Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Stand up to UKIP: Public Meeting 7th May

Hosted by We are Norwich - All Welcome

Wednesday 7th May, the Curve, (downstairs inside) the Forum at 7pm

Speakers to include:

Richard Howitt (Labour MEP)
Mark Ereira-Guyer (Leader of Suffolk Greens)
Julie Bremner (Norwich Pride)
A national Stand up to UKIP speaker

We are deeply concerned by the rising level of support for UKIP, shown in recent elections and opinion polls. UKIP is a far-right populist party. It is similar to far-right populist parties across Europe — such as Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands and the Tea Party movement in the US.

Like these parties, UKIP stirs up racism and reactionary views. It scapegoats immigrants, blaming them for the economic crisis, unemployment and lack of housing. UKIP has also targeted Muslims, LGBT people and other minority communities. It attacks our multicultural society. It encourages a racist and reactionary current of public opinion that threatens black and Asian people, Jewish people, Eastern Europeans, LGBT people and others. The party is riddled with racists, sexists, homophobes and bigots. Farage says his political hero is Enoch Powell. UKIP claims to be anti-establishment, but Farage is a private school educated, ex-Tory City broker.

We believe people of goodwill must come together to stand up to UKIP and say no to its racism and reactionary ideas — regardless of our differing views on Europe or other political issues. If we do not, there is a danger that UKIP will grow in influence. This will give increasing legitimacy to its racist scapegoating, which in turn will have an impact on mainstream politics. Such a climate of racist and reactionary ideas also creates a fertile breeding ground for fascist organisations, such as the British National Party and the English Defence League.

We call on all those who reject racism, scapegoating and xenophobic nationalism to join us in campaigning against UKIP. Let’s say no to racism and stand up for our multicultural society.

All our speakers will talk about UKIP and how we can best campaign against them. We are also planning local leafleting in the weeks leading up to the elections.

For more info, contact Nick O'Brien on 07717504210

Monday, 28 April 2014

Iain Dale's EU election predictions for East Anglia:

From UK POLITICS in Iain Dale's blog:

Over the next three weeks or so I will be trying to predict the results of the European Elections which take place in the UK on May 22, with the results being announced late in the evening of Sunday 25 May. I will be hosting a European Elections Special Programme on LBC from 9pm that evening. Let’s kick off with the region I know best, the East of England, where 7 seats are up for grabs. 

The Eastern region covers the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.


Con 3
Lab 1
LibDem 1

In 2005 the result was identical. In 1999 UKIP had one fewer and the Tories were on 4. Labour had 2. But in 1999 there 8 seats, not 7.

Last time around the Greens narrowly missed out on a seat with Andrew Duff clinging on for the LibDems. My prediction for this year is this…

Con 2
Lab 1
Green 1

If I’m right it will see the exit from the European Parliament of David Campbell-Bannerman who defected (or reratted) to the Tories from UKIP during this parliament. UKIP need to gain at least one seat in this region if they are to achieve their aim of topping the polls throughout the country. Winning 4 seats is probably beyond them, which would mean one of their youngest candidates, Michael Heaver, missing out. If they get three, it will see their Comms Director Patrick O’Flynn. Head of policy Tim Aker and Norfolk farmer Stuart Agnew elected. Last time they got 313,000 votes. Anything below 450,000 will be seen as not making the headway they needed to make. I suspect they may well score above 500,000 votes in one of their strongest regions.

Labour could, in theory, win both of the remaining seats but last time they only scored 167,000 votes in the whole region. To win both seats and hold off the Greens and the LibDems they will need to increase their vote dramatically from the 10.5% scored in 2009. The Greens, on the other hand, probably only need to go up by two per centage points from the 8.5% they got last time. The LibDems have scored 13.8% and 14% in the last two elections. Can they possibly score that highly this time? I very much doubt it and predict they will be down to around 10%.

So that final seat could well be a five way fight. If I had to put money on it, i think the Greens may well nick it on the basis that they may well pick up the extra 2% from disillusioned LibDems who don’t want to vote Labour.

Predicted Winning Candidates

Conservative Party – Vicky Ford, Geoffrey Van Orden
Green Party – Rupert Read
Labour Party – Richard Howitt
UK Independence Party – Patrick O’Flynn, Stuart Agnew, Tim Aker

If you feel uncomfortable or worse because of these predictions, bear in mind that there is still time to influence voters.

