Wednesday, 20 May 2009

As the BNP's "moderate" facadé unravels, the spin begins...

The British National Party, in a massive drive to combat "smears" against them in the final run towards the European elections, have been hard at work "refuting" the "lies" about them being spread by the "controlled media." Or, at least, they have been trying to make it look that way. The truth is that the BNP's "modernisation" has focused around wrapping up bigotry in sophistry, and they are incensed at seeing that exposed.

An article in the News of the World, claimed that the BNP "launched an outrageous attack on a decorated Iraq war hero - claiming he only got the Victoria Cross because he is BLACK." According to the paper, "the vile BNP denounced brave Johnson Beharry for being "an immigrant" and tried to belittle his heroics - which saved the lives of 30 comrades - as no more than "routine"."

The BNP have claimed that the News of the World's claims "can easily be refuted by simply reading the original article." Taking them at their word, here is exactly what it says about Beharry;
The hopeless Sun and Telegraph articles also quote Johnson Beharry, an immigrant from Grenada who entered the UK in 1999 and controversially won a VC in Iraq.

Beharry was clearly dragged out only because of his ethnicity to attack the BNP. He told The Sun: “Selling fake VCs is very disrespectful. The honour of the medal and its history shouldn’t be tarnished like this.”

Quite apart from the fact that replica VCs are also sold by the National Army Museum, and therefore is also condemned in his words, the awarding of the VC to Beharry himself was shrouded in controversy, with critics saying that all he did was drive away very fast from a combat zone.

The action for which Beharry was awarded a VC took place in Iraq on 1 May 2004, when the vehicle he was driving was ambushed. Beharry drove through the ambush to safety - as have hundreds and hundreds of other British soldiers in Iraq under similar circumstances.

This type of action is so common in combat zones, that it actually happened again to Beharry on 11 June 2004, when an identical scenario played itself out.

Despite the fact of driving through an ambush is actually routine for all military vehicles drivers in the British Army in Iraq, the politically correct Ministry of Defence decided to elevate this particular occasion to something worthy of the VC.

At the time, critics pointed out that the VC was normally only awarded for gallant acts of bravery such as the Defence of Rorke’s Drift, head on enemy attacks such as in the trenches of World War I and so on - and that driving a vehicle through an ambush hardly compares to any of these deeds.

Critics suggested that the only reason that Beharry was singled out for a VC was because of a made-up “positive discrimination” directive by the PC-mad government. The less kind critics might now say that possibly Beharry should be the one to be wearing a replica VC instead of a real one.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't alleging that the reason Beharry "was singled out for a VC was because of a made-up “positive discrimination” directive by the PC-mad government" little more than a long-winded way of saying he “only got a VC because he was black?” More than that, his actions were far from "routine," and in fact occurred "in direct face of the enemy, under intense fire, at great personal risk to himself (one leading to him sustaining very serious injuries)," according to the official Victoria Cross website. The injuries incurred in what the BNP call "[driving] through the ambush to safety" being so great that once safe "Beharry collapsed from the sheer physical and mental exhaustion of his efforts and was subsequently himself evacuated."

Meanwhile, North East candidate Adam Walker, who previously achieved fame for making "critical comments about Islam, asylum seekers and immigrants" during class time when a teacher, has also been on the offensive. He has "denied all knowledge of an election leaflet published in his name," according to the Northern Echo, and insisted that "we do not have a leaflet which mentions anything to do with the Gurkhas." "It could be a third party smear – we have that happening on a regular basis."

The Sun, responsible for printing the original story, has since removed it from its website, and the BNP have claimed victory over a newspaper that "has rejected truth and morality for political opportunism" and "lied in order to sell its paper" more than once before. Certainly, this allegation is utterly true, and the Sun's lies over Hillsborough - and more recent incidents such as the alleged hounding of squaddies by Muslims - damage its credibility more than a bit.

But who do you believe in a row between two known liars? I have absolutely no love for the the Sun, nor any wish to see its vindication, but compare the remarks made by Nick Griffin on BBC Radio 5 Live;
We don't think the most overcrowded country in Europe, can realistically say, 'Look, you can all come and all your relatives.'

When the Gurkhas signed up - frankly as mercenaries - they expected a pension which would allow them to live well in their own country.

Because of economic development in Nepal, the British Army pension isn't now enough for them to be able to do that. It would be cheaper for us and probably far better for the Gurkhas to say, 'Why don't we just increase your pension so that more of you can live in Nepal rather than coming to Britain?'
To those in the offending leaflet, above right. The leaflet roundly endorses Griffin's earlier call for the Gurkhas to, essentially, be paid to go home in the middle of his half-baked insistence that he supports them.

The leaflet could well be a smear, as the BNP insist. It could even be, as one commenter on the Lancaster Unity blog put it, that "The Sun published it, not to discredit the BNP, but to discredit attempts to discredit the BNP." Or, though the party will continue to deny it, it could well be real. Whatever the case, it highlights the backwards attitude of the BNP leadership over this issue, which they have yet to deny in any form.

Moreover, it shows how strained and desperate the party are becoming, as their "moderate" facadé unravels.

UPDATE: 22/05/09

The following, additional, exposé of BNP spin comes courtesy of the Lancaster Unity blog;

On Tuesday we carried the Mirror's report of "BNP mum" Helen Forster's conviction for intimidation, earned after she and a mob of children besieged the home of terrified neighbour Mrs Meherjan Miah. Single mother and benefits claimant Forster, who has prior convictions for dishonesty and drug possession, was let off with a 10 month suspended sentence.

