Monday, 30 March 2009

Another Bishop slams BNP

The Bishop of Manchester has branded the far-right BNP a party of 'division, fear and hatred'.

In an outspoken attack, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch said the group had 'a racial analysis at the core of its philosophy' that was incompatible with British democracy.

He called for all mainstream parties – and people of all faiths – to reject the BNP in European Parliament elections this summer.

The bishop was speaking at a meeting of the full council at Manchester town hall.

"There are those who do not share our vision of Manchester and who will seek political success by preaching a message of division and hatred," he said. "They will use racism and other prejudice to challenge the very diversity which strengthens our city.

"They will exploit the difficult times which presently face our country, trying to turn one community against the other.

The bishop denied his attack was 'over the top' and simply giving the BNP 'the oxygen of publicity'.

He compared the situation to pre-war Germany, quoting a pastor who regretted failing to speak out against the Nazis.

"I don't need to remind you that the Nazi party was democratically elected by the German population," he added. "That is why a key task for us must be to deliver the maximum possible turnout at the European elections in June."

Bishop Nigel is the first bishop in living memory to address a council meeting in Manchester.

He was speaking in support of the cross-party 'Hope not Hate' campaign, which is seeking to marginalise the BNP and other extremist groups.

The council went on to pass a motion condemning those who 'deliver messages of hate aimed to divide our communities and whip up intolerance and violence against our neighbours'.


Friday, 27 March 2009

Students unite against the BNP

NUS is an organisation which represents all students. We believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to participate fully in a society that celebrates diversity. It’s one of the great things about being a student in modern Britain – and it’s the reason why I’m so proud to be the President of the NUS.

But this is under threat.

Unless we act it looks likely that the racist BNP will win seats in the European elections in June. I’m sure you know about the BNP - and their campaign for an “all white Britain.” How would you feel about 250k of your money going to the BNP for each seat they win?

I’m writing to tell you how you can take a few easy steps to play a part in stopping them.

I’m signed up to the HOPE not hate campaign – they send me a few emails a month asking me to do a few really simple things. And because there’re so many people involved in the campaign we’ve already had some real results; we’ve stopped BNP fundraising events and even a BNP march – all through people power.

It only take a few moments to sign up – and signing up means you can make a difference by helping stop the BNP in their tracks:

The threat couldn’t be greater - the BNP believe in a divisive and aggressive form of fear - spreading the politics of hate throughout our communities. Take for example a quote from a post written by the 2008 London BNP organiser on his blog - writing about beating women where he said “some women are like gongs - they need to be struck regularly.”

No matter what they say they haven't changed - they're still the nasty and narrow-minded racists that they’ve always been. This is the real BNP that we’re campaigning against. We’re proud of our diverse and open society. We’re cosmopolitan and committed to tolerance. We enjoy the variety of life. But the BNP oppose all of these values.

We can stop them but we need your help – sign up here to help:

This is the first time that I’ve written to you about the BNP, and I don’t usually send out emails like this. I’m doing this now because the HOPE not hate team are entering into one of the most important periods in the campaign. We’re building networks across the country - a true grassroots campaign. And we need you to be the next person to join in. You can be involved as much or as little as you like – all you need to get started is to sign up

The BNP stands against everything that we stand for. The only question that remains is what are you going to do about it.

We need your help – we can’t do it without you.

Please sign up now:

With thanks and best wishes,

Wes Streeting

Wes Streeting, NUS President.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Leppert's Loughton leap

A source within the Epping Forest BNP has informed us that Redbridge councillor Julian Leppert is planning to contest Loughton Broadway in the 2010 Epping Forest district council elections.

Former postman, 43 year old Leppert is regarded as a party high-flier, having secured three per cent of first preference votes as the BNP candidate in the 2004 London Mayoral election. Leppert moved to Loughton in November 2006 soon after being elected as councillor for Hainault. He currently lives in the Broadway ward. In 2010, his term in office in Redbridge will expire and he is seriously considering contesting Broadway, possibly in conjunction with the parliamentary election.

