Westminster Bubbles – can any politician cast the first stone?

Following the resignation of Health Secretary Matt Hancock over breaching Covid regulations in connection with an extra-marital affair, Westminster and Fleet Street rumour mills are working overtime.

The two frontbenchers most in the spotlight are Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove. Coincidentally Rayner has been responsible for shadowing Gove ever since Labour’s misfired reshuffle.

But the rumours have nothing to do with politics.

Rayner split up from her husband, union official Mark Rayner, last year and has for some time been very close to her former campaign manager, Ilford MP Sam Tarry – a former employee of the ‘anti-racist charity’ Hope not Hate. Both Tarry and Rayner are married with children: indeed Rayner (though only 41) is a grandmother.

Hope not Hate boss Nick Lowles sprang to Tarry’s defence before the 2019 election when his former aide was accused of having links to ‘antisemites’ in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

At least Rayner and Tarry are involved in a straightforward, old-fashioned, extramarital affair.

The Tory scandals are far more exotic, involving swingers’ parties, cocaine, and perhaps their very own Philip Schofield about to ‘out’ himself.

Michael Gove reporting for the BBC on a Gay Pride march in 1993

Covid regulations make this sort of thing much more complicated: at one time a Tory MP might have thought ‘lockdown’ had something to do with Miss Whiplash in a Shepherd Market flat. But now even the highest in the land are subjected to the Daily Mail‘s middle-class morality.

Fortunately for Michael Gove (who once shared a flat with gay businessman Ivan Massow and gay Tory Nick Boles) a large part of the British media belongs to Rupert Murdoch, who has always seen Gove as his man – so you can guarantee that whatever stories break this week, they won’t be Sun exclusives!

Mr Gove has in some respects always been proud of swinging both ways. In February this year he was challenged in the House of Commons about his claims to have sung The Sash, but professed that in addition to this loyalist anthem he also sang the republican favourite Fields of Athenry and the Scottish nationalist Flower of Scotland.

‘Anti-fascist’ thug accused of ‘inciting’ attack on scientist

Lee Hurst – violent anti-fascist turned “proud Covidiot”

Comedian Lee Hurst has been reported to the police following what Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as “despicable harassment” of the government’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty.

In recent years Hurst has been portrayed by the mainstream media as ‘right-wing’ after apparent support for EDL founder ‘Tommy Robinson’ and hostility to climate campaigner Greta Thunberg.

However H&D can reveal that Hurst was an ‘anti-fascist’ street activist involved with the ultra-violent Red Action, notorious for its brutal attacks on the BNP and other nationalist groups in the 1980s and 1990s.

On 21st April 1990 for example, Hurst took part in a Red Action attack on BNP members attending an election meeting at Weaver’s Field School, Bethnal Green – one of that era’s most notorious acts of ‘anti-fascist’ violence.

Finding himself among more ‘respectable’ left-wing protesters, Hurst climbed over a fence to join the hardcore Red Action thugs who were attacking BNP members (including pensioners) and the police.

Police on the day had foolishly or deliberately insisted on dividing the BNP members (who were on their way to a perfectly peaceful and lawful election meeting) into small groups, making them easier to attack. The party newspaper British Nationalist reported:

“The Left did exactly as anticipated: they made several attacks in sectors where they were able to pick on the BNP in tiny numbers. A number of BNP supporters suffered injuries, one of them an elderly pensioner. Another received a hairline fracture of the skull and had to be taken to hospital. And this was not all. In some cases where BNP men defended themselves vigorously against the left, despite being outnumbered, they [the BNP] were arrested for ‘breaches of the peace’.”

Two Red Action terrorists – including its London leader Patrick Hayes – were later jailed for carrying out the 1993 bombing of Harrods on behalf of the IRA.

Meanwhile Lee Hurst went on to find fame as a television comedian, and now notoriety for his Twitter campaign against Prof. Chris Whitty. After demonstrators picketed Whitty’s home and he was confronted while walking through a park, Hurst tweeted: “What has happened to Chris Whitty is not enough.”

Former England rugby international Brian Moore was among many to condemn Hurst for his ‘cowardly’ attack – pointing out that when the scientist was just 17 his father was murdered by a terrorist gunman in Athens (having apparently been mistaken for an MI6 officer from whom he bought his car).

While there is a wide range of views among H&D readers about the Covid pandemic and government policies, we can surely all agree that it would be both foolish and wicked to fall in with agents provocateurs who seek to intimidate scientists in their homes. Neither do we want anything to do with evil ‘anti-fascist’ thugs like Lee Hurst. We haven’t forgotten or forgiven.

