Friday, 2 October 2009

BNP's disrespect of our Armed Forces

Incoherence and a shocking lack of respect marks the BNP attitude to the men and women in uniform who risk everything in doing their duty for this country.

On the one hand the BNP voices respect for our Armed Forces, and on the other hand it exploits them at every opportunity. For example -

From Stop the BNP:

On Tuesday 10 March this year, the Royal Anglian Regiment were heckled by a fringe group of extremist Muslim demonstrators as the soldiers marched through Luton Town Centre. This predictable action frustrated and angered nearly every section of the community – above all the local mosques, which had already banned the 15 individuals. The blaze of negative publicity produced strong comment both locally and nationally, with robust condemnations from town hall politicians and a forthright debate in the letters’ columns of local papers.

Soon afterwards it was possible to distinguish the comments intended to heal from those that sought to open up division and further an entirely different agenda.

One ex-soldier, James Yeomans, started to organise a “Respect the Troops” march to take place three weeks after the original incident. Far from a troublemaker, Yeomans intended this to be a genuine gesture to express regret at the incidents on 10 March and thus go some way towards repairing the reputation of the town.

Unfortunately, individuals started to emerge from the darker corners of Facebook and other sites, chewing over the possibility of using the occasion to create a confrontation with the town’s sizeable Pakistani and Bangladeshi population. Keyboard warriors encouraged fellow group members to “bring their tools”, going on to say “it’s going to be messy”. Momentum was gathering to the extent that coaches were being booked to carry protesters from as far away as Chester and Portsmouth. Even “The Welsh Defence League” pledged attendance, although you get the feeling that its entire membership would fit snugly into a single Ford Mondeo.

Alert at every opportunity to create division, the BNP hauled Peter Fehr back from retirement to do what he does best – leading the branch into oblivion. Despite telling a supporter in 2008 “I’m no longer active. I go to the occasional meeting in Biggleswade or sometimes Aylesbury and no longer organize anything,” Fehr began to swing the 80 local members behind the march.

He quickly organised a branch meeting (the first in six months) at the sympathetic King Harry pub for the day after the march and rounded up three out-of-towners. He wrote to members on 15 March: “I would therefore ask all members/patriots to attend this parade and support OUR troops. Please bring a Union Jack flag with you and fly it proudly when the troops parade. Lets all rally together and lets make this a day to remember.”

Sensing events were running out of his control, Yeomans cancelled the march. In an attack destined to feature in our leaflets for months to come, he cornered on the fascists:
How do people make the link between respecting our troops and a fascist parade? It’s pitiful. We had invited people from all corners of the community, including Muslim leaders. These people call themselves patriotic and proud to be British but I wonder what they have ever really done for our country? It makes me sad that they seem to have a copyright on the Union Jack. If they want to come to Luton to have a fight they need to have a look at their sad lives.

Another example of the incoherence of the BNP message was their changing attitude towards the Gurkhas.

From the Mirror:

The leader of the far-right British National Party said:
We don't think the most overcrowded country in Europe, can realistically say, 'Look, you can all come and all your relatives.'
When the Gurkhas signed up - frankly as mercenaries - they expected a pension which would allow them to live well in their own country.
Griffin made the comments on Nicky Campbell's BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast show.

Deputy BNP leader Simon Darby was filmed saying the famous fighting soldiers should be barred from Britain. He had been questioned on the BNP’s stance on the issue and said:
This question highlights the way the British army is opening itself up to become a mercenary army, with so many foreign people serving in it. It’s a bad idea, right, a bad idea. Nowhere in the Gurkha’s contracts – all those Gurkhas – does it say that you have a right to live in this country after your service. Yes, within reason some of them can stay. But 100,000 people? For Heaven’s sake. It’s not on is it? No.
The BNP had misjudged public opinion badly on this one, and later efforts to imply they had supported the Gurkhas bid for citizenship all along are just opportunistic lies.

Which didn't stop the BNP from stooping to new lows in their disrespect for the British forces -

From the News of the World:

British National Party cowards have launched an outrageous attack on a decorated Iraq war hero - claiming he only got the Victoria Cross because he is BLACK.

The vile BNP denounced brave Johnson Beharry for being "an immigrant" and tried to belittle his heroics - which saved the lives of 30 comrades - as no more than "routine". In a sick rant on its website the far-right BNP - headed by Nick Griffin - allege Lance Corporal Beharry only got Britain's top military honour because of "positive discrimination by the PC-mad government".

Our revelation comes just days after the extremist group held an Armed Forces Awareness Day in a shameless bid to portray themselves "the only party that supports our troops". The truth is that Grenada-born Beharry, then a private, was honoured in 2005 after TWICE saving colleagues' lives under enemy fire.

When his Warrior armoured vehicle was hit by rocket- propelled grenades he drove through the ambush and pulled comrades clear of the burning wreckage while a bullet penetrated his helmet.
Weeks later, he was at the wheel again when a grenade detonated inches from him. Despite blood pouring from his head, he reversed out of range before collapsing. Despite that, the spiteful BNP claim:
All he did was drive away very fast from a combat zone. . . to safety, as have hundreds and hundreds of other British soldiers.
A spokesman for the anti-racist Searchlight group said:
The BNP are repulsive. Private Beharry was awarded the highest honour in the land for risking his life in the service of his country. When did Nick Griffin last show his face in a war zone?
And let's not forget the opportunistic BNP election leaflets -

From The Sun:

An ex-Guardsman branded the BNP “scumbags” last night for using his photo and faked words on an election flyer.
Former Scots Guards NCO Stuart Walker, 37, was shocked to see a picture of himself in uniform outside Buckingham Palace on a poll leaflet.

Beside it, implying he would back the racist party in the Euro elections, were words criticising kit shortages and soldiers being “abused” by Muslims.

Stuart, who left the Army in 1997, first knew about it when it dropped through a relative’s letterbox. The dad-of-two, now a corporate manager in London, said he rang the BNP’s offices to complain and was told to “f*** off”.

He told The Sun:
I was completely outraged when I saw this leaflet. I think they got the photo off a website and the quote they’ve made up. They are scumbags and I’d never vote for them in a million years.
Compiled by Barbara Suzuki

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