Currently, the seat is held by Susan Clapp, who our insider says has failed to impress due to her mediocre performance in the council chamber. She is the long-term partner of Eddy Butler and as a political lightweight she may be reliant on his support. It remains to be seen whether Clapp's support will be sustained up until 2010. However, it has been Leppert rather than Butler who has been accompanying Clapp to official events such as last Friday's Epping Forest District Council's Civic Awards.

Leppert is perhaps less brilliant than he and his supporters claim. The BNP's support in Redbridge has failed to rally in the way the party had hoped. To date, Leppert is the only BNP councillor in Redbridge and no BNP candidate has come close to winning a second seat. In the last by-election the BNP contested in Rebridge, in Cranbrook last year, it secured just 37 votes, or just under 1.4% of the vote. The closest the BNP came to winning a seat in Redbridge was in the Bridge Ward by-election of July 2006, when it came second, 157 votes behind the Conservative winner. Leppert contested the Epping Forest parliamentary seat in 2005, securing 1,728 votes or 3.9% of the total, fewer votes than the total votes the party had won in the 2004 district council elections.

Leppert thinks he can now muscle out the incumbent and secure his future in the party in Essex, riding on others' coat tails in order to retain his prestige within the BNP. However, his election in Broadway ward is not certain. The tide has turned in Broadway with the BNP vote falling 12.7% to 469 votes in 2008 from its peak in 2006. It will be even harder in the likely event that the district elections are held concurrently with the general election, with national trends likely to benefit the Conservatives, the only party able to increase its vote in Broadway in 2006.

Leppert is also one parcel short of a postbag in terms of political thinking. In his mayoral campaign, Leppert vowed to “throw out” all asylum-seekers, whom he blamed for causing traffic congestion. In January 2007, Mr Leppert attended a conference in London organised by the far-right New Right Group. One speaker was Michele Renouf, a Holocaust denier and supporter of David Irving. Leppert sat through anti-Jewish tirades from both Renouf and from one of the leaders of the Islamic Party of Britain.

Like the BNP as a whole, take the suit away and you get the old extremist ideology sneering back at you. An increasing number of local residents are coming to terms with the extreme core of the BNP's ideology and could reject Leppert next year, denting his career within the party.

Jews take on BNP in European elections


Last week the Your Voice of Theirs group, backed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, launched its response to the BNP European Election campaign. It is distributing 1,000 campaign kits across the country to take some local positive action against the politics of hate advocated by the BNP. Get involved in the campaign, find out what is happening in your area and most importantly ask you friends to join the campaign.

From the Your Voice of Their's website:

On Thursday 4th of June residents across the European Union vote to elect Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s). The UK gets 60 MEP’s from across our 12 regions to represent us in Europe.

2009 marks 70 years since the beginning of the Second World War. 70 years since we united together as British citizens to fight against European fascism. Unfortunately the battle is not over and we are seeing the rise of the far right and their politics of hate across the country.

The British National Party is contesting these elections in every region, in every corner of the country. We must not forget who the BNP are and what they stand for. They are campaigning hard in these elections and so must we. Now is not the time for apathy.

The Board of Deputies has launched a campaign to touch every corner of the community. To mobilise the vote and to defeat the politics of hatred at the ballot box.

Join us and join the campaign because there is only one question – In Europe do you want to hear “Your Voice or Theirs”.

Henry Grunwald QC

President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Who are the BNP and why do we need to get involved?

The BNP have a history of racism and antisemitism. Their leader has been arrested and convicted for inciting racial hatred. The rhetoric and views propagated by the BNP promote hatred and disharmony.

In June, the UK votes in the European Elections. The BNP may secure over 1 million votes in these elections and the voting system will allow the BNP to get MEP’s for the first time, unless you use your vote to stop them. A vote for any of the mainstream parties will make it harder for the BNP to succeed.

For each MEP elected the BNP will get over £250,000, through salaries, allowances and expenses, per annum in additional resources from the UK taxpayer.

Every vote counts in these elections. The higher the level of turnout, the harder it is for the BNP to succeed.