Police fine relatives of IRA pub bombing victims

‘Justice for the 21’ campaigner Julie Hambleton

Julie Hambleton (and five other relatives) whose 18-year-old sister Maxine was murdered by the IRA in the 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombings, has been given a £200 fine by West Midlands Police, for allegedly breaking the Government’s Covid lock-down laws, by attending a memorial to the 21 killed in the IRA attacks. Julie (and the others) have refused to pay the fines and will have their day in court.

The memorial was attended by hundreds of “Justice for the 21” supporters last November in Birmingham. After a cavalcade through England’s second city, Julie said she asked her supporters to disperse and go home.

However, West Midlands Police – the very same Police Force that bent over backwards to help the Communist Black Lives Matter protesters last year, pathetically “bending the knee” to a career criminal and abuser of women (George Floyd) – issued her and the other five with fixed penalty notices, saying that they were “proportionate and necessary”!

Their lawyers had asked for the fines to be annulled given the ‘sensitivities’ and the fact that they were attending a ‘carefully planned’ event, but West Midland Police force has refused, meaning the six will now end up in court.

Birmingham’s Tavern in the Town pub after the IRA bomb exploded

Twenty-one mainly young people from Birmingham, having a night out in the city centre, were killed by the IRA and another 220 injured when devices exploded within minutes of each other in two city centre pubs (The Tavern In the Town and the Mulberry Bush) on November 21, 1974.

West Midlands Police, wasted millions of taxpayers’ money, by arresting the so called “Birmingham Six” – members of the IRA’s Birmingham Brigade, who were later found guilty of the 21 murders in 1975.

However, their convictions were eventually overturned after one of Britain’s worst miscarriages of justice. One of H&D‘s Patrons, the late Jock Spooner – who was working in Birmingham that evening (driving his taxi) – many years later told us that it was common knowledge in the city, amongst the Irish community, that the “Birmingham Six” did not carry out the bombing, as for one thing the IRA’s “Birmingham Brigade” was pretty useless, and spent most of their time “talking big and drinking in Digbeth rather than fighting the British”.

And it was in fact the IRA’s much better organised “Coventry Brigade”, that carried out the bombings.

Birmingham IRA men wrongly convicted for the 1974 bombings, actually committed by their Coventry ‘comrades’

In November last year, families and campaigners organised an event to mark the 46th anniversary of the bombings and to highlight the Justice for the 21 campaign. England was in the second national lockdown at the time.

Beforehand, Julie, who has led the families’ long fight for justice, worked with a team from West Midlands Police to ensure traffic disruption was at a minimum and that the event complied with Covid regulations. Which by all accounts it did. On the day, hundreds of supporters in cars and vans and on motorbikes took part in a cavalcade which threaded its way through Birmingham, ending up outside the West Midlands Police HQ at Lloyd House.

There, several people from the convoy started to gather. Julie said she went over to the group – who were all wearing face masks – to thank them for their support and ask them to disperse. Subsequently, West Midlands Police issued six penalty notices, of £200 each.

The 21 victims of the Birmingham pub bombings

Julie said: ‘My summons talks about “without having a reasonable excuse”, implying I have done something wrong by remembering my sister who was blown up in the biggest unsolved mass murder in criminal history.’

In a letter confirming the intended prosecution, temporary assistant chief constable Chris Todd – an active “anti-racist” and a big supporter of Black Lives Matter – said he was satisfied the action was ‘proportionate and necessary in these circumstances’. He went on: “The matter would be pursued through ‘standard criminal justice proceedings’.”

When Julie and other five relatives eventually appear in court, we expect a massive turnout of support, not just from Brummies but from from Patriots and Loyalists nationwide. We must show West Midlands Police, that they can’t and won’t get away with this persecution of relatives’ families.

It’s more than 46 years now since the IRA blew up the two Birmingham pubs and murdered 21 of our people, yet West Midlands Police are still no closer to arresting, yet alone convicting anyone for the atrocity. The West Midlands Police should hang their heads in shame.

Superspiv Farage now backs Blair!

Former UKIP and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage once again displayed his lack of principle this week by publicly endorsing Tony Blair as head of a vaccination drive to end the Covid pandemic!

While H&D contributors and readers hold a range of divergent views about the merits of vaccination and the nature of the pandemic, I would guess that we would all agree Tony Blair is just about the last person who should ever be entrusted with political power ever again.

Yet Farage said this week:
“It is time to have a government, and to have people leading it, who’ve got genuine talent even if they disagree on many other policy matters. …Much as I don’t like Tony Blair, he does get things done, he commands respect, he is seriously bright. Why not get people like Tony Blair involved to help us solve a national crisis?”

