Lib Dems drop mayoral candidate in ‘anti-semitism scandal’

Geeta Sidhu-Robb, Liberal Democrat candidate suspended over ‘anti-semitism’

The Liberal Democrats, struggling to hold on to their status as the UK’s third largest political party, have run into a storm over ‘anti-semitism’ as they attempt to select a candidate for next May’s London mayoral election to take on Labour’s Sadiq Khan, arguably the most powerful Muslim politician in the Western world.

London Lib Dem members were set to choose between two potential candidates in a postal ballot this month, but one of those candidates has today been suspended after discovery of a video from more than twenty years ago where she made an ‘anti-semitic’ attack on senior Labour politician Jack Straw.

Straw is an Anglican Christian of partly Jewish ancestry, who served in several prominent roles under Labour Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, most famously as Foreign Secretary during the Iraq war.

At the 1997 general election Geeta Sidhu-Robb was the Conservative candidate against Straw in his Blackburn constituency. Malawi-born Ms Sidhu-Robb tried to stir up Pakistani voters in Blackburn’s Asian ghetto, telling them via megaphone: “Don’t vote for a Jew, Jack Straw is a Jew. If you vote for him, you’re voting for a Jew. Jews are the enemies of Muslims.”

As a committed Europhile, former corporate lawyer Sidhu-Robb later defected from the Tories to the anti-Brexit Lib Dems, and ended up on the shortlist to become London mayoral candidate, until her ‘anti-semitic’ record was discovered this week.

Watch Tory candidate (now Lib Dem) Geeta Sidhu-Robb making an ‘anti-semitic’ attack on Labour’s Jack Straw. (The relevant section of the video begins after a few seconds.)

What surprises H&D is that alarm bells hadn’t rung sooner among the Lib Dem leadership. It was reasonably well known during the Straw years that several Blackburn Tories encouraged antisemitic anti-Labour campaigns in Asian areas of Blackburn, and Ms Sidhu-Robb’s remarks were actually broadcast in a Channel 5 documentary more than 20 years ago!

Perhaps the Lib Dems were so pleased to tick three political boxes with Ms Sidhu-Robb – ex-Tory defector, non-White, and female – that they didn’t engage their brains. Moreover some concerned activists, including former mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita, have alleged that Ms Sidhu-Robb was being courted by the party because of her wealthy connections and her role in the anti-Brexit pressure group Open Britain and its new campaign ‘Democracy Unleashed’, formerly known as the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign.

Today Ms Sidhu-Robb issued a grovelling apology in an effort to save her rapidly sinking political career:
“I am deeply ashamed of the ignorant and abusive language I used on one occasion in the 1997 General Election campaign. As shown in the footage, I instantly regretted my appalling behaviour, which I continue to do.
“Those words are entirely inconsistent with my views and values, and though there are no excuses for my actions, there is some context; that is, that I was under a great deal of strain and retaliated to the racial abuse I was receiving in Blackburn ‘like for like’.”

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.

Farage candidate quits after IRA link revealed

IRA apologist Claire Fox (above left) with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

In response to the developing scandal over the Brexit Party’s number one candidate in North West England, a fellow candidate today resigned from the party’s slate for this month’s European Parliamentary elections.

As detailed yesterday by H&D, Claire Fox is a lifelong Marxist who was a senior activist in the Revolutionary Communist Party for many years. Together with her sister Fiona she contributed regularly to the bulletin of a pro-IRA front group called the Irish Freedom Movement: see yesterday’s article for details.

In response to these revelations, Claire Fox spoke on the telephone yesterday to Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son Tim Parry was murdered alongside 3-year-old Johnathan Ball by the IRA in their infamous 1993 bombing of Warrington.

Yet again Claire Fox refused to dissociate herself from her previous statements supporting IRA terrorism: Mr Parry wrote – “the fact that she repeatedly refused to disavow her comments supporting the IRA bombing which took Tim’s and Johnathan’s young lives proves she hasn’t changed her original views.”

Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, victims of the IRA bomb in Warrington, 1993

Now Ms Fox’s Brexit Party colleague Sally Bate, who was seventh on the Brexit Party’s European Parliamentary slate in the region, has resigned. She technically remains on the ballot paper as it is too late for this to be altered before polling day on May 23rd.

