Who We Are

Our intention is to inform people of racist, homophobic, religious extreme hate speech perpetrators across social networking internet sites. And we also aim to be a focal point for people to access information and resources to report such perpetrators to appropriate web sites, governmental departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Wheelchair user robbed in Edinburgh's Oxgangs area (UK)

A man in a wheelchair has been robbed by a pair of teenagers in what police described as a "sickening" attack.

The 44-year-old man attempted to pass the suspects in Oxgangs Drive, Edinburgh, at 0940 BST.

They blocked his path and repeatedly punched him before escaping with some of his personal belongings in the direction of Firhill Drive.

The victim was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary as a precaution. He was not seriously injured.

Both suspects were described as being white and aged about 16 or 17.

One of them was 6ft tall, of medium build, with blonde hair. He was wearing black jeans and a blue T-shirt.
The second was 5ft 10in tall, of slim build, with short dark hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a grey, hooded top.
A police spokesman said: "This is a sickening unprovoked attack, and although not seriously injured the man has been left understandably shaken as a result.

"We are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time, and who saw what happened, to contact us.

"We would also like to hear from anyone who might recognise the description of the suspects."

BBC News

London pub 'refused gay group drinks' (UK)

A pub chain has apologised after a gay group said staff refused to serve them in a row over their sexuality.

The Labour Party's Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual Society were in the Greencoat Boy pub in Westminster, central London, when a row broke out.
The duty manager is alleged to have refused them service and said that had he known they were a gay group he would not have accepted their booking.

Punch Taverns, which owns the pub, has launched an investigation.
The matter was referred to the Metropolitan Police as a possible breach of equality laws.

James Asser, a member of the group, said: "Everyone involved was shocked and outraged. This attitude is totally unacceptable in this day and age.

"What century are we living in here?"
He continued: "When you encounter prejudice you have to stand up and be counted - at the very least we expect an apology.
"We also want a demonstration that the pub chain takes this very seriously and will make sure it never happens again."
A spokesman for Punch Taverns denied the group were refused drinks because of their sexuality.

He also disputed whether the duty manager had made the statement about bookings.

'Commitment to diversity'
The spokesman said: "Punch Taverns seeks to provide welcoming venues to everyone. We are shocked and saddened that a group of our guests did not experience this and would like to apologise.

"We would however like to stress that this is an isolated incident and is not representative of our commitment to diversity.
"We are currently conducting a full investigation of the incident and will report back to the Labour LGBT group with our findings."

The incident became the most viewed trend on social networking site Twitter.

Former Labour deputy prime minister John Prescott Tweeted in support of the group, writing: "40 years ago we campaigned against a Hull pub that banned 'women and queers'.

"This is disgraceful."
There was controversy during the election campaign after Conservative Chris Grayling allegedly supported the right of Christian bed and breakfast owners to refuse service to gay couples.

BBC News

The EDL Racists Came to Wales and the people stood their ground by B.Taylor

Yesterday saw the EDL come to Wales’ capital city in the guise of the WDL – Welsh Defence League. Although a few carried Welsh flags most were clearly over from England for another day of racism in the sunshine, chanting ‘EDL’ and carrying the St George cross.

As always, the UAF and other anti-racist, anti-fascist organisations arranged a counter-demonstration to show the people of Cardiff that this blatant racism and hate-mongering would not be tolerated, and will never be allowed to go unchallenged.
The anti-racist protestors gathered outside the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, with placards and flags being thrust into eager anti-racist hands. And although the far right idiots will then claim everyone was a UAF unwashed lefty, it was obvious to anyone involved that this was not the case.
As around 300-400 people started on the march, and the atmosphere was friendly and happy with people of all ages, abilities, disabilities and races taking part. The UAF were the most organised with the banners and placards distribution of all the groups that participated but this was a march of people against racism, and all the organisations involved came second to that overwhelming feeling.

