Monthly Archives: October 2012

Piers Morgan, perjury, the police, the Leveson Inquiry and Denis MacShane

Note: I attended an Orwell Prize meeting on 24 October at the Frontline Club in Paddington.   The erstwhile Labour Cabinet Minister Denis MacShane  was one of the speakers.  The subject was the misbehaviour of the police and their relations with the media.

When questions from the audience were called for I  told the meeting about Piers Morgan’s letter to the PCC in which he admitted receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal and the subsequent failure of the police to question Morgan. I then asked MacShane whether he would take up the matter. Amazingly, you may think, the chair of the meeting Jean Seaton (the director of the Orwell Prize) intervened and said he did not have to answer because that was not what the meeting was about This was  a rather strange claim because  not only was it speaking to the subject of the meeting,  but MacShane during his talk particularly emphasised how it was necessary to  stop the police from colluding with the media by selling stories to them.

After the meeting I spoke with MacShane briefly and gave him a copy of the Morgan letter.  I followed up with the email below. Watch this space for further developments on the Piers Morgan front.  Robert Henderson

Update 2/11/2012 : The Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons  recommended  on 2 November that McShane be suspended for a year from the Commons after they found that McShane had ‘submitted 19 false invoices “plainly intended to deceive”’ and the  ‘The Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee said it was the “gravest case” to come before MPs. ‘   (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/9651100/MPs-expenses-scandal-Denis-MacShane-to-be-suspended-as-an-MP-for-twelve-months.html). McShane’s  expenses  claims were referred to the police in 2010 who closed the investigation without  charges  being brought  in July 2012, although no  clear reason  was given for the absence of charges.  The Labour Party have disowned  him following the Standards and Privileges Committee’s report.

McShane loves to engage in moral posturing  of the politically correct kind, whilst at the same time behaving immorally. This is one of the classic traits of the psychopath which is given literary from in Emmerson’s  “The more he talked of his honour/The faster we counted our  spoons.”

Mr Denis MacShane MP (Rotherham)

House of Commons

London WC1

25 10 2012

Dear Mr MacShane,

I will amplify the details I gave last night during the Orwell Prize meeting at the Frontline Club and to you personally after the meeting about collusion between politicians, the police and the media.

I gave you of a copy of the letter sent by Piers Morgan to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in October 1997. This was sent to me after I made a complaint to the PCC following a highly libellous story about me published by the Mirror on 25 March 1997 at the beginning of the General Election Campaign.

As you will have seen from Morgan’s letter, the Mirror story involved Tony and Cherie Blair. They tried and miserably failed to have me prosecuted for a crime which, as lawyers, they must have known I had not committed. The non-existent crime was a claim that I had breached the Malicious Communications Act in my letters to them. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) thought so little of the attempt to have me prosecuted that they rejected the case on the same day it was sent to them, an extraordinary thing when the pressure to proceed against me must have been immense because of the identity of the complainants. Nor was I at any time contacted by the police about the Blairs’ complaint.

The Mirror story (copy below) falsely accused me of being a dangerous racist who had bombarded the Blairs with hundreds of letters full of crude racist language. As you will see from Morgan’s letter he had never seen any such letters. There was the simplest of reasons for this: they were never written. Fuller details of this episode can be found at https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/.

After the publication of the Mirror story Piers Morgan refused to make any retraction or correction. I consequently made a complaint to the PCC. The PCC released a copy of his incriminating letter to them to me. This shows unambiguously that Morgan had received information in circumstances which can only have been illegal, viz: “The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) ….” If the information had been passed legitimately, for example, in a press conference, there would be no need to refuse to name him. Neither was the information given to any other media outlet. Nor was the information of a nature which could have been given to the media legitimately.

I referred the letter with its admission to the police. It was sent from my local station to Scotland Yard. An “investigation” was supposedly carried out by Detective Chief Superintendent Jeff Curtis. It was a most remarkable “investigation” because when it was concluded Curtis admitted to me that no one at the Mirror – not Morgan, the reporter who wrote the story (Jeff Edwards) or anyone else – had been interviewed. For the full story see https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/the-failure-to-charge-piers-morgan-with-illicitly-receiving-information-from-the-police/

The PCC refused to adjudicate on my original complaint or my subsequent complaint about Morgan’s admission of having received information illicitly from the police. Mr MP Frank Dobson, who was member of Blair’s cabinet at the time, refused to take up the case. Eventually on 10 November 1999 Sir Richard Body MP put down this Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons :

CONDUCT OF THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR SEDGEFIELD 10:11:99

Sir Richard Body

That this House regrets that the Right honourable Member for Sedgefield [Tony Blair] attempted to persuade the Metropolitan Police to bring criminal charges against Robert Henderson, concerning the Right honourable Member’s complaints to the police of an offence against the person, malicious letters and racial insult arising from letters Robert Henderson had written to the Right honourable Member complaining about various instances of publicly-reported racism involving the Labour Party; and that, after the Crown Prosecution Service rejected the complaints of the Right honourable Member and the Right honourable Member failed to take any civil action against Robert Henderson, Special Branch were employed to spy upon Robert Henderson, notwithstanding that Robert Henderson had been officially cleared of any illegal action.

Until Blair left No 10 (a period of ten years) I was subject of continual harassment – my post opened ostentatiously, threats by phone, a hate campaign on social networking sites such as newsgroups inciting violence against me and for all I know my phone was tapped. I suspect this was either Special Branch or MI15, both of which I discovered through the use of the Data Protection Act (DPA), hold files on me, although the information held by them was almost entirely withheld in answer to my Subject Access Requests under the DPA.

This motion is now part of the official House of Commons record.

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=16305&SESSION=702

Leveson Inquiry

I initially submitted to the Leveson Inquiry information about my mistreatment by the Mirror (and other media outlets), the PCC’s refusal to adjudicate on my complaints and the failure of the police to investigate Morgan’s admission that the Mirror had accepted information from the police illicitly. Leveson refused to call me as a witness or accept my information into evidence.

When Morgan gave evidence he perjured himself by claiming that he had never received information illicitly from the police (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/piers-morgan-lied-to-the-leveson-inquiry/). The writer of the Mirror story about me, the Mirror’s erstwhile chief crime reporter also committed perjury before the Inquiry, viz: ““Q75 I never asked police officers in any way to disclose things they were not allowed to do or tried to push them to give me information they were uncomfortable disclosing.” . As he was the one who claimed to have received the information about me he caught himself in a very stupid lie.

I madea further submissions to Leveson drawing their attention to Morgan’s and Edward’s perjury:

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/referral-of-piers-morgans-perjury-to-the-leveson-inquiry/

https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/leveson-inquiry-jeff-edwards-and-another-prima-facie-case-of-perjury/

Leveson refused to act on these stone-certain cases of perjury to his Inquiry which took information under oath from both Morgan and Edwards.

Conclusions

My experience shows graphically how there is collusion between politicians, the police, the media and, in Leveson’s case, the judiciary to suppress and fail to act on information which will damage those with power, wealth or influence. You put yourself forward as someone who wishes to expose misbehaviour by such people, especially by the police and the media. You could not have a better story to use for that purpose than the one I have to tell. I hope you live up to your words and use it.

This is an especially good time to put the tale before the public because it looks as though Morgan is going to be pulled into the phone-hacking scandal. If he is, that will mean he also perjured himself before Leveson on that score.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————————-

Daily Mirror 25 March 1997
‘PEST TARGETS BLAIRS’
Jeff Edwards Chief Crime Correspondent
Police called in over string of hate letters
Police are probing a string of race hate letters
to Tony and Cherie Blair.
The deluge of sinister messages sent to the couple
through the Labour Leader’s office at the House of
Commons began last year.
Insiders described them as “personal and
offensive”.
And they feared the letter writer could even
become a stalker.
The man behind the hate mail has been described
as 51-year-old Robert Henderson.
He sparked a huge row two years ago when he wrote
an article criticising black players in the England
Cricket Team for the Magazine Wisden’s [sic]
Cricket Monthly
GRAPHIC
The magazine was successfully sued for libel by
England fast bowler Devon Malcolm.
At first staff at Labour’s HQ in Walworth Road,
South East London, ignored the letters sent to the
Blairs.
But they decided to call in the police when the
TYPED messages became a rant against the couple and
started arriving at the rate of three or four a
week.
Insiders say the letters – with Henderson’s
signature and north London address – are full of
graphic racist filth implying Mr Blair would relax
immigration laws once he gets to No 10.
A Labour insider said last night: “The writer
said things like ‘why are you married to that
idiot? If he gets elected he’ll let in all the
blacks and Asians.’”
Detectives visited the Blairs at Labour HQ last
week.
They were shown dozens of letters which were
taken away for forensic tests.
The letters – posted in London – have also been
studied by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Police said sending such material could result in
an assault charge.
The insider added: “MPs often get threatening
mail which would go in the bin.
“But this is different. It has become a campaign,
a bombardment. The writer displays tendencies
associated with stalkers.
“This writer is unusually persistent. The tone of
the letters has become increasingly nasty.
“He uses sewer language. The letters are racially
insulting.
When the Mirror approached ex-public schoolboy
Henderson yesterday at his council flat, he refused
to discuss the letters.
Last night a Labour spokesman said: “Public
figures getting offensive material in the post are
advised to refer them to police.
“We now consider this man is not worth giving any
more publicity to.”
A Scotland Yard source said: “By sending letters
in a very unpleasant tone the writer has committed
an assault.”
Special Branch, who organise protection for MPs,
have been informed of the situation.
The article was accompanied by a large photograph of me, printed after I had specifically withheld my permission for its use, and was flagged on the front page with the charming headline “COPS PROBE BLAIR PEST – EXCLUSIVE: Fears over race hate mail.”
The Mirror story contained these objectively provable libels: (1) the false accusation of sending ‘Race hate’ letters to Tony and Cherie Blair, (2) the false accusation that I sent dozens of letters to the Blairs, (3) the false accusation of assault, (4) The false accusation of sending letters containing ‘graphic racist filth’, (5) the false accusation of sending letters containing ‘racial insult’, (6) the false accusation of sending letters containing ‘sewer language’, (7) the false accusation that I have ‘tendencies associated with stalkers’, (8) the completely fabricated quote ‘If he [Blair] gets elected, he’ll let in all the blacks and Asians’ and (9) the false statement that I refused to comment on the letters when approached by the Mirror.
——————————————————–
FROM THE EDITOR

