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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Corsham councillor quits BNP (UK)

A longstanding British National Party activist in Corsham, Wiltshire, has quit the fascist party over its failure to pay its creditors, accusing it of committing a possibly criminal act.

Michael Simpkins, who was first elected unopposed to Corsham Town Council in 2007, is the third councillor the party has lost this month.

Announcing his resignation from the party, Simpkins, who works as a self-employed taxi driver, declared: “I am disappointed to hear that The British National Party is not paying its bills. I know from personal experience of two local printers who had to wait six months for payment and that was only after a lot of badgering to Head Office by myself and other officials to get them paid.”

Earlier this month Jim Dowson, who has himself just abandoned his role as the party’s fundraising and management consultant, wrote to the many businesses waiting for payment from the BNP, offering 20p in the pound “by way of debt compromise and in full and final payment of all your outstanding invoices relating to the supply of goods and services” to the party. If they did not accept the offer, explained Dowson, they would “inevitably … end up with nothing at all”.

An outraged Simpkins said: “These are businesses like the two mentioned before that risked all doing business with the BNP and supplied the goods or services on trust that they would be paid. More importantly they will undoubtedly be British businesses, the kind of business we claim to support and encourage.

“These businesses may well suffer financial hardship because the BNP has dried up their cash flow and their families will go without. They may even go out of business and certainly won’t do business with us again. It is not the way I do business.

“As an honourable businessman I cannot stay with any organisation that puts other businessmen out of business or their families in financial hardship. More importantly it is a breach of trust and may even be criminal if the intent to pay was never there in the first place.”

Simpkins, who remained loyal to the BNP leader Nick Griffin through the recent splits, says he will continue to serve on Corsham Town Council until the end of his current term in 2013 and reconsider his options then.
Last week it was reported that Meirion Bowen, a Llandybie community councillor, had left the party in the interests of his family, employment and personal safety. Yesterday it emerged that Paul Golding, a district councillor in Sevenoaks and the party’s communications officer, had quit after a fallout with other senior party staff.

 Hope Not Hate

Cruddas urges parties to 'choke off' EDL surge (UK)

A Labour MP today called on political parties to "choke off" what the English Defence League (EDL) taps into.
Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, said the EDL is a small, violent street militia "but it speaks the language of a much larger, disenfranchised class". 

Writing in The Times, he said: "The EDL may well pass through, and crash and burn like many of its predecessors.
"But it may not, because it taps into a politics born out of dispossession but anchored in English male working-class culture - of dress, drink and sport. 

"Camped outside the political centre ground, this is a large swath of the electorate, a people who believe they have been robbed of their birthright and who are in search of community and belonging. Many are traditional Labour supporters." 

Many working class people appeared to be turning to the far-right cultural movements that are sweeping across Europe, he warned. 

"Now all our political parties must search for an animating, inclusive and optimistic definition of modern England to choke off what the EDL taps into." 

The same newspaper carried an interview with a 27-year-old man said to be the founder and leader of the EDL. 

Stephen Lennon, from Luton, "has many names", according to the newspaper, which reported that "reluctantly" he uses the threat of a demonstration to ensure councils do not pander to Islamic pressure groups to change British traditions. 

He said: "We are now sending letters to every council saying that if you change the name of Christmas we are coming in our thousands and shutting your town down." 

The EDL would live in peace with the Islamic community "if they ... swear allegiance to the Queen, this country and the flag, and then live side by side. That's what we want". 

Swedish tailor tells of his battle with shooting spree racist

IT was the narrowest of escapes for the Iranian-born tailor. Malmo, the rugged waterfront city in southern Sweden, has been stalked for months by an apparently racist gunman.

He struck again on Saturday night, firing at the sewing shop of Nasir Yazdanpanah and then grappling on the ground with the 57-year-old.

It was the first time that anyone in 17 shootings had caught hold of the spectral figure.

We arrived at Mr Yazdanpanah's shop barely 20 minutes after the attack. The police, on high alert, were already there stringing up their Scene of the Crime tape.

"I heard a crack!" said the Iranian. A few hours earlier he had taken part in a demonstration against violence, holding aloft a placard announcing "The Earth is just One country and Humanity is its people."

Then he had returned to finish sewing a dress.

"I thought someone had thrown a stone at my window," he said. He was speaking to us by phone from the lit-up front of his atelier-cum-barbers' shop; his telephone number was written on the window and - because we were unable to cross police lines - it was the easiest way to talk. We looked in; he looked out.

