THE anti-BNP brigade turned-up en masse in Currock ward in Carlisle last night to deliver a second 'holocaust' leaflet. This is real desperation on their behalf. They have already delivered another 'holocaust' leaflet and what voters will think having yet another photo of a pile of bodies of victims from the concentration camps pushed through their letterboxes remains to be seen.
Clive Jefferson covers the story on his website here.
I have received an interesting correspondence from David Moon, a political colleague of mine of many years standing from Lambeth. He wrote to the Electorial Commission over the organisation Operation Black Vote.
"Please explain how the Electoral Commission can sustain the claim to be an independent body set up by the UK Parliament to ensure the integrity and public confidence in the democratic process when it is providing funding for an organisation called Operation Black Vote.
"The aforesaid 'Operation Black Vote' is currently involved in campaigning in the London Mayoral & GLA elections specifically AGAINST one of the lawful political parties contesting that election, the British National Party.
"This makes OBV a 'Third Party' within the meaning of the regulatory legislation as it is not standing candidates under its own name.
"If the Electoral Commission is providing funding to facilitate third party activity how exactly is this compatible with its 'independence' and how does it instil confidence in the integrity of the democratic process?"
Iredia Oboh a Public Information Officer with the Electoral Commission replied:
"Thank you for your email concerning Commission funding for a project run by Operation Black Vote.
"The Electoral Commission has a statutory duty to promote awareness of the electoral process and democratic institutions. We do this by providing information on registration, elections and democratic institutions through a range of resources and advertising campaigns. We undertake particular work targeted at audiences that our research has shown to be more likely not to be registered to vote. This includes British citizens overseas, members of the armed services, students, people who have recently moved house, young people and members of some minority ethnic communities.
"Our Partnership Grant scheme awards grants to not-for-profit organisations or registered charities to fund projects working with young people outside formal education, people with disabilities and people from minority ethnic communities. Grants are awarded following a competitive application process for projects that aim to increase voter registration and awareness of how the democratic process works. Operation Black Vote was awarded a grant in November 2007 for a project that aims to increase levels of voter registration by minority ethnic communities across England, Scotland and Wales.
"The terms and conditions of all our grants specify that no part of the grant shall be used to promote party or other political purposes, or seek to change any aspect of current law. All projects are regularly monitored and grant monies only released on the receipt of invoices once the agreed activity has taken place. 2007 was the final year of grant awards and the scheme is now closed for further applications.
"Your query also refers to the need for Third Parties to register with the Electoral Commission in relation to campaigning activities prior to an election. Third parties intending to spend more than £10,000 in England, or £5,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, campaigning at a ‘relevant elections’ are required to register with the Commission. These rules apply to elections to the UK, European and Scottish Parliaments, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
"However, there is no requirement for organisations to register with the Commission as Third Parties for the forthcoming London Mayoral and Greater London Assembly elections. The Representation of the People Act 1983 does impose spending limits on third party campaigning for this election, however the regulation of these limits is not within our remit. Therefore if you think that an organisation has spent beyond these limits, you would need to refer your complaint to the police."
It appears to be the same story that we have experienced here in Carlisle with illegal Third Party leaflets that don't appear on any candidate's expenses. We complained to the Returning Officer who said it was a matter for the police. The police said we should take it up with the Electoral Commission who in turn said we should report it to the Returning Officer and the police. The net result is that nothing gets done about it and the democratic process suffers because of it.
This country's election process and the media's coverage of it, gets more like Zimbabwe every day. If you are political party that the State doesn't approve of, you are not entitled to a free and fair election.
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:29
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
GORDON Brown can't have done any canvassing during this election otherwise he would have known that anything he tells the public would be either vehemently disagreed with or studiously ignored. Labour candidates in crucial marginals have even warned him to stay away from their campaign because he is so unpopular and his appearance on the doorstep would be a vote loser and not a vote winner.
So BNP candidates up and down the country must be delighted with Brown's full page of instructions in the Daily Mirror today telling people not to vote for the BNP. I know for fact that all those people I spoke to on the doorstep in Carlisle over the weekend will be even more motivated to get out and vote for the BNP after reading what the Prime Minister has to say about us.
This man, who can find £50billion to bail out private banks yet still wants to hurt the lowest paid in our society by abolishing the 10p tax starting rate for low earners, will drive more and more voters into our camp every time he opens his mouth to condemn the BNP.
Great letter in The Scotsman today in response to Billy Bragg's full page telling its readers not to vote for the BNP. Full marks to Alistair Harper for nailing the phoney patriotism of this anti-BNP campaigner once and for all.
The contest in Halifax is really hotting up with the local BNP unit pulling out all the stops in its campaign in Illingworth & Mixenden. With just two days to go till polling day this A3 leaflet is currently being distributed. Apparently Labour are still reeling from the child porn allegations against one of it candidates and former mayor and their campaigners are now desperately demoralised.
There's a massive BNP election effort taking place across the country and according to the reports coming in from our canvassers, there is a real change taking place in the public's perception of the BNP. If our campaigners can turn this 'change of perception' into actual votes then there could be a lot more elected BNP representatives come May 2nd.
And finally there's an amusing story from the Newcastle Chronicle reporting that Ken Booth, the BNP candidate in Elswick, has incurred the anger of a Labour councillor after his mail merge to potential supporters dared to suggest that people might vote on ethnic lines.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:49
Monday, 28 April 2008
Here's a leaflet that is being put out by Halifax BNP in one of their three target wards. The cartoon really captures the features of the two Labour councillors involved and the text doesn't put any punches on their ineptitude. Of course, Labour are in chaos in Calderdale after one their leading candidates, Stewart Brown, who is standing in Elland ward, was arrested by the police at the weekend regarding child pornography.
The Northern Echo is at it again. First they gave huge publicity to politicians from the North East's three main political parties so that they could tell people not to vote for the BNP, then it was more column inches for the region's church leaders to send out the same instructions.
Now, today, it is the turn of the bosses of the main football clubs to be given unlimited space to issue their orders to the electorate . . . "Don't vote BNP". But it's not all plain sailing, as the first posting in 'Comments Section' at the end of the report criticises the anti-BNP statement from the clubs and says that they have got their priorities wrong. Bob from Newcastle wrote:
"I would like to see the owners of the region's football clubs concentrating on producing local players that can perform in the Premiership, benefitting both club and country, rather than telling people who to vote for at election time.
They have brought in far too many foreign players and this limits the opportunities for young talent coming through the ranks." Spot on Bob!
You can find the Northern Echo report here
Rather late in the day joining the anti-BNP camapign is the appalling Greville Janner who is on hand to issue more orders to voters "Turn out to keep them out", he demands. For more than 30 years I've had to read and hear his pronouncements on British Nationalism and never ever has there been a right of reply. It's almost as though he has some sort of divine status within the media where he can say whatever he likes and there is no comeback. You can read Janner instructions here and although I have to admit to his intervention irritated me immensely, once again his message might just help the BNP, what do you think? Janner wrote:
"About two weeks ago, I spoke at a unique and remarkable political meeting in south London. Other speakers included the candidates from the major parties, each battling to become London's new mayor. On the wall behind us was a huge poster, portraying and attacking the British National Party (BNP). Yes, we have major political differences on many issues, but against the far right, we were and remain united and ready to speak out, with one voice."
