Monthly Archives: August 2012

Gone with the wind

As an illustration of how the local BNP has been decimated over the past few years, check out this photo of local activists taken in the run up to the 2010 elections. All of these party activists have since fallen by the wayside.

From left: Edward Holmes, Hilda Holmes, William “Chris” Bell, Lewis Allsebrook, Michael Clarke, Janina “Nina” Brown

Edward Holmes is probably the only Ashfield candidate to have featured in the local paper after being sent a blood-stained “hate effigy”. His other claim to fame was getting into a row with BBC presenter, Des Coleman, who was filming a documentary about the fascist party. Both Holmes and his wife Hilda were last seen standing as “independent nationalists” in Selston, at the end of last year, but there hasn’t been a peep out of them since and Holmes’ Ashfield Matters website, along with the Ashfield Patriot site, is defunct. Meanwhile, the Ashfield BNP which struggled to find candidates in last year’s local elections, has collapsed.

William Christopher “Chris” Bell, was the organiser of the always fairly weak Nottingham BNP until last year when he threw in the towel and left fascist nut, Bob Brindley, in control. Brindley was last spotted handing out leaflets on his own. Presumably Bell has gone back to running shit financial advice websites and being a dodgy student landlord.

Lewis Allsebrook had been falling out with just about the whole of the East Midlands BNP for a while before he finally quit the party in February this year claiming that the BNP only had a “shallow pool of members” in Amber Valley. He was backed by Mick Clarke, the party’s parliamentary candidate for Amber Valley in 2010 who also seems to have left the party. Allsebrook’s prediction proved to be correct as the BNP slumped at the polls and lost both its councillors in Heanor this May. Allsebrook maintained his Amber Valley Matters website for a while but it hasn’t been updated for months now. He seems to have given up hope on joining another nationalist party.

Nina Brown has been in and out of the BNP more times than we’ve been able to keep track of over the past 5 years. She was the person who famously let the BNP’s security team into Sadie Graham’s house to ransack it looking for evidence of treachery. Following this she and husband Dave were part of the group that resigned forming a major split in the BNP. When that didn’t work out the Browns came back to the fold, tails between their legs and were running the Broxtowe Nationalist website up until 2010. They were spotted representing the BNP at a neo-Nazi rally in Germany at the end of 2009. Broxtowe BNP has since collapsed and a recent attempt by David Wright to revive it seems doomed to failure.

Analysis of the leaked BNP membership list in 2008 suggested that NG16 in Broxtowe was the country’s “most racist postcode” with more members than any other. Leicester, Nottingham and Derby were the cities ranked as having the 2nd, 3rd and 8th most members, with Leicester and Nottingham both having more than London. Since those days the BNP has had a near total collapse across the region. Although the dregs still remain, the endless splits, exposures and infighting have destroyed the party and many local activists have left in disgust, been purged, or have just given up. Long may it continue!

Skegness abattoir controversy attracts fascists

Recent proposals to reopen an abattoir in Skegness have attracted local opposition, with a facebook group and online petition set up.  The Heath Road abattoir closed down in January after it ran into financial difficulties , and the proposed re-opening has generated opposition because slaughter methods used there would be halal.  Although the initial opposition was not overly linked to the far-right, fascists have been quick to take an interest in the issue, with the BNP’s Lincolnshire Coastal branch adopting it as their main campaigning theme.  Other groups have been sniffing around the issue as well, and it’s certain that none would have criticised the abattoir reopening if it were to be staffed by “indigenous” knifemen.

Ritual slaughter for halal is becoming an important focus for the far-right, with the BNP in particular targeting it; they recently held a (piss-poorly attended) national picket of a branch of Subway in Sunderland which sells halal meat.  They aim to portray their opposition to halal on the grounds of animal welfare, but unsurprisingly this rings rather hollow on investigation; there is no opposition from the fascists to factory farming in general, nor is there any indication of what they consider acceptable practice in a slaughterhouse might look like – the latest fundraising dinner of the Lincolnshire Coastal BNP featured Lincolnshire sausage, presumably obtained from consenting pigs who died quietly in their sleep, or something…..

