18 November 2008

Humiliation for Griffin as BNP membership list turns up on the Internet

Embarrassed BNP admits its members list has been published online

There was panic at the centre of the British National Party tonight after it emerged that its entire membership list had been published on the internet.

The names, addresses and telephone numbers of more than 10,000 current and former members were published on a specially created web page.

Along with the names and personal details, the professions of many of the members have been made public including teachers, scientists, a government employee and at least one serving police officer.

One police woman on the list, whose entry included a note asking for discretion, faces potential dismissal since officers are proscribed from joining the right-wing political party.

The Association of Chief Police Officers ruled four years ago that officers would be investigated and face losing their posts if they joined bodies which conflicted with the force's duty to promote race equality.

Simon Darby, the BNP's spokesman, claimed that a disgruntled former member of the party was most likely to be behind the leak. The party succeeded in winning a High Court injunction against a former member preventing them from publishing the material in April.

Mr Darby warned that whoever had published it had made a serious mistake. “If we find out the name of the person who published this list it will turn out to be one of the most foolish things they have done in their life,” he said.

“I wouldn’t want to have done that – I wouldn’t be sleeping very well tonight. We are worried because children’s names are on the list.

“No true nationalist would have put the lives and livelihoods of fellow nationalists at risk.”

Mr Darby said the BNP had contacted the owner of the website which has been hosting the list since Sunday demanding that they take the personal information down, although he conceded: "Once it's out, it's out."

A similar leak of BNP members occurred last year exposing Simone Clarke, a prominent ballerina, as a member of the party. Her details including home address and private e-mail address were published in the latest leak.

Rank and file party members were also distressed tonight fearing that their details were now also in the public domain.

The forums of far-right blogs and websites were humming with concerned and furious users. One anonymous poster wrote: “I could lose my job. I'm bloody angry.”

Another on the NorthWestNationalists blog blamed Nick Griffin, the party leader, for the security violation: “If Griffin cannot keep the memberships secure he should resign.”

Amongst teachers and prison officers who specifically asked for discretion on the published list were a host of far more unusual professionals including people described as Christian lay preachers, retired historians, driving instructors and psychic healers.

The Times

A rare glimpse into true nature of the party’s bedrock support

The panic began just before bedtime when a member of the British National Party surfing the internet noticed that its entire personal details had appeared online. “Jesus H. Christ!” the far-right supporter wrote to the message board of a sympathetic blog at 23.19 on Monday. “Its true, I’ve just seen my details. Who in the BNP has done this?”

By last night, the web was buzzing with nervous nationalists and gleeful anti-fascists exchanging taunts about the extraordinary breach of security.

The membership list provides a rare glimpse into the true nature of the bedrock support for the BNP, which believes it is on the brink of winning its first seat in next year’s elections for the European Parliament.

Many members have a fascination with mystical ideas of England, giving their own homes or e-mail addresses names associated with paganism, and Viking and Saxon history.

There are 16 serving and more than 50 former soldiers, along with a score of ex-police officers and a sizeable crop of driving instructors. Names include civil servants, estate agents and a knight. One is a witch. Another is a vicar. There is a lecturer in human rights and data protection and a former member of Mensa.

The BNP’s purported database includes personal notes on members who have skills that might prove useful. “Public speaker . . . HGV licence . . . musician” are recorded. Language skills are outlined.

Some of the contact information is inaccurate, by error or design. Possibly codes have been used. The mobile number for an English scientist said to require discretion because of his job was answered yesterday by a Glas-wegian who let out a torrent of abuse.

However, The Timeswas able to use the list yesterday to contact numerous BNP members who have kept their identities secret until now. Their e-mail addresses, mobile and home telephone numbers were correct.

Hobbies, also meticulously listed for some members, include birdwatching, steam railways and line dancing. Many children’s details are included because the party offers family membership for £40 a year. The address and home telephone number of Nick Griffin, the party leader, are disclosed.

Some have lost patience with awaiting a new nationalist dawn for Britain and have left the country. There are addresses from the US, Saudi Arabia and the Irish Republic.

In spite of its growing electoral success, support for – let alone membership of – the BNP remains taboo. The Association of Chief Police Officers says that membership is incompatible with being a police officer.

Mr Griffin pointed out that, after a smaller leak two years ago when an investigative journalist joined the party, nobody was sacked for memership.

Harry Baxter, 90, a former army major from Surrey, was furious at being identified and said he would be contacting his solicitor. “You can rub me off and count me out,” he told The Times. “I do not have anything to do with them [the BNP] now, but that’s beside the point. It has nothing to do with anybody. It is no one’s business. “ Fear and loathing began appearing on the blogs from early yesterday.

“Holy sh*t,” one member posted to North West Nationalists at 1.30am. “Just what the **** is going on? Did it get out over the weekend, was it stolen by reds hacked or what?”

2.01 “The most shocking thing is some of the comments by the names! God help anyone who is in the army, the [prison] service, health care, police officer or a teacher. You’re all ****ed! For some reason too, a lot of the unmarried women have their ages by their names, is this for the benefit of a certain person or persons?”