To disillusioned voters, "the main parties speaking with one voice" could mean there is only one political party that is different from the rest.
Since the election broadcast a week ago, the BNP has received thousands of enquiries and signed up hundreds of new members - and all this in just seven days at a time when the media tells us that people are losing interest in politics. What ever the results on Thursday, the BNP can be secure in the knowledge that these elections have already been successful.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 10:38
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Not just all Asian candidates, but proposers, seconders and everyone who signed the nomination form. Could this be the shape of things to come?
I had an excellent day canvassing in Currock in Carlisle yesterday and if we don't actually win the seat, we will come a very close second. Brian Allan is a very good candidate and has been working the ward for a year. Many people on the doorstep knew him and pledged their support for him. But it was those that didn't know him but who were voting BNP for the first time that really made the most impression on me.
There were three in the morning session, a pensioner who had worked all his life but was now seeing his pension reduced, a middle-aged lady who said that politics was now her passion and a self-employed joiner who was competing for work with Carlisle's growing migrant workforce. They each said that they had always voted Labour, and had done so last May, but this time were voting BNP. Brian was speaking to each of them for around ten minutes, which breaks every rule in the canvassing handbook, but it was worthwhile to hear their take on things.
Pollsters will tell you that if there are three such people in one part of a ward voicing support for the BNP, there will be others from a similar background, and that is what makes me quietly optimistic for Brian's chances. In the morning session it was 59% 'yes', and 41% 'no' to the all-important question. In the afternoon session it was much more even with maybe the 'no's just shading it. In the morning it was an area of owner-occupier houses and in the afternoon a social housing estate. It did appear that most of those who said "no" were Labour voters so it could be that the contest in Currock is polarising into a straight fight between them and us.
This was the vote last time around:
Brian Allan (BNP) 309
BNP Percentage: 24.1%
Lab 571, Con 235, Lib-Dem 169.
What was interesting was that the area we canvassed had that very week seen a delivery of the illegal anti-BNP GMB leaflet produced by Carlisle Against Racism and from those we spoke to, the effect of this leaflet was limited - "heard it all before" was the most common response when asked about it.
The Cumberland News in its last issue before polling day did its best to shore up the Labour vote in Currock with a whole page feature on one of the ward's other Labour councillors, Abdul Harid. I thought Cumbrian Press Officer Clive Jefferson was going to have a seizure when he read the report while we stopped for lunch yesterday. He would have gone straight down to the newspaper's office to complain but it was closed so he spent the afternoon canvassing even more vigorously than usual to relieve his pent up emotions.
Read his take on things here
I'm afraid dirty tricks like this from the Cumberland News and its sister newspaper the News & Star are par for the course at election time due to the rather sordid and small-minded editoral team behind the newspaper. There will no doubt be another intervention in the democratic process with another anti-BNP, pro-Labour story in Wednesday's News & Star, but as people were saying on the doorstep - they have heard it all before.
Carlisle city centre yesterday was swamped with the anti-BNP brigade handing out A4 sized holocaust leaflets. This might effect our vote, but that's not certain, and it did at least give us a free run for our canvassing teams across our two target wards who were meeting the public face-to-face.
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Here's some good publicity that was in the Solihull Observer this week.
I'm grateful to Bob Jones for sending it to me. Bob and I go back a long way. I stayed with him when I was a European Election candidate for Birmingham East in 1989 and then later when we fought the Mid-Staffs parliamentary by-election. These were desperate days for British Nationalism and I remember that we were quite satisfied with our 1,471 votes (0.8%) Euro vote back then. How times change.
Well it's our opponents' big day today and there will be fleets of coaches leaving hundreds of important wards ferrying the anti-BNP brigade to London to hear Labourshambles perform without Pete Doherty. While they are standing around, listening to music and winding themselves up over the possibility of the BNP winning a seat in the London Assembly, our activists across the country will be out knocking on doors and meeting the British people face-to-face to ask them for their support.
I'm off for a day's canvassing in Carlisle. Our local press officer Clive Jefferson is very upbeat about our chances in a couple of wards and there have been teams of canvassers out all week.
Below is a story that I have pinched from the BNP Forum. A full page BNP advert in a local newspaper. Gerry Gable must be tearing what hair he has left out.
"We managed to place an advert in this week's edition one of our local newspapers, the St Helens Reporter. Here's a picture of the advert, if I've done it correctly.
"The Editor demanded some bizarre alterations - one to do with the election imprint at the bottom of the advert (which was perfectly legal), one to do with the phone number (wouldn't let us use a mobile number) and another to do with the picture. I had laid it out with a picture of Nick Cass and his family originally, but the Editor claimed that it was policy 'not to allow pictures of children in political adverts'. I was informed of this by telephone at 4:45pm on Tuesday and given 15 minutes to find an alternative picture, despite the Editor having had over 24 hours to look it over. Fortunately I was on the 'net at the time and managed to scavenge a picture of Richard Barnbrook from off our website.
The paper has a circulation of around 79,000. Thanks to Charles Mather and everyone who donated specifically for this to make it possible. Oh and Richard Barnbrook for being the 'stand in'.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:41
Friday, 25 April 2008
OUR Quiet Revolution was evident again last night in Hinckley in Leicestershire when BNP candidate Mike Shore came from nowhere to take second place with nearly 19% of the vote in the Hinckley Castle ward by-election.
Seen by some political pundits as a dress rehearsal for next week’s big vote, the by-election took the political temperature just seven days before everyone goes to the polls and it found that the British National Party is in great shape and possibly poised for its long-awaited breakthrough into mainstream politics.
Hinckley Bosworth DC
Hinckley Castle Ward
Thursday 24th April 2008
Bronwen Witherford (Lib-Dem) 802
Mike Shore (BNP) 264
Ian Coe (Con) 226
Clark Mitchell (Lab) 116
BNP percentage: 18.8%
May 2007 (Two Seats): Lib-Dem 1093 & 1076, Con 405 & 388 Lab 133 & 131.
What was so especially pleasing about this result was that it was well above the expectations of the local BNP campaigners and that our vote came from both the Tories and the Lib-Dems, proving that we don't only take our votes from the Labour Party.
If we can weather the storm of media attacks that are being planned for next week and avoid any banana skins over these last six day, then the evening of May 1st and the morning of May 2nd could be providing some excellent news for British National Party supporters across the country.
There's no let up today in those media and establishment attacks on the Party and once again some them appear to be backfiring.
The Welsh newspapers are full of a war of words in Carmarthenshire over BNP claims in a leaflet, here (OK Bert?), while the Bishop of Blackburn has instructed people to vote for any political party but the British National Party, here.
