this year when his plans to burn copies of the Qur'an caused widespread alarm. Barack Obama warned Jones that his actions would boost al-Qaida and put US citizens and soldiers at risk. The president's intervention is believed to have persuaded Jones to call off the stunt with just a day to spare.

The EDL claims to be a non-racist, peaceful organisation. However, demonstrations over the past 18 months have attracted support from a number of known rightwing extremists – from convicted football hooligans to members of violent rightwing splinter groups. Many of its protests have descended into violence and racist and Islamophobic chanting, and during its last march in Luton, 250 EDL supporters rampaged through an Asian area, attacking people and damaging property. On Saturday, 500 people marched in Peterborough, leading to 11 arrests.


December 13, 2010

Spot the difference: BNP steal Conservative logo in party rebrand

5 Comment (s)
The nation’s foremost bunch of racists are now extending their franchise to plagiarism – essentially stealing the Conservatives’ logo. The new livery forms part of a broader rebranding for the far right party, which will also drop use of the BNP acronym in official literature.
British National Party leader Nick Griffin has unveiled the party’s new official logo, a Union flag emblazoned heart with the party’s name, on the first official day of the party’s annual conference in the East Midlands.

“This logo will illustrate exactly what this party is about,” Mr Griffin told the 200-strong conference.
A brush-effect Union Jack logo. Where have we seen that before?

Spot the difference? The Union Jack version of the Conservatives'
2006 tree logo appears to have been appropriated by the BNP

The BNP have already spent up to £170,000 settling a lawsuit with Unilever after the party used a Marmite jar in a party political broadcast.

With this latest cock up Griffenführer may well have another court case on his hands.

UPDATE: As a reader points out in the comments, calling Barack Obama an “Afrocentrist racist bigot” didn’t stop the BNP from stealing his website design earlier in the year.

Political Scrapbook

EDL supporters list hits the net

30 Comment (s)
Anyone remember the fun and games that resulted following the publication of the first BNP membership list? If so, you'll also remember the blustering threats of legal action and all kinds of other repercussions from the BNP, despite the well-established fact that senior BNP members had been happily providing Redwatch (a site that exists only to identify and encourage violence against anti-fascists) with pictures and information for years. The hypocrisy of the BNP leadership has no apparent limit.

Nor does that of the English Defence League. Riddled with nazis, football hooligans and BNP members, the EDL has been infesting our town centres for months now, costing those towns a fortune in both protective measures and lost business, while its army of violent thugs rampage through shopping areas throwing bricks and bottles, smashing windows and attacking passers-by while singing 'Allah, Allah, who the fuck is Allah?' and similar pleasant little ditties.

Now the EDL has joined the BNP in having at least some of its supporters named and shamed, following an attack yesterday on its clothing website by hacker's group 'TeaMp0isoN & Mujahideen Hacking Unit'. Readers will recall that the site was temporarily closed recently when it was made apparent that the EDL was suffering from the same disease as the BNP - money was being taken for sales and donations but nobody seemed to know where it went after that. Nicely dressed lad, that Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, by the way. Just thought I'd mention it.

Following the attack, the hackers released the names of approximately three hundred and fifty supporters/donators, prompting many EDL members to advise others via the group's Facebook page to avoid purchasing anything from its incompetent online fundraisers until its 'webmasters' learned to encrypt passwords on the server (rather than leaving them laying around unencrypted for any passing hacker to take a look at).

The EDL have responded in the same way that the BNP initially did a couple of years ago - by claiming that the list is made up (though this was immediately contradicted by an admission posted to Facebook stating that the site had 'suffered a breach' and that some supporter's details had been exposed).

Oddly, for an organisation that seems to loathe the police and the legal system, the EDL has stated that 'we intend to seek prosecution for the criminals involved'. Best of luck with that, guys. Wikileaks might be a bit busy at the moment but once the list hits it or one of its many mirrors, it's up there for the world to see. Forever.

English Defence League and the hooligans spreading hate on the High Street

3 Comment (s)
Masked menace: The EDL now has almost 40,000
supporters on its Facebook page. A year ago, it had just 1,500

They call themselves ‘patriots’ and wear masks emblazoned with the red cross of the Knights Templar.

But behind the inflammatory propaganda and war paint of the English Defence League (EDL) — the ­far-Right ‘anti-Islamic extremism’ group that is fast becoming an even more pernicious influence than the BNP — we find such men as Jeff Marsh.

