I suppose it is hardly surprising that the Party is still suffering from the effect of that huge anti-BNP campaign that ran for four full weeks prior to the European and County Council polls in June.
Our result in Stockport last night was disappointing. Our campaign should certainly have been good enough to maintain our vote share from May 2008, so the 6.6% drop in our support, with it probably going to UKIP, is very depressing.
Clive Jefferson, the North West's Regional Organiser, says the result and campaign needs to be analysed closely to see what went wrong and while there may very well be some shortcomings in our electioneering, I have seen this sort of trough in our support before and it's a 'storm' you just weather. In time one of 'our issues' will get some big media coverage and our vote will be on the rise once again. The peaks will come with patience and help from more specifically 'honed' campaigns.
What the results of the last two weeks do underline is that it was quite an incredible performance to win our three county council seats and our two MEPs. I also think that polling day came just in time for us in these elections. Another week of anti-BNP stories in the media and we might have been left with nothing for all our hard work and the money spent. Having said that, if polling day had been a week earlier we probably would have had three MEPs now and another three county councillors.
While there are glum faces up here in the North West this morning over Stockport, I suspect that our hard-working team in Wellingborough are very satisfied with their 10% in Swanspool Ward. This was a very encouraging first effort.
STOCKPORT BOROUGH COUNCIL
Reddish North Ward
Thursday 23rd July 2009
David Wilson (Lab) 1218
Gareth Butler (Con) 403
Gerald Price (UKIP) 342
Norman Beverley (Lib-Dem) 303
Paul Bennett (BNP) 195
BNP Percentage: 7.9%
WELLINGBOROUGH BOROUGH COUNCIL
Thursday 23rd July 2009
Robert Hawkes (Con) 548
Ann Reynolds (Lab) 361
Daniel Jones (Lib-Dem) 162
David Robinson (BNP) 120
BNP Percentage: 10.0%
Norwich North and Dormanstown are counting this morning and I shall post the results when they become available.
A story to make your blood boil can be found in the Yorkshire Post this morning. You can read it here
Doesn't this all smack of the Gestapo? It's what happens when any police force becomes politicised and the people to blame for this is not New Labour but the Tories who started the process during the Miners' Strike back in the 1980s.
"When his home was raided in 2007 he said more than 500 items were seized , including:
Union Jack flags;
a local BNP leaflet poster;
a picture by his 11 -year-old's daughter of his band with the Union Jack;
hundreds of CDs;
audio visual equipment."
It's unbelievable. This could be a case for Andrew Brons to take up if justice isn't seen to be done. There has been a gross violation of this chap's human rights in having items such as these confiscated.
REDCAR & CLEVELAND COUNCIL
Thursday 23rd July 2009
Eric Howden (Lib-Dem) 805
Richard Green (Lab) 515
Lynn Payne (BNP) 145
Joan Bolton (Con) 73
BNP Percentage: 9.5%
The Reverend Robert West polled 941 votes in Norwich North which was 2.74%. The result rounds off a disappointing day.
We could have spent £20,000 (if we had had the money) on this campaign and might, at best, have saved our deposit and jumped up a place in the pecking order, but I don't think that minor improvement would have warranted the outlay.
Friday, 24 July 2009
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:12
Thursday, 23 July 2009
THERE are four elections on today, three borough council elections and, of course, the Norwich North Parliamentary by-election.
As I have said on previous posts, our campaign in Norwich North has been hamstrung by the Party's precarious financial position and the fact that we are short on the ground with activists in this particular part of Norfolk. The Greens seem to have generated a bit of momentum and will probably pick up the floating protest vote, so I'm just hoping that our hardcore support gets down to the polling station.
The three local council elections are as follows:
STOCKPORT BOROUGH COUNCIL
Reddish North Ward
Thursday 23rd July 2009
Paul Bennett (BNP)
Norman Beverley (Lib-Dem)
Gareth Butler (Con)
Gerald Price (UKIP)
David Wilson (Lab)
May 2008: Lab 1341 Con 699 BNP 402 LibDem 321
REDVAR & CLEVELAND COUNCIL
Thursday 23rd July 2009
Joan Bolton (Con)
Richard Green (Lab)
Eric Howden (Lib-Dem)
Lynn Payne (BNP)
April 2009: LibDem 809 Lab 667 BNP 305 Con 125
WELLINGBOROUGH BOROUGH COUNCIL
Thursday 23rd July 2009
Robert Hawkes (Con)
Daniel Jones (Lib-Dem)
Ann Reynolds (Lab)
David Robinson (BNP)
May 2007: Con 873/868/815, Lab 696/659/653
The election anoraks on Vote-2007 predict that Redcar will provide our best result with around 15% of vote followed by Stockport on 11%, a shade in front of Wellingborough on 10%.
Counting for Norwich North takes place tomorrow morning.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 10:53
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
NEARLY 100 of his constituents in Stroud now know that their MP David Drew is a liar.
That's probably how many diners and staff at a packed hotel in Painswick in Gloucestershire saw or were aware of an incident that took place there a couple of weeks ago.
Nearly 20 British National Party officials were having a meal in the hotel after a day of discussion on strategy when a young man, who admitted to the local newspaper that he had been tipped off that Nick Griffin was in the hotel, travelled there to confront the BNP leader.
