Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New fears that extremist parties could rise in Germany after court scraps rule saying they need 3% of vote to enter European Parliament

  • Parties no longer need three per cent of vote to enter European Parliament
  • There are fears more far-right and extremist parties could join body
  • The move could also lead to more Eurosceptical groups gaining influence
Germany's top court on Wednesday scrapped a rule that political parties need at least three per cent of the vote to enter the European Parliament, opening the door to far-right and extremist organisations winning seats in a May 25 election.
The government lowered the threshold to three per cent last year from five per cent, but the Constitutional Court ruled this was unconstitutional and abolished the hurdle altogether, saying it infringed parties' right to equal opportunities.
A group of small parties had asked the court to review the three per cent barrier, saying it was unfair and put off potential supporters.
Five of the judges on the panel of eight agreed, arguing that each voter must have the same right to determine the composition of the European Parliament.
There are fears changes to European Parliament voting in Germany could lead to extremist parties gaining seats. Pictured, neo-Nazis march through the streets of Berlin during a protest in November, 2000
There are fears changes to European Parliament voting in Germany could lead to extremist parties gaining seats. Pictured, neo-Nazis march through the streets of Berlin during a protest in November, 2000

'The three percent threshold is unconstitutional... the deep infringement it made on equal electoral rights and equal opportunities was unjustifiable,' the court said in its ruling.
Lawmakers from the German Bundestag and the European Parliament had defended the hurdle arguing that without such a filter it would be harder for the chamber to function, but the judges said such fears were unfounded.
 
The ruling has no bearing on national German elections where a five percent threshold applies, said Justice Minister Heiko Maas. He said the court had argued that since the European Parliament did not form a government, giving each party a fair chance was even more important.
In a previous ruling, the court said the German lower house of parliament has an absolute need for consensus and majorities in order to legislate, whereas this was not the case to the same extent with the European Parliament.
'The point of the threshold was to avoid any fragmenting of the European Parliament.
The parliament's increased importance means it needs a stable majority,' said Thomas Oppermann, head of the Social Democrats (SPD) bloc in the German parliament.
Germany will elect 96 lawmakers to the European Parliament, the largest national contingent. Without the hurdle, a score of one per cent of the vote will be enough to secure a party a seat
Germany will elect 96 lawmakers to the European Parliament, the largest national contingent. Without the hurdle, a score of one per cent of the vote will be enough to secure a party a seat

He said the ruling left major parties with a responsibility to make sure extremists and the far-right did not win seats.
Opinion polls have suggested Eurosceptical and fringe groups, including the Alternative for Germany (AfD), could perform well in many countries in the European elections and potentially disrupt the mainstream political blocs.
Parties set to benefit without the hurdle include the anti-establishment Pirates, the Free Voters, who advocate Swiss-style referendums on policy issues, and the Ecological Democratic Party.
'Equal representation of every single, valid vote is the core principle of democracy," said Gerald Haefner, chairperson of campaign group Democracy International.
The ruling means 'citizens' votes for smaller political parties will be fully respected instead of being swept under the carpet', he added.
Germany will elect 96 lawmakers to the European Parliament, the largest national contingent. Without the hurdle, a score of one per cent of the vote will be enough to secure a party a seat under Germany's proportional representation system.
The mainstream parties have long argued that electoral thresholds are needed to avoid political fragmentation in parliament of the kind that helped bring down the Weimar Republic and made way for the rise of Adolf Hitler.
National voting systems for the European Parliament differ across the 28 member states. Most countries, including Britain, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, have no threshold.
Eight nations have a five per cent threshold - the maximum allowed under EU law - including the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.

Alleged IRA Hyde Park bomber goes free after 'no trial' guarantee

John Downey John Downey cited the assurance he had received in 2007
A man accused of killing four soldiers in the 1982 IRA Hyde Park bombing will not be prosecuted because he was given a guarantee he would not face trial.
It follows a judge's ruling that an official assurance given in error meant John Downey - who had denied murder - could not be prosecuted.
It may affect 186 people wanted for terror-related offences in the Troubles who received similar assurances.
Victims' families said they felt "devastatingly let down".
Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Matt Baggott said the PSNI accepted the court's decision and full responsibility for the failures which resulted in this outcome.
He said the matter would be referred to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.
"I wish to apologise to the families of the victims and survivors of the Hyde Park atrocity," he said.
"I deeply regret these failings which should not have happened. We are currently carrying out a check of these cases to ensure the accuracy of information processed by the PSNI."
'Extremely serious case' The public interest in making state officials keep their promises outweighed the public interest in a trial being held, Mr Justice Sweeney had ruled on 21 February.
The Crown Prosecution Service has now said it does not wish to appeal against the judge's ruling, allowing reporting of the case to go ahead.
Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counter terrorism at the CPS, said it "respected" the decision of the court.
"The legal issues in this extremely serious case were complex and it was appropriate that they should be fully argued before the court for a judge to rule upon," she said.
The Hyde Park attack killed Squadron Quartermaster Corporal Roy Bright, Lieutenant Anthony Daly, Trooper Simon Tipper and Lance Corporal Jeffrey Young on 20 July 1982.
Mr Downey, 62, who was convicted of IRA membership in the 1970s, had denied murdering the soldiers and conspiring to cause an explosion.

Start Quote

There are no warrants in existence, nor are you wanted in Northern Ireland for arrest, questioning or charging by police. The Police Service of Northern Ireland are not aware of any interest in you by any other police force”
Official letter to John Downey in 2007
He became Scotland Yard's prime suspect for the Hyde Park attack - but he was never extradited from the Republic of Ireland. He was described in court as a committed supporter of the Northern Ireland peace process.
In May 2013 he was arrested at Gatwick Airport while en route to Greece and charged with the murders and bomb attack. Mr Downey had travelled to the UK on four previous occasions since 2010.
But over the course of legal argument, he asked the Old Bailey to halt the prosecution - saying he had received a clear written assurance from the government that he would not be tried.
He cited an official letter he had received in 2007 saying: "There are no warrants in existence, nor are you wanted in Northern Ireland for arrest, questioning or charging by police. The Police Service of Northern Ireland are not aware of any interest in you by any other police force."
He said his alleged offences had been categorised as one of the "on-the-run" cases that would no longer be pursued in the light of progress in the peace process.
In his judgement halting the case, Mr Justice Sweeney said Mr Downey had received an assurance in 2007 that he would not face criminal charges, despite the fact that police in Northern Ireland knew he was still wanted by Scotland Yard.
Although police soon realised they had made a mistake, the assurance was never withdrawn.
The Crown Prosecution Service had argued that the assurance was given in error - but the judge said it amounted to a "catastrophic failure" that misled the defendant. A trial would therefore be an abuse of executive power.
The aftermath of the Hyde Park attack Four soldiers and seven horses were killed in the Hyde Park attack
'Peace and hope' Responding to the decision, former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said: "I was astonished to hear that this prosecution had been launched in the first place, because he had received a letter from the Northern Ireland Office after painstaking investigations into whether the evidence still existed to prosecute him as a suspect for this crime and he received a letter saying he was in the clear.
"This was a critical part of the peace deal that has brought Northern Ireland from horror and evil to peace and hope and the idea that it could be unravelled in his case was astonishing to me."
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said Mr Downey's arrest had been in breach of the "on-the-runs" policy decided following the Good Friday Agreement.
"John Downey should never have been arrested and this has been vindicated by the court decision," Mr Adams said.

"ON-THE-RUNS"

  • Suspects of paramilitary offences during The Troubles
  • Not covered by the original Good Friday Agreement
  • UK government agreed in 2001 to give assurances that there would be no prosecutions of "OTRs" if organisations were supporting the peace process and on ceasefire - 187 received letters similar to John Downey's
  • Sinn Fein submitted John Downey's name to government scheme
But Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member Tom Elliott said the news was an "appalling indictment of Peter Hain and the past Labour government in their behind-the-scenes dealings".
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson called the conclusion "an outrage and a dark day for justice".
He said Mr Downey had been handed "a get out of jail free card" and urged an appeal against the decision.
"Every conceivable avenue should be exhausted. Justice should not have a sell-by date," he said.
'Terrible events' Families of those killed said in a joint statement that the judgement had left them feeling "great sadness and bitter disappointment".
The statement read: "This news has left us all feeling devastatingly let down, even more so when the monumental blunder behind this judgement lies at the feet of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
The end result, it said, was that the "full chain of those terrible events" would never be put in the public domain for justice to be seen to be done.
They added: "With no sensible explanation from the PSNI [Police Service of Northern Ireland], this must surely now raise the question of whether there have been other errors in the issuing of other such letters.
"The families urge a thorough review of what remains of the administrative scheme to avoid a repeat of what has happened here."
The Hyde Park attack is one of the most significant unsolved IRA bombings of The Troubles. One other person was convicted in relation to the deaths before being later cleared on appeal.
The bomb that Mr Downey was accused of planting was the first of two that day in London and he was linked to the attack by fingerprints found on a parking ticket bought for the car used to transport the bomb.
In the second explosion, less than two hours later, seven Royal Green Jackets bandsmen in a Regent's Park bandstand were killed.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26342465

Atos behind extraction of GP data

Under-fire firm Atos is behind the extraction of patient records from GP surgeries as part of the controversial NHS data-sharing scheme, MPs were told today.
The House of Commons Health Committee heard that Atos is implementing and managing the software for removing personal data from GP records.
The data-sharing scheme has been pushed back until the autumn after NHS England bowed to enormous pressure from groups including the Royal College of GPs and the British Medical Association (BMA).
Atos has repeatedly hit the headlines over "fitness for work" tests on disabled benefit claims it carries out for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Last week, it confirmed it was seeking an early exit from its contract with the Government in the face of persistent death threats to staff.
Atos Healthcare said it had been in discussions with officials for "several months" about ending its £500 million work capability assessment contract which is due to run to August 2015.
The company has been heavily criticised over the assessments - which are used to gauge eligibility for employment and support allowance and incapacity benefit - amid claims people are being wrongly recommended for work, or put through stressful medical interviews.
Last summer it was announced that the company, which was originally appointed by the last Labour government in 2008, had been instructed to implement a "quality improvement plan" following an "unacceptable" deterioration in the quality of its written reports.
At the same time the DWP said it would be seeking to bring in additional providers in order to increase capacity and cut waiting times.
Earlier this month, disability minister Mike Penning told MPs the volume of appeals against the assessments - around 600,000 since their introduction - meant there was "real concern" about the work being carried out.
Under the NHS scheme, data from GP records will be linked with information from hospitals to give an idea of what happens to patients at all stages.
The data that will be extracted by Atos from GP systems includes information on family history, vaccinations, referrals for treatment, diagnoses and information about prescriptions.
It will also include biological values such as a patient's blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels.
Personal confidential data (PCD) identifiers will also be taken, such as date of birth, postcode, NHS number and gender.
The written notes a GP makes during a consultation will not be extracted. The data will be held by the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and anonymised by officials there.
Fully anonymised data will be made available publicly to anyone outside the NHS.
Data considered to be potentially identifiable - for example where a patient in a small town has a rare disease - will only be released to approved organisations for the specific purpose of benefiting the health and social care system.
NHS England plans to make this "amber" data available to organisations outside the NHS, such as medical charities, think-tanks, data analytics companies and universities.
Private firms such as pharmaceutical companies might also be able to obtain the data under plans to be discussed next month.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA general practitioners committee, told MPs: "Patients visit their GP, they visit us and they entrust us with very personal, confidential information as part of their life-long record in general practice.
"At the heart of our concern as GPs is that if patients mistrust or are concerned about the security of their data, or have concerns about how this data will be used, that would actually potentially, irrevocably damage that fabric of trust when a patient walks into their GP surgery.
"That may actually have other consequences in the way the NHS records data, it may actually result in patient not attending their surgery at all, for fear or what may happen to their records.
"Or they might be inhibited in being totally open about some things."
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/atos-behind-extraction-gp-data-230104566.html#HzeOFtc

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

British troops moving back into Germany

British Army unit to move back to Minden


In 2009 officers and Soldiers from 28 Engineer Regiment based in Hameln paraded through their home town to commemorate their return from an operational tour of Afghanistan
In 2009 officers and Soldiers from 28 Engineer Regiment based in Hameln paraded through their home town to commemorate their return from an operational tour of Afghanistan
British troops are moving back to Minden some 20 years after they were last stationed in the town, it can be reported. It had been announced under the British Army reorganisation and rebasing plans that 28 Engineer Regiment, currently based in Hameln, would disband with one of its squadrons moving back to the UK in 2014.
However, the infrastructure at the future location in the UK for 23 Amphibious Engineer Troop will not be completed in a similar timescale as the disbandment of 28 Engr Regt.
The preferred location in the UK is Halton near Lancaster, and 23 Amphibious Engineer Troop will be part of 75 Engineer Regiment based in the North West.
It has been decided, with the agreement of the German authorities, that 23 Amphibious Engineer Troop will stay in Germany until their UK base is ready to receive them.
The unit consists of up to 57 soldiers, plus five locally employed civilians, and will move from Hameln to Minden to share facilities with a German Army unit which is also equipped with the M3 rig (bridge).
This is the Schweres Pionier Batallion 130 (sPiBtl130), who are based in the Herzog von Braunschweig Kaserne in Minden.
It is planned that the British engineers will work in those barracks for a three year period.
Minden, which has about 83,000 inhabitants in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, extends along both sides of the River Weser.
British soldiers were last based in Minden in Kingsley Barracks two decades ago.
The move will bring with it a great number of benefits in terms of sharing expertise and facilities with their German counterparts.
It is planned that British Reservists will periodically come to Minden to be trained by 23 Amphibious Engineer Troop.
23 Amphibious Engineer Troop military staff will be housed in Bielefeld where there is a sizeable British military community.
It is planned that the first elements of 23 Amphibious Engineer Troop will be in place in Minden by May 1.
It still remains the plan to hand back the Hameln estate to the German authorities by the end of 2014.
TA troop 412 Amph Engr Tp RE(V) will also move from Hameln to Minden. Current strength of this TA troop is 40.
"23 Amphibious Engineer Troop personnel will greatly miss the close relations that have been shown for many years by the people of Hameln, but are looking forward to making new acquaintances in Minden," an Army spokesperson said.
http://www.sixth-sense-newspaper.de/news/1458-british-army-unit-to-move-back-to-minden

NWN: What's going on here? Is this in response to what is/has been going on in the Ukraine?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jewish groups celebrate regime-change in Ukraine

One day after a compromise reached between the Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition leaders, the anti-government protestors stormed the Presidential Palace and forced Yanukovych to flee. As part of the deal, the convicted former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was released from hospital where she was imprisoned. The so-called “interim government” lead by the new Speaker of country’s parliament Oleksandr Turchinov, an ally of Tymoshenko, has announced to hold new election on May 25, 2014.
In order to hide its dirty tricks in Ukraine, Obama administration has warned Vladimir Putin not to intervene militarily.
On Saturday, Yulia Tymoshenko, who has Russian Jewish family roots, said at the anti-government rally at Kiev’s Independence Square that she intends to run for the Presidency.
Some leaders of the anti-government protestors had urged country’s top three Jewish billionaires, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Victor Pinchuk and David Zhvania – with personal link to the protest movement – to urge president Yanukovich to step down.
On February 20, one speaker at Kiev’s Independence Square said: “You practice Judaism. In the holy synagogue, you have seats with placards. And you, today, are the only people who have access to Yanukovich.”
A recently leaked phone conversation between Jewish Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, has exposed the Jewish Lobby’s part in the regime change in Ukraine.
Last week, a Ukrainian report, several Ukrainian Jews who served in the Israel Occupation Force (IOF) are leading the anti-government protests. Ukrainian media has also accused an Israeli oligarch for providing financial support to the opposition in Ukraine, adding that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency is one of the instigators of the unrest in the country.
Last week, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe Reuven Azman, called on the Ukrainian Jews to leave the capital and even the country, if possible, the Israeli daily Maariv reported on Friday.
I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too,” Rabbi Azman told Maariv. “I don’t want to tempt fate,” he said, “but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions.”
In December 2013, Israel First Sen. John McCain visited Kiev to throw weight behind the anti-government protestors and met three leaders of the opposition.
On January 18, 2013, the British Jewish Chronicle reported the leaders of so-called “Jew-hating”  Svoboda Party, Yuri Syrotyuk, saying: “Many Jews are in the Ukrainian parliament and among the richest citizens of Ukraine. Could that happen in a country where antisemitism is widespread?”
Last weekend, Admiral Yuriy Ilyin, the navy commander who was promoted as chief of the General Staff for Ukraine’s armed forces had promised Viktor Yanukovych he would deal with the demonstrators in Independence Maidan “like in Israel.”
Ukraine is home to the third largest Jewish community in Europe and fifth in the world outside Israel.
To understand the “Zionist War on Ukraine”, read here, here and here.

http://rehmat1.com/2014/02/24/jewish-groups-celebrate-regime-change-in-ukraine/

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BBC bans Celtic supporters song ‘glorifying IRA’

Celtic match
Celtic match
The BBC has refused to play a song about the republican hunger strikers after a group of Celtic supporters succeeded in getting it into the UK music charts.
Fans Against Criminalisation caused widespread anger when they organised the promotion of the song – Roll of Honour – in response to government attempts to eradicate sectarianism from Scottish football.
Recorded by the Irish Brigade, the ballad entered the chart yesterday at number 33 after they gave permission for its use by the Celtic supporters’ amalgamation.
Rather than playing the track in full, only the first line of the song – ‘Read the roll of honour for Ireland’s bravest men’ – was heard before chart show presenter Jameela Jamil said: “At number 33 today, the Irish Brigade’s Roll of Honour has entered the chart. The Irish protest song has climbed into the Top 40 after a campaign by Celtic fans who are opposed to the Scottish government’s Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.”
In a statement issued last week, the band said the song was written at a time of great social and political upheaval.
“It was to commemorate the sacrifice of 10 young men who died in the hunger strike of 1981. They, too, were protesting against criminalisation,” it said.
One Celtic fan has already been convicted under the act for singing the Roll of Honour song with a number of other prosecutions pending.
A similar situation arose last April following the death of Margaret Thatcher, when an online campaign saw the Wizard of Oz track ‘Ding Dong The Witch is Dead’ enter the top five. On that occasion, the chart show’s producers played only a brief clip of the song.
The Celtic fans’ campaign has provoked an angry backlash from victims of terrorism and unionist politicians.
At least one victims’ group, Innocent Victims United, has written to Celtic Football Club urging it to publicly distance itself from the “disgraceful” initiative.
Kenny Donaldson of Innocent Victims United (IVU) said: “This song is not a folk song, it is not a sports song, it is not a cultural or traditional song – rather it is a song promoting terrorism, seeking to romanticise its figures through eulogising their criminal-based activities.”
DUP MP Nigel Dodds called the campaign to get the song in the charts “sectarian”, while UUP MLA Tom Elliott described it as “disgusting”.
Last night Celtic Football Club had not responded to a request for comment.
“Read the roll of honour for Ireland’s bravest men/We must be united in memory of the ten/England you’re a monster, don’t think that you have won/ We will never be defeated while Ireland has such sons.
“In those dreary H-Block cages, ten brave young Irishmen lay/Hungering for justice as their young lives ebbed away/For their rights as Irish soldiers and to free their native land/They stood beside their leader – the gallant Bobby Sands.”
It goes on: “Through the war-torn streets of Ulster the black flags did sadly sway/To salute ten Irish martyrs the bravest of the brave.”

http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/bbc-bans-celtic-supporters-song-glorifying-ira-1-5881540

Monday, February 17, 2014


Individual BNP members may be liable for Griffin's debts

If you get Robert Henderson’s output, then you may already have seen these items, but if not — or if you skim them due to the huge volume of texts he transmits every day — then the following may be of interest, perhaps especially the first one dealing with the law as regards “Unincorporated Associations” (which is what the BNP is). To an extent this answers the question I put to you recently regarding the difficulties or benefits which may accrue to Griffin as a result of his bankruptcy.

The second item, article by Sonia Gable in Searchlight, is a sharp as she usually is on financial matters. (I gather she is/was an accountancy official of HM Inland Revenue.) It shows how low Griffin has sunk: he has enabled a Jewish commentator to excoriate a Gentile on dodgy financial practices, including serial bankruptcies!

The third item, a New Statesman article on the collapse of the Far Right in the UK, gives all kinds of reasons for the present situation, but does not seem even to touch on the mayhem Griffin created — especially in the area of finances — upon his election to the Chairmanship of the BNP in September 1999. A decade of scams, swindles and destruction followed. I devoted much of my time in that decade to trying to warn people. It did me nor the Cause any good. As I remarked recently in an e-mail to one of our friends:


Griffin is not just a financial crook —i.e. a swindler and a con-man — and an associate of criminals. He also also a political crook. He has a pathological personality. This means he has no conscience or capacity for empathy. This makes him a compulsive predator.

Many people who supported Griffin’s BNP in the previous decade still greatly resent my exposées of him during that time in my
Electronic Loose Cannon bulletins, not because my analysis was wrong, but because events have shown even those naïve people that I was right — because my commentaries disturbed their happy dreams when the dreaming seemed good. Now they are rubbing the sleep from their eyes. Amazingly, they resent me more for causing them embarrassment than they resent Griffin for robbing them financially and cheating them politically. Such is human nature!

For these people, there’s only one crime worse than being
wrong in politics — and that is being right.


Regards,

Martin Webster.

P.S. As you see, I have Cc’d this to a few contacts. If any of them have info/comments to add, I’m sure we should be pleased to hear from them.

=======================================================================

http://www.jeffsrowe.co.uk/faqCONST.html
R.H. Jeffs & Rowe (“Leading Club Accountants”)

CONSTITUTIONAL:

201.  Limited Liability
         
<http://www.jeffsrowe.co.uk/faqCONST.html#201>
202.  Unincorporated Associations – Advantages and Disadvantage
         
<http://www.jeffsrowe.co.uk/faqCONST.html#202>
203.  Unincorporated Associations – Liability of Members, Officers and Trustees
         
<http://www.jeffsrowe.co.uk/faqCONST.html#203>

201. LIMITED LIABILITY

Many sports clubs are non profit making members clubs, ruled by a constitution, but having no legal existence and being unable to enter into contracts unless in the name of its officers or trustees ie they are unincorporated associations. Recent events in the world of Rugby have highlighted the main weakness of unincorporated associations which is – Personal Liability. The insolvencies of certain high profile rugby clubs have shown that officials may (as a last resort) be sued for club debts and theoretically all members may be liable. In one case creditors took individual members to court and they were means tested as to their ability to pay. With the commercialisation of the game of rugby, financial inducements have grown, contract of sponsorship have been made, players contracts are being drawn up and it may be time to reconsider whether the unincorporated members sports club is the most appropriate organisation to manage the current game.

[....snip.....]

202. UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATIONS
         – ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES


The advantage of an unincorporated club are:-

1.    They are simple to set up, being founded by agreement between the members, no further steps such as registration are required.

2.    Privacy – an unincorporated association does not have to file accounts and other information with Companies House or with the Registrar of Friendly Societies.

3.    In relation to the day to day running of the club, brewers, banks and other suppliers are happy to deal with the officers.

4.    Lower compliance costs.

The disadvantages of an unincorporated club are:

1.    The club does not have limited liability, the officers and sometimes the members of the club may be held liable for the debts of the club and for the performance of the club’s contracts and other obligations – see section on the liability of members, officers and trustees.

2.    It is not a body corporate and does not have a separate legal existence from its individual members, accordingly it can neither sue nor be
 sued other than through its officers and members.

3.    It cannot hold land and investments other than in the name of officers or trustees.

4.    No statutory liquidation procedures exist and an unincorporated club cannot be voluntarily wound up under the Insolvency Act 1986.

5.    The club cannot make formal contracts, any contract which has been entered into in the club’s name could be null and void.


203. UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATIONS
         – LIABILITY OF MEMBERS, OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES


An unincorporated members’ club cannot sue nor be sued, or hold property in its own name. Accordingly, when an outsider is trying to sue an unincorporated association an important question is, who is actually liable? It must be pointed out that instances of members and officers becoming liable for debts incurred by an unincorporated club are rare, this being due either to the fact that third parties are reluctant to sue individual members and officers, or are unsure of the legal outcome of their actions. Where action is brought it is usually against the chairman and secretary in the first instance, the action can be extremely distressing for the club officers involved.

This is a confusing area of the law and because of the lack of case law it is difficult to be definitive on the outcome of any action brought. The distress felt by members and officers is often compounded by this uncertainty and attempts to determine what their actual liability is. Club members tend to have two conflicting views of the position, either they believe they are not liable for any debt, or that they have unlimited liability. As a general rule a member’s liability is limited to the amount of the subscription because when he joins a club he does not intend to incur any liability beyond his subscriptions payable under the rules. However, if a member or officer is found liable for a debt his liability is usually unlimited.

Taxes

Value Added Tax – Anything required to be done for VAT purposes is the joint and several liability of first, every member holding office as president, chairman, treasurer, secretary or any similar officer or in default, secondly, every member holding office as a member of a committee, and in default, thirdly, every member – VAT (General Regulations 1985, no 886, reg 10).

PAYE and National Insurance – The employer will be liable for payment of national insurance contributions and, if he pays the wages or salary, for income tax under PAYE. The employer will often be the persons who actually engage the employee, for example, the committee, or an officer responsible for employees although the employer may be all the members. PAYE should be operated on all wages paid to staff and officers including cash payment to players for playing and winning a game.

Corporation Tax – The treasurer of an association is responsible for doing all the acts which are necessary in relation to the corporation tax liability of an association. If an association does not pay their tax, the Revenue can recover the outstanding sum from the treasurer but he is entitled to retain association funds in his hands to satisfy the tax and to be indemnified by the association.

Employment of Staff

A club should determine which of the members is the actual employer because considerable duties and liabilities attach to that position.  Any member who is about to become involved in the employment of staff should make sure he has the right of indemnity from other members and the assets of the club. In view of the potential liabilities which can arise, corporate status should be considered before significant numbers of staff are taken on.

In addition to the provisions of employment law, PAYE and National Insurance the employer has other duties in relation to the health, safety and welfare of the employees. Failure to make provision for an employee’s safety will not only result in a potential action for damages by the employee but it is also a criminal offence.

Contracts

Where it is sought to sue a club in contract, the action must be brought against the individuals who entered into or authorised the contract.  Any officer or member of committee may be sued who gave or authorised an order for goods or services, because although he acted as agent for the club, the club is not a legal entity and is unable to act as a principal or contracting party.

A member’s liability is usually limited to the amount of his subscription, unless it can be shown that the members authorised or ratified the contract, for example, the rules of the club may specifically provide that goods are to be ordered on credit in which case each member may be personally liable. Members will also be liable if they subsequently ratify transactions which have been entered into on their behalf without authority.

Contracts, undertakings, leases and agreements containing such words as ‘joint and several’ should not be signed. Such words would make each person accepting the obligation personally liable for the payment and performance of the contract during its whole period. In the event of the failure of the club the liability would fall on each individual accepting the obligation putting his personal assets at risk.

Other Liabilities

Property – Trustees are normally the proper defendant in relation to the clubs’ premises.  Trustees of an unincorporated club do not have the same powers, duties or obligations as the trustee of a charity.  Trustees of an unincorporated club are usually empowered to invest the clubs’ funds and in them is also vested the property and assets of the club in trust for the members.  For any liability incurred in the course of their duties the trustees have a lien on the property but unless the rules provide they are not entitled to an indemnity from the club’s members.  An individual member is not under any legal or equitable obligation to indemnify the trustees.

Individual members or a group of members may become liable for the loss arising from the state of the club’s premises if the court finds they were under a separate duty of care to outsiders. For example it was held that the committee of a football club were held personally liable when a stand collapsed and injured a spectator. An individual member with specific responsibilities may also be held liable to an outsider if he was negligent in the performance of his duties.

Libel and Slander – An unincorporated members’ club cannot be sued, and redress has to be sought individually and personally against the officer, member or employee concerned. The members will only be liable for a defamatory statement if they have expressly or implicitly authorised its publication.

Expulsion of Members – A common area of conflict for members’ clubs concerns the wrongful termination of membership or expulsion of a member. An injunction for reinstatement and action for damages or defamation will usually be made against the committee. In rare cases individual members have become liable through a class or representative action.

On Winding Up

Surplus Assets – Where after paying all debts there are surplus assets the rules of the club usually direct that the surplus is paid equally to members.

Deficits – No statutory liquidation procedures exist and an unincorporated club cannot be voluntarily wound up under the Insolvency Act 1986. As the club is not a separate legal entity it cannot become insolvent and as the person liable for debts incurred varies according to the action brought, it is difficult to come to an organised voluntary arrangement with creditors. It appears that the best scenario is that the club’s assets are used to pay debts as far as possible and the club is allowed to quietly fade out of existence with the outstanding creditors not bringing legal action against officers and members. Brewers and other trade suppliers normally accept the business risk of dealing with members clubs and do not take action against individuals. Where creditors do pursue it becomes a free for all. Those who pressure the most receive some payment and in practice the normal rules of preference are ignored. If a club is solvent but foresees problems in the future it is advisable to incorporate now. When and if problems do arise the incorporated club can then take advantage of the voluntary and compulsory Insolvency Act 1986 provisions for liquidating a company.

Two related themes recur when the liability of members, officers and trustees are considered, firstly the constitution of the club and secondly insurance. The standard of drafting of rules for unincorporated clubs is variable and frequently poor. To save legal fees rules are often cobbled together by members without full knowledge of all the legal ramifications, occasionally a club will have no written rules. In consideration of the law in relation to third part liability a club should ensure it has rules to cover such issues as indemnity, powers of the committee as employer, rules on the expulsion and termination of membership. It should not have a clause accepting liability for the members for goods ordered on credit. The rules of a club is a contract between the members, if there is not a clause on how the rules may be changed a new constitution or rulebook may be unenforceable against members who voted against it.

Where possible a club should insure against the risks faced by officers, members and trustees. Third party and employers’ liability insurance may be compulsory, but as the insurance policy will be issued to the committee or individual officers it is important to ensure that any member incurring liability to an outsider can claim on the policy, it should contain a member to member indemnity. It is also necessary to ensure that the policy contains a special provision that all members of the public, unfortunately many policies do not have such a clause and claims made by a member against other members of the club are excluded.

In the long term the most effective and cheapest form of additional insurance may be the incorporation of the club as a company limited by guarantee or as an industrial and provident society. The club would then become a body corporate with the ability to sue and be sued in its own name.

This is a confusing area of the law and should an issue arise a club needs to obtain specific advise from its professional legal advisors.

[......]

========================================================================

http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/news/featured-news/bnp-funds-not-safe-from-griffin-bankruptcy
Searchlight – Wednesday 8th January 2014

BNP funds not safe from Griffin bankruptcy
by Sonia Gable

Nick Griffin has rushed to reassure British National Party members that the party’s funds are not affected by his bankruptcy and that it will not stop him standing again for the European Parliament in May. But as usual he is not being entirely truthful.

While it is true that legislation passed under the last Labour Government removed the bar on bankrupts standing for elected office, the party may be hard-pressed to mount what its leader promised would be “the most effective campaign ever yet launched by the British National Party”. Despite Griffin’s declaration that BNP funds are “completely unaffected” by the order, provisions in the party constitution would seem to give the bankruptcy trustee recourse to party assets.

Griffin was declared bankrupt on 2 January 2014 in the Welshpool County Court, owing nearly £120,000, as a result of an action brought by Gilbert Davies & Partners, the solicitors who acted for Griffin and the BNP when the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) took action in 2009 over racial discrimination in the party constitution. At the time party membership was only open to white people..

 The long drawn out proceedings were one of many issues that prompted accusations of poor decision-making and financial mismanagement against Griffin, contributing significantly to the party’s internal disputes and mass exodus of activists and officers.

Griffin habitually falls out with his legal advisers and representatives, and he and Gilbert Davies, who advertise themselves as conveyancing specialists, soon parted company. Whether it was because of his unreasonable demands or because he hoped that by sacking them he would not have to pay their fees is unclear. Griffin claims that he has “good grounds for multiple claims against Gilbert Davies & Partners for professional negligence” and that he is appealing against the original judgement that made him liable for outstanding fees.

In an attempt to distance the party from liability, the BNP describes Gilbert Davies merely as having represented Griffin. In fact the CEHR proceedings were brought against Griffin, Tanya Jane Lumby and Simon Darby “as officers of and on behalf of the members of the BNP”, as the relevant legal documents show. The BNP is constituted as an unincorporated association, which makes it difficult to pursue legal action against the party as such. But clearly Griffin engaged Gilbert Davies in his capacity of party chairman. At the time, Lumby was the BNP’s nominating officer and Darby its treasurer.

Chairman’s indemnity

Strangely the text of the BNP constitution has been removed from the party’s website. However we have a copy of the document published on 15 July 2011 in which paragraph 6.22 states that the chairman is entitled to be indemnified out of party funds against all costs incurred by him “in the execution of or arising out of or in connection with his or her duties or the exercise of his or her powers”. Defending action by the CEHR over the BNP’s constitution is quite clearly a matter arising from his chairmanship.

When a person is made bankrupt, he has to declare all his assets to the person appointed as his bankruptcy trustee, who then has to sell or realise those assets for the benefit of the creditors. A right to recover costs is an asset. Griffin must declare it and the trustee has a duty to pursue the BNP for the money to which Griffin is entitled. If the BNP fails to cooperate, a court would have the right to appoint a receiver of the BNP’s assets or to wind the party up.

That right may be Griffin’s only asset. His house appears to be in the name of his wife Jacqueline, though a title deed for a nearby house at which he and Jacqueline appear to have been on the electoral register at some point show the owners as Jennifer Susan Burgoine and John David Burgoine, probably relatives or close friends of Mr and Mrs Griffin.

Griffin might have to enter into an Income Payments Agreement to make monthly payments out of his €95,000 (£79,500) MEP’s salary, although that income will end when inevitably he fails to get re-elected. His chances of retaining his seat in the European Parliament were already nearly non-existent before his bankruptcy and the declaration by Paul Golding, leader of the rival far-right Britain First party, that he would oppose Griffin in the North West region in the election.

This is the second time Griffin has been made bankrupt. Ludicrously he has declared that the experience has made him better able to advise constituents with financial difficulties and he will be producing “an advice booklet on dealing with debt”. How come he didn’t learn anything the first time?

It is understood that Griffin and/or the BNP have other outstanding legal and employment tribunal debts. The party’s 2012 accounts included a provision for unpaid legal expenses of £112,000 but it is not known what was included and what Griffin told the auditors about the likelihood of payment being enforced. The BNP has been kept going financially by a few large legacies, but awaits a High Court decision regarding a large sum left by someone who was not a permissible donor under electoral law.

Searchlight has investigated the BNP’s financial irregularities and difficulties for many years. We wrote a report for the House of Commons in December 2007 and helped produce a BBC radio File on 4 documentary on the BNP’s finances broadcast in February 2008. We have exposed the BNP’s fundraising for equipment and costs that have never been properly accounted for, and the incompetence of its short-lived national treasurers – six held the office from June 2008 to October 2010. We have extensively analysed the BNP’s accounts and revealed the true state of the party. We will continue to shine a light into the fascist party’s murky depths.

========================================================================

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/02/what-lies-behind-spectacular-collapse-british-far-right
New Statesman – Monday 10th February 2014

What lies behind the spectacular
collapse of the British far-right?  
In the form of UKIP, the toxic extreme right has been
sidelined by a more competent radical right force.
by Matthew Goodwin

Less than four months from now, voters across Europe will head to the polls to choose their representatives in the European Parliament. Amidst the financial crisis and falling public trust in political institutions, there is an expectation in Brussels, Paris and Berlin that the elections will deliver record success for parties that subscribe to right-wing extremist or Eurosceptic beliefs, and which are often crudely lumped together under the far-right umbrella. Much of this concern has been driven by the latest polls, which suggest that the "usual suspects" will continue their march from the margins to the mainstream.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s Front National looks on course to treble its level of support in 2009, possibly finishing first with over 20 per cent of the vote. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ radical right Party for Freedom may also finish in the top spot, while in Austria the Freedom Party will also take over 20 per cent. Yet Greece and Hungary elicit most concern. In the latter, support for the anti-Roma and anti-Semitic Jobbik is holding steady at around 14 per cent, while Golden Dawn is likely to attract at least 9 per cent, introducing the real prospect of neo-Nazi MEPs sitting in Brussels. Even if the neo-Nazi party is forcibly disbanded, they have pledged to form a new party in time for the elections (the imaginatively titled "National Dawn").

If the polls are correct, the results will inevitably dominate headlines and fuel anxiety among progressives over the enduring appeal of exclusionary campaigns in Europe. But it is not quite as worrying as the media would have us believe. Behind the pictures of Le Pen and Wilders are countries in southern Europe, which, since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, have grappled with the conditions that many predicted would usher in political armageddon: rampant deprivation; a generation of unemployed youth; harsh austerity; striking inequality; and only recently entrenched democratic traditions. Yet few journalists bother to ponder why, since the crisis, the far-right has retreated or simply failed to arrive in countries such as Italy, Portugal and Spain, or why it has flourished in Austria and the Netherlands, which have "enjoyed" some of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. In this sense, the puzzle is not why some far-right populists have prospered amidst the crisis, but why Europe has not turned en masse to the political extremes.

This is especially true in Britain, where, despite the crisis, recession and austerity, the far-right has completely collapsed. Cast your mind back five years to February 2009. Nick Griffin and the BNP were still in the afterglow of winning a seat on the Greater London Assembly. They had dozens of councillors and a grassroots membership on its way to over 14,000. And with a parliamentary expenses scandal about to explode, they would go on to poll over 6 per cent at the European elections and capture two seats. Shortly afterwards, a small protest in Luton would spiral into the English Defence League (EDL), which for a brief moment looked set to mobilise a street army of young, disillusioned and angry working class Britons.

But since then the far-right has haemorrhaged support. The EDL spectacularly collapsed after their leader resigned and was then imprisoned. Meanwhile, the long-awaited crisis that Griffin promised would bring his followers victory, has brought them misery. Such is the disarray that their MEP Andrew Brons has resigned the BNP whip and launched a new, anti-Griffin party. Thousands of members have walked away, leaving Griffin not only bankrupt but appearing as a lonely and increasingly comical figure whose only route into the headlines today is to express solidarity with neo-Nazis in Greece. The BNP which has dominated Britain’s far-right for some thirty years is polling just 1 per cent, and so the prospect of saving its seats is nothing more than a distant dream. For the first time since 2001, Britain may well find its elected office "BNP free".

So why – despite the crisis - has the far-right collapsed? There are three schools of thought, which each point to a different ingredient. The first is that since 2009, British public demand for ideas associated with the far-right has withered. But even a cursory glance at the data undermines this view. If anything, British voters are now even more concerned about immigration, less trusting of the political class, and more receptive to populist appeals. Even as the crisis subsides, public concerns over immigration today are stronger than at any point since 2007. In fact, immigration now shares the top spot with the economy as the most important issue in the minds of voters, and by the time we get to May it may well occupy the top spot in its own right.

A second argument is that the British far-right simply failed to capitalise on the crisis, offering a toxic brand that was "beyond the pale' for most Britons. One of my favourite opinion polls of all time (run by YouGov) asked Britons to rank the most important markers of Britishness. The most popular answer was freedom of speech. But a close second was the country’s victory over Nazi ideology, which goes some way to explaining the power of the anti-fascist norm in Britain. Unlike, say, Marine Le Pen who grasps the necessity of detoxification, the extremist amateurism of the fascist BNP and the street thuggery of the EDL alienated voters who might otherwise be receptive to the radical right agenda. There was a window of opportunity where both groups could have connected with a disillusioned, working class and left behind generation of Britons, but instead they remained dominated by figures who the historian Richard Thurlow once described as "tinpot fuhrers and sawdust caesars".

