Friday, April 30, 2010

Moving with the times

Not so long ago the BNP's 'big plan' to deal with the housing shortage in Barking and Dagenham was to park 1,000 caravans in the borough on waste ground and use them for local authority housing.

The 'plan' such as it was, rightly attracted ridicule. So back to the drawing board the BNP went.

So what is the BNP"s big idea to deal with the social housing shortage in the borough?

Well, it appears to be a two-pronged strategy.

In a BBC London interview earlier in the week, councillor Richard Barnbrook said that immigrants living in council houses and flats would be forced to move into tower blocks in the borough. "If we find Labour putting people into council stock that haven't got the right to be here then those people - I'm terribly sorry - will be removed from their council houses into flats in tower blocks."
(Presumably the ones in the Goresbrook estate?) At a stroke, freeing up council properties for the indigenous white population. Hurrah.

Ah, but a problem - Mr Barnbrook's wheeze would affect illegal immigrants in the borough - except the council doesn't house any. So how many would be moved? Err... precisely none.

Oh well. But have no fear, BNP leader Nick Griffin has had a blinding idea. he wants to offer 'non-whites' 50,000 to leave the country and return to the 'land of their ancestors.

Griffin said on yesterday morning's Today programme that the scheme would be open to about 180,000 people a year - at a cost of £50,000 per person. So every year the BNP would give £90 million to people of colour to get the hell out of Dodge.

How many people in Barking and Dagenham would be offered this is, as yet, unclear.

In the meantime, when the BNP take control of Barking and Dagenham council next week no doubt one fot heir first measures will be to instruct council officers that the council housing waiting list is redrawn to ensure every priority person on the list is white. No doubt council officers will have to make house visits to check on the racial background of borough residents which would involve asking for their birth certificates, those of their parents and their grand parents. I mean, you can't be too sure. To make this work - BNP councillors will have to be sure that housing goes to 'locals' who can show that they are born and bred in the borough and come from good indigenous white working class stock. And while they are it - why not take swabs from people's mouths to check on their DNA to work out their origins. Well, we know that Mr Griffin is a big fan of DNA searches.

So there you have it folks - what the BNP will do in a week's time if they get the chance.

Racial profiling to get a council flat or house in Barking and Dagenham.

That'll be fun. And what happens if their's a mixed race couple near the top of the waiting list - what happens to them Mr Griffin and Mr Barnbrook?

Maybe one gets a council flat and the other gets sent to a damp tower block.


It makes as much sense as every other BNP idea for the borough.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Multi-tasking the BNP way

The Sunday Telegraph at the weekend mentioned in passing - Chris Robert's one of the BNP's candidates in next month's local council elections in the borough. Chris isn't from the borough. In fact he lives in Benfleet, near Southend, around 20 miles from Barking. However, in his nomination form, Mr Roberts gives an address in Arden Crescent, Dagenham — which just happens to be the home of the BNP’s London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook.

Now Chris is going to have an interesting few weeks between now and polling day because in addition to standing for Barking and Dagenham council and seeking the support of the good people of Valance ward, he's also, as it happens, the BNP's prospective parliamentary candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock.

Basildon, Barking and Dagenham - same thing really.....Would be interesting to know how Mr Robert's plans to campaign. Is it one day in the borough, the next in Basildon and Thurrock? Or does he shuttle back and forward kissing babies and canvassing in both?

This is the same Chris Roberts incidentally who on 09 October 2009 said: "Any tom, dick or harry can pitch up to help deliver leaflets."

One's things for sure as far as Barking and Dagenham is considered, he's standing at a time when the BNP group on the council is at a low ebb.

So impressive has been the leadership of messrs Bailey and Barnbrook - that half their current colleagues have decided to quit - so the Doncaster's (x3) Steed, Tuffs and Jarvis aren't standing for re-election next month. Now if one wanted to be unkind, one could say that this is no great loss given their total failure to (turn-up) or to do any casework on behalf of local residents.
But it's quite a turnover of personnel.

Here's hoping that councillors Bailey and Barnbrook encourage teh BNP's new council candidates to actually take their responsibilties seriously if they are successful at the ballot box on May 6th.

I wouldn't put money on it however.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just good friends

All friends together.....

You’ve got it hand it to the BNP in Barking and Dagenham, they are a friendly lot – always in each other’s houses. Putting each other up – especially at election times. It’s just like an episode of ‘Friends’ apart from the nasty right wing racist subtext in the BNP version.

Take BNP group leader Bob Bailey – it's clear from the published list of candidates for next month’s local council elections, he’s a friendly chap. He’s putting up fellow BNP candidates Gavin Cardy and Guiseppe De Santis – yes that Guiseppe, who is always responding to national media online comment sections but pretending not to be from the BNP.

Then there’s Richard Barnbrook, another BNP bloke with a big heart and clearly a big house – because he’s also putting up fellow candidates – Chris Roberts and Kara Walker.

Wonder whether they’ve all been paying their council tax at these addresses?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not so much a political earthquake.....

Tomorrow Barking and Dagenham Council publish the list of candidates standing in the local elections in the borough on May 6th.

Only a few days ago the BNP were confident they would field candidates in nearly all the wards in the borough.

Tomorrow the names of 34 BNP candidates will be published - hardly the army of BNP candidates Nick Griffin's party boasted they would put up.

And as the Sunday Telegraph points out - - there is a big question mark against some of those council candidates.

at least three appear to have registered at "front addresses" to get around the requirement that local authority candidates must live in the area.

The Telegraph reports that :

"According to the electoral register, Eddy Butler, until recently the BNP national election organiser, lives in Loughton, Essex, 10 miles from Barking. However, he has submitted nomination papers giving an address in Ellerton Gardens, Dagenham. Mr Butler also recently registered himself on the roll at this address but neighbours shown pictures of him did not recognise him.

Gavin Cardy, gives an address in Sylvan Avenue, Chadwell Heath. The electoral register indicates that his permanent address is actually in Fulham in west London.

A third candidate Chris Roberts, lives in Benfleet, near Southend, around 20 miles from Barking. However, in his nomination form, Mr Roberts gives an address in Arden Crescent, Dagenham — which is the home of the BNP’s London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook. Again, Mr Roberts recently registered on the electoral roll at this house."

Now given that if the three are not genuinely living at addresses where they have registered - they could be guilty of electoral fraud and could be disqualified if elected.

BNP council group leader Bob Bailey doesn't seem to think there's a problem with registering candidates who actually live outside the borough and claiming they live in the borough. Meanwhile Richard Barnbrook's answer probably says more than he intended:

"Chris Roberts spends enough time at my house to fulfil what the law says, and that’s good enough."

Not a local then... Mr Barnbrook?

The Telegraph also reports that the BNP has struggled to find enough genuinely local candidates with 'party sources admitted that other candidates had been rejected by council officials for not giving local addresses on their nomination papers.'

On this evidence the good people of Barking and Dagenham hardly seem to have been rushing into the embrace of the BNP.

So maybe the 'political earthquake in Barking and Dagenham' prediction by Nick Griffin in recent days - is like everything else the man says - to be taken with a large mountain of salt.

And without wanting to tempt fate - perhaps another BNP prediction is about to fall flat.

If the BNP have struggled to muster 34 candidates - maybe their chances of taking controlling the council have gone the same way.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

case work

The BNP in Barking and Dagenham make great play about their concern about the provision of decent housing for local people.

