29 January 2009

BNP leader's sorry story

There’s an internet campaign demanding BNP leader Nick Griffin aplogise for Holocaust denial. Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg – whose Jewish grandparents perished at the hands of the Nazis – explains why he’s signing up.

When I first got the email asking to put name to the petition, I’ll admit I wavered.

The internet is over-stuffed with requests to sign this or join that, and this seemed like just another excuse to hit the “delete” button.

But then I thought again.

My fathers’ parent died as a result of racist extremism, and Griffin’s denial of the fact of their extermination – and that of millions of others – is an insult to their memory.

Compared to their loss of life, the mild inconvenience involved in adding an electronic signature doesn’t seem much does it?

The dossier drawn up by the anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate is certainly a persuasive one.

They recall that during a trial for incitement to racial hatred (for which he was convicted in 1998) Griffin wrote, “I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that 6 million Jews were gassed and cremated or turned into lamp shades.

“Orthodox opinion also once held that the earth is flat ... I have reached the conclusion that the 'extermination' tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie and latter witch-hysteria."

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday Griffin later added: "It's well known that the chimneys from the gas chambers at Auschwitz are fake, built after the war ended."

Griffin has never, so far as I am aware, recanted these views. Now Hope Not Hate are inviting him to simply say sorry – and I’m more than happy to join the clamour.

Come on, Nick. It’s the least you can do.

The Hope Not Hate blurb says it all: “We need your help in fighting back against these disgusting and degrading lies.

The Holocaust remains a horrific scar on humanity's conscience - but the Nazi message of hate still remains a corrosive force within our society.

”It damages all of us.

”Only by confronting and defeating this hate can we build a country based on humanity and justice. We must fight his lies and he must be held to account.

“Please join our campaign to get Griffin to publicly retract these remarks and then invite your friends to do the same.”

Sign the petition here http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/

Adrian Goldberg
The Stirrer

25 January 2009

The biggest anti-fascist campaign ever

The BNP is looking to exploit the recession to win Euro seats; but thousands of people will thwart its message of hate

Over the next few months Searchlight and its HOPE not hate campaign will be gearing up to prevent the BNP from winning seats in the European elections. We anticipate mobilising thousands of activists and delivering over 2 million leaflets and newspapers in what will be the biggest and most intense anti-fascist campaign in history.

And it is needed. The BNP poses a threat in six Euro regions, with as little as 7.5% required in the North West, where the party leader, Nick Griffin, is standing. With Ukip faltering, few local elections and the economy hurtling into recession, we will need everyone who opposes the BNP's message of hate to play a part. A BNP victory will change the political landscape in Britain.

The last few years have seen the British National Party make significant electoral gains across the length and breadth of the political landscape – often off the radar of the political and media class at Westminster, which has remained preoccupied with a very small part of the electoral map that decides Westminster elections: so-called middle Britain.

Quietly but steadily the BNP has been building its support. While many commentators have focused on its traditional heartlands in the Lancashire and Yorkshire mill towns, the BNP has been widening its base across the country. In 2007 the BNP stood 742 council candidates, averaging 14.7% of the vote. Last year they averaged 13.9% in 642 wards. The regional average vote is fairly consistent across the country.

The critical element to this palpable support for the BNP is that it has occurred against the backdrop of extraordinarily benign macroeconomic conditions. Well over a decade of continuous quarter-on-quarter growth, low interest rates, falling unemployment and general prosperity have obscured the economic and cultural issues the BNP has focused on. It has tapped into a deep sense of alienation among many who have not prospered in the good times, a corresponding fracture of working class identity, and indeed demonisation in popular culture – all refracted through the prism of race.

On 15 September last year, when Lehman Brothers went for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US, the world changed. More specifically the world changed in terms of the climate within which the BNP is seeking to gain political traction. Any cursory reading of history suggests that recession and depression breed extremism; everything else being equal, the BNP will expect to benefit from the suffering and the insecurities that will intensify over the coming months and years.

Jon Cruddas and Nick Lowles
Comment Is Free

21 January 2009

Norwich “Hope not Hate” Campaign advance notice of meeting

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (or women) do nothing.

Norwich is being targeted by the British National Party (BNP) who want to stir up hatred and violence on the basis of race, ethnicity and religion.

The British National Party should be of concern to all decent people. It is not a matter solely for politicians. The threat of racism and fascism needs to be addressed before it is too late and that means all good people doing something.

The Norwich “Hope not Hate” campaign will be calling a meeting of representatives of community, faith and other interested groups to bring together people who want to play their part in solving issues fairly and honestly. Together we can bring Hope and defeat those who promote hate. Look out for details of our meeting to be announced soon.