As Nick left the hotel after an excellent meal, the 18 year-old attempted to throw a glass of beer over him. He was restrained by a BNP official and then escorted out of the hotel. That was all that happened. Nick and his wife Jackie set off for London to appear on the Andrew Marr Show the next day, and the BNP contingent left for their various hotels in Stroud.
Apparently Nick's assailant returned to the hotel after we had left and was told that he wouldn't be welcome there again.
Yet this is what Labour MP David Drew told the House of Commons yesterday.
""I don't know why Nick Griffin was wined and dined in my constituency in Painswick but he was. It just so happens that one of my constituents took offence at this and happened to spill some beer over Mr Griffin. As a result of this he was given one hell of a hiding."
" . . . happened to spill . . . "
" . . . given one hell of a hiding . . . "
This is not just mischievous exaggeration by a political opponent, it's the deliberate distorting of the truth and done so by an elected representative in our Houses of Parliament.
Thankfully diners and staff at the hotel in Painswick who saw the whole episode will now know just what a liar their MP is.
The report in today's edition of The Independent can be read here, and on the BBC website here. Notice how the BBC report seems to imply that the beer was just "spilled", almost an accident!
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
IT'S bucketing down here in Belfast this morning and those sweltering days at the end of May spent frantically leafleting in Workington seem a distant memory. It's cold and wet now.
Went for a drink in Comber last night, a very traditional Ulster town. The bunting from the 12th is still up and just outside the pub where we sat, a group of youngsters were playing their flutes, no doubt practicing for next year's parades.
The town is dwarfed by a 55 foot statue of Comber's favourite son, Major General Sir Rollo Gillespie, which was unveiled on 4th June 1845 in front of 30,000 townsfolk. Rollo was certainly a colourful character joining the Jamaica Light Dragoons and fighting the French at Tiburon Peninsula, Port-au-Prince, Fort Bizotten and For de l'Hopital.
He was Adjutant-General of St. Domingo when eight men broke into his house. Armed only with his sword, he killed six of them and the other two fled. Gillespie was a born leader of men and respected by those who served under him.
In 1814, at the beginning of the Gurkha War he led a column to attack a Nepalese hill fort at Kalunga. The Gurkhas launched a counter-attack which was repulsed. Gillespie tried to follow them back into the fort with a dismounted party of the 8th Dragoons, and was just thirty yards from the fort when a Gurkha sharpshooter shot him through the heart. Without his leadership the attack collapsed.
There are nine churches, including a Catholic one, in the town and they are all nearly full each Sunday. Christianity is still thriving over here while on the mainland it seems to be dying a slow and tortuous death.
I now have a book on the history of Calvanism to include in my holiday reading, as it's something that I know very little about.
There has been a letter in the local newspaper in Norwich from church leaders in Norfolk attacking our excellent candidate, the Reverend Robert West, who is standing in the Norwich North by-election. You can read a report here.
You would have thought that these clerics would have had more pressing issues to concern them - such as empty pews and the growth of Islam - but no they want to pick on the BNP.
But I'm far from being bothered by this. Our campaign in Norwich North has been a little low key up to now, so the intervention from the Bishop of Norwich and his gang will raise our profile and remind our supporters of the importance of getting down to the polls on Thursday.
The Daily Telegraph interview with Nick and Andrew finally appears today, no doubt the delay is due to the article's editing and then re-editing and then re-editing again. The media clearly doesn't know how to deal with us. No doubt the editor hopes that the petty snide remarks that pepper the article will distract the newspaper's readers from the core message of the report which is that the two British National Party MEPs will be very different from the usual representatives of the Old Gang parties in Brussels.
And the fact that our two MEPs are different hasn't been lost on their constituents in both the North West and Yorkshire. Despite being in office for less that a week, both regional offices have been receiving a big mailbag so there are plenty of interesting cases for Andrew and Nick to get their teeth into.
Monday, 20 July 2009
THE lack of postings is due to me being on my travels acting as a courier service between our various offices re-locating vital pieces of equipment so that the staff at each of the offices has the all the hardware necessary to carry out their duties.
On Saturday I was in Leeds with a hire van picking up a number of heavy items from our second floor office. I had been hoping to get along to our day of action in Manchester for the two council by-elections we are contesting there, but loading took longer than expected and I had my concerns about leaving a van with £20,000 worth of Party assets unguarded while I went leafletting, so I came straight home.
This morning it's another leg of the journey with a three hundred mile round trip. I'm taking this opportunity to update the site while others unload the van. My back just isn't up to it.
I had my first glimpse of the new Freedom on Saturday and it looks very different - much more like a tabloid newspaper. I know editor Mark Collett is keen to make it an easy to read and eye-catching publication and he has certainly done that. I think it will be very well received. He is also bang on schedule with regard to the publication date which will be good news for our organisers.
Tina is training our new membership secretary this week and is very hopeful that the new membership office and its staff will be up and running by the end of the month.
Norwich North by-election this Thursday and the BNP election address goes out today and tomorrow in an effort to make the most impact.
Unlike UKIP which seems to have money to burn, the BNP is struggling with its finances at the moment so the campaign has been run on a shoestring. The election address is very good and with the postal voters were covered with an early delivery of Freedom, hopefully this dual purpose strategy will be sufficient for us to gain enough votes to save our deposit.