The Mirror reported that after her conviction Forster demanded that the local council "move on" Mrs Miah to prevent further incidents and confirmed her membership of the BNP - "And yes, I'm still in the BNP."

The BNP, stung and clearly rattled by a succession of negative press reports, immediately mobilised its farcical (and largely fictitious) "Operation Fightback" to search for holes in the Mirror's story, and was soon claiming to have found the biggest hole of all - that Helen Forster, given address XX Xxxx Place, Gravesend, Kent, was not and never had been a member of the BNP!

Very quickly the party's Operation Fightback dispatched a hysterical email entitled "Fight back against Mirror lies!", saying
BNP South East regional organiser Andy McBride has dismissed the story as nonsense saying that the person in question is NOT a BNP member, either current or in the archives. This has been confirmed by our Membership Department.

This latest smear job is a complete fabrication. We need all our online supporters to take a few minutes to lodge a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission...
Somebody, then, was lying. Was it the Mirror? Was it Helen Forster? Was it the BNP?

This was quickly followed by an email from Nick Griffin, who said:
Today the leftwing Mirror newspaper published an outrageous and vile smear attack on the BNP claiming that a certain Helen Forster was a "BNP mum" and that she incited youngsters into a racial attack.

Operation Fightback immediately hit back with press releases and e-bulletins holding the Mirror to account for one little inaccuracy: Helen Forster is NOT a member of the BNP and NEVER has been!

Operation Fightback has produced a video detailing the whole saga..
And indeed, in suspiciously double-quick time, the BNP had produced a video, in which an indignant Paul Golding allegedly "tracked down" and doorstepped Helen Forster. According to the BNP's website, Golding "tracked down the person named in the Mirror story, Helen Forster" - note the semantic difference made by the qualification "the person named".

That struck a number of BNP watchers as odd, as did the despatch with which Golding arrived on Miss Forster's doorstep.

A post accompanying Golding's video, both appearing ON THE SAME DAY as the Mirror's report, had this to say:
She [Helen Forster] told BNPtv that the Mirror story was a pack of lies, that her family’s safety had been endangered by the story and that she was going to take legal action against that newspaper.

Ms Foster said she was not a member of the BNP, and that the only reason why the Mirror had invented this pack of lies was to try and damage the BNP’s campaign.

Cllr Golding told BNP News that the Press Complaints Commission had been formally notified of this latest set of lies.

“We are not going to sit idly by while the controlled media lie about our party,” Cllr Golding said. “The Mirror can rest assured that we will be proceeding with all legal channels to make sure that they are punished for this outrageous fabrication. They will learn the hard way that we now have the capability to expose their lies.

“This latest story utterly discredits these media rats, and the public will now be able to soberly assess the veracity of all future anti-BNP smears against this background,” he said.
Indeed the public will "be able to soberly assess the veracity of all future anti-BNP smears against this background", since there is now little doubt that both the BNP and "Helen Forster" were lying through their teeth.

Last night an interesting post appeared on UKIP's British Democracy Forum, here reproduced in full:
Posted by Mark Croucher - Another BNP Councillor caught lying

Just thought this little illustration of the depths the BNP are prepared to sink to would be of interest in this section.

This morning, the Daily Mirror reported on a BNP activist convicted of waging a campaign of racial hatred against a neighbour in Gravesend, Kent.

The BNP promptly despatched their 'Rapid Response Unit' to interview her. The unit, headed by Councillor Golding of Sevenoaks District Council, said that the woman named, Helen Forster, had never been a BNP member and was not known to the party. They then interviewed her on her doorstep saying how disgraceful it was that the Mirror was attempting to 'set up' the BNP.

Living locally, seeing the front door rang a bell: I live in Dartford, about 7 miles from Gravesend. It just so happens that that particular front door is just around the corner from where I used to work, and I have friends who live very close. So, on the way home this evening, I took a spin down to Gravesend and, sure enough, the house was the correct one: Snipped, Gravesend. So, I popped into my friends house and asked if they knew who lived there, and imagine my surprise (not) to be told that it was a Helen Colclough, who also calls herself Helen Forster. Naturally, I was even more surprised (not) to discover that she was known locally as a BNP activist and member who - wait for it - likes to tell people that she designs leaflets for the BNP.

So, not only did Cllr Golding lie twice - once about her not being a member, and once about the Mirror story not being true - but Ms Forster/Colclough was also in on the lying act by claiming to have never been a member of the BNP.

Given the amount of copies of the BNPs membership lists which are floating around, I'm sure someone can confirm this.
Now it just so happens that the leaked BNP membership list is freely available at numerous locations which can be accessed by anybody with an internet connection - and guess what?

There, listed as living at XX Xxxx Place, Gravesend, Kent is one Helen Colclough, Activist, who gives her email address as the clearly racist

And so we have an explanation as to how Paul Golding came to arrive on "Forster's" doorstep with such speed, and for that curious qualification "the person named... as Helen Forster".

It's because the BNP knew all along that "Helen Forster" was "Helen Colclough", but - as ever - intent on pulling the wool over the eyes of the public, the Press Complaints Commission, and its own gullible membership, the upper echelons of the BNP decided to concoct a cock-and-bull story and in so doing yet again pointed their own gun firmly at their own temple and smirkingly pulled the trigger.

By what defect of his vision Regional Organiser Andy McBride allegedly failed to notice that the much published Mirror photograph of "Helen Forster" bore an uncannily striking resemblance to his own activist, Helen Colclough, is something we'll have to get back to you on.