The BNP tactic of playing down their hatred of Jews and playing up their hatred of Muslims they will attract support from within the Jewish Community. This attempt to divide communities will not work. The efforts of the BNP can be seen as nothing more than a sham and a cynical attempt to hide their extremism and antisemitism.

Make sure that the BNP aren’t successful by joining the campaign and by using your vote to stop them.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Churchill would never support BNP, says Churchill's grandson

Nicholas Soames MP, a grandson of war-time leader Sir Winston Churchill, has spoken of his outrage over BNP leader Nick Griffin's claim that the one-time Loughton MP would have supported the far-right party.

He told the Daily Mail: "I object very strongly to the image of my grandfather being used by the BNP in such a way that it is likely to give the impression that he would have condoned or approved of the BNP platform, which is what this does.

"I can't stop any of that. The law does not allow for Churchill's family to protest against the image being used - if it did, you can rest assured that we would pursue all ends to do so.

"So I am writing to the Electoral Commission to ask them to have a look and see what they can do.

"This isn't about being anti-BNP. I rejoice that we live in a vigorous, splendid democracy where people - however odious - can launch their own political platform and put it before the country. This is about the use of the image ...

"My grandfather died a long time ago, but he would never support a party whose platform is hate. Never."

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reveals that Nick Griffin is seeking close ties with the Austrian far-right FPO. He wrote to the FPO leader: "We in Britain are impressed to see that you have been able to combine principled nationalism with electoral success. We are sure that this gives you a good springboard for the European elections and we hope very much that we will be able to join you in a successful nationalist block in Brussels next year."

The FPO was founded by former SS explosives expert Herbert Schweiger, who continues to be active in the party. The 85 year old, who describes his current activity as educating people in "the fundamentals of Nazism", told the Telegraph that "Our time is coming again and soon we will have another leader like Hitler ... The Jew on Wall Street is responsible for the world’s current economic crisis. It is the same now as in 1929 when 90 per cent of money was in the hands of the Jew. Hitler had the right solutions then."

Nick Soames is therefore right to protest at the misuse of Churchill's name and identity by the BNP, which continues to seek out alliances with the FPO which was founded by those involved in Hitler's Nazi regime.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Church of England's Chelmsford Diocese condemns BNP in Essex

This resolution was passed overwhelmingly by Chelmsford Diocesan Synod on 7 March 2009:

That the Synod of the Diocese of Chelmsford calls upon the parishes and people of the diocese to respond to God's call to love our neighbour, to serve all His people and to build His Kingdom. As we live this out, we urge that all take an active part in responding to the challenge posed by the BNP and similar racist political parties.

Church members are reminded to encourage all people of goodwill to register and cast their votes, not least because this reduces the proportion of votes which go a political party whose racist foundation is incompatible with Christian discipleship.

Parishes and people are urged to work with ecumenical and other partners to promote Christian values in all political dialogue and in particular:

  • To ensure that respect, equality and justice for all people is part of the contribution made by parishes to local dialogue;
  • To ensure that no literature or promotional material from any racist political party is permitted in any parish building nor placed on any parish notice board;
  • To make respect for all people a component of regular Christian teaching, including through the observance of Racial Justice Sunday;
  • To promote participation in public life, including standing for political office, as a vocation for some Christians;
  • To co-operate with other groups and organisations working towards these goals;
  • To urge all major political parties to address the issues which draw people to vote for far-right political parties.

This Synod agrees that this motion be circulated to all parishes and shared ecumenically in advance of forthcoming elections in Essex and East London.

Passed overwhelmingly by Chelmsford Diocesan Synod on March 7th 2009.

Source: Hope Not Hate

Local parents reject BNP governor

Parents of children at Hereward Primary School have condemned the nomination of local BNP leader Pat Richardson as a school governor.

Richardson put herself forward for the role after no candidates came forward from the local community.

Speaking to the Epping Forest Guardian, Hannah Martin, who lives on the Oakwood estate and whose three year old goes to Hereward, said she was disgusted at the prospect of Richardson becoming governor. She said: "My son is mixed race and I know there are lots of black children at the school. Teachers and staff here have always been brilliant in making everyone feel welcome, and I think there is a danger that this would ruin all that."