More about that to come.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Another Cambridgeshire UKIP councillor in trouble

From the Ely Standard:

Independent assessment finds UKIP councillor’s remarks to firefighters racist & derogatory

Councillor Peter Lagoda

A UKIP county councillor who described his sister to fire fighters as a ‘w**’, spoke of relatives who were ‘Mongols’ that had children with ‘slanty eyes’ has been condemned by an independent inquiry.

Cambridgeshire County Council said tonight that the independent member of its standards committee had reviewed a complaint against Councillor Peter Lagoda and found he had brought the council into disrepute.

Cllr Lagoda made the remarks during a visit to Wisbech fire station and a council statement said the review concluded that “the remarks by Cllr Lagoda could be interpreted by a reasonable person as racist, derogatory and discriminatory in nature”.

The statement added that the comments were “not acceptable in every day use. It was also the view of the independent person that Cllr Lagoda breached the members’ code of conduct of treating others with respect and bringing their office or authority into disrepute”.

The findings also made a “strong recommendation” that Cllr Lagoda – recently given a 12 month community order for a benefits offence- should write a “sincere apology” to Cambridgeshire Fire Authority.

The council statement added a further recommendation that Cllr Lagoda should attend training on equality and diversity issues.

It was noted by the independent person that Cllr Lagoda did not dispute he had used the words but these were part of a private conversation and not in the public arena.

It was also highlighted that the councillor had shown remorse and that the fire authority personnel had indicated the approach suggested by the independent person was acceptable to them.
Cllr Lagoda always admitted to using the words but insisted they were in the context of a private conversation and that he must have been “misunderstood” by the firefighters.

He said after the incident had been reported: “Yes, my cousin married Mongols and now all their little children are ever so cute and they have slanty eyes.

“They’ve taken it the wrong way and my English must be far greater than theirs because I looked in the dictionary and a person from Mongolia is called a Mongol. It’s always the British that bastardize words.”

He denied his remarks were racist and said he had answered “honestly about my family and my roots. If I’m asked in future about my family I think I have learnt what to say- nothing.”

Labour MEP Richard Howitt said the remarks were “very shocking” and “deeply offensive”.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Cambridgeshire UKIP councillor "should apologise" to children in care

From Cambridge News by Chris Havergal:

Cambridgeshire UKIP councillor Gordon Gillick should apologise directly for children in care 'takers' outburst, panel says

Cllr Gordon Gillick at the Cambridgeshire County Council election court

Two misbehaving councillors including UKIP’s Gordon Gillick should apologise for breaking the rules, a panel has decided.

Cllr Gillick had already said he was “deeply sorry” for an outburst in which he was alleged to have branded children in care “takers” from society but Cambridgeshire County Council’s ethics committee yesterday said he should go further.

Councillors said Cllr Gillick should apologise directly to three looked-after children who were present when he allegedly made the remarks – as he has offered to do – in person or in writing.

However, the committee stopped short of formally censuring Cllr Gillick.

An investigation found Cllr Gillick breached the code of conduct at a Shire Hall event by failing to treat the teenagers with respect and by bringing the authority into disrepute.

After being told about court hearings involving looked-after children, Cllr Gillick responded by allegedly shouting: 
These are secret courts aren’t they, come on, tell us the truth.
The investigation said it was “impossible” to be sure of what Cllr Gillick said after the teenagers showed a film about their experiences, but one account suggested he said: 
It was all very ‘me, me, me’ your film. What about your responsibilities – to work, to give back, for example. Can you tell us, how does it feel to be takers from the system?
Cllr Gillick denied calling the children “takers”.

Cllr Mac McGuire, a member of yesterday’s committee, said: 
It’s good to hear Cllr Gillick will do his utmost to learn from this unfortunate experience.

I hope he does, and I hope any other member who is inclined to come out with an outburst and bring this council into disrepute learns from Cllr Gillick’s experience, because we will not tolerate this.
Councillors accepted an offer from East Chesterton’s Cllr Ian Manning to apologise over an alleged leak about a planned pay rise for senior staff. Cllr Manning was not responsible for the leak but declined to withdraw a press statement when concerns were raised, and was accused of bringing his office into disrepute.

A formal hearing will be held over similar allegations involving Waterbeach’s Cllr Maurice Leeke, who denies wrongdoing.


Cllr Gillick says he is ‘deeply sorry’ after probe

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

MoD condemns ‘immoral’ BNP

From the Independent by JONATHAN OWEN: 

MoD condemns ‘immoral’ BNP for exploiting brutal murder of Lee Rigby in campaign video

The brutal murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby is being exploited by the British National Party in a bid to win support ahead of next month’s European elections, The Independent can reveal.