"I'm Billy Bragg and I'm from a big house in the poshest part of West Dorset" gets acres of space for his anti-BNP 'tour' in today's Scotsman, here, while there's the usual final election week plea from 'passed their sell-by-date' celebrities not to vote for the BNP in the Jewish Chronicle, here.
Today I'm finishing my election result grids for Freedom searching out our candidates for Yorkshire and I must thank the Stop the BNP website for helping me in this time-consuming task.
Despite the lack of elections in the East Midlands and the South West and individual London boroughs, we have managed to field over 600 candidates and that is an incredible feat for a small political party like ours which has so many enemies embedded in the media and the establishment.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:13
Thursday, 24 April 2008
THE theme of recent postings continues today - I believe our opponents in the media are in fact helping our election campaign with their supposed attacks on our Party.
They are unwittingly boosting support for the British National Party with the very reports they are placing in the newspapers which are meant to deter the public from voting for us.
There's a classic in today's Epping Forest Guardian which just goes to show how out of touch the anti-BNP lobby is with today's voters.
Under the heading "BNP slammed over disgraceful faith comments" the story ran . . .
"British National Party district councillors have been slammed as a "disgrace to the council and the community" after condemning a multi-faith forum representing various religions which has been set up in the district.
BNP councillor Rod Law told Tuesday's council meeting: "Forums like these are an absolute waste of resources for the council and are only put together to promote diversity and multi-culturalism which we feel is absolutely detrimental to the very fabric of society.
"I would like to think there are enough councillors here to very much vote against this motion and not let this council be bogged down with politically correct clubs like these as we see in many inner city councils."
BNP group leader Pat Richardson said: "The idea is it's a matter of freedom of choice, those who wish to mix and exchange views are free to do so and that's the key word here, freedom. To be brow beat into accepting the concept that the public purse, the taxpayer, has to fund this seems a little bit off.
"There might be some people who do not agree with this so why should they have to fund it. These forums are in the area anyway and they are self reciprocating. I don't see that the public council tax payer would see this as a priority for their money."
The rest of the report trotted out representatives of the other three parties and so called Independents to condemn the BNP and finished off by announcing that the motion for the forum had been passed.
But we get an early inkling of how the public have perceived this anti-BNP propaganda through the first three comments on the Epping Forest Guardian website all of which supported the BNP councillors. One voter even said he was now persuaded to vote BNP. His comment was:
"Faith is a personal choice and it is certainly not the job of any council to start promoting it.
Christianity is the religion of Britain and the idea that council taxpayers money is being used to provide a platform for foreign faiths is a misappropriation of funds by the council.
The BNP councillors are right to make a stand and for doing so they will get my vote in Honey Lane next Thursday."
Last night I was burning the midnight oil preparing the local election result grids for Freedom. I was searching out the candidates in the North West and found 104 standing for the BNP (if anyone knows any different please let me know). It was so uplifting to record that there were ten candidates standing in St Helens, eight in Bury and six in Salford - all towns that have been deserts for the BNP up until recently.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 11:12
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
OUR opponents have pulled out all the stops to try to deny the public access to our website since our election broadcast on Monday evening. It has been a concerted campaign and only goes to show how petrified they are of the progress we have been making.
Apparently the Conservative Party will play the 'Immigration Card' this week in an effort to boost its faltering election campaign. A PR firm has been hiring Eastern European actors to play a scene in an election broadcast portraying migrant workers!
For yet another day, it is the British National Party which the media wants to talk about. Today's Mirror plays the Stephen Lawrence card in an effort to induce guilt amongst its readership for that lad's tragic death. - If you are White then you are to blame and don't you dare think about voting for the BNP on May 1st - is the subliminal message in its editorial.
In Wales, our seven candidates in Wrexham are attracting attention with today's Daily Post warning:
"The immigration issue has also been bubbling under the surface.
"It is not known how many are now in Wrexham, estimates vary widely from 8,000 to 15,000.
"The ethnic cultural map of Wrexham has changed in recent years and locals have had to adapt to the influx which has placed pressure on schools, housing and the jobs market. It is no surprise the British National Party has fielded seven candidates."
Labour and its anti-BNP gang are pinning a lot of hope on their 'Rock Against Racism' concert at the weekend to deter people from supporting the British National Party. But things haven't run too smoothly with star of the show Pete Doherty, banged up for breaching bail conditions. In a desperate effort to save the day, RAR have plucked Babyshambles bassist Drew McConnell from obscurity to front the event. But it might just be occurring to the anti-BNP brigade that their efforts could have limited appeal with the public, so they are trying to improve the image of the headlining band.
Most of the music papers this morning are carrying this contrived statement:
"Don’t judge a book by its cover, or more specifically in the case of Babyshambles bassist Drew McConnell, don’t judge a book by its unwashed hair and crackhouse-fancying lead singer.
"One might decide from the look of McConnell and the rest of Babyshambles that the closest they get to government affairs is the back seat of one of those funny-looking British police cars. But McConnell raised eyebrows by urging Londoners to vote in the upcoming assembly elections in order to keep one of Britain’s political parties out of the assembly,. What was his motivation? A drug law? An issue dealing with public display of reckless and gleeful drunkenness? Apparently it was only admirable concern over the state of his country."
Sadly for our opponents, to most people Babyshambles is Pete Doherty and his drug-related antics are imbedded in the nation's pysche, so you would have to think that their power to influence the way people vote would be somewhat limited.
Good letter in The Guardian yesterday which had this the final paragraph:
"As for multiculturalism, the variety that has predominated till recently focused on denigrating and insulting the indigenous population. The proponents called any insistence on learning English "cultural imperialism" and competed to see how much money could instead be spent on translating leaflets into 32 languages. Now we see not only the "defection" of formerly leftwing intellectuals, but panic that many of the white working class may vote for the BNP. Surprise, surprise."
I'm still working on the results pages for May's issue Freedom - North East Candidates today, all ninety-nine of them. It a time consuming task but absorbing because of all the possibilities and just the sort of job to do when the all-important election day is just over a week away.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:11
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Sad news once again from Cumbria after our candidate for Carlisle's Upperby ward died suddenly. Although Les Griffiths was one of our newer members, he was a gold badge holder and ran the pub where we held our meetings. He was a vital part of the Carlisle BNP and he will be sorely missed.
First Nigel and now Les, these are desperately sad times for all those associated with the British National Party in Cumbria.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 11:46
THE election broadcast last night seems to have gone down very well in all quarters. Even some postings in what I call 'chattering class' forums were saying that they were pleasantly surprised by its positive nature and concentration on the issues which were specifically to do with the local elections.
Having watched our party political broadcasts since the mid-1970s, I can honestly say this was the slickest one I have ever seen and full marks to BNPtv for producing such a professional job. The downside of the two five minute slots on the two main channels during prime time television was that the surge of interest in the BNP website was more that our servers could withstand and together with a strategically time attack by our opponents, it caused our site to crash.