Sam Kelly, a mother of two whose 10 year old son is at the school, said: "My son has been here for seven years and I have never known any problems over race. I think the school needs to think what kind of message this would send out."

Local father Lee Thurland said: "I don't know much about the BNP but what I have heard I don't like."

The school, which has been praised by OfSTED for its multi-cultural environment, will have to decide whether to accept the nomination of the councillor from the far-right party, which advocates the "repatriation" of non-white people.

Richardson said: "I would hope to bring some common sense to the decision-making process down there."

"Common sense" is what the BNP commonly refers to its policy of alienating and expelling non-white and mixed race people. Advancing BNP policies in a primary school would be very ominous indeed.

If you think you would make a better school governor than the local leader of an extremist political party, you can submit your nomination via the town council:

Town Clerk : Enid Walsh
Loughton Town Council
Buckingham Court
Rectory Lane
Essex, UK.
IG10 2QZ
Tel : +44 (0)20 8508 4200
Fax: +44 (0)20 8508 4400

BNP lies could lead to Debden library closure

Debden has a new library in a plush new building, with computers allowing free internet use and subscriptions to a wide variety of publications and newspaper archives. There are DVDs, CDs, children's books, etc. Next door, in the same building, is an excellent cafe with the best bacon butties in Loughton. Its an improvement on the popular but cramped little shop the library used on the Broadway.

What you don't find in Debden library is library users. Why is the place deserted? Because it is located within the newly redeveloped Epping Forest College, which has been the target of a vicious BNP propaganda campaign. The BNP portrays the college as a haven for armed ethnic minority drug-dealers - a lie repeated in this month's edition of "Debden Patriot". No wonder people don't want to enter the college premises.

Yet, located at the EFC's entrance are metal detectors and security guards. There probably isn't anywhere safer in Loughton than Debden library, in stark contrast to the dark alleyways around the Broadway where a minority of local kids sniff glue and get tanked up on Special Brew.

In 2006, the police hit out at BNP lies ahead of the local elections, in which they claimed armed gangs of ethnic minority students from the college were invading Debden and were responsible for most of the violent crime.

Epping Forest District commander Chief Inspector Jon Hill said at the time: "Basically they've been driving up unjustifiably people's fear of crimes which don't exist. You couldn't recognise our area from the picture painted. And it doesn't make the job of police any easier."

Loughton Inspector Denise Morrisey said: "We don't have black and Asian kids coming into the area running riot. It's just not happening ... In fact a lot of the crime is carried out by local youths. Many residents would agree with me on that they know the people doing it. People at the college have been victims of crime like anyone else. There's no suggestion they're responsible. These claims have caused problems for us and problems for the college. People hear this stuff and they're not sure they want to send their kids there. It's unfair."

The BNP's campaign of lies about college students could cost Debden its library. If the library is not used, Essex County Council will probably close it. A public facility will have been taken away as a direct result of the racist fear-mongering the BNP uses to secure votes locally.

Unsurprisingly, the BNP has been silent on the violence at the nearby Football Academy in Langston Road, where a massive gangland fight at the New Year ball led to charges of attempted murder. This is meant to be a facility for local young people to learn football and boxing. Why no complaint from the BNP? Because the thugs attending the Football Academy event were almost all white-skinned and can be glorified as "rough diamonds" in the same way the Kray twins were.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

How to defeat the BNP

Turnout: 2002 - 26.5%; 2004 - 35.8%; 2006 - 45.0%; 2008 - 37.0%

The 2008 district elections saw local BNP leader Pat Richardson perform an unglamorous chicken run move from Fairmead to Broadway ward, apparently in an effort to stay on the council. Fairmead was lost by the BNP to the Loughton Residents Association, its main challenger and the town's largest political group. Broadway ward, which was created in 2002, has never been contestedby the LRA. As a result, the BNP has managed to build up a solid base of support. But despite Richardson's escape to Broadway, the BNP's vote fell 12.7% to 469 votes from its peak in 2006. This gives us a few clues as to the BNP's rise and fall in Loughton and how to defeat it.

