Saturday, 20 June 2009

The BNP/Loyalist Crossover Forces Romanians From Their Homes

From Ten Percent

The BNP base their ‘call centre’ in Belfast where Jim Dowson a top BNP fundraiser and a militant anti-abortion campaigner who has a string of criminal convictions and has had links to mass-murderer Michael Stone (the loyalist terrorist)- runs their operations. Nick Griffin visited there secretly just before the European elections-

BNP leader Nick Griffin made a secret trip to the Belfast base less than two weeks ago to film a propaganda video. Our exclusive picture shows Griffin pictured at the Belfast HQ flanked by two members of staff, whose identity we have protected.

However in most reports the origins of these racist crimes are rather vague, they balk at mentioning it is linked to fringe loyalists let alone the relationship between loyalists and the BNP. While the remnant Loyalist leadership condemn the attacks it appears the younger ones are feeling their oats and turning their hatred temporarily from Catholics onto Romanians and Poles, all of course encouraged by the BNP and Combat 18 Nazism who share the bigotry that includes hatred of Catholics (including insane theories such as the Islamic/Catholic/EU/Sinn Fein/IRA plot to destroy the UK with Catholic immigrants!).

Racists who forced Romanians to flee their homes threatened to cut a baby’s throat, it emerged today. Over 100 men, women and children were this morning taken to the Ozone complex in Belfast after they spent the night in a church hall following sustained attacks by a racist mob claiming to be from the fascist group Combat 18.

Thugs who target migrants in Northern Ireland for racist attack are guilty of ethnic cleansing, a community worker said today. Large parts of south Belfast are in danger of becoming no-go areas after 20 Romanian families were forced to spend the night at a church hall, Patrick Yu added. Bricks have been thrown through windows in the Protestant working-class Village area with increasing frequency in recent weeks.

Now the BNP have two MEP’s I think it is incumbent on the media to ask them directly their views on the attacks and to see if they will condemn them and demand all members and associates cease any activity they may be involved in. Will political journalists on TV have the guts to confront fascism on the air? It should also be asked how the police allowed it to get this bad, given their historic ties to loyalists and their paramilitaries should we deduce they ignored the victimisation of Romanians as those doing it had links to Loyalist groups gangs? Is the bias in British media in favour of Loyalism not allowing the true picture of bigotry to emerge? Many in the community though are far more courageous and if their lead had been followed this refugee crisis could perhaps have been averted, if the hardcore violent fascists had been dealt with by the police-

One family fled from their home in Belgravia Avenue. Another family, with a newborn baby, has been left terrified after their home at Wellesley Avenue came under attack just days after they were forced out of another property.

Their south Belfast homes came under sustained attack from Thursday evening, with their windows smashed and doors kicked in by crowds of thugs gathering outside shouting racist slogans.

A number of local residents last night stood guard outside their new home in a bid to protect them.

One local resident, Paddy Meehan, said: “About 12 of us worked in shifts to defend the house last night. Local residents think these people have to be defended. These thugs have been shouting that they are Combat 18 and they dropped a letter containing text from Hitler’s Mein Kampf through the letterbox of one of the properties.

“This has been going on for several nights. Sometimes there is about 20 of them gathering outside the properties. There is a hardcore of maybe six or seven shouting abuse and kicking doors down.These families are terrified, so are all their young children. They feel very isolated which is why the local community is gathering around them to support them,” he added.

The PSNI said police in south Belfast are investigating a number of racist attacks and criminal damage to properties and a car in Wellesley Avenue and Belgravia Avenue on a number of occasions between June 11 and 14.

A spokeswoman added: “A crowd gathered on each occasion at the properties and a number of windows were smashed. Police have not received reports of any injuries.”

Major hat tip to Lancaster Unity.

The extent to which the true roots of this racist violence are obscured will determine its spread and increase in severity elsewhere. Because of the soft spot for loyalists in the British establishment there is the danger of it not being dealt with and spreading. Or as Dave Osler puts it-

The Six Counties has always been a case apart from the rest of the United Kingdom, if I can be permitted to use the two geographical expressions in the same sentence. Just because something happens in Belfast, that doesn’t mean that it must necessarily happen in Burnley.

