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.

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Peter Tatchell, Nick Griffin, and foul mouth called Tony Gladwin

Human rights activist and campaigner Peter Tatchell threw himself in front of BNP leader Nick Griffin today at the Westminster BBC studios, while Griffin spoke to the press about his letter of invitation to the Queen’s garden party – which had today been withdrawn.

Tatchell called Griffin “a gutless coward” and pressured him to apologise for the BNP’s history of anti-semitism, homophobia and Islamophobic views, before Griffin left the site and two of his bodyguards pulled Tatchell away.

Tatchell, as he was being dragged by two guards down the stairs, bellowed: “this is the BNP in action, look at them, look at them, thugs” – before a voice requested they leave Tatchell alone, and follow Griffin away from the scene.

One of Griffin’s entourage may seem familiar to the eagle eyed: Tony Gladwin (wearing blue) was once the British National Party Parliamentary candidate for Southend West.

The website councilbust profile him as:

a single 26 year old builder, [who] lives in Billericay with his mother. He is known to have worked as security for BNP leader Nick Griffin, and stood as an Essex County Councillor in the last round of elections.

The website also mentions his Facebook messages on the night of Griffin’s Question Time, where he said:

CANT WAIT TILL 2MORRA! LOOK 4 ME ON THE NEWS STOMPIN SUM PATHETIC RED SCUMBAG’S HEAD IN!

but coz of the old bill doin der job 4 once in der traitorous lives, i might not b able 2 play with dem.”

He has fully admitted the messages now.

Hope not Hate have reported on Gladwin posting “offensive jokes on his Facebook page ridiculing victims of the thalidomide tragedy, who suffered severe birth defects as a result of the drug.”

Regarding the threat to march through the streets of Wooton Bassett by disgraceful group Islam4UK, Gladwin posted on his Facebook page:

just tink this is the only country in the world dat allows foreigners 2 shit on the graves of our war heroes in public (with a police escort!) and get away with it but if u shout out naughty words dat offends them u get banged up!

u gota laugh or u’ll cry or become a serial killer lol”

People Griffin considers trustworthy enough to be his heavies are little more than violent, offensive, racist thugs.

“Secular Humanists” vs. Far right extremists, or where is the EDL civil war then?

I had the great fortune to engage in a twitter debate not so long ago with a twit (or tweeter) who goes by the name Jack Kerouac and twit name @EDLDoverFerry. It was an enlightening experience as I’m sure anyone can guess, but it wasn’t entirely what I expected from someone so ardent about their support for a group that has been noted in the press for their violence, racism and Islamophobia.

Kerouac was very keen to point out that he feels the English Defence League is a secularist, humanist group with the interests of women, gays and kufr (nonbelievers, or those who deny “truth”) at heart. The oiks and thugs that the media show on the telly and in the newspapers spoil it for the other honest members, and they are the bane of the EDL security guards’ lives, for it is they who have to try and bring order and peace to the demonstrations the EDL put on, and this simply cannot be done when numpties scream colourful and vile language (“I hate P*kis more than you“) on the streets and kids with bitter eyes wave the fascist salute.

Kerouac’s point was the EDL are not the BNP and are just trying to protest against sharia law.

This would be all the more believable if there weren’t one or two problems with the EDL (see also PP on this subject):

There is a BNP presence in the EDL, and it exists at the top, not limited to those who go out on the street for the fight. The Stirrer revealed that Chris Renton, a BNP activist who lives in Weston-super-Mare, set up the EDL website. Further, Paul Ray, a spokesperson for the EDL admitted in an interview knowing about Renton’s links, and dismissed it by saying that “people’s political views are their own affair.”

Ray, during the interview conducted by The Stirrer’s editor Adrian Goldberg on Talksport, revealed, however, that it is not just Islamic extremism that he takes a disliking too. The entry explains:

During the course of the interview, it became apparent that Ray’s own view of Islamic extremism isn’t limited to suicide bombers and hook handed preachers of hate.

He argued that the Qu’ran teaches all its advocates to wage jihad or holy war in non-Muslim countries, and acknowledged that on this basis, all devout or practising Muslims in Britain, are – in his words – “at war with our country.”

When pressed, he said:  “They’re ultimately engaged in converting our country to an Islamic state…that is the religious mandate of the Qu’ran that all Muslims must adhere too.”