The halal meat issue is (of course!) more complex than it is painted by the BNP.  It is often argued by muslims that slaughter without pre-stunning (which is the central issue giving grounds to accusations of cruelty) is actually less distressful for the poor animal than the conventional methods of stunning – although  almost every animal welfare organisation disagrees, and what scientific evidence there is suggests that stunning is less traumatic.  For what it’s worth, this writer would guess that pre-stunning is indeed “less cruel”, but hopefully I’ll never know for sure.

However, it is important to note that, contrary to general impression, halal rules do permit the pre-stunning of animals, as long as the stunning itself does not kill the animal.  It is also important to note that there are several interpretations of halal rules in practice – for example, there are differences about which methods of stunning are acceptable. The RSPCA cites an estimate, from the Meat Hygiene Service, that around 90% of UK halal-slaughtered animals are in fact pre-stunned – in other words, from a welfare standpoint, they are treated much the same as the majority of animals killed in non-ritual abattoirs. (The majority killed for kosher consumption are also pre-stunned, incidentally).

The BNP are yet again displaying their opportunism in portraying halal as “truly barbaric” and “un-British”, whilst showing no analysis of its complexities, nor any campaign on factory farming in general.  Their failure to mention kosher slaughter, which is very similar to halal in most practical aspects, also shows their expediency – it’s not considered strategic to be overtly anti-semitic at the moment.  A more progressive strategy for ensuring animal welfare in halal and kosher is not hard to imagine, perhaps involving campaigning for universal application of stunning to all ritual slaughter, for example.  Of course many would argue that a slaughterhouse can never be “humane”….and non-halal abattoirs are certainly not exempt from shocking breaches of welfare standards.

The key point here is that any worthwhile campaign on animal welfare must be careful to deprive the far-right of another opportunity to demonise British muslims.  The BNP and other fascist hangers-on will be unable to make political capital out of the Skegness abattoir controversy if they are opposed, and we hope that – yet again – they will be shown for the two-faced opportunists that they are.

Bulwell EDL supporters guilty of racism

Two men who subjected an Asian family to racist abuse were jailed for 10 months on Friday. Kelvin Barratt of Courtleet Way, Bulwell, threatened the owners of a store with a knife and said “I’m EDL” and asked them “What religion are you?” Stefan Davis of Bromley Close threatened to smash and rob the shop.

Both men admitted racially aggravated harassment and using threatening words or behaviour. Barratt additionally pleaded guilty to having the knife. Davis said that alcohol was a factor in his behaviour.


EDL: “the influence they have on people’s thinking is unbelievable”

Because the region’s far right isn’t doing anything interesting right now, I thought it would be useful to highlight this recent post by Exposing the English Defence League. It features the words of former EDL member, Steve Littlejohn, about his disillusionment with the organisation and reveals some insights into the cynical strategies they’ve employed.

Littlejohn says that the EDL manipulate their followers into hatred:

EDL post stuff giving you a negative view about Muslims and if you around people who think the same it becomes normal and believable until you hate with a passion

“[I]t’s dangerous stuff” he says “The influence they have on people’s thinking is unbelievable and it takes just one really fucked up individual worse than me and you’ve got another Norway episode.”

He claims the leadership aimed this hateful ideology at “football hooligans and really aggressive people” because they knew they “were goin to face violent opposition” but “as it got publicity they didn’t want us kind and tried to get over this peaceful protest shite”.

Littlejohn is critical of EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, who he said was manipulating the group’s propaganda to be “all about boosting Tommy up to be a messiah”. This was important in attracting a certain kind of follower:

[T]here’s so many people in it that need leading and their the people that would fire bomb a mosque to feel like their hardcore

The cost of this blind devotion to hatred to ordinary members is serious:

You,l b surprised how many fellas lost their mrs to EDL it’s powerful stuff you see them as a little street group but it’s dangerous stuff

Indeed, Steve himself left “because it was a case of leave or lose my family plus towards the end I’d lost faith in it all and started to see the bigger picture.”