One interesting story from across the water in Belfast where our call centre is based. A gentleman called yesterday claiming he had an interview for a job. When he was sent away, the security cameras followed his departure and captured him scuttling around the back of the building where he was busy taking photographs.
Now the Belfast cameras are the business and the images of him are as clear as a bell . . . and hey presto he is recognised as a member of the Socialist Workers' Party and his photo lurking outside the call-centre has been married up with an equally good photo of him at a UAF rally.
What will be of special interest to the police was the number of photos he took at the rear of the building of the fence at the back and the cameras over the back door.
The police are now investigating the incident and have taken away the security film. Now if anything happens to the call centre you know who is going to get their collar felt.
Friday, 17 July 2009
IT was the OFF button this morning at twenty to eight when BBC Radio 4's Today Programme started getting excited about a recently released interview with Nelson Mandela which took place after his release from prison.
Now if the interview had been conducted before he went to prison and went into detail as to why he was sent to prison in the first place, then I might have stayed on and listened.
Apparently the European Parliament building was buzzing yesterday when leaflets attacking UKIP were distributed. The leaflets claimed to be from the defunct Anti-Nazi League but the word on the street is that it's part of an internal war within UKIP as the pro and anti-Farage cliques battle it out for control of the Party.
Apparently there is disquiet within the ranks over UKIP aligning themselves with groups within the European Parliament that are described as "further to the right than the BNP" and in particular two MEPs from the Dutch SGP (Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij).
Now this party believes that women should not be involved with politics, Catholicism should be eradicated, homosexuality is unacceptable and racial purity is vital!
The leaflet asks:
"Can anyone explain to those who voted for UKIP in June, just why is it that its MEP's have been so quick to surrender their anti-racist principals just so that Nigel Farage can cash in on the financial windfall that comes from leading a grouping in the European Parliament."
The results are just in from last night's by-elections and are much as expected although we were hoping to do better in the Arbury seat.
In Kirk Hallam it was a good first effort and certainly something to build on in the future.
Here are the results:
Warwickshire County Council
Arbury and Stockingford Division
Thursday 16th July 2009
Barry Longden (Lab) 1331
Tom Wilson (Con) 1079
Martyn Findley (BNP) 449
Michael Wright (Green) 170
Rachel Field (Lib-Dem) 118
Steven Gee (Socialist Alternative) 43
BNP Percentage: 14.1%
Derbyshire County Council
Kirk Hallam Ward
Thursday 16th July 2009
Michelle BOOTH (Lab) 1261
Kevin MILLER (Con) 783
Mark BAILEY (BNP) 327
Richard PYLE (Lib-Dem) 158
BNP Percentage: 12.9%
It's nice to beat the Lib-Dems in both these wards.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
TWO local council by-elections today involving British National Party candidates in Kirk HALLAM (thanks Philpot) in Derbyshire and Arbury & Stockingford in Warwickshire.
No news directly from our people on the ground, but plenty of informed opinion from the election anoraks on the Vote-2007 website. The candidates for the Kirk Hallam by-election are:
Derbyshire County Council
Kirk Hallam Ward
Thursday 16th July 2009
Mark BAILEY (British National Party)
Michelle BOOTH (Labour)
Kevin MILLER (Conservative)
Richard PYLE (Liberal Democrat)
The BNP vote share predictions in ascending order are: 9%, 10%, 12%, 12%, 19% 23%.
The overall opinion is that we could finish third here and beat the Lib-Dems.
The candidates for the Arbury & Stockingford by-election are:
Warwickshire County Council
Arbury & Stockingford
Thursday 16th July 2009
Alice FIELD (Liberal Democrat)
Martyn FINDLEY (British National Party)
Steven GEE (Socialist Alternative)
Barry LONGDEN (Labour)
Thomas WILSON (Conservative)
Michael WRIGHT (Green)
The BNP vote share predictions in ascending order are: 16%, 19%, 20%, 23%, 23%, 30%.
The overall opinion is that we will finish third, just behind the Tories and Labour and well clear of the other parties.
Great maiden speech by Nick yesterday which is certainly getting plenty of airplays and there have been extensive quotes from it in most of the broadsheets.
I spoke with him briefly last night and he said that it had surprised many journalists, with the New Statesman even asking him if the BNP had ever received funding from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!
Nick said that there was another good speech from Dr Krisztina Morvai in the same debate and I shall endeavour to find it and pop some of it on Nick's European Parliament website.
We had an exciting job yesterday afternoon - measuring up the new office and placing an order for the furniture and equipment that we need.
We are still hopeful of moving in by the beginning of August but with the extensive communications system that is needed, apparently it will be a little longer before we are completely functional.
Tina was opening bank accounts for the office in the morning and we already have the first donation for our community fund . . . the full story will be found at nickgriffin.eu later today.
And finally the political elite in Hampstead are in uproar - they are as diverse as everyone else! Read the full story here.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
THE National Union of Journalists is holding a day school in Manchester on how reporters should 'cover' news stories about the British National Party.
What's worrying NUJ bosses is that the BNP is rapidly becoming part of the country’s mainstream political landscape and that NUJ guidelines, drawn up twenty years ago instructing their members to always report on the British National Party in a negative light, now look very dated.
It's about time the union took a more balanced approach so it would be useful if those journalists who have had their concerns over this very unfair policy voiced them at this meeting.