The Claire Fox scandal raises a serious question mark over Nigel Farage’s judgment in selecting an apologist for IRA terrorism to stand for the European Parliament representing his new party. It remains to be seen whether North West voters will desert the Brexit Party over this issue – if so the beneficiaries could be the English Democrats, UKIP, or independent candidate Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, alias Tommy Robinson.

However ‘Robinson’ is himself an apologist for terrorism, in his case supporting the US and Canadian based Zionist terrorist group Jewish Defense League – see H&D‘s exposé here.


Anti-fascist gangster pervert jailed

Dominic Noonan after his release in 2014. Several cases against the "anti-fascist" gang boss collapsed, but he is now back behind bars.

Dominic Noonan after his release in 2014. Several cases against the “anti-fascist” gang boss collapsed, but he is now back behind bars.

One of Britain’s most notorious gangsters, who was in the vanguard of violent “anti-fascism”, is beginning an 11-year prison sentence for a series of crimes linked to his organised crime empire.  Dominic Noonan (who now spells his name “Domenyk”) presided over a reign of terror in the Manchester and Salford area. He was also convicted of “attempting to pervert the course of justice” after paying the parents of a young boy so that he would not give evidence about Noonan’s alleged sexual offences.

Noonan and his late brother – gangland assassin Dessie Noonan – had close ties to Irish republican terrorists and related “anti-fascist” activity in North West England which was at its peak in the 1990s. Dessie Noonan was killed by a black drug dealer in 2005.

Dominic Noonan – a well-known homosexual – surrounded himself with a coterie of teenage boys, and organised them in an orgy of rioting across Manchester following the death of Dessie’s nephew, black gangster Mark Duggan, in a controversial shooting by London police in 2011.

Heritage and Destiny readers will be familiar with the entire Noonan saga. We are only now able to report Dominic Noonan’s prison sentence – though he was jailed in September last year – because of a contempt of court order restricting reporting until a related case had concluded. Last year Dominic Noonan came to attention after the murder of another local gang boss Paul Massey, who shortly before his death had posted allegations online against Noonan. Massey had also been on the far left, but in the last year of his life had been a UKIP supporter.

Dominic Noonan leading mourners at the 2005 funeral of his brother, gangland assassin Dessie Noonan

Last week Noonan received a further two year sentence for perverting the course of justice, though he was acquitted of “engaging in a sex act in front of a minor”. Last September he was given a nine-year sentence for offences including blackmail and arson.

In 2004 Dominic Noonan was jailed for 9½ years for possession of a firearm: he was released in 2010 but briefly recalled to prison in 2011 for his role in that year’s riots.

While highlighting cases of hooliganism among their opponents (less among genuine nationalists than among the Islam-obsessed EDL and allied groups) “anti-fascists” are not keen to highlight their own close connections with notorious figures in Greater Manchester organised crime.  Coincidentally (or perhaps not) while the EDL gangsters and hooligans tend to support Manchester City (despite the club’s ownership by the Muslim ruling family of Abu Dhabi!), their “anti-fascist” opponents tend to be linked to the rival club Manchester United, and even produced an “anti-fascist” football fanzine, Red Attitude.

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An interview with Salford gangland assassin Dessie Noonan published in the “anti-fascist” magazine Red Attitude in 1997.
Click on the images to download a larger version.

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The most notorious “anti-fascist” gangsters in Greater Manchester were Salford’s Dessie Noonan, responsible for more than twenty gangland killings before his own murder in March 2005, and Manchester’s Paddy Logan, who like Noonan was involved with both Anti-Fascist Action and various Irish republican terrorist gangs before falling victim to an internal criminal feud, shot dead in his own bedroom in July 1999.

noonan-tilzey

Key players in Manchester’s alliance between gangsters, IRA activists and “anti-fascists”. “DC” is Denis Clifford, activist in Red Action and Anti-Fascist Action, whose own brother was a member of the nationalist British Movement jailed for murder; “DN” is Dessie Noonan, the North West’s most feared gangland assassin; “ST” is Steve Tilzey, the most active Searchlight and AFA operative in the north of England, once jailed for kidnapping. This photo was taken in Manchester at the pro-IRA Manchester Martyrs march, also featuring local gangster and IRA supporter Paddy Logan.

