A senior UKIP official has been forced to delete racist Facebook posts after claiming he accidentally shared them to his followers.
Gordon Parkin, who is assistant to North East Euro MP Jonathan Arnott and who has himself stood for Parliament, shared a series of images by the far-right groups Britain First and The New Daily Patriot on Facebook.
One post depicts Enoch Powell – the politician who made the notoriously racist “rivers of blood” speech in 1968 – next to the House of Commons alongside the words “I told you so…”.
He also shared an image of women wearing the niqab which said “share if you find this offensive”.
Another from Britain First, a group which opposes what it calls the “Islamification of the UK” and was founded by a member of the BNP, claims schools who choose to stock halal meat are “wrong”.
Mr Parkin, who is a powerful official in the regional party and sits on panels that assess UKIP’s potential General Election candidates, claims he accidentally shared them on the social networking site and has now deleted them.
Right-wing graffiti daubed on a shop wall has been turned into peaceful paintings by a Middlesbrough family.
Members of the Amanat family were shocked to discover the letters BNP daubed in yellow paint on the side of the shop they’ve run for about 15 years, Leinster News in Leinster Road, Gresham.
But with a few brush strokes of their own, the family has transformed the crude scrawl into a flower and a butterfly.
And while the British National Party slogan went ignored, shoppers and passers-by have given the new version the thumbs-up.
Student Shaz Amanat and her brother Nav decided to take the artistic stand.
Shaz, 19, said she first saw the graffiti as she headed for Middlesbrough’s Macmillan Sixth Form, where she is studying pyschology, biology, georgraphy and IT.
“It’s difficult to say how I felt, really – disheartened, I suppose. It was such a shock to see it
.“It was up for a couple of days because we didn’t have time to clear it off but then when I was on the Saturday shift with my brother, we decided to do something creative with it.”
Grabbing a pot of white paint, Shaz and Nav, 25, got to work.
Shaz said: “We just wanted to make a statement to show it’s not acceptable. Someone told me it’s happened on another building too, which is sad to hear.”
Shaz’s mum Zoe said:
“They are all really nice around here, we all know each other.
“I was shocked when I saw the latters – I just thought ‘which idiot did that?’ But people like it now – they say we should leave it as it is.”
Nav, an IT analyst, admits he originally just wanted to cover it up so his girlfriend didn’t have to see it.
“I found a tin of white paint we’ve probably had for years, but I didn’t put too much thought into it. I think Shaz was more hurt by it and it was her idea to paint a flower.
“No-one mentioned anything when it just said BNP but since we’ve changed it, we’ve had people taking photos and coming into the shop, even if they’re not buying anything, to say they love it. Facebook has been going crazy too.
“I don’t want people to think it’s a bad area around here because it isn’t – we’ve never had any trouble.
“And it’s my dad’s shop at the end of the day, so it’s his decision what do do with it. But if it’s sending out a good message, maybe we can leave it in place for a while.”
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 13 May 2015
Not a single Liberal Democrat candidate will be standing at next month’s local elections in South Tyneside.
The Lib Dems’ no-show at the ballot box, the first in a generation, comes amid fears by one of its former representatives that its brand is now “toxic on the doorstep”.
Until just a few years ago, the party’s candidates at Parliamentary elections in the borough were the natural opposition to Labour.
In South Shields at the 2005 general election, Lib Dem Stephen Psallidas finished second to then-Labour MP David Miliband with almost 6,000 votes, 19.7 per cent of the total cast.
In local elections around the same time, the party, led by Nick Clegg since 2007, could usually guarantee a handful of seats, particularly in the Hebburn North ward.
At one time, it held all three seats for Hebburn North.
However, since the 2010 general election, the party’s fortunes have declined dramatically in the borough.
At the 2013 Parliamentary by-election in South Shields, its candidate, Hugh Annand, lost his deposit, receiving just 352 votes, just 1.4 per cent of the vote, and only narrowly avoiding the ignominy of being defeated by the Raving Monster Loony Party’s contender.