The meeting takes place on Saturday 25th July and you can book a place via Manchester’s NUJ office - email@example.com
The Chartered Institute of Journalists led the way on this last month by urging its members to report on the British National Party as they would any of the other three main parties. Hopefully one of its representatives might get along to the NUJ meeting and explain to them the editorial line they should be taking.
There's been a big response to my reports from the weekend conference in Gloucestershire with many more questions being asked about various aspects of the Party's set-up and the changes that have taken place.
While this isn't the place to go into detail of who does what, I can say that training will form a big part of the new professionalism of the Party.
One area that constantly raises issues is Regional Accounts and this was addressed at the meeting. Regions who want to look after their own affairs can do so but only after an intensive training course from Deputy Treasurer David Hannam.
With regard to the caseworkers working for our European Constituency Offices in Yorkshire and the North West, again training is vital and Tina who is well briefed in this field, and Leeds City councillor Chris Beverley will be ensuring that their knowledge is imparted to those helping our MEPs to make their mark.
Today, in my capacity as the North West's Election Officer, I'm working on a new report form which details the way we contest each election.
Ideally the form needs to be filled prior to polling day so that the actual result doesn't colour the judgement of those providing the information.
I'm a great believer in compiling information and looking for patterns which could prove beneficial in the future.
Big day for Andrew and Nick yesterday and didn't they do well. Lots of positive images of them taking their seats doing the rounds and Nick's scathing criticism of the Kinnocks seems to have been universally well received.
There are two local council elections taking place tomorrow where British National Party candidates are involved. Both are County Council seats, one in Derbyshire (Kirk Hallom) and the other in Warwickshire (Arbury). If anyone has any info on how our campaigns have gone I shall include it in tomorrow's posting with a full list of the candidates.
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
NORTH WEST regional organiser Clive Jefferson was down in St Helens last night as an observer for an arbitration meeting.
Chris Beverley came over from Yorkshire and Alwyn Deacon came up from Warwickshire to sit on the panel and hear all the evidence after which there was a unanimous verdict.
Apparently neither side was happy with the outcome which was something that disappointed Clive, but as I told him this morning, that probably means that the result was a fair one.
Hopefully the issue is resolved now, so it's all systems go in forging ahead to meet the challenges that we face in this area.
Nick was on Radio Cumbria this morning, you can hear his interview here. Nick's piece comes after 49 minutes.
While the interview was unnecessarily hostile, the report from it which appeared on the next few news bulletins was very acceptable indeed, with the quote used from the interview one which would have certainly been received with broad agreement by the majority of listeners.
A bit more info from the weekend concerning the arrangements for dispatch and enquiries.
This will now be based in Warwickshire with Alwyn Deacon in charge of all distribution and Richard and Tanya Lumby in charge of all enquiries. This includes sending out the information packs and the lists to regional organisers.
A massive training programme is being rolled out by the Party covering every aspect of running a branch. These will be held in Gloucestershire with a group of ten officials from a particular region at a time receiving an intensive briefing over a weekend seminar. The now customary team building exercises will no doubt be part of the programme.
The Red, White and Blue Family Festival looks well on course to being a sell-out and the biggest yet. I'm working on a promotion our two MEPs over this special weekend which will provide those there with something that will recall the great achievement of our Victory in Europe.
And finally a prediction. A little bird tells me that David Cameron is on the verge of disowning UAF.
Apparently he has been considering this since the College Green incident and the attack on Tony Ward. On Sunday his connection with the UAF was aired to the biggest audience yet on the Andrew Marr Show and apparently David wasn't happy about this at all.
Watch this space.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 11:57
Monday, 13 July 2009
GOT back late last night from a two day conference in Gloucestershire involving all the regional organisers, the Party's full-time staff and the European Parliament staff.
I was too tired to update the blog after the long journey home which was made much longer by delays caused by a series of accidents. Travelling down on Friday lunchtime we were also held up for around an hour by a shocking accident on the M6 near Manchester. Cars were upside down and a caravan crushed to next to nothing - someone's holiday was ruined and I just hope that was the only casualty.
At the conference, Saturday was spent analysising the Party's structure and the way it operates. Any shortcomings were identified and solutions put in place. The primary concern of the Regional Organisers was the lack of information filtering down through the Party with regard to the direction of the British National Party and the changes within the BNP that had taken place since our election victories of June 4th.
This was addressed at the meeting by the appointment of a new panel of full time party administrators to deal with this. Emma Colgate (Staff Manager), Eddy Bulter (National Organiser) and Simon Darby (Deputy Chairman and Treasurer) will now be on hand to answer any questions and brief regional organisers who need to answer queries posed by their members.
Nick and Andrew's teams for the North West region signed their European Parliament employment forms and learnt a little more of what is expected from them, although the information coming out of Brussels was said by both MEPs to be patchy and in some cases rather unclear.
Early evening the BNP chairman met for an hour and a half with representatives from the South West before everyone moved on to a local hotel for an evening meal. After the meal, Nick went off to London to appear on the Andrew Marr Show.
Sunday morning there were further briefings by Eddy, Simon and Emma before Nick arrived back from London and spoke for nearly two hours with the assembled officials to detail what was expected from them over the next 12 months.
The day finished with a discussion on the General Election.
I have just seen the front page for the new Freedom which is under the editorship of Mark Collett. I like it - more like a daily newspaper's front page with clean lines and bold headings. I'm still contributing to the newspaper but the burden of the design and layout no longer concerns me.