But sadly, it does not take too much of a leap of the imagination to see that if bricks can readily fly through immigrant windows in Belfast, the tactic may yet be duplicated in many English towns. If the bricks are one day followed by firebombs, then yes, we will be talking about pogroms.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

British Legion tells BNP leader Nick Griffin: Don't wear poppy

From Daily Mirror

BNP's Nick Griffin (Pic:PA)

The British Legion has demanded that BNP leader Nick Griffin stop wearing poppies in election campaigns.

Yesterday the military veterans charity published an open letter, saying: "The poppy is the symbol of sacrifices made by British armed forces and it has been paid for with blood and valour.

"True valour deserves respect regardless of ethnic origin. Everyone who serves their country deserves nothing less.

"Our chairman appealed to your sense of honour, but you responded by continuing to wear the poppy. So now we're no longer asking you privately. Stop it, Mr Griffin. Just stop it."

Friday, 12 June 2009

Anti-fascism with egg on its face

Let's be clear about Tuesday's 'action' by the SWP-dominated Unite Against Fascism that involved throwing egg at Nick Griffin in front of the world's media: it was a shambles, an embarrassment, completely counter-productive and no way of defeating fascism.

Aggression generally doesn't go down well with the public, particularly a seemingly unprovoked attack. After all, SWP egg-throwing tactics did not defeat John Major in the 1992 election, when his image got a massive boost as he stood on his soapbox braving the taunts and eggs as he fought the election on the streets - in the end, securing more votes than any government in history. Griffin has made great capital out of the SWP/UAF 'action', achieving top billing on television news with his barely concealed smug delight; the press conference may never have made the news otherwise.

These sort of egg-throwing antics come with the territory as far as politicians are concerned - Mandelson, for instance, recently shrugged off a green custard attack. Most take it in their stride, although the idea that in an age of global terrorism a British government minister can be attacked in the street is worrying. So the histrionics by Julian Leppert about an "attack on democracy itself" make the BNP look like a bunch of wimps.

But what does this public temper tantrum achieve and what does it reveal about the UAF? The SWP central committee has, as always, determined the course of action and will not be swayed. Judging by the ineloquent reaction of the amoeba-brained bizarre-looking Martin Smith on Newsnight and his pathetic attack on Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes accusing him of being responsible for the BNP's infamous 1993 Millwall by-election win, they are too arrogant and stupid to consider non-violent, rational debate. It is worthwhile noting that Smith has a reputation for reacting to criticism with violence - notably his violent attack on a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain a couple of years ago.

Simon Hughes made the point that "the protest was a failure because it enabled BNP members to portray themselves as free speech victims – it played right into their hands." Labour MP Ann Cryer, who Griffin failed to beat in the 2005 general election, told the Independent: "At one stage of the campaign. I had to phone a couple of groups to ask them not to come up because I knew the kind of protests they [carry out] would only give the BNP the headlines that it craves."

But one suspects that the SWP doesn't really want to defeat the BNP. It has found something to latch its relentless yet floundering recruitment campaign onto and found a tactic that wins them headlines. Why should they give a damn about the consequences, particularly when it has considerable financial largesse and Establishment clout behind it?

Yes, it was galling to see the BNP win two seats in the European Parliament. But it could have been far worse and it is worth getting things into perspective. The result was far fewer than the five or six the BNP had mooted in the weeks before the election and their number of votes actually fell! In the council elections, they won three seats in the hundreds up for election, none of which were in Essex. So the rise in the BNP vote has stalled and the party has not managed to repeat the performance of the Greens in 1989 or UKIP in 2004 and 2009. In terms of percentage of the vote, it remains in low single figures. The campaign on doorsteps and the media was relatively successful. The BNP could not fully exploit the "perfect storm" and when the recession is over, by this time next year the storm clouds will be clearing and the rationale for the BNP will start to diminish.