Now you'd think that interest in all things housing would be reflected in the amount of casework BNP councillors have done in the last year about housing issues. You would, wouldn't you?
Well in answer to a Freedom of Information request - the following information has been obtained.

In terms of housing casework submissions - let's look at how much BNP councillors have submitted:

Top BNP councillor is -

Councillor Richard Barnbrook with 11 housing submissions.

Next up councillor Rustem with errm.... 9.

Then councillor Buckley with 6.

Councillor Knight with 3.

And in this role call of housing casework - last and certainly least - step forward BNP group leader, councillor Bob Bailey with er .... 1 housing submission......

To be fair that's better than councillors Doncaster - all three of them -
councillor Tuffs, Steed, Lansdown, and Jarvis - all of whom submitted not a single housing related issue.

And how did Labour council cabinet members compare?

Well council leader Liam Smith made 106 housing submissions.
Housing cabinet exec member Phil Waker 82.
Councillor Val Rush 41.
Councillor Rob Little 37.
Councillor Mick McCarthy 27.
Councillor Rocky Gill 23.
Councillor Bert Collins 21.
Councillor Jeanette Alexander 19.

You get the picture....

So proof, if proof were needed, that the BNP yet again, have been shown up for the lazy, all mouth and no trousers individuals they are.
So next time you see the BNP talking about housing remember how that talk translates into real action on housing matters...

In loving memory

Interesting story on tonight's Newsnight about how the BNP hijack the grief of families who's loved ones have been murdered for their own grubby political ends.
Tonight's item featured the family of Barking man, Chris Yates and showed his family condemning the BNP for associating themselves repeatedly with the dead man in their election leaflets and on BNP tv - despite being told to stop doing so.
The BNP refused to appear on the programme - refsued to explain why they refused to send their condolences to Mr Yates family and why they refused to stop using his name and image in their campaign material.

Says it all really.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

low cost local government

Have a peek at Dominic Carman's video interview with the lovely Mr Griffin -

and what the BNP leader believes is his party's path to power - 'low cost local government'.

How will he achieve that in Barking and Dagenham - by renting out the council HQ (not clear who would want to rent either the Civic Centre or Barking Town Hall, but 10/10 for effort)

He'd 'eliminate' and 'remove' overpaid sneior local bureaucrats and chief executives (so who will help the BNP run Barking and Dagenham council when senior council officers have been given the heave-ho, given that Griffin admits in the interview that none of the BNP's councillors in the country - presumably including Mr Barnbrook and Mr Bailey - have 'a great deal of experience'?)

The BNP leader also says that in addition to getting rid of all the politically correct council departments, his party would break up the council's housing department - and devolve it with a handful of staff in each council ward.....

(Not sure how that would help a council like Barking and Dagenham secure the kind of multimillion funding for new council housing and refurbishment as the council did this week - especially as they will have got rid of all the senior officers who would talk to government and submit bids for new housing to the Homes and Communities Agency).

So there you have it Mr Griffin's four-step guide to low cost local government and then to power and the BNP's promised land.

- renting out concil buildings (so where will the staff work)

- breaking up the housing department

- sacking senior council officers

- getting rid of politially correct council departments...

All in a bid to deliver the lowest council tax in the country.

Only one problem with all of this - if you look at any of the BNP's election literature in Barking and Dagenham - they plan to spend money like water...

They plan to increase the winter fuel allowance to £450.

Restore a full meals on wheels service.

Fund work experience programmes, recreational and lesiure schemes for youngsters..

Build more council housing..

Kepp open all day and drop in centres.

Increase services for the disabled.

Develop a shopping centre at Heathway...

Increase funding for local groups and museums that promote the interests and character of the borough....

So.... spend, spend, spend with the BNP.

But where's the money coming from for all of this? - especially when nationally whoever wins the next election - there will be huge cuts in funding for local government.

Friday, March 26, 2010

interesting read

Barking MP wannabe Nick Griffin gives some revealing answers in an interview in this month's 'total politics' magazine.

Here are a few excerpts:

Some years ago, you went on an all expenses paid trip to Libya. Has the BNP ever had money from Colonel Gadaffi?

No, we didn't at the time. We got a big crate of green books, which promptly disappeared in customs, so we didn't actually get any.
But you were asking Gadaffi for money, weren't you?

We were asking them for money if they were giving it, yes.

You had no reservation about going to a government that supported terrorists, and asking them for financial support?

We looked at Gadaffi's ideas. A lot of what was said about Gadaffi in all probability is propaganda.....

You have this notion of going back to the 19th century and wanting to impose tariffs on lots of things, which would mean some products would double in price.

Sure, what we're looking at with the redrafting of this is to say, it has to be far more nuanced, that it has to be done over a period of time.

Your core vote, I imagine, is the white working class, not very well-off. This is going to hit them.

That's why it has to be done in a very steady, slow and nuanced fashion. As long as it's creating proper jobs and helping in a rather more closed economy, it's helping to raise the tax base. It's helping families to help themselves not being forced to be a burden on the state. It's going to be a benefit.

What about another one which would hit the same group of people, increasing VAT?

We've never said we're increasing VAT.

I think you'll find you have.

We believe the Labour Party and the Tories without a shadow of a doubt would increase VAT. We know they're going to increase VAT to 20 per cent after this election, and put it on food in harmonisation with Europe so it's coming anyway, and that's wrong. I'm sure we haven't said we'll increase VAT.

You need to read your own literature. How would you cut the national debt?

By stopping bailing out the banks because they've crippled themselves. They should all go to the wall. And we should simply pick up the pieces. That would stop it getting that much worse.

RBS, the Bank of Scotland, Lloyds - you'd have let them all go down the pan?

We'd have let them all go down the pan. And then we'd have nationalised all the assets and turned it into a national reconstruction bank so that where people are still paying mortgages and all the rest, there would be money coming in. We'd have looked after the shareholders and written everybody else off.

But what about national debt?

We would get it down. It's safe to assume there'd be a great reluctance of the assorted financial institutions around the world to lend money to a BNP government, although generally they lend to everybody, don't they?

At a price.

Well, there's a profit to be had, so they certainly would do. We would deal with the fact that we're getting into debt more and more by not being in the European Union.

I still haven't heard what you would do in the next two years to address the huge level of borrowing that we now have.

We would set about eliminating all the sectors of the politically correct servile state that we possibly could, which goes well beyond translators and all the rest of it. We are in a terrible hole. Things have got to be fairly drastic to deal with it. For instance, health and safety inspectors in restaurants, we pay a fortune for them

That would save a pathetic amount.

It isn't made up of a couple of huge sums, this expenditure. It's across the board. It's an example.

How would you reform the benefits system?

By recreating a proper hard industrial base in this country to create real, decent, well paid jobs. That would raise the overall wage rates up and make it worth people's while working so they could afford to work. There are people all around the country who genuinely can't afford to work. It's madness. Once there's work out there that is decently paid and people can take it. If they don't take it and they're fit to work, they can starve.

Can you think of one positive aspect of immigration?

Well, a wide range of curries is a plus. But there again, I've got the recipes.

The reason I ask that is when you look across the range of policies you outline on your website, almost every one you look at - and you demonstrated it earlier with the environmental stuff - leads back to immigration.