A BNP campaign video which plays on the death of the young soldier has been condemned as “immoral” by the Ministry of Defence and as a “disgusting” and “desperate” tactic by campaigners.

The film features a Spitfire flying intercut with images of soldiers on parade or fighting overseas as slogans such as “stop the immigration invasion” appear. It ends with an appeal to “Remember Lee” before a picture of the soldier in regimental uniform appears in the background of a Union Jack flag – with the words “Vote BNP” and “no surrender”.

Fusilier Rigby was off duty when he was murdered in Woolwich last May. He was run over by Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22. The pair then stabbed and hacked at the 25-year-old as he lay unconscious, in an attempt to decapitate him. Adebolajo will spend the rest of his life in prison, and Adebowale will serve a minimum of 45 years.

Yesterday campaigners and the MoD condemned the use of the attack to win votes for the election, which happens to fall on the first anniversary of Fusilier Rigby’s death – May 22 – something the BNP exploits in the film.

General Sir Mike Jackson, the former head of the British Army said: 
This seems to be an appalling attempt at exploiting the very sad death of a soldier and it is something which must be condemned.
A spokesman for the MoD added: 
It is immoral and patently wrong that any organisation should seek to make political gains out of the tragic death of one of our personnel. It is equally inappropriate to suggest that the members of the Armed Forces should be directly linked to the activities of any political party.
The MoD added it did not endorse the use of the photograph of Fusilier Rigby in the film, taken by an agency photographer and so not Crown Copyright.

Weyman Bennett, the general secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said the film was “a disgrace and an attempt to whip up racism against Muslims”. He added: “The BNP is bankrupt financially and bankrupt politically. The video is an insult to Lee Rigby’s family. It’s a disgusting, desperate act.”

A spokesperson for SSAFA, the Army charity which runs the Lee Rigby Fund, said the family 
have already expressed a wish to avoid any media engagement around the subject of Lee’s death, as we lead up to the anniversary.
The tactic comes after last week’s revelatons in The Independent that BNP activists are trying to woo support by taking mobile food banks to poor areas – echoing the Greek extremists Golden Dawn.

Asked to defend the film Simon Darby, BNP spokesman, said: “Are you actually not showing a little bit of bias towards the white community in not allowing us to draw attention to a white victim whereas you wouldn’t even ask that question or run a story about a black or an Asian victim?”

Sunday, 6 April 2014

EDL: Post-Mortem!

From Malatesta's Blog:

A post-mortem spasm is when a dead body continues to twitch before rigor mortis sets in and it seems that the English Defence League is suffering from a seriously contracted one. Someone should tell the clueless winnets clinging to the EDL’s prolapsed rectum that ‘the biggest protest movement ever of all time ever’ is over. The recent demos have been piss poor: Slough just over 100, Peterborough a couple of hundred, and every day there are the usual recriminations and fallouts with members slagging each other off and accusing each other of ‘egos,’ ‘backstabbing’ and general unpleasantness.

Of course they’ve hardly been helped by the somewhat drastic jailings of dozens of members for the Walsall riot in 2012. What happened was the ‘neither racist nor violent but both’ EDL were kettled in a side street when they violently reacted then posted boastful footage of them kicking off all over Youtube. Well done. Plod put out a Grimewatch poster that had many of them cacking it badly before being sent down – which is about to increase in number after another dozen or so clueless bugles had their case adjourned this week and have no doubt spent the weekend packing their toothbrushes!

Despite cries for unity the state of the far right is pretty fragmented: the rump EDL is staggering like a drunk in a graveyard; the NF have been ruined by internal splits; the ever diminishing Infidels have either fallen out with each other or are in jail; the English Volunteer Force is desperately ‘uniting’ various 1 man organisations such as the laughable Bristol Defence League and made complete arsespangles of themselves today with a miniscule ‘flash demo’ in Cricklewood which was as pointless as it was embarrassing. Here they all are:

Meanwhile publicity desperate ‘Britain First’ were hassling the equally pointless ‘British Taliban’ near a chippy or something. Like everyone else we hardly noticed the ‘White Cider’ demo in Swansea when about 20 nazi fantasists turned up where they weren’t wanted. This ‘mass mobilisation’ including a couple of the Convicted Ex-Forces, including the deserter who was booted out for thieving off his mates, and Joanne Dickens who sports a Celtic cross on her lady lumps. A friend of ours questioned her about this but she claimed that it was not a right wing symbol. Aye, and neither is this swastika on me arse love. This is the ‘neither racist nor violent’ Ms. Dickens at her most charming:

Of course the main thing this month is the massive anti-fascist celebration down in Brighton which is also when a few dozen pissed up ‘patriots’ try and ‘peacefully’ march through the town before either getting nicked, slapped or bussed out rapido by an increasingly vexed populace. The March For England claims it is a ‘St George’s family day out’ but all evidence would seem to contradict this. Check the link:


Here is the PDF:

March For England Violent Threats

So despite the depressing news from France this week about the Front National electoral successes, the far right in perfidious Albion are doing less than well. See you at the seaside!