The worst thing that could happen now is for the juvenile antics of SWP student politics to monopolise anti-fascist opposition just when there is light at the end of the tunnel. And intimidation and threats of violence will backfire. Not only is it unethical, it tells the nearly 950,000 people who voted for that party that they could also face the same fate if they dare utter a word of support for the BNP. That's a hell of a lot of people to alienate. There's nothing that will consolidate more support behind the fascists than a bunch of amateur Trotskyists going apeshit. In fact, the BNP is loving it, especially since it has a security detail comprised of veteran football hooligans and gangsters that could smash the living daylights out of a bunch of snotty Trots who couldn't punch their way out of a paper bag.

In truth, the SWP/UAF mafia hunger for a re-enactment of the Battle of Cable Street rather than a defeat of fascism. It is a sexual fantasy for many of these armchair cheer-leaders for Hamas and Hezbollah. They want to ensure that there is no way many intelligent opponents of fascism can occur by imposing a "no-platform" doctrine on others - to the extent that these anti-fascists find themselves accused of being bourgeois krypto-Nazis.

It was a disagreement on tactics between the SWP and Searchlight that led to the latter being forced out of the UAF for supposedly being Zionist, pandering to racism and its objection to the SWP's insistence on the concept of black leadership in anti-fascism. Writing in the Independent, Jerome Taylor explains: "Activists from UAF are generally more willing to resort to direct action tactics, while members of Searchlight, which specialises in infiltrating the BNP and publishing exposés of its activities in the group's magazine, are wary of doing anything that hands the BNP extra publicity."

While the BNP likes to conflate the UAF with Searchlight, it is really rather more afraid of the latter's community-oriented, grassroots approach that puts more emphasis on intelligence-gathering than grandstanding. But the SWP are happy to throw that away in their drive to use the UAF as a vehicle for left-wing sectarian recruitment.

The Alliance for Workers Liberty - a left-wing group that is highly critical of the SWP - has noted the lack of internal democracy in the UAF. Pete Radcliff wrote: "For a long time sponsorship of Unite Against Fascism has been the token gesture of the trade union movement. No questions are asked about how decisions are taken in UAF, how democratic local groups are, how open they are to those the SWP doesn’t like and what alliances the SWP make on behalf of UAF ... Of course those actively sought to be a part and to front that alliance are chosen by the SWP and sometimes this causes reaction from trade union sponsors ... [T]he policy of UAF remains to ignore anti-government dissent on low wage employment, welfare services and the issues behind the racism that the BNP cashes in on. UAF does not attempt to build ongoing democratic campaigns in the areas where the BNP exist. In Nottingham, as probably in most places, one-off, haphazard leafleting is announced. Nothing is said about who has organised it. In reality it is arranged by the SWP and largely dealt with as a party building stunt. UAF is essentially an adjunct of the SWP."

The SWP is bullying and alienating people out of anti-fascist activism by refusing to acknowledge common sense. It did the same in the Stop the War Coalition, RESPECT, Globalise Resistance and a number of other left-wing causes it has infiltrated, gutted and destroyed through its bull-headed attitude towards disagreement. It will do the same with anti-fascism if it is given half the chance.

I know that there are many local anti-fascists who have reacted with dismay at the UAF's fake militancy, concerned that if this SWP front turned up in Loughton or Waltham Abbey doing their screaming lunatic act the BNP's fortunes locally will be boosted. The UAF could, in just one day, undo all the progress that has been achieved in beating back the BNP by democratic means and by the written word.

Just as we don't want the BNP in Epping Forest, we don't want their ideological mirror image here stirring up problems for us. So, if there is any member of the UAF reading this, please stay away. You are not welcome. Leave your sectarian brawls to your tawdry Marxism 2009 conference. I know that the local BNP is reading this and is perhaps upset that the UAF bandwagon won't be passing to give it support. But there is not one anti-fascist in this community who has said that aggression is a good way of combatting the BNP. And any stupid egg-throwing, nuisance phone calls or attempts at intimidation or violence are wrong. They are wrong because they don't achieve anything and they are wrong because it is precisely this kind of violent politics that we are meant to be opposing.