Sadly however nationalists must admit that criminality and perversion are not unknown in our own ranks. Ironically in the same week as the latest Noonan case, former BNP activist Ian Hindle was convicted of a second sexual offence in the past few years.

Ian Hindle’s first conviction for sex offences was in 2008, when he was given a three-year sentence for offences involving 14-year-old girls.  Also sentenced in this 2008 case was Hindle’s fellow BNP activist Andrew Wells, who was then a well-known organised crime figure in the Blackburn area. Perhaps the most serious aspect of this case is that Wells was also involved in recruiting (among both nationalists and criminals) for a security company employed by NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Labour’s easy win in Oldham despite UKIP hype

Farage

A crushing defeat for UKIP in the Oldham West & Royton parliamentary by-election today raised serious questions about the credibility of Nigel Farage’s party in northern working-class areas.

There had been great media hype in recent days about a possible shock win for UKIP – or at least a desperately close result.

In fact – and no surprise to us at H&D – Labour held the seat fairly easily, though on a reduced turnout of 40.3% (down from 59.6% at the general election in May).

The full result was as follows:

Lab           17,322  (62.3%; +7.5)
UKIP          6,487  (23.3%; +2.7)
Con             2,596   (9.3%; -9.7)
LibDem      1,024   (3.7%; nc)
Green             249    (0.9%; -1.0)
Loony             141     (0.5%; +0.5)

On slightly different boundaries in 2001, the BNP polled 6,552 votes here – 65 more than UKIP managed in this by-election. (If anything the boundary changes should have made things better for UKIP by bringing in Hollinwood, once a strong BNP ward.)

So despite the collapse in the Tory vote, the absence of other nationalist contenders, the disgracefully poor conduct of Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the terrorist atrocity in Paris having taken place at the start of the by-election campaign – despite all this, UKIP’s performance was appreciably worse than at the previous north-west by-election in Heywood & Middleton.

Instead of a close contest, there was actually a swing to Labour!

Perhaps the crisis of morale and bitter personal divisions at UKIP’s national headquarters infected the campaign; perhaps the party paid the price for not being able to find a credible local candidate. That credibility was not enhanced by UKIP’s typical whingeing after the result about alleged postal vote fraud.

One problem in Oldham is of course the disproportionately high turnout of Asian voters, who now vote again as a block for Labour having abandoned their flirtation with the Lib Dems a few years ago. In 2001 and 2002 there was serious electoral fraud within the Asian community during campaigns against the BNP.  Despite Farageiste whingeing, we understand there is no evidence of such large scale fraud today.

More seriously there is a systemic problem for UKIP of failing to maximise their potential vote in white working class areas, especially in the north of England.  Quite frankly many UKIP “activists” are out of their comfort zone when they have to leave the golf course or the Rotary Club and venture onto council estates.

It doesn’t help that UKIP have a blanket ban on ex-BNP members, many of whom have considerable experience of campaigning in places like Oldham.

The party has a fundamental identity problem.  Even in this week’s vote over Syria, this was manifested in the sole UKIP MP Douglas Carswell (perhaps the most pro-Israel MP in Parliament) voting in favour of bombing, while his party leader Nigel Farage said he was against.

On the ground in Oldham the party failed to shed its image of neo-Thatcherism, and some voters who once backed the BNP here might have seen through the hype and recognised that despite its talk about immigration, UKIP’s liberal market ideology is “colour blind” and likely to lead to further entrenchment of the multicultural chaos that has caused such turmoil in Oldham.

We always knew that UKIP – whatever benefits it brought in driving an electoral wedge into the Labour and Tory parties – would have a limited shelf life. This by-election result in Oldham suggests that nationalists should be preparing already for an imminent post-UKIP era.

Live by the MAC-10, die by the MAC-10

Greater Manchester Police continue to investigate the gangland assassination of notorious Salford criminal and violent ‘anti-fascist’ Paul Massey, one week after his death in a hail of bullets outside his home.