It was back working this morning although my inbox is empty and I can't send any emails which means some sort of serious damage has been done.
Nick Griffin now looks the consumate politician. Confident and confidence-inspiring, yet still very much in touch with the people, that is something which old gang politicians lost a long time ago.
Had to turn off Dispatches last night. What made the first two programmes so good was that it was the public who were doing the talking. Last night it was Rageh Omaar telling us what we should be thinking which was rather patronising and very disappointing.
I see UKIP now has its own MP after Tory Bob Spink defected to the anti-EU pressure group. The BBC has the story as its headline on its political website no doubt hoping to try and generate a UKIP surge in an effort to hinder our advance. But I'm not too worried. There's no Max Clifford this time around and Bob Spink is certainly no Robert Kilroy Silk. In fact the news might actually help us. The Conservative Party is desperate to get a snowball of support rolling to sweep away its political opponents and steamroller to a huge victory on polling day. According to the opinion polls that snowball has yet to start rolling and a MP deserting it at such a crucial time won't help the cause.
More headlines for us in the newspapers thanks to the antics of our opponents. Skills Minister David Lammy told the Daily Mirror yesterday that he wanted "The BNP kicked out of politics for good".
What a strange turn of phrase from a Government minister to use. He went on to tell the newspaper:
"It's time for Britain to wake up. Have we really begun to imagine how we might feel on May 2 with many more BNP councillors in our towns and cities?"
This morning, newspapers in Sussex are reporting preparations for a big demonstration against the BNP in Hastings at the weekend. No doubt these protestors will be telling the electorate, just like David Lammy, to "wake up" and vote for any party other than the BNP.
As I have said many times before. I don't think people take too kindly at being told what to do.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:09
Monday, 21 April 2008
ONE hundred posts up on this blog, so that is some sort of achievement although it would have been a lot more had I not suffered writer's block brought on by the antics of the power-crazy gang of four. I still have a long way to go to catch up with my colleague Simon Darby who topped 300 postings today for his excellent blog.
The move went OK although there were the usual teething problems setting up the office and with all the change over of services and accounts. I had difficulty accessing broadband at first but this is now resolved. That's why I couldn't blog over the weekend.
I have three days of mail to deal with and that's more than 150 emails that will need some sort of response, so this will be a very short post today.
In my previous blog I mentioned David Cameron's visit to Hastings and his quote in the local newspaper that voters should support any political party other than the BNP. On the Hastings Observer website there was a very good comment from a member of the public. Robert from Castle ward in the town posted this comment:
"When a politician tells me to vote for any political party, including his so called political opponents, but not for one specific party - I know what I'm inclined to do."
Below is a photo from the the front window of our latest home - not quite Silloth Green but at least it is still an open aspect. Patch of gravel in the front is ours and we have someone coming to give us a quote on turning it into a garden and drive this evening.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
THERE'S a report on the Hold the Front Page website that the revenue generated by Archant from running adverts from the British National Party in their newspapers in the run-up to the local elections in London will be donated to local community charities.
The publisher ran advertisements from the BNP in a number of its titles including the Hampstead and Highgate Express although some Archant newspapers, including the Hackney Gazette, declined to carry the ad, which was appealing to voters ahead of next month's London Assembly and Mayoral elections in the capital.
The website reported:
"The content of the adverts didn't breach any laws or guidelines.
Company spokesman Keith Morris said: "The BNP is a legally constituted political party, advertising in the lead up to the May 1st elections in London.
"In making the decision to publish we took input from our editors and balanced the liberal principles of free speech against the potential impact on the communities our editors serve.
"Any revenues generated from the BNP adverts will be donated to local community charities."
That's excellent news for the communities where the British National Party adverts appeared as they will benefit directly from the publicity allowed to the BNP, but it's not good news for the communities where the editor of the newspaper has suppressed free speech and interfered in the democratic process by banning the adverts - they will miss out on this unexpected windfall.
David Cameron was in Hastings in Sussex yesterday and took time out to give the BNP a plug. The Hastings Observer reports:
"Mr Cameron advised voters in Hastings to vote for anyone but the British National Party (BNP), and said: "They are the enemy of democracy. The BNP is just a despicable party."
As with the Northern Echo for the past two days, website readers of the report were quick to voice their thoughts on Cameron's statement via the 'comments box' with one reader summing up the thoughts of many when he said:
"The mainstream parties of this country are the only despicable parties here. They are destroying our country under our very noses and still have the brass front to sell themselves as our 'leaders.' They are an absolute disgrace to their own people and I long to see the day when they are made to pay for being the traitors that they are."
Last day in Silloth today and it's a lovely one to remember this town by. Early tomorrow morning its back to Wigton after four years away. If I manage a blog tomorrow, it probably won't be until quite late.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:23
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
MORE column inches in the Northern Echo this morning as Labour politicians and trade unions leaders heap praise on the Bishop of Durham for attacking the British National Party. The story provided another opportunity for my old friend Ken Booth to score some political points.
He said: "I support what the Bishop has said to an extent, the main parties have failed the British people.
"It's the Government's failure that's created the BNP.
"The churches are failing people and the Government is failing people and they're trying to blame the BNP."
The BNP advert in the Hampstead & Highgate Express continues to create a fall out. Today, the Ham & High carries letters from 3 Labour MPs, 47 Labour councillors and trade union leaders attacking the newspaper for carrying the advert. As Corporal Jones might say, "They don't like dealing with real democracy Captain Mainwaring." Interestingly enough the only two contributions from members of the public were in support of the editor's decision.
Of course, one Margaret Dickinson (name & address supplied) who attacked the decision might claim to be just an ordinary member of the public, but the fact that her letter also appears in the Islington Express casts doubt on this.
As I write this blog my sections of my office are disappearing from around me as preparation for our move on Friday gathers momentum. I'm disappointed to be leaving Silloth, the town and the house suit me. Living in this West Cumbria seaside resort has been like taking a step back in time and I've enjoyed every minute of my 4 years here.
Reds lost 0-1 against Burscough last night in a game serving up typical end of season fare. But it was a clear and fine night and amongst our small group on the Popular Side, the craic was good. As always there were little bits of political news floating around and more than one source took great pleasure in telling me about the Labour Party candidate at last May's elections in West Cumbria who was arrested in Workington on Saturday for being drunk and disorderly. The chap was the Times & Star's 'darling' during the weeks in the run-up to polling day with not a critical word ever being written about him. I wonder whether the newspaper will now have the courage to finally come clean about this shocking error of judgement.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
I USED to get upset and depressed when church leaders attacked the political parties promoting British nationalism of which I was a member. This feeling was probably something to do with my strict Christian upbringing which meant that until I went to boarding school in 1962, I was hauled off to church every Sunday morning at 11.00 and sometimes back again for Evensong at 6.30pm.
But such criticism doesn't worry me any more and, in fact, as far as the British National Party is concerned in today's political climate, I welcome the intervention into the political process made this morning in the Northern Echo by the Bishop of Durham.
