A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Archant drop BNP ads

Statement by Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney:

"I am very pleased that Archant, the publishers of the Hackney Gazette, have taken the decision not to publish election adverts for the racist BNP this week. I hope that their decision stands for the rest of this election and beyond, and call upon them in the strongest terms to confirm this.

I would like to congratulate the editors and staff of the Hackney Gazette and East London Advertiser for refusing the initial adverts, and also for convincing the executives of the Archant newspaper group that this was the responsible course of action.

The freedom of the press allows the media to choose what it does and does not publish and to take a particular editorial stance on an issue; the concept of freedom of speech cannot be used to claim that a newspaper must publish all material offered to it with the only criterion being legality.

Those out electioneering for the upcoming London mayoral election have invariably encountered disbelief or disgust when the issue is raised on the doorstep. The many messages of protest that I have seen from residents, and people’s readiness to sign the petition organised by Labour councillors, are an endorsement of Archant’s decision to align themselves with the views of the overwhelming majority of the local community."


Blogger Dr. Duncan Hall said...

Good news!

6:30 pm, April 15, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Indeed. Its vital that the BNP's attempt to present itself as just another 'normal' party is constantly challenged. They are a fascist party.

7:32 pm, April 15, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

Fantastic news! Now we need to get the message across that to make sure the BNP don't get the 5% they need for a seat on the assembly (and certainly not the 7% they need for taxpayer funding), people need to get out and vote - preferably for Labour!

8:51 pm, April 15, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Luke you're in for some shocks, the BNP are growing rapidly and such a ban will only fire up the party.

What would happen if a fascist party tried to stop you promoting left wing adverts. Fascism comes in many different forms and one form is to ban the right to freedom of speech and expression.

The BNP will win seats and are doing so and will continue to do so until immigration is tackled,

9:34 pm, April 15, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

No, Rich, the answer is not to kow-tow to the BNP's evil, racist agenda, but to challenge and expose it.

9:43 pm, April 15, 2008

Anonymous Dan said...

Rich, if you force private companies to run adverts they disagree with then you are restricting freedom, not promoting it.

10:22 pm, April 15, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the name of freedom of speech, Archant must refuse to take any adverts from a party Sir Pipeshaft doesn't like?

I loathe the BNP but can't help but think there's something wrong with the above logic. And at the very least it'll only encourage the view that "the Establishment" are ganging up against them.

I hope you're not canvassing in Hackney with a petition against what the Ham&High does though. You'll only draw attention to the fascists, and I'm pretty sure there are other important issues in this election.

7:56 am, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Clapton Dave said...

Luke well done in eroding more of what little freedom of speech will still have

9:01 am, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Belsham Street said...

I think the BNP will easily get more than 5% of the vote for an assembly member. Mark my words

9:03 am, April 16, 2008

Blogger Brian said...

By posting here clapton dave exposes his own argument as a paranoid delusion.

To clarify, delusion is defined by the Encarta Dictionary as “a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence” and paranoid as “obsessively anxious about something, or unreasonably suspicious of other people and their thoughts or motives”. Got it in two...

9:34 am, April 16, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

Rich, would BNP members be happy to take full-page adverts in your publications from organisations supporting asylum seekers? Or would they have the freedom to turn down adverts they don't like?

Face it, the public outcry is proof that the public are smart enough to see through your organisation and its sick objectives.

10:44 am, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I got an e-mail this morning from Archant in response to my two to them and I am glad the adverts will not be placed. The BNP is not another 'normal' party, and as I know from the Hackney of the 1970's with the NF, real people and their families innocently going about their lawful business are seriously hurt, and in some cases killed, when BNP type views are legitimised.

12:33 pm, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Chatham Ward Resident said...

Babies 'Bought And Smuggled To UK For Council Houses'

The allegation comes after a Nigerian-born woman smuggled a three month old child into Britain and went straight from Heathrow to Ealing council's housing office to demand a flat.