For the past year Massey had been an outspoken supporter of UKIP, a fact which H&D understands might owe less to ideological conviction and more to the family connections of a local UKIP candidate.  We trust that the mainstream press will summon up the courage to investigate these connections, and the much longer story of Massey’s ‘anti-fascist’ ties.

Ken Keating - Paul Massey

An unlikely UKIPper: Paul Massey with notorious Salford anarchist Ken Keating

Detectives investigating the Massey case will no doubt have the assistance of MI5, who began investigating his organised crime empire at least twenty years ago.  One important informant was Ben Alagha, a former spy for the Shah of Iran’s notorious secret service SAVAK. Alagha had taken refuge in London after the Iranian revolution and became a full-time criminal, eventually marrying the daughter of London mobster Henry Suttee.

Gangland gun-runner: Paul Massey's cousin Connie Howarth

Gangland gun-runner: Paul Massey’s cousin Connie Howarth

In May 1997 Suttee was observed by a police surveillance team at the home of a North London arms dealer, in a car driven by Paul Massey’s cousin Connie Howarth. Swooping on the car, police found three Ingram MAC-10 submachine guns and 360 rounds of ammunition. Another passenger in the car was Glasgow godfather Paul Ferris, a close associate of Paul Massey who (like the Salford ‘Mr Big’) ran a security company.

Some months earlier police had been gifted a connection to Ferris when one of his company’s employees got blind drunk on the Euston-Glasgow train. Railway police boarded the train at Preston to deal with this drunken Glaswegian and found he was carrying a Ceska pistol with silencer and ammunition.

The Glasgow-Manchester axis also had a Dublin connection: unsurprisingly Ferris was a Celtic supporter and Massey a devoted Manchester United fan.  They were among the large section of fans at both clubs with strong Irish Republican sympathies.

In March 2006, while Paul Massey was serving a prison sentence, one of his criminal cronies Bobby Spiers, a director of Massey’s Salford security firm PMS, planned a gangland murder from an exclusive hospitality box at United’s Old Trafford stadium.

During half-time at the Man Utd – Newcastle match, thinking he had the perfect alibi, Spiers coordinated with Massey’s cousin Connie Howarth, who was acting as his spotter inside a Salford pub, the Brass Handles.  Once she gave the word that target David Totton was inside the pub, Spiers instructed his hired gunmen (two members of a black gang controlling the heroin trade in Manchester’s West Indian ghetto, Moss Side) to move in.

Bungling assassins Richard Austin and Carlton Alveranga: hired by Paul Massey's right-hand man for a gangland killing

Bungling assassins Richard Austin and Carlton Alveranga: hired by Paul Massey’s right-hand man for a gangland killing

They shot Totton in the face and chest but failed to kill him.  Other gangsters in the pub then overpowered the bungling would-be assassins and shot them dead with their own guns.

Last week’s killer didn’t botch his job.  It would not be surprising to learn that the chosen weapon was a reactivated MAC-10, which fires a thirty-round clip in only two seconds.

Manchester’s chief constable Sir Peter Fahy (due to retire in October and already seen as a lame duck) insists that his force has a grip on local gang crime, but suggests that there are at least three brutal gang wars under way on his patch, one of them over ‘respect’ or lack of it between rivals.

The late Mr Massey had recently shown little respect for his former ally in ‘anti-fascism’ and crime, Dominic Noonan, accusing Noonan of involvement in rape, gay paedophilia and being a police informer.

Not much honour it seems among ‘anti-fascists’, gunmen or thieves.

Anti-fascist gangster shot dead

Paul Massey – one of Britain’s leading organised crime figures – was shot dead near his home in Salford on Sunday night.

Massey was a former leading activist in the anarchist group Class War, and together with members of the infamous Noonan family had played a bizarre double role in violent ‘anti-fascism’ and straightforward brutal criminality.

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However during the past year he had posted several tweets supporting UKIP, and less than three weeks ago sent a tweet apparently accusing Dominic Noonan of being a paid police informant.

Massey tweet

Paul Massey’s mysterious tweet less than three weeks before his murder – seemed to accuse fellow gangster and ‘anti-fascist’ Dominic Noonan of being a police informant.