The EDL are bankrolled by a man who wants:

full-scale persecution of Muslims in Britain, including forcing them to live in Third Reich-style poverty-stricken ghettos within 20 years, killing any Muslims who attempted to leave these restricted starvation-ridden areas, and implementing summary executions for white British “race traitors

The EDL aim to set up a “Jewish division,” sparked off by the Gaza flotilla incident, “encouraging members of the community to “lead the counter-Jihad fight in England”.”

Jon Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “The EDL’s supposed ‘support’ for Israel is empty and duplicitous. It is built on a foundation of Islamophobia and hatred which we reject entirely.”

For some reason, the less proud members of this odd gang want to paint themselves as vigilantes for progressive causes like gender and sexual equality, under scrutiny by fanatics. But it doesn’t stand up when you look at the EDL for just a second.

Any group that is aware of its links with the BNP; any group that isn’t able to distinguish the minority of Islamists from mainstream, traditional or liberal Islamic movements, and certainly does nothing to attract those latter Muslims whose communities are most damaged by extremism; any group that seeks only to provoke should only be viewed with caution and disgust.

Brentwood newspaper cozies up to BNP

Last year I was horrified to see on my local newspaper website an advert by the BNP. This year things are a little more serious for one Essex newspaper.

Martin McNeill, the editorial director for Newsquest, who own Basildon Echo among others, on which website the advert appeared, made the excuse to Jon Slattery that:

We are accepting paid-for advertising from any political parties or candidates standing in the current elections. I appreciate how strongly many people feel about the BNP, but it would be undemocratic and against the principle of free speech to refuse to accept any party’s advertising provided it falls within our guidelines.

It might explain this Essex newspaper having its hands tied – though I think the excuse is rather a lame kop-out. But this article in Brentwood will not be able to carry the same excuse off.

It reads:

“The party operates under a veil of secrecy to protect members from those who oppose their beliefs and did not reveal the location of the meeting until just minutes before it was due to start. With the pub set to become a regular meeting place for the new group, they have asked us not to reveal where it is.

“Christine Mitchell, a 68-year-old grandmother from Chelmsford, will be running the branch from here on in. Mrs Mitchell, who is contesting the newly created Saffron Walden seat in the general election on May 6, said: ‘We are fighting for British jobs for British workers, that is the start but we are standing for other reasons – crime rates, the state of the education system and the fact MPs have stolen from the public.’

The former Conservative leader of Westminster Council, Peter Strudwick, spoke for more than an hour during the meeting, rallying support for what he called “ideologies” for the future…

“Searching faces scoured the room until a man who had until then sat quietly in the corner, put his hand up to pledge £100. Others then thrust crisp £50 notes in the pot before the less well-off handed over their screwed up £10 and £20 notes. There was much applause and hand shaking as the money came flooding in, uniting the room in the campaign to bring about radical change.”

The last line is of course the most disturbing; this isn’t just an account of the meeting, it ends in a partisan way, not challenging the notion that the BNP are “radical change” – which of course might be true, but not in any way to be celebrated or uncontested.

As just a brief conclusion, I will point out that this is Essex is part of the Essex Chronicle, which in turn is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust, which of course owns the Daily Mail. Not that that means anything of course.

(H/T left foot forward)

The BNP and US Eco-Fascists

The surprising thing for me that the British National Party’s website is linked to the website of an American party called the Libertarian Nationalist Socialist Green Party – which is described as having ‘the National Socialist German Workers Party as its primary ideological inspiration, while also incorporating elements of Libertarianism and the Green movement’, aims for environmental improvement, and is influenced by things as varied as racial supremacy, anarchism and European Pagan movements – is not that the LNSGP are avowedly Nazi (their logo depicts a swastika on a green background to symbolise its so-called Eco-Fascism) which the BNP claim they are not.

What surprises me is that they are linked in spite of the differences of opinion on green policy. I was under the impression that Griffin felt debate on climate change showed the gulf between the “political elite” and “the little people who have to pay the bills” and that “nationalists” could end this so-called gulf.

For the BNP to be linked online to more Nazi’s is no surprise (examples here and here). For them to be linked to a green party (of some description), well there is a surprise.

It would seem the LNSGP are “nationalists” (though I can think of better words for them). Perhaps Griffin is just not pagan enough.