Racist were promoting hate in Cardiff and we were not going to let it go unchallenged!

We marched through the Grangetown area of Cardiff and had a lot of support from local people along the route, families waved as we passed, shoppers chatted to the stewards about why we were marching – and plenty of taxi drivers honked their horns in support. A lot of people came out and joined the march as we passed through their communities.

The march also went past Cardiff Castle, and we got a lot of bemused looks from people who were in the city for the rugby game, the Stereophonics concert, the cricket match or just tourists out enjoying the sunshine. We will also all be featuring on a lot of home videos, as dozens of people filmed the march as it went past – so the message to the world will be clear: the people of Cardiff do not tolerate racism in any form!
The march finished next to the City Hall, and there was a very strong police presence waiting for us there. As the speeches and music got under way, the police handed out water to the marchers and the atmosphere remained good-natured and relaxed.

We were hemmed in between two civic buildings, with the speeches talking place towards the back of the courtyard area. Many of us drifted towards the open front, where the police had about a dozen vans, a few horses and a couple of hundred officers, to watch for the EDL/WDL arriving. More people drifted towards the protest over the next hour or so, and we ended up with about 550-650 people in total.

There were a few hard-core protestors mixed in with the crowd, self-styled anarchists who tried to keep their faces covered so the police, who were filming the protest, couldn’t identify them if they caused trouble. As it was a hot day, none of them managed to keep their faces hidden the entire time so it appeared to be for effect and bravado more than practicality. Especially as they didn’t bother to hide some very distinctive tattoos, piercing’s and hairstyles. Fortunately these were in the minority, and most of us didn’t mind being filmed as there was no intention to break any law.

After a long wait we had a little excitement when four men started walking towards the anti-racist protest line. They had shaven heads and looked like your typical stereotype EDL racist supporters – some of our protestors started to boo them and shout ‘shame on you’ as they walked closer to our enclosed area. It wasn’t until they were up to the barrier that one of their number opened his jacket and showed a SHARP (Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudice) t-shirt. Just goes to show everyone can all be guilty of judging a book by the cover!

The EDL - and I call them EDL deliberately, not WDL. This was not a separate group trying to defend Wales from some imaginary influx of scary Muslims, many of them wore English flags and they all chanted ‘E, E, EDL’. Not WDL. These were the same football hooligans we have seen up and down Britain, rioting and trying to stir up racial hatred. So – the EDL started to turn up in small numbers about an hour after our march had finished. When the first lot arrived – maybe 20 of them – they were greeted with chants from the anti-racist protestors and lots of placards were waved. We later found out that they were brought into the city by bus; there was no EDL march.

The police maintained a strong line in front of us, and when a large group of EDL supporters were expected, they moved the horses and vans in a line between us. The EDL were still met with roars of protest from our side, which they answered with chants and shouts of their own, but we were a few hundred yards apart so I doubt they could understand us any more then we understood them. Although the meanings from both sides were crystal clear.

In a very surreal twist, both groups were given areas on either side of the civic building for their protests, and inside the civic building weddings continued to be held. There will be a lot of wedding photos from yesterday with lines of police vans and protestors in the background, and 5 or 6 brides with an interesting wedding day story to tell their grandchildren.

The police, trying to avoid potential flare-ups of trouble, separated the anti-fascist protestors into areas; those of us outside the courtyard area were cut off from the ones inside the courtyard. We could go back in, but no one was allowed out. They did try to get us back inside the courtyard where we could not see the EDL and therefore have no confrontation, but they were met with a lot of resistance and initially let us stay where we were.

As more EDL members arrived the police line in front of us gradually started to move forward, so push us backwards, but another line of police had blocked the entrance to the courtyard so we could not re-join the main protest. This resulted in a stream of anti-racists protestors breaking away and entering the grassy park area which allowed us to see directly into the courtyard where the EDL were housed - about 70-100 of us all moved into the park.