Brexiteers at war: Farage’s criticisms of the government are rooted in bitter splits within the 2016 referendum campaign – Farage (above left) now prefers Tony Blair to Brexiteers such as Johnson and Dominic Cummings (above right).

The truth is of course that Nigel Farage knows absolutely nothing about Covid or the various medical/scientific issues involved.

The sole reason he is now boosting Blair is his residual resentment against Boris Johnson and Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings. Now that the Brexit issue has (perhaps) been resolved, Farage is looking for another headline and ludicrously hopes he might secure some influence in a Blair-led or Blair-influenced “government of national unity”.

No serious analyst imagines that any such national unity government will happen; if it did, there is next to no chance of Blair leading it; and if by some incredibly remote chance Blair did so, there is zero chance of his rewarding or promoting Farage.

The whole idea is a scam, dreamed up to impress certain weakminded voters who periodically express halfbaked notions about national unity governments.

Only one thing is interesting about this bizarre Farage statement: the fact the this superspiv of British politics seems to have calculated that there is no mileage for him in aligning with lockdown sceptics and anti-vaxxers.

As the pandemic reaches the White House, what are Covid’s implications for our movement?

H&D correspondent Ian Freeman first wrote of a likely pandemic threat fifteen years ago.

On the day that Covid-19 threatens to transform US politics, we now publish a new article by Ian Freeman in which he offers a nationalist perspective on the crisis.

Click here to read this nationalist perspective on the Covid-19 pandemic.

COVID – the nationalist perspective

by H&D correspondent Ian Freeman, writing from Northwich, Cheshire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among high-profile Covid patients, now joined by President Trump

Whilst the nationalist Movement should not in my view expend our very limited resources on getting involved in campaigning on short-term issues around the current C0VID-19 pandemic, there are a number of wider points which could be made from a Nationalist perspective. Most importantly, the very existence of the pandemic, and the threat of future ones, vindicates our position and offers us a unique opportunity in the longer term.

The salient points here are:

Firstly, the current arbitrary and draconian Govt measures turned on and off by decree in a chaotic and confused way are unlikely to prove effective in controlling the virus or even sustainable, but that is their problem, not ours.

A short period of limited lockdown to build NHS capacity and a Track and Trace system, together with drastic measures to sequester and shield the most vulnerable, most of whom could have been personally identified at the outset, combined with complete closure of all ports and airports to all passengers, save returning Britons who should have been confined to quarantine camps for 14 days, would have been a reasonable and proportionate measure.

Apart from setting up the Nightingale hospitals, which should reduce the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed, this evidently was not done, so in most respects in Britain the lockdown was wasted. Lockdowns in large populations, as opposed to those in small isolated ones such as New Zealand and the Channel Islands cannot eradicate the virus because they would need to be kept going so long that the economy, and as a result society, would collapse, leading to a sort of “Zombie Apocalypse” catastrophe in which most of the population dies horribly amid hunger, other diseases such as cholera and typhus, and violent general disorder. The three-month lockdown in Britain cost about 20% of the economy. Nobody knows how much more of the economy can be sacrificed before a disastrous civilization collapse, but I would advise against the experiment!

In societies as populous and densely populated as ours, at best lockdowns press the short-term Pause button on the virus’s spread, because they have to be abandoned before they reach pressing Stop lest the economy collapses, followed by society. In fairness, even Professor Neil Ferguson made this point in March in the paper he wrote to scare the Government into a lockdown. All the British Government has done by its futile lockdown is move the inevitable main wave of the pandemic out of summer into the peak National Health Service demand winter period.

The subsequent chronic, confused and erratic sub-lockdown measures dragging on for months we see now are likely not to work in terms of stopping the virus spreading, may cost more in lives directly and indirectly than they save, and impoverish the country for decades. Such impoverishment amongst other things means, far from “protecting” it we shall no longer be able to afford the NHS we had. Whilst the lives of an entire generation of children and young people will be blighted. The endless muddled flow of arbitrary and draconian measures, differing from place to place almost at random, will be increasingly ignored and flouted as the public weary of the whole thing, which, like the Prime Minister himself it seems, they will cease to understand anyway. “Social distancing” and mask wearing conflict with very profound aspects of evolved human social behaviour, and so are unsustainable in the long run anyway.

Extra ‘Nightingale’ hospitals were created to avoid the NHS being overwhelmed by Covid cases, but otherwise our government wasted the spring lockdown and might have postponed an inevitable Covid surge into the winter months.