2.01 “Me [too], I’m on the list, I could be chucked out of the army. What is going on? P*ss up in a brewery comes to mind. Who controls the membership list? Clearly old Griffo doesn’t give a sh*t! I want some answers, NOW”

11.11 “You have to laugh. All those redirection points, hush hush meetings, and the BNP goes and loses the most valuable piece of information it has. Each one of those names translates into money. Who wants to renew now knowing the BNP will just give your details up to a bunch of communist loonies, who damage cars, property, throw bombs, and threaten the lives of children? Oh yes, the reds paint nasty pictures of BNP members, but amongst their ranks, particularly in Manchester, are some of the most [murderous] scum that ever walked. The membership should demand Griffin stand down over this breach. He has put thousands of members at risk, and proved unfit to lead.”

12.09 “This is a DISASTER for the BNP, both on a PR front and a security level. Heads should roll and Im afraid that the buck has to stop with the chairman. He has been good for the BNP but this is a blunder too far.

“If he wont resign or says the error was someone elses then he should sack all of those involved in the compilation and storage of members details, All of them.” 12.49 “The [recession] means many of us could lose our jobs, add this info to it and its a dead cert. I’m really upset, how could they do this?”

The Times

Thousands in fear after BNP members list leak

Soldiers, police officers, teachers and doctors were in fear for their jobs last night after the entire membership list of the far-right British National Party was posted on the internet.

More than 12,000 names, home addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail contact details were included in a major breach of data protection.

The identities and ages of school-children with family memberships were also disclosed. Some supporters were listed with comments such as “discretion required – employment concerns”. A number even had their hobbies recorded.

The BNP said that the revelation could leave its members vulnerable to violent attack. Nick Griffin, the party leader, issued a statement saying that the list was “essentially genuine”. He said that it was an old membership list that had been “slightly modified”. A number of named individuals had never been members, he added.

Speculation was growing about whether the leak came from a member angry about internal feuding or from an anti-racist infiltrator.

Simon Darby, the party’s spokesman, said that a disgruntled former member was the most likely source. The BNP won a High Court injunction against a former member in April preventing the material being used.

Mr Darby issued a thinly veiled warning that whoever was responsible had made a serious mistake. “If we find out the name of the person who published this list it will turn out to be one of the most foolish things they have done in their life,” he told The Times. “I wouldn’t want to have done that – I wouldn’t be sleeping very well tonight. We are worried because children’s names are on the list. It is not information that should be in the public domain. We are always receiving death threats. No true nationalist would have put the lives and livelihoods of fellow nationalists at risk.”

Keiron Lemar, a former soldier who served in Iraq with the Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry, was appalled to discover that even his Service number was included in the entry. He told The Times that he joined the party while a soldier, although he was aware that the British Army frowned upon BNP membership.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” he said. “I work for an energy company. I’m worried about that because in my job I go round people’s houses. I’m involved in all sorts of walks of life. I don’t know how they would look on

The Times

How Lancaster Unity broke the news

Entire BNP membership list goes online

Before reading this, you should appreciate that there are very strict limitations on what we are allowed to print and we intend to stay strictly within the law in the comments that we allow.

Having said all that, this breach of data security is startlingly bad for the BNP, not simply for the fact that the party has lost data - almost everyone seems to have managed to do that recently - but for the nature of that information.

Not only does the data, now available online, include the entire membership list with full names (and former names where there have been changes for any reason), addresses, contact numbers, email addresses and in many cases the member's age, particularly where those members are under eighteen. Yes, that's right. This list includes members as young as fourteen, male and female. Where a family membership is bought and paid for, the whole family is listed.

As if this isn't bad enough, the notes that are attached to many of the entries leave a lot of the members open to difficulties in their jobs, some of them being in the armed forces or the police and the BNP too - an illegal combination, and where not illegal, frequently frowned upon. Other members are noted as construction managers, receptionists, district nurses, lay preachers, police officers, company directors and teachers among many others.

Like this wasn't enough, the BNP has also listed hobbies or interests where for some reason they are deemed relevant. Thus we have short-wave radio hams, amateur historians, pagans, line-dancers and even a witch (male).

The contributors to nazi sites, many of whom are also members of the BNP, are suddenly in a frenzy, expecting to be outed at any moment. Here's just one comment from the North-West Nationalist blog:

'I've just had a call, I'm on it to. I want my fucking member money back, like has been mentioned here, I could lose my fucking job. I'm bloody angry.'

Not surprising really. I'd be pretty pissed off too.

Curiously, there are quite a number of BNP members abroad, presumably ex-pats or those working abroad temporarily - Australia, the USA, United Arab Emirates, Sao Paulo, Spain and the Netherlands were some that I noticed. Isn't the BNP opposed to foreign workers? I'm sure it was last time I looked.

One final thing (for the moment, because I'm sure this one will run and run): the list appears to include the December rebels. At first, I took this to mean that the membership list was a year out of date but after a good look through, it's become clear that by keeping a running list (as opposed to a clean list each membership year) the party is able to claim a much larger membership than it in fact has. Some of the additions to the list are as recent as September of this year, indicating that some of the members listed - though how many is anyone's guess - are not in fact members at all. The implication is pretty clear (to me, at least) - BNP members are being defrauded when they have been told that the membership is growing exponentially. Take off all the dead members, those who have resigned (many still listed along with their reasons for leaving) and the most recent batch of rebels and the size drops considerably.

It's been suggested that the party's former treasurer John Walker is responsible for posting the list up publicly. We wouldn't know but by doing so, the poster has stuck a stick of dynamite under Griffin's rear end. The consequences and the repercussions may be interesting to watch.

Just as a complete aside, I should point out that we do not have a copy of this list, nor do we want one. The information we had was obtained online and appears suddenly to have been removed, at least for the moment...

Lancaster Unity

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