Now, not a single Lib Dem is to contest the local elections in South Tyneside on Thursday, May 7.
The party’s absence from the political scene in South Tyneside comes as no surprise to Joe Abbott, formerly a Lib Dem councillor for Hebburn North.
He said: “It’s something of a shame, but I’m not surprised no-one is standing from the party.
“The reality is that the Lib Dem brand is toxic on the doorstep.
“It all dates back to the party getting into bed with the Tories.”
Mr Abbott is standing as an independent in Hebburn North next month.
He was the Lib Dems’ last councillor in South Tyneside until he quit the party in disgust over its decision to form a coalition with David Cameron’s Conservatives in 2010 and back his austerity measures.
He stood as an independent at 2012’s elections but lost out to Labour’s Mary Butler.
Meanwhile, the far-right British National Party (BNP) is not putting forward any candidates at May’s Local Elections either.
The party has targeted several ward seats in the borough over recent years, but it isn’t throwing its hat into the ring this time round.
At 2012’s local elections, it contested eight of the 18 South Tyneside Council ward seats up for grabs.
Source – Shields Gazette, 15 Apr 2015
Some chancers from the social media wing of the far-right decided they would attempt to cash-in on the recent Pegida bubble. Here’s what happened on their first National rally in the UK.
Words and pictures by our man in the field, DM.
Pegida UK got off to a bad start by arranging their first demo in Newcastle when the Toon were at home. The cops had their excuse to ban the march – unless Pegida held it at 9.30 in the morning – so it was demoted to a static rally at 11.00 on Saturday 28th February.
By 9.30 the police presence in Newcastle was already significant as preparations were made to ‘facilitate’ the far-right gathering.
After realising the planned BNP march from Monument to the rally site wasn’t going to happen, I walked down to the Bigg Market to find – with just 20…
View original post 689 more words
You are not welcome in our city.
That was the overriding message from residents, community leaders, political parties and union bosses just 24 hours before an “anti-islam” protesters arrive in Newcastle city centre.
Under the banner of ‘Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West’, Pegida supporters will be taking to Tyneside’s streets amid claims they are trying to defend countries from the spread of extremism at the hands of Muslim immigrants.
Saturday, will be the first UK demonstration by the British branch of the organisation.
A growing counter-demonstration, now expected to attract in excess of 2,000 people, will simultaneously march through the city centre in protest over Pegida.
The counter-demo, organised by Newcastle Unites, is also aiming to attract a string of high profile speakers including George Galloway MP.
Police said they were fully prepared to cope with the extra influx of people into the city centre just hours before Newcastle United kick off their home match against Aston Villa.
Today, opponents to Pegida made one final rallying call.
David Stockdale, councillor for Blakelaw, who will also be speaking at the meeting, said:
“Newcastle is a friendly, tolerant and inclusive city of sanctuary. We thrive on the diversity of our communities which make our city one of the truly great cities of the world.
“We have a proud history of standing up to intolerance and hate and to groups like Pegida who seek to do harm to our Muslim sisters and brothers.
“Pegida paint a brutal misrepresentation of Islam. It’s important to stand up to that and for me as a non-Muslim it’s important to speak out against Pegida’s twisted prejudice.
“The Newcastle Unites counter-demonstration will show Newcastle at its best. Islamophobia targets Muslims but it hurts us all and I’m so proud of how our wonderful city has come together to march in peace and solidarity against Pegida and everything they stand for”.
The Pegida movement started in Germany but has reportedly launched a number of other European off-shoots in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
Jeremy Beecham, former leader of Newcastle City Council, said:
“This city has a deserved reputation for welcoming people and for good relations between the communities which enrich its life.
“It has welcomed the contribution made by people from a variety of cultures across a range of activities, from the NHS to St James’s Park. Pegida is an extreme right wing movement driven by hatred of Muslims, on whom they have focussed their resentment for problems they perceive in Germany.
“Their Islamophobia is totally unacceptable, and it’s difficult to understand why Newcastle has been singled out for their malign attention. I hope the people of this city will unite to reject the message of division which they seek to bring to our streets.”