By fax (0171-353 8355) & by post
16 October 1997
Your ref: 970738
Christopher Hayes Esq
Press Complaints Commission
I Salisbury Square
London
EC4Y 8AE
Dear Mr Hayes
Mr Robert Henderson
I refer to Mr Henderson’s complaint as outlined in his letter of 23 September.
As you are aware, we have been in contact with Mr Henderson for some time due to his propensity to bombard individuals and this office with correspondence. [RH: Translation: Mr Henderson sent more than one letter because the Mirror refused to reply].
There are certain irrefutable facts that escape emphasis in Mr Henderson’s correspondence.
Far from ignoring any of his correspondence we have written to him on the 20 May, 22 July and 6 August. [RH: The letter of 20 May merely said he was not going to enter into correspondence. The other two letters were from his legal department in response to Subject Access Requests I made under the data Protection Act. These were legally required]. We have consistently made it clear that we have no intention of entering into any further correspondence with him.
Be that as it may I will address his concerns:-
In essence, the basic “sting” of the article, of which he complains, was that he had been sending numerous insulting letters, some with racist undertones, to Mr and Mrs Blair which had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.
Mr Henderson himself admits that he sent Mr and Mrs Blair at least thirteen letters. I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them. However, clearly they sufficiently concerned Mr Blair’s office to be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service [RH: The CPS said as soon as they saw the letters that they were entirely legal] and I think the Commission is perfectly entitled to draw an adverse inference on the contents of those letters as a result of that referral.
I cannot accept Mr Henderson’s explanation for writing {o Cherie Blair. To do so was clearly designed to intimidate. In Mr Henderson’s draft article “Moral Simpletons Target Innocent Man” the bile that he shows on the second page of that article clearly illustrates his capacity to insult in his letters to Mr and Mrs Blair[RH: an absurd deduction. What I wrote to the Mirror says nothing about what I wrote to the Blairs] (to the extent that they be referredto the Crown Prosecution Service). I would also refer the Commission to Mr Henderson’s gratuitous reference to a “Blaireich”.
He also admits to expressing his disgust (we can only guess in what terms) of the decision of Mr and Mrs Blair not to send their son to a school whereby a white schoolboy was, apparently, murdered by five other boys (and that that murder was racially motivated). [RH: This was the Richard Everitt murder].
The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) [RH: thus the police informant behaved illegally by supplying the information] gave us the detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that the article was anything other than accurate.
Perhaps one can get a flavour of his correspondence with Mr and Mrs Blair by examining the final sentence of his draft article in which he states “It was a cargo of ancient male gonads”.
The Commission may be aware (I am attempting to get hold of the article) that the article of Mr Henderson’s that appeared in Wisden’s Cricket Monthly in 1995 gave rise to an extraordinary amount of controversy and resulted in Wisden paying substantial libel damages to the Cricketer, Devon Malcolm,[RH: Malcolm refused to sue me after I made it clear I would take the case to the floor of a court] whom the Commission will be aware is a coloured fast bowler for England. As I understand the matter, and Mr Henderson will correct me if I am wrong, the article implied that coloured players will not try as hard when playing for England as white players. [RH: The article put it forward as a possibility, no more].
I have discussed the legal position with the newspaper’s solicitor, Martin Cruddace [RH: Cruddace is a proven liar. He made a declaration to my Subject Access Request under the Data protection Action to the effect that the Mirror held no qualifying documents. Eventually after I had done some detective work, he had to admit that the Mirror had a small matter of 118 pages of documents relating to me], and he has assured me that the law has recently developed whereby words (be they written or spoken) can constitute assault [RH: No person in the UK has been convicted of such a crime. The definition of GBH has been extended to non-physical abuse such as abusive phone calls but it requires a psychiatric illness to be proved to be caused by the alleged abusive behaviour. Mere emotions such as fear do not qualify. The failure of the police to consider such a course and the CPS’ immediate definition of the case as “NO CRIME” shows that my letters were entirely lawful] if the pattern of those words is such as to make the recipient of them either anxious or ill. It has developed as a reaction to the former impotence of the law on stalking.
The law has therefore developed since the publication of the dictionary reference on which Mr Henderson relies.
I cannot accept that the taking of the photographs of Mr Henderson, given the clear public interest concerning the subject matter of The Mirror article, could possibly constitute harassment under the Code. [RH: It was a clear breach both because I had advised them of my eye trouble and because they took photographs having come over my threshold.]
I am most concerned not to waste any further time in dealing with Mr Henderson’s complaint but, naturally, if the Commission wishes me to address any further matters then I will endeavour to do so.
However, I hope that the above is sufficient to convince the Commission that the basic “sting” of the article is accurate and that Mr Henderson’s complaint ought to be dismissed.
Yours sincerely
Piers Morgan
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Jimmy Savile, George Entwistle and the balance of probabilities

Robert Henderson

George Entwistle gave as abject a performance by an experienced media bigwig  as you will ever see before the Culture, Media and Sport select committee (( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221520/Jimmy-Savile-Panorama-documentary-reveals-BBC-suspected-DJ-sexual-abuse-40-years-ago.html ) . He adopted the BBC equivalent of giving nothing but his name, rank and number. (How on Earth did this timid personality with all the authority of a jellyfish become Director-General?)

Entwistle is, according to his account, a man who is immensely ignorant of what goes on in the BBC from choice, the choice being driven by a desire not to impinge on the autonomy of individual editors.  Not only did he swear blind that he knew nothing specific about the Newsnight programme before ITV ran a programme on the same subject (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4563205/jimmy-savile-paedophile-itv-documentary.html), but he was left floundering by simple questions such as How many ongoing complaints of sexual harassment within the corporation is  the BBC dealing with at the moment?  Throughout the grisly two hours or so of the hearing, Entwistle recounted how he was  setting up inquiries, tracking complaints, amassing data and doing a hundred and one other things. What he was not doing was answering questions for which he should have been prepared.

The committee’s questioning was as usual a curate’s egg, mostly rotten egg because most MPs are  quite incapable of building a line of questioning  on any particular subject, let alone working out a complete plan of questioning for a complex matter.  Not one of the committee had the wit to lure Entwistle onto the truth quicksands by simply asking  “When did you first become aware of rumours about Savile’s sexual interference with minors?”  That would have put Entwistle in a very difficult position.

If Entwistle had lied to the CMS and said he had never heard the rumours,  he would have been leaving himself wide open to exposure as a liar. Even  if he was telling the truth or he lied and was never exposed, his denial would have seemed improbable simply because of the number of people  who have worked  for the BBC admitting they had heard rumours but never came across any hard evidence .

But if Entwistle  had admitted to knowing of rumours  he would be in even deeper and immediate trouble. He joined the BBC in 1989 and has worked for the BBC ever since. Savile’s prime  show, Jim’ll Fix It, ran until 1994 and he returned intermittently to the BBC  until near his death in 2011.   There was ample opportunity for Entwistle to have at least heard BBC gossip about  Savile’s  sexual predilections.

The  BBC’s Director of News,  Helen Boaden, warned him  in the Autumn of 2011 him that  Newsnight were working on a  programme about Savile  which might be incompatible with the Savile memorial programmes the BBC was due to air (and did air) in December 2011.

Entwistle claimed before the CMS that he did not ask Boaden  what the Newsnight programme was about because he did not want to be accused of interfering with editorial authority (this despite the fact that he is officially the BBC’s editor-in-chief) .   If he admitted to hearing rumours about Savile before Boaden warned him,  his claim of respecting editorial authority and autonomy – weak as it is to begin with –  would collapse because he would have had every reason to suspect that the Newsnight programme was concerned with Savile’  illicit sexual behaviour.  In those circumstances Entwistle would have had to investigate what the Newsnight story was about because , apart from any moral considerations,   he risked having a substantial part of his 2011 Christmas programme going west.

It might not be possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt (the criminal law evidential test) that the Entwistle is lying or at least not telling the whole truth, or that pressure from above was applied to get the Newsnight editor  Peter Rippon  to drop the Savile programme, but on the balance of probabilities (the civil law evidential test) it would seem probable that either or both things are true. It is human nature to be curious and both the simple circumstances of the dropping of a story when a great deal of work had been done and the programme was near broadcasting and  the warnings given by  Meirion Jones, the Newsnight producer,  to Rippon that pulling the programme would cause  that ‘substantial damage to the BBC’s reputation’ ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221520/Jimmy-Savile-Panorama-documentary-reveals-BBC-suspected-DJ-sexual-abuse-40-years-ago.html).

Peter Rippon’s  factually incorrect blog (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2012/10/newsnight_and_jimmy_savile.html) has been amended by, according to Entwistle before the CMS,  a statement created by the Corporation’s lawyers and himself. The corrections are:

1.The blog says that Newsnight had no evidence that anyone from the Duncroft home could or should have known about the allegations. In fact some allegations were made (mostly in general terms) that some of the Duncroft staff knew or may have known about the abuse.

2. The blog says that Newsnight had no evidence against the BBC. No allegation was made to the programme that BBC staff were aware of Mr Savile’s alleged activities, but there were some allegations of abusive conduct on BBC premises.

3. The blog says that all the women spoken to by the programme had contacted the police independently already and that Newsnight had no new evidence against any other person that would have helped the police. It appears that in some cases women had not spoken to the police and that the police were not aware of all the allegations.  (RH : these women  included the prime witness] (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2012/10/jimmy_savile_and_newsnight_a_c.html).

Why did Rippon make such errors? Most probably panic. The alternative would be hubris driven by the idea that the BBC could ride the storm simply because they are the BBC.

The BBC have issued a further statement:

BBC statement issued to Panorama – 22/10/12

Date: 23.10.2012Last updated: 23.10.2012 at 08.04

Category: Corporate

The following statement has been issued by the BBC to Panorama (broadcast 22/10/12).

The BBC is putting first and foremost the victims of Jimmy Savile’s abuse. That is why we have announced a Judge-led review with sweeping terms of reference to uncover exactly how this could have happened.