The police maintained a strong line in front of us in case of trouble, and their line was not challenged. We kept a respectful distance from the police while letting the EDL know what we thought of the hatred and lies they try to spread. I only saw one arrest, although I understand there were 3 or 4. The woman who was arrested had been directly challenging the police offices requests throughout the march and had arrived with a group who chose to keep their faces covered; I didn’t see what prompted the arrest, but I wasn’t surprised to see it was one of their numbers.

Some of the protestors noticed a bus of EDL supporters arriving and broke to one side of the park to confront them. I was later told they tried to attack the bus with sticks, but this was uncorroborated and later
police reports don’t mention it. We were quickly surrounded by officers and herded away from the road, so we returned to the area facing the EDL-filled courtyard.

The protest continued in this way for some time, with the 130-150 EDL protestors standing behind barriers shouting unintelligibly, and the anti-racist protestors facing them chanting the usual ‘Nazi scum off our streets’ among many other slogans, led by various people taking turns on a megaphone.

When the time came for the EDL to move on, about an hour after they arrived, the police decided to clear the park directly in front of the EDL occupied courtyard of our group of protestors. The line they surrounded us with started to move forward, and our group moved backwards to accommodate their request. However it soon became clear that the intention was to clear the park entirely and let the EDL go home with no goodbyes from us. The protestors stopped complying with the requests of the police and stood their ground, arguing that we would leave until the EDL left and we would not allow the EDL to move anywhere in the city without being challenged.

The police tried to push us out of the park, but we would not be moved. As still we were only given the option to leave and not to re-join the main anti-EDL demo.

The chanting at the EDL carried on, and although there was a little pushing and shoving the protest continued to be non-violent. After a few fruitless minutes of trying to move us on, the police decided to escort the EDL out of the area with us still in place. We were able to once again vocally express our disgust at the EDL and their disgraceful attitude toward members of our communities – no unchallenged racism in Wales’ capital city!

The EDL were escorted away from the area, but initially stayed in a group thereby forcing the police to escort them until the group had broken up and dispersed into the city centre. Some anti-fascist protestors continued to follow them and express their views, but there were no direct clashes.

Despite a difference of opinion with the police at the end, the day stayed peaceful and showed everyone that Cardiff will not tolerate racist behaviour. The EDL ‘protest’ consisted of 150 thugs standing in an enclosed area of Cardiff for an hour, with no march and very little support. The Anti-EDL march consisted of 550-650 people, support from the local communities on a 90-minute march which took in one of the main roads in the centre of Cardiff, music, speeches and a clear demonstration of out commitment to keep Cardiff and the rest of Wales as multi-cultural as possible.

In the words of one of the songs sung on the march:

We are black, white, Asian and we’re Jew
And there are many, many more of us than you!

Stand up to the EDL, BNP and any other far right racist groups.

Crime handbook provokes fear of increased left-wing violence (Germany)

Police are trying to find the authors and distributors of what has been described as a criminal handbook full of tips for saboteurs on how to commit arson, stop trains and cut down electricity pylons without getting caught, according to Der Spiegel magazine.

The 80-page brochure called ‘Prisma’ has been circulated within largely left-wing groupings in the Berlin, Hamburg and the Lower Saxony regions, according to the authorities who fear it may become instrumental in encouraging violence.

The use of sophisticated techniques such as deploying timers as well as several different kinds of inflammable material in arson attacks is discussed in the brochure, as are methods for cutting down electricity pylons and stopping trains by placing obstructions on the line.

There are also several chapters on how to avoid getting caught, outlining the investigation techniques of the police, and offering detailed advice on how saboteurs can avoid leaving clues and shake off those who might be tracking them.

The brochure, “encourages criminal acts with an until now unseen attention to detail and professionalism,” said Hans-Werner Wargel, head of Lower Saxony’s state intelligence service.

“This criminal handbook has reached a quality not previously seen,” he told Der Spiegel.