Hiding political muddle behind a specious mask of “following The Science” shows the sort of total lack of understanding of what Science is, let alone what it says, typical of the Western ruling caste. Science is a process, not a body of knowledge. It is not – especially in dealing with a new disease on the basis of, initially, little hard data – an Infallible Oracle. Indeed, if, like the British Government, you set up an advisory committee comprised only of those scientists who agree with the policy of the politicians who appointed them, it can serve as a pseudo-scientific echo chamber for said politicians.

The real Science suggests, and many of the numerous eminent scientists in relevant fields sedulously excluded from the Government’s SAGE fig leaf over their own ineptitude believe, that herd immunity, natural or via a vaccine, is the only way out for this, like every other, pandemic. Ironically Boris Johnson was basically right about this at the outset and then panicked or was put under intolerable political pressure. Images of chaos in NHS hospitals would have played to a traditional perceived Tory weakness – clearly not so much lives as votes were at stake!

Secondly the complete suspension of the System’s pretence of “freedom” reveals the utter hypocrisy underlying their regime. Supposedly we fought two World Wars to defend the very freedoms which were simply snatched away at a moment’s notice in the face of what was already known to be a historically trifling pandemic (the Case Fatality Rate of which was known in March to be of the order of 1%, and even the World Health Organisation now say it is only 0.5-1%, comparable with severe influenza pandemics: indeed the 1918 Spanish flu had a Case fatality rate of 2-3%).

The May VE Day celebrations in which a nation of prisoners under arbitrary house arrest “celebrated the defence of freedom” were simply absurd and an insult to the memory of those who gave their lives, as they honestly, however misguidedly, believed, “for our freedom”.

The extreme risk aversion and unwillingness to sustain (likely very mild, by historical standards) casualties of Western regimes today manifest throughout this pandemic will be noted by enemies which, unlike an RNA virus, have minds. Twice in the previous century our nation and others were willing to sacrifice lives to defend freedom (as the public were told and believed). Now we evidently do the opposite.

Our 21st century risk-averse culture makes a mockery of the wartime generation and the recent 75th anniversary of ‘VE Day’

Thirdly, now the System knows it can impose an all-pervading dictatorship it will be tempted to do so again, for more directly political reasons. That is the only point in all this immediately relevant to Nationalists. That said, it is not yet clear if that current dictatorship will continue to function or will break down in a mixture of sullen non-compliance and street resistance. Hopefully so, or the veneer of “civil liberties” and a “free society” will have proved ephemeral indeed.

Ironically, the “human rights violations” inherent in the lockdowns and their enforcement would previously have drawn the ire of the very regimes now perpetrating them! The System has been revealed beyond dispute as utterly rooted in hypocrisy and lies, which must strengthen the long-term hand of national revolutionary forces seeking its overthrow.

Fourthly it is interesting that the measures implemented do not serve in any way, that I can see, the interests of global corporate capitalism. Indeed, quite the reverse. This shows its “Money Power” is not all powerful, which gives us hope. Nor indeed are our rulers, very evidently, wise, far-sighted or even basically competent. The obstacles in our path are evidently weaker and less formidable than we imagined!

Fifthly the virus is most likely a natural phenomenon, the latest of the epidemic diseases of other animals to jump to our species, in this case from rhinolophine bats. It is remotely possible it could be a bioweapon – the total absence of evidence that it is one either means it isn’t or that the developers have successfully concealed all trace and evidence of their work. Which they would have to do – unleashing, by design or accident, a bioweapon would be regarded by the rest of the world, and notably the United States, as the equivalent of a nuclear first strike, justifying right across the political spectrum of the West massive retaliation. Although its power is growing, China is not yet in a position to win, or even survive as a state or a society, such a conflict, knows this, and would therefore be most careful to avoid triggering it. The more so as the balance of forces is steadily tilting in its favour anyway. President Xi and his Government know this and have shown themselves anything but fools. As indeed they would be to put a bioweapons lab in the middle of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, when anyone who, like me, has flown over China can see the vast expanses of wilderness covering the north and west of the country in which to keep it both hidden and safely isolated from any risk of accidentally harming their own people. As Chinese nuclear weapon sites are.

Ian Freeman argues that the anti-lockdown cause is discredited by crazy conspiracy theorising

All the other explanations of the pandemic being spouted – CoVID-19 “does not exist/was caused by the Government/a Paedophile Plot/Bill Gates/giant alien lizards/5G masts” etc. are, in the complete absence of the extraordinary evidence, or pretty much any evidence, needed to uphold such extraordinary claims simply deranged loony nonsense. The “lockdown-sceptic” movement, founded on a rational and sensible base of upholding our traditional freedoms and civil liberties and constitutional rights as ably argued by the likes of retired top judge Lord Sumption, is in serious danger of discrediting itself by association with a menagerie of these cranks and nutjobs, the likes of Piers Corbyn and the Giant Lizard Man David Icke. Were we to involve ourselves in this movement they would be used to discredit us and we would be used to discredit them. We would in my view gain nothing by doing so and would be wasting our time and resources.

