My Memory of Matthew Single
September 2, 2009 3 Comments
There were news reports yesterday that former BNP member Matthew Single was fined £200 for releasing a membership list containing the names and addresses of 12,000 paid up BNP members which included school teachers, members of the police force and priests.
Back last year, Len Heather, a local BNP organisor for Basildon, Billericay, and Wickford, said of the list leak: “We believe the Labour Party was ultimately behind all of this, along with the left wing unions, who are dedicated to undermining us.”
It was not long after Heather announced this that Single was suspected of doing it himself, after it had emerged that he and other disgruntled members were looking to disgrace certain other members of the party that they had accused of ‘bringing the BNP into disrepute.’
In my late teens I was an activist with Unite against Fascism in South East Essex and I remember very well from time to time bumping into Matthew Single while he was working as head of security for the BNP, before he became one of Nick Griffin’s heavies. He had stood twice for Basildon council on behalf of the BNP, and I recall that he was always very active for local by-elections.
I remember seeing him front a group of party activists at Wickford station on their way to a “family day” like the one they had this year in Derbyshire. Another memory I have of him was when the BNP had booked a meeting at a pub in Southend, back in 2003, where it was alleged that Nick Griffin himself would attend. Due to UAF presence the pub manager realised that the group using his function room were not, as they said they were, the National Trust. He didn’t want the BNP to use his function room so he barred them. An angry Matthew Single approached us with half a dozen party activists to tell us that ‘his Grandad did not die for his country’ so that a nationalist party were supressed of their ‘free speech’. Another of this contingent accused us, without any irony, of being ‘nazi communist fascist bastards’.
By this time the police had arrived, perhaps informed by the pub landlord of a possible backlash against his decision. It was only when they arrived that a fight had broken out between another UAF activist and Matthew Single. Single was immediately arrested and escorted into the back of a police van, his nose red with blood from being punched.
Griffin didn’t arrive that day, but a showcase had taken place, and the local set of BNP racists were showing their real colours, with lies, excuses, and violence.
His excuse for leaking a member list was down to him ‘not being himself’ (see the video here), but there is something of the night about that individual. He became a leading member of his party in 2004 during the European elections, power was getting to his head no doubt. Coming from a UKIP background (as Richard Corbett has told us [pdf file, p. 13] here) to a party bent on lies and race hate (recent comments about what a British repsonse to Islam is beggars belief) up to now; an alienated, sick, immature man, £200 out of pocket (which is no easy thing when you’re on the dole).