The magazine noted figures which showed that the number of left-wing radical acts of violence rose by 53 percent in 2009. A grouping of federal and state interior ministers is planning to tackle the scene with an action plan, which has yet to be agreed.

The Local Germany


A rightwing-backed move to deport foreign criminals more readily has come under fire from the head of the Federal Migration Office who says it's “disproportionate”. Director Alard du Bois-Reymond said in an interview published on Saturday that committing even relatively trivial crimes would be reason enough to expel up to four times as many foreigners as today. Currently about 350-400 foreign criminals get sent home each year. Du Bois-Reymond said a counterproposal that made its way through the House of Representatives last week would deport only those foreign criminals guilty of more serious offences. Estimates say the number of expulsions under that measure would probably be double today’s rate. The counterproposal would also take more preventative steps by working to integrate foreigners better into society. “Unfortunately foreigners are often associated with crime,” de Bois-Reymond said. “But Switzerland also benefits a lot from foreigners, too.” The Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which collected more than 210,000 signatures starting in 2008 to force a vote on the issue, says the counterproposal is too watered down. “It opens up the way for numerous appeals and complaints,” the party said on a website created for the initiative. “For this reason the SVP stands fully behind the people’s initiative, because only it guarantees a consistent expulsion of criminal foreigners.”
Swiss Info


From his party's office in the basement of a Stockholm parking garage, Jimmie Akesson is running for Parliament, preaching sharp cuts in immigration and calling Islam the greatest threat to Swedish society. That message until now has gained little traction in Sweden, but polls are predicting gains for Akesson's far-right Sweden Democrats that could give them a king-maker role in national elections this year if neither mainstream bloc wins an outright majority. It's an unnerving scenario for Swedes and their self-image of being more tolerant of outsiders than the rest of Europe. Opinion polls show the Sweden Democrats could get 4 to 6 percent of votes in the September election, enough to win 15-20 seats in the 349-member Riksdag and potentially throw Swedish politics into disarray. But by law a party needs at least 4 percent to get into the legislature, and the Sweden Democrats could well fall short. Also, paradoxically, their poll numbers are up at a time when another survey show the number of Swedes worried about excessive immigration is declining. All the same, the mainstream parties which hitherto simply ignored the far right are being forced to say where they stand. The center-left says it won't govern with the Sweden Democrats under any circumstances. The incumbent center-right hasn't put it quite that strongly, but sounds very reluctant to line up with the far right.

Akesson, the clerkish 31-year-old leading the Sweden Democrat charge, insists voters are more disenchanted with liberal immigration laws than they admit out loud. "In Sweden, if you voice criticism against the immigration policy, you are viewed as a racist or xenophobe," Akesson said. "It's difficult to get people to stand up and say 'Here's what I think.'" "Our self-image is that of a tolerant country," said Lena Sundstrom, a Swedish writer who has studied the hardening attitudes toward immigrants in neighboring Denmark. Swedes, she says, draw national pride from such achievements as gender equality, and the brand names they have exported worldwide - Volvo cars, Ikea furniture. And even though one in every four residents or their parents were born in a foreign country, and an estimated 300,000 Muslims live in the otherwise Christian but secularized country of 9.35 million, it hasn't swept any nationalist movements to prominence. Denmark, by contrast, has a minority nationalist party whose king-maker power imposed curbs on immigration, making it a role model for the Sweden Democrats. The other Nordic neighbors, Norway and Finland, also have such parties in their legislatures, advocating strong controls on immigration. So do other western European countries including Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Swedes occasionally debate the pros and cons of banning burqas or minarets, or pressuring immigrants to learn Swedish, as has happened in some European countries, but these ideas have never gone beyond talk. "Swedes in general are a very tolerant people," Akesson acknowledges. "But I'm convinced that a large part of the Swedish electorate believes that the immigration policies have been too lax and far too generous." Over the years, that generosity has given jobs to migrants from southern Europe; haven to victims of Chilean dictatorship; escape from Iran's ayatollahs; safety for Kurds, Bosnians and Kosovars, and more recently, Iraqis and Somalis. Sweden now has more immigrants from Iraq than from neighboring Norway and Denmark combined, according to government statistics. Last year alone it admitted more than 100,000 immigrants, including 10,000 Thais, 8,700 Somalis and 8,500 Iraqis, those statistics show. A survey of 9,000 people by the SOM institute at Goteborg University last month showed the proportion of Swedes who believe the country has admitted too many immigrants fell from 52 percent in 1993 to 36 percent last year. No margin of error was given. In some cities immigrants are nearly 40 percent of the population, and in certain neighborhoods nearly 90 percent.