As we would by getting drawn into the anti-vaxxer lunacy which will I suspect shortly rear its head – “any CoVID vaccine is a plot to poison us or take over our brains” etc. etc. There is a real danger a vaccine, which is the deus ex machina which will end this particular mess and save the System’s bacon, may be rushed out in haste with inadequate testing. To help counter which I would advise readers to do as I have and volunteer to test it – should the vaccine start turning me into a Giant Lizard I will be sure to let you all know.

My view is that we should avoid being drawn into any of this. We should not waste our time on any short-term tactical imbroglio around this pandemic, to which we have nothing in particular to contribute and whose outcome we are as yet too weak to influence anyway. Instead we should take a long-term strategic view on the – long warned about (including by me 15 years ago!) – and now visibly real Pandemic Threat. Of which CoVID is only the beginning.

For, given the endless proliferation of our species, the relentless pressure on formerly wild areas where hitherto untouched wild species may carry potential zoonoses of this sort, and the habit of, especially, the Chinese and non-Muslim Africans of eating exotic wildlife (“bushmeat”) there will certainly be many more of these pandemics from entirely natural causes in the coming years. This is not “a once in a century pandemic”: it is the first rumble of the coming storm, and of course was long predicted.

Our position should be that the Government may or may not have over-reacted to the threat of this current pandemic, but it certainly will under-react to the threat of the next one. And the one after that, and so on, some of them inevitably much worse than this historically very minor pandemic, with death rates not of 0.5-1% but similar to historical pandemics such as the Black Death and the Antonine and Justinianic Plagues, with 30 to 60% of the population dying. We do not know if our civilization could survive that. The origin of that threat lies in the very ideology of liberal capitalist internationalism and is one to which only nationalism has the answer.

For the root cause of the current pandemic, and the much worse ones that will surely follow, is their system based on globalisation and the large-scale rapid movement of people. Moreover, the threat is made worse by the biological and cultural homogenisation of the world’s population through mass Immigration and race mixing, a promotion of universal sameness touted in best Orwellian style as “promoting diversity”. Because that homogenization is turning our species into a genetically similar monoculture, and such monocultures, be they of crops, cattle or people, are most at risk from new diseases.

The best defence against future pandemics, the best way to “keep us safe” from future viruses, is to replace the current globalised world with a world of separate, genetically distinct nations, independent and as far as possible self-sufficient economies, in which new diseases are kept out behind strong, impermeable borders secured by firm quarantines on all arrivals. That world nationalism, and only nationalism, offers.

As recent events have shown, the globalist, internationalist alternative threatens not just our national and racial identities, about which not everyone cares, but all our own individual lives and those of our families, about which everyone does care. It is here, making that broad, strategic point, not messing about with cranks and loonies in the details of the current crisis, that Nationalists should be pitching in.

Taking a broader view against globalisation and internationalism to stop all future pandemics generally, rather than wasting our meagre resources opposing our governments’ floundering attempts to deal with this one specifically, plays to our Movement’s Unique Selling Point. The more so as many influential and expert minds will concede that we are basically right.

As can be seen from the leading textbook on this sort of thing, Global Catastrophic Risks, edited by Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Cirkovic, published by Oxford University Press in 2008. A book our rulers evidently never bothered to read, at the cost now of our lives. On page 16 thereof, the Editors make our case for us thus:

“the evolution as well as the spread of pathogens is highly dependent on human civilization. The worldwide spread of germs became possible inhabited continents were connected by travel routes. By now, globalization in the form of travel and trade has reached such an extent that a highly contagious disease could spread to virtually all parts of the world within a matter of days or weeks.

“Kilbourne” (New York Medical College Professor Edwin Kilbourne, one of the world’s leading virologists and epidemiologists) “also draws attention to another aspect of globalization as a factor increasing pandemic risk: homogenization of peoples, practices, and cultures. The more the human population comes to resemble a single homogeneous niche, the greater the potential for a single pathogen to saturate it quickly. Kilbourne mentions the ‘one rotten apple syndrome’, resulting from the mass production of food and behavioural fads:

“If one contaminated item, apple, egg or, most recently, spinach leaf carries a billion bacteria not an unreasonable estimate and it enters a pool of cake mix constituents then packaged and sent to millions of customers nationwide, a bewildering epidemic may ensue.

