Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Sun falls from grace

MY father-in-law just loves reading The Sun.

He has a copy delivered six days a week and on the seventh day he has the Sunday Mirror.

He is an avid reader of the newspaper and if I should pop in during the morning to check he's OK, The Sun is always lying open on the kitchen table next to a cup of tea, packet of cigarettes and an ashtray.

Brian is a great horse and greyhound racing enthusiast so when we tease him about reading The Sun, he meets the criticism with a straight bat, saying that the newspaper's racing coverage is second to none.

When he comes over for a meal on Friday evening, quite a bit of time is spent on discussing current affairs and the news and Brian always has his slant on things heavily influenced by the pages of The Sun.

We have suggested that he might prefer the Daily Mail or the Daily Express where the racing info is equally as good, but Brian won't have it.

"I like The Sun, it suits me fine," he says folding his arms as if to indicate he won't budge on the issue.

On Monday I was leafleting in the morning but on the way back at around two o'clock popped to see Brian. The Sun was on the table, a cigarette was smoldering in the ash tray and At The Races was on the TV in the kitchen. Everything seemed normal but you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.

"I'm resigning from the BNP," he told me. "That leaflet is disgusting, and I don't want anything to do with it."

"It's a forgery," I replied trying to lighten the atmosphere. "It's just a dirty tricks campaign by the Labour Party and The Sun has been duped by it."

I should say here that Brian is not only a member of the Party but also donates each month via standing order. He attends local meetings and always signs our nomination papers. When the 2007 membership list was leaked, his name and address was featured on a rap video about the leaked list.

I spent the next half an hour trying to explain why we knew that the whole story was a hoax.

Brian had been to a meeting where Adam Walker had spoken and had been very impressed with him. On a Friday evening we had often discussed the Gurkha issue and had generally agreed that they should be at the top of the list of immigrants allowed to settle in Britain.

But he still wasn't convinced. So I drove home and picked up my copies of Freedom No 96 and 98 which carried reports on how the BNP had even raised money for the Gurkha Trust.

He read them carefully and said that he accepted they were true but couldn't understand why a national newspaper should tell lies:
"The Sun has a huge team of legal people who vet everything that goes in the newspaper. They wouldn't allow a mistake like this to be made," he told me.

Later, when at home and the report was removed from The Sun's website, I called Brian to tell him about it, but he wasn't impressed.

"Yes, but it is still in my newspaper," was his reply.

Yesterday morning Brian called me early:
"I've been through the newspaper cover-to-cover and there's no retraction. In fact there's another story attacking the BNP."

I told him it was just another smear story but felt depressed that he still had such faith in The Sun.

Then, yesterday afternoon, came the statement from Joanna Lumley and the Justice for the Gurkhas organisation.

I printed it off and rushed it up to Brian. He looked unconvinced at the printing on a plain A4 sheet of paper. I had an idea that this might happen so I gave him the number of the Gurkha organisation and he called it and verified their statement.

Brian tore up his letter of resignation there and then and said that he would give The Sun a week to print an apology for the story and if it didn't appear he would change his newspaper.

OK, that's a long story to start this blog off with this morning, but it is an important one. If you don't have access to the internet then you have to take what the newspapers say at face value. We must do everything we can to make sure that a printed apology appears in any newspaper that tells lies about us.

Yesterday at ten past two, I delivered a copy of Freedom and a postal vote leaflet to a house on Eskdale Crescent in Moorclose in Workington. It was our last postal voter delivery. In the past two and a half weeks we have put out 6,000 copies of Freedom to specific addresses in seven wards in the borough of Allerdale. As well as that, over 20,000 Euro leaflets and Nick Griffin letters have been delivered.

Now we are waiting for our candidate cards to arrive and if the printer keeps his promise they should be here tomorrow.

I would like to thank all those that played a role in their production. Charlie for the superb design, the Print Factory for slotting us in as a priority job (see Freedom for their advert) and most of all, Derek and Gina and the Sherwood bandits for their generous donation that made it all possible.

The candidate cards are simplicity itself and almost non-political. This is deliberate. Politicians are totally discredited at the moment so we wanted to focus on the individuals standing for the BNP rather than a load of political statements.
Homes in the seven wards we are contesting have already had two quite heavy political leaflets from us as well as two political letters and two-fifths of homes have had a copy of Freedom. People have had enough of policies.

This is the sort of simplicity I'm talking about.

I shall feature a candidate card each day to add a bit of colour to the blog.

No comments: