Thursday, December 27, 2007

BNP Ballet Groupie: the Lewisham Connection

The papers have been full recently of the story of the relationship between Simone Clarke, English National Ballet dancer, and Richard Barnbrook, British National Party councillor in Barking and Dagenham and the party's prospective candidate for Mayor of London. Among the ironies of this story is that Clarke has a mixed-race daughter and Barnbrook has previously gone on record as saying that "I'm not opposed to mixed marriages but their children are washing out the identity of this country's indigenous people."

Sadly for South East London, ballet groupie Barnbrook is from Lewisham. He was apparently born in Catford, and has boasted: 'I am a Streetleader for my local Council, which involves removing graffiti, antisocial behaviour and other forms of vandalism from South East London'. I believe that Lewisham is the only local Council in SE London with a Streetleader scheme, so assume that Barnbrook has been living in Lewisham until recently - although he now claims to be living in Barking & Dagenham, as required of a local councillor.

The racist BNP now seems to be targeting parts of Lewisham, particularly in the Downham area. Its London website recently boasted that 'The British National Party was out in force in south Lewisham last weekend (24/25 November 2007) as over 50 members put out around 25,000 leaflets urging local residents to vote for the party and our Mayoral candidate, Richard Barnbrook, in the GLA elections next May'.

As documented at Stop the BNP, the party are currently having some welcome internal disputes with splits, expulsions and accusations of illegal activity. Since the recipients of the leadership's bullying tactics have been other BNP members, our sympathy is limited. But we should bear in mind that organisations like this show some of their true colours in their internal dealings, and only wait the opportunity to apply similar, or worse measures to their real opponents. We might note for instance the history in Germany of the Nazi SD (the Security Service of the SS). 'Its initial task had been to spy on Party members, and thus to give the SS an ascendancy over the regular Party apparatus' (Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jersualem: a Report on the Banality of Evil) - soon its officers including Reinhardt Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann were rounding up Jews and others for extermination.

Check out Lewisham Anti-Racist Action Group for local plans to oppose BNP. And watch out for tutu wearing nazis in your area being followed by doe-eyed ex-porn film directors, er sorry streetleaders.

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