Tina and I are off camping in France next week and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm taking my fishing rod and some serious and light reading. This is my reading list:
The European Parliament by David Earnshaw & Neill Nugent.
European Union Politics by Michelle Cini
The Real Gorbals Story: True Tales from Glasgow's Meanest Streets by Colin Macfarlane.
Life Means Life by Nick Appleyard
Starmakers and Svengalis: The History of British Pop Management by Johnny Rogan.
It will be our fifth summer holiday on Ile D'Oleron, but the first without the children and with the in-laws. Hopefully it will be a little more relaxing. A day's racing at La Palmyre will probably be the high spot for me, although I'm looking forward to the boat trip out to Fort Boyard which is something we haven't done before.
Here's a short video of where we are going taken from Youtube.
Friday, 10 July 2009
Wow! what a North West Regional Council meeting in Manchester last night.
Three hours of intense discussion on the way forward with almost all local organisers and fundholders in attendance. It was half past one this morning before I got home.
There are more meetings over the weekend but first hopefully another step forward this morning in securing a second BNP office in the region.
Good meeting in Whitehaven on Wednesday - what a tight-knit 'family' branch Copeland is. No wonder it secured the third highest Euro vote in the whole of the North West. Lots of awards given out to the hard-working activists.
Back posting on Sunday with a bit of luck.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 09:30
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
MORE evidence that the media are struggling with the thorny issue of how to cover news of the British National Party.
An item on the Sky News website this morning highlights remarks made by disgraced Home Secretary David Blunkett, but the body of the story concerning the persecution of the two BNP teachers, Adam and Mark Walker, comes across very clearly. Any right-thinking person ignores the silly Blunkett soundbite and feels uncomfortable for the two young teachers being discriminated against for their political beliefs.
You can read the report here.
There's a similar, desperately-seeking-negativity type of story in the Daily Telegraph also. The newspaper gleefully reports that the BNP have been unable to form a group in the European Parliament (25 MEPs needed) which can access another £2 million of European funding.
The report carries a rather sinister photo of Nick just to ensure the maximum negativity, yet journalist Peter Hutchison fails to realise that the article in itself - the British National Party on the European political stage - gives the BNP a huge credibility boost. See what I mean . . .
I'm glad too that Guardian columnist Hugh Muir has found our two new MEP's websites. He's a keen follower of everything BNP and it will give me an incentive to keep them updated knowing that Hugh might give them a plug in his Diary Column and put the Guardianista off their muesli and yogurt. Hugh's offering today is here.
Home of the Green Arrow is one of the websites that I visit every morning and I found two items on it today that particularly interested me.
Firstly concerning the claims about right-wing terrorism with a BNP link. Now this story has been around for nearly a week in various forms and started after Sir Norman Bettison, the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, reported to security officials that a BNP membership card had been found after raids on various homes in Leeds.
The story was taken up by various news media outlets and quickly became BNP membership CARDS. If anyone has the time, it would be useful to bang in a Freedom of Information request to West Yorkshire police and ask exactly how many cards were found and what was the date on the card/s!
Green Arrow also reveals the dismay he felt when he saw a BNP speaker stand up to address a meeting with a thick wad of paper indicating a lengthy speech!
I'm speaking at a Copeland meeting tonight and I shall be keeping my address on my time as editor of Freedom short, and to the point. If you are coming to the meeting, don't worry about having a late night. Visit Green Arrow here . . .
One of my work colleagues for the next five years, Chris Beverley, has been out and about checking out European Parliament offices in Yorkshire and he has sent me some photos of possible options. Each one certainly looks fit for purpose so hopefully both Andrew's and Nick's first of three offices in each of the two regions can be confirmed in the next few days.
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
I COULD be wrong but I'm certain that I listened to two news summaries and an in-depth report on the unveiling of the memorial to those killed in the London Tube bombings and there were two glaring omissions in the coverage.
Not once did I hear either the word 'Islam' or the word 'Muslim' mentioned. According to the BBC it was just any old suicide bomber or terrorist that took the lives of all those innocent Londoners four years ago. As far as the Corporation's coverage is concerned it seems that the killings were motiveless.
However the words 'Islam' and 'Muslim' were being mentioned in abundance by news readers and reporters in an earlier item concerning the persecution of Muslim Uighur separatists by the Chinese authorities in the western province of Xinjiang.
It seems that the words can be used when creating sympathy, but not when raising concern.
Poor old Gordon Brown has now even fallen foul of one of his greatest supporters after his "local homes for local people" scam.
Equality and Human Rights Commission chairman Trevor Phillips says there's no evidence that immigrants jump the housing queue and blamed the Government and a "failure of social housing supply" for the growth in support of the British National Party.
A bit of feedback from the Nonsuch Ward by-election in Sutton which was held last week.
Croydon Organiser Charlotte Lewis reports:
"At the Greater London Assembly election of May 2008, where people had four votes as opposed to just the one they had on Thursday, 4.9% of Nonsuch voters chose the BNP candidate as their first choice for mayor. 8.9% voted BNP on the 'top-up' list.
"My view is that the Tories lost out in a seat they were confident of winning due to the Westminster expenses scandal. Labour were completely humiliated.