Peace Sandberg, a support worker for Kensington Housing Trust, was warned she faced jail after being convicted of smuggling the child, who police say she bought for £150 in Nigeria, into Britain.

These people are trafficing babies for council properties! Abusing the children for their own selfish gain. These poor african children are on our streets and causing mayhem with guns and knives and Labour are doing nothing with our open border policy and appeasement of immigrant crime.

Please write a letter to the PM Luke on behalf of your ward constituents. I will be sending you a proper copy in the post to 8 Beaty Road and expect you to represent your constituents views.

2:10 pm, April 16, 2008

Blogger Quink said...

I detest the BNP. I sympathise with those who are - rightly - shocked that a fascist party should advertise in a local newspaper in an area such as this.

But there are two things that need to be borne in mind:

1) Campaigning to gag the BNP's legal message (no matter how insidious, or unpleasant) plays into their hands, and allows them to accuse you of restricting free speech and viewing them as a serious threat.

2) You have played right into the BNP's hands in that, for the small effort of trying to place ads in two Archant titles, the fascists have won themselves free publicity in the Guardian and on dozens of blogs, some with very large readerships.

Personally, I would rather we simply ignored the BNP and did something a bit more constructive to win back those voters who have become disaffected with mainstream parties.

2:18 pm, April 16, 2008

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

"These poor african children are on our streets and causing mayhem with guns and knives and Labour are doing nothing with our open border policy and appeasement of immigrant crime."

Three month old babies running around causing mayhem with guns and knives?

How much lower can our society sink?

2:31 pm, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Bernie Grant said...

When they grow up you posh twat

2:36 pm, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Meg Hillslide said...

"You have played right into the BNP's hands in that, for the small effort of trying to place ads in two Archant titles, the fascists have won themselves free publicity in the Guardian and on dozens of blogs, some with very large readerships. "

Nice one Luke pat on the back for that one.

You are a joke

2:37 pm, April 16, 2008

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

Hi Bernie

All African three-month-olds grow up to be gun-toting maniacs do they?

Just so we know where you're coming from.


'Posh Twat'

2:42 pm, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Dave Mound said...

"An Archant source said the ad would not run in this week's issue of the Hackney Gazette, published on Thursday, but could not say beyond that what might happen."

"Mick Ferris, editor of the Hackney Gazette, declined to comment. "

Looks like you have achieved nothing

2:43 pm, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical authoritarian Labour response...

4:44 pm, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

The problem with Lukes argument is that he's not taking into account the growing popularity of the BNP. There is nothing racist about wanting to tackle immigration. The current situation is simply not sustainable and the reality behind immigration is to provide cheap labour to fuel our low inflation debt ridden economy.

I would never want to stop people moving around but current levels are simply crazy. Britain was overpopulated 20 years ago and current figures indicate that over 70 million people will live in the UK in less than 15 years. This means more pressure on housing, less green space and in general lower standards of living across the country.

We need to curb birth rates and bring immigration to around 15,000 per year and this should include the EU.

Until a major political party takes on this problem then the BNP will continue to grow. It won't be long before you see BNP members of parliament.

So please don't tar people like myself with the racist brush as I simply won't take it. If I vote for the BNP it will because I want to curb immigration, pull out of Europe...and that is it.

10:32 pm, April 16, 2008

Blogger Dr. Duncan Hall said...

Would you have supported Hitler in 1930s Germany for the same reason? You're an intelligent guy, so I don't believe you're not aware of the BNP's fascistic philosophy and repeated apologism for Nazism.

There is no freedom of speech issue here. Nobody has an inalienable right to buy newspaper column inches (just as nobody has an inalienable right to be invited to speak at the Oxford Union, or to be invited onto Question Time).