We hope that Steve and many other followers get out of the fucked up little cult that is the English Defence League and can rehabilitate themselves.

Thurnby Lodge protests rumble on

Evidently sensing a major embarrassment, Leicester City Council is backpedalling furiously on its decision to lease an abandoned building to a Muslim charity. The latest news is that mayor Peter Soulsby has said that the council is looking for an alternative site for the As-Salaam Trust’s proposed community centre.

Mohammed Lockhat of the Muslim group said that some worshippers had stopped attending prayers at the existing community centre due to a level of “intimidation” from protests, which have featured members of the BNP, including leader Nick Griffin, the EDL and Casuals United. However, it would be wrong to write off the protests as entirely islamophobic in nature as locals have clearly criticised the involvement of “outside groups” like the BNP and EDL in the press saying that their protests are about a lack of transparency in the council’s allocation of the building.

The Leicestershire BNP’s report on the protests of course talks up the involvement of the party and introduces the Islamic bogeyman wherever possible, decrying the appearance of a group of Muslim youths after one of the protests. “[W]hy were random muslim youths from outside the area getting involved with an issue which is none of their business?” they ask with massive hypocrisy. Muslims from the other side of town had far more business to be there, when their co-religionists were facing intimidation from the far right, than did Nick Griffin, who drove over from Wales in an attempt to stir up trouble. Far right dregs from across the area descended like a pack of wolves at the rumour of a clash between whites and Muslims, so it was only natural that there would be some kind of defensive response.

The BNP repeated the long scotched fake rumour about a Christian cross being covered to avoid offending Muslims, although they picked a different area to the EDL. They also insinuated that once As-Salaam had the scout hut soon the pub would be shut, invoking the magical “thin end of the wedge” argument with apparently no evidence whatsoever.

The BNP are not very good at using the internet. “What is this As Salaam sect?” they ask. “Nobody knows, nobody has heard of them, and nothing comes up on Google.” They clearly aren’t very good at searching because within a few seconds I’d found the group’s Facebook page which is linked to from a number of other sites. Mystery solved. “Where is a small, completely unknown sect getting so much money from?” I would imagine that, like most religious organisations, As-Salaam gets its money comes from donations from local worshippers. Why there should be any dark secret about this is never explained.

Finally the BNP have their obligatory moan about the unfairness of the mainstream media, in this case the Leicester Mercury which they say has not “report[ed] what the people of Thurnby Lodge are protesting about. They’ve been awfully quiet on the subject so far!” What they mean, of course, is that the Mercury’s reporters aren’t giving coverage of the BNP’s own reasons for protesting. The Mercury has given extensive coverage to the protests and has quoted protesters at length but because it doesn’t match with the BNP’s analysis it doesn’t count.

On the positive side, the Cautiously Pessimistic blog has picked up on our posts on the matter and has some interesting ideas about how anti-authoritarians in Leicester could organise on this issue:

[I]f we’re going to decisively win people away from the far-right, we need to demonstrate that, while our enemies on the right are ultimately just another set of politicians-in-waiting, we’re actually willing and able to do practical things to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.

Cautiously Pessimistic suggests that helping to set up a community run social centre in the area might be a good way to do this:

It’ll take a lot of work, and at the end of the day you might not have anything much more interesting or radical than a boxing club to show for it. But it’s better than lining up on one side or another of a racial divide, or just chasing round after big one-day strikes, protests in London and international summits while the far-right recruits on our doorsteps.

EDL still pissing in the paddling pool

Leicester EDL are helping to whip up a frenzy of ill-informed prejudiced hysteria in the run up to their next piss up in Walthamstow. They’ve reposted a poster for a Muslim swimming session as proof that there is a two-tier creeping-sharia reverse-racist politically-correct system oppressing them and their beloved England because, *ghasp* it is “FOR MUSLIMS” and that there are “separate sessions for brothers and sisters”.