The newspaper reports:
"ONE of the Church of England's most senior clergymen last night issued a hard-hitting warning about the growing threat of far-right extremism resulting from voters "giving up hope" in mainstream politics.
In a rare move, the Bishop of Durham issued a rallying cry to North-East churches to join forces to thwart the British National Party (BNP) in the forthcoming local elections.
The Right Reverend Tom Wright, called for more to be done by political parties to stop the rise of the BNP.
In an open letter, the bishop said people could not afford to become complacent and his warning was endorsed by all the major political parties."
I don't know where the Northern Echo has been for the last five years in describing the church's interference in elections as "a rare move". Every May, and sometimes even for a particular local council by-election, the church issues the same message telling people not to vote for the BNP. It is old hat, this intrusion in the election process, and in recent years has had no other effect than to provide the BNP with some welcome publicity.
In the Northern Echo, the BNP's North East Secretary Ken Booth was given the opportunity to respond to the Bishop of Durham and said:
"This is not his place at all. He should be trying to regain his flock.
"While the bishop's banging on about how evil the BNP is, he is going to find out one day that there will be more practising Muslims going to mosques than any practising churches in Britain."
While in the Sunderland Echo, Sunderland BNP organiser Alan Brettwoood, who is standing as a candidate in Southwick in May's council election, said the bishop should stay out of politics and be more concerned with what's going on in the church.
"The election is a democratic process and it's really strange how religion is starting to intervene. Religion and politics are two totally different things," he said.
"The bishop is intervening in the political process by asking people not to vote for the BNP, he should be concentrating on what's happening in his own religion."
He added: "The press have always given us this bad image of being thugs and Nazis. We're not thugs, we're not Nazis, we're just ordinary, hard-working people that want the best for our country – what's wrong with that?"
This close to polling day, getting the chance to have some well chosen BNP responses so highly publicised can only raise the profile of our campaign.
I missed Dispatches on Channel 4 last night and I'm annoyed about it. I had completely forgotten it was on. I was greeted at six this morning by an 'inbox' full of praise for the programme and had a call from Nick Griffin just after eight who was enthusing over the advert for the series of three programmes on immigration. He said that the trailer of a bulldog in a park gradually getting swamped by foreign dogs was a powerful media image and we should look to use it to encourage debate on the controversial issue.
The Dispatches programme is an enigma. Two years ago it appeared to be for everything that a nationalist would oppose. Now its programmes almost have a nationalist script. One correspondent this morning said last night's programme could have easily been produced by BNPtv!
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a story on the main website about a leaflet being distributed in Carlisle by a Labour Party front organisation called Carlisle against Racism and sponsored by the GMB trade union which claimed to show a photo of Nick Griffin doing a nazi salute. Well, now it appears that the leaflet has been withdrawn and Carlisle Against Racism have admitted that the photograph wasn't of Nick Griffin. This should be a newsworthy story for our local newspaper the News & Star. But the newspaper has shamelessly promoted this organisation and its meetings . . . so I won't be holding my breath waiting for its report.
Monday, 14 April 2008
This photo was taken last Sunday when Nick and Jackie Griffin visited Carlisle to help with the launch of our local election campaign in the city. Here they are helping BNP candidate Michael Elliott, and his wife with campaigning in Yewdale ward. I look as though I'm miles away, probably wondering what won the 3.30 at Hexham.
It's going to be a manic week as we are moving on Friday and have only just received confirmation that it is definitely going ahead. Back in August we were all set to move but just a week before completion the chain broke and all the arrangements we had made had to be cancelled. What a nightmare.
Everyone within the British National Party is full of optimism at the moment which is a great mentality to have as we approach the final two weeks of campaigning. But it is also the time for a few of the older heads to try to introduce a level of realism to temper some of the expectations being bandied around at the moment.
There was a timely feet-on-the-ground report on the elections in the East Midlands from Wayne McDermott which popped into my inbox over the weekend. Heanor West should be an easy BNP gain on May 1st, with just a 15 vote Labour majority to overcome, but Wayne won't have that. He believes we will in fact struggle to win it because the near miss in 2006 came on the back of a huge BNP campaign which is something we cannot do this time around. Of course he's hopeful, but he's not getting carried away which is the example we should be setting to those of our more enthusiastic members.
I'm hearing of wards being fought where there BNP team are confidently talking of overturning a Lab or Conservative majority of 300 plus. In the real world that isn't going to happen. Yes, we can poll 300 plus votes when standing for the first time, but increasing an existing vote by that sort margin is a tall order that, in most cases, will be beyond us.
Last year, all the talk was about how Tony Blair was the most unpopular Prime Minister in history and that the Labour vote was in meltdown and this would give the BNP its chance of a breakthrough. But it didn't happen because the Labour vote held up in the seats we were taking them on head to head. This year, the talk is the same - about how unpopular Gordon Brown is and that once again the Labour vote is disappearing like melting snow. I dearly hope this is the case but we must be prepared that their vote will once again be more resilient than we expect.
I was disappointed, yet again, by Melanie Phillips with her rather unpleasant criticism of us in her article today in the Daily Mail. She said:
"When the public becomes so disaffected, extremists often move in to exploit the situation - which is why there is such a danger that in the May elections the British National Party, which has successfully camouflaged its true racist nature, may do well."
We are not extremists and we are not exploiting the situation, We have been saying the same thing for the last 30 years. I'm afraid I have no time for the likes of Melanie Phillips, Richard Littlejohn or Peter Hitchens. They clearly identify the problems facing the British people yet refuse to back the only political party that has the answers. Their articles in the popular press, in fact, ferment unrest by raising the very issues for which Labour, the Tories or the Lib-Dems do not have the policies to deal with.
I got soaked in a cloud burst at Borough Park on Saturday as our weather gets more bizarre by the day. This morning it should be a lovely Spring morning but the temperature here in Silloth is hovering around freezing point. I hope it is a bit warmer tomorrow night when Burscough visit Workington.
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Some semblance of normality has returned to the BBC's treatment of the British National Party.
Yesterday I reported on the BBC Look North programme and said how surprised I was with the fairness of their lead story on the BNP having two councillors elected unopposed in Wetheral. It was quite a balanced report interviewing four Wetheral residents, three of whom were not enhusiastic about the prospect of having BNP councillors, but one who most certainly was.
Apparently, according to my colleague BNP Press officer for Cumbria Clive Jefferson, the report was once again the lead story on the 10.30pm news but this time some NUJ toadie had doctored it beyond recognition.
Out had gone Clive's comments explaining why the British National Party had stood for the Parish Council . . . "Brian Allan and Tony Carvell are both self employed and work in the area, they have friends in the area that signed their nomination forms" and the interview with the Wetheral resident that supported the BNP was completely dropped just leaving the other three.
That's more like the BBC we are used to. You can keep in touch with the progress of our election campaign here in Cumbria with Clive's excellent blog here.
