Mar 11 2013

The Skegness Standard responds

We have received a rather haughty response from Philip Murray, editor of the Skegness Standard, who, unsurprisingly, doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. According to Mr Murray: “We don’t support any political group, and never have, and we have carried adverts from groups all over the political spectrum at one point or another in the past.”

This is inadequate. Would Mr Murray give advertising space to an explicitly Nazi Party? Would that be ordinary business as well? Would he be surprised if there were angry protests against him and his paper if he did so? I imagine he would treat such an approach as either ethically repugnant or bad for business, depending on how cynical he was. Giving the BNP an advert is not really much different, however legitimate they would like us to believe they are, given the leadership’s strong links to Nazism, anti-Semitism and racial violence.

Mr Murray continues:

You also ask why we didn’t look to get comment from anti-fascists; it’s simply because we would always look to get reaction from local politicians first because we’re a local newspaper.

This avoids the thrust of the question which was why the Skegness Standard gave an uncritical report of the BNP’s protest. Were there really no “local politicians” who opposed the BNP’s march? It seems unlikely. The only person quoted in the Standard’s front page feature on the BNP march was the regional organiser, Robert Ashton. If this isn’t bias it is extremely poor journalism and either way Mr Murray is culpable.

Clearly Mr Murray is not going to take responsibility for his paper’s lapses so it might be worth going to the next level. Thanks to Worthing’s Porkbolter for this suggestion:

People might also want to ask the CEO of the publishing group that owns the Skegness Standard why it’s supporting fascism. The firm is Johnston Press and the head honcho is Ashley Highfield – email ashley.highfield@jpress.co.uk or tweet him at @ashleyhi


Mar 10 2013

The Skegness Standard supports fascism

The BNP has recently announced that its Lincolnshire Coastal Branch, organised by Grimsby’s Robert Ashton, will be holding another day of action in Skegness next weekend. The BNP will be meeting from 11.30am on Sat 16th March, with the intention of marching to the Heath Road halal abattoir. Last time they met at The Victoria, 23 Wainfleet Road. We don’t imagine they will have moved far but you can call them on 07714009285 to find out. They are even taking the party’s Lie Lorry for a spin around the streets – let’s hope that there are no low bridges in Skegness! Party activists will, once again,  be crying crocodile tears and pretending to care about animal rights but in reality they are more interested in persecuting Muslims.

Interestingly, local paper The Skegness Standard seems to be propping them up, giving the fascists “ground breaking” advertising space for their demo. Readers may remember that after the last BNP demo in January, the Standard gave the BNP a totally uncritical feature article, which will undoubtedly have been a boost for them. Either the people running the paper are totally naive or are sympathetic to the fascists.

We have written to the Standard’s editor, Philip Murray, asking him why his publication is giving support to the fascist BNP. We ask that anti-fascists contact Mr Murrary to find out why his publication is promoting a party led by a holocaust denier that has a racist and authoritarian ideology:

Skegness Standard
Unit 22
The Hildreds
Skegness
PE25 3NU

Editor – Philip Murray
Telephone: 01754 897120 Fax: 01754 610987
Email: philip.murray@jpress.co.uk


Feb 8 2013

Boston EDL member arrested for racial abuse

Matt “NFSE” Hickman, a member of the EDL from Boston, has been arrested for a suspected racially-aggravated offence, in what may be the start of a round up of the far right. According to Hickman, police arrested him under S.4 of the Public Order Act (Fear or provocation of violence), in relation to posts made on his Facebook page. He said the police have told him more arrests will be made.ide

MattHickmanNicked 080213

Whilst it is sickening that the state can simply round people up based on posts made on Facebook, we won’t be shedding any tears for Muslim-haters like Hickman. There is no doubt that a great deal of fascist organisation to attack people based on their skin colour or religion occurs on Facebook and this organisation should be disrupted as much as possible.

MHNicked

But which of Hickman’s “top lads” is the grass? And who will be called down to the station next?


Jan 14 2013

BNP fight amongst themselves in Skegness

They may have been hailing their miserable demo as a success in public but privately Lincolnshire Coastal branch of the BNP were fuming. A number of activists were so angry with the mismanagement of the branch and poor advertising of the demo that they handed their membership cards in on the spot!

Posting on the Boston Protest Group page, Dean Everitt moaned about the “crap turnout”. Various explanations were offered such as “People were probably put off by the weather and the BNP” because “BNP means violence to alot of people” and “the BMP [sic] and mismanagement go hand in hand”. The result was that “the bnp who organised it lost a couple of supporters today as they werent happy at all”.