“Conversely, cultural as well as genetic diversity reduces the likelihood that any single pattern will be adopted universally before it is discovered to be dangerous, whether the pattern be virus RNA, a dangerous new chemical or material, or a stifling ideology.”

So, the Science follows us. Nationalists, and only Nationalists, offer a way out of an endless nightmare of wave after wave of pandemics, of which CoVID-19 is but the first ripple, a tide which will sweep away our civilization. A tide only Nationalism can stem.

By taking such a long-term, strategic stand, we can win support – possibly rather reluctant support in some cases! – in circles which hitherto were closed to us. What governments do about the CoVID-19 pandemic may or may not prove them right in the short term. That is not, or should not be, our concern. The existence of the CoVID-19 pandemic proves us right in the long term. Our task is to focus on making that clear to all.

—————

Comment from H&D Assistant Editor Peter Rushton: – In several recent issues I have argued implicitly against Covid conspiracy theory, and explicitly against movement groups or parties engaging in militant anti-lockdown protests. My view on that isn’t likely to change. Although from a purely personal perspective I find the Covid regulations intensely annoying and obstructive, I don’t think there’s any political mileage movement-wise in positioning ourselves either in favour of wild conspiracy theory, or in favour of lawbreaking.

Having said that, I’m appalled by the heavy-handed police reaction to anti-lockdown demonstrators, as witnessed for example both in London and Melbourne.

Councils obfuscate Covid-19 statistics

Last week H&D reported detailed statistics behind the headlines about Covid-19 in Oldham, the Lancashire town that is on the brink of lockdown following a renewed surge in cases of the pandemic virus.

It is now clear that as we suggested last week, Oldham council deputy leader Arooj Shah was being disingenuous in suggesting that the virus had spread “in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities”. (Paradoxically, as we reported last week, Cllr Shah is not on good terms with local Muslim ‘community leaders’ and is a an example of the way the Labour Party is in many areas at war with conservative Islam.)

While it is true that there has been a scattering of Covid-19 in different parts of Oldham, there is a very marked concentration in certain parts of the town with an especially high Asian population. (There is also some slight evidence to suggest that Pakistani areas are seeing more Covid than Bangladeshi areas, but the jury is still out on that.)

For the period 7th-13th August (the most recent detailed statistics) the main Covid hotspot was the Alexandra Park census area with 48 cases (having had 55 the previous week). Local reports suggest that as many as 30 of these cases are from just one extended family and their immediate neighbours. The Manchester Evening News reports this but is too cowardly to state that Alexandra Park is a predominantly Pakistani area, containing the Glodwick ghetto that was at the centre of riots in 2001.

The other main Covid area in Oldham is Werneth, with 34 cases this week and 42 last week. At least 15 cases are understood to involve workers at the Park Cakes factory, a major local employer situated on the main road that separates Werneth and Alexandra Park. There is no suggestion that Park Cakes has been at fault in any respect.

The Salem area which borders Alexandra Park and also contains part of the extended Glodwick ghetto is the third-highest Oldham Covid area with 25 cases this week and 12 last week; while the original Bangladeshi area known as Busk, on the edge of the town centre and close to Oldham Athletic’s football stadium Boundary Park, had 15 cases this week and 12 last week.

While politically correct media have highlighted poverty as a contributory factor, the equally poor or in many cases poorer White areas of central Oldham have seen smaller (and in some cases negligible) rates of Covid. These include Alt with 12 cases; Lime Side & Garden Suburb with 11 cases; Derker with only 3 cases; and Moorside & Sholver with no registered cases at all.

The relatively affluent and White villages comprising Saddleworth to the east of Oldham are divided into four different census areas. Three of these reported three Covid cases each this week, while a fourth had none.

Mossley, a former cotton town turned commuter village on the borders of Oldham and Saddleworth, similarly had no Covid cases; neither did the adjacent Micklehurst & Carrbrook census area.

A smaller-scale version of a similar pattern can be seen in Blackburn (where H&D‘s editor used to be a borough councillor).

In Blackburn the highest incidences of Covid this week were again in the mainly Asian areas: 29 in Little Harwood; 22 in Central Blackburn; 19 in Bastwell; 14 in Roe Lee, Brownhill & Sunnybower; and 13 in Audley.

By contrast the mainly White area Meadowhead, where our editor was elected to Blackburn-with-Darwen Council in 2006, had no reported cases.

Oldham heads for lockdown – are councils hiding the truth about Covid spikes?