From Monday through to Friday on the main BNP website I'm doing short reports on different areas where the Party is contesting seats in just 19 days time. The three reports I have done so far on Burnley, Stoke and Barnsley have proved very popular and created a lot interest so if anyone has any input about how the campaign they are involved in, in their area, is going then please let me have your thoughts. It will help me to put some flesh on the bones of the bare statistics - firstname.lastname@example.org comes straight through to me.
Tina was at an important admin meeting yesterday in Chester. She was back home just after seven and very enthusiastic about the huge steps forward the Party is taking in this sphere with the introduction of cutting edge technology to help us cope with the rapid expansion that the Party is expecting this year. Just minutes after her return, Freedom correspondent and family friend Steve Johnson arrived for a short stopover on his way to Belfast via Stranraer. He bought with him a video of our ski-ing holiday in Kuhtai in February so we had an enjoyable evening, re-living the happy memories.
Just three home games left for Workington Reds - Solihull Moors this afternoon, then Burscough and Worcester City. The season will be done and dusted by the time voters go to the polls on May 1st.
Friday, 11 April 2008
Last night the British National Party was the main story on BBC Look North with Clive Jefferson, the Cumbrian BNP Press Officer, appearing on the programme to respond to Eric Martlew, Carlisle's Labour MP. The report was about two BNP councillors taking their place on Weatheral Parish Council and during the clip, four local residents were interviewed and one was even supportive of the BNP.
I can't stand Look North presenter Carol Malia. I have never forgiven her for appearing to be beside herself with joy when the BNP failed to win any seats in the North East a couple of years ago. She was nearly dancing with delight as she reported the news and it was disgraceful show from someone who is meant to present programmes impartially. But last night she managed to keep her feelings to herself and introduced the report in a straightforward manner.
Someone else I can't stand is BBC Radio 4's Today presenter James Naughtie. His political baggage is so heavy that it effects almost every word he says and in the past his reporting of the BNP has also been unprofessional with his personal agenda overwhelming any semblance of impartiality . . . but this morning he too appeared to have turned over a new leaf.
The report on the Today programme just after the 7.30 news bulletin was about the Hamstead and Highgate Express newspaper’s decision to run an advert paid for by the British National Party.
Naughtie interviewed Geoff Martin, the editor of the Archant-owned paper, known locally as the Ham & High, and a representative of the UAF (Gerry Gable must have been disappointed he didn't get the slot). The UAF lady completely missed the argument and was interrupted by Naughtie each time she tried to launch into the usual anti-BNP diatribe.
Geoff Martin said he was following the newspaper's liberal tradition by not censoring the BNP advertisement. He said that as the BNP had candidates, councillors and significant support in some areas. it had a right to let its policies be publicised.
The Ham & High saga incensed the opposition and Theo Blackwell a Labour councillor for Regent’s Park, demanded that Camden Council stop placing adverts with the paper because the decision to run the BNP advertisement was indefensible.
Blackwell told the Press Gazette:
“This comes at a sensitive time – everyone knows that the BNP only need five per cent of the vote to get a seat on the London Assembly.
“The editor seems to be really waving a flag over this. He seems to have done this very intentionally as a marker of freedom of speech. Anyone who knows basic civics would say this is more than just giving a platform to the BNP – it’s gone above and beyond that.
“It contrasts with the historic values that the paper has and the diverse area it represents.”
Could this be yet another Labour own goal by Theo - attacking a liberal newspaper for being just that, 'liberal' - what do you think?
Just finished an excellent book which I managed to squeeze in between my Dick Francis marathon. I can thoroughly recommend Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which is a novel set during Biafra's struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. I remember the time quite clearly and followed the war in the newspapers. It was a real David and Goliath contest which, of course, Goliath won with devasting consequences for Biafra and its people.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:24
Thursday, 10 April 2008
"Assembly warns against National Front Lies" screams a Western Mail headline!
Briefly I thought I must be experiencing a Life on Mars moment and that I had been transported back to April 1976 when the National Front were about to score its best ever vote in the capital with 119,000 Londoners voting for the NF.
But no, it was still April 2008 and the headline was not about London but about the Welsh Assembly and the article under the headline was not about the National Front but the British National Party.
'Journalist' Martin Shipton wrote:
"The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly has launched a strong attack on the British National Party as it puts forward more local election candidates than ever before in Wales.
"In a Senedd reception at which he accepted the honorary presidency of the anti-fascist campaign group Searchlight Cymru, Lord Elis-Thomas, urged local authorities to refute “lies” told by the BNP about asylum seekers and ethnic minorities.
The Presiding Officer said: “We know from experience how close the BNP came to winning a seat on the North Wales list in the last Assembly elections, they had 5% of the vote in North Wales, and this was in spite of the fact that they have not stood in the past.
“We know that the BNP is targeting seats in areas where migration has played a major part over the past few years. The BNP has therefore adopted candidates for Wrexham Council and they are also keen to target other councils including Cardiff, Newport and Swansea."
So what was the reference to the National Front all about? It was probably just a pathetic attempt to smear the BNP by associating it with the now discredited NF and shows how desperate the opposition is getting in their efforts to try to stem our progress.
Many people will say that I'm looking through rose-tinted glasses when I say that this sort of doctored reporting is massively backfiring, but that is what I seriously believe. The story in itself recounts how the Presiding Officer of the Welsh Assembly is biased against one particular political party and that smacks on unfairness and this could register with readers, while the NF headline will just confuse the issue. Shipton and his NUJ colleagues might think they are being very clever, but in fact they are being too clever and people will just wonder what the headline has to do with the story.
As I have said before on many occasions on this blog, for much of my political lifetime it has been the nationalists in Britain that have been making the mistakes and playing into the hands of our opponents. That was because we were desperate to make an impact in British politics and sometimes clear thinking and sensible strategy went out of the window.
But now the boot is on the other foot. We ARE making an impact and the desperation is now in our opponent's camp and it is they who are making the mistakes and playing into OUR hands.
Great report in The Times today on Richard Barnbrook. I had read it online, but Nick Griffin telephoned just after eight this morning having actually seen the newspaper and he said it was well worth getting - and it was - with a colour reproduction of our excellent Londoner leaflet.
Following on from Richard's interview on the BBC website yesterday which was the most unbiased bit of reporting on the British National Party by the Corporation that I have ever seen, I'm starting to get worried . . . fair reporting doesn't happen to the BNP.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 10:15
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
The BNP's website is back in business - thank goodness - as yesterday was a difficult day with many BNP telephones lines jammed by callers wanting to know what was going on. In the membership office, (which Freedom shares), the telephone was non stop - as soon as it was put down it rang again. Many people were offering advice on what should be done but as Tina and I only have basic computer literacy, it all went over our heads rather.
With so many BNP leaflets going out at the moment, and all promting the website address, this might have helped cause some of the difficulty. We put out 20,000 in Carlisle alone and if people interested in finding out more about the Party all try to get onto the site around the same time it will have trouble servicing all these requests.