It's a fair summary of the situation, as all things are interconnected. Secondly, it's a failing of ours and a failing of quite a lot of our writers, as they are all virtually untrained and virtually all volunteers. They write about things with their own glasses and perspectives on. We'd be better as a propaganda machine if we did have it separated out and even where you could see a connection we didn't point to it. But we're not a spin party.

Even though you like the spin chapter in Mein Kampf so much. In your 2005 manifesto you said: "We will end immigration to the UK and reduce our land's population burden by creating firm but voluntary incentives for immigrants and their descendants to return home." What does "firm" mean and what does "home" mean, because they are quite difficult to define?

Firm would mean that certainly in the case of serious criminals and illegals and people whose right to work was removed. For instance, when we left the European Union, there wouldn't be a choice about it. They would have to go.


If we are talking about the Eastern Europeans, who have got the right to come here, it is obvious where home is. With most people, it is clear where they have come from. If people have entered this country and torn their documents up, then even if they have been granted asylum, they shouldn't have been, and we would reverse that.

But if you don't know where they have come from, you can't return them there.

If you want to, you can virtually find out which village they come from in Africa with DNA tests. Someone has got to take them. But their presence here isn't fair. And it is not legal.

Just because you want to send them somewhere, doesn't mean that the state you want to send them to has to accept them. What do you do if they say no?

Well... we'll find some silly European liberal state which will happily take them. Someone will take them.

You reckon?

Yes, someone will take them.

"Firm but voluntary incentives for immigrants and their descendants to return home..." Is that policy still your policy now?

Yes, broadly so. Let's reword the bit in the case of ones who have no right to be here. It would be firm. It wouldn't be brutal, it would be firm. In the case of people who have come here legally, who are integrated into our society, we would say: "Look it is on the table. If you want to take it, you can take it."

There are about 5.5 million British people who have emigrated or are working abroad. Do you think that the countries in which they live should encourage them to return here?

That is up to them. That's their right. We have African leaders all over Southern Africa, begging Britain to stop poaching our NHS staff. They use them as cheap labour. They often aren't up to the skill levels that are the best that we can produce. Once they have been here, if we could say to those countries: "Here is money for infrastructure and so on. We will help you with foreign aid because you will have a larger population." We would use it partly to undo some of the damage that mass immigration has caused.”

total politics editorial sums up the interview thus:

At a time when Britain is not feeling confident about itself, the BNP is trying to play on emotions of fear and abandonment. Our interview with Nick Griffin contains the familiar rubbish about "bloodlines" being ended and his party's continuing infatuation with Islamophobia and anti-semitism. But beyond those serious points, the policies of this party follow no principle or reason.

Griffin wants to impose arbitrary tariffs on goods, making them more expensive and particularly hitting the less well off. Do people want a supermarket shop that might cost twice as much? He says he'd deal with national debt by getting out of the EU and scrapping health and safety inspectors. That's it, no other answer. He wants to find out which village in Africa asylum-seekers may have come from, using DNA. It's deep-set paranoia rather than offering voters an alternative.

The BNP is a legal political party standing for election. But when its position is scrutinised, it falls apart. The fact is the party is not a serious proposition - at anything. Its record in local government is pathetic; its councillors have a terrible track record in office. It's a tragedy that it is seen as a legitimate protest vote by some.

It was said the best disinfectant for the expenses scandal was transparency. The fact the BNP is racist is well-known. It is time to ensure its policies are transparently clear to voters, and shown to be ill-thought out, back-of-the envelope facades for its deep-set prejudices. We must trust the voters. We still have smaller extremist parties than other countries. But it must be clear that putting a cross by the BNP at the ballot box is no protest - because the party itself has no answers to anything, merely the smell of racism, hate and fear."

Strong stuff and bang on the money -

but just to reiterate - Mr Griffin's rather blase approach to relations to Colonel Gadaffi. Itw as all a big joke.
Tell that to the family of PC Yvonne Fletcher - gunned down by one of the Colonel's London embassy staff in 1984.

And interesting comments about imposing tarrifs which would hit exactly the white working class constituency that Griffin hopes will unseat Margaret Hodge.

And on benefits ...'If they don't take it and they're fit to work, they can starve...' nice.

And when it comes to immigrants - does he plan to DNA test the non-white population in Barking and Dagenham before he sends them home?

Interesting reading - and remember this man wants to be Barking's MP.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

BNP oppose street drinking curb

Who'd have thought that the BNP - the defenders of law and order and champions of safer streets in our borough - would set themselves against the kind of measure that would reduce drink related anti-social behaviour on our streets?

But that's exactly what they did at the council assembly on Wednesday evening - or rather, that's what BNP group leader Bob Bailey did - in the absence of nearly all his colleagues - who clearly had something better to do on the night.

Councillor Bailey at assembly voiced his opposition to council plans to introduce a borough wide alcohol control zone - plans which would give police the power to confiscate booze from rowdy drinkers or those exhibiting anti-social behaviour on borough streets.

Councillor Bailey bemoaned that the measure was 'taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut' and indicative of a 'creeping big brother' - and despite all the indications that local people support the measure to make Barking and Dagenham's streets and public places safer - he went on to state that it made the council's ruling group 'look like fascists.'

Well he would know.

Given the public support for the borough-wide control zone - the BNP's opposition is a little puzzling - clearly one issue where they are out of touch with public opinion.

And another issue where the party for indigenous patriots is a tad out of touch - namely openness and transparency and good conduct of councillors.

Later in the assembly in a discussion of the council's standards board annual report - Mr Bailey along with his sole remaining colleague - decided to walk out when his claim that the council's standards hearings were increasingly politically motivated and that money would be saved if hearings on complaints against councillors were ditched and instead they were given a sound 'ticking off' - fell on deaf ears.

Councillor Bailey is of course no stranger to the issue of complaints against councillors. Indeed he will be attending a hearing on Friday following complaints about comments he made in a council committee about Nigerian churchgoers eating off the floors of their churches.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So where is the money going?

Yesterday's Evening Standard revealed that BNP leader and Barking MP wannabe has claimed 200,000 in the short time he has been an Euro MEP.

Thi is the man remember, who claimed last year in his election campaign that exisiting MP's and MEP"s had their "snouts in the trough."

He has now published a version of his expenses on his own website but omits to say how much he has claimed of the 270-a-day MEP's subsistence allowance he's allowed to claim and how much he's claimed for travel.

So much for openness -so much for transparency.

And of the two hundred thousand he's pocketed while on the euro gravy train, where do we think most of that cash has ended up?

On leaflets and campaign material in Barking and Dagenham - that's where.

Nothing like trying to buy an election victory Mr Griffin? Shame it's with our money.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crocodile tears

Touching.... then again maybe not..

And so to this week's Barking and Dagenham Post and a touching letter from BNP council group leader Bob Bailey.

Councillor Bailey in his letter pays tribute to the council (shurely shome mistake)for "doing its bit to honour and remember" Rifleman Martin Kinggett who recently lost his life fighting in Afghanistan.

Bailey also praises the Post for its tribute to the rifleman "who lost his life fighting alongside his comrades in action in Afghanistan," and notes, "Our young soldiers like Martin Kinggett are doing a very difficult job in a country which is far away from here and our lives. His passing at such a young age will leave a big in the lives of those who knew and loved him."