Rights for Whites (and everyone else too)

Kjartan Páll Sveinsson, a research and policy analyst at the Runnymede Trust, a year ago had (I assume, judging by this liberal conspiracy item) some input over the who cares about the white working class report. “Class is back – but in a racialised form; no longer just working class, but with an added distinction ‘white working class’.” The distinction is almost in apprehension of tension between groups, for if the white working class are disadvantaged (or feel so) then who – by way of balance – is advantaged? Is it the black and other ethnic minority groups who fall under the bracket of working class. It is hard to see what is at play here. But I’ll give it a shot.

The white working class being failed, even at educational attainment – based on racial categories and those who are receiving free school meals – has been shown to be part of the new labour package, since the telegraph also found that “48 per cent of the poorest white boys met targets in English and maths at primary school last year, compared with 82 per cent of Chinese pupils.”

But how this is channelled from then is the dodgy territory. The blame is sought from foreigners themselves.

Not only did “58% said they felt unrepresented compared with 46% of white middle class respondents to a Newsnight poll”,

52% of the white working class people questioned thought immigration was a bad thing (42% thought it was a good thing), while just 33% of white middle class people thought it bad (62% thought it a good thing). (see the BBC article)

Certain leftists run a huge risk when they say that to separate working class people by race institutionally is wrong, only because previously this has been how we have been able to acknowledge and target low achievements in minority groups. One such writer scorns the distinction as reactionary. Perhaps in some cases, by some people. Though it is necessary to distinguish these groups in order to target failing, where I’m sure this writer would agree there was before with the children of minority groups. It also provides us with a marker to show whether racism is institutional – this I am guessing is what informed John Denham’s recent decision to say that inequality is not reduced only to race (this has not been understood by some writers (see note below), who though are right to say that race related bullying might still exist – and I worry will never disappear entirely – government is not in the business discriminating against race, and a lot has been done to tackle racism institutionally).

Often people who make assumptions as to why one group of people are failing make 5 out of 2 and 2. I’m not prepared to do so here. There are many factors, and time will only tell whether this is a relatively small trend (that will throw up a series of pointers as to what it is) or a longer lasting hiccup in the educational system. One thing that can not help – which is more a socio-economic concern – is the laughter directed to certain members of the white working class. Johann Hari recently said

Base generalisations about the white working class are so frequent that we just don’t hear them any more. Words like “chav” and “pikey” have become mainstream, and Vicky Pollard is waved as a dystopian poster-girl for twenty-first century Britain.

George Galloway once commented about the Jade/Shilpa situation that though it was crass of Goody, the real point of blame was Shilpa’s snobbish attitude towards Jade. This is not to play down the petty language that Goody used, but what was less an issue for the media at the time was the part class had to play in the conflict, and to some extent this is symptomatic of the way class is played now – that there are certain members at the bottom who it is fine to poke fun at.

There was a series of complaints at the word ‘chav’ – one here and here, to name but two – centred around the fact that it is a barely veiled attempt to acceptably look down upon the some people in our society, namely the white working class – though actually those people to whom the word is directed are not racially specific.

It is said by some that negative attitudes towards gypsies is the last socially acceptable form of racism. Scorn and vilification of the white working class doesn’t contradict this, since by and large it is an attitude towards class. The attachment of the word ‘white’ used formally – like in government statistics – is a way of seeing whether there is a clear relationship in low attainment and race. By the media it is shorthand for those more likely to get pregnant earlier, those more likely to commit crime, or those unlikely to achieve as well, and realistically it wasn’t going to be long until this self-fulfilling prophecy came to fruition in details of educational attainment and so on. But this is not a race war, it is one of class attitudes.

****

Note

Yasmin Alibhai Brown had written the evening standard article (that I’ve linked to above) yesterday, which, I felt, misunderstood John Denham’s message, and failed to look at the historical testimony that racism – both institutional and street level – has been massively reduced, even since the late nineties, therefore it is legitimate that the Labour party should accept a small victory – in spite of the successes of the BNP, which let us remember, the BNP have had to modify their language a great deal in order to achieve, therefore their appeal is based as much on their scaremongering and not only on people’s “avowed racist attitudes”. Remember, for example, Jon Cruddas’ remark that Barking isn’t awash with fascist saluting Nazi’s, there are wider issues here.