Like all the other EDL ‘patriots’, Marsh — or ‘Marshy’ as he prefers to be known — insists he is not racist. And he is absolutely true to his word in one respect: he was happy to stab or stamp on anyone, black or white, during his career as a football hooligan. ‘Marshy’ wasn’t bothered about colour; violence was the thing. To him, ‘it was better than sex’. So proud is he of his exploits during his heyday in the Seventies and Eighties with the Cardiff City Soul Crew that he has published his ‘memoirs’ on the internet. It would be hard to imagine a more disturbing glorification of sadistic brutality.

‘As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a hooligan,’ he recalls. First match: Millwall. Mass fights. ‘I actually loved it. I was hooked. I’d never been interested in football and I wasn’t interested now, but I could see that football was an opportunity to involve myself in the ultimate gang war. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.’

He describes ‘systematically picking off Gooners’ (Arsenal fans), and ‘Stanleys [knives] glittering in the moonlight’ as they ‘slaughtered’ drunken Geordies. His trademark was ‘a stab wound or two in the leg, and I was famous for it’.

Just posturing? No doubt there’s some of that. But Marsh, now 44 and a father-of-four, has served three jail terms for violence, including a two-year sentence in 1989 for stabbing two Manchester United fans. But now Marshy’s back, and his pernicious influence is being felt — not on the football terraces, but on the streets of towns across Britain.

Marsh, it can be revealed, is not just a rank-and-file member of the EDL. He is one of the key figures in the organisation which has invited anti-Muslim preacher Terry Jones to address a demonstration in Luton early in February. The U.S. pastor caused outrage with plans to burn copies of the Koran at this year’s anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Though the Home Office has indicated that it’s unlikely Jones will be allowed to enter Britain, the news of his proposed visit comes as Adrian Tudway, the head of the police intelligence unit on domestic extremism, revealed that the EDL and related splinter groups have become his biggest concern. He says: ‘We look at the extreme Right and Left, but currently our biggest single area of business is the various groups which call themselves defence leagues.’

Certainly, no one should doubt the group’s intention to bring race conflict on to the streets. The last time the EDL marched through Luton, 250 of them went on the rampage in an Asian area of the town. Shop windows were smashed, cars overturned and a number of people were attacked.

The EDL — and sister groups such as the Welsh Defence League — have been stirring up trouble for the past 18 months by exploiting legitimate concerns over Islamic extremism. At the weekend, it was Peterborough’s turn to experience the face of prejudice when an EDL protest ended in a string of arrests for alleged public order offences, affray and possession of offensive weapons. In October, it was Leicester. Before that, Blackburn, Dudley in the West Midlands, Bolton, Stoke and Nottingham. In all, the EDL has held around 16 marches since being formed in 2009 — and the majority have ended in violence and invariably incur huge policing costs.

Some 1,000 officers from 18 forces were called in to police last Saturday’s Peterborough protests, which Cambridgeshire Constabulary said involved about 500 EDL members.

The aim of the EDL — to counter what it perceives as the Islamification of Britain — is just a cover. The members can’t fight in football stadiums any more because of increased security, so they have united and taken the fight somewhere else and found a new, convenient enemy. Of course, Britain already has one neo-fascist organisation in the BNP. But alarmingly, the EDL believes the BNP doesn’t go far enough. And this rhetoric is underpinned by a disturbing statistic: support for the EDL is increasing.

Though the organisation has no formal membership, it now has almost 40,000 ­supporters on its Facebook page. A year ago, it had just 1,500. It is also developing regional ‘divisions’.

Birmingham, the scene of previous EDL violence, is listed as a ‘division’ of the EDL along with Portsmouth, Nottingham, Manchester, Leeds and so on. Each ‘division’ is represented by the badge or emblem of the local football club. Next to the Millwall division, for example, is the club’s lion crest. Thugs and former thugs, then, under one EDL banner — if anyone can really tell the difference between the past and the present in men such as Jeff Marsh. So who are the other leaders of the English Defence League?

One leading light is Stephen Lennon, 27, a carpenter from Luton. Father-of-two Lennon was jailed for a year for actual bodily harm after punching and kicking an off-duty policeman during a domestic incident in 2004. Lennon is understood to have been one of the founders of the EDL.