While much of this rings true, it also complements a third argument; that since 2010 the toxic extreme right in British politics has been easily outflanked by a more competent radical right force, which not only targets the same cluster of concerns over immigration, Europe, the responsiveness of elites and perceived threats to national identity, but does so in the shadow of legitimacy. The rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has presented the BNP with an insurmountable challenge. As Griffin's party has sought to frame Ukippers as "plastic nationalists" and "posh boys" who like the bankers, the reality (as we show in a new book
<http://www.amazon.co.uk/Revolt-Right-Explaining-Extremism-Democracy/dp/0415661501/ref=tmm_pap_title_0> ) is that the more legitimate and sophisticated UKIP brand is connecting far more successfully with the same social groups who only offered the extreme right some localised and ephemeral success. UKIP is not a right-wing extremist party. Neither Farage nor his party advocate an ethnic conception of nationalism, the overthrow of liberal democracy or conspiratorial anti-Semitism (the three features that are commonly thought to define right-wing extremism). To put UKIP in the same camp as the BNP misunderstands its revolt.

But that is not to say that this revolt is not drawing support from the same sections of British society who have been left behind by the country’s economic transformation over recent decades, were then hit hardest by the financial crisis, and today feel completely adrift from an established political class that is increasingly focused on more secure, educated and professional middle-class voters who not only share a markedly different outlook but also determine the outcome of elections. This is one (but by no means the only) reason why the rise of UKIP carries as many important questions for the left as it does the right. Under any other circumstances, these disadvantaged, left behind voters should be expected to be rallying behind Labour. So while this May we should welcome the demise of the traditional extreme right in Britain, we will again be given good reason to ask why a growing number of Britons are turning their backs on mainstream political life.

*Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Nottingham and Associate Fellow at Chatham House. He is co-author, with Robert Ford, of Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain <http://www.amazon.co.uk/Revolt-Right-Explaining-Extremism-Democracy/dp/0415661501/ref=tmm_pap_title_0> , which is published in March. Readers of the New Statesman can receive 20% off pre-orders here <http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415661508/?utm_source=adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SBU1_LAN_3RF_2TW_1POL_00000_Revolt> , using the code RTR14

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Another of our sporting heroes leaves us -  RIP Sir Tom Finney


The last of the 'old time greats' has now gone. Tom Finney was even better than Sir Stan Matthews according to my old Dad. Finney was moved from Englands right wing to the left wing. Why? Well because Tom Finney was just as deadly with his left foot. He could also play centre forward. Stan Matthews was purely a right foot player.

That's not to say my old Dad didn't rate Stan Matthews. It's just that in those days we had Stan Matthews on one wing and Tom Finney on the other. Probably the two most devastating wingers ever to lace up football boots. They used to rip apart ANY defence. They were the 'wizards of dribble'. Players today cannot beat a player. Finney and Matthews certainly could.

When England's 'Lion of Vienna' Nat Lofthouse first played for England, he was  told "just get into the middle. Those two will find you". And they did.

They could cross the old leather ball from the touchlines into the 6 yard box, and make sure the lace was facing the other way for the center forwards header, so they didn't hurt their foreheads with the laces of the leather balls.

This writer never saw Tom Finney play. He did see Stan Matthews, but when Matthews was in his 'twilight years'.

These players played when England was a great country, and  before all the foreign influx had started. When England was a great team. And kids used to play football non-stop in the street. Now they waste their time on computer games and get 'brainwashed' by the multi=culti mass media.

Players like Finney used to entertain our people and provide excellent role models. Todays footballers are mostly foreign, who behave appallingly.

Friday, February 14, 2014

'Numbsculls' win Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election


UKIP come second in poll triggered by death of Labour MP Paul Goggins

Mike Kane
Labour's Mike Kane has won the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election.
UKIP polled second, taking a sizeable 17.9pc of the vote – narrowly pushing the Tories into third place.
The seat's new MP said he would fight for a 'fair deal' for the constituency, particularly over its ailing A&E department.
Labour's hold comes after the death of well-loved MP Paul Goggins last month sparked the snap poll.
The party's majority increased by 1385.
UKIP's fortunes had been closely watched in Westminster ahead of the European and local elections in May, with the party openly using the poll as a testing ground.
However their lead over the Tories was not as large as some had expected, with the anti-EU party only just pipping them to second place by 862 votes.
The Liberal Democrats came in fourth with less than 5pc share, meaning they lost their deposit.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/labour-by-election-win-wythenshawe-sale-6708295

NWN: The voters in the UK are too 'thick' to do anything.In places like Wythenshawe, you could put Moors murderer Ian Brady up for Labour, and the idiots would vote him in in massive numbers.

Monday, February 10, 2014

What lies behind the spectacular collapse of the British far-right?

In the form of UKIP, the toxic extreme right has been sidelined by a more competent radical right force.

In the form of UKIP, the toxic extreme right has been sidelined.
Nick Griffin takes part in a protest outside the Old Bailey in central London, on November 18, 2013. 
 
Less than four months from now, voters across Europe will head to the polls to choose their representatives in the European Parliament. Amidst the financial crisis and falling public trust in political institutions, there is an expectation in Brussels, Paris and Berlin that the elections will deliver record success for parties that subscribe to right-wing extremist or Eurosceptic beliefs, and which are often crudely lumped together under the far-right umbrella. Much of this concern has been driven by the latest polls, which suggest that the "usual suspects" will continue their march from the margins to the mainstream.
In France, Marine Le Pen’s Front National looks on course to treble its level of support in 2009, possibly finishing first with over 20 per cent of the vote. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ radical right Party for Freedom may also finish in the top spot, while in Austria the Freedom Party will also take over 20 per cent. Yet Greece and Hungary elicit most concern. In the latter, support for the anti-Roma and anti-Semitic Jobbik is holding steady at around 14 per cent, while Golden Dawn is likely to attract at least 9 per cent, introducing the real prospect of neo-Nazi MEPs sitting in Brussels. Even if the neo-Nazi party is forcibly disbanded, they have pledged to form a new party in time for the elections (the imaginatively titled "National Dawn").
If the polls are correct, the results will inevitably dominate headlines and fuel anxiety among progressives over the enduring appeal of exclusionary campaigns in Europe. But it is not quite as worrying as the media would have us believe. Behind the pictures of Le Pen and Wilders are countries in southern Europe, which, since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, have grappled with the conditions that many predicted would usher in political armageddon: rampant deprivation; a generation of unemployed youth; harsh austerity; striking inequality; and only recently entrenched democratic traditions. Yet few journalists bother to ponder why, since the crisis, the far-right has retreated or simply failed to arrive in countries such as Italy, Portugal and Spain, or why it has flourished in Austria and the Netherlands, which have "enjoyed" some of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. In this sense, the puzzle is not why some far-right populists have prospered amidst the crisis, but why Europe has not turned en masse to the political extremes.