BBC management will, furthermore, make themselves available to a second independent review that will seek to establish what exactly happened at Newsnight. This will be led by Nick Pollard, former head of Sky News.

The Pollard Review is the right forum to resolve detailed issues relating to BBC programming and the Newsnight investigation. Panorama has every right to pursue its programme but nothing should be done to prejudge the Pollard Inquiry.

However, on the basis of information provided by the Newsnight editor and production team, BBC management has reached the view that there are inaccuracies in the Peter Rippon blog of 2nd October and has issued a corrective statement.

We should also make it clear we now accept that the Newsnight investigation did not start out as an investigation into the Surrey police’s handling of the case against Mr Savile.

BBC Press Office

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/statements/statement-to-panorama.html)

There may be much more to this story than Savile. Suppose, for example, that Savile acted as a pimp for others in the BBC with a taste for minors, especially  those who were senior when he was most active or are senior now?  Or perhaps the Savile was not the pimp but investigation of his activities will reveal the pimp and his (or her) customers.  Will it ever be properly investigated? Don’t hold your breath, especially if really powerful people are drawn into the net.

How has this story been suppressed for so long? One of the classic traits of the psychopath is to constantly promote himself or herself  as a superior moral and generally wonderful being whilst behaving abominably.  The BBC has done that collectively for as long as I can remember, the current moral superior sham being a  supposed religious adherence to political correctness when BBC staff are anything  but PC in their private behaviour, especially that of senior male employees towards young female staff.  I remember going to a recording of Any Questions in the 1980s. The grovelling eagerness of the  numerous young attractive BBC female aides around the producer and presenter was astonishing. The girls just about restrained themselves from performing fellatio on the said functionaries but it was a close call.

Being arrested in England is no small matter anymore

Robert Henderson

There was a time when being arrested in England  did not matter very much.  Before digital technology  came of age your fingerprints  and mug shot might be taken,  but if  no charges were laid or, if you were brought to trial,  a conviction was not obtained  for the alleged offence which had caused your arrest, the chances of the ordinary law abiding person being inconvenienced in the future by the fact that those details were held by the police  were small. There was no Police National Computer (PNC)  until 1974 – which was a very rudimentary system  in the beginning and for a long period of time afterwards laughably underpowered with what we have now  –  and the widespread use of personal computers  was almost two decades after that.   DNA identification did not come into play until the 1980s and was very cumbersome procedure for years afterwards. Before computers arrived police had to rely on their  knowledge of the “usual suspects”, modus operandi and informers to hunt down the guilty. They would look at the records of those suggested by such avenues of inquiry,  but had no ready way of searching large numbers of records  on spec or of moving their search to the records of other police forces.  On spec  searches of criminal  records for the entire country were out of the question.

Today not only are fingerprints and mug shots taken but DNA samples as well if some is arrested on suspicion of committing a recordable offence (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/1139/contents/made).  Prior to the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2001/16/section/82) fingerprints and DNA samples would be destroyed if someone was not found guilty.  After the 2001 Act samples   could be taken without the permission of the suspect at the time of charge. The Criminal Justice Act 2003  (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/44) allowed samples to be taken on arrest for a recordable offence.  Presently, all records are held indefinitely  on the PNC, a database  which holds records for the entire country and  can be accessed by any police force in the country. Currently, the data is held indefinitely regardless of whether  an arrested person is convicted,  tried and found not guilty or released without charge. There is the Protection of Freedoms Bill which is still going through Parliament which places some restrictions on the holding of data of those not convicted of a crime,  but even if these become law –and  they could be amended before the Bill is passed – these still allow considerable opportunity for the storage of fingerprints, DNA and mug shots of the unconvicted, viz:

Protection of Freedoms Bill proposals

The following details relate to the Protection of Freedoms Bill, introduced on the 7 February 2011. As this has not yet been agreed by Parliament, these proposals are subject to change.

What if I am arrested for a minor offence, but not charged or convicted?

The provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Bill as introduced in Parliament provide that in the future these will not be retained at all.

What if I am arrested for, but not charged with a serious offence?

The provisions of the Protection Of Freedoms Bill as introduced in Parliament provide that the police will only be permitted to retain DNA and fingerprints in very tightly controlled circumstances. We will be establishing an independent commissioner to oversee DNA retention and they will make a decision whether retention is necessary, taking into account the age and vulnerability of victim of the alleged offence and their relation to the person arrested.

What if I am arrested for and charged with a serious offence, but not convicted?

The provisions of the Protection Of Freedoms Bill as introduced in Parliament provide that in these cases we propose to retain the DNA and fingerprints for three years, with the option of a single two-year extension by a court.

What if I am convicted of an offence?

The provisions of the Protection Of Freedoms Bill as introduced in Parliament provide that all adults convicted of any recordable offence will have their DNA and fingerprints retained indefinitely.

We are proposing a separate retention regime for those under 18 years of age who are convicted of an offence. Those convicted of a serious offence will have their DNA and fingerprints retained indefinitely. For those under 18 who are convicted of a minor offence their DNA will be retained for five years on a first conviction (plus the length of any custodial sentence) and then indefinitely following a second conviction. (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/powers/dna-and-fingerprints/)

DNA is especially important, because  unlike fingerprints  it can be readily deposited by someone else at the scene of a crime or inadvertently  picked up by  someone committing a crime or by the victim of a crime. In principle this could also happen with  fingerprints if someone deliberately or inadvertently  picks up something with someone’s  fingerprints on it and leaves it at the scene of a crime or a victim does so inadvertently. But the scope for framing someone in that fashion is  much less than it would be for DNA  because of the difficulty in both obtaining and retaining  a clear print inadvertently  or leaving  something with a clear print on it which could be plausibly seen by the police as being left inadvertently.

Fingerprints obtained in the messy real world  encountered by the  police are generally  a far from certain identifier  because of their incompleteness . Even where a clear whole print is available, the identification is not absolutely watertight, not least because the scientific basis of the system has been questioned successfully enough to prevent fingerprint evidence being used in trials in the USA, viz:  “U.S. District Court Judge Louis H. Pollak last week ruled that such evidence does not meet standards of scientific scrutiny established by the U.S. Supreme Court, and said fingerprint examiners cannot testify at trial that a suspect’s fingerprints “match” those found at a crime scene. “ (http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=91996&page=1#.UHVvghVZWSo).

It is worth adding that  justice systems around the world  accept different numbers of “points of similarity” in fingerprint evidence as indicative of a positive match.  It is all very messy and unavoidably subjective to a significant degree.

DNA is a different matter, or at least is thought to be a different matter. DNA  identification is based not on the subjective judgement of visible differences by humans,  but the machine matching of strings of DNA code.  This gives them an appearance of scientific rigour.  However DNA may be degraded or  mixed with someone else’s DNA which can make identification far from certain. Identification is also debatable with the controversial “low copy number” DNA testing  which deals with minute samples of DNA (http://www.mccannfiles.com/id190.html)  Moreover, there will always be false positives.  The likelihood of  those is strong when a database holds millions of individual DNA samples.  The numbers would be small but for those involved the results would be traumatic even if no conviction results. The worst case would be a  false conviction for a serious crime.

Apart from false positives, there are three ways an innocent man or woman could fall victim to an police investigation based on the DNA.   The first is it could have been planted deliberately by someone.  This could have  been done to either  harm the person whose DNA was planted or it might  have been an attempt to mislead the police by someone committing a crime. In the latter case the person whose DNA was planted need not have been known to the person doing the planting. They simply pick up something like a cigarette butt or a used tissue which they have either seen someone leave or they simply find after the person has deposited the item and gone.

The second circumstance would be if someone is the victim of a crime and they inadvertently  pick up something carrying DNA , for example a lost hair or  blood left by someone.  A truly disturbing and astonishing example of what can  happen involved  Mark Minick.  Minick was arrested on suspicion of rape. He had a criminal record  for robbery and his DNA matched that taken from a hair found on the victim.  The problem was that  Minick is white and small (5’6”) and the victim identified her attacker as black and large.   Notwithstanding this, the CPS proceeded with the case which was only dropped at the first court hearing where the prosecution offered no evidence (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-512980/DNA-farce-My-nightmare-white-man-charged-hunt-black-rapist.html#ixzz28ooimkcD). How did the victim have a hair of Minick’s?  He was working as a porter at the hospital at which the girl was  treated. Most probably she picked up the hair there.   Minick’s case shows emphatically how powerful a grip DNA evidence has on the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS): they were both willing to ignore the fact that the victim had identified her attacker as large and black while Minick was small and white because they had a DNA match from a source which could have come innocently and inadvertently into the victim’s possession.

The third opportunity for gratuitous involvement in a police investigation would be the use of near DNA matches as a pointer to who might be involved in a crime.  Suppose someone, most probably a near relative, has their DNA on the PNC.  The police may investigate the close relatives of that person in connection with a crime,  regardless of whether the relatives  have a criminal record or there is any evidence that they might be guilty. (section 5 http://www.genewatch.org/uploads/f03c6d66a9b354535738483c1c3d49e4/NationalDNADatabase.pdf).  Even if nothing happens beyond an investigation this is a considerable intrusion into their lives. Moreover,  even if completely,  innocent human nature being what it is, others who know of the police involvement may conclude there is no smoke without fire. Nor, as the Minick case showed, can there be any rational belief that the police and CPS will not allow DNA evidence to drive investigations and prosecutions where there is no other strong evidence of guilt.

The fact that even under the reforms proposed in the Protection of Freedoms Bill considerable numbers of people who have never been convicted of or even charged with a criminal offence will remain for years on the PNC means that tens of thousands of people at least  will potentially become suspects in future investigations for anything up to five years  despite having a clean bill of legal health.   If the Protection of Freedom Act  is not retrospective when it is passed , that is, it only applies to new arrests, then the numbers the innocent people involved could be millions.  To penalise the innocent  is unjust and immoral because it is based on the unethical  idea that the  greater good of the greater number is reason enough to mistreat individuals. If only the DNA and fingerprints of the convicted were held the risks of gratuitous police investigations of the innocent would be greatly reduced.