The EDL’s spokesman is Trevor Kelway, of Portsmouth. They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. If so, Kelway’s Facebook page is particularly revealing. Among his friends, until recently, was someone who uses the emblem of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich as his screen avatar. The unit became infamous for its massacre of a French village in the aftermath of D-Day, when 642 men, women and children were shot or burned to death in Oradour-sur-Glane, Limousin.

Among Kelway’s other ‘friends’ is someone with a Sunderland ‘Vote BNP’ symbol prominently displayed. Another man in the set-up who has a BNP link is shaven-headed Chris Renton, 31. Curious how all ‘patriots’ seem to have shaven heads. Renton works in the construction industry and lives with his Spanish girlfriend in a flat in a Victorian house with views over the Severn Estuary.

He declined to comment when approached by the Mail. But he had plenty to say during a recent demonstration in Birmingham. Renton was pictured confronting black and Asian protesters, his face contorted in visceral rage, having been corralled on to a bus by anti-riot police. He later gave a two-fingered salute from the window.

Before being put on the bus, he was standing next to an EDL banner which advertised the group’s claim of being neither racist nor affiliated to the BNP. Yet when the BNP’s membership list was recently leaked, it showed Renton had been a BNP activist since 2002. (The group claims that he has now been forced to relinquish his membership.) And Renton is not just a rank-and-file member of the EDL. Internet registration forms reveal this is the same Chris Renton who set up the EDL’s website.

But not all members of the English Defence League are men. There is a small group of women, such as 42-year-old Leisha Brookes. Brookes, who has tattoos and works in ‘security and promotions’, lives in an ex-council block in Southend. She was not in when we paid her a visit.

But at the Birmingham riot, she told reporters: ‘If an English person went to an Arab country they would be expected to dress appropriately, and all we are asking is for them to do the same. We are protesting against Sharia law and the acceptance of our government of Muslim extremists.’

Few people would disagree with this. But less appealing was her Facebook profile, where Brookes — a Tottenham Hotspur fan — had posted a link to the author of a book called Life As A Chelsea Headhunter: It’s Only A Game. The Headhunters are the hooligans who associated with the National Front and its ultra-violent Combat 18 offshoot. Leisha Brookes has also been an administrator on the EDL website. But it is Jeff Marsh who is perhaps the most astonishing figure.

Marsh claims he is not — and never has been — an organiser of the EDL. Until recently, however, he was listed as the ‘global moderator’ of the EDL’s website — the gatekeeper, if you like — controlling access to its ‘inner circle’ forum, where members, vetted by a moderator, are trusted with details about meeting points before demonstrations.

After one such demo in Birmingham last year, which resulted in 90 arrests, one posting warned: ‘Next time we will be bigger. We’ll arrive unannounced and neither the police or the scum will know any details.’

In July, Marsh was also named as one of the leaders of the organisation in an EDL statement. Marshy is also frequently referred to in communications between EDL members.

Before a recent demonstration in Blackpool, this message appeared on the internet: ‘Me and 10 boys comin from wolves [Wolverhampton]. Day out then a protest before we go clubbing and strip clubs. what a f****** crackin day this will be. when will information on meetin times go out? Me and Marshy been speaking with Old Bill final details should go out tomorrow probably.’

All anyone really needs to know about Marshy, though, is contained in his online ‘biography’. One passage reads: ‘To a lot of us, putting a knife in your back pocket was as much a part of getting dressed as gelling your hair. You couldn’t leave the house without one. This was designer violence.’

Designer violence of the kind that, many would argue, is now infecting any town or city where the EDL rolls in. As Marsh said in one rallying cry on the internet: ‘The most ruthless street army in the ­country is arising and uniting in solidarity in the face of a threat that is now posed to the future of our Nation. Did people think that “Casuals” [slang for football fan or hooligan] would stay silent whilst their families, friends and the neighbours’ lives were endangered?

‘This coming football season will see the “truce” work itself out, and the brothers and sisters throughout the land unite in their common cause, against their common enemies, foreign and domestic. What has started cannot be stopped now. It has begun ...’

In other words, mindless terrace violence by any other name.

Except this time there is a different ‘enemy’ — one chosen by these Right-wing yobs specifically to­provoke far more damaging and troublesome consequences.

Daily Mail