“Hope not Hate” was set up to counter racism and fascism in elections and beyond. Over the past few years the British National Party has seriously contested council elections all over the country and achieved 55 councillors at district/borough level after the May 2008 local elections, though this has since fallen to 54. The BNP is now concentrating all its resources on the European elections, in the hope of getting Nick Griffin elected to the European Parliament. Once there, he would link up with other European fascist parties, to gain international influence and, above all, funding beyond the BNP's dreams.

What We Believe: The Norwich “Hope not Hate” campaign believes that everyone who lives and works in Norwich should be able to do so with dignity, free from prejudice and discrimination. We are sure that the vast majority of people in Norwich share this view.

In particular, the British National Party has hoodwinked a number of people into thinking that it is the only party which understands their concerns about migration, jobs, housing, religion and what it is to be British. They have done this by spreading lies, rumours and myths in communities with particular social problems, hoping and waiting for the powder keg to explode.

Norwich “Hope not Hate” recognises that people across Norwich are concerned about these issues but we also believe that those concerns should be addressed on the basis of facts not fiction, truth not lies, and in ways which bring people together for the good of the whole community - not tearing people apart to the benefit of cynical and dangerous extremists.

‘For further information and interviews please contact: Sid Frisby at sf@sidfrisby.com
Or Phone 07785 575648

17 January 2009

BNP meet under false name

Far-right British National Party members were last night accused of attempting to trick a Norfolk business into hosting their meetings by booking the venue under a bogus name.

The BNP - which has made repeated claims that it has nothing to hide as a legitimate political party - attempted to book a function room at a pub near Norwich under the pseudonym Broadland Historical Society.

An email, seen by the EDP, was sent to members planning to attend the meeting at the White Horse in Trowse on Sunday. It said: “We are in the downstairs meeting room. Use the entrance in the car park… The meeting has been booked under the name Broadland Historical Society. Please be discreet when in the bar area.”

Yesterday, Andrew Coleman, landlord at the White Horse, said he had cancelled the booking the moment he had been warned of the group's true intentions. He plans to put up posters explaining the decision in case any party members have not been informed and arrive on Sunday.

He said: “A lot of groups use our facilities and, when they made the booking, this seemed like a perfectly legitimate organisation.

“We can't get involved in these kinds of politics, particularly as they weren't open and honest about it from the start. It's not the type of people you want your pub to be associated with.

“I've always treated bookings on face value but now I am going to be a lot more suspicious and check out anything which doesn't seem quite right. The worrying thing is that the meeting would have taken place behind closed doors so, if I hadn't been tipped off about this, I would never have known. It's quite possible they're making similar bookings with other businesses without knowing what's going on under their own roof.”

The BNP did not respond to media inquiries yesterday. Its media office telephone was constantly engaged and emails went unanswered.

The meeting was due to be attended by the party's eastern area regional organiser Eddy Butler to discuss upcoming European and county council elections.

Last year, police were called to a BNP meeting at Stoke Holy Cross, near Norwich, attended by controversial leader Nick Griffin. Villagers had already objected to his presence and vandals struck, smashing windscreens and damaging cars with paint, while the meeting took place.

Mr Griffin had defended his right to speak in the county, telling the EDP that most opponents were “silly students and elderly University of East Anglia lecturers who do not represent the people of Norfolk”.

The BNP members' list, which was leaked in November, revealed the party has 12,000 members nationwide, including 220 from Norfolk.

Eastern Daily Press

We're pleased - and proud - to say that Norfolk Unity broke this story on Thursday evening. Thanks "SC".

15 January 2009

Lying Norfolk BNP cons popular Trowse pub

Ever heard of the plausible-sounding Broadland Historical Society?

Nor had we.

That's because it's a lying piece of fiction created by the BNP to con its way into a popular Trowse public house.

Earlier this evening Norfolk Unity called the pub to confirm that a booking had been made for 3.00 p.m. Sunday in the name of the Broadland Historical Society. The lady we spoke to confirmed that it had.

She was deeply shocked to learn that the phony Broadland Historical Society is the BNP. She told us that the "Broadland Historical Society" had used the pub on previous occasions, and that the proprietors never suspected they were playing host to the racist BNP.

An email inviting BNP members and friends along warns: Please be discreet when in the bar area.

The BNP had booked the pub to host a meeting with BNP "elections guru" Eddy Butler, at which the Euro and county council elections were to be discussed - which tells us that the BNP intend to stand candidates in Norfolk. DVDs, badges and other merchandise was also to be sold.

Norfolk Unity is 100% certain that the pub's proprietors knew nothing of the BNP's deceit and we're fairly certain that future bookings on the part of the BNP won't be welcomed.

In fact, as I write I've just heard that the BNP's booking has been cancelled.