This is especially true in Britain, where, despite the crisis, recession and austerity, the far-right has completely collapsed. Cast your mind back five years to February 2009. Nick Griffin and the BNP were still in the afterglow of winning a seat on the Greater London Assembly. They had dozens of councillors and a grassroots membership on its way to over 14,000. And with a parliamentary expenses scandal about to explode, they would go on to poll over 6 per cent at the European elections and capture two seats. Shortly afterwards, a small protest in Luton would spiral into the English Defence League (EDL), which for a brief moment looked set to mobilise a street army of young, disillusioned and angry working class Britons.
But since then the far-right has haemorrhaged support. The EDL spectacularly collapsed after their leader resigned and was then imprisoned. Meanwhile, the long-awaited crisis that Griffin promised would bring his followers victory, has brought them misery. Such is the disarray that their MEP Andrew Brons has resigned the BNP whip and launched a new, anti-Griffin party. Thousands of members have walked away, leaving Griffin not only bankrupt but appearing as a lonely and increasingly comical figure whose only route into the headlines today is to express solidarity with neo-Nazis in Greece. The BNP which has dominated Britain’s far-right for some thirty years is polling just 1 per cent, and so the prospect of saving its seats is nothing more than a distant dream. For the first time since 2001, Britain may well find its elected office "BNP free".

So why – despite the crisis - has the far-right collapsed? There are three schools of thought, which each point to a different ingredient. The first is that since 2009, British public demand for ideas associated with the far-right has withered. But even a cursory glance at the data undermines this view. If anything, British voters are now even more concerned about immigration, less trusting of the political class, and more receptive to populist appeals. Even as the crisis subsides, public concerns over immigration today are stronger than at any point since 2007. In fact, immigration now shares the top spot with the economy as the most important issue in the minds of voters, and by the time we get to May it may well occupy the top spot in its own right.

A second argument is that the British far-right simply failed to capitalise on the crisis, offering a toxic brand that was "beyond the pale' for most Britons. One of my favourite opinion polls of all time (run by YouGov) asked Britons to rank the most important markers of Britishness. The most popular answer was freedom of speech. But a close second was the country’s victory over Nazi ideology, which goes some way to explaining the power of the anti-fascist norm in Britain. Unlike, say, Marine Le Pen who grasps the necessity of detoxification, the extremist amateurism of the fascist BNP and the street thuggery of the EDL alienated voters who might otherwise be receptive to the radical right agenda. There was a window of opportunity where both groups could have connected with a disillusioned, working class and left behind generation of Britons, but instead they remained dominated by figures who the historian Richard Thurlow once described as "tinpot fuhrers and sawdust caesars".
While much of this rings true, it also complements a third argument; that since 2010 the toxic extreme right in British politics has been easily outflanked by a more competent radical right force, which not only targets the same cluster of concerns over immigration, Europe, the responsiveness of elites and perceived threats to national identity, but does so in the shadow of legitimacy. The rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has presented the BNP with an insurmountable challenge. As Griffin's party has sought to frame Ukippers as "plastic nationalists" and "posh boys" who like the bankers, the reality (as we show in a new book) is that the more legitimate and sophisticated UKIP brand is connecting far more successfully with the same social groups who only offered the extreme right some localised and ephemeral success. UKIP is not a right-wing extremist party. Neither Farage nor his party advocate an ethnic conception of nationalism, the overthrow of liberal democracy or conspiratorial anti-Semitism (the three features that are commonly thought to define right-wing extremism). To put UKIP in the same camp as the BNP misunderstands its revolt.

But that is not to say that this revolt is not drawing support from the same sections of British society who have been left behind by the country’s economic transformation over recent decades, were then hit hardest by the financial crisis, and today feel completely adrift from an established political class that is increasingly focused on more secure, educated and professional middle-class voters who not only share a markedly different outlook but also determine the outcome of elections. This is one (but by no means the only) reason why the rise of UKIP carries as many important questions for the left as it does the right. Under any other circumstances, these disadvantaged, left behind voters should be expected to be rallying behind Labour. So while this May we should welcome the demise of the traditional extreme right in Britain, we will again be given good reason to ask why a growing number of Britons are turning their backs on mainstream political life.
Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Nottingham and Associate Fellow at Chatham House. He is co-author, with Robert Ford, of Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain, which is published in March. Readers of the New Statesman can receive 20% off pre-orders here, using the code RTR14. He tweets @GoodwinMJ
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/02/what-lies-behind-spectacular-collapse-british-far-right 

Saturday, February 08, 2014


Spectator magazines attack on the late Sir Cyril Townsend

 
As some of you will know, the former Conservative MP Sir Cyril Townsend died on November 20th last year after suffering from leukaemia.

Though one might well disagree with Sir Cyril’s liberal Toryism in many policy areas (he eventually joined the Lib Dems) he was an outstandingly brave parliamentarian in defying the dominant factions within his party over the Middle East (where he was an outspoken supporter of Palestine), and over the Thatcher government’s last and most egregious error – the bill which became the War Crimes Act 1991.

His contributions to the War Crimes debates can be read online, for example his last substantial Commons speech at http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1997/mar/05/war-crimes#S6CV0291P0_19970305_HOC_434

Within weeks of Sir Cyril’s funeral, where the coffin was draped in a Palestinian flag, the odious Thatcherite toady Charles Moore published an especially nasty attack in the January 11th issue of The Spectator.  This is now online at http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/the-spectators-notes/9112041/the-spectators-notes-369/

I have added the comment below to the online version, but who knows how long it will last...



One has become used to vicious slurs against opponents of the Zionist lobby, but Mr Moore's attack on the late Sir Cyril Townsend so soon after the latter's death is especially disgraceful. To imply a similarity to IRA terrorist funerals in Sir Cyril's decision to be buried with a Palestinian flag is truly shocking – since Sir Cyril was a regular soldier until entering politics, and served on the front line against a murderous terrorist campaign in Cyprus. His political bravery was consistent with his personal courage, and reflected the conviction that our national interest has been undermined by obeisance to Israel. Could Mr Moore explain what is "extremist" about supporting a Palestinian state? Mr Moore joins the Zionist amen corner in bleating about double standards, when the truth is that in the modern Conservative Party especially, an almost unanimous deference to Israel is enforced. He asks what would happen if a British MP were buried with an Israeli flag: has he forgotten the late fraudster and former Labour MP Robert Maxwell, who was interred on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem after a lifetime of overt and covert service to international Zionism?
Peter Rushton

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

All this bad weather.....................................

is it connected to HAARP ?







Neo-Nazi and National Front organiser comes out as gay and reveals his Jewish heritage as he quits far right Kevin Wilshaw was a National...