Nor is the injustice restricted to those with a clean criminal record. The DNA and Fingerprints of anyone convicted of a recordable crime will be held indefinitely.  That means people who have committed minor offences such as common assault  or driving without due care and attention without causing an accident (often only once in their lives) will be subject to the same risk of further gratuitous investigation based on false positives and so on  as those with no convictions who remain on the PNC.  This is disproportionate.

Here is a question which I have never seen publicly posed: why are fingerprints and DNA taken from every  person arrested regardless of the suspected crime?  It is easy to see that they might be useful in the case of criminals such as murderers, burglars and rapists, but what purpose does it serve for people such as fraudsters and those convicted of dangerous driving?  It is very improbable that fingerprints or DNA  records will be useful in solving future  crimes by people who are convicted of   fraud or driving offences if they commit similar offences.  It is also a fact that  most people, including career criminals, tend to commit the same type of crime if they commit more than one. There is a strong civil liberties case for saying fingerprints and DNA ( or any other future biometrics identifier) should only be taken where they are likely to help solve a crime or series of crimes.  If that practice was followed it would also greatly reduce the likelihood of people being harassed unnecessarily by the police.

There is also a broader question of the keeping of data other than fingerprints and DNA, for example,  notes of unsubstantiated complaints of crime or even reports of behaviour which might be considered suspicious.  These can have profound effects on lives because Criminal Records Bureau  (CRB) checks  are now required by huge numbers of adults  for the purpose of gaining employment or taking part in voluntary activities – the requirements have even been ludicrously extended to parents watching their children take part in school sports or Nativity plays (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210724/Parents-criminal-record-checks-banned-watching-kids-play-school-sport.html).

CRB checks are of two kinds :

•standard CRB check – for certain specified jobs, licences and entry into certain professions

•enhanced CRB check – for those carrying out certain activities or working in regulated activity with children or adults; applicants for gaming and lottery licences; and judicial appointments…

What you’ll find on a criminal record check

Standard CRB checks will contain details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings from the Police National Computer (PNC).

The enhanced CRB check will include any information from the PNC and may also search:

•information held by local police forces

•lists of people barred from working with children and adults which are kept by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Startinganewjob/DG_195809)

Millions of innocent people could find themselves barred from employment or voluntary activities through no fault of their own. Not only that,  where a CRB check is failed, unsubstantiated or simply wrong highly damaging information held by the police will be in the hands of people who know the person who has failed the check  and knowledge of a failure to pass a check,  even if the details of the failure are not known,  will cast doubt over the integrity of the person who has failed the check.

Police records are just part of an ever expanding portfolio of state and private enterprise databases which can affect lives, frequently without the individual even knowing. But police records and the ever swelling reach of the CRB check are by far the most intrusive and controlling of the surveillance apparatus  which exists at present in England. They need to be severely controlled.

As a bare minimum we should return to position that no person’s DNA and Fingerprints should be retained if they remain unconvicted and there should be no record kept of their arrests, charges or trials  on the national database.   The removal of all records of investigations from the national computer is necessary because otherwise innocent people may still be unreasonably investigated simply because they have been arrested, charged or tried but found innocent  for a similar crime before.

More broadly, it is pernicious to have information which the
police have received which may not even have led to an arrest or any, indeed, contact with the police being disclosed on CRB checks.  They should reveal only convictions and arguably only convictions relevant to job for which the check is made.  If someone has, for example, if someone has been convicted of driving without due care and attention when they were 17 and is applying for a teaching job when they are 35 the conviction is scarcely relevant.    In fact, there is a good case for doing away with CRB checks,  because there is no evidence they have reduced the type of offences they are meant to reduce, most particularly child abuse of one form or another. Their main effects have  been to dissuade many people from engaging in voluntary work, increased costs for organisations (especially schools)  and creating a general and unhealthy climate of suspicion in Britain.

These authoritarian policies  will become ever harder to remove the longer  they remain in place and technology improvements make the temptation to expand the surveillance through an ever expanding menu of biometrics irresistible to those with power. We need to act now.

Effects of Mass Immigration on Canadian Living Standards and Society

The Fraser Institute’s Effects of Mass Immigration on Canadian Living Standards and Society

Edited by Herbert Grubel  – a compilation of essays by  12 authors

Published by the Fraser Institute of Canada  in 2009 ISBN 978-0-88975-246-7

Massive numbers of immigrants who are either unable or unwilling to integrate with the society into which they come; cities increasingly dominated by ethnic and racial ghettos;  laws which grant immigrants rights which make it next to impossible to stop them entering the country or to deport  them once they are there;  employers greedy for cheap labour;  immigrants depressing wages and forcing up native unemployment; immigrants taking more out of the communal national pot in benefits than they put in through taxes;  a political elite which is  sold on the idea that immigration is an unalloyed good at a naïve best and a source of new voters  for parties which support mass immigration at  a venal worst; a bureaucracy which religiously carries out the politically correct  dictates of  the elite embraced  multicultural ethos ; the development of  an “immigration industry” comprised of vested interests such as lawyers, pressure groups, charities; public servants  appointed to act as what are effectively political commissars for multiculturalism; a mainstream media which ceaselessly propagandises on behalf of the wonder of multiculturalism and value of immigration whilst censoring any opposition;  a rabid state-inspired  suppression of  dissidence at any level by a mixture of  laws banning honest discussion of immigration and its consequences  and the engendering of a public culture which puts  anyone who voices anti-immigration views, however cautiously, at risk of losing  their job or political position and to  ostracism from their social circle  if they are judged to have committed a “crime” against multiculturalism.

Welcome to the Canadian experience of the joy of mass immigration. Sounds familiar? It certainly will to British ears, but the same could broadly  be said of any First World country for the globalist ideology has become the creed of elites throughout the First World.   This makes the book generally valuable as a primer on the dangers of mass immigration.  This utility is enhanced  by significant reference being made to immigration as it affects  the  USA, Britain and France.

There are of course differences of detail  between the Canadian and British experience.  Canadians   traditionally have seen themselves as a nation of immigrants whereas the British  have not and do not.  This means that  Canadians have, like Americans,  at least the residue of the sentimental  idea that immigration should be the natural order of things and  that it is somehow wrong to deny  to others what they or their ancestors enjoyed. The Canadian elite have taken this to extremes  according to   Stephen Gallagher of the Canadian International Council because “….more than any other country  Canada has bought into the  cosmopolitan logic that there can exist a ‘civic nationalism in the absence of any ethnic or cultural majority, shared roots or social coherence” (p188). His claim is borne out by the objective evidence of modern Canadian immigration policy and its consequences.

The problem with the “civic nationalism” mentality is it is one thing to have immigration consisting overwhelmingly of people who are broadly  similar in race and culture into the receiving society  – as happened throughout most of Canada’s history  -who  can  assimilate rapidly; quite another to import immigrants in large numbers  who are radically different in race and culture and either cannot or will not assimilate.  That is what has happened to Canada in recent decades.

Over the past quarter of a century  immigrants to Canada have come  overwhelmingly from Asia. The result is that at the last Canadian census  5 million  (16 per cent) out of the Canadian population of 16 million  were  “visible minorities” (p5).   The size of the overall population also counts hugely:  16 per cent of 33 million is considerably more concerning than 16 per cent of, say, Britain’s currently  estimated 62 million.

It might be thought that the geographical vastness of  Canada   would mean there is  not the same sense that the country is being  physically swamped as there is in a geographically small country such as Britain, but  Canada  is a very urbanised country with   25 million Canadians  living in towns or cities and most  immigrants  are concentrated  in a few places.   60 per cent of the  5 million “visible minorities”  live in the Metropolitan areas of Toronto and Vancouver (p5).  In Toronto  in 2001  those classified as  “English (Anglos ) “only  formed a majority in  in a quarter of metropolitan “census tracts” (p180).  The sense of conquest by stealth is as apparent in those particular places as it would be in London or Birmingham.

Reckless Canadian immigration  took off in the  1990s. In 1990 the annual limit was raised to 250,000 by  a Progressive Conservative government with the  Minister responsible, Barbara McDougal, arguing that this would help the party with the ethnic  minority vote, the clear implication being that a large portion of the additional immigrants would be black or Asian (p4). Since then  immigration has averaged nearly 1 per cent  of the population (p4. )Things worsened after the 2001 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was passed.  This  set selection criteria for immigrants without putting any limit on the numbers who could come in. As there were vastly more people who could meet the criteria than  Canada  could readily accommodate and there was no flexibility to adjust to changes in economic conditions generally or to  the Canadian labour market in particular, the system soon ran into trouble. A backlog of would-be immigrants waiting to be processed formed which is estimated to reach 1.5 million by 2012 (p7) to which did not include refugees who number is considerable.  Canadian asylum policy became so lax in the 1980s that over the past 25 years more than  700,000 asylum seekers were admitted (p14).  Canada has taken steps to amend the  Immigration Act,, but even if those are effective the existing backlog of 1.5 million will be processed under the old rules (p5).

All but one the most sacred cows of the pro-immigration, pro-multicultural lobby are precisely dissected before being put out of their misery.  Overall, immigrants  do not add to Canada’s per capita wealth (p104), not least because less than 20% of immigrants come in based on their work skills or training (p3);  cultural diversity does not equal an enhanced  society  but a divided one with an ever weakening national identity and  bringing in huge numbers of  young immigrants will not solve the problem of an ageing Canadian population – Robert Bannerjee and William Robson (chapter 7)  estimate that to even stabilise the  Old Age Dependency ratio – the ratio between those of working age  to those over retirement age – and those   from what it is at  present would take decades of annual  immigration amounting each year to 3% of the Canadian population (p142). The effect of that would be to effectively end any concept of a Canadian nation as it has been and still largely is.  It would be a classic case of  the transformation of quantity into quality.  A place called Canada might still exist but  he  existing Canadian nation would be no more.

The sacred cow which remains standing if more than a little nervous,  is the question of the incompatibility of races.  Nonetheless ,  some of the contributors (especially those in chapters 9-12)  come close to venturing onto this currently forbidden territory, for example :-

“..the analysis of Sammuel Huntingdon (2004), who argues that a nation is the function of the identity of its majority population  and in the United States this identity is rooted  in the original founding Anglo-Protestant  culture and a value system described as the American Creed.” (Stephen Gallagher P188).

“What guarantee do we have that diversity in itself is a desirable objective? At what point does diversity mutate into a form of colonisation? (James Bissett p6).