Touching stuff. Until you remember that this is the same Councillor Bailey who not so long ago showed his respect for the UK military by turning up drunk at the council's ceremony to grant the Royal Anglian Regiment, freedom of borough.

And that this is the same councillor Bailey, who to cover up his embarassment, claimed he had been denied entry to the event because he was going to make a speech condemning the involvement of British troops in - you guessed it - Afghanistan.

Funny that councillor Bailey in his letter doesn't quite have the courage of his convictions to repeat his demand that British troops come home - and merely hints that they are 'doing a very difficult job in a country which is far away from here and our lives." (Subtle eh?)

Could this be the same individual who was heard (prior to his ejection from the Freedom of the Borough event) telling senior British army officers that it was time their boys were back in this country to shoot a few muslims?
Nah, couldn't be the same bloke at all....could it?

Either way councillor Bailey's crocodile tears about the death of rifleman Kinggett should be seem for what they are - a less than subtle attempt once again, to link the BNP to genuine public sympathy for combat casualties in Afghanistan.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

read all about it

Very interesting John Harris feature in today's Guardian about the political battle for Barking.

Some choice quotes. We particularly liked:

"But when it comes to patronising judgments of his beloved white working class, Griffin himself isn't wholly in the clear. I read him what he said to two reporters masquerading as French fascists about the white people of London, caught on camera in 1997 by ITV's The Cook Report: "The people who have the brains and ability got out years ago, one way or another. The people who are left are either the 15% of the population who are happy to put up with it, they're so decadent they actually like it, or they're too stupid to do anything about it. They will vote BNP, but you can't build a movement on those people."

"I wasn't talking about this part of London. We were talking about the likes of Brixton and Hackney. People here have still got fight in them."

That still implies a pretty dim view of white people in Brixton and Hackney. "It's not a dim view. I feel very sorry for them. But we can't organise in a place like that. They're good, decent people. But to organise something, you have to have people who've got an unusual flair and spark."

I repeat his words: "They're too stupid to do anything about it." Is he minded to take that back?

"Yes. Yes. I was probably extremely drunk. And I was talking to a Frenchman who didn't speak very good English, so it had to be simplified."

When I ask what the BNP might do with local power, he outlines a "sons and daughters" housing policy, and a few measures – from the teaching of "British values" in schools to unspecified work through local youth clubs – that would aim at "integrating" outsiders into his party's understanding of British life. He mentions "integration" at least twice, so I remind him that, despite being forced to admit non-white members, his party's constitution still says they are "wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples". The two don't sit comfortably together, do they? "They don't sit particularly well. But this is practical politics as opposed to… um… ideological perfection."

A more brass-tacks question: are his people up to it? If you look at BNP councillors' attendance records in Barking, even the best-performing one comes in pretty miserably – at number 28 out of 51.

"It will be a hell of a challenge. Bear in mind that if you look at the stats fully, there's plenty of Labour councillors who are far, far worse."

In fact, the bottom seven places are all taken by BNP people. At the last count, the worst performer – one Jamie Jarvis – managed to show up at only 28% of the meetings required.

"Well, Labour councillors don't have to put up with intimidation, the changing of dates and meetings, and not letting people know."

This, according to council leader Liam Smith, is "complete and utter rubbish – these meetings are programmed a year in advance." And even if it were true, the BNP would still be less than blameless. A good example: according to plenty of locals, one BNP councillor spends a good deal of his time running a guest house on the Isle Of Man. Is Griffin familiar with that case?
"I'm familiar with these things, yeah. We're not blameless… At this election, we've got more people wanting to stand than we have places to fight… We'll have a far stronger base than we had before. But inevitably, it's going to be an enormous struggle… at the present, we're knocking up against our upper limits."

There's no excuse for going to only 28% of meetings and still drawing a £10,000 allowance, is there?

"There's not. No. No. Sure…"

In the pub with Nick Griffin, I bring up the reluctance of pensioners round here to vote BNP, based on their memories of the second world war (in any gathering of local seniors, there are scores of people who were bombed out of neighbourhoods such as Stepney and Poplar and given new homes here), and his party's history of neo-Nazism. "We have things there, sure, yeah," he says, though reminders of his own backstory are either denied or dodged. For example: yes, he led a National Front march to the cenotaph in 1986 – alongside people who were Sieg Heiling, according to reports – with a banner that said, "No more brothers' wars", but that was "about the first world war".

When I ask where he now stands on what he once called "nonsense about gas chambers" – surely given even more charge because of Hodge's family history – he pleads the same defence he tried on Question Time: "I genuinely cannot tell you what I used to believe, and why I've changed my mind… three times a month I go through France and Belgium, where you're accessible also to the German courts, and even to say why I've changed my mind and become more mainstream would lay me open to a Communist magistrate."
The subject is batted between us fruitlessly for a few minutes, before we get to the BNP's campaigning in Barking and its apparent habit of telling lies. Late last year, it falsely claimed Hodge had a personal financial interest in plans – since cancelled – to build a new prison in the borough. "That was an error for which I wasn't responsible. I didn't even see it before it was printed. The moment I saw it, we pulled it."


Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Politics No Show

Bloodhounds get ready to pick up the scent of the BNP leader - last seen in Barking... some time ago..

So there we were sitting down in front of the telly of a Sunday lunchtime to watch a live debate confrontation between Margaret Hodge and her BNP challenger Nick Griffin - only to discover that Mr Griffin - having previously said he would take part had decided at the eleventh hour not to appear.

For a man with a love of publicity and a politician who wants his candidature for the Barking election to be high profile - he has a funny way of showing it.

Begs the following questions:

Is Nick Griffin running scared?

Was he reluctant to face media scrutiny of his and his party's plans that could jeopardise their chances in Barking and Dagenham?

Was he worried about the commute from his home in Welshpool in the Welsh border country to the BBC studio in London?

Did he have something better to do?

Was he worried after his carcrash performance on Question Time that he would only let himself and his party down?

Does the Politics Show not have the kind of viewing figures that Mr Griffin wants?

Who knows what the answers are - suffice to say, it speaks volumes about the BNP that they aren't prepared to face a TV audience to defend their policies for the coming elections in May on what would have been the perfect television platform for the BNP.

Tells you lot about how the BNP intend fighting these elections - below the radar - offering little public or media opportunity to scrutinise them about their real agenda for Barking and Dagenham. Relying instead on distorted and inaccurate leaflets and door to door contact in a bid to avoid real scrutiny of their plans...

Hedy it might just work - but it sure as hell isn't open and transparent - which begs one final question - what does Mr Griffin and his mates have to hide.

I think we know the answer to that.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Education, education, education

It's heartwarming to see that the British National Party has acquired an interest in the education of Barking and Dagenham's youngsters.

Recent party leaflets have decried a fall in educational standards in the borough - despite the fact that the borough's schools have just achieved the best exam results on record and that Barking and Dagenham schools are the recipients of some £270 million of government money to make them first class schools.

But hey - give credit where credit's due - the BNP are have expressed an interest in the future of our young folk - so it's good to see that even they are expressing some interest in the education of the Borough's youngsters even if its illinformed, inaccurate and distorted through the prism of far right politics.

But just how far does the BNP's interest in the educational wellbeing of the borough's youngsters extend?

