7 May 2009

May 9th - Great Yarmouth Mass Canvass

Saturday, May 9th

Dear Visitor,

The purpose of this message is to alert you to the very real possibility of the British National Party gaining seats on both Norfolk County Council and in the European Parliament in the forthcoming combined County Council/Euro elections.

We believe you will agree with us that such an eventuality will shame Norfolk and lead to a deterioration in community relations.


Prior to the 2007 local elections the BNP presence in Norfolk was tiny but since then its membership numbers have increased dramatically. There is now a significant BNP presence in Great Yarmouth, Norwich and King's Lynn, and the party has taken pains to transform the local organisation into a viable electoral machine. BNP leaders Nick Griffin, Arthur Kemp and experienced elections organiser Eddy Butler have taken a special interest in Norfolk BNP and each of them has made repeated visits to the county to motivate and train their members.

As a result the BNP has announced that it intends to stand a full slate of candidates in the Euro elections and that a "significant number" of candidates will seek election to Norfolk County Council.

Please don't be under any illusions. The BNP means business and on current form has every chance of success in Norfolk.

In 2007 the BNP stood two candidates in West Norfolk's North Lynn ward. Between them they took 34% of the vote and one candidate narrowly missed election. It's important to note that this was the first time the BNP stood in this ward and that the party undertook no canvassing. It does not intend to make the same mistake twice.

In 2006 the National Front's Tom Holmes took 24.9% of the vote in Great Yarmouth's Nelson Ward - the highest National Front vote ever. Had the BNP fought this ward with its less extreme image, better resources, election experience and larger membership there is every prospect that a BNP councillor would now be sitting on the Borough Council.

Across the country the loss of votes to the BNP is affecting all the mainstream political parties. In recent local by-elections "paper" BNP candidates have been taking anything between 10%-20% of the vote. As we write, a by-election in Manchester's Moston ward has produced a BNP vote of 23.3%, much of it gained at the expense of both Labour and the Conservatives. The BNP fought no discernable campaign in Moston. And last month the BNP gained a councillor in Swanley ward (Sevenoaks) - the first time it had ever stood in the ward.

The pace and scale of the BNP's electoral growth has been alarming. The party now poses a threat in Norfolk that any person who believes in democracy and good community relations can no longer ignore. And that includes you!


The BNP is desperate to gain MEPs in the forthcoming Euro elections. To that end it is mounting its biggest and most professional election campaign ever. In the Eastern Region the party hopes to scrape together enough rag tag and bobtail votes to take it past the 10% required to gain one MEP.

On current form that is not only possible but likely - unless we work together to stop them.

The BNP intends to tithe the salaries of its MEPs and will expect them to claim full expenses, which will then be channelled back into the party. For the first time in its history the party will have access to funding on a scale previously unheard of, with which it intends to "professionalise" itself and to establish itself as a permanent, growing and influential presence on the political stage.

It is vital that all who value democracy and freedom and who wish to keep racist politics out of Norfolk come together and rise to the BNP's challenge.

To that end the non-party politcal HOPE not hate campaign is organising a number of high profile events in Norfolk.

The first of these will take place in Great Yarmouth on Saturday, May 9th.


We are inviting MPs, MEPs, councillors and members of ALL mainstream political parties, members of Church and other religious groups, community organisations, trade unions and members of the public to sink their differences for just FOUR HOURS on May 9th and to join together in a show of unity aimed at raising awareness of the true nature of the BNP and of increasing voter turnout - the best chance we have of defeating the British National Party.

Our activity will take the form of a mass moving canvass and literature distribution session, starting in the Market Place, moving down Regent Road to the Britannia Pier, then reversing the route. The idea is to engage directly with members of the public. The local Press and TV news will be on hand to interview participants.

Non-party political literature devised by HOPE not hate will be made freely available to all participants courtesy of Great Yarmouth and District Trades Council. We regret that we will be unable to cover any personal expenses incurred.

We strongly urge you to get involved in the campaign to halt the BNP by donating FOUR HOURS of your free time on May 9th - four hours to stop the BNP shaming Norfolk and the East of England!

Please reply to this email as soon as possible - and please pass it on to other interested parties!

Your participation is vital!

Meeting point: Corner of Market Gates/Market Place, Great Yarmouth
Date: Saturday May 9th
Time: 10.00 a.m.
Duration: 10.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m.
Organised by: HOPE not hate, supported by Great Yarmouth and District Trades Council
Contact: AD Stewart (07880 686634) L Sutton (07935 722892)
Email: norfolk@unitywebring.com
Webpage: http://unitywebring.com/hopenothate/


Issued on behalf of Great Yarmouth and District Trades Council.


Anonymous said...

I attended the Great Yarmouth Mass Canvas on 9th May. Was a little disappointed by the turnout but thought is was a good way of getting across the dangers of the BNP.
As a result, I have rejoined the Labour Party which I had left a year previously. My main reason for rejoining was that I realised that, whatever the faults, it is important to support and vote for any party that will keep these these racists out of office.

Atreus said...

We did well, Anon - more than well.

It was the BBC's Clive Lewis who gave us the 45 total attendance over the course of the activity, so that wasn't bad at all.