DeanEveritt 120113h

Former BNP member Stu Green was one of those who left in disgust: “after the farce in skegness i handed back my B N P membership card and i wasent the only 1”.

Commenting on the demo, branch organiser Robert Ashton said “it shows we are together of this issue”. As usual, the BNP are lying through their teeth.


Jan 13 2013

Skegness demo attracts 30 fascists

Despite not managing to attract as many people as the even more lunatic National Front did in September, the BNP are hailing their halal demo in Skegness as a success. Their photo depicts just under 30 fascists outside a warehouse in the middle of nowhere.

BNPSkegness Jan13

Unfortunately, the local paper, the Skegness Standard, is helping them along by giving their efforts a feature article. Perhaps this is because a few days ago they decided to publish a letter from an equally unreliable source, the owner of the slaughterhouse, who claimed the BNP’s publicity was helping him find trade. This is probably some hack’s idea of “balance” although of course no anti-fascists or genuine animal rights activists have been quoted.

According to the branch organiser Robert Ashton, the meet-up was intended “to send a coherent message to the community regarding the party’s campaign against ritually slaughtered animals”, something he seems unable to do:

The photograph will document our visit and show we were here at the abattoir in Skegness, it shows we are together of this issue

…whatever that means. Maybe that they don’t agree on much else?

However pathetic their demo, it is a major success for the BNP that they were able to semi-publicly organise a demonstration and leafleting session unopposed. In the absence of a non-racist animal rights campaign, the BNP are being able to lead the campaign against the slaughterhouse. In the absence of an organised local anti-fascist movement, they are able to take their poisonous message to the streets freely.

The branch say the party will be back for another demo in Feb or March to “gain strength for its party locally”. Let’s hope that next time they do not have such an easy ride.


Jan 10 2013

BNP demo re-direction point revealed

The BNP will be meeting at The Victoria on Wainfleet Road for their Day of Action against Skegness’ Muslims from 11.30-12.00 this Saturday. According to our source, the landlord knows about the event and is supportive. The pub is not far from the halal slaughterhouse on Heath Road.

The Victoria can be contacted on 01754 765124.

Don’t forget to let the BNP know you’re coming: 07714009285.


Jan 9 2013

BNP to hold Day of Action in Skegness

Lincolnshire Coastal branch of the BNP have announced that they will be holding a “Day of Action” against the Skegness halal abattoir this weekend. They are meeting at 11.30am on Saturday 12th and advise interested parties to call 0771 4009285 to receive re direction point details.

The local BNP have been trying to exploit objections to the opening of a halal slaughterhouse for their own racist agenda since the summer and party leader Nick Griffin popped over for a demo in October. The BNP do not protest similarly cruel processes routinely carried out in factory farming or kosher slaughter, which is essentially the same as halal, choosing to focus solely on Muslims. They are not genuinely interested in animal welfare; they are just jumping on a bandwagon in the hope of getting support.

The Lincolnshire Coastal Branch is run by Robert Ashton, a “sales and marketing executive” who runs UK Indoor Cycling in his hometown of Holton-le-clay, Grimsby. He reckons the local BNP have had record numbers of enquiries since the news of the slaughterhouse’s opening was announced. We will see what this translates into on the street on Saturday.

Robert Ashton gets the Griffin treatment

Robert Ashton gets the Griffin treatment

The BNP are not the only fascist group to have a go at latching onto the issue. The National Front went as far as holding a poorly attended national demo of has-been Nazis while confined to a park in September. Other campaigns against the slaughterhouse have distanced themselves from the far right’s fake concern, which is clearly seen as a major setback and embarrassment to their cause.


Nov 26 2012

Racist attacks in Lincoln and Bingham

Earlier this month, a gang of drunken racists who attacked a student in Lincoln were found guilty of racially aggravated assault and harassment and jailed. The group shouted racist abuse at University of Lincoln student, Nadir Ali, before punching and kicking him. An Irish shopper who tried to intervene also received racist abuse.

Meanwhile, last Friday in Bingham a Muslim family had a cross wrapped in ham and set on fire left on their doorstep in a clearly religiously-motivated act of harassment. This is exactly the kid of spiteful childish act that the local EDL specialise in. After all, it’s not long ago that Nottingham EDL activists Chris Payne, Nicky Long, Wayne Havercroft and Robert Parnham left a pig’s head on a stick at the site of a mosque in Nottingham.