The BNP are not normal. It is not normal to invite neo-Nazis to speak at your conferences and to speak at theirs; It is not normal to suggest that feminism has made people exaggerate the offence of rape; it is not normal for your recent candidates to be arrested on charges of possessing massive amounts of chemicals for explosives; it is not normal to suggest that the holocaust is an international Jewish conspiracy to blacken the name of Hitler; it is not normal to have many, many activists regularly engaging in racially-aggravated violence; it is not normal for your activists to publish photographs of people on the internet, with threatening or offensive captions, for the crime of not being racist.

For all those reasons and many more, the BNP are not a normal party and should not be treated as such.

10:57 pm, April 16, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

As far I as know the BNP are not neo-Nazis and I think your probably thinking of the National Front. But there may be members that share those views but I'm not one of them. My Grandad lost his life fighting in the second world war so I wouldn't vote for a party that did.

I have friends from all ethnic backgrounds so I wouldn't vote for a party that would threaten their wellbeing or freedom. Britain is a multi cultural country and I accept that and very proud to be a part of it, but allowing millions of people in to work simply threatens everything this country has worked for.

The problem is Brown is refusing to accept that the 4 million immigrant workers has had a negative impact of services and jobs despite all the evidence being published. This is making Labour very unpopular and simply giving votes away to the BNP.

If you read my post you will see my point. Until a major political party starts to address the issues of immigration then BNP support will continue to grow.

I've been posting on these issues for months and been warning you that support is growing. At what point are you going to believe me?

The reality is that all the major lobby groups represent employers and not employees. Industry wants cheap hard working Labour and eastern Europe has plenty of it. Even the unions warned Labour that unless they took action to protect workers rights then they face losing thousands of votes to the far right.

It's really simple make it harder to employ imported workers by strengthening workers rights or stop immigration.

11:21 pm, April 16, 2008

Blogger Dr. Duncan Hall said...

Rich - immigration doesn't cause low pay. Employers paying low wages does that. I support increasing the minimum wage. Do you?

I also campaign for improving our trade union rights.

But that doesn't make it hard to employ migrant labour; it makes it harder to exploit labour wherever those workers come from. I am 100% in favour of such an approach.

The BNP on the other hand have consistently criticised workers in struggle, opposing the right to strike, etc.

11:54 pm, April 16, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

If support for the BNP is so widespread, then why did so many people protest against Archant using BNP adverts that Archant decided it made commercial sense not to publish them?

Rich's comments are classic BNP stuff - denying the BNP is a fascist, racist party and setting up a comparison with the NF to legitimise the BNP; using synonyms like immigrants, Muslims or asylum seekers to set up theoretical distinctions - making racist attacks on the objects of their hatred legitimate; complaining their free speech is being denied whenever a substantial show of opposition proves they're in the minority, etc

The public are too smart to see through his games and that's why the higher the turnout on May 1st the less chance of a BNP representation.

12:01 am, April 17, 2008

Blogger Dr. Duncan Hall said...

I might add:

The BNP has had extensive links with the US Nazi group National Alliance (having its leader and founder speak at conferences, and writing a fawning obituary to him). (It is worth remembering, that the writings of the National Alliance leader inspired Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Griffin has regularly shared platforms with David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. The BNP distribute Duke's anti-semitic and holocaust-denying material

Griffin addressed a rally of the NPD (Germany's leading Nazi party that denies the Holocaust and reveres Adolf Hitler) in 2002. NPD activists also attend BNP meetings.

*On the subject of Holocaust deniers, a whole parade of them speak at BNP events.
* Griffin spoke at the annual conference of American Renaissance in 2002 (American Renaissance is a publication devoted to 'proving' the notion of the biological superiority of white people). Griffin spoke on 'Racial friction in Britain and Europe'.

*Many of the leaders of Blood and Honour - the openly nazi skinhead organisation - are members of the BNP.

In 2001, Griffin admitted that the BNP's more moderate image was a tactic. At a US Nazi meeting, he said: "My politics haven't changed, I still believe in fighting for this" (pointing at his white skin).


