Millwall and Blackburn fans contest election

Millwall - Willow Winston

An election that has been otherwise tedious (so far) is enlivened by two candidates representing fans of Millwall and Blackburn Rovers, contesting otherwise safe Labour constituencies.

In Lewisham East, the candidate is a 72-year-old female artist, Willow Winston: not exactly the Millwall stereotype! Her campaign is prompted by a very dodgy relationship between the local Labour establishment and an offshore company behind the ‘New Bermondsey’ regeneration scheme, which threatened Millwall’s stadium The Den. The scheme is already under scrutiny by an independent inquiry under Lord Dyson, former Master of the Rolls.

While in Blackburn candidate Duncan Miller represents the long-running ‘Stop Venkys’ movement, opposed to the Indian poultry dynasty (a sort of subcontinental KFC) who took over Blackburn Rovers in 2010. The once proud Lancashire club – Premier League champions as recently as 1995 – was recently relegated to the third tier of English football.

Venkys' ownership of Blackburn Rovers has been a disaster from day one.

Venkys’ ownership of Blackburn Rovers has been a disaster from day one.

There are a couple of precedents for football fans engaging in electoral politics to air grievances concerning their local clubs.

At the 1999 Hamilton South by-election, Stephen Mungall saved his deposit with 1,075 votes (5.5%) on a platform Hamilton Accies Home, Watson Away. (The local club Hamilton Academicals was at the time homeless, having sold its stadium in 1994, and many fans blamed major shareholder Jim Watson.)

This campaign predated the Electoral Commission and associated legal requirements for parties to register their names and descriptions – so the Accies candidate was able to stand as an independent and put the above description on the ballot paper.

That option is not available for this year’s Millwall and Blackburn candidates, who will appear just as ‘Independent’ on the ballot paper and will have to rely on their campaign literature and publicity to make an impression on voters.

One group of fans did manage to register their own party just over a decade ago. The Seagulls Party was created by fans of Brighton & Hove Albion to campaign against their local council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a new stadium. Edward Bassford of the Seagulls Party polled 21.9% in a Lewes council by-election in August 2006. The following year the party effectively won its campaign, when central government overturned the local council’s decision and stadium development went ahead. Long since dissolved, the Seagulls Party saw its ultimate triumph with Brighton’s promotion to the Premier League this year.

P.S.:
An H&D reader reminds us that in 1987 the well-known Portsmouth football ‘firm’ 6.57 stood a general election candidate in Portsmouth South. Marty ‘Docker’ Hughes polled 455 votes (0.8%).  ‘Docker’ Hughes died in July 1992: friends have ever since sponsored a memorial race at Fontwell Park and (latterly) Goodwood.

Nominations close for General Election

ballot-boxes-460_1418302c

Nominations closed at 4 pm on Thursday for next month’s General Election.

The National Front decided some time ago not to contest this election, so the main nationalist party in contention will be the BNP.

We believe that there will be nine BNP candidates plus another standing without using the party name, and seven English Democrats.  Please note that we include the EDs here because the party absorbed a significant number of former BNP activists a few years ago, but in fact none of the candidates this year are ex-BNP.

After UKIP’s disastrous council election results, it’s no surprise to see the party contesting far fewer constituencies than in 2015: down from 624 to around 400 (the official total has yet to be confirmed). Some of these are sensible decisions not to stand against pro-Brexit MPs, but other cases seem to reflect the party’s rapid decline. For example there are no UKIP candidates in Cornwall, and the party is not standing in Rossendale & Darwen, held by a pro-Remain Tory, Jake Berry.

One beneficiary of UKIP’s decline will be Pendle BNP: the party’s last remaining councillor Brian Parker will have no UKIP opponent at the General Election – neither will party chairman Adam Walker in Bishop Auckland.

 

BNP candidates

Bexleyheath & Crayford
Peter Finch

Bishop Auckland
Adam Walker

Charnwood
Stephen Denham

Dagenham & Rainham
Paul Sturdy

Eltham
John Clarke

Hornchurch & Upminster
David Furness

Old Bexley & Sidcup
Michael Jones

Pendle
Brian Parker

South Basildon & East Thurrock
Paul Borg

Note: Additionally Richard Perry, the BNP’s Eastern regional organiser, is standing in the Maldon constituency but will not have the BNP name on the ballot paper: his party description is ‘Fighting Unsustainable Housing Because We Care’, which is among the BNP’s registered descriptions with the Electoral Commission.