"I would like to say a big thank you to Peter North (right), who is a new recruit to our party, for his hard work and very promising 6.4% in a ward we were contesting for the first time."
Hopefully our office search is coming to an end with two properties in the frame and our final choice depending on the best deal we can get.
I have been snowed under with advice as to which sort of office to sign up to and it's provided a good briefing and alerted us to some problems we might not have foreseen.
A former Tory agent warns against a city centre office with street access.
"Our MP had one and we had all sorts of problems. It was a magnet for malcontents, those who had had too much to drink, people with personality disorders and, during the winter, down and outs looking for somewhere to keep warm after they had been thrown out of the betting office next door.
"We also had the problem of our own people using it as a drop-in centre where on Friday afternoon in particular little or no work could be done because all the offices were full of our supporters discussing the weekend's activities."
Another former Tory councillor has a completely different take:
"I urge you not to go down the 'prestige office' route. The party will be seen by many (and be denigrated by its opponents) as having 'sold out' and to be feathering its own nest, with money being spent on high living which distances you from the people suffering during the recession. Of course this wouldn't be true, but that's how it would be seen and portrayed.
"Consider the Ferrari Maserati car company. You could hardly have a more prestigious marque redolent of wealth, luxury and sophistication. Yet where is their UK head office? Mayfair? Westminster? Chelsea? No. Slough. Prestige comes from the brand, not the location of its offices!"
"The BNP need to be seen as part of the community and the head office should be right in the thick of it."
Then there was this from the head of a security firm:
"You'll have five years of sleepless nights with a city centre location. No matter how good the cameras are and the security system, the building will still be targeted by our opponents on a regular basis. Minor vandalism and graffiti, not necessarily politically motivated, but just 'passing' drunks and yobs, will be a constant headache because the BNP office will always be the local talking point and rather than being a shining light in the community the office could become the eyesore of the community.
"Rather than being an open door to local people, it will have to be a mini Fort Knox because the opposition will be constantly monitoring it, eager to expose any shortcomings in security and ready to swamp the office when your guard is down.
"Don't provide an easy target - get out of town and make the buggers travel if they want to oppose us."
There were many more on similar themes with the two distinct camps - idealist and realist, it is a choice that we will have to make.
Finally, Robert McNamara (left), the architect of the 'body count' strategy of the Vietnam War died at the age of 93 on Monday - 40 years after the 58,000 American youngsters he helped send to their early graves fighting that futile war.
The Defence secretary under Kennedy and Johnson will always be associated with his attempt to apply systems analysis to human behavior.
In a memoir published in 1995, "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam," McNamara wrote that he had misgivings about the Vietnam War as early as 1967, though he continued to prosecute the war as U.S. and Vietnamese casualties mounted.
A New York Times editorial referred to McNamara as offering the war dead only a "prime-time apology and stale tears, three decades late."
Monday, 6 July 2009
I HAVE been criticised in some quarters for my blog yesterday and I'll take that on the chin.
I would like to say here and now that our BNP website team does a brilliant job. But you don't need me to tell you that, the figures for the number of hits it receives each day shows just how popular it is.
Of course, the BNP website team has lifted articles from my blog before and I didn't say anything so they are surprised and understandably upset that I should suddenly get on my high horse.
This is a strange time. Wholesale changes across the Party and those of us who have been in our comfort zones for nearly a decade now face new challenges. It is a sensitive time and everyone is feeling a little vulnerable.
What upset me was that it looked as though I had posted the article on the BNP website myself. If it had had an introduction saying that this report has been taken off Martin Wingfield's blog, it would have been much more acceptable.
When something appears on this blog it's up for discussion when it appears on the main website it seems more like policy.
Now I hadn't run my thoughts past either Nick or Andrew who are my new bosses and who have entrusted me with publicising their work as MEPs. What must they have thought seeing a quite clear policy direction dictated by their communications officer posted on the main BNP website without any consultation. It would appear very presumptuous and that's what upset me.
Hopefully the outcome of this affair will be that the BNP website team think . . . . "that Wingfield's a prickly old sod, better check it's OK before we lift anything from his blog in future."
Disappointment in Northern France last night when an unholy alliance of mainstream and far-left political parties grabbed a narrow victory over the Front National in Hénin-Beaumont.
Voters apparently responded to appeals from high-profile politicians and celebrities to elect a leftwing mayor, defeating the candidate of Jean-Marie Le Pen's party by 52% to 48%.
Daniel Duquenne, who scored just 20% in the first round of the election against the FN's Steeve Briois's 39%, was elected only after the political opposition joined forces to prevent the FN taking control of the former mining town.
My colleagues Clive Jefferson and Alistair Barbour are speeding (not literally I hope) down the M6 as I speak to a demonstration in support of Robin Evans and the Lancashire Four - details on the main website.
Tina and I are still on the office search here in the North West while Chris Beverley is doing the same in Yorkshire.
I spoke with Nick Griffin MEP last night and he says he definitely favours a campaigning office in the centre of a community rather than a remote prestige office. I'm hopeful that we can combine the two - prestige AND in the centre of the community - and I might just have something up my sleeve.
Busy week ahead with a branch meeting in Copeland, regional meeting in Manchester and then a staff meeting at the weekend.
I had been hoping to get to Workington Reds vs Carlisle United on Saturday, a 'friendly' that always has a lot of passion associated with it, but now, for me, that first football match of the 2009-10 season will be at a later date.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
I'm afraid I'm seething this morning.