Apathy and Labour's collapse not to blame

Unlike other areas of the country, the BNP's share of the vote in Broadway is not necessarily encouraged by a low turn-out. While the rise of the BNP in Broadway has been blamed on the collapse of the Labour party after the Iraq War, the statistics reveal a more complex situation. In terms of its share of the vote, the BNP had 33.6% in 2004 with turn-out up 9.3 percentage points, 39.3% in 2006 with turn-out up 9.2 percentage points and 40.0% in 2008 with turn-out down 8.0 percentage points. The BNP is able to mobilise people who don't normally vote and its vote has helped increase turn-out. When turn-out fell in 2008, so did the BNP vote in terms of actual vote, although it did manage to secure a 0.7 percentage point increase in its share of the vote.

Meanwhile, the trend in the Labour vote has actually followed the trend in the BNP vote, with the Labour vote increasing by around the same amount as the BNP in 2006 and falling by around the same amount in 2008. The only party to buck this trend is the Conservative party, which was the only party to raise both its number and share of votes in 2008. The Liberal Democrat vote has fared the worst in the ward, fading away almost to nothing. Its vote has fallen by 70% since its peak in 2004 to just 47 votes in 2008, when it came fifth behind the Greens. The gap between the BNP and its nearest rival, Labour, in 2008 was 123 votes, which is less than the 131 combined votes for the LibDems and the Greens. If the Green and LibDem candidates did not stand, 94% of their supporters would have had to have voted Labour to have denied the BNP the seat. However, in a tighter election, the split in the non-BNP vote could make all the difference.

Examining BNP defeats

Click on graphs to enlarge

It is fair to say that politics is not normal in Loughton and this is why a ward-by-ward analysis of the BNP's electoral fortunes has to be carried out. The effort to defeat the BNP in Broadway cannot be compared to the efforts in Oldham, a town that has a quite different history, political landscape and demography. Best examples of anti-BNP activism can be found from recent electoral history in Loughton itself, notably its rout in the Alderton and Fairmead wards which also form the loosely defined Debden area of Loughton.

In 2002, Loughton's Alderton and Fairmead wards were two horse races between Labour and the Conservatives, with Labour always confident of a win. The tide turned in 2004, when both parties were forced into third and fourth place as two new and unconventional political forces entered the election: the far-right British National Party and the doggedly independent and consensus-seeking Loughton Residents Association. The former played on fears and hatred, with deceitful propaganda about the town's imminent influx of African refugees and violent Muslim students at the local FE college - claims that were never backed by facts, but reinforced the rumours being spread locally. The latter group, the residents association, could not have been more different. Seeking to deal with actual local problems, the LRA based its fight on planning issues, refuse collection, environmental concerns and all the other issues that local councils actually have responsibility for.

Both the BNP and the LRA oversaw the collapse of the Tory-Labour duopoly and the efforts of the Liberal Democrats made little impact on the subsequent election results, other than to split the non-BNP vote (this was evident in the 2007 Alderton by-election when the Liberal Democrats increased their share of the vote to the detriment of the LRA).

Both new entrants to local electoral politics were able to increase turn-out, bringing people to the polls who would not otherwise vote in local elections. At the same time, they skimmed votes off the main parties. The theory is that the BNP took most of the Labour defectors, while the LRA took the Tory defectors. However, the reality is probably far more complex (nota bene: the Constituency Labour party, along with its electoral support, collapsed as a direct result of the Iraq War, which began in 2003 and led to popular local Labour councillor and PPC Stephen Murray quitting the party to sit as an independent).

The BNP was triumphant in the 2004 and 2006 district elections, winning both seats in the Alderton and Fairmead wards. However, their majority in Fairmead was always highly marginal, a situation that prompted Richardson's decision to dump the ward and run to Broadway. Her fears were well-founded as the BNP was routed by the LRA in May 2008 following a strong campaign on local issues that would not interest outsiders. The BNP also lost a seat in Alderton by a large margin, having retained it in a by-election by a handful of votes a few months before hand.