The shooter must have had a similar view shortly before he struck. "So I went out and grabbed this man in an orange jacket and shook him.

He shouted 'Let me go!' and headbutted me in the mouth. I was too dazed to chase him; I just called my wife," Mr Yazdanpanah said.

The shooter escaped by bicycle. The police only found the bullet later. Had Mr Yazdanpanah, who was none the worse for wear apart from a thick lip, come into contact with the mysterious shooter being dubbed by the press as "Son of Laser Man"?

The police, busily constructing the links between the various attacks - the ammunition appears to match on at least five shootings - seem baffled. And they are under pressure from the Government to produce a quick result.

The idea that the shooter is an heir to the Laserman killer of the 1990s is attractive for headline writers but the police seem sceptical.

Between August 1991 and January 1992 John Ausonius used a hunting rifle to shoot foreigners, killing one and seriously injuring ten others.

The last thing that the victims saw was the red dot of his laser sight roaming their clothes. He was jailed for life in 1994, and remains in prison.

The latest shootings in Malmo began in October 2009 with the murder of a native Swedish woman who had a foreign boyfriend.

The similarity with the Laserman and the reason why the detective who found him, Eiler Augustsson, has been brought on to the profiling team, is that he started his shooting spree at a time when the New Democracy party of the far Right was drumming up racist sentiment.

This time the shootings also accelerated after general elections in September when the right-wing group Sweden Democrats won 20 seats in Parliament.

Both shooters may have responded to a similar psychological trigger: a feeling that by driving immigrants out of Sweden they were fulfilling some kind of national mission.

In most other respects the Malmo shooter is a different kind of criminal. He uses a 9mm handgun and shoots only after dark; later in the summer, when the days are longer, and now, in the autumn, about an hour or two after dusk, between 6pm and 9pm.

He often attacks on Fridays and Saturdays. And since it is difficult to shoot a hand gun accurately at a distance in the dark he often fails to hit his target.

The most telling clue to the shooter's psychology is that he frequently appears to observe his target in a brightly lit space.

On Thursday two East European women were shot after dusk while they were preparing a meal in their ground-floor kitchen.

Ali, who did not want to give his full name or nationality, was shot in the back last June in similar circumstances, while in a 24-hour gym with big windows.

"I was facing away from the window. Then I felt a sharp pain, thought I had done something to a nerve, then came the warm trickle of blood," he said.

It was in Malmo that Henning Mankell first set his Wallander mysteries; the opera-loving rotund Swedish cop was drawn into the detective business by a murder in his neighbouring apartment.

The Malmo police say they still have an open mind. But they have started to pull in teenagers wearing hooded sweat shirts, stopping them on the street - an unusual move.

"We have to work like this in the current situation," said Tomy Lindstrom, the former head of the national police, apologetically.

"Any male aged between 20 and 40, walking without a clear destination is a possible suspect."

The Australian

French perfume house Guerlain faces legal action over racist comments (France)

Anti-racism groups in France are to sue the perfume house Guerlain after one of its best known perfumiers said he "worked like a nigger" to create a new scent.

Around 100 protesters gathered outside the Guerlain store on the Champs Elysées this weekend, calling for a worldwide boycott of the perfume house and its owner, the luxury brand, Louis Vuitton-Moët Hennessy, because of the racist slur.

Jean-Paul Guerlain, 73, a descendent of the perfume house's founder, was interviewed on French state TV last week, and asked about the creation of a new perfume, Samsara. He replied: "I worked like a nigger. I don't know if niggers have always worked like that, but anyway."

Patrick Lozès, of France's Representative Council of Black Associations, said the French word "nègre" used by Guerlain was an "extremely pejorative" and "racist" term equivalent to "nigger" in English.

He said that the fact Guerlain felt so at ease using it on national TV was symptom of the "deep sickness" of racism in French society. He condemned LVMH and the Guerlain company for not reacting to the comments quickly enough.

US civil rights leaders, including Al Sharpton, who will visit France next month, are to ask for a meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss Guerlain's comments.

Guerlain, a famous "nose", or perfume developer, retired from the company in 2002 but acts as a consultant to their top perfumier. He issued a statement apologising for his "shocking words" and said he took full responsibility.

Guerlain head office said his words were unacceptable. LVMH released a statement condemning "all forms of racism". Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister, said Guerlain's comments were "pathetic".

The Guardian