This week Oldham is facing full lockdown “within days” due to a surge in Covid-19 cases. Two weeks ago residents were told that they must not meet with others in their homes. The latest statistics show that Oldham’s infection rate has almost doubled in the past week, from 57.8 per 100,000 inhabitants to 107.5.

What we don’t yet know is a precise breakdown of which Oldham areas have seen especially serious outbreaks of the pandemic.

During July it was evident that the virus was rampaging in Pakistani and Bangladeshi areas of the town, as H&D reported at the time, and as Oldham Council’s deputy leader Arooj Shah then admitted.

However Cllr Shah argued today that during the past few weeks the virus has spread “in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities”.

We shall know on Friday this week to what extent her statement is true. Detailed statistics last week showed that while there was some incidence of the virus in White areas of the town, it remained far more prevalent in Pakistani and Bangladeshi areas.

Official statistics published on Friday each week show a breakdown of that week’s new Covid cases in each ‘Middle Super Output Area’, a census area roughly similar to local council wards.

Last week the worst area of Oldham was Alexandra Park with 55 new cases: this is the longstanding Asian ghetto area known as Glodwick. The second-worst area was Werneth with 42 new cases: decades ago this was mainly White but in recent years it has become another Asian ghetto.

Another area with significant infection registering 12 new cases was Busk, part of the original Bangladeshi area of Oldham near Oldham Athletic’s football ground at Boundary Park.

Salem – a partly White area bordering Glodwick – also had 12 cases.

Judging from last week’s figures, it was true that there had been a scattering of cases in some Whiter areas of Oldham: eight on the working class Alt estate; three in the more middle-class Springhead & Grasscroft. However other very White areas of Oldham – ranging from the working-class Moorside & Sholver and Derker areas, to the three affluent census areas that make up Saddleworth, registered no cases at all. (Technically this could mean that they had zero, one or two new cases that week, as only census areas with three or more new cases are listed.)

Is Cllr Arooj Shah being disingenuous in pretending that the virus is spreading equally in White and Asian areas of Oldham? We await this week’s detailed statistics with interest and shall inform H&D readers accordingly.

Arooj Shah (above left) with Oldham East & Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams after her defeat by a Pakistani taxi driver at the 2016 election. Oldham Labour Party found Ms Shah a new ward in a more racially mixed part of Oldham.

Cllr Shah is in other respects an interesting example of how the Labour Party interacts with Muslim communities. Contrary to the fantasies of some in our movement, the Labour Party is not in the grip of Muslim community leaders, still less is it influenced by ‘radical’ Islam.

What is much more common in 2020 is to see Labour councillors (including senior ones such as Arooj Shah) who are of Muslim origin but who are so ‘modern’ and ‘liberal’ that community leaders and imams would scarcely recognise them as Muslim at all. The Labour Party is just as much at war with traditional Islam as it is with traditional Christianity.

Arooj Shah was first elected as a very young woman in St Mary’s ward, Oldham, in 2012. This ward is in the Glodwick area and at the 2011 census was 49.1% Pakistani and 8.6% Bangladeshi.

Cllr Shah soon came into conflict with more socially conservative Pakistanis, and in 2016 she was defeated by local taxi driver Aftab Hussain standing as an independent. The Labour Party rallied behind the ousted councillor and in a deliberate gesture of contempt for conservative Muslims and ‘community leaders’ they found her a new ward in the more racially diverse Chadderton South ward, which she has represented since 2018.

A similar racial and cultural conflict affected Labour in another Lancashire town earlier this year. The first two Asian women to be elected as Blackburn councillors were both deselected in February. In this case Labour bosses intervened and ordered the selections to be rerun. One of the women won the re-run and remains a councillor, but the other chose to give up the fight.

Whatever the truth of Covid’s viral/racial profile, it seems clear that the Labour Party will continue to confront traditional Muslims, and that such conflicts will be a feature of local politics for at least another decade.

Covid-19 lockdowns in England’s racially ‘enriched’ areas

Tonight lockdown measures were suddenly reintroduced across large areas of northern England, where from midnight residents will be banned from any indoor meetings with people outside their immediate household. This will include pubs and restaurants, making the survival of some businesses very doubtful.

The government’s new rules were published just a few minutes before they came into effect at midnight.

Detailed examination of Covid-19 statistics that have led to this new lockdown show that as in Leicester, where the virus made its first big comeback, the areas concerned are predominantly those with very high Pakistani or Bangladeshi populations.

Yet the lockdown has been imposed across a vastly greater area, including many predominantly White districts where there is little or no sign of a Covid-19 resurgence.

The new measures will affect the whole of Greater Manchester; plus the East Lancashire boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, and Rossendale; plus the West Yorkshire metropolitan boroughs of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees; plus the city of Leicester.