David Kelly, 33, from Newcastle, will be part of the counter-demo.
He said: “We don’t want these people in our city. They don’t belong here. We are a friendly, tolerant and welcoming place.”
Pegida claim to have chosen Newcastle for their first UK march due to having already established a following in the city.
Chi Onwurah, Newcastle MP, said:
“We are a city of diverse communities and shared values where we both respect and look out for each other. We have a history of facing hard times together and growing stronger.
“People coming from outside to spread a message of division and hatred are not welcome. Pegida is targeting Muslims in our community and we have to stand up and say it is wrong, Islamaphobia is wrong, anti semitism is wrong, all racism is wrong, we can do better than this, we have done better than this when we saw off the National Front and the BNP.
“The idea that there might be children in Newcastle who feel unwelcome or unappreciated because of the religion they practise I find absolutely obscene. That is why I’ll be there on Saturday.”
Police say they have had open dialogue with parties from both demonstrations and say they are satisfied the demos will pass “peacefully”.
Chief Superintendent Laura Young, from Northumbria Police, added:
“I have had guarantees from both organisations that this will be a peaceful demonstration.
“People should not be put off coming into the city centre on Saturday. People will still want to come shopping, there is a football match on in the afternoon and people will be coming for other events.
“I would just say that they should give themselves some extra time to get in and out of the city centre as there have been some road closures.”
The march, which will begin at 10.30am, has attracted national, and international interest.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 26 Feb 2015
A North East BNP activist has been appointed acting chairman of the party after Nick Griffin stepped down as leader.
The party’s website said Adam Walker had been appointed acting chairman after Mr Griffin “stepped aside”, two months after he lost the party’s only seat at the European Parliament in a disastrous set of election results.
Mr Griffin, who has been the public face of the party for more than a decade, has taken on the new role of party president.
Mr Griffin, who was declared bankrupt in January, had “taken up the position of President”, it said, adding that the national executive was “united in their support” for his replacement.
After voters in the north west ousted him as an MEP in May, Mr Griffin accepted the BNP – which now has only two local councillors – would be described as a “racist” outfit.
Its supporters wanted to “send them all home”, he said – suggesting they would end up disappointed if they had voted for Ukip as an alternative.
The BNP published a statement on its website announcing the change at the top, which reads: “Recently appointed deputy chairman, Adam Walker, has accepted the role of acting chairman of the British National Party after Nick Griffin stepped aside at a meeting of the BNP National Executive held on 19 July.
“The full national executive are united in their support for Adam in this role. Nick Griffin has taken up the position of president.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 22 July 2014
The full results for the North East:
•Labour Party – 221,988
•UKIP – 177,660
•Conservatives – 107,733
•Liberal Democrats – 36,093
•Green Party – 31,605
•An Independence from Europe – 13,934
•BNP – 10,360
•English Democrats – 9,279
Labour won 2 seats, UKIP finally win something – 1 seat.
Conservatives and Lib Dems both lose 1 seat.
Tory Martin Callanan lost his seat. Callanan, who was also chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, was the only MEP standing for reelection in the region, Labour’s Stephen Hughes and the Lib Dems’ Fiona Hall had both decided to stand down – in Ms Hall’s case probably a very wise decision – The Lib Dem vote collapsed from 103,644 in 2009 to just 31,605.
Newly-elected Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling said: “It is a fantastic night for Labour.
“We have knocked the leader of the Tories out of the European Parliament – an extremely corrosive politician who has upset a lot of people.”
Her new colleague Paul Brannen claimed it was a “major victory for Labour” as they had not just seen off Mr Callanan but “defeated the Liberal Democrats resoundingly”.
Ukip were the big spenders heading into the North East elections, with the party the only of the main four to spend money on billboard advertising in the region. Electoral Commission records also show their winner Jonathan Arnott contributing more than £8,000 of his own funds to the campaign… a sum which no doubt he will now proceed to enthusiastically recoup in expenses.
Turnout for the European elections was 31%, with Middlesbrough’s 24% the lowest and Gateshead’s 35% the highest.