What worries many Swedes is the clustering of immigrants in neighborhoods with nicknames such as "Little Baghdad." Few native Swedes ever set foot in these districts, viewing them as dangerous slums infested with criminal gangs and Islamic fundamentalists. Critics say the extent of those problems are often exaggerated by the Sweden Democrats, but there is no doubt that Sweden is becoming increasingly segregated. In the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby, aka "Little Mogadishu," a 20-year-old Somali woman in a black head scarf says: "Not even a non-Muslim dares to walk around with a short skirt in Rinkeby." She doesn't give her name for fear of neighbors' reaction. The Sweden Democrats say immigration has become an economic burden, draining the welfare system and channeling jobs to newcomers who work for lower wages. Akesson says he fears Sweden is adapting to the Muslim minority instead of the other way around and has written of Islam's impact on Swedish society as "our biggest foreign threat since World War II." He mentions cases of public schools that have stopped serving pork and no longer celebrate the end of the school year in church.

Akesson also points to attacks against artist Lars Vilks, who drew the prophet Muhammad with a dog's body. Last month furious protesters chanting "God is Great" in Arabic disrupted Vilks' guest lecture at Uppsala University and vandals tossed firebombs at his home. The party's views have provoked fierce reactions. Some high schools have prohibited party members from handing out flyers on school grounds. In 2007 the party struggled to find a venue for its annual meeting when several conference centers turned it down, citing security concerns. Police say the party is exposed to "systematic threats" from activists, and the it keeps the address of the Stockholm office secret. The Sweden Democrats emerged from an explicitly racist movement called "Keep Sweden Swedish" in the late 1980s. They have since expelled extremist members, and made their first political mark in 2006 elections when they won seats on municipal councils and fell just short of getting seats in Parliament. "Swedishness is not in your skin color or in any part of the body. It's in your values and how you behave," Akesson said. The party has changed its logo from a burning flame to a liverwort flower. In Akesson's office, the most overt nod to national sentiment is the tropical fish in the aquarium. They are yellow and blue - the colors of the Swedish flag.

Associated Press

Far-right thugs menace Rome's tourist spots in wave of violence

Rise in race attacks is fuelled by drink and election of former neo-fascist as mayor

On the surface, the good times returned to the Coming Out bar in Rome last week. Music boomed as crowds of drinkers spilled out into what has been dubbed Gay Street to perch on the railings, inches from a brightly lit Colosseum.

But for many gay and lesbian revellers the atmosphere was soured by the memory of how, just days earlier, one drinker was badly beaten on his way home by a gang yelling: "Filthy faggot."

"We have been joking about the attack to cut the tension, but friends are warning us to take care," said Giovanni, a 33-year-old marketing man from Padua.

The attack was the latest in a string of assaults on gays, immigrants and even tourists that have been linked to extreme rightwing thuggery in the traditionally tolerant eternal city, fuelled by a spiralling consumption of alcohol and following the election of former neo-fascist, Gianni Alemanno, as mayor.

"These thugs don't get any support from the town hall, but they feel justified and encouraged by the political climate," said Flavia Servadei, who opened Coming Out in 2001.