I wake up to find the contents of this personal blog splashed over the main British National Party website. I AM LIVID!
I didn't post the report on the main website although the number of times the 'Wingfield' name appears in bylines gives the impression that I did.
I didn't authorise its posting on the main website.
I wasn't asked if it could appear on the main website.
If I had been approached I would have said 'No', at least not until it was re-written to make it suitable for a wider audience.
I am bitterly disappointed that my colleagues can act in such an unprofessional and inconsiderate manner.
What's all the fuss about I can sense you thinking.
Well, I write for both the main website, in my capacity as the editor of Freedom (now former) and as EU communications officer, and for the two MEP sites. When I contribute to them I am writing as a Party official and the reports and updates are penned in a different, more formal style.
When this blog is updated it is me personally speaking to you. I let my hair down a little and speak more from the heart about the issues that I think you might be interested in. I don't necessarily always follow the popular Party line on certain things and can do this because these are my personal thoughts which is why it's called Martin Wingfield's blog.
If I had wanted 'The Danger of Europe' on the main website I would have posted it there in the first place. I didn't want want to do that but rather moot these ideas on my personal blog first to see what the response was.
Politics is a minefield which is why I have to have sole responsibility on what I submit for publication and where it goes. I feel thoroughly let down this morning, like I have been mugged by a friend.
Back later when I've had a cup of tea and calmed down.
30 minutes later . . . .
Let me tie up this disappointing affair with an example of the difference of personal and Party.
A couple of weeks ago on this blog I acknowledged (please note the word, I didn't 'admire') the effort of Searchlight in trying to scupper our Euro Election effort. I'm a politician and I personally regard the opposition as political opponents despite the depths they might sink to in their campaigning against us.
When I'm standing on the terraces of Borough Park and the opposition playing my beloved Workington Reds have acquitted themselves well, I acknowledge their efforts. For me, it's the same with politics. In the European Elections our opponents lost and we won, but they still acquitted themselves well.
Needless to say my inbox was swamped within hours with people taking issue with me giving any credit at all to the Searchlight gang. I responded to most of them explaining that this was my personal view, and certainly not the Party line.
Now imagine if that post had been 'lifted' from my site and placed on the main BNP site.
As I said before I made my cup of tea, politics is a minefield, you have to tread so very carefully.
Anyone see The Observer this morning. A lovely photo which answers the media's favourite question of the moment to our spokesmen, "What do you mean by British?"
The caption is: 1936, Teacher Miss B. Casey coaches the boys from the football team in the school playground in Bradford, England.
As we all know, Bradford is a very different place today. Here's the accompanying article if you want to read it.
Although I have little interest in foreign politics I shall be watching the result from a municipal election this evening in the classic heartland of French socialism, Hénin-Beaumont. Here in the first round of voting, the Front National polled 40% of the vote more than 20% ahead of its nearest rival. Now it's a run-off between the FN and a single united opposition candidate.
If the Front National wins it will be running a municipal authority again for the first time in several years and for the first time in northern France.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 08:14
Saturday, 4 July 2009
IT WAS a pleasure to sit down and have an in-depth conversation with Andrew Brons on Thursday.
We were colleagues as far back as 1979 and last met in 1986 at a time of internal turmoil within the National Front of which we were both members.
Now, twenty-three years later, we renewed contact as I shall be working part-time for him to publicise his work and achievements as an MEP.
Although Andrew hasn't even taken his seat yet, his two visits to Brussels have given him enough of an insight into the nature of the beast to know how dangerous the lure of the lifestyle associated with the European Parliament can be and he warned of this in his Victory Celebration speech in Blackpool.
The classic example of this can be seen from the track record of the 13 UKIP MEPs that took their seats five years ago.
They were all hypnotised by Europe and did nothing while their party back in Britain almost disintegrated.
That's because they didn't use the five years to show their constituents in the regions they represented what they could achieve on their behalf. Instead they just got lost in Brussels (as Bonnie Tyler might have said), immersing themselves completely in the daily business of the European Parliament which had no benefit whatsoever for the people, or their Party, back home.
This mustn't happen to us. We must use the next five years to show the voters of the North West and Yorkshire that when they elect a British National Party representative, things get done FOR THEM. It will be of little interest to the public which way our 2 MEPs voted in the huge 736-strong parliament on issues the majority of which will have no meaning or relevance to the British people.
We have to make sure that our two MEPs use their influence as elected representatives for sixty local authorities across the north of England to benefit people at the community level and that this help is seen to be done.
That's my job and I will be working to make Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons not just household names, but names that wear a badge of honour for representing the interests of the people of their two regions.
My inbox has been full of messages from people offering advice about how to proceed in my position as Communications and Campaigns officer. Every suggestion has had a European theme with many advising me to spend my time communicating with other nationalist groups in Europe to promote closer links.
I'm afraid I don't see it that way at all. The only closer links I want to promote is between Nick and the people of the North West and Andrew and the people of Yorkshire and the Humber.
To me, the label MEP means we now have the authority to raise our game HERE, to help British people with issues that the corrupt old gang parties won't touch for fear of being seen to be politically incorrect.
For us the European Parliament is a means to an end. For the likes of UKIP, it is the end.