Chris Payne (2nd from left) and friends: Local specialists in pork-based hate crime

Anti-Muslim attacks are an increasingly prevalent “hate crime” and it is groups like the EDL and BNP who are inciting them and their supporters who are carrying them out.


Nov 19 2012

UKIP dominate Boston protest

Yesterday’s demonstration against immigration in Boston seemed to have been a moderate success for the right. In the end, the protest drew 150-300 people according to the Boston Standard. The event seems to have been dominated by local UKIP politician, Chris Pain, whose party’s flag was prominently positioned behind the speakers. Indeed, most of the placards displayed an anti-EU sentiment rather than outright xenophobia. Even so, it is worrying that an implicitly anti-foreigner event has drawn such a big turnout.

Protest organiser, Dean Everitt, searches for new ideas

EDL members from Lincolnshire, Nottingham and East Anglia traveled to take part in the event which was also trumpeted by BNP activist Craig Farnsworth. Their relatively small and muted presence (they didn’t feel confident enough to openly display their far right affiliations) was eclipsed by the better funded and more politically acceptable (to some!) politics of UKIP. However, that hasn’t stopped them from crowing about their success and how this small acorn will grow into a mighty oak and other such nonsense.

It is clear that, given the collapse of their own movements, the far right are now looking to other issues to piggyback on in the hope of finding new recruits and new forums for them to infect with their politics.  Anti-fascists need to be alert to these tactics and be countering their arguments with our own perspective on global capitalist politics. It is only where the only voices are those blaming foreigners rather than the forces of international capital that the falsehoods pedaled by the extreme right can take hold.

The apparent success of the protest has led to the inevitable unimaginative response. They are going to hold another protest in the neighbouring town of Spalding some time in the future, presumably to keep flogging this horse until it’s well and truly dead.


Nov 15 2012

Boston protest is a far right event

This Sunday will see an anti-immigration march take place in Boston, Lincolnshire. In the past, organiser Dean Everitt has made a big fuss about avoiding being “hijacked” by the far right but we can reveal that Sunday’s static demonstration at the Herbert Ingram memorial is a solidly far right event.

Dean Everitt has shown support for the Infidels of Britain, BNP and EDL on Facebook and of the 100 odd people who have signed up on Facebook, many are far right organisers and activists. They include Lincolnshire EDL organiser, Daz Healey, partner of Tony Curtis and former EDL speaker, Tracie Bird, organiser of the recent EDL demo in Norwich, Sam Burgess, BNP activist and in charge of the New Daily Patriot far right news site, Craig Farnworth, East Anglian EDL organiser, Ivan Humble, Shane Overton (Lincoln EDL), Sonya Greenberry-Coleman (Nottingham EDL) and Andy Reynolds (East Anglian EDL). Those who maybe going include Geoff Mitchell (East Anglian EDL), Louise Walsh (Nottingham EDL), Dom Woodhead (Keighley EDL), Tony Ball (Sunderland EDL), John Morrow (EDL) and Roy Wolfshead (CxF). The list of those invited includes British Freedom Party founder, Simon Bennett, Derbyshire BNP organiser, Paul Hilliard and Derbyshire BNP candidate, Emma Roper.

Dean Everitt: Organiser of the Boston Protest Group and currently under investigation for assault and criminal damage

Tracie Bird, EDL speaker, partner of Tony Curtis and going to Boston this weekend

Sam Burgess, organiser of EDL demo in Norwich and fond of getting off on his own reflection

Craig Farnworth, BNP activist who runs the New Daily Patriot

Lincoln EDL member, Shane Overton, gets ready to “peacefully protest”

Considering the mess the EDL and BNP are in at the moment this could be a relatively big event for them and there will doubtless be more turning up who aren’t foolish enough to announce their presence on Facebook. It is quite hard to see how they this fits in with the stated mission of the EDL to combat “Islamic extremism” but when times are hard the far right turn to whatever cause they think is populist and likely to garner support for their own flagging organisations.

Local migrant rights organisations have expressed their worry about the demonstration turning ugly and resulting in violence and harassment of migrant workers and their families in the area. Given the kind of people who are pledging to turn up and the followers they will bring with them, it does not seem unreasonable. Let’s hope the people of Boston show them the same lack of respect they have done so far.