Their objection seems to be to the fact that “women must be dressed modestly” which is, apparently, “another way of saying F@@K YOU!!! to other religions and a show of how they can play the system and win”. Right…

The response of their fans has been the usual display of infantile pratfalls. Michael Baverstock starts us off with “the only time id piss in the pool and not feel guilty” before mumbling some barmy conspiracy theory about a cull of 2.5bn people. Keith Finch reckons he would “leave bacon and pork sausage in the changing rooms the night before”. What a naughty little boy! But Ed Coates wants to go further saying he would “put a dead pig on a lilo and float it in the middle of the pool”. Dean Smith recommended “fill[ing] the pools with acid” and Adrian Read hoped that this would be “Joined by pirahna s”. Their mums have all been informed and they’re not allowed to play out for the next week.

Slightly less immature, but considerably more loony, are the comparisons of the move with apartheid. For those in the EDL who seem a bit hazy about South African history, apartheid was enforced by the white colonists who had military and political control of the country and used a theory of white racial superiority to segregate society. Holding a weekly swimming session to accommodate the desires of a religious minority doesn’t quite compare. The EDL are paddling in the shallow end as ever.

Run! The Jews are coming!

A few weeks back we reported on the Dictator of Derbyshire’s Facebook group for maladjusted fascists: Nationalists Must Unite. We’ve continued to watch the group thrash around helplessly, tearing itself apart under the weight of its own internal contradictions. One of the recent threads deserves an honorable mention for revealing the anti-semitic rubbish that some of these losers spout as justification for their hateful political activities. The group seems to have rejected the counter-jihad far right politics of the EDL and stuck to a classic Jew-hating fascism.

Kicking things off, Paul asked “Why do people voice their support for Israel? What have Israel ever done for us?” Nick Thorrington quickly replied “Jews are our ultimate enemy”. From there on the descent into holocaust denial was rapid. Stevo Hoolygan came out with this ridiculous and offensive analogy:

so imagine this, your in house drinking a cup of tea then all of a sudden because a family down the road lose 1 or 2 people in a war the numbers are exaggerate to induce white guilt about a supposed holocaust and then the people are forced into your home and try take over and every time you speak out against it you are shot.

Jon Phillips hyped up the holocaust “conspiracy” a little more:

The Jews were talking about a holocaust of 6 million in the year 1900. Makes you wonder …

Clive Jones quickly chimed in with the old anti-semitic chestnut that Jews control the media and hence “our thinking”.

A lot of the anti-semitism is couched in supposed sympathy for the Palestinians. This is massively hypocritcal as the far right have never campaigned for Palestinian rights and frequently denounce the Palestinians as terrorists.

Not all posters were convinced though. Mikey Brown was unimpressed:

muslims and jews all the same to me , they are so similar in the way they think ! all middle eastern nutters !

Yes, they’re all the same these foreign types. Better make sure we hate them all.

Probably the most amusing bit of Jews-under-the-bed paranoia came from Paul Hilliard himself. Apparently the proof that “They are everywhere running everything” is that, if you rearrange it, “the olympics 2012 logo reads zion”! We’ve done a bit of investigation into this claim, which seems to have emerged from the holocaust denying Iranian regime, and have found that there is indeed a message in there for Hilliard and his fascist friends:

Paul Hilliard: You are a…

Far right not welcome in Thurnby Lodge

The BNP have been roundly criticised by locals involved in protests in Thurnby Lodge. Maxine Williams, manager of the Stirrup Cup pub, said outside groups such as the BNP and Nick Griffin were not welcome. In an extensive comment on the ThisIsLeiecstershire site, FORGOTTENEST said “It has absolutely nothing to do with Muslims!” and that

Neither EDL or BNP were invited to attend any of the peaceful protests staged by the local residents. They turned up of their own accord with their own agenda. This is not the agenda of the local community.

Another poster commented that “I would be the last person to vote the bnp in to power, our country is in enough trouble as it is thank you.”

Meanwhile, in a crass attempt to get more political mileage out of the situation, the EDL have been spreading a very obviously false story about a church cross in the area having to be covered up so that Muslims were not offended. Although they claimed to have “solid eye witness reports” they called out for anyone with “real legitimate news” to let them know. Well here goes: Canon David Monteith, Acting Archdeacon of Leicester, said: “There is no truth at all in the malicious rumour that the church was asked to cover the cross. The information is totally unfounded.”