Just how many BNP councillors - out of their twelve strong group on the council - are school governors - like their Labour counterparts?

Answer: None.

Not one BNP councillor is a school governor. Go to the bottom of the class Mr Bailey and Mr Barnbrook.

Putting aside whether any borough school would want a BNP supporting governor for one moment - it undermines somewhat the BNP's professed interest in all things education, does it not? That not a single BNP councillor has hands on experience of helping local schools to build for the future.

With some BNP councillors, it's easy to see that they might not want to get involved with schools in their community - after all they do next to no case work on other issues - so why should education be any different. Step forward the Doncasters......

Maybe this also explains why the BNP group's alternative budget had nothing to say about education or the schooling of the borough's young people.

The BNP like to talk about the issues that matter to local people - in their leaflets and on the doorstep - but when it comes down to it - actually involving themselves in the day to day running of the schools and investment in the borough's educational establishments, they are nowhere to be seen...

Speaks volumes about their real commitment to the community doesn't it?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

leopards and their spots

Last Wednesday the BNP presented their alternative budget at Barking and Dagenham's council assembly. The budget was notable less for what it said and rather what it didn't spell out.

The BNP in a bid to appear more like the human race, ditched the more loony policy platforms of the recent past (whatever happened the caravan park to provide social housing?)and aside from a daft commitment to slash council spending over the next five years to reduce the council tax to make it the lowest in the capital - they basically did a cut and paste job on the ruling Labour group's budget.

But the mask did slip just a little bit.... Surprise, surprise not only did they seek to wipe out the council's equality and diversity teams - they also sought to halve corporate grant funding for voluntary groups in the borough by £400,000. No mention this year though what specific groups they would like to see not getting money....mmh.. let me guess .... could they possibly be groups that help asylum seekers or ethnic communities?

Well, we'll never know, because strangely, in this an election year the BNP showed a marked reluctance to tell the good people of Barking and Dagenham exactly what they'd cut. (Can't think why)
But hey, maybe they've changed and post egm they've truly embraced multiculturalism and the political mainstream and they genuinely are committed to fiscal rectitude.

Then again, maybe not.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oh Dear Mr Barnbrook

Mr 'Free Speech'

Monday's Times: doesn't do much for councillor Richard Barnbrook's credentials as an upstanding democrat.

The Times reporting on the BNP's decision, taken kicking and screaming to change its constitution to allow black and Asian people to become members notes:

"However, the party’s democratic credentials were called into question when a reporter from The Times was bundled out of a press conference shortly before Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, was due to speak. A party official objected to a profile which had appeared in the newspaper at the weekend.

The Times had been invited by Simon Darby, the party's press officer, with other media, to hear Mr Griffin describe the constitutional changes.

However Richard Barmbrook, a local councillor and a member of the London Assembly, who was upset by an article about him in The Times on Saturday, said that the newspaper was unwelcome inside the Elm Park pub in Hornchurch, where the meeting took place.

After The Times tried to explain that the newspaper had been officially invited into the building, the BNP's security staff lifted and shoved its reporter out of the building, grabbing his nose. A punch was also thrown by security staff and the reporter was flung at a parked car outside.

Mr Griffin said The Times had lied about the party. He said: “Because he is from The Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and it lies and it lies and it lies about this party.
“So he was told ’we’re sorry, you told one lie too many’, The Times, so we are not allowing anyone from The Times in – kindly leave.
“He refused to leave when he was asked so he had to be encouraged to leave.”
A BBC reporter asked if he would be removed if he said the wrong thing. Mr Griffin replied: “If you utter some outrageous lie about me... you won’t be welcome again.”
Mr Griffin told Sky News he expected a “trickle, rather than a flood” of applications from black and Asian people.
He said: “Anyone can be a member of this party. We are happy to accept anyone as a member providing they agree with us that this country should remain fundamentally British.”


Good to see councillor Barnbrook has a thick skin and can take media criticism like a man....

Then again, maybe not..

What would he be like if he was council leader?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Would the BNP have stopped Dagenham prison?

You have to ask the question - would the BNP's Nick Griffin or Richard Barnbrook have been able to stop the plan to build a 1500 inmate prison in Dagenham?

- Would a BNP council led by the forementioned councillor Barnbrook have managed to get Jack Straw to come to the Borough and hear for himself the strength of opposition against the plan?

- Could he have persuaded 15,000 people to sign the petition opposing the plans? Would he have been allowed into Downing Street to deliver it to the Prime Minister?

- Would a BNP led council been able to convince local people to reply to a council questionnaire on the prison?

- And would Barnbrook, boozer Bailey or Welshpool based Nick Griffin have been able by force of argument to convince government ministers and civil servants to pull the plug on their prison proposal?

The answer to all these questions is a simple one - no.

The harsh reality is that the BNP are a pariah party - one that no one in government would be prepared to concede to - let alone listen to.

It's hard to believe either, given their particularly unpleasant brand of racist politics, that they could ever marshal mainstream local opinion on any issue to benefit the community.

In that case, if voting for them won't change anything - what is the point of voting BNP?

The BNP didn't stop a prison in Dagenham.
A Tory candidate didn't stop that prison.

It took a Labour MP - Jon Cruddas, working with the local council leadership - marshalling local resident opposition and lobbying government that forced a government re-think.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What if?

WHAT if the BNP win in May and end up running the council after the local elections - a cause of jubilation for the far right but what about everyone else in the borough?

Local people have to ask themselves some very tough questions.

What employer would want to move into a BNP controlled borough?

Where will the jobs come from for local people and what will happen when companies decide to relocate because being based in BNP controlled Barking and Dagenham does nothing for business?

What headmaster would want to answer to council leader Richard Barnbrook?

What black social worker would want to work in a borough run by an administration advocating a form of apartheid and colour segregation, discriminating against people of colour?

What estate agent would be able to sell a two bedroom house in Barking or Dagenham when house prices plummet after May and there is an exodus from the borough?

What will happen to inward investment if the BNP win - will government still invest in schools, community facilities and child care or will the borough be quarantined given enough money to keep going but no more?

What will happen to the local crime rate if the BNP win - will increased numbers of racist attacks make areas of the borough no-go zones?

What will become of the reputation of Barking and Dagenham if the fascists win?

Who will speak to Bailey and Barnbrook - how will they be able to work with other organisations to build a better borough especially if those organisations have black and asian staff?

How will the BNP be able to cut the council tax and balance the council budget particularly as none of them have ever run any organisation before? Will they expect council officers to do it for them - if so - how many council staff do they think would want to work for a BNP borough?

Lots of ifs for local people to consider before they put their cross beside the BNP on election day.

Maybe they should stop and think whether their protest vote and then a BNP borough will be better - or in reality - much, much, worse.

One's thigs for sure there's no shortage of question marks beside what a BNP controlled council would mean.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stone cold sober (2)

Mine's a pint.....maybe not if you're BNP councillor Bob Bailey...

Councillor Bob Bailey's little local difficulty regarding his rather interesting take on sobriety at last week's Freedom of the Borough ceremony in Barking - refuses to go away - as much as he might hope it would.
The Barking and Dagenham Post is the latest media source to give the hapless BNP group leader another unfavourable headline:

Councillor thrown out of civic reception
‘BNP man was ‘drunk and an embarassment’.

