HOPE not hate 2008: Celebrating modern Britain
The BNP's useless councillors
BNP councillors have been elected on the promise to be different. Criticising the 'old gang', the BNP has benefited from being considered a 'new' party, and one that will look after the interests of 'local people'.
But the reality is quite different. In every area that has elected BNP councillors voters have been let down. The performance of BNP councillors reveals a shocking list of incompetence, absence and general indifference. Most BNP councillors rarely participate in council business, regularly skip meetings and ignore requests for help from local people. When they do attend meetings they vote against policies on which they campaigned for election, vote with the Tories, or put forward illegal motions.
Many have criminal convictions, including for violence. Several clearly remain uncomfortable with the BNP's attempts to distance itself from Nazism and anti-Semitism.
The BNP currently has just 49 councillors out of a national total of over 8,000, yet the majority of even this small number have failed. Just look at this shower:
- Luke Smith (Burnley). Smith was forced to resign after he smashed a bottle into the face of a Leeds BNP organiser. Despite claiming to be the party of law and order, the BNP failed to call in the police and press charges. When Smith was chosen as a BNP candidate he had only recently been convicted of football violence. He has had several more convictions and was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment after being caught fighting in Manchester.
- Brian Turner (Burnley). In 2005 Turner was convicted of assaulting his wife and a woman police officer while a councillor, and ordered to do 100 hours community service, yet the BNP refused to disown him. On the contrary, the BNP defended him by issuing a statement saying: 'we are not in the business of persecuting our members because the state considers someone guilty'. In 2006 he was convicted for racially abusing a group of Asian men, but ignored calls to resign. He has also been banned from every football ground in the country.
- Dan Kelley (Barking and Dagenham). Kelley resigned from the council only eight months after being elected after admitting that he was completely out of his depth. 'There's meetings that go right over my head and there's little point in me being there', he told the local paper.
- Richard Mulhall (Calderdale). Mulhall was found guilty of benefit fraud in October 2006, including against the council on which he is BNP group leader, and sentenced to 200 hours community service. Although 97 per cent of people in a local newspaper poll demanded his resignation, he remains in place. During his trial he declared: 'I would not class myself as an intelligent person'. He was previously heavily involved in the neo-Nazi terror group Combat 18.
- Robin Evans (Blackburn). Evans left the BNP after complaining about the drug dealers and football hooligans who dominated his local BNP branch. He also criticised the Burnley BNP councillors as useless. He had previously admitted that council business was 'mumbo jumbo' to him. After leaving the BNP he remained on the council describing himself as a 'National Socialist' (in short, a Nazi) until he lost his seat in 2004.
- David Watkins (Sandwell). Dubbed 'possibly the worst councillor in Sandwell', Watkins attended just 10 out of 63 meetings. He gave up being a councillor after just one year.
- Julian Leppert (Redbridge). In January 2007 Leppert attended a conference in London where he sat through anti-Jewish tirades from a close confidante of the Holocaust denier David Irving and from one of the leaders of the Islamic Party of Britain. Also present were the Epping Forest BNP councillors Sue Clapp and Peter Turpin.
- Rodney Law (Epping). His trade union, the RMT, threw him out for threatening the General Secretary during the 2006 local election campaign. As a councillor he spends his time scaremongering about crime committed by 'inner city youths'. In fact, residents of the three BNP wards are responsible for most of the crime in the area. He also attended the London anti-Semitic conference in January 2007.
- Claire Doncaster (Barking and Dagenham). Three months after being elected, she was evicted from her council house for failing to pay £2,000 of rent arrears. She has failed to turn up to a single meeting of the tenants and residents group in her ward since being elected in May 2006. 'That young lady is doing a disservice to our community', said chair Darren Rodwell. 'She was elected by residents of this ward to work within this ward. After six months she should have at least had the grace to come and meet the people she represents'.
- Sandra Doncaster (Barking and Dagenham). Mother of Claire, she too was taken to court for non-payment of council tax. She had not paid for two years and stacked up a debt of £2,170.34. It was not as though she could not afford it. She and her husband own a hotel in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight. Before becoming a councillor, she was twice hauled before the courts for nuisance caused by her dogs, including killing pet cats.