 

English Democrat candidates

Barnsley Central
Stephen Morris

Barnsley East
Kevin Riddiough

Bradford South
Therese Hirst

Clacton
Robin Tilbrook

Doncaster North
David Allen

Holborn & St Pancras
Janus Polenceus

NE Cambridgeshire
Stephen Goldspink

 

‘Liberal’ thought police crush local democracy in Bradford

David Ward with former Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

David Ward with former Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Former MP David Ward has been banned by the national leadership of the Liberal Democrats from contesting his old constituency Bradford East at the General Election on June 8th.

Ward was defeated by Labour in 2015: two years earlier he had served a three-month suspension from the Lib Dems for anti-Zionist comments including calling Israel an “apartheid state”.  He had posted on Twitter in July 2013: “Am I wrong or are am I right? At long last the Zionists are losing the battle – how long can the apartheid State of Israel last?”

Responding to that suspension, Ward had been defiant: “I will not apologise for describing the state of Israel as an apartheid state. I don’t know how you can describe it as anything else. I am genuinely quite shocked at the reaction to the kind of thing many people say.”

Earlier this week the local Lib Dem branch in Bradford East selected Ward as their candidate for this year’s election, but responding to complaints from ultra-Zionist Tory rivals such as Theresa May and Sir Eric Pickles, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said today: “I believe in a politics that is open, tolerant and united. David Ward is unfit to represent the party and I have sacked him. …I am fully aware of the comments David Ward has made in the past and I find them deeply offensive, wrong and antisemitic.”

This latest move indicates a complete Lib Dem surrender to profoundly illiberal political correctness, following their suspension of Luton Lib Dem candidate Ashuk Ahmed yesterday.  Ahmed had made a series of anti-Zionist Facebook posts in 2014, including the statement: “Zionists control half the world, we are the other half. So let’s make a lot more noise.”

Is Tim Farron blind in one eye? How else can we explain his insistence on disciplining pro-Palestinian members of his own party, but his failure to condemn a rival party leader – Theresa May – for her blatant support of Zionist terrorism during a speech in 2015.  Mrs May (then Home Secretary) praised commemoration of Yom Hazikaron, the day on which “We remember the sacrifice of those who fought to achieve and protect that independence.” This means most notably those Zionist terrorists who died fighting against British forces and Arab civilians during 1945-48, and includes those who were executed for atrocities such as the murder of Lord Moyne and his driver Lance Corporal Arthur Fuller.

 

Election politics – Pakistani style!

Footage of a dinner held to support Labour candidate Afzal Khan has been reported to police.

Footage of a dinner held to support Labour candidate Afzal Khan has been reported to police.

Regular H&D readers will be familiar with the electoral saga of Manchester Gorton, where veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman died on February 26th causing a parliamentary by-election which was abandoned at the 11th hour when Prime Minister Theresa May called a General Election.

The local Labour Party had been bitterly divided between ethnic powerbrokers from the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities (indigenous Mancunians don’t get much of a look-in these days).  Pakistani machine boss and solicitor Afzal Khan duly became the Labour candidate.

Today Mr Khan has been reported to police for alleged ‘treating‘ – an electoral malpractice involving provision of free food, drink or other gifts to voters.  If convicted, offenders can be disbarred from Parliament, fined or imprisoned.

According to today’s Daily Mail, Mr Khan is at the centre of “claims he bribed voters with a lavish dinner… Footage of the dinner posted online shows dozens of guests sat around tables laid with plates and folded napkins in wine glasses, as well as ‘Vote Labour’ leaflets.  A ‘Vote Afzal Khan’ banner is on display at the front of the room.”

The police complaint has been brought by the Liberal Democrats, who hope to gain the seat from Labour.  Also seeking to exploit Labour’s embarrassment is former MP George Galloway.

Afzal Khan, boss of Gorton's most powerful ethnic voting machine

Afzal Khan, boss of Gorton’s most powerful ethnic voting machine

One irony of course is that Mr Khan is himself a solicitor, so one might expect him to be familiar with electoral law, and even assuming he did not organise the dinner himself one might imagine he would have urged supporters to stay clearly on the right side of the ‘treating’ regulations.

A Liberal Democrat activist commented: “In my (admittedly limited) experience there is such an enormous expectation that candidates from some communities will host rallies with food provided that an agent from outside that community will be looked on with astonishment if he tries to explain that this can’t be done as it is an election offence.  The problem is that because nothing is ever done there is no back up for an agent trying to stay within the law.  A high profile case would probably be helpful in clarifying matters.”