The book is also good at flagging up consequences which are not immediately obvious. For example, Marcel Merette  makes the important point that as higher skilled immigrants increase the differential in wages between the skilled and the unskilled shrinks  (p159). This discourages  Canadians from taking the trouble to acquire skills because the advantage of doing so would be lessened.

Nor is any change in the type of immigrants without ill consequences. For example, if immigrants are restricted to the young (which might be thought a god thing in an ageing society) that  disadvantages the native young because it means they face greater competition for jobs from the immigrants in their age group.

There is also the effect on the one long-standing substantial Canadian minority, the French-speaking  Quebeccers . They are increasingly finding their language and culture undermined both by the presence of immigrants who will not integrate and by  having to compete for attention and privileges from the majority population with the new minority groups.

Rather touchingly, Gordon Gibson (chapter 11)  imagines that the position is much healthier in Britain because there is at least growing public discussion here and  an organisation such as MigrationWatch UK  to ostensibly provide a  focus of concern about immigration (the  final  essay in the book is by the head of MigrationWatch UK  Sir Andrew Green).   But public debate can be not merely useless but positively harmful if it is controlled.

It is true that there is vastly more  public discussion in Britain now than there was under  the Blair Government when any many of immigration and its consequences brought squeals of “racism” from politicians, the left-liberal dominated media and any pressure group or individual  able to climb onto the “anti-racist” bandwagon.   But public discussion does not equal action and  despite Cameron’s  Coalition  Government’s rhetoric about cutting net immigration to Britain “from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands a year” , the  numbers remain much the same as under the Blair and Brown governments.

The extent of  the growing disquiet amongst Canadians is indicated by the very existence of the book.  The editor has brought together a  wide-ranging group of contributors:  economists, political scientists, think tank members and retired ambassadors. These are not the class of people who would  commonly be found  publicly expressing  concern  about immigration,  for they are by background part of the broad elite which has embraced the multiculturalist  ideal.  That they are willing to write pretty forthrightly about the dangers speaks volumes in itself.  The message it sends is that they are so worried by the observable effects of mass migration that they are willing to put their heads above the parapet  and risk, at the least, social, political and academic ostracisation.

The failure to address the question of race as a social separator is frustrating but understandable in the present politically correct circumstances, but it cannot be ignored forever. Those who say physical differences in race are unimportant and  that race is merely a social construct should reflect upon the fact that if there was no natural mechanism to stop humans of different physical types breeding as  freely together  as those of a similar physical type then there would be no broad physical groups which we call races . These group separations cannot be ascribed to humans evolving in separation from one another  because  throughout history there has been an immense amount of movement of peoples  with every  opportunity for inter-breeding. We see the same thing happening today in places such as London where,  despite the open invitation to inter-racial breeding and the incessant multi-culturist propaganda over several generations, a surprisingly  small percentage of the population does interbreed.

I can unreservedly recommend this book because it provides almost all the ammunition needed to  refute the multiculturalist propaganda . It is not the easiest of reads  because most of the contributors take an  academic approach, which means a fair number of  charts and tables plus a decent dollop of jargon. But the book is  not very heavy going and its message is  the most important which can be given to the developed world at present: guard your own societies against this surreptitious form of conquest or  they will die.

New British Fascism – book review

Rise of the British National Party

Matthew J Goodwin

Routledge

New British Fascism comes in the guise of an objective academic study, replete with tables and charts and a fair dollop of dry analysis.  But that is camouflage  for  the  author’s  liberal-left  prejudices, although it is probable that Goodwin, as with so many of the left,  is self-deluding enough to be unaware of his bias.

Goodwin   gives the ideological game away in the book’s title  by attaching  the arch pejorative “fascist”  to the BNP  without making any attempt to explain  what he means by this complex  word (hint: “far right extremist” does not equal fascist)  and  follows this up in the introduction  with “This book follows  political scientist Elizabeth Carter in considering  right-wing extremism as a particular form of political ideology  that is defined by two anti-constitutional and anti-democratic elements: first, right-wing extremists are extremist because they reject or undermine the values, procedures and institutions of the democratic state; and second, they are right wing because they reject the principle of fundamental human equality” (p6).

The author’s acceptance of Carter’s  definition taints the book. If you do not adopt  the liberal internationalist’s view that human beings are just one big happy indistinguishable and interchangeable family you are a right-wing extremist.  When Carter  writes of undermining the “values, procedures and institutions of the democratic state”,  she does not mean  that right wing parties refuse to play by the democratic rules as they are commonly understood – free elections, universal suffrage, parliaments  and governments being  accountable to the  law. Rather,  for her being democratic means that any person regardless of origin – in  principle the seven  billion people currently alive – must be treated equally  because to do otherwise would constitute the rejection of “ the principle of fundamental human equality “.  That means  any election which produced a decision that failed to accord  with the idea that all human beings everywhere should be treated equally, for example,   a government in favour of an end to all further mass immigration and the expulsion of all those without citizenship, would be classed as undemocratic .

Then there is the label of “extremist”.  By assiduous propaganda over decades, politicians of all the major mainstream British parties have assiduously been  placing in the public arena the idea that to  support  or advocate any political views which diverge seriously from those of liberal internationalism  is to be extreme . The erasing of the  traditional political vocabulary from mainstream British politics means that  any group or individuals outside the narrow ideological  confines of  what the British political class  now represent as being the only  legitimate democratic politics may be described as  extremists and hence dismissed as  of no account or dangerous and in need of suppression through laws such as the Race Relations Act.

It is also a very strange thing to define parties and individuals  as being right-wing  simply on the grounds of being opposed to immigration, which is what Goodwin effectively  does . The idea that being resistant to immigration is inherently right-wing is historically false. Not only is it a natural human response to territory being invaded,  political parties of the left and trade unions have until quite recently been opposed to mass immigration.   Unions in particular have a long history of opposing immigration primarily  on the ground that  it increases competition in the labour market  and reduces both wages and conditions.    The Labour Party   for most of its existence qualifies  as extreme right wing under Carter’s definition, because not only did it in practice stand against mass immigration because of union hostility towards it,  but it  also believed in the nation state. It is worth remembering  that  the Labour government of Harold Wilson passed an immigration Act in 1968 which considerably tightened immigration rules for  those from the new (non-white) Commonwealth after the Tories had done very little in 13 years to stem immigration.  It is also telling  that Goodwin himself mentions that only four out of ten BNP voters think of themselves as right wing (p107).

Goodwin acknowledges that  the BNP  has gone far beyond simply relating issues to immigration and have under Griffin developed a fully- fledged political agenda.  Indeed, much of its recent manifestoes could sit comfortably within the those of the mainstream political parties and even more in the manifestoes of twenty or thirty years ago.  He also spends considerable time examining how the  BNP have  in the past decade or so  greatly softened their rhetoric about race and immigration, more or less dropped  anti-Semitism, produced a broad political platform which deals with all the major areas of political debate and adopted the strategy of  building the party from local roots in much the same way that the LibDems have done.  Indeed, to look at the official literature of the BNP is to see a party which in many ways is aping the  political antics of the major British parties. But for Goodwin this is not a sincere  change of heart merely the BNP attempting to “rally Britons by downplaying its toxic brand”.  It is difficult to see how the BNP could ever, in Goodwin’s mind, escape from the locked cell of Carter’s definition because whatever they did or said Goodwin would still say they should be classified as  “extreme right-wingers” because the change was not genuine.

As for the BNP’s success or failure, Goodwin acknowledges that they  have done considerably better  than any other party he brackets with them, for example, the National Front,  but less well than similar European parties. This fact has little force because  the comparative BNP  failure  is readily  attributable to the widespread  use of electoral systems  on the continent  which contain some element of proportional representation while Britain retains first-past-the-post for Westminster elections.

There is a frequent  failure to query the overt message of statistics. For example Goodwin  looks at  Britons’ response to  poll questions about  who is British (chapters 3/ 5)  which show that a majority  say that race is immaterial in determining the question.  What he fails to do is consider whether the  polling results may significantly under-estimate  concern about racial and ethnic difference  because of the prevailing atmosphere of fear generated by the ever tightening grip of political correctness.   This type of omission is all the more visible  because  Goodwin is more than happy to speculate elsewhere in the book, so such a failure is not the result of some self-denying academic ordinance.

The same lack of imagination shows when Goodwin considers the social shape  of BNP voters. He compares them  with those who vote for the major political parties and UKIP (p102).  According to his statistics,  there are fewer BNP voters  in the professional AB category than those of  the other parties, but there are still 11 per cent of BNP voters who fall into that category as opposed to 18 per cent for Labour and UKIP.   Moreover, the general shape  of the entire voting population of BNP voters is not wildly  different from that of Labour which draws 57% of its voters from the  two lowest  social groups as against 70% for the BNP according to the figures Goodwin  cites.  Hence, there is nothing unreservedly abnormal about the BNP vote.

Goodwin also looks at the ages and sex structure of BNP Membership (p102). This shows most BNP members to be in the 34+ age group with a strong preponderance (69%) of male.  Goodwin  represents this as a sign of a failing party. The problem with this argument is that his own figures show that the major parties have a similar age profile.  The age profile of the BNP  is surely just a consequence  of the ageing British population and the much greater   propensity of older voters to vote.

Goodwin  argues  from  the age profile of the BNP  that  racial hostility is a phenomenon  of the older generations because  younger people have grown up with an ethnically mixed society.   This is contradicted by the  race riots in northern England  in the early years of the century and emergence of the English Defence League,   but Goodwin dismisses such behaviour  as a residual phenomenon  of the young who have elders with “far-right” beliefs or who live in places  with a “right wing tradition (p104)

As to motivation for supporting the BNP,  Goodwin  suggests that  the BNP client base is essentially that of the “angry  white male” who has had his security threatened by immigration and its ongoing consequences. . While this  has an element of truth because it is the white working class man who has suffered most from  competition from immigration,  you could argue the same of the Labour Party vote.

The  only stark difference between the BNP and the major parties is in sex.  But there is probably nothing  remarkable in that. To support the BNP requires a  personality which can handle conflict. Men are almost certainly better able to do that.  The fact that UKIP has only 40 per cent of female  voters  supports this interpretation .