- Angela Clarke (Bradford). Clarke resigned from the council less than halfway through her term after fellow BNP members criticised her performance. In May 2006 she was fined £200 for resisting arrest during a fracas.
- Terry Farr (Epping Forest). Farr was suspended for three months by the local Standards Committee for writing abusive racist letters. An earlier complaint by him to the Standards Board for England resulted in a ruling that calling the BNP 'Nazi' was 'within the normal and acceptable limits of political debate'.
- Ramon Johns (Broxbourne). Although he promised to campaign for free bus passes for all elderly people, as soon as he was elected he voted against such a plan.
- James Lloyd (Sandwell). Lloyd campaigned on a ticket to make parents responsible for the crimes of their children. What he failed to tell voters was that his own son was one of the area's worst offenders. Recently Lloyd put out BNP leaflets claiming that a local library building was going to become a mosque. When it was proved this was a lie, he did not apologise, but claimed that somebody had obviously made up quotes from him. In January 2007 the police applied to the council for his pub to be closed down after a series of violent incidents. Lloyd himself was the target of one shooting but he did not report it to the police.
- Carl Butler (Sandwell). He claimed in a BNP leaflet that he cleaned graffiti off the walls of a local pub, but the landlord dismissed this as a lie.
- Simon Smith (Sandwell). After being elected, Smith ran a website that claimed the attack on the Twin Towers did not happen, declared the Holocaust was a lie and put forward other mad conspiracy theories.
- Adrian Marsden (Calderdale). The absent councillor, Marsden attended just three council meetings in the six months to March 2006 and his work record for his ward constituents was even worse. However, he managed to find the energy to act as a bodyguard to BNP leader Nick Griffin during Griffin's trial in Leeds. But what can you expect from a man with several convictions and a long history with the violent neo-Nazi group Combat 18?
- Steve Batkin (Stoke-on-Trent). Batkin attended none of a possible 30 committee meetings in the nine months to March 2005. He only spoke twice in his first two years as a councillor, and one of those times it was to ask what 'abstain' meant. He was once told by the BNP to stop talking to the media after he questioned key facts relating to the Holocaust, including saying that Jewish people refused to debate the subject because they would be exposed as liars.
- David Enderby (Redditch). In January 2007 he was found guilty of three counts of assaulting members of his estranged wife's family. He was fined £100 for each assault and ordered to pay £100 costs. His wife later told the local paper that Enderby had a history of domestic violence. He remains a councillor. Soon after Enderby was elected in May 2006 his agent, Kevin Hughes, was sent to prison for a vicious and unprovoked racist assault on an asylum seeker.
- Lawrence Rustem (Barking and Dagenham). Of Turkish Cypriot origin, Rustem told London's Turkish press that he supports the Grey Wolves, a Turkish fascist organisation responsible for an attempt to assassinate the late Pope John Paul II.
- Paul Cromie (Bradford). Cromie came under investigation by council legal officers for giving £5 notes to local pensioners in Christmas cards in December 2006. Most of the pensioners were appalled at his action. After Cromie's election in May 2006 police investigated allegations, which he denied, that he bought votes by giving £100 to pay for a Christmas party at the Goodwin House sheltered housing complex.
Councillor Maureen Stowe (Burnley) left the BNP after admitting that the party deliberately told lies to get elected. Her parting comment on leaving the BNP was: 'This is the best thing I could have done. I've got a chance to do a lot of good. Now I think we can pull all the people of Burnley together to improve things for everybody. I keep asking myself how could I have been so stupid as to have anything to do with them'.
Anybody thinking about voting for the BNP should ask themselves the same question.
Though the BNP has never been elected in Wales, they have had the odd councillor join their party. One such individual was Llysfaen councillor Pat Pattison in north Wales. He says he has recently quit the BNP-but the BNP say they sacked him.
Cllr Pattison declares: 'They got wind of the fact that I was about to resign, so they thought they would get in first claiming I do not meet their standards. Well, that is a joke in itself. The only standards you need in the BNP is to be a racist but people should not underestimate them. They have friends in high places, they are known within the party as "friendly's". They are a highly dangerous and misleading organisation and I can assure your readers that I will do my utmost to let everybody I come in contact with, know just what they are up to'.