BNP councillors have been elected on the promise to be different. Criticising the ‘old gang’, the BNP has benefited from being considered a “new” party. However, the shine appears to be already slipping from their political machine.
In every area where there are BNP candidates voters have been let down. The performance of BNP councillors reveals a shocking list of incompetence, absence and general indifference.
Most BNP councillors rarely participate in council business, regularly skip meetings and ignore requests for help from local people.
The BNP currently have just 20 councillors, out of a national total of over 8,000, yet the majority of even this small number have failed. They include the ‘Dirty Dozen’:
Luke Smith (Burnley). Was forced to resign after he smashed a bottle into the face of a Leeds BNP organiser. Despite claiming to be the party of law and order, the BNP failed to call in the police and press charges. Smith had only recently been convicted of football violence when he was elected as a BNP candidate. He has had several more recent convictions and was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment after being caught fighting in Manchester.
Brian Turner (Burnley). Was convicted of attacking his wife and a police officer whilst a councillor yet the BNP refused to disown him. In fact they even defended him by issuing a statement saying: “we are not in the business of persecuting our members because the state considers someone guilty.”
Dan Kelley (Barking & Dagenham). Resigned from the council only eight months after being elected after admitting that he was completely out of his depth. “There’s meetings that go right over my head and there’s little point in me being there,” he told the local paper even before he resigned.
Richard Mulhall (Calderdale). Is currently facing charges on housing benefit fraud. Despite this the BNP has refused to disown him or demand his resignation if he is found guilty.
Maureen Stowe (Burnley). Left the BNP after admitting that they deliberately told lies to get elected. On leaving the BNP she said: “This is the best thing I could have done. I’ve got a chance to do a lot of good. Now I think we can pull all the people of Burnley together to improve things for everybody. I keep asking myself how could I have been so stupid as to have anything to do with them.”
Robin Evans (Blackburn). Left the BNP after complaining about the drug dealers and football hooligans who dominated his local BNP branch. He also criticised the Burnley BNP councillors as useless.
David Watkins (Sandwell). Dubbed ‘possibly the worst councillor in Sandwell,’ Watkins attended just 10 out of 63 meetings. Gave up after just one year.
Steve Batkin (Stoke-on-Trent). Steve Batkin attended none of a possible thirty committee meetings in the nine months to March 2005. Batkin has only spoken twice in his first two years as a councillor and one of those was to ask what “abstain” meant. Was once told to stop talking to the media after he questioned key facts relating to the Holocaust, including saying that Jewish people refused to debate the subject because they would be exposed as liars.
Angela Clarke (Bradford). Resigned from the council less than half-way through her term after her performance was criticised by fellow BNP members.
Terry Farr (Epping). Was suspended by the Standards Board after writing abusive letters. The hearing also said that it was fair political comment for a rival candidate to call the BNP Nazi.
Ramon Johns (Broxbourne). Was elected on the promise to campaign for free bus passes for all the elderly but then immediately voted against such a plan once elected.
James Lloyd (Sandwell). Campaigned on a ticket to make parents responsible for the crimes of their children. What he failed to tell voters was that his own son was one of the areas worst offenders. Also recently put out BNP leaflets claiming a local library building was going to become a mosque. When it was proved that this was a lie he did not apologise but simply claimed that somebody had obviously made up quotes from him.
Adrian Marsden (Calderdale). The absent councillor. In the six months to March 2006, Marsden has attended just three council meetings and his work record for his ward constituents has been even worse. However, he managed to find the time and strength to act as a bodyguard to BNP leader Nick Griffin during the recent court case in Leeds. But then again, what can you expect from a man with several convictions and a long history with the violent neo-nazi group Combat 18.
Geoffrey Wallace (Calderdale). Wallace jumped ship from the Tories when he thought he could not win a council seat under the blue flag but refused to call a by-election. He too stood on a ticket to help local people but his record proves he has done nothing of the kind. His recent performance in dealing with casework from local residents is truly shocking and clearly demonstrates his inability to work for local people. In the four months to February 2006 he did only 14.5 hours casework, and all but three were in the last few weeks.
So the next time the BNP campaign on how wonderful a BNP councillor will be, just remember the failed record of the recent councillors. No wonder they have earned the tag of ‘the do-nothing councillors’.