The LRA has shown that the BNP can be roundly beaten on the basis of strong, long-term local campaigning, but it also requires the consolidation of the non-BNP vote. The Alderton ward by-election of 2007, which saw the Liberal Democrats put up a strong fight only for the BNP to win by a small margin over the LRA, demonstrated the danger of splitting the BNP vote. The key to defeating the BNP is therefore a greater consolidation within the non-BNP vote - instead of fracturing it between four or five parties - and a strong campaign based on local issues, where the BNP has struggled to perform.

Grassroots politics: key to BNP's defeat

Loughton residents are coming round to the opinion that voting for the BNP in local elections has no effect on national policies in relation to immigration, while it lacks an agenda based on local needs. Few local people appear to identify with its underlying white supremacism and the BNP's main electoral message is predicated on protest voting rather than voting postively for a policy platform. Protest politics wanes as time goes on, particularly if protest parties are unable to have any impact on the status quo.

The LRA's strong track-record on working to improve the town in the long-term, and achieving tangible results, have enabled it to increase its profile. LRA councillors are also seen as non-partisan and having broad-based support within the community. They appeal to both the desire for pragmatism and the dislike of conventional party politics. This has made it more difficult for the others to attack them directly, since the LRA's pragmatic consensus-building and its lack of threat to seats outside Loughton make it relatively non-threatening to the three mainstream parties.

In Debden in general, the LRA has led the way in protecting green spaces from development by seeking to register them as village greens. It is fighting to save the closure of Debden Community Association's sports hall. It is actively seeking residents' opinions on residents parking. It participates in the "Debden Day" activities, runs the farmers market and is involved in the Broadway business partnership. Despite having not contested Broadway, the LRA is visibly doing more than the divisive BNP. And the micro-level issues that bother people on a day-to-day level is ultimately the territory where the BNP can be defeated, as demonstrated in Alderton and Fairmead.

2009 county election: mapping the political landscape

The key test of the BNP's fortunes in Broadway will come in the 2009 county council elections, when Broadway ward will be included with Conservative-voting Chigwell. It is inevitable that the Conservatives will win the Chigwell and Broadway seat. In the last county elections fought in 2005 (simultaneously with the general election), the percentage of the vote stood at 49.6% for the Conservatives, 20.5% for Labour, 17.8% for the Liberal Democrats, 8.2% for the BNP and 3.3% for the Greens. In terms of actual votes, the BNP achieved 623 votes, 180 votes up on the 2004 district election. This was a disappointing result for the BNP given that turn-out was 60.5% and the size of the electorate was 80% larger than Broadway on its own. It is therefore finding it hard to push beyond its dwindling stronghold in Loughton.

If the BNP fails to match its 2005 performance in 2009, it could mark the beginning of the end of the BNP's presence in Broadway. Bearing in mind the disaster in the 2007 Alderton by-election, the LibDems and Greens could also reconsider contesting Broadway in 2010, if they really want the BNP defeated. While Labour is able to count on a core vote of 300-400 and the Conservatives are seeing their vote increase to less than 100 behind Labour, neither Labour nor the Conservatives are likely to bow out of the election race.

Looking to 2010

There is still a sizeable 55-65% of the Broadway electorate that does not vote in local elections. The likelihood of a general election in 2010 - which will probably coincide with the district elections - could change the scenario, with a turn-out of up to 70%, bringing potentially an extra 500 Broadway voters to the polls; no district council election has been fought simultaneously with a general election in Broadway ward since it was created in 2002. It is likely that many of these extra voters will swing to the Conservative and to a lesser extent the Liberal Democrats, whose profile in the ward has diminished. The LRA, which has drawn support from across the party spectrum, is also poised to contest Broadway for the first time, having worked hard on the local issues that concern the ward's voters.

The 2010 district elections will maximise turn-out since they are likely to be held alongside the general election. However, it could also mean that some supporters of mainstream parties will rally behind their parties at a local level and it means that local politics can be eclipsed by national events. Yet, it is not a certainty that Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat general election voters will carry their allegiances to the local elections.

Voters can be fickle and unpredictable, and so they should be - local and national politics are very different. However, the defeat of the BNP in all three Debden wards in 2010 will leave Pat Richardson on her own, leaving Nick Griffin and his ilk with a lot of egg of their faces. And that would be worth seeing, whatever your political allegiance.