I’ve only seen a few final results so far, but it seems that overall Labour retain control. Not much of a suprise perhaps, but it’s good to see that the wheels appear to have come off the much-vaunted UKIP targeting of the North East.
They did achieve a number of second places, but generally a very long way behind Labour candidates – which seems to suggest that they were taking votes from the Conservatives, not Labour.
Of the 25 seats up for grabs, Labour took a total of 21, with the Conservatives winning three and one Independent. The overall turnout across Sunderland was 33 per cent
Mayor Bob Heron (Labour) lost his seat in the Copt Hill ward (Houghton-le-Spring) to independent Anthony Allen by 75 votes.
Sunderland remains a UKIP-free zone 🙂
There seemed to be a feeling that UKIP were going to make big inroads in South Tyneside. They didn’t. In fact, they lost one of the two seats they already held.
Labour maintained control, retaining 49 of the 54 seats.
It held 16 seats of the 18 seats up for grabs and took Fellgate and Hedworth from UKIP – though it lost Bede to the Independent – Putting People First group.
The overall percentage turnout was 34.4 per cent, compared to 34.1 per cent in 2012, with 39,462 votes cast out of a total electorate of 114,813.
The highest turnout was in the Cleadon and East Boldon ward with 44.7 per cent, while the Biddick and All Saints ward was the lowest at 27.7 per cent.
The new political make-up of the Council is: Labour: 49, Independent: 1, Independent – Putting People First: 2, Conservative: 1 and UKIP: 1.
Labour councillor Nancy Maxwell enjoyed the biggest majority of the night, romping to victory in Hebburn South ward.
She won nearly two-thirds of the vote, to record a majority of 920 over her nearest rival – UKIP.
Seems to be the nearest thing to a UKIP triumph so far…
Labour maintained its control of Hartlepool Borough Council winning six out of the 11 wards that were up for grabs.
UKIP won 2 seats, including the Jesmond ward from Labour by just two votes – after five recounts had taken place.
Labour maintain their 19 out of 33 seats on Hartlepool Council and overall control.
The UKIP winners were aged 63 and 72 respectively – which seems to be the age group they appeal to, if the various vox pops I’ve seen in various media sources locally over the past few weeks are any guide.
Which raises the interesting question of what will happen to UKIP in the next decade or so, as their candidates and voters die out ?
Also interesting to note the virtual abscence of the BNP in these elections. A few years ago they were standing in most Sunderland wards – this time, nothing at all. Did their voters transfer to UKIP ?
British National Party leader Nick Griffin has accused Ukip of recycling and softening their hardline anti-immigration policy.
Mr Griffin made the remarks after Ukip council candidate William Henwood told Lenny Henry to emigrate to a black country.
Henwood, who is standing in a council election in Enfield, north London, made the comment on Twitter in response to a speech by Henry in which he said ethnic minorities were under-represented on British television.
“He should emigrate to a black country. He does not have to live with whites,” Mr Henwood posted.
‘Defending’ the remark, Mr Henwood told the BBC: “I think if black people come to this country and don’t like mixing with white people why are they here? If he (Henry) wants a lot of blacks around go and live in a black country.”
Griffin told the BBC: “If you look at Ukip they are using all our rhetoric, they are using our slogans, they are recycling our posters and people like it.
> Some people like it, Nick. Mainly the sort of people who thought your views represented balanced social comment.
“The only difference is that Ukip won’t deliver. Their actual policy is a 50,000 net increase in immigration every year.
“When they talk about balanced migration what Farage actually means is for every Brit who leaves Britain, they’d be happy to let a Pakistani or an Afghan in, which means their policy is actually about 300,000 new immigrants a year.
“Our policy is simple: shut the door, we don’t want anyone – black, brown, green or white.
“I think if the public get to understand that then Ukip’s vote is going to meltdown as they come under the scrutiny they deserve.”
> Weirdly, I find myself agreeing with Nick Griffin ! Only on this last point, mind… vote for UKIP, vote for the new British fascist party.
Source – Sunday Herald 27 April 2014