Griffin again (this time from 1998, about the holocaust - which he has been known to call the holohoax)said : "I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that 6 million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion also also once held that the Earth was flat... I have reached the conclusion that the "extermination" tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie, and latter witch-hysteria."

I hope, taking into account your views higher up the thread, this may change your attitude towards the BNP.

12:09 am, April 17, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

But I don't agree with the policies of the BNP, Rich. Simple as that. So I think they should be argued against, not adopted.

10:23 am, April 17, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Plus they are not a single issue organisation and have rather unsavory views on other groups such as homosexuals and Jews.

You have often said God gave you a brain to think indepentantly so given the current gammut of info you have been given here would you still argue the BNP are not facists (neo nazi scum bags)?

You don't have to vote the BNP if you are concerned about immigration and the EU, there are a number of perfectly decent(!) parties on both ends of the political spectrum you could opt for.

You are right about one thing though, if we are seen to be out of touch with the working class in this country, then it blazes a trail for the BNP and their facist ilk to be elected to high office.

11:10 am, April 17, 2008

Anonymous Andy Boffmeister said...

Your spoofster says your buying everyone drinks at the Old Ship on the 30th. Make mine a large one. Slainte

5:02 pm, April 17, 2008

Anonymous rich said...

I'm a great believer at taking people at face value. I've personally met Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick and I can honestly say Gordon came across as the least sincere. Nick Griffin was well mannered and I doubt that he would be stupid enought to sympathise with Nazis.

David Cameron is also very polite and I've had numerous letters from him which is more than I can say about Gordon Brown. All the NuLabour MPs are like Labour party recordings repeating the same old party line. Does anyone have FREE will in the Labour party anymore or do they all tow the line.

I do admire George Galloway, even though we are at opposite ends of the political fence. At least he has a brain and stands by his beliefs. That alone surely is enough reason to vote for someone.

So I'll make my own mind up and like many I don't believe all I read in the papers.

At the end of the day I want strict limits on immigration and I don't want to be part of Europe and the BNP are the only party willing to deliver.

10:03 pm, April 17, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

I'm loathe to say this because I can't stand UKIP, but if pulling out of Europe and being anti-immigrant are the two things that matter most to you, then why aren't you voting UKIP? At least then you wouldn't have to side with fascist thugs.

Of course, that's assuming that you're not part of the BNP's campaign to make itself more palatable. And at this stage that's a very generous assumption.

10:41 pm, April 17, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

But the BNP stand a better chance of winning seats than UKIP. The BNP are actually becoming a serious contender to the main three and it is this reason why people like Luke are so worried.

But unless policies with respect to immigration and Europe are challenged then this trend will continue. Stopping adverts isn't going to make one little bit of a difference as people who are going to vote for the BNP are not influenced by traditional forms of media. Do you think that someone will vote for the BNP because they have read an advert? Personally I don't think they will.

The fact is Labour have made a mess with respect to the open door policy. After admitting that they only expected 15,000 people per year to enter the UK from Europe but in reality over 400,000 have entered the UK in search of work in just two years.

Anyone with a brain will tell you that this is going to cause problems.

The most basic requirement of food and water will soon become a major problem in most cities across the UK.

How are we continue to feed a growing population when oil prices make it impossibe to import the food we need?

How are we going to suppy power and water the extra homes required?

How are our roads and railways going to cope?

How are our hospitals and social care systems going to cope?

How are we going to meet our environmental challenges when our population is growing because of immigration.

You're heart is in the right place but in reality it's simply not pratical to have an open door policy with respect to Europe.

In my area alone the BNP have attracted over 20,000 new members in just 8 months. A very clear sign that Labour have got it very wrong.

12:56 am, April 20, 2008

Blogger Dr. Duncan Hall said...

20,000 new members in your area alone? Are you sure you don't want to check that stat?

Anyway, are we just ignoring the evidence of their neo-Nazi connections?

3:21 pm, April 21, 2008


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