We're not Marxists, we're just concerned residents

The BNP is keen to portray its opponents - everyone from the Labour and Conservative parties to the residents association, local headmasters and policemen - as politically correct lunatic lefty appeasers of Islamic extremism, as if red-baiting is still a rabble rouser nearly two decades after the Iron Curtain fell.

Epping Forest BNP Watch is no Trotskyist front, as portrayed by desperate BNP activists who realise their time is up in Epping Forest district. Among the first people to support us are the award-winning Harry's Place blog, a leading political blog that not only opposes racism and antisemitism but is known for its confrontations with the Islamist far-right and their sympathisers.

Harry's Place contributor David T writes: "I was born in Epping, and I am a proud Essex boy. Therefore, I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I am to see a new blog on the block - Epping Forest BNP Watch. EFBNPW, as I’m sure it won’t come to be known, provides a first rate and forensic commentary on the activities of the local fascists, in my home country. With the kind permission of the blog, we’ll be running regular items from its pages on Harry’s Place."

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Glorification of attack on local Asian

The Neo-Nazi internet forum Stormfront, which is frequented by many members of the BNP, has yet again seen celebration of a violent attack on another innocent ethnic minority local. The Asian teenager from Epping has undergone reconstructive surgery on his face following the brutal attack by a black youth, which Stormfront members found hilarious.

A similar violent attack on a 34 year-old black man by white youths in Debden, Loughton, also evoked mirth among the Neo-Nazis, who celebrated attack as an act of 'resistance'.

The recent racist attack took place in Harlow, where the BNP is attempting to set up a local party branch. It is no coincidence that racist violence rises wherever the BNP becomes established and racism is perceived as tolerable and even acceptable.

One Stormfront user said: "The Pakistanis and Hindus serve as racial cover for the Jews hiding out in Britain, so they are immediately protected by the Jewish press."

The BNP likes to portray itself as tough on crime, but it is led by men who have criminal convictions for incitement and violent racist attacks and who are inspired by antisemitic ideology,

Epping Forest BNP have no qualms about this, inviting veteran Nazi and fervent antisemite Richard Edmonds to speak at a branch meeting in February. Among Edmonds' series of convictions is his involvement in a vicious bottle attack on a mixed race couple in a pub in East London in 1993. One-time right-hand man of the openly Nazi John Tyndall and now a member of BNP leader Nick Griffin's inner circle, he has made no secret of his absolute hatred of Jews and contempt for black people.

Broadway ward's BNP councillor Pat Richardson is close friends with convicted thug Tony Lecomber, who was once imprisoned for planning a nail bomb terrorist attack in the 1980s and assaulting a Jewish teacher in the 1990s as well as attacking fellow BNP member Eddy Butler at Loughton tube station and plotting to assassinate a cabinet minister.

The BNP's politics goes well beyond meaningful debate about immigration. Violence and intimidation are the BNP's basic tactics and intimately bound up with their Hitler-inspired racial supremacism. Attacks on Black and Asian locals are privately justified and celebrated. A party that is led by violent criminals and which glorifies in violent criminal acts should not be in local government.

Anjem Choudary: BNP's greatest asset

Where would the BNP be without the likes of Islamic extremist Anjem Choudary to justify their Muslim-bating?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

BNP attack on unlikely "Marxist agitator"

The latest edition of the BNP's irregular (in more ways than one) "Debden Patriot" newsletter is devoted to "revealing" the supposed Marxist conspiracy to impose a communist dictatorship on Loughton's Debden estate.

The attack is particularly aimed at Methodist church-going Loughton Residents Association (LRA) councillor Rose Brookes, dubbed "Red Rose" by the BNP for "her long history of far-left activism with Marxist front-groups" (She lists her activities as "voluntary work for Barnardos and raised funds for a charity for bereaved children" - not activities one normally associates with the workers control of production). The leaflet is a transparent smear campaign against a jovial and hard-working councillor whose only "crime" is her vocal opposition to racism. In the BNP's bizarre little world, anti-racism and Marxism are one and the same, although members of the Conservative party have also been among those to actively campaign locally against the problem of racism. They consider that all opposition to their fascist politics is communist.