It would be disappointing to think that the Labour Government and the anti-BNP organisations it funds would sink as low as to try to deny the public access to the BNP website. Surely if they are so confident that the public will reject our policies they should be telling voters to go to the website to see for themselves how abhorrent we are.
There was a blow for the Rock Against Racism concert tour yesterday when the main attraction Pete Doherty was sent to prison for six weeks for breaching a bail order. In a way, it is also a blow for us, because I'm certain we would have gained support from the media focusing on him as the leading anti-BNP campaigner.
I'm busy collating the election grids to provide all the BNP results in the May issue of Freedom, and although this is a mundane task it still gives me a boost to think all those people standing for the BNP and giving voters the chance to show their support for our Party. The results pages in the May newspaper have been a tradition since 2002 and over the years it has become the one issue that people tend to keep so they can monitor the progress the BNP is making in specific towns and wards.
The media have already started their negative stories with a host of them yesterday but there is a growing lobby of opinion that these are counterproductive. Damian Hockney, a former UKIP GLA respresentaive and now an Independent, put it quite well in a recent article.
"I wonder why politicians and the media give endless coverage to attacks on the BNP by politicians who themselves are not very popular. This coverage of the BNP in a negative way, together with failure to cover the positive aspects of other small parties, is more reminiscent of Zimbabwe style electoral processes than those of a democracy.
"We know that the endless regular drip, drip of media coverage for a product or person gives branding and public recognition. Why else do L'Oreal and Ford spend millions on tv advertising?
"No-one in public life seems able to grasp that when a bunch of not-that-popular politicians from what the BBC calls "the main parties" spend large amounts of energy and provide hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of media coverage attacking a small political party like the BNP - all that's going to happen is that they help build that party's brand, whet the appetite for information on the party, and give them the oxygen of that hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of media coverage.
"Of course no-one ever gives the BNP the opportunity to really respond so hence the BNP can claim the most viewed political website. Because where else can we all go get information on this valuable brand being built so assiduously promoted by the press and the 'main parties'.
I think Damian has just about got it right.
Great Cumbrian derby last night at Borough Park. Barrow won it with a goal five minutes from time and, hand-on-heart, probably just about deserved it for their never-they-die second half effort. It was still a very good performance from Workington Reds and I'm optimistic about next season.
But it was a shocking attendance last night, with just 500 going through the turnstiles. It makes me so cross to think of those 'supporters' staying at home to watch television and getting excited about overpaid foreign players and managers masquerading as 'Liverpool' and 'Arsenal'. I won't be watching the Premiership until there's a limit on foreign players - two per club would give British youngsters a chance to make the grade.
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
CONSTRUCTIVE BNP staff meeting yesterday in North Wales. I would, in fact, call it 'sharp', none of the waffle and 'more than one meeting' that have beset many of the officials' gatherings I have attended over the years.
There is definitely something in the air that you can almost feel, and everyone at the meeting yesterday sensed it. It's as if we know that there is a change in the offing and probably after May 1st things might not ever be the same again.
Now I shall hold my hand up and say that I felt the same last May. I was convinced that the British National Party would make significant gains across the country, but it didn't happen. There was a definite increase in our votes but the swing to us was not significant enough for the BNP to make the long-awaited breakthrough and win a swathe of new seats. We did make progress, but it hardly registered and was certainly not enough to attract any media attention.
The award-winning journalist Rageh Omaar, is a true professional and doesn't carry his own personal political baggage with him when presenting programmes - he lets the people he is interviewing do the talking which is what true documentary journalism is all about.
This first of his three programmes on immigration examined the views of Britain's native White population and settled immigrants towards newcomers which include East Europeans and African migrants and found that whereas once it was considered a taboo subject, there is no longer such reticence about discussing it amongst the white middle-classes or the second or third generation immigrants.
The programme didn't touch on the threat from Islam, so I'm assuming that this will provide the subject matter for one of the three programmes in its own right. Just before the end of the 60 minute report, Rageh Omaar asked a chap from Bristol (I'm assuming he was some sort of authority) about what the outcome of such large scale immigration would be. He said something about either people would vote for the BNP, as voters did in France to send a message to the Government, or otherwise there would be unrest on the streets.
Unfortunately I didn't get the exact quote or who the person was who said it, but it could be something that might be useful in the coming weeks. If anyone can help with this I would be grateful. I have emailed Channel 4 but in case they don't want to help, I am asking readers of this blog - many thanks.
I'm pleased to report that my Rover completed the six hour round trip yesterday without any problems and weathered a blizzard over Shap at around half past five. Then in Penrith, ten minutes later, there was a thunder storm with sheet lightning and hailstones. What strange weather for April!
All roads lead to Borough Park tonight for the Cumbrian derby Workington Reds vs Barrow. With the Bluebirds pushing for promotion and on a great unbeaten run at the moment, there's plenty to play for and I'm hopeful of a 700 plus gate to ease the Reds' financial situation, even with the attraction up the road of Carlisle vs Swansea and Liverpool vs Arsenal on the box.
I have written books on the history of both Workington and Barrow. The one about Barrow AFC was called "In the Beginning, there was the end" which was reviewed by Simon Barnes in The Times who described it as "skilfully chronicled". The book sold out and this was despite a campaign by the North West Evening Mail to deter people from buying it because it had been written by someone whose political viewpoint they didn't agree with.
So, although I have a soft spot for the Holker Street club, tonight there will be no divided loyalties as my red and white scarf will confirm.
Monday, 7 April 2008
YESTERDAY was a very successful day. Across the whole of Carlisle, 55 British National Party activists covered nine wards delivering over 20,000 leaflets, the biggest BNP blitz the Border City has ever seen. And as well as that, two BNP decked loudspeaker vans toured the city and received an enthusiastic response from Sunday shoppers.
The BNP chairman Nick Griffin, and his wife Jackie, were also out campaigning and visited all nine wards to sign the rosettes of our candidates, feature in photographs, and help with the leafleting.
I was in trouble in the morning arriving at our campaign HQ an hour late (I was certain I was told an 11 o'clock start!). I was immediately sent out with a gentleman called Harry to leaflet the Warwick Road area in St Aidens Ward for our candidate Tony Carvell. Harry was an interesting chap having worked for the World in Action TV programme back in the 1970s and 80s. Now World in Action did at least one smear programme on the old National Front in 1978, so I was keen to know if Harry had been involved. He said he couldn't recall it but admitted that sort of programme would have been popular at the time. Harry and I leafletted for two hours in a near blizzard before returning to base.
I had been hoping to slip away, dry out, warm up and get changed at home before the evening's meeting, but as I was about to make an exit I was collared by Cumbrian Press Officer Clive Jefferson and despatched to far flung Belle Vue to help our candidate Glen Gardner. There I leafleted Green Lane which must be one of the longest residential roads in the country. We were also doing a double drop which meant one A4 personalised leaflet and one A5 full colour more general local election leaflet were being put out together. With frozen fingers and a two handfuls of leaflets it was slow going but two hours later the road was completed.
