Saturday, 3 November 2007

Freedom of Speech Anniversary Celebration

It's the 'Freedom of Speech Anniversary Celebration' tonight marking one year since the 'Not Guility' verdicts for Nick Griffin and Mark Collett at Leeds Crown Count. Carol Collett who has organised the event, invited Tina and I as special guests because we have both been the victims of the denial of our freedom.

In 2005 Tina lost her job as a Graduate Mental Health Worker with the North Cumbria NHS Trust because she was to stand as a BNP election candidate. Britain's top employment QC Jonathan Bowers said she had received 'disgraceful treatment', but that didn't cut any ice with an Employment Tribunal. In 1985 I served three months in prison for refusing to pay a fine incurred under the Race Relations Act.

Unfortunately we are unable to attend tonight so I have sent a message of support along with a few pertinent memories of my incarceration. For those interested this is what I'm sending.

"They came for me early that morning. I was taken to a cell at Worthing Police Station and then on to Worthing Court where a judge told me I could walk free if I paid the fine.
"I am unable to do that on a matter of principle." I told him.
In a large police lorry divided into 10 wire cages I was transported first to Brighton Crown Court and then to Lewes Prison where other prisoners filled the remaining cages. From Lewes it was straight to Pentonville Prison.
We arrived at seven o'clock in the evening and waited in a holding area along with 30 other new prisoners. Amongst them were three down-and-outs who were filthy dirty and stunk to high heaven. Eventually I was called through to give my details, hand over my civvies, shower and dress in a blue and white striped shirt, blue jeans and a grey round neck sweater with light blue collar and cuffs.
The first night I was in a cell with three others. My offence was the talk of the night. "The Blacks are going to love you!" one old lag told me.
In the morning in an interview with the Prison Governor I was told again that I would be free to go if I paid my fine, and that the fine would reduce by around £10 a day every day I served.
"It is not about money. It's about the principle of free speech," I told him. He raised his eyes to the ceiling and called for the next inmate.
There were some grim moments in the next three months. Slopping out, going to the loo with no privacy, Christmas away from my family, but not the victimisation that I had feared on the first night. I was given a cell on my own because it was thought that I might be an agitator and was given a 'plum' job in the education department, keeping the registers up to date for all the lessons. One of my duties was to serve coffee to the teachers and there was a drama with regard to this after I had been there about a month. One morning I was waiting to serve coffee but just a handful of teachers came in.
"The rest are boycotting you", one told me and handed me a copy of The Guardian. Our Annual Conference under the title "Free Martin Wingfield" had made the front page because it was held in the National Liberal Club. I had a worrying few days because I thought I might lose my job, but eventually they all came around and we had some lively discussions during those coffee breaks.
I received over 700 letters of support while in Pentonville which massively boosted my morale each day. The worst week was the last before release when I suffered from something called 'gate fever'. Every minute seems like an hour and every hour a day. Your mind is already free but not your body.

During the two trials at Leeds Crown Court, the reality of Mark and Nick's situation really came home to me. They could be looking at seven years which would make my three months seem like a day trip. What a relief were those 'not guilty on all counts' verdicts.

The Establishment targeted Nick and Mark because both are vital to the success of the British National Party. Blair's Government hoped that if they were both out of the way the continuing growth surge of the BNP would falter and the Party would fall away. I don't know whether that would have been the case, but what I do know is that both are pivotal to any future success.

Mark Collett is producing the best publicity material I have seen in thirty years in the frontline of nationalist politics. It's eye-catching, to the point and hits its target audience every time. Nick Griffin, who I have known for thirty years is now the consummate politician. Assured and knowledgeable with the media and hard-working and dedicated to the Party itself. Compared to the political lightweights of Brown, Cameron, Clegg or Huhne, Nick Griffin has statesman status.

No wonder New Labour wanted them out of the way.

I hope everyone enjoys the evening."


Red and White said...

I have often wondered what it would be like in prison - especially for a featherweight like me - and reading your excellent piece here has shed some light on that topic. I have great respect for anybody who serves time for peacefully defending their beliefs. The more I read your blog, the more convinced I become that the BNP is the right party for me to join, regardless of the risks.

alanorei said...

Thanks Martin

Your account is similar to that of Kev Hughes, with whom I corresponded while he was in prison.

I too extend best wishes to tonight's commemoration and earnestly hope that as these matters are kept to the fore, they will serve as a hindrance to the encroaching police state.