But her ignorance here is not isolated. One other example sticks out, and it is worth repeating here at length:

We want to shut our doors because of prejudice and envy. Young Poles and Lithuanians can find work and make something of their lives, while our own people are either too lazy or expensive to compete. Tax-paying immigrants past and present keep indolent British scroungers on their couches drinking beer and watching TV. We are despised because we seize opportunities these slobs don’t want.

Two fit white British men loiter outside my local bank. They beg. I asked if they wanted to clear out my back garden for a fair wage. They said I was one crazy lady. Polish Andrew did the job cheerfully and efficiently. God bless bloody foreigners who do our dirty work and are then damned by an ungrateful, obtuse nation. (see the rest of the article, if you really want to, here)

Question Time fun

I was one of the many people last night slumped over my laptop, trying to debate with my flatmates, drinking some beer, whilst trying desparately to tweet, retweet, stop myself from laughing/shouting/crying, and watch Question Time. I was very cautious not to give it all away for myself by reading certain other members of the twitterati inform their followers of the events taking place outside and in. Though I did catch mention of the UAF protesters who had broken in, or engaged in scuffles with the police, followed by the twitter tag #thisisnothelpful, or something to that effect.

Everyone I had spoken to about it during this time had a favourite bit (mine was when Jack Straw, as Secretary of State for Justice, invited a wriggly, smirking Griffin to tell us the details of his change of heart on matters such as the holocaust, replying in an instant to Griffin that he’d sort the French and German’s out if they kicked up a fuss). And I should imagine a lot of naysayers changed their tune. Jon Snow on the news at 7 mentioned the many people who will boycott the event, but I really felt it wasn’t worth the trouble for them. There were fears that it could mirror Le Pen’s mainstream genesis, but Le Pen seemed to hold the audience hostage by making them give a minutes silence, a real showcase. Griffin is too uncomfotable with his disavowal, and that really came across last night, he was tripping all over himself, and often the real side slipped out, the KKK are non-violent, Europe holds my tongue but when asked to clarify squirms and rolls into a ball etc etc.

The first thing I did when I woke up at 7 this morning was watch it all again with my girlfriend, who couldn’t watch it the first time around. By this time I was able to point out before it happened ‘oh watch this bit, he says David Duke is a non-violent person’ and so on. On the tube to work I shared a nod and a raised eyebrow with a fellow commuter when we both realised we were looking at the same article in the free morning newspaper. And now at work the conversation has not entered anything else (apart from work matters, obviously). I’m even speaking to a colleague of mine who is on his day off over google. Now I’m taking 10 to write a brief entry on it. I’m consumed by the happenings of last night. Because it went so dreadfully wrong. Never have I ever felt so bad, about not feeling bad, about watching someone die on their arse, in front of his friends, family and followers. It was very backfoot telly.

A number of articles have been passed my way as well today, in particular the one of by David Cohen, that elaborated on Griffin’s claim that him and Greer got on fabulously. He’s nutty as a fruitcake. He tried to “beg pals” with her, I think I saw him pat her on the back, the constant faux laughing and uncomfort should normally evoke bum-clenching upon me, but it didn’t, I loved it, I wanted more, 1 hour was not enough and it seemed to go too fast. Watching the debate, and engaging with my own on a Thursday night normally sets me in the right frame for instant sleep, but last night was different.

Against all odds, thank goodness UAF failed to barricade the centre in White city, because that would only benefit Griffin and his claim to victimhood, thank goodness he wasn’t able to answer usual questions of the weeks events like the postal strike, potentially bringing him in agreement with other panellists and getting an unwarranted ish-clap. Thank goodness the audience asked hard questions without booing (too much, or over his pathetic answers), and thank goodness that the only new recruits that that performance will earn are pity recruits.

Lastly, if, as I had wished, an hour had been added, I would have wanted asked the following:

– why were a group of non-white people turned away from a meeting by Barnbrook the murder fabricator, on the day that the BNP were told to allow non-white members?

– why don’t you think global warming is man-made?

why did Griffin [once] describ[e] British RAF pilots as war criminals and murderers. He wrote an article in The Rune, the antisemitic journal he edited, praising the “courage and sacrifices” of the Waffen-SS soldiers while claiming in another piece that “the Waffen-SS were undoubtedly no worse than the troops of other nations … ” including Britain!

What is Mark Collett if not the Director of Publicity for the Party, like it says on wikipedia – the source of ALL knowledge!!