COUNCILLOR Bob Bailey was removed from the Freedom of the Borough ceremony last week because he was drunk, claimed fellow councillors.

The opposition leader was "clearly under the influence" according to deputy council leader Cllr Bob Little.

Cllr Little is now calling for Cllr Bailey's resignation, however the BNP man says he has done nothing wrong.

Cllr Bailey, who is an ex serviceman, was due to speak in support of bestowing the borough's highest honour on the Royal Anglian Regiment - the Freedom of the Borough.

But before he could deliver his speech on Wednesday January 27, he was escorted from the Broadway Theatre by a security guard.

Cllr Bailey claims this is because council staff and other councillors were concerned his address would be a "political hot potato".

"I must have received four calls from council officers that afternoon asking me not to mention the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.

"They had already decided that I should not be allowed to speak. They were trying to censure me. That's why I was told to leave.

"And as for Bob Little - I didn't see or speak to him all evening - so I don't know where he is getting his information from."

Cllr Little has said Cllr Bailey was in no fit state to deliver a speech and suggested he apologise to the award recipients.

"Councillor Bailey should resign," he said. "Turning up for such an important event inebriated is at best embarrassing, at worst an insult to the event, the sponsors and to the people receiving the Freedom of the Borough.

"In all my time as a councillor I have never seen anyone behave in such a way."

Cllr Bailey claims senior council staff were behind his removal from the ceremony last week and his being drunk is a lie invented to cover up the truth.

Council chief Rob Whiteman said: "When I spoke to Cllr Bailey during the day I did not ask him to say nothing about the war but rather reminded him that the Freedom of the Borough ceremony is a civic and non-party political occasion where guests would be offended if the atmosphere was not one of celebrating the achievements of those being honoured.

"Cllr Bailey was not removed from the event because of any views he might express but because he was very drunk and causing embarrassment and concern to others which we are not willing to tolerate from anybody."

And the paper's editorial did him and his party no favours either.

“Why did one of our elected representatives, Councillor Bob Bailey allow himself to be ignominiously thrown out of the very civic reception arranged to honour six new Freemen of the borough….?

Councillor Bailey has tried to defend his actions but if he is honest, he set himself up at a time when he needed to be squeaky clean….”

All in all then a bit of an own-goal from the BNP.

Earlier in the week Bailey's notoriety hit the headlines in the Guardian diary:

• The gloves are off again in Barking, where the boxing promoter Frank Maloney, Ukip's talisman for the general election, has been rebuffed in his attempts to settle the issue in the boxing ring. Nick Griffin said no, ­citing a historical eye injury. Margaret Hodge was never going to make the weight. And so each will rely on their high-calibre local supporters in east London. In Griffin's case, this will mean a prominent role for Bob Bailey, the leader of the opposition on Barking and Dagenham council, where the BNP has 12 councillors. Oh dear. For Bailey, the BNP's main organiser in the capital, will keep making a fool of himself. He did it again last week. The occasion was a high-profile event to award the freedom of the borough to various worthies. Sir Trevor Brooking, Barking born and bred, was a recipient, as was General Sir John McColl, the deputy supreme allied commander Europe, who accepted the honour on behalf of the borough's adopted regiment, the Royal Anglian, currently deployed to Afghanistan. All received testimonials, and no doubt the Royal Anglian would have been showered with praise by Bailey – as had been arranged. Alas, he was pissed. So pissed that when he left the room, officials ruled that he should not be re-admitted. There were protests, of course there were protests, but then this is a man who attributed last year's drink-driving conviction to "a conspiracy against the indigenous people". People drink and then they say the strangest things.

It's not been a good few days then for Mr Bailey, to put it mildly - no wonder his colleague Richard Barnbrook wants his job as group leader after May's elections.

One serious thought to ponder - if Bailey, a former Royal Marine, couldn't stay sober for a ceremony to honour the British military (and it shoud be added - Holocaust Memorial Day) how can he be judged fit to run a council?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A glimpse of the future....


Imagine if you will that we have fast forwarded a year - February 2011 - rather than 2010.

The BNP now control Barking and Dagenham Council but after the euphoria of the last eight months and their shock victory they are finding things tough.

With weeks to go before they present their first budget to the council assembly they are in deep trouble.

They face the second all-out strike by council workers since their victory following a succession of localised walkouts by staff in the last eight months. The main unions in the council have called their members out after a string of complaints by black and asian staff about victimisation.
Staff complaints against members of the new BNP administration have trebled and the council now has the worst industrial relations record in the country.

Since May 2010's victory there has been an exodus of staff - not just from the Town Hall and the Civic Centre but from social work, children centres and schools.

The borough is haemoraghing teachers at the rate of eight a week. And the council is finding it is unable to fill vacant positions, leading to Headteachers having to explain to pupils that certain subjects will be unavailable and fears that the borough's schools will plummet down London comprehensive school league tables because of the teaching exodus.

Despite promising before May 2010's elections to cut council tax - Richard Barnbrook's executive is finding that the council is unable to meet the pledge. After the largesse of the last Labour government, the BNP are finding that as the council now has pariah status, cash from David Cameron's government has dried up.
Three BNP councillors have resigned - two from Barnbrook's executive blaming him for failing to introduce all white policies across the board.

Following the BNP council's decision to completely axe funding to voluntary groups supporting BAME communities and their attempt to introduce a 'whites only' housing p;olicy - senior BNP councillors have been threatened with prosecution for discrimination.

The Times and Evening Standard have both run stories describing the borough 'in meltdown.'
Barking and Dagenham has just been named England's worst run borough by the Audit Commission's CAA report.

And there is talk at Westminster that the Tory government may have to intervene to run the authority as a succession of senior council officers have either refused to work with Barnbrook's executive or have taken sick leave.

The New York Times, Le Monde and newspapers across Europe have written articles about the Borough that shames Britain.

Last month Barnbrook had to put out a staff email reassuring staff that they will be paid.

Both the Police and Mayor Boris Johnson have expressed their disquiet at the rocketing rate of racial violence in the borough and have refused to commit funds for extra policing and regeneration until the BNP'clean-up their act'.

Ford have announced that they are planning to abandon the borough completely because of its worsening reputation.

Fantasy? Or a glimpse of the nightmare future that Barking and Dagenham could face if the BNP did succeed.

Maybe local people think that everything would be fine if Mr Barnbrook and Mr Bailey got their way.

Time to think again - a BNP borough would be a recipe for disaster. Services would be cut, staff would leave and in reputation terms - Barking and Dagenham would be the borough everyone - from business to government - would want to avoid.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stone cold sober?

Councillor Bob Bailey is a man of his word - or at least we are expected to accept what he says is true.

On Wednesday evening, councillor Bailey was expected to speak in support of the Royal Anglian regiment at a ceremony to grant the regiment Freedom of the Borough of Barking and Dagenham - along with former West Ham and England favourite Trevor Brooking and various others who over the years have made their contribution to Barking and Dagenham.

Councillor Bailey never made his speech.

Put simply, he was drunk before the event began. A fact that was clear to senior British army officers, council staff and members of the public who encountered the BNP group leader at the function prior to the Freedom of the Borough event.

And it was for that reason, and for that reason alone, he was subsequently turned away by council staff when he attempted to re-enter the Freedom of the Borough event later in the evening.

On Thursday when approached by the media he "flatly denied that he had been drinking and said the claims about his behaviour were “total rubbish.”