Did anyone see the BBC News this morning and the report on university places? A line from a Colin Auty song came to my mind when I was watching it . . . . "where have all the white folk gone."
Just heard from Alan Harrop in Pendle that two of the "Lancashire Four", Brian Parker and Lee Karmer have had charges against them dropped with regard to distributing leaflets that were deemed to be offensive. That's excellent news - let's hope it's the same for Robin Evans and Tony Bamber.
. . . . and now back to Bonnie Tyler.
Friday, 3 July 2009
WHEN I was a teenager I can remember sitting watching the news with my parents. It was the late Sixties and almost every bulletin seemed to have a report from the war in Vietnam.
I could have stepped back forty years in time last night when I saw the report about the British and American offensive in Afghanistan. Same strategy as used in Vietnam - flying out to a village, dropping troops to secure it, then leaving a token force to hold it against the Viet Cong.
I have read a few hundred books on the Vietnam war and at one time had a collection of over 3,000 books which I bought and sold via my website Booksonvietnam.
In all the recollections and history books on the war the message was the same - the war couldn't be won. The French couldn't win in Vietnam before the Americans tried and the Chinese couldn't win after the Americans.
Afghanistan is the same. The war can't be won so every British serviceman or women who loses their life there has done so for nothing. It make me want to cry when I think of the grief felt by those families, and then it makes me angry that Blair and Brown have squandered British lives in this way.
Well done to Peter North for his 211 votes in last night's local council by-election in Sutton. He polled more than twice as many votes as the Labour Party's candidate.
The full result was:
Thursday 2nd July 2009
Gerry Jerome (Lib-Dem) 1665
Chris Dunlop (Con) 1329.
Peter North (BNP) 211
Marcus Papadopoulos (Lab) 88
BNP Percentage: 6.4%
If you fancy a weekend campaigning in Norwich in this lovely weather, then let me introduce you to Julia Howman and her team (above) who will no doubt be delighted by any offers of help.
And as it's Friday what about a Kinks' classic. This is a shortened version of Shangri-la for a BBC programme on Ray Davies from about 15 years ago. This was one I my Kinks favourites but sadly it wasn't a hit at the time because it was probably too melancholy.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
QUITE a few by-elections this month, but the most important one is the Norwich North parliamentary by-election on Thursday July 23rd where the Reverend Robert West is our excellent candidate.
Help is needed in Norwich right away to get the July issue of Freedom delivered to postal voters in the constituency in time for the ballot papers being sent out. It is a vital but time-consuming task so if you can help please email Norwich BNP at firstname.lastname@example.org
While Norwich North takes pride of place in July, there are some other very interesting by-elections and none more so than the Arbury & Stockingford re-run from last month's county council poll on July 16th.
One of the Tory victors was ineligible to stand, hence it all has to be done again and Martyn Findley will be hoping to improve on his promising 24.4% on June 4th.
The candidates for the electoral division of Warwickshire County Council which is in Nuneaton & Bedworth are:
Alice Field (Liberal Democrat)
Martyn Findley (British National Party)
Steven Gee (Socialist Alternative)
Barry Longden (Labour)
Thomas Wilson (Conservative)
Michael Wright (Green)
June 2009: Con 1637/1582, Lab 1480/1472, BNP 1283, Green 849/692.
On the same day there is another delayed county council election this time in Derbyshire for the Labour stronghold of Kirk Hallom. Back in May 2005 Labour won with 3428 votes beating their sole Tory rival by 1,600 votes.
The candidates this time are:
Mark Bailey (BNP)
Michelle Booth (Lab)
Kevin Miller (Con)
Richard Pyle (Lib-Dem)
A week later there's a Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council by-election in the Reddish North Ward.
Here are the contestants:
Brenda Bates (Ind)
Paul Bennett (BNP)
Norman Beverley (Lib-Dem)
Gareth Bulter (Con)
Gerald Price (UKIP)
David Wilson (Lab)
MAY 2008: Lab 1341, Con 699, BNP 402, LibDem 321.
On Tuesday evening North West Regional Organiser, Clive Jefferson, attended a meeting in Stockport and reported that after a slow start the campaign was now getting into full swing.
Also on 23rd July is the Dormanstown Ward by-election for Redcar & Cleveland ward. If this sound familiar it's because it was contested on April 2nd when Lynn Payne pushed the Tory candidate into 4th place after securing 16% of the vote.
The candidates are:
Joan Bolton (Con)
Richard Green (Lab)
Eric Howden (Lib-Dem)
Lynn Payne (BNP)
APRIL 2009: Lib-Dem 809, Lab 667, BNP 305, Con 125.
There's also a by-election in Wellingborough on the same day but I can't find any details other than we are taking on the three main parties in Swanspool ward which is a safe Tory seat.
Today we are contesting a by-election in the London Borough of Sutton. Predictions as to our vote range from 3% to 9% but with plenty of the usual negative stories about the BNP in the local media, I would be happy with somewhere in the middle. Peter North is our brave candidate
On July 30th we are defending a 14% majority from 2007 over Labour in Brinsley Ward for Broxtowe Council and are also represented in the Denton North East ward for Tameside Council where Labour is defending a 9% majority over the Conservatives.
I'm off for a meeting in Yorkshire with our MEP team there and then on to see Mark Collett to officially handover Freedom to its new editor.
Posted by Martin Wingfield at 06:50