And I'll go further. If I or one of my colleagues finds anyone intending to carry out such acts on BNP supporters, we will go straight to the police. You cannot fight fire with fire. You cannot sink into the gutter in order to fight the gutter politics. Anti-fascists are meant to be better than that. Bear this in mind: whoever throws the first punch will lose the fight.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Holocaust museum shooter had links to BNP!

By Sunny Hundal, Pickled Politics

About ten years ago Nick Griffin gave a prominent speech in the United States at a American Friends of the British National Party event. In fact you can watch the speech online, and he says in his speech:

There’s a difference between selling out your ideas and selling your ideas. And the BNP isn’t about selling out its ideas, but we are determined to sell them. Basically that means to use saleable words such as freedom, security, identity, democracy. Nobody can criticise them. Nobosy can come at you and attack you on those ideas - they are saleable. Perhaps one day, by being rather more subtle, once we’re in a position where we control the British broadcasting media, then perhaps one day the British people might change their mind and say ‘yes, every last one must go’. Perhaps they will one day. But if you hold that out as your sole aim to start with, you’re not going to get anywhere. So instead of talking about racial purity, we talk about identity.

So we know the BNP hide behind words like ‘identity’ in order to push racial purity - after all their leader admits it. Anyway, it now turns out that the white supremacist and Holocaust Museum terrorist - James von Brunn - attended those meetings too.
The Washington Post reports:

Von Brunn sometimes spoke of having fought for the wrong side in World War II, Blodgett said, and the two men sometimes attended meetings in Arlington County of the American Friends of the British National Party, which raised funds for the British white supremacist group.

Blodgett said that von Brunn never spoke of violent action in their conversations but that “a lot of these people, when they get toward the end of life, they say they’ve wasted all these years hating, and they want to make a statement somehow.”

Still think there’s no link between the BNP and violence?

via Jerome Taylor at the Independent, who has more:

At the time the BNP were forging close links with a variety of US white supremacists and the party’s leader Nick Griffin remains close friends with powerful American neo-Nazis such as David Duke, a former Klu Klux Klan leader and Don Black, another KKK chap who went on to found Stormfront and was placed on the UK’s banned list two months ago.

According to the Post, Von Brunn and Blodgett would regularly attend meetings in Arlington County of the American Friends of the BNP, which raised funds for the British white supremacist group.

The American Friends was wound up by Coterill in 2001 after the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which investigates American white supremacists, started looking into its fundrasing - but the links between the BNP and their sympathisers stateside remain strong.

Remember, a picture of Nick Griffin speaking alongside former KKK leader David Duke was unearthed recently too. Of course, none of the mainstream broadcasting outlets - who are busy condemning people for throwing eggs at poor Nick Griffin - will raise any of thise. Doing research is too much work these days.

If anyone can find a picture of Griffin alongside Von Brunn I’ll treat you to lunch, I promise.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Who are the people who voted BNP last week?

Anthony Wells, UK Polling Report

Channel 4 have published a huge YouGov poll taken in the days before the European elections, intended largely to examine exactly what drove support for the BNP. The full tables are well worth a look here

Firstly, there is the question of whose vote the BNP takes. The demographics of people who voted BNP in the European elections show they are more likely to be C2DE social class, likely to read the Sun or Star and almost certainly not a broadsheet, they are likely to work in a manual occupation (they are also likely to be male and middle aged, though that has less of a partisan implication). They are also likely to come from a Labour supporting background - 47% of BNP voters say their parents voted Labour.

This fits with the pattern of where the BNP tend to do well - normally seats that were previously strongly Labour - and with other studies of where the BNP get their support.

If BNP supporters are traditional Labour, male working class voters therefore, the natural conclusion that it’s Labour they are taking support from. This falls down, however, on some other questions - asked if they’d rather have Cameron or Brown as PM, BNP voters opt for Cameron by 59% to 17%. Asked to place themselves on the political spectrum they put themselves right of centre, in roughly the same place as they do the Tories. 22% of them think the Tories care about people like themselves, only 6% say the same about Labour. In short, the people the BNP seem to appeal to are actually “working class Tories” - the sort of traditional working class voters who under other circumstances might shift over to the Conservatives.