The assault near "Gay Street" was the eighth incident of homophobic violence in Rome in just nine months, including a serious wounding of a gay man by a veteran neo-fascist, two attempts to burn down a gay disco, and the lobbing of a firecracker into the crowd outside Coming Out.

In March four men boarded a night bus in the trendy Trastevere district and methodically beat up a black man and a homosexual student.

"Young people in Rome who are joining extremist groups, and who are no longer being warned off violence against minorities, are increasingly deciding that such violence is legitimate," said Paolo Patanè, the president of Italian gay rights group Arcigay, which is pushing to make homophobia a crime.

With almost a third of young Italians out of work and immigrants now accounting for 7% of the population, racist attacks in Rome have also become a regular occurrence.

In March, 15 masked men armed with sticks destroyed a Bangladeshi-owned internet café, injuring four. In the tough neighbourhood of Tor Bella Monaca, immigrants from Moldavia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Albania, China and Tunisia have all been beaten up or stabbed in recent months. Last month four men were arrested in possession of machetes on suspicion of planning to assault the head of Rome's Jewish community.

Wearing jeans, polo shirts and sunglasses, the youths swigging lager and looking for trouble in piazzas today resemble their rightwing forebears like Alemanno, who battled young Communists during Italy's politically charged 1970s and 1980s. "The difference is that today they are less ideological and more interested in identity, in opposing anything and anyone who is different," said Michele Sorice, a sociologist at Rome's Luiss university.

The other generational shift is an emphasis on alcohol, as the old Italian fixation with maintaining a bella figura gives way to pride in losing control. City officials said they were considering a repeat of last summer's ban on drinking in Rome's piazzas to cut violence.

"Alemanno is not responsible for the political climate in the city; he is a product of it," said Claudio Cerasa, author of The Taking of Rome, a book about the rise of the right. "Just look at the way student elections were going before he was elected in 2008." In student council elections in 2007, after decades of leftwing rule, a quarter of Rome's schoolchildren voted for Blocco Studentesco, an affiliate to the far-right Casa Pound.

Casa Pound leader Gianluca Iannone is described by Cerasa as a "fascist for the third millennium" who mixes eulogies to Mussolini with praise for Che Guevara and now counts on 2,000 recruits up and down Italy as well as sympathisers on Rome's city council.

But judging by the proliferating swastikas, the problem is that a number of Romans appear quite happy to stick to the old ideas.

"There is a simply a different atmosphere here to towns up north like Venice and Padua," said Piero, nursing his drink nervously at the Coming Out bar. "People on the far right here feel they have political


German neo-Nazi parties 'consider merger'

Germany's two main neo-Nazi parties are considering plans to merge in an attempt to gain popularity, according to reports.
The National Democratic Party (NPD) and the German People's Union (DVU), who have face flagging membership and money problems, are reportedly asking members their thoughts, according to sources at the NPD's party conference in Bamberg.

According to the newspaper Tagespiegel, the DVU in particular needs to merge in order to avoid being wiped out. The DVU has around 4,500 members, according to the German intelligence service, while the NPD has closer to 7,000.

While the NPD has had minor success in state parliaments, holding seats in Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, neither party has done well in the national parliament, with both failing claim the five per cent needed to hold seats.
The Telegraph

BNP not ‘open and honest’ says East Midlands councillor

One of the British National Party’s few remaining councillors has joined the growing calls for a challenge to Nick Griffin’s leadership of the party.

Graham Partner, who holds one of the party’s two seats on North West Leicestershire District Council, says the BNP is not “being managed in an open and honest way”.

Writing on his blog he comments: “I see people are being expelled for asking questions about the accounts and have to wonder what is there to hide. Therefore I conclude there is something to hide and I don’t like it.”

Drawing on his council experience, he notes: “Some good activists have been lost over recent years simply for speaking out. This is not acceptable to me either. I believe in people’s rights to challenge everything in the same way as Scrutiny operates on the council.