Looks like another fascist fail.

Second Derby EDL member convicted of racist attack

Ashley Pegg of Cowsley Road, Chaddesden, admitted committing affray and racially aggravated assault in an attack against a Muslim taxi driver last April. He was part of a gang of 5 who chanted “we are the EDL” and drank lager in Mohammed Rashid’s taxi. When they were asked to get out, they made racial threats against the driver and then punched and kicked him.

Lee Preston was sent to prison for 18 months for his part in the attack in January.

Interestingly, Pegg’s legal representative said: “It was simply drunken stupidity that got considerably out of hand.” In January, the EDL made loud protests about the fact that the legal defence of a group of Muslim women in Leicester involved the stating that they “weren’t used to drinking alcohol”. Pegg will be supervised by the probation service for 18 months, must attend a thinking skills programme and do 100 hours of unpaid work.I wonder whether they will be so outraged about Pegg’s defence?

Pegg will be supervised by the probation service for 18 months, must attend a thinking skills programme and do 100 hours of unpaid work.

More nationalist infighting

It’s not just the Leicester EDL and casuals who are splitting up this week. The English Democrats have enraged the BNP by inviting hated former BNP crook, anti-abortionist and loyalist, Jim Dowson, to do a PR campaign for them. This has involved using the BNP membership list, which it is rumoured that Dowson still legally owns, to spam existing BNP members with letters inviting them to join the EDs. Rob Walker, recent convert to the EDs from the BNP is “furious that this has happened” and Northants BNP members are none too happy either.

Anthony, posting on the Northants Patriot blog, writes:

Why on earth are the ED’s using this mans services for, this man is only interested in making cash and sees nationalists as fools to milk funds. He has repeatedly derided the ED’s in the past, im just dumfounded

Buisness is buisness says it all. Dowson … knew he could still make money from nationalists. Now [Britain First] is failing he sees the ED’s as the next cash cow … it shows that the movement is riddled with odious selfish little people with no view of the bigger picture

The criticism is not limited to Dowson. Walker’s decision to join the English Democrats also comes in for a lot of flak from disgruntled Northants fascists. For example, Anthony thinks that

I for one think the prospects of the ED,s are no better than that of the BNP. I could never join a party with that odious man Eddy Butler involved. The media woud give the ED,s the same treatment they have given to all nationalist groups that have had any hint of success… Once the media realise that ex BNP members are involved they will let rip. You will be back to square one.There are reports of many original ED members leaving because of the influx of ex BNP with many southern members quitting leaving a few former BNP branches in Yorkshire as their main areas of strength. its only a matter of time before splits and divisions occur. All that will be left is a clique of ex BNP whos sole reason for being there is because they dont like Griffin, hardly a motivation for success. ED,s, no thanks, not for me.

There are reports of groups like Britain First and the EDL starting to fragment,even the ED,s are showing signs of internal strains.

Roy Davies agrees:

Rest assured that as soon as the English Democrats are seen to present any threat to the established parties they will become the target of such attacks. As this party becomes more well known and starts to stand more candidates for election expect ever more from the “Dirty Tricks Brigade”.

Wim Wauters adds:

[Dowson’s involvement] and having Butler proves the EDL is just as rotten as the BNP. This is just another political party and that will let you down.

Anthony concludes:

[A]ll groups are the ‘property’ of various tinpot dictators who cannot work with each other. In my opinion its these so called leaders who have dragged us down…  There seems to be some kind of ingrained culture of plotting and back stabbing in the nationalist movement

We couldn’t agree more. It doesn’t matter what stripes these fascists brand themselves with, they remain fascists and will be targeted for anti-fascist action. That is why ourselves and other groups are increasingly focusing our attention on the English Democrats. They may be enjoying a temporary lull whilst the general public catches up but they can rest assured that they will become as hated as the BNP before long.