(source Andrew Gilligan's Telegraph blog:

Instead he claims he "was barred from attending the event because they were worried I would say something against the war.”

The reality as ever with the BNP and Mr Bailey is rather different.

Councillor Bailey has form when it comes to conjuring up conspiracies.

He blamed ‘a conspiracy against the indigenous people of this country’ when he was banned last year from driving for 18 months, after the former Royal Marine and BNP London organiser, was spotted driving last May without his lights on and refused to take a breath test.

Councillor Bailey also turned up outside his local newspaper the Ilford Recorder in April 2008 and used a megaphone to hurl abuse at a reporter. He called the journo “a nazi”.

When he subsequently apologised he said: “I am not a yob, I'm not a thug or anything barely resembling anything like that. I was a little bit disappointed and I’m sorry for some of the things I said to you. We all have our moments sometimes, I’m sure you agree.”

Maybe we've all got Councillor Bailey wrong. Maybe he was stone cold sober on Wednesday and was barred because he could have made an embarrassing speech about the need for the British army to vacate Afghanistan.
Maybe.. then again, he could just have been pissed as a fart, rude and offensive to staff prior to the event and in no fit state to deliver any speech.

Maybe he was drowning his sorrows because his party had overlooked him as their Dagenham candidate for the General Election. And maybe he's never got over the fact that his colleague Richard Barnbrook unilaterally decided to replace him as BNP group leader after May's local elections.

Whatever the facts (and in this instance there are no shortage of witnesses), one thing's for sure, Councillor Bailey is walking on eggshells. No amount of peppermints can hide the fact that someone has consumed one over the eight.

And word reaches this blogger that council staff in recent days have made several complaints to council officers about the way that Councillor Bailey has spoken to them.

If he was stone cold sober on Wednesday night then that makes his treatment of council employess even more inexcusable.

Then again it might all be an establishment conspiracy....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nick Griffin on Haiti

The Haiti earhquake - the aftermath

"Britons donate millions to help earthquake-stricken Haiti"

"Haiti: 'A tragedy beyond imagination'"

Nick Griffin's humanitarian response on his twitter feed?
"While the Haiti earthquake is terrible, the winter death toll in Britain
will be similar. No aid here though. "

Monday, January 11, 2010

Working on your behalf?

Porky pies....

Busy, busy, bees the BNP. They've been hard at work in recent days, distributing a glossy leaflet, 'Barking and Dagenham Patriot - working on your behalf,' in key wards in the borough (paid for by the European taxpayer no doubt).

The leaflet claims to be 'the real truth behind your BNP councillors'.

Apparently "BNP councillors spend their time working hard on your behalf on the streets of Barking and Dagenham..."

And it goes on: "The fact is that BNP councillors attend more meetings than the lazy Labour councillors.."

Well fact is, surprise, surprise, the 'facts' don't really back that last BNP assertion.

Looking at their 2008-2009 attendance record where:
Total expected attendances is the number of meetings that a Member was expected to attend in their capacity as a member of a committee.
Where present is the number of meetings that a Member attended in their capacity as a member of a committee.
And where Absent is the number of meetings not attended by a Member who is a member of a committee.

Councillor Expected Present (% of expected) absent(%of expected)
Councillor R W Bailey 53 39 (74%) 14 (26%)
Councillor R J Barnbrook 34 26 (76%) 8 (24%)
Councillor R J A Buckley 40 23 (57%) 17 (42%)
Councillor Miss C L Doncaster 17 5 (29%) 12 (71%)
Councillor Mrs S A Doncaster 18 7 (39%) 11 (61%)
Councillor R W Doncaster 18 6 (33%) 12 (67%)
ouncillor J K Jarvis 18 5 (28%) 13 (72%)
Councillor Mrs C A Knight 33 27 (82%) 6 (18%)
Councillor Miss T A Lansdown 18 12 (67%) 6 (33%)
Councillor L Rustem 38 31 (82%) 7 (18%)
Councillor J Steed 29 12 (41%) 17 (59%)
Councillor D A Tuffs 18 6 (33%) 12 (67%)

It's clear, the attendance records of some BNP councillors in this, the last year where there is a complete record - are at best variable and do not compare favourably with their largely Labour opponents.
Cllrs Claire Doncaster and Jarvis's attendance records in particular, are hardly impressive - but hey, why let the facts get in the way of a BNP assertion.

But it gets better....

Apparently, the leaflet says, when "we take full control of the council next year you will see:

Housing given to local people
Jobs and contracts given to local firms
More facilities for the elderly and bringing back meals on wheels
More facilities for youths to deter anti-social behaviour
More bobbies back on the beat, stopping knife crime
Turn the mobile smart car camera on to villains not motorists
Freeze council tax and cut it
No to the prison on the Ford site - yes to a hospital
Reject bogus asylum seekers and illegal immigrants
Clamp down on fly-tippers and graffiti."

So in the depths of the recession, the BNP will spend, spend spend and somehow manage the spectacular feat of simultaneously freezing and cutting council tax.
A first for any political party.

They also promise a fair deal for all (but presumably not asylum seekers or immigrants?)

And apparently: "There has been a flurry of activity by the Council in an attempt to make things better in the Borough. However all these changes were brought about by BNP councillors pressurising the Labour council to get things done."

"All these changes that you see around you have been won and brought about directly or indirectly by your 12 BNP councillors.

And... "If we had not got 12 BNP councillors elected, Barking and Dagenham would still be in the doldrums that it used to be..."

It strikes this blogger that the BNP can't have it both ways - they can't claim that Labour is failing Barking and Dagenham and the Borough is going backwards in one breath and in the other, assert that the changes to make things better in the Borough are THEIR handiwork.

The Borough can't both be out of the doldrums and be worse at the same time.....

What's it to be folks - are things getting better - or worse???

To read this leaflet all their councillors have been hardworking - doing everything from rehousing local families, installing traffic lights, removing graffiti, championing the council tax freeze, reducing crime in the borough and establishing new police stations etc etc etc....(there was me thinking the council did all this)

Problem is - it's all total baloney......a mirage of imaginary activity.

It's not the BNP that have improved the Borough. It's not the BNP that have brought down crime or any other claim they make in this leaflet - and the ones that will undoubtedly follow it.

On this evidence, there are fewer porky pies in a Barking butcher than there are on display here.

Voters be warned.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Logic or the lack of it

In last week's Time Out magazine, in a feature on the forthcoming Barking election battle, BNP leader Nick Griffin, commenting on his party's chances in the Borough in the forthcoming council elections says:

"Once the BNP gain power there, the Government will be so desperate to get rid of us they'll be throwing money at the area to bribe back voters."

Putting aside the conceit that the BNP have May's elections in the bag in January, there is another small failure of logic in Mr Griffin's argument - namely, that if the BNP really did seize the local council - that any government, Labour or Tory, would want to continue to plough millions of pounds of taxpayers money (in the depths of a recession) into the hands of a local authority run by fascists who - it should also be remembered, have never run anything in their party's existence.

A party, that as the Times reported on the 6th January, that faces prosecution for submitting 'misleading accounts'to the Electoral Commission and has failed to give a “true and fair view” of its financial circumstances.

Worth remembering too that the BNP have also been fined £1,000 for filing its 2008 accounts in December — nearly six months after the original deadline.
And even then, the Electoral Commission concluded that the accounts were inadequate and requested further information.