Goodwin seems genuinely puzzled by the  “extreme right’s” concentration on Muslims.  The answer is that this is plausibly all part of the  re-branding  exercise such as that conducted by the BNP under Nick Griffin. Because of the  intense grip that political correctness has on western societies,   parties which wish to resist immigration and its consequences have been forced to play within the rules of political correctness. This means they take up causes such “Islamification”  because that avoids directly engaging in the question of race.

The marvel of Goodwin is that he cannot see his own bias even though he accepts the massive constraints placed on any minor party under the British political system and describes well the intimidatory  actions of  both  the political elite through laws such as the Race Relations Act (RRA)which prevents  free debate on pain of criminal sanction and the all too ready willingness of  politicians, public service organisations, unions, big business  and the mainstream media to harass and penalise those who express their political  views outside the permitted parameters of political correctness:

“The disadvantages of joining an extremist party might include official punishments, threats from rival movements and group reprisals for participating’ . In fact, those who have join have been shown to experience abuse, jeopardise employment prospects and damage relationships with friends and family. “ (p138)

Goodwin  also happily describes  the persistent harassment of the BNP by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission  (EHRC) over its membership qualifications (p122); admits  freely that the  British electoral system is heavily weighted against parties without an established  Westminster presence (p)  and draws attention to the limited ability of national governments to  govern because of their entanglement in international treaties and supra-national bodies such as the EU.

One might imagine that someone who understands the undemocratic restraints placed on unestablished parties in general and  the additional undemocratic  blocks placed before parties such as the BNP,  would conclude that they are placed in a position in which  they cannot meaningfully engage in the democratic process.  Not Goodwin.  He sees no discord between insisting that a party can only be considered democratic  if it plays by the democratic rules ,whilst showing absolutely no discomfort  when he acknowledges that  those who set the rules of the political game do so  in such a way as to preclude meaningful participation in the democratic process.

What Goodwin is saying can be  reduced to this:  any  party  (or person) standing  for something which the vast majority of human beings at all times and places  would consider normal and desirable, namely, defending the tribe, clan or nation against invasion by main force or stealth,  is, in Goodwin’s eyes, part of the far right  – he coyly implies (p178) that the BNP and UKIP are not a million miles apart on the political spectrum.

Can I recommend New British Fascism?  I can but not for the reason the author would want.  Read this book not to understand the BNP but that most curious of things  the modern liberal mind.

Political speech and action in Britain: What is legally permitted ?

Robert Henderson

Free speech is a very simple concept: you either have it or a range of permitted opinion, the  scope of  which can be altered at any time (https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/free-expression-or-permitted-opinion-that-is-the-choice/).  Sadly and dangerously, not only is free expression in Britain unavailable,  but  the range of permitted opinion is becoming ever narrower . This is a consequence of the  totalitarian ideology that is political correctness becoming   embedded ever deeper into the British power  structure through laws both criminal and civil and the  control of the mass media  by the politically correct. Great swathes of political opinion are deemed criminal or at least grounds for excluding their holder from not only mainstream politics but public debate.     It is no longer possible to engage in political activity without fear of prosecution, loss of employment (especially in publicly funded jobs) or  of being the subject of a media hate campaign.

British political parties can no longer be what they want to be

The most fundamental  denial  of democratic political action in a Parliamentary system  such as that of Britain  is to refuse a  party the right to recruit as it chooses.  It is the most fundamental  breach because,  if a party cannot recruit freely and stand whatever candidates it chooses in elections ,  it is barred from any chance of taking part in a government or having a significant voice in opposition  on its own terms.    By controlling party membership the policies of a  party are determined.  This is the position in modern Britain.

It is no longer possible for a party wishing to stand candidates in British elections to choose who shall be its members and candidates or determine what are  its fundamental beliefs. This was made clear by a court ruling of  Judge Paul Collins in  March 2010:

The British National party was plunged into chaos yesterday, weeks before the general election, when a court ordered it to remove central beliefs and policies about race from its constitution.

In a landmark injunction at the Central London county court, a judge found that the BNP’s membership policy remained discriminatory, even after a direct whites-only clause was removed last month.

The judge, Paul Collins, ordered the BNP to remove two clauses from its constitution as they were indirectly racist towards non-white would-be members.

The party also remains banned from signing up new recruits until it satisfies Collins it has changed the constitution, although it said last night that applications to join were being processed again.

In a further blow to the party’s election hopes, it was ordered to pay an estimated £60,000 in legal costs. The bill could rise to £100,000 when its own legal fees are included.

While one offending clause is largely an administrative matter – a requirement that all new members agree to a vetting visit from BNP officials, something the judge found could intimidate non-white applicants – the other spells out core beliefs.

This is a requirement for members to believe in the “continued creation, fostering, maintenance and existence” of an indigenous British race and action towards “stemming and reversing” migration.

The BNP last month voted to remove a direct bar on non-white members after a legal challenge from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The government equalities watchdog then challenged the revised constitution on the grounds that ethnic minority Britons could still not subscribe to the party’s beliefs without “denying themselves”.

Collins ruled in favour of the commission, ordering the BNP to remove the offending clauses by Monday afternoon or face potential legal penalties.

The EHRC head of legal enforcement, Susie Uppal, said: “Political parties, like any organisation, are obliged to respect the law and not discriminate against people who wish to become members.”

The BNP’s leader, Nick Griffin, said the decision “opens a very dangerous door. It’s a huge change to the unwritten constitution of Britain. The judgment has given a government-appointed, taxpayer-funded quango the rights to change the aims and objectives of political parties.” The costs award would “have some effect” on the BNP’s election campaigning, but it would not be significant, he added.

Griffin said he had already amended the constitution so the clauses were removed from membership criteria. He insisted, however, that the beliefs about immigration and race would remain, even if members did not have to officially sign up to them. “It won’t make any practical difference to us. But it’s hugely symbolic,” he said. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/12/bnp-racist-membership-rules-outlawed).

The judge’s ruling means that the BNP cannot in principle prevent those from ethnic minorities or the white “antiracist” political left  from joining the party with an intent to sabotage it. In addition, the policy of the party has been changed in the sense that its ostensible core values are no longer core values because their acceptance is no longer  required  of members.  Nor is it clear whether the BNP could legally refuse membership to anyone  because,  if it cannot insist that members must  support the  ‘”continued creation, fostering, maintenance and existence” of an indigenous British race and action towards “stemming and reversing” migration’,  prospective members could believe and advocate  anything with regard to race and immigration,  including demands for Sharia law and the abolition of immigration controls. Such a person  out to sabotage the  BNP could accept the rest of the party’s political platform , much of which is, ironically,  shared by the mainstream parties, to prevent membership being denied on any other  ideological ground.   More banally, the BNP could be forced to take people who would deliberately try to disrupt its administration.  There would also be greater opportunity for leftist agent provocateurs to join the party to engage in violence or crude racist language to reinforce the liberal elite’s portrayal of  the BNP as no more than a group of hooligans always on the verge of  criminality.

In the present political climate it is also probable  that any person  refused BNP membership who belonged to an ethnic minority or was native white Briton and came from an “antiracist” background,  would find the courts likely to support  any action they brought for damages against the BNP on the grounds that they had been discriminated against  because of their race, ethnicity or a refusal to accept the BNP “core beliefs”.  It is not inconceivable that if such suits were brought,  the EHCR (http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/) might climb on the  “anti-discrimination” bandwagon again and obtain  a further court order banning further recruitment or even making the collection of subscriptions from existing members illegal until  the refused applicants for membership  were accepted.  The reduction ad absurdum of Judge Collins’ ruling would be a court ordering the BNP to accept someone as a member who was patently not suitable to be a member.

The danger for any party which cannot decide its own membership by requiring members to adhere to the fundamental principles for which its stands  is that it could,, and most probably would,  quickly become a meaningless political shell.  In the case of the BNP suppose   numbers of  the political left and ethnic minorities large enough to swamp the existing BNP membership applied for membership.  If the BNP had no way of refusing them membership,  the party could soon be  captured over by the incomers who could overthrow the leadership and change the party’ policies utterly.

That is the way only the BNP is being treated at present , but any party could find themselves in the same predicament if their policies do not meet with the approval of those in power. At present the powerful  are disciples of political correctness,  but   politics can move very rapidly and no one can be certain that their politics will not become the target for criminalisation and marginalisation.  Moreover,  where an ideology is involved, the ideology can alter  so that what was acceptable within it  to a follower may well become unacceptable when it changes. A good example comes from modern liberalism.  Until around 1980 the liberal left approach to the consequences of  mass immigration to Britain was assimilation; in a year or two it switched to multiculturalism, a very different thing which has strong similarities, at least at the conceptual level,   to the idea of separate development in Apartheid South Africa.

The Electoral Commission

Successful court challenges by the ECHR are not the only legal obstacle to political parties deciding their own policies. There is the Electoral Commission to contend with.   A political  party which wishes to put up candidates in a  UK election has to register with the Commission.  That registration is not automatic and can be refused if the name or emblem is deemed  “obscene or offensive “ . (http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/107694/to-names-rp.pdf).  It is all too easy to see anything non-pc being refused by the Commission who would inevitably point to the many legal restrictions which already exists  on what may be said legally and use those as the basis for a refusal to register.

There are also some prohibited words in the Electoral Commission’s lexicon which could not be used at all or in certain formats which could curtail political expression  in the registration of parties, for example, English Party is forbidden under category 2 words (http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/107701/doc-prohibited-rp.pdf) .

The Returning Officer  (who supervises the administration of an election) can also refuse  a party label on a ballot paper if they deem it inappropriate.