The evening meeting heard an excellent speech from Nick Griffin and equally good supporting talks from Duncan Warner from Stockport and Mark and Adam Walker from Sedgefield. The buffet was one of the best ever and the 80-odd audience went home with full stomachs and aching feet.
Still little news on total candidate numbers but hopefully that will become clear today. I'm off to a staff meeting in North Wales in a moment. It's a six hour round trip and I have slight concerns about whether my Rover will get me there and back. Tina broke down in Wigton last Saturday and had to be rescued by the AA. Their man said the car was finished - "head gasket gone" - but my miracle-worker on the Silloth Airfield got it back and running within forty-eight hours with a new raditor and apparently all OK again. It's fingers crossed that I'm back home at a reasonable time tonight.
At the moment I'm re-reading Dick Francis books. I read many of them thirty years ago and it's quite comforting to be able to read them again and still have your attention held. The light, uncomplicated horseracing stories are ideal at bedtime to help you switch off after a hectic day and to get ready for sleep to re-charge your batteries.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
It's off to Carlisle shortly to continue the huge job of leafletting the city. Our campaign has been going on since late last year with canvassing in the five target wards and this early start has paid dividends with the British National Party up and running before Labour and the Tories were out of bed (together).
As you will have no doubt seen from the BNP's main website, we already have two parish councillors, elected unopposed for Wetheral Parish Council. This was one of the schemes that Clive Jefferson had up his sleeve which I alluded to in yesterday's blog. Brian Allan and Tony Carvell are both standing in our targets wards for the City Council and the publicity gained from them already being elected, albeit to a parish council, will help raise their profile with the electorate.
I expect Clive will tell you all about his successful 'Plan B' on his excellent blog - here - but as I understand it, the fact that someone at City Hall was leaking information to our opponents was used to our benefit. Suffice to say that on Thursday afternoon when Clive collected nominations papers for Brampton Town Council there were still eleven vacancies on that council, when he returned to hand in nomination papers at just twenty minutes before mid-day on Friday - and the close of nominations - he was told that all those eleven vacancies had now been filled . . . . so it was a good job that the two BNP nomination forms Clive was handing in were for Wetheral Council on the other side of the city and where the Brian and Tony were elected unnopposed.
It's a bit of frantic time when nominations close, and to find out how many candidates we have standing I sometimes go on our opponents sites to see if they have any info that I haven't received. From visiting these sites you also see who has won the battle between those who oppose us to take up the mantle of the most active opposition to the BNP for the May election campaign.
Once again I can report that it's Gerry Gable and Searchlight who appears to have won the day with the UAF site now months out of date. Presumably the funds ran out and the trade union money that had been keeping it going was switched to Searchlight.
Gable is a resilient fellow and has been around as long as I have, and probably more. I can remember in 1977 trawling the left-wing bookshops in Brighton trying to buy a copy of Searchlight for the latest news. In those days, the magazine told you as much of what was going on in nationalist politics as the publications of the parties fighting for the cause.
Grand National today and I can't get away from the favourite, Cloudy Lane. I would just hate to have to back a horse at such short odds for the race, but it does look a good thing and barring accidents should run out an easy winner.
Workington Reds are at Hyde where I shall be hoping for a point to ensure our survival in Conference North for next season. Very disappointing performance on Tuesday evening when we were beaten 2-1 by a very average Alfreton Town - we were bullied out of it by a bigger more physical side who didn't let us play football.
Friday, 4 April 2008
Apologies for the non-appearance of this blog for the last few days. The all-important pre-election issue of Freedom had to be finished and it was a difficult week with lots of late stories and change of details which meant the final newspaper looked quite different from what it did on Monday.
Stories had to be updated and others dropped to make room for later, more relevant news, and then all this had to be proof-read again - hopefully all was in order when Freedom 94 went to the printers yesterday.
As you can see from the photo above, it's the future of our children that I believe is the most important issue people should have on their minds when they vote on May 1st. The two photos are of schoolchildren from Yeovil in Somerset visiting a mosque, and children in an Easter bonnet parade organised by local BNP councillors in Broxtowe. Voters have got to decide which road they want this country to go down because in a few years time we might not be able to make a choice.
With the building of new mosques becoming an issue for many local authorities, it is vital that there are BNP representatives on councils to 'whistleblow' when the 'Old Gang' parties try to usher these applications through without public consulation.
It will certainly be an issue in Carlisle and Barrow here in Cumbria, where the local council and media seem to be working together to keep the public in the dark as to their intentions.
And talking of Carlisle, there was a corker of a meeting there last night. A packed city centre pub, 60+ in the audience and morale-boosting announcements one-after-another. The most important news is that we have nine candidates standing for the city council, that's three more than last year. 3,000 copies of the new Freedom have been ordered to supplement the campaign. Lots of new activists signed up to help with our election effort for the next four weeks and a clear and concise strategy has been prepared to maximise the impact of the literature we have available.
Clive Jefferson, our press officer here in Cumbria has no end of schemes up his sleeve and if anyone of them come off, it will get the BNP's push for seats on Carlisle City Council off to a brilliant start.
I was trotted out to say a few words and did my 'bias media' speech which I used at Maryport last week. In the past there would have been crossover of members attending both meetings and I would have had to apologise for boring them with the same talk. But last night there were only three people who had attended that meeting, all the rest were just from Carlisle.
I gave my presentation a 'Carlisle' twist and recalled probably the worst example of anti-BNP journalism I have ever come across, and I shall recount it again here.
In the run-up to the European Elections in 2004, Nick Griffin came to speak in Carlisle to launch our campaign at the beginning of May. I contacted all the media in Cumbria and invited them to the meeting. I specifically telephoned Cumbrian Newspapers which run the Cumberland News and the News & Star. I spoke to the political editor and invited him along, but he said he was going to watch Carlisle United play and didn't think there were any other jounalists available. I said I would send him some photographs and a report of the meeting, which I did.
Obviously Cumbrian Newspapers didn't think Nick's trip to Carlisle was newsworthy. They didn't send a jounalist to cover it and they completely ignored my press statement and photographs.
So you can imagine my surprise, just a few days before polling day in its last issue before its readers were to cast their vote, when the Cumberland News had as its front page story "BNP hate -man to visit city". That was the massive headline introducing a completely fabricated story, the sole purpose of which was to have the words and 'BNP' and 'hate' in big letters on its front page. The article warned of the unrest that would occur if Nick came to Carlisle and the reporter got quotes from all our opponents stating their opposition to this 'visit'. Nowhere was it mentioned that Nick had already spoken at a meeting in Carlisle, just three weeks earlier and which then the newspaper didn't think was worth reporting.
It was a shocking piece of journalism and I still get angry about it four years down the line. The editor and his team had deliberately misled their readers in an effort to influence the vote in the European Elections against the BNP, just because they personally didn't agree with our policies.
I can't wait for mid-day and the close of nominations. I wish I could be a fly on the wall at Cumbrian Newspapers when the editorial team find out the BNP are fighting nine seats!