Friday, 4 April 2014

EDL Marchers and Strange Irrational Rituals

From the Huffington Post by Will Black:

The English Defence League march in Peterborough on Saturday was not the first I've witnessed. In fact, it was tediously familiar. Drunken louts ranting incoherently about how they would like 'their country' to be, while multicultural England looks on - or avoids them - have become a regular spectacle in England.

If Einstein - who rarely gets a mention in articles about the EDL - was right in claiming that madness can be defined as doing something repeatedly but expecting different outcomes, the EDL is precariously close to the edge of reason.

However, the EDL is not a political party so perhaps we are wrong to hope for logic or coherence. Its marches are less reminiscent of a political rally than ageing football hooligans looking for trouble.

Before the recent event in Peterborough, EDL claimed to be marching to protect girls from gangs of 'Muslim' paedophiles. This spurious justification is influenced by the tragic case of girls being abused by a paedophile ring in Peterborough. However, the fact is the gang responsible was not a 'group of Muslims' but a network of sex offenders, from a number of different cultural backgrounds. Those convicted were Czech, Slovakian and Kurdish - and nothing in the trial indicated deeply-held religious convictions.

Oddly, considering its apparent obsession with ethnicity, culture and religion, the EDL seems to know very little about these subjects. Amid regular incoherent calls to 'send them back', is a complete ignorance of the fact that in Peterborough - as elsewhere - a large proportion of ethnically Asian citizens were born in the UK.

Furthermore, if EDL suddenly were given the power to 'send them back' to where their parents and grandparents came from, they would have to learn how to find former British colony Uganda on a map, as this is where most ethnically Asian families in Peterborough came from in the 1970s.

Idi Amin and the EDL

We would then have to explain a bit about Idi Amin to the EDL, which might make for an awkward conversation. They would first need to know that the tyrant was put in place by British colonial powers - as the British Establishment tiptoed out of Africa like a thief holding onto loot, having plundered it for longer than is conceivable.

The next bit has particular resonance for the EDL, BNP and also Ukip. The reason Asians had to flee Uganda is because Idi Amin blamed them for economic problems within the country. He was an incompetent, functionally illiterate psychopath who - rather than take responsibility for his own failings - scapegoated Asian Ugandans. Just as the Nazis did with German Jews. Just as all right wing political parties do with any minority lacking power.

Because Asian Ugandans ran businesses across the country, Amin thought that driving them from the country, taking their property and giving their homes, shops, farms and other businesses to his supporters would strengthen his position.

Before Amin seized power, in 1971, there were 80,000 Asians in Uganda. Most of these had been born in the country to families brought to Africa by the British Empire. In 1972 Amin ordered the expulsion of ethnic Asians, who he allowed to be beaten, raped and robbed by his troops. Approximately 30,000 of those fleeing came to the UK, often encountering racism and violent abuse here.

Ultimately Amin's regime caused a catastrophic bloodbath and economic collapse. Even Britain stopped selling him weapons - and businesses stolen from Asian Ugandans failed because Amin's cronies lacked the skills or knowledge to make them work.

As the country fell into chaos and greater poverty, Amin had anyone he suspected of being an enemy conspirator murdered. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed under his eight-year military dictatorship.

Looking back to Amin's era, we can see clearly that Asian Ugandans were not the enemy of society but actually part of the glue holding the country together. Asians helped keep Uganda fed and clothed and played vital roles in banking and other key service industries. Businesses owned by Asian people were a source of stability in a region of conflict and political instability.

The EDL will not like this characterisation but my view is the movement is as deluded and ignorant as Idi Amin and his supporters were. If they were to repatriate British Asians to where they came from it would often mean taking them a few streets away, if that. Therefore, all that can be attacked is an ideology - and given that EDL people often lack awareness of history, geography, anthropology, economics or politics, it seems highly unlikely that they are the best people to provide a coherent critique of Islam.

Getting drunk and ranting at scared passers-by in the hope of ridding the country of Muslims is more irrational than any religious practice I have studied. As a regular ritual - performed in towns across England - incoherent ranting seems several steps down from using chicken entrails to predict the future.