Saturday, 10 May 2008

Rotherham - a victory for Marlene

When the results came through for Rotherham and it was announced that the BNP had won two seats, I shouted to Tina, who was in the kitchen making our umpteenth election night cup of tea, "Marlene's got in at last in Rotherham."

But of course I was wrong. The next morning I found out that she had failed by just 118 votes to win in Wingfield ward despite polling 992 votes.

Marlene Guest is the BNP's 'Mrs Rotherham". She joined our Party from the Liberal Democrats after making a name for herself in the town by expose the corruption of the Labour Party in local government.

She and a couple of other lady colleagues have stood numerous time for the BNP in Rotherham and polled such good votes that the cage of the Labour MP, Denis MacShane, was rattled sufficiently for him to launch his own campaign warning of the growth of the BNP in South Yorkshire.

Marlene became something of a celebrity when she appeared on the Sky programme BNP Wives back in January and who could forget the closing scenes when there was film taken at a Rotherham branch meeting and she was seen pleading for men to come forward and stand as candidates to take on Labour in the May elections.

Well four men did come forward and two of those, John Gamble and Will Blair won seats on Rotherham Council.

Now that was just a week ago and Marlene and her two new Rotherham BNP councillors are already hitting the headlines.

This is from today's The Star newspaper:

SOUTH Yorkshire's two British National Party councillors have snubbed an invitation to a civic banquet – slamming the event as a waste of public money.
The BNP took its first ever seats in the county in Rotherham, where Coun John Gamble was elected in Brinsworth & Catcliffe and Coun Will Blair won Maltby.
But the councillors have already clashed with the authority over its traditional annual Mayor-making ceremony.
They have refused to attend the event which officially announces Rotherham's new Mayor, this year Coun Ann Russell.
BNP spokeswoman Marlene Guest said: "We think that, when the council is making so many cut-backs, it's totally wrong to have a banquet.
"The council is cutting services and it's appalling to have this dinner when people in the borough are struggling with budget-cuts.
"Councillors are not there to have jollies and enjoy themselves.
"The BNP councillors are very angry and disgusted and will not take part in this dinner or any others in the future."
But Rotherham Council defended the event as not just for councillors but for the wider community too.>
A spokesman said: "The cost of the Mayoral dinner will be met from the dedicated civic budget which exists for events such as this.
"This dinner serves as a launch for the Mayor's year of fundraising and is not just for councillors, but also for people from the wider Rotherham community, including representatives from the voluntary and charity sectors.
"This long-established traditional event will be a non-political, civic occasion which aims to foster good relations.
"Those attending will celebrate all that is good in Rotherham as well as being introduced to the official charities and good causes the Mayor will support during her time in office."

For the record here are those Rotherham results:
Rotherham Council
John Gamble (BNP) 1430
Lab 1369, Con 708.
BNP Percentage: 40.8%

Will Blair (BNP) 702
Lab 684, Con272, Ind 519,
Ind 427, Ind 343, UKIP 94.
BNP Percentage: 23.1%

Rotherham West
Brian Jessop (BNP) 587
Lab 1227, Con 382, Ind 958.
BNP Percentage: 18.6%

John Wilson (BNP) 811
Lab 982, Con 666, Ind 443.
BNP Percentage: 28.0%

Marlene Guest (BNP) 992
Lab 1110, Con 429, Ind 624.
BNP Percentage: 31.4%

It's an afternoon in the garden for me as I have to prepare the ground for some turf to be laid. I shall probably have an interest at Ascot - so will be popping in and out to catch the odd race.

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