“The answers are not always what we hope for but we still ask and don’t get sacked for having the nerve.”

In a reference to the widespread accusations that the party is being run for the benefit of Griffin and his “consultant”, the anti-abortion extremist Jim Dowson, Partner declares: “How can I be expected to encourage people to join, knowing that it is run as a personal empire where the members are merely a source of income.”

Partner would welcome a challenge this year to Griffin’s leadership but believes the new constitution makes it impossible. “I am totally supportive of anyone who wants to challenge for the leadership on the grounds of democracy and if Nick wins again then so be it.

“The constitution is a farce and designed to make it near impossible to instigate regime change. Those who voted for the current version must be deluded if they think that is democratic.

“What is more, I haven’t got a clue who the Founders are and would think collecting the required number of nominees as impossible.”

Party members were required to vote for the new constitution at an EGM in February under extreme pressure to settle the action brought by the Equality and Human Rights Commission over the party’s discriminatory membership conditions. If the BNP had not agreed to admit non-white members, the resulting legal proceedings might have prevented the party contesting last month’s elections.

However Griffin used the party’s desperate position to insert clauses imposing onerous requirements on anyone wanting to challenge for the leadership. Members could only vote for or against the constitution as a whole, without amendment and without even seeing these clauses, which were not presented to the meeting.

Under the new BNP constitution candidates for the chairmanship, who must be “voting members” (members of two years’ standing who fulfil activist and ideological training requirements) with at least five years’ continuous party membership, must secure the signatures of 20% of all party members with at least two years’ membership and 20% of all voting members. They must also by supported by 10% of the members attending a general meeting of the “Founders’ Association”, a body that is separate from the BNP but in which all party assets are vested. The constitution does not define the Founders’ Association but it is understood to be people who were paid-up members before the constitutional changes and are still members.

Griffin has promised to resign from the chairmanship by the beginning of 2014 to concentrate on securing his re-election to the European Parliament in June that year. Partner says: “If Nick Griffin is to step down in three years time, there will be a leadership contest anyway so let him accept a challenge now and save the Party three more years of squabbling and membership losses”.

Partner himself will not be a candidate. Apart from the fact that he does not rate himself as a speaker, is not interested in being chairman and would not want “the workload or the travelling about that Nick does”, Partner would not qualify as his party membership has lapsed. “Belfast [the BNP’s purportedly efficient call centre run by Dowson] were supposed to ring me on May 28th but failed to do so, therefore my five years continuous has been broken, ruling me out as a candidate and voter.”

Hope Not Hate

A gun in every household? (UK)

Nick Griffin, the British National Party leader, very properly expressed his condolences to all those affected by the shootings in West Cumbria, part of the North West region for which he is an MEP.

It seems that Derrick Bird was an ordinary man who suddenly snapped under pressure, whether from an impending tax investigation, arguments at the taxi rank where he worked, a family dispute or some other reason that has not yet come to light. We may never know the precise cause.

Unfortunately Bird was able to inflict such carnage because he had guns. Someone else in a similar situation might have killed a person or committed suicide and innocent people might have suffered in the process, but it is very unlikely there would have been so many deaths and so many people injured.

Britain’s gun laws are among the toughest in the world and further restrictions may not be the answer. There are legitimate reasons why some people should be allowed to own certain types of firearms. And whatever the criteria for granting an individual a gun licence, the police will never be able to detect every single applicant who might many years later “go postal”.

What is certain, however, is that were Griffin to have his way and every household required to keep “a standard-issue military assault rifle and ammunition” – BNP policy – there would be far more incidents such as the Cumbria tragedy, because far more people who suffer a momentary loss of control would have the opportunity to take it out on those whom they perceive as the causes of their problems.

That makes Griffin’s sympathies for Bird’s victims somewhat hypocritical.

Hope Not Hate