Oddly, the leaflet was distributed mainly to residents in the Broadway ward, which is not Rose Brookes' seat and has never been contested by the LRA. She won the Alderton ward seat last year in a massive swing against the BNP (see chart) - another "crime" that the BNP cannot forgive her for.

BNP activists are highly territorial. It seems they would prefer a truce in the style of the Nazi-Soviet Pact: the LRA can have the supposedly middle-class areas of the town, while the BNP can have a monopoly in the working-class areas. No doubt the pressure is on from national HQ to prevent further losses, which could have a negative impact on Nick Griffin's control freakish leadership.

Its losses in Alderton and Fairmead wards last year have shaken the local BNP, demonstrating that the LRA can win votes from across the community. In fact, class differences are dissipating with the Conservatives the only party to actually increase both its share and its number of votes in the BNP's largely working-class Broadway stronghold last year. With council accommodation mostly sold off under right-to-buy, Loughtonians are more aspirational and class/party loyalties have loosened, particularly with the decline of loyalty to the Labour party. This has benefitted the BNP in Broadway and, previously, in Alderton and Fairmead. But they are feeling the possibility of a crunch on their vote and the desperate personal smears are an attempt to warn the LRA off their remaining patch of support.

The LRA has been making in-roads into the Broadway ward with a campaign to register Debden estate's green spaces as village greens and save them from development. The BNP does not have the nous to consider such a move. Now it is nervous that the LRA will contest Broadway and break the BNP vote, in the same way the BNP broke the Labour vote. The attack on Rose Brookes is therefore the rearguard action of a retreating force that can only resort to traducing those who have democratically triumphed over them.

The BNP have so far capitalised on this decline in class-based ideology to advance their race-based ideology. But there is only so far racism can be a vehicle for public support in a town that is 99 per cent white. They are seeking other avenues: attempting to revive class politics with attacks on the LRA as "middle-class nosey parkers" (an ironic twist, given that they accuse the LRA of being Marxist class warriors) and portraying themselves as an alternative residents' voice, although they don't have any track-record of success. These are likely to be far less successful than the racist line they have pushed so far, which has largely focused on black students at Epping Forest College who they accuse of drug-dealing and anti-social behaviour (an accusation that the police have refuted).

The truth is that the BNP in Loughton is a cornered animal fighting for its life. And slowly but surely, other political forces - namely the Conservatives and the LRA - are beating them back on their territory. Desperate accusations of Marxist insurgency are all they have. Yet, McCarthyite red-baiting is likely to be far less successful than black-bashing. The electorate are not fools.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

A Swastika on Hereward School?

Loughton Town Council has put forward local BNP leader Pat Richardson as a governor of Hereward primary school at its meeting last night.

The school has not endorsed the leader of the BNP, a racial supremacist party that excludes non-white members of the community from membership, as governor and will have to assess whether she is suitable.

The council had been asked to nominate two candidates for the governorship, but Councillor Richardson was the only person to come forward.

Hereward may want to bear in mind Richardson's attempts to stir up ethnic tensions between school children last year when assessing her suitability.

BNP "historians"

Councillor Garry Martin is being promoted as Epping Forest BNP's in-house historian, in the same way as the national BNP promoted revisionist historian and Holocaust denier David Irving.

Dear old Councillor Martin is upset with the Loughton Historical Society. However, it's unclear exactly what he's upset about. Apparently, some local historians call a hilly part of Loughton "Little Cornwall", but Mr Martin has "researched" - ie went to the Wikipedia website - and found that the term originates from local novellist Ruth Rendell.

It's unclear whether the Loughton Historical Society would necessarily disagree with him. So what's his beef?

"This is so very wrong," Councillor Martin wails, "especially when most of these people who are trying to alter things are not even locals, but have moved into the area from outside!"

Aha, it's the damned foreigners, destroying our culture by trying to convince everyone they are living in Cornwall!


Poor Garry Martin is more Homer Simpson than David Irving.