In 2012 Massey was a candidate for Mayor of Salford: his campaign manager Nic Seddon was later jailed for murdering his own parents. In April 2015 another close friend of Massey’s, former boxer Paul ‘One-Punch’ Doyle, received a 16-year jail sentence for his role as boss of a heroin and cocaine empire.

Paul Massey (far right) as a pall bearer at the funeral of Class War anarchist Ken Keating in 2011, where Massey gave the oration.

The murder of Paul Massey might spark a new Chicago-style gang war on the streets of North West England.  It should also lead to a long overdue examination of the links between this gangland milieu and ‘anti-fascist’ politics – but sadly it won’t: not in the mainstream media at any rate. However it wouldn’t surprise me to see the national press taking a close look at one or two of Massey’s UKIP associates and family friends…

Former Class War anarchist  and gangland 'Mr Big' Paul Massey endorsed UKIP at the General Election.

Former Class War anarchist and gangland ‘Mr Big’ Paul Massey endorsed UKIP at the General Election.

Labour, the BNP and UKIP: getting the facts straight

Cllr Trevor Maxfield, Labour convert from the BNP

A pro-UKIP blog – anticipating an “anti-racist” smear campaign at the Heywood & Middleton parliamentary by-election – has decided to get UKIP’s retaliation in first by attacking a North West Labour councillor’s past membership of the BNP.  In doing so, the Nope not Hope blog – whose story was also picked up by the American-based online news magazine Breitbart.com – shamelessly plagiarised several stories published on this website as long ago as 2010.

More seriously, the pro-UKIP blog made no fewer than five basic errors: quite an achievement when the (correct) basis of the story is copied from someone else’s work.

Error 1: Trevor Maxfield was never a BNP councillor.  As we wrote in our original article on his defection to Labour, Cllr Maxfield (or ‘Max’ as he is known to his friends, whether in the BNP, Labour or Darwen’s pubs) was a BNP organiser in his home town about a decade ago – but not a BNP councillor.  (In fact the BNP has only ever had one councillor in Blackburn with Darwen: Robin Evans, elected in a Mill Hill ward by-election in 2002.)

Error 2: ‘Max’ was never a member of the England First Party (EFP).  He was on the verge of defecting to the EFP in 2006 after the party’s two council victories, but Darwen politics was then turned upside down by the decision of millionaire (and former Lib Dem) Tony Melia to launch the ‘For Darwen Party’, campaigning for a separate town council.  ‘Max’ became one of For Darwen’s most important organisers, and in 2007 was elected as a borough councillor for Earcroft ward on Blackburn with Darwen council – not for the BNP, but on the For Darwen ticket. He also became a town councillor for Earcroft on the new Darwen Town Council that was created as a consequence of For Darwen’s campaign.

Error 3: The Nope not Hope blog put themselves at grave risk of legal action by falsely stating that ‘Max’ was “described by his predecessor as being one of the ‘drug dealers and football hooligans’ who made up the local branch of the BNP.”  Former BNP councillor Robin Evans did make this statement, but he was not talking about ‘Max’!  He was referring to a group of Blackburn BNP activists led by Andrew Wells, a well-known football hooligan later imprisoned for under age sex offences.

Error 4: While keen to throw as much mud at ‘Max’ as they can, Nope not Hate‘s Ukippers clearly don’t know that their target’s nationalist associations go back a lot further than a decade.  During the late 1980s he was involved with the ‘Flag Group’ faction of the National Front.

Former BNP organiser Trevor Maxfield (now a Labour councillor) appropriately standing far left at the bar during the 2006 Heritage and Destiny Christmas social!

Error 5: The photograph highlighted by Nope not Hate was taken at a Heritage and Destiny social event in Blackburn, not Bradford.  Moreover the blog claims that a “luminary of the far right” called “Dave Smith” was also in the picture.  Presumably they mean the late Dave Brown, whose obituary accompanied the photo.  Dave Smith is another Labour councillor in Darwen: he has no connection with the BNP, Heritage and Destiny or any other nationalist organisation.

So aside from all these basic errors by Nope not Hate, what are the actual facts of ‘Max”s association with the Labour Party?