Asked a series of satisfaction questions, as might be expected, BNP voters were the least content with their lot in life. They were most likely to be dissatisifed with their disposable income, most likely to feel unsafe in their local area, most likely to feel their family had few opportunities to prosper and - along with UKIP voters - were most pessimistic on the economy.

Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of BNP supporters wanted all immigration stopped - 94% agreed with the statement. However, this doesn’t strongly differentiate them from the rest of the public, 61% of whom agreed with the statement. Only amongst Green party supporters were a plurality opposed to the statement. BNP supporters were also most likely to put immigration as the top issue facing the country. 87% picked it as a major issue, though again, amongst the public as a whole it was already the second most mentioned issue, chosen by 49% of people. (As an aside, it’s worth noting that UKIP supporters also named immigration as the most important issue. Only 39% of people who voted for UKIP put the issue of Europe as one of the top four facing the UK)

Looking at other statements on race or immigration however, BNP supporters tend to contrast far more strongly with supporters of other parties. The majority of every other party’s voters agreed with the statement that “Non-white British citizens who were born in this country are just as ‘British’ as white citizens born in this country”, only 35% of BNP voters did, with 44% disagreeing. Large majorities of every party’s supporters agreed that there was no difference in intelligence between black and white people…except for BNP supporters, where only 41% agreed. Almost half (49%) of BNP supporters thought employers should discriminate on grounds of race in favour of white people (compared to 11% in the general population), and 58% thought most crime was committed by immigrants (22% in the general population). 72% of BNP supporters wanted the government to encourage voluntary repatriation, compared to 27% of the country as a whole.

At the extremes of conspiracy theory, BNP voters are more likely to believe in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy, or that the Holocaust didn’t happen, but not to a great extent - the overwhelming majority reject them. 3% of British people apparently believe it completely true that “there is a major international conspiracy led by Jews and Communists to undermine traditional Christian values in Britain”, compared to 9% of BNP supporters. 9% of British people think the Holocaust is exaggerated, with 1% denying it entirely - the figures amongst BNP supporters are 18% and 2%.

A final interesting point was the question of where people got their political news from. The vast majority of people get their news, as one would expect, from the TV, followed by newspapers, the radio and news websites. There was no great contrast between supporters of one political party or another on any of these. Where there was a contrast was the proportion of people who got their news from “political parties websites” - only 3% of people ticked this, but 12% of BNP voters did, suggesting the BNP have managed to communicate directly with their potential voters across the web.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

BNP vandalism in Loughton and Waltham Abbey residents have condemned the BNP's practice of vandalism, which involves plastering BNP stickers and signs over lamp posts and bus shelters.

The BNP is guilty of hypocrisy, according to residents. While BNP councillors complain about vandalism, their party activists have been fly-posting the area over election time.

Lesley Lewis, 47, of Honey Lane, Waltham Abbey, told Epping Forest Guardian: “I first saw them when I opened the bedroom curtains and there was one staring straight into our windows.

“They were pinned up all over Honey Lane. Then when I went into town they were on every set of lampposts and bus-stop you could possibly imagine.”

Mrs Lewis contacted the district council who sent a lorry to remove the posters.

She said: “Their election leaflet said ‘we’re not in it for the money’ but they’re causing public money to be used to clear this up. Who did they think was going to clear it up?"

Loughton mayor Ken Angold-Stephens said: “They have incurred quite a lot of costs in removing them. They were up so high they had to use a ladder to remove them. It’s an illegal act and irresponsible.

“I’m a bit concerned they did break the law against fly-posting, and it’s a law which they proport to strongly support. They’ve been very strong in trying to clampdown on litter, graffiti and fly-posting.”

Local BNP leader Pat Richardson denies that it had anything to do with her party and blamed it on people trying to bring the party into disrepute, although it is unclear how opponents of the BNP would manage to get their hands on dozens of BNP signs and hundreds of party stickers. The problem of BNP vandalism has been ongoing for months. One comment on their website on 2 April, which was left unanswered by Councillor Peter Turpin, said: "Can you stop BNP supporters from sticking BNP stickers on bus stops and other places? In my mind it is as bad as graffiti."