In other words some “British Asian” communities expect to break the law with impunity.

 

Arron Banks stands aside in Clacton as part of long-term plan for post-UKIP movement

Raheem Kassam (far right) visiting the U.S. President-Elect at Trump Tower, with Banks, Farage and colleagues from UKIP and Breitbart

Arron Banks (second left) visiting the U.S. President-Elect at Trump Tower, with Nigel Farage, Raheem Kassam and colleagues from UKIP and Breitbart

Former UKIP donor Arron Banks has announced that he will not after all be standing at the General Election in the Clacton constituency.

Banks had earlier planned to stand against former UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, a bitter factional opponent of Banks and his ally Nigel Farage.

But once Carswell announced his retirement, it was only a matter of time before Banks threw in the towel.

After all, Banks no longer has any real interest in UKIP – and neither does Farage. They will have little or no involvement with the party leadership during what is likely to be a disastrous campaign, but will eschew divisive attacks on the Paul Nuttall regime until after June 8th, and will give support to various constituency-level campaigns.

Then within a day or so of the election results, the Farage faction (bankrolled by Banks) will acknowledge UKIP’s death and announce the creation of a new ‘Patriotic Movement’.

On April 25th Banks issued a Twitter message, very sensibly criticising the UKIP leadership’s anti-Islam obsession

 

Arron Banks
(@Arron_banks)

Not sure campaigning with the national party going in entirely the wrong direction is smart. I don’t approve of the war on Muslim religion https://t.co/BcKQtka2yW

April 25, 2017

Later that day UKIP’s election campaign became even more chaotic when James Carver (a West Midlands MEP) resigned as the party’s chief foreign affairs spokesman, saying that he “strongly disagreed” with the “misguided policy” of a so-called burqa ban.

Farage flies home: last chance for UKIP?

Will Nigel Farage return to spearhead UKIP's General Election campaign, displacing his useless successor Paul Nuttall (right)

Will Nigel Farage return to spearhead UKIP’s General Election campaign, displacing his useless successor Paul Nuttall (right)

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is flying back to London from his Adriatic holiday, after Theresa May surprised the nation by calling a snap General Election for June 8th.

Farage’s key financial backer Arron Banks had planned to launch a long-expected new movement – the Patriotic Alliance – on May 5th, the day after what are likely to be disastrous local elections for UKIP.

He and other Faragistes were expected to conclude that UKIP was finished and it was time for a new approach.

At a stroke Mrs May has rendered these plans redundant, and just possibly UKIP has been handed a last-minute lifeline: but only if the present party leadership – headed by the hapless Paul Nuttall – has the courage and maturity to end Banks’s suspension and recall Farage for one last campaign.

The next question would be whether UKIP should contest every single constituency, presenting itself as an alternative government, or concentrate on a smaller number of seats held by pro-Remain MPs. The latter strategy would amount to accepting that UKIP is not a challenger for power across a range of policy areas, and is more of a pressure group to ensure that Brexit goes ahead unimpeded by recalcitrant Remainers.

Meanwhile it is understood that because Parliament will be prorogued the day before the scheduled Manchester Gorton by-election, that by-election will be cancelled: a successor to the late Sir Gerald Kaufman will be elected on June 8th as part of the General Election alongside every other constituency.

 

Does Theresa May believe in anything?

New Prime Minister Theresa May, alongside Sir Eric Pickles (chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel) declares "I am a Jew"

Prime Minister Theresa May, alongside Sir Eric Pickles (chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel) declares “I am a Jew”

Prime Minister Theresa May today called a General Election to be held on Thursday 8th June. Technically this will require a two-thirds majority in the House of Commons, but we can assume that Britain will be heading to the polls for the second time in two years.

H&D will provide continuous coverage of the election campaign from a nationalist perspective, but one immediate question is unavoidable.

Does the Prime Minister really believe in anything?

In her Downing Street statement a few minutes ago, Mrs May said she was seeking a mandate to negotiate Brexit terms, and accused opposition parties of “playing games”.

Yet all the evidence shows that until last year’s referendum, Mrs May fully supported our membership of the European Union. Though she craftily kept a low profile during the referendum campaign, she assented to the scaremongering campaign of her predecessor David Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne, who insisted that Brexit would be an unmitigated disaster.

Can voters really trust a Prime Minister who changes her mind on this central issue, purely for reasons of ambition and convenience?

After all, Mrs May has never given the slightest rationale for her change of mind: assuming she actually has a genuine view on Brexit – or on anything.

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