Wednesday, 23 July 2008

You have to worry about the consequences

SAD news from Burnley yesterday concerning Luke Smith. It takes a tortured soul to do something like that and so publicly. I never met the lad because his brief and disastrous forray into politics came 12 months after my time of close association with Burnley for the local election campaign of 2002.

Back then, myself and two colleagues, Paul Stafford and Kevin Clarke, travelled down each week from Cumbria to help with the campaign. Everything was a bit strange there then to say the least. The organiser, Steven Smith, Luke's uncle, had a sort of antique shop and accountant's office right in Burnley High Street and we used this as a headquarters. I got on quite well with Steven, although he was a bit of a moody character, and it was a major blow when he was sent to prison right in the middle of the campaign for filling in a nomination form at the local council election the year before all by himself!

Steven's mum ran the office while he was a way and she was a friendly lady and the campaign went very well. In the end we got the results we worked so hard for, so that time only has happy memories for me despite what was to take place shortly afterwards.

Luke should never have been put forward to stand for council, he was completely unsuitable, but there was a mentality in Burnley at that time, to go for it and worry about the consequences afterwards, which was typified by the nomination form that was filled in by the organiser on behalf of the nominees.

The events of 2003 and 2004 could well have destroyed the BNP in Burnley but the branch came through it and is now stronger and better organised than ever before. I met some very good people in those five months, over six years ago, some like Len Starr who was a new member then and is now a key BNP councillor and some like Simon Bennett, then the assistant organiser but who has now disappointingly lost his way politically.

It was an interesting time, but this morning our thoughts must be with Luke Smith's family as they come to terms with their loss.


The Green Arrow said...

Martin, you're so right about Luke.

Without wanting to sound like a wishy-washy Liberal, I think Luke just needed a hug and a guiding hand at times. I don't believe anybody has a truly bad bone in his body.

I meant to invite him down to the caravan when he first got into trouble so that he could clear his head and come back stronger and with a more reasonable mindset.

It's just a shame this did not eventuate.

Robert Baggs said...

The Green Arrow (as opposed to Green Arrow) strikes again!