The Times reported last week that: "In his report, which prefaced the accounts, Mr Griffin blamed poor accounting on changes in the party’s treasury department."

So the notion that any government after the next general election would want to hand over lots of taxpayers lolly to a political party that admits it can't even manage its own accounts - is like most of the rest of the BNP's prospectus - total fantasy.

Should the voters of Barking and Dagenham throw their lot in with the far right - they could be in for a very rude awakening indeed.

The notion then that the Borough would be flooded with UK government cash to repulse a BNP advance is so much wishful and dangerous thinking.....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How they laughed.....

Who said the far right didn't have a sense of humour?

Not content with large advertising hoardings across the borough wishing all a merry christmas - on behalf of Nick Griffin and the BNP (paid for by the EU taxpayer) - some far right wags thought it the height of fun to carve a giant swastika in the snow outside Dagenham Civic Centre this morning. How they all laughed.

Still, goes to show what the good people of the Borough can expect if the BNP ever did win control of the council - more of the same - but not in snow - instead hanging from the entrances to every council building.

And there was me thinking the BNP had changed its spots and no longer identified with nazism.

Like I say, that leopard clearly finds its difficult to break the habits of a lifetime - or a thousand year Reich.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NEET news for Barking and Dagenham

It's not every day that Barking and Dagenham Council gets praise from the Financial Times, but yesterday the Borough's efforts to reduce the numbers of NEETS - teenagers not in employment, education or training - got just that.

In an FT story: Innovative thinking cuts number of idle teens - Barking and Dagenham's efforts to deal with the problem are recognised.

The FT notes:"Several local authorities have bucked the national trend by consistently cutting their numbers of idle young people, in spite of the recession, the Financial Times has learned.

These councils have continued to make progress during the past year thanks to innovative methods.

The local successes will give hope to politicians and labour market experts who argue that to become a “Neet” – a teenager not in employment, education or training – permanently damages an individual’s contribution to society and makes him or her vulnerable to a range of problems...

"Barking and Dagenham, a London borough with high unemployment, has also trimmed the proportion from 11.4 per cent to 8 per cent over the same period.

Nationally the Neet rate has remained remarkably steady for more than 10 years, despite billions of pounds of targeted government spending, making it one of the most intractable of policy issues. The proportion of 16-to-18-year-old Neets in England has recently edged up to 13.4 per cent – but analysts emphasise the Neet conundrum is at least as much an education problem as an employment problem.

Neet specialists who have reduced rates locally underlined the importance of a highly activist approach to finding and helping these young people, with a broad strategy that also involves parents.

Barking and Dagenham Council developed “a Neet risks tool” to work out whether individual children as young as primary school age were likely to become Neets, says Alan Lazell, the council’s head of skills, learning and employment. The model looks at children’s attendance and educational attainment, and whether they come from workless households....

From 2015 teenagers will be obliged to be in education or training up to the age of 18 – making it illegal to be a Neet. Local experts say that could cut numbers by putting more pressure on local and central government to earmark resources.

Paul Bivand, head of analysis and statistics at Inclusion, the think-tank, said: “If young people are not engaged in learning or employment, then the available evidence is that costs are likely to mount up [through] trouble with the police, teen pregnancies – a range of social problems.”

So here again - evidence that Barking and Dagenham is working hard - and in this case bucking the national trend - to give young people hope and genuine prospects for the future.

Would the election of a BNP council help or hinder this approach?

Monday, January 4, 2010


Who's in charge?

One of the men above is group leader of the BNP opposition on Barking and Dagenham council - but which one?
Technically it should be Councillor Bob Bailey, but his colleague Councillor Richard Barnbrook seems to have other ideas.

At the last council assembly before Christmas the two came close to blows when Cllr Bailey forcibly intervened telling his colleague Mr Barnbrook to "shut up" before Barrnbrook made potentially embarassing remarks about "Africans in Essex" in the council chamber debate. Barnbrook reluctantly withdrew, mumbling he would say what he liked.

Bailey told his colleague that he was out of order and would not say what he liked while "I am leader".

Councillor Barnbrook, who once directed a gay porn film, HMS Discovery, appears to have got his own back by announcing unilaterally that Bailey will take his place in the London Assembly, so he, Barnbrook can lead the BNP to glory in the local council elections.

Who can forget Councillor Barnbrook's comments on his London Assembly blog last month when he said:

"“In order to serve their interests in the best possible combination, we have formulated a unique and inimitable double-act – the dream ticket, no less – Nick Griffin is to stand as MP for Barking, and myself, Richard Barnbrook, as Leader of what will be the new BNP controlled Council of Barking and Dagenham…..together we will be able to work effectively to serve those who live here, by implementing real and radical change that will not only transform the Borough, but will blaze a trail as a radiant model for the rest of the country."

No mention of Bailey.

Apparently Bailey wasn't consulted about Nick Griffin standing in Barking at the General Election and was told after the event that he would replace Barnbrook on the London Assembly if Barnbrook leads his Barking and Dagenham stormtroopers to local election glory.

He must have loved Councillor Barnbrook's briefing to the Barking and Dagenham Post (16th December 2009)and specifically the line: "Mr Barnbrook said the swap would give Cllr Bailey more experience."

Muat be galling for Bailey to find out he needs 'experience' when he was the person who had to stop his council deputy from making a fool of himself.

On this evidence Bob Bailey is fast becoming the forgotten man of the BNP in Barking and Dagenham.

It does beg the question though - just who is in charge of the BNP group on Barking and Dagenham council - and with leadership like this - does anyone really believe they could run this local authority?



Just after Christmas in his Sunday Mirror column, local Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas wrote the following:

Eyesore Gardens hotline restores my faith in politics

"It sounds odd but my faith in politics has risen this year.

I know, I know expenses, gravy train and all that. Yet one simple idea miles from Westminster shows what can be done. It's all about front gardens.

We have all seen the evidence - split bin bags, grass 2ft high, bushes out of control, a mattress dumped outside the front door.

I remember a chat with a lovely 86-year-old lady who only wanted to talk about the garden opposite, which looked like Steptoe's yard. She had given up on politics because she had lost hope.

We elected a new council leader in Dagenham - Liam - a few months ago. His first idea: people must look after front gardens. Or else.

Residents can ring the Eyesore Gardens hotline. A team asks the landlord or household to clear up. If they don't, the team issue a legal notice which can mean court and a hefty fine. The council can move in to sort out the garden and bill the owner or landlord directly.

Simple stuff but the results are dramatic with 15.5 tons of rubbish cleared. Well over 2,000 properties visited, over 90 per cent have voluntarily cleared up gardens.

Dagenham council has served nearly 200 legal notices and is in the process of prosecuting the worst culprits. And even the local MP (me!) joined in a cleanup day.

The area now looks totally different and hope has been restored. The 86-year-old lady I chatted to is overjoyed.

There is a message here for all Westminster politicians for 2010: This is Labour is at its best - local, on the side of residents and not prepared to tolerate behaviour that disfigures our communities.

If Labour nationally could just come up with some common sense policies like the "Eyesore Gardens" idea in Dagenham then we could still stick it to the Tories over the next few months - and even in the aftermath of the expenses scandal, rebuild faith in politics."

High praise indeed...