Aside from Leicester, the vast area affected is broadly identical to the trans-Pennine region that saw the BNP’s major electoral advances almost twenty years ago. And the two phenomena – strong BNP votes in the early 2000s and a Covid-19 spike in 2020 – are of course related.

The common factor is that both were influenced by very high Asian populations, the behaviour of that particular minority and reactions to that behaviour.

Oldham – former cotton capital of the world, now one of the main Covid-19 hotspots

The statistics speak for themselves, to anyone who knows the racial geography of these areas (as the H&D team know very well). A detailed official map issued this morning gives a breakdown of confirmed new Covid-19 cases within the past week (20th-26th July), listed not merely by town but by much more detailed census areas within each town.

The much publicised Oldham outbreak featured Alexandra Park (22 new cases): this is the Glodwick area, one of the main Asian ghettos. Other hot spots included Chadderton SE (18); Werneth (16); Oldham Town South (10) and Busk – one of the original Bangladeshi areas in the Coldhurst council ward – (9). Also a scattering in several other Oldham areas.

But nothing (or below 3 anyway so not published) in the White working class Derker, Moorside & Sholver, or Alt areas of Oldham – once BNP strongholds. Perhaps a beneficial side-effect of Oldham’s notorious divisions.

In Rochdale, another very Asian area is the highlight: Wardleworth & Newbold Brow, with 21 new cases.

In Preston where H&D is based the outbreak is not as bad, and the city is not yet under lockdown, but those parts of Preston with most Covid cases are again Asian areas: notably St George’s (which includes some of the Deepdale area near Preston’s football ground) with 10 new cases in the past week. An exception is the mainly White working-class Brookfield & Holme Slack area (6 new cases).

The Jaame Masjid, Blackburn’s central mosque, in the Audley district that has seen a Covid-19 spike

Meanwhile in Blackburn with Darwen, where H&D editor Mark Cotterill was once a borough councillor and which is now under renewed lockdown, the worst hit areas are the very Asian Bastwell (23); Audley (18); and Central Blackburn (18).

It does seem likely that certain communities that have strong extended-family traditions, and might have held events, are leading to these latest outbreaks. In this context look at London, where there is very little in most White areas, and by Oldham/Blackburn standards no longer very much even in Asian areas, but Week 30’s highlights included Stamford Hill North (10 new cases); and Stamford Hill West (9 new cases), plus a scattering in other parts of Hackney.

It seems very likely that these are related to the Orthodox Jewish community which is particularly numerous in these areas; just as almost all the other outbreaks are related to areas with large Pakistani or Bangladeshi Muslim populations.

Today’s panic measure by the government is probably related to this weekend’s important Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. Community leaders and local councils had already cancelled large public events, but there would certainly have been large, indoor, extended-family events in many of the areas now subject to a ban.

The question is whether at such short notice the ban will be communicated in time throughout areas where English might only be spoken at a very basic level, if at all.

Covid-19 in Leicester: ‘racism fears’ let sweatshops go unchecked

According to a front page story in today’s Sunday Times, senior ministers believe that police and local authorities – concerned above all to avoid allegations of ‘racism’ – allowed blatant abuses in Leicester’s garment industry. Poor working conditions in the city’s ‘sweatshops’ have been blamed for a new outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, forcing a renewed Leicester lockdown.

The Home Secretary is said to have argued that “police and other government agencies have turned a blind eye to exploitation in Leicester’s textile warehouses and factories in the same way as the grooming scandal in Rotherham was ignored for years.”

Sunday Times journalists were briefed by a source close to the Home Office who said: “This scandal has been hiding in plain sight and there are concerns cultural sensibilities could be in part to blame for why these appalling working practices haven’t been properly investigated.”

Boohoo co-founders Mahmud Kamani (above, far left) and Carol Kane (second right) with rapper Snoop Dogg and Kamani’s son Samir

Many of these sweatshops are said to work for the highly successful bargain fashion brand Boohoo, which buys about 80% of all clothing produced in the Leicester area. The billionaire owners of Boohoo are the Kenyan Asian Kamani family, who came to north-west England in the late 1960s and started selling handbags on a Manchester market stall.

In partnership with designer Carol Kane, who started working with the Kamanis in Manchester in 1993, Boohoo was launched in 2006, targeting girls in their teens and early 20s who were looking for fashion bargains. It also operates the brand PrettyLittleThing and in 2017 bought the American retailer Nasty Gal.

£1bn has been wiped off the company’s share value in the past week, following belated revelations about Leicester working practices.

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