The BNP don't like people removing their stickers either. Sometimes they conceal razor blades underneath the stickers. And notorious BNP thug Tony Lecomber was sentenced to three years imprisonment for unlawful wounding for his part in an attack on a Jewish schoolteacher whom he caught trying to peel off a BNP sticker at an underground station.

Epping Forest District Council has the power to take action against the BNP under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The cost of cleaning up fly-posting and defacement can be charged to the BNP. Government guidance states that:

Under section 224 TCPA 1990 it is immediately an offence to display an advertisement in contravention of regulations made under section 220 TCPA 1990, and a person found guilty of this offence may be fined up to level 4 (currently £2,500) in a magistrates’ court, with the possibility of further daily fines of up to one tenth of that level for each subsequent day in the case of a continuing offence. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 has amended the defence in section 224 so that someone upon whose land an unlawful advertisement is displayed or whose goods or business was the subject of such an advertisement and charged with the offence of displaying an illegal advertisement has to prove either that the advertisement was displayed without his knowledge; or that he took all reasonable steps to prevent the display, or subsequently, to secure its removal. This makes it more difficult for the beneficiaries of fly-posting to avoid prosecution simply by claiming that they never consented to the advertisement.
Hopefully, Epping Forest District Council will be billing Councillor Richardson for the damage her activists have done - something that no other party has indulged in. Why is it that BNP activists just can't stop breaking the law?

Monday, 8 June 2009

More people voted for Diversity than BNP

The BNP may well be celebrating winning the two seats it narrowly missed out on in 2004, with a small increase in its share of vote - although in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber its number of votes actually fell.

But in the East of England, there was no sign of any breakthrough. The BNP secured an unimpressive 1.7 percentage point rise in its vote, which was the equivalent of less than a third of the drop in Labour support. By far the biggest winners of the electoral backlash against the mainstream were the Greens, who increased their share of the vote by nearly twice the level achieved by the BNP, taking well over half of the share of disillusioned Labour and Liberal Democrat voters. UKIP held its own and the Conservatives reported a modest rise in their already dominant position.

Of the 4.2 million people eligible to vote in the East of England, just over 2% bothered to come out and put their cross by the BNP in an election that had a turnout of under 38%. Nick Griffin had put the average BNP vote at 9.8% in the European constituency, but his party's share of the vote was more than a third less than his prediction. Far from heralding the dawn of a new era of white supremacy, the elections demonstrated that the BNP remains a fringe party with little active support among the wider population.

And here is a fact the BNP will find hard to swallow: The mixed-race street dance act Diversity won over one million votes in Britain's Got Talent just days before the election, while the BNP won just under 944,000 votes!

At a local level, in Epping Forest, the BNP poll 10% of the total vote, which was well above the national average. But there were signs that the BNP's vote is faltering. Compared to the district council elections held last year, the BNP's proportion of the vote has diminished, particularly in Loughton Central. This should worry the BNP, although they will not say this publicly. The BNP lost both its district seats in the Loughton Central division in 2008 amid a surge in support for the Loughton Residents Association. With the LRA strengthening its voter further in 2009 at the BNP's expense, Rod Law and Peter Turpin are likely to see their political careers some to an end next May with the LRA taking their seats.

At the same time, BNP election supremo Eddy Butler was unable to push the vote up in Broadway as the Labour vote actually held up and maintained its second place ranking. Having leafletted Broadway and taken up a number of local issues there, the LRA looks set to move onto the BNP's Broadway territory and deal it a major blow next year. With the district elections likely to be held concurrently with a general election, the BNP could see their group reduced to one single councillor - Pat Richardson.

While there was a significant rise in BNP support in the Waltham Abbey and North Weald divisions - mainly due to the LibDem's failure to put up a serious fight - it is unlikely that they will have a chance to break Conservative dominance. The Waltham Abbey Honey Lane district by-election demonstrated the impossible task of winning a seat outside Debden. Despite a decline in their vote, the Conservatives still secured twice the BNP's vote and the BNP could not even achieve the share of vote they received in the 2007 by-election in the ward, when they came within a whisker of winning the seat.

In short, the BNP is facing a wipe-out in Epping Forest.