The BNP say goodbye to Lee John Barnes

Lee John Barnes, the subject of much fun for many anti-fascist bloggers, will no longer act as legal director for the British National Party.

In his resignation letter (which you can read on his website, you know where it is, no links from here) he despairs at the “avoidable court cases” the BNP have become involved in under the orders of “Nick Griffin and Jim Dowson [who] have repeatedly chosen to break the most obvious of laws”.

Those cases, LJB cites as:

LJB has accused Griffin of ignoring his advice, then later referring to him in an Employment Tribunal as a ‘crank’.

During the conclusion of his rambling resignation (3000 words in length), LJB admits that he:

cannot remain as the Legal Officer of a party that acts unlawfully towards its own members, that rewards years of party loyalty with unlawful suspensions and expulsions, that covers up serious allegations of sexual abuse by senior officers, that expels long standing members who ask for financial transparency within the party and that refuses to act to protect its own officers when they are threatened with violence by other senior officers.

He finishes up by saying: “[s]uch a political party cannot be trusted with political power in our society.”

On his blog, LJB accuses BNP officers such as Griffin, Andrew Brons, Simon Darby and Andrew Moffat, of “going around telling people [he] was ‘expelled’ and that [he] did not resign.” He goes on to explain how “[t]hey are paid to lie – to the members and the public” and that he does “so despise liars and idiots” and who he calls “the Griffinite idiot squad.”

Clues of an unsteady relationship between LBJ and other members of the BNP hierarchy had been present for some time. Griffin, notably uncomfortable talking about LJB, told Iain Dale during an interview for Total Politics, that he is “a very strange and complex character”.

Dale wondered why Griffin continues to employ “someone obsessed by Jewish issues to hold national office in the BNP” to which Griffin replied:

As I say, if you look at his blogs and his arguments with people in the round, you will see that he’s one of the people who’s taken the obsession with Jews out of the BNP. It was there. But he’s one of the ones who’ve taken it out by putting it in context.

Reading what LJB has said before about Jewish conspiracies, it is difficult to place what “context” Griffin is talking of here; but then this is a man who thinks the English Defence League are run by Zionists and who has authored a book called Who are the Mindbenders? about the Jewish dominated media – perhaps not the greatest authority on the subject.

We all have our favourite LJB moments, whether here or here, and now that he has stopped pulling his hair out over the stupid BNP, no doubt he will have more time to appeal to his Norse Gods and troll websites seeking out undercover Jewish plots – though he will not be welcomed.

Dawkins and the “bin-liner thing”

I can’t think why Dawkins would be courting controversy and tickling pr spinners, it’s not like he has a series of documentaries coming up or has plans to arrest any popes on the horizon.

So I do wonder why he has called the burka a “bin-liner thing” in the Radio Times – the most neutralising, sobering, boring, Titchmarsh publication in all of Christendom.

The Mail had an article on it pretty sharpish. But my guess is that Seyyed Ferjani, of the Muslim Association of Britain, friends of the Stop the War coalition, the Socialist Workers’ Party and the Muslim Brotherhood – an unholy alliance - did not call the move “Islamaphobic”.

That single Mail sub editor must be off sick again…

Big society and Thatcher revised

Big society is characterised only by what it is not; that being “top-down, top-heavy, controlling” government.

There are plans to give people more say in how local money is spent, but guarantee that you will be listened to will probably be as likely as it is now.

You can get a group of people to lobby this or that and you have every bit of chance to be heard; big society might just be a name to this, but the option to gather a group of people to either demand spending on a school, to stop the closure of a post office, or oppose the building of nuclear generator outside your house exists today.

Is it possible that what was meant to be a rejection of Thatcher’s famous comment that there is no society is a return by other means; since big society is empty and vacuous and is predicated in the negative (that is, by what it is not and not what it is) perhaps there is no such thing as big society.

David Cameron insists that big society will be something like the following:

a broad agenda of decentralising power, expanding the voluntary sector and encouraging people to take more responsibility for their lives and neighbourhood.

I’ll say it’s broad: state cut back, working for free and “responsibility” – a word used as if created anew. But it has been uttered before of course.

Margaret Thatcher, in that speech, which big society is supposedly a rejection of, said:

There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

Exactly the same; a game of guesses and fingers crossed that better off people will help the lesser off under the guise of self-responsibility; in other words Victorian philanthropy.

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