In view of the political dominance of  the political correct and the expressed attitude of official bodies such as the ECHR  and the courts towards party membership and the values of a party which challenges political correctness, it is reasonable to assume  that any party which transgresses the politically correct limits would fail to be registered by the Electoral Commission  or pass the scrutiny of the Returning Officer, for example, parties called England for the English or the Anti-Immigration League.   It might even prove impossible for parties in the Celtic Fringe to run under banners such as The English in Scotland or Protect the English in Wales

Independent candidates

Independent candidates do not need to register with the Electoral Commission. However, this has the disadvantage for candidates of not being able to described themselves as anything other than Independent  on the ballot paper (http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/electoral_commission_pdf_file/0009/83169/UKPGE-Nomination-Forms-Final.pdf ).   To use any other label candidates  have to pretend to be a party and  register themselves as such with the Electoral Commission  with all that entails  in time, money (there is a £150 registration fee) and organisation .  It also leaves  them open to the same pc objections to labels as genuine parties. Indeed,  the censorship  of candidate descriptions  is likely to be  even more wide ranging than for individuals pretending to be a party than for  genuine parties , because the banning of an individual candidate would be far less likely to attract media attention or  result in  court action to challenge any ban because the refused candidate would be unlikely to have the wherewithal to challenge the refusal. .

The Electoral Commission also control what are known as third party campaigners . These are individual or corporate bodies (including registered political parties)  who can be campaigners in support of parties, individuals or policies without being candidates in an election.  (http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/105936/intro-campaigner-npc.pdf)

There are a considerable and growing number  of elections in the UK  – Westminster, local government, devolved assemblies, elected Mayors and  police commissioners .  Consequently, the Electoral Commission  has  the potential to exercise a very powerful influence on British politics through determining what parties are called.

Laws to silence opinion

In addition to the restrictions imposed on  candidates,  political speech, writing  and action (for anyone) is  heavily circumscribed by a depressingly large number  of laws which,  whether originally  intended to suppress  political views or not , are being used to censor views deemed to be non-political  with ever increasing frequency.   he  most likely to be applied  is  the 1986 Public Order Act sections 4 and 5 and the Communications Act 2003 section 127.

“Public Order Act 1986

Section 4 Fear or provocation of violence.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a)uses towards another person threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or

(b)distributes or displays to another person any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

with intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used against him or another by any person, or to provoke the immediate use of unlawful violence by that person or another, or whereby that person is likely to believe that such violence will be used or it is likely that such violence will be provoked.

(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is distributed or displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.

(3)A constable may arrest without warrant anyone he reasonably suspects is committing an offence under this section.

(4)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.

4 A Intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he—

(a)uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b)displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.

(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the person who is harassed, alarmed or distressed is also inside that or another dwelling.

(3)It is a defence for the accused to prove—

(a)that he was inside a dwelling and had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation displayed, would be heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling, or

(b)that his conduct was reasonable.

(4)A constable may arrest without warrant anyone he reasonably suspects is committing an offence under this section.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.]

5 Harassment, alarm or distress.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a)uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b)displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.

(2)An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.

(3)It is a defence for the accused to prove—

(a)that he had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, or

(b)that he was inside a dwelling and had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation displayed, would be heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling, or

(c)that his conduct was reasonable.

(4)A constable may arrest a person without warrant if—

(a)he engages in offensive conduct which [F2a] constable warns him to stop, and

(b)he engages in further offensive conduct immediately or shortly after the warning.

(5)In subsection (4) “offensive conduct” means conduct the constable reasonably suspects to constitute an offence under this section, and the conduct mentioned in paragraph (a) and the further conduct need not be of the same nature.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.6 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/4

The  Communications Act 2003

Section 127 Improper use of public electronic communications network

(1)A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or

(b)causes any such message or matter to be so sent.

(2)A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, he—

(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he knows to be false,

(b)causes such a message to be sent; or

(c)persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.

In addition these Acts  may be deployed :

Malicious Communications Act 1988 section 1 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/27/content  as amended by Section 43 Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2001/16/contents

Postal Services Act 2000 section 85 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/contents).

There may be other laws which are used to specifically hamper free expression which is deemed politically incorrect, ,  but those I have cited give the flavour of the current powers available to those with power in Britain to intimidate the public and  control public debate.  They all have one very dangerous thing in common:  the Acts  are so broadly drawn that they are an open invitation to those with power  to shut down dissent.  The idea that people can assign an objective value to words  such as menacing, threatening, abusive or insulting  is simply wrong. Even more to the point, if words or images may be deemed criminal because they are merely abusive or threatening,  anything contentious to the mind of another could be held to be criminal.

In addition to the considerable restrictions on free expression  already described,   there are  civil  laws  allowing actions for libel and slander,  court orders prohibiting the publication or public discussion of specific subjects (breach of which risks imprisonment for contempt of court), restrictions placed by the Official Secrets Act  (which applies whether or not a person has signed the Act) and criminal offences relating to  obscenity,  blasphemy and  libel (the last three are so rarely used they are practically obsolete,   but  they are live laws which could be utilised if no other law would do).

Nothing non-pc is safe

Where does all this leave us?   The problem is that no one can be sure what would be treated as criminal by the police and the prosecuting authority the Crown Prosecution Service.   A person could look at non-pc speech and writing which has not resulted in prosecution and words which  has been resulted in criminal charges and try to analyse what will be deemed officially beyond the Pale  but be none the wiser.  That is for two reasons: first, the boundaries of  what is deemed  criminal are constantly expanding especially with reference to “hate speech”  and, second,  there is no consistency  in the investigation and prosecution of similar statements.

A  few examples to demonstrate the difficulty in knowing what is likely to result in police action.    Negro was the polite word for a black person  for two centuries .  Gradually over the past half century it was superseded by black, African-American, Afro-Caribbean or even African as blacks asserted their identity. But negro continued to be used.  It was not  considered a racist term, although a bit old fashioned in much the same way that homosexual rather than gay now seems slightly anachronistic. In 2011 the Liverpool FC forward Luis Suarez   (white) repeatedly referred to the Man U fullback Patrice Evra (black) as a negro, (actually its Spanish equivalent negre). This resulted not in criminal charges but disciplinary action by the Football Association who fined and banned him for eight matches for racial abuse (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/8969738/Liverpools-Luis-Suarez-guilty-of-racially-abusing-Patrice-Evra-live.html).  Although there was no police action, the message the Suarez case sent to the public was negro is now a term of racial abuse which could result in action being taken against its user.  If another case comes to public notice I would be most surprised if at the least a  police investigation is not begun even if  no criminal charges are brought. That would be par for the course in these cases.  A  word is mysteriously deemed unacceptable, there is liberal media outrage and a little down the line the police act against someone who has used it. Frequently the police investigation does not result in charges but the publicity of the police involvement serves to intimidate the public.

The next word describing the race of a person which is likely to be ratcheted  up from polite term to criminal will probably be coloured. This is even more ludicrous than the outlawing of negro as a racial epithet. It is simply a description as innocuous as white.  That it was not considered anything more until recently  can be seen from the title of the American organisation for promoting black interests  the  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  Despite this history  the Scottish football pundit Alan Hansen  ran into trouble after  using it in 2011 and was forced to offer an abject apology to save his job. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/dec/22/alan-hansen-black-footballers-coloured)

Now let us move forward to a recent case which did result in criminal charges.  BNP member Michael Coleman has just been give an eight month suspended sentence with 240 hours of community service (unpaid work) for publishing racist articles on his blog:

“ The 46-year-old was reported to police after two blogs he wrote in response to last summer’s London riots appeared online.

In them, he said the riots were a perfect example of ‘the difference in personality, perceptions and values of people of the darker races and ourselves’.

And he accused Stoke-on-Trent City Council of ‘flooding this city with Muslims and blacks, a complete population replacement programme. Darkies in, whites out’.

Police were called by Labour city councillor Joy Garner, below, who had been asked to read the blogs by a member of the public. (http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/Stoke-Trent-BNP-leader-Michael-Coleman-guilty/story-16839343-detail/story.html).

Leave aside the word “darkies”  for the moment. Coleman’s message is a straightforward political protest against  the most profound act of treason which is the permitting of mass immigration. If he was convicted for that protest it is unambiguous censorship for political purposes.  The prosecution is sending the message to the public that complaints about  immigration and its consequences  is being criminalised.

If it is solely “darkies”  which has led to the conviction,  and the report does not suggest that it is,  then the-powers-that-be through the courts and prosecution authorities are controlling language in a manner reminiscent of the Soviet Union or Red China.  “Darkies” may again be an anachronistic term , but it was never considered racist as such when it was widely used. Often it was bestowed on someone black in the same way that a man called white would end up being called “Chalky”.

Even liberals are beginning to get uneasy about the way that day after day new cases as  threats of prosecution or actual prosecutions are applied to people in situations which appear ever more extreme. Take  Brendan  O’Neill of  the Daily Telegraph on Coleman.  He pays ritual pc obeisance to  the “horror” of Coleman’s views and the use of “darkies”, calls him a moron, but then writes

The councillor who kick-started the legal action against Coleman said something very interesting – he said the reason Coleman had to be punished and turned into a criminal for writing those blog posts is because the views they expressed are “not acceptable to the overwhelming majority of local people”. That is true; the vast majority of Britons find racist ideas and language disgusting. But are we really going to start threatening with imprisonment people who express opinions that the “overwhelming majority” consider to be unacceptable? Will that include radical political views, edgy social arguments, harebrained religious beliefs? The fact that in Britain in 2012 a man has been given a suspended jail sentence and 240 hours’ community service for saying something that is offensive to the “overwhelming majority” should give us all serious pause for thought, and make us ask what gives us the right to slam Putin’s Russia for likewise banging up punkish singers who, according to polls, also offended an “overwhelming majority” of Russians.” (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100183130/darkies-is-a-disgusting-word-but-people-shouldnt-be-given-suspended-jail-sentences-for-saying-it/).

Of course, the “vast majority of Britons” do not find what liberals now call racist ideas and language disgusting (effectively any preference for one racial, national or ethnic group over another) . Many might not feel comfortable with the word “darkies”, but the “vast majority of Britons ” will have varying degrees of sympathy with the idea that mass immigration has changed the country for the worse and is a form of colonisation.   But such expressed thoughts would now appear to be illegal. The case of Emma West  falls into this category.  Miss West was recorded on a camera phone  during a tram ride complaining  to a racially mixed group of passengers about the effects of mass immigration. There was a bit of effing and blinding but there was no gross racist abuse , just a complaint that her country had been utterly changed through mass immigration (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/emma-west-immigration-and-the-liberal-totalitarian-state).   She was arrested after the video was placed on YouTube, held against her will in a top security prison (the authorities claimed it was for her own protection even though Miss West  said she did not want to be protected) and is being subjected to an unconscionable delay before she is brought to trial – it is already 11 months since she was charged, the case has been adjourned three times and no new trial date set (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/emma-west-trial-delayed-for-the-third-time/).