As we explained in 2010, For Darwen – including ‘Max’ – ended up in a coalition with Conservative and Lib Dem councillors ruling Blackburn with Darwen.  However after a row over council cuts – specifically over the closure of a swimming pool in a white working class area – ‘Max’ and one of his For Darwen colleagues effectively overturned the council leadership in September 2010 by voting with Labour.

‘Max’ himself later defected to Labour and in 2011 was re-elected as a Labour councillor for his ward, as we again reported at the time.

It’s quite obvious why Blackburn Labour Party ignored Max’s political record: he held the balance of power and put them back in control of the council! This really had nothing at all to do with Liz McInnes, as she is a councillor in Rossendale, which although sharing a constituency with Darwen is in a different council. (Rossendale & Darwen is one of those constituencies that cross council boundaries.)

The closest connection between McInnes and Max is that they both gave endorsements to Jack Straw’s son Will in his (successful) campaign to win the Labour parliamentary nomination for Rossendale & Darwen.

In many ways the most bizarre aspect of the story is UKIP’s pious pretence of ‘anti-racism’, which leads them to attempt a futile ban on ex-BNP members – even though a prominent UKIP activist in Scotland is a former member of the ultra-hardline American national socialist movement National Alliance!

The truth is that UKIP has many ‘racist’ members and officials, but their ‘racism’ is of a petty, reactionary kind.  Essentially UKIP is a neo-Thatcherite party, most of whose policies and attitudes are symptoms of (not cures for) our national problems.

 

Trotskyist councillor caught up in far left turmoil: rape allegations against comrade

Poster displayed by militant feminists at Liverpool Hope University. H&D does not know and cannot verify the truth or falsehood of these allegations, but reports the ongoing dispute as a matter of public interest.

Britain’s most successful far left organisation – the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) – is falling apart because of rape allegations against one of its leaders, who had also been the key organiser of the ‘anti-racist’ campaigns Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism.

Internal SWP reports refer to the accused party official only as Comrade Delta, but he has been widely identified by fellow leftists as Martin Smith, long serving national secretary of the party who was convicted in September 2010 of assaulting a police officer at an ‘anti-fascist’ demonstration against BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on the BBC’s Question Time.  Detailed rape allegations dating back four or five years were made against Smith by a female SWP member.  She was 17 at the time: Smith was almost 50.

Smith’s colleagues on the party’s central committee held an enquiry chaired by the Manchester trade union activist Karen Reissman.  They voted 6-1 to dismiss the allegations, but the party membership was more evenly split, voting 231-209 in his facour.  Most importantly, many prominent activists were so disgusted by the SWP’s handling of the affair that they quit, and in some cases leaked important documents about the case to rival leftist factions.

A few months ago Smith bowed to the inevitable and resigned his party positions, though retaining the support of his cronies at the top of the SWP.  The latest twist in the case is that Smith has been awarded what (in today’s much cut back educational world) is a rare funded place to study for a doctorate at Liverpool Hope University.

Feminists and anti-rape campaigners in Liverpool are outraged, and have directed their anger not only at Smith but at his fellow SWP activist Michael Lavalette, who heads the social work department at the university.  Several left-wing blogs have alleged that Lavalette was involved in arranging his comrade’s placement at Liverpool Hope (formerly known as the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education).

Obviously we have no way of knowing the truth of these charges, but here at H&D we have encountered Lavalette many times.  He is a councillor on Preston City Council, one of the very few Trotskyists ever to enjoy electoral success, having defeated Labour three times in the heavily Asian ward known as Town Centre.

Who will win this titanic battle between Trotskyists and Feminists?  How will Cllr Lavalette’s many Muslim voters react, as they probably have little sympathy with either of these Western bourgeois ideologies?  Will Comrade Delta become Doctor Delta and win back his position in the vanguard of the revolution?

Only one thing remains certain: the SWP and its myriad far left rivals will continue to offer no hope for the betrayed workers of 21st century Britain.

Michael Lavalette (centre) in happier days after winning re-election to Preston City Council in 2012.

Martin Smith speaking at an ‘anti-fascist’ demonstration in Amsterdam in 2010.

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