One last case. The England and Chelsea footballer John Terry was charged with racially aggravated public order offences when he was alleged to have  called the black QPR defender Anton Ferdinand “a f**king black c**t” during a Premiership match between Chelsea and QPR in 2011.  Terry’s defence was that he had not called Ferdinand that but thought Ferdinand had accused him  of using the words and said  to him “I didn’t call you a  f**king black c**t”.

A court accepted this version and found him not guilty in July this year, but that was not the end of the matter. Once again the Football Association (FA) acted and effectively tried Terry on the same charges, found him guilty and  fined him heavily and banned him for four matches. ).  That of course is simply a sporting body  and not a court making the judgement, but it at best creates a public mood of fear of saying anything contentious which could possibly be construed as racist. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/chelsea/9568184/John-Terry-found-guilty-of-racially-abusing-QPRs-Anton-Ferdinand-in-FA-hearing-and-handed-four-match-ban.html). Moreover, it  was  a very sinister development because Terry was adjudged guilty by the FA regardless of the context of the words he uttered. The FA found that the uttering of words to deny having said them  with an intent to abuse  is an offence if the words are deemed racist.  Most dangerous. It could in principle mean that a writer of fiction could be held to be racist because he creates a racist character.  Improbable? Well, as luck would have it the author of the Harry Potter books, JK Rowling, has just run into trouble for doing precisely that.  In her first adult novel  The  casual vacancy  she has  a Sikh woman portrayed in unflattering fashion by a character  who is a racist. Sikhs in Britain are up in arms threatening to stop it being sold in India and possibly banned in Britain because it portrays a Sikh unfavourably (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9580177/First-Middle-England-now-Rowlings-novel-upsets-Sikhs-as-well.html).

There is a further problem with the increasing numbers of prosecutions being undertaken for alleged racially-aggravated offences. The prosecuting authorities and the courts do not operate an even-handed approach. The most outrageous example I have come across is the treatment by four Somali girls of a white woman Rhea Page. The Somalis viciously attacked Miss Page  -a video of  the attack can be found here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070562/Muslim-girl-gang-kicked-Rhea-Page-head-yelling-kill-white-slag-FREED.html#ixzz1flw8TY6p. Despite the fact that Somalis were screaming “white slag” and other racist terms at her,  the judge found the attack was not racially motivated and, amazingly, did not impose  prison sentences on the Somalis.

Despite the uncertainty and double standards , it is reasonable to think that the following would leave a party or individual open to criminal prosecution :

1. Any statement which claimed  that mass immigration was an unalloyed ill.

2. Any statement which claimed that the permitting of mass immigration is the most fundamental form of treason.

3. Any statement which claimed that mass immigration is a form of conquest by means other than force of arms.

4. Any statement which advocated the forced expulsion of immigrants.

5. Any statement which claimed that an ethnic or racial minority has cultural values and practices which are incompatible with British society.

6. Any statement which claimed that a racial or social minority commits more crime than the native British population.

7 . Any statement which claimed that a religion favoured by an ethnic minority  is  antipathetic to British society.

8. The use of the words black, brown or yellow  as an adjective where it is attached to a statement which is critical of a person.

9. Any statement claiming or suggesting that there are biological differences between races which mean that different races have innately different capacities.

Race is undoubtedly the prime driver of prosecutions for simply expressing opinions,  but  increasing  police attention is being given to statements about homosexuals (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1270364/Christian-preacher-hooligan-charge-saying-believes-homosexuality-sin.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2206108/Daniel-Thomas-Footballer-posted-homophobic-Tweet-Tom-Daley-charged.html)) and recently there have been swelling attempts to bring abuse of the disabled into the police investigation net.  Words judged to be insulting to women are, as far as I can discover,  as yet not the subject of police action, but give it time and surely they will be because any person with a public voice who makes comments which deviate from the pc line that women are just like men is likely to be shouted down by the liberal media and its cronies.

But it is not only overtly politically incorrect statements which have attracted the attention of the police and the courts. Once it is allowed that words deemed insulting or upsetting can be criminalised, nothing but nothing is beyond the reach of the law. In the political sphere this can stop criticism of a politician. Recently it was revealed that two MPs and two peers reported twitter abuse to the police (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/9558464/Two-MPs-and-two-peers-go-to-police-over-Twitter-abuse.html).  The revelation of these attempts by politicians  to have members of the public investigated by the police resulted in this  statement by Jeremy Browne, the junior Home Office minister: “The Government are not seeking to criminalise bad manners, unkind comments, or idiotic views.”

But he went on: “The Government are reforming measures to tackle antisocial behaviour, regardless of whether it occurs offline or online.

“To continue to support professionals to help and protect victims, we are introducing simpler and more effective powers that, where appropriate, agencies can use flexibly to deal with antisocial individuals who cause misery and distress to others.”

The Crown Prosecution Service is drawing up the first guidelines on social media abuse, following concerns that too many people were being prosecuted for making one-off offensive comments that were intended to be funny and not directed at specific individuals.

I think we can all see where that is goings, straight down the path to censorship of political complaint.  The  present  reality is any statement whether  spoken, written or  broadcast which is not anodyne and written in cautiously polite language  potentially puts its creator at risk of prosecution.

All of  these assaults on free expression are taking place when the politically correct have a stranglehold on British society through their control of  the state and the mass media. No political party which radically challenges the pc creed has any chance of being in government or any likelihood of gaining  a seat in the Commons.  Yet the strangling of contrary opinion is becoming ever fiercer.  Imagine what they would do if a political force which did unambiguously  oppose political correctness looked as though it might gain seats in the Commons.

No free expression, no democracy

In a true democracy there can be no restriction on speech because the full range of political opinions and policies must be available to be debated and implemented.   Equally importantly if is the ultimate guarantor of freedom. Authoritarian states can only survive if  free expression is crushed.  Make free expression an absolute  legal right and no dictatorship could be  established; bring free expression into a dictatorship   and it will dissolve the dictatorship.

John Milton famously and eloquently  identified the power of free debate  three and a half centuries ago: ‘And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose upon the earth, so truth be in the field [and] we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter…’ [Milton – Areogapitica].

Anybody putting forward a case for censorship needs to explain why  they cannot let “truth and falsehood” contend .  I have never met anyone who could provide a meaningful reason.  Their arguments are always once removed from the issue of free expression: its denial is always justified in terms of the imagined hurt, whether to feelings or violence,  the disapproved of words will cause not on the grounds that the words are true or false.

The Leveller leader John Lilburne never ceased urging people  in his struggles with the Parliamentary leaders in the English civil war to resist tyranny with the words  “What they do to me today they may do to you tomorrow”. That is a maxim for all people of  any time who wish to remain free.

 

 

 

http://ics-www.leeds.ac.uk/papers/vp01.cfm?outfit=ks&folder=13&paper=130

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BNP ‘whites-only’ membership rules outlawed

 

Judge agrees with human rights watchdog that British National party’s rewritten criteria for joining are still racist

Peter Walker

The Guardian, Saturday 13 March 2010

Nick Griffin, the BNP leader. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

The British National party was plunged into chaos yesterday, weeks before the general election, when a court ordered it to remove central beliefs and policies about race from its constitution.

In a landmark injunction at the Central London county court, a judge found that the BNP’s membership policy remained discriminatory, even after a direct whites-only clause was removed last month.

The judge, Paul Collins, ordered the BNP to remove two clauses from its constitution as they were indirectly racist towards non-white would-be members.

The party also remains banned from signing up new recruits until it satisfies Collins it has changed the constitution, although it said last night that applications to join were being processed again.

In a further blow to the party’s election hopes, it was ordered to pay an estimated £60,000 in legal costs. The bill could rise to £100,000 when its own legal fees are included.

While one offending clause is largely an administrative matter – a requirement that all new members agree to a vetting visit from BNP officials, something the judge found could intimidate non-white applicants – the other spells out core beliefs.

This is a requirement for members to believe in the “continued creation, fostering, maintenance and existence” of an indigenous British race and action towards “stemming and reversing” migration.

The BNP last month voted to remove a direct bar on non-white members after a legal challenge from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The government equalities watchdog then challenged the revised constitution on the grounds that ethnic minority Britons could still not subscribe to the party’s beliefs without “denying themselves”.

Collins ruled in favour of the commission, ordering the BNP to remove the offending clauses by Monday afternoon or face potential legal penalties.

The EHRC head of legal enforcement, Susie Uppal, said: “Political parties, like any organisation, are obliged to respect the law and not discriminate against people who wish to become members.”

The BNP’s leader, Nick Griffin, said the decision “opens a very dangerous door. It’s a huge change to the unwritten constitution of Britain. The judgment has given a government-appointed, taxpayer-funded quango the rights to change the aims and objectives of political parties.” The costs award would “have some effect” on the BNP’s election campaigning, but it would not be significant, he added.

Griffin said he had already amended the constitution so the clauses were removed from membership criteria. He insisted, however, that the beliefs about immigration and race would remain, even if members did not have to officially sign up to them. “It won’t make any practical difference to us. But it’s hugely symbolic,” he said.

A spokesman for the anti-fascist campaign group Searchlight said: “This judgment is a personal humiliation for Nick Griffin. The BNP has been proven in court to be as racist and extremist as ever.”

The millionaire Asian businessman Mo Chaudry, who had said he would apply to join the party to “fight them from the inside”, welcomed the ruling. He said: “This was the only decision that could have been made today. There was no alternative.”

The decision follows weeks of wrangling over the legality of the far-right party’s membership criteria. After the EHRC challenge last year, BNP members voted at an extraordinary general meeting a month ago to scrap the whites-only clause. BNP critics argue the party has no genuine interest in recruiting non-white members and is doing the minimum to avoid legal action and court costs.

An internal BNP memo seen by the Guardian this week told members that the party had not “gone soft”. It continued: “We don’t expect any more than a handful of people of ethnic minority origin to apply to join the party nationally, and we will not let this deflect us from our political objectives of saving Britain and restoring the primacy of the indigenous British people.”

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