Monday, May 17, 2004

The Voice of Freedom

I was sitting in my study reading some email one Sunday evening about two weeks ago when I heard a couple of people talking to each other and walking up to my front door. Something dropped through the letter box and they wandered off. Once I'd finished reading my email I went to see what had been delivered.

It was a newspaper called the Voice of Freedom.

As someone who was born in Southern Africa, I just knew the Voice of Freedom had to have a story about Nelson Mandela. I scanned rapidly through its pages, but no such luck. In that case, I thought, there will definitely be something about Mahatma Ghandi. Another riffle through the pages. Another disappointment. Perhaps an article on Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize? Yet another disappointment.

In desperation, I turned to the front page where, to my astonishment, I discovered that the Voice of Freedom is the mouthpiece of the BNP. And if there's anyone who thoroughly deserves having their mouths washed out, it's them.

BNP in Hook and Rotherwick

Roger Robertson is standing as the candidate for the BNP in the Hook and Rotherwick ward of Hart. His proposals, as reported in the Basingstoke Gazette, are interesting. Some might even say bizarre.

  • Open a Hart District Council office in Hook.

    What on earth would this office do? If it is to be more than a post office - which we already have in Hook, although not being a Hook resident, Robertson may have not known this - then we'd need skilled officers on site. If we say one each for planning applications, rubbish, democratic services, benefits & finance and a general person, that would be five officers. Plus an office. A cleaner. Light and water. Computer equipment and software. Telecommunications lines. It is difficult to see how the cost of this would be less than £200,000 a year. In fairness, we should also open one in Yateley. That's £400,000 which on its own would increase Hart council tax by going on for 10%. At a time when Hook has some pretty urgent needs, spending such vast sums to employ more civil servants is hardly our highest priority.

  • Opening a cafe for teenagers

    If Roger Robertson was interested in doing more than creating headlines, he would know that providing facilities for the young has been the subject of a substantial cross-party project at Hart District Council, led by Jonathan Glenn, a local councillor. It's a comprehensive plan, not just a soundbite.

  • Hart council workers should work from home to save money

    How would this save money? Their computers are paid for. Their salaries are paid. The office space could hardly be re-let ("Here we have 21 square feet (2.1 sq metres) in the Planning Department. Comes with slightly used desk and clean carpet..."). It would involve extra costs, such as the cost of the computer connections and extra equipment to support all the extra links. And the software to do so and provide appropriate security.

But then it appears that Robertson is a fan of Big Government. His proposals would put up Hart District Council taxes by over 10% - for what?

Voting for the BNP really isn't sensible. At best it's silly; at worst it's sinister.

They say that today's politicians lack convictions. That's not true in the BNP; they have lots of convictions. Current BNP leader Nick Griffin is a convicted criminal. Group Development Officer of the BNP Tony Lecomber has a total of 12 convictions and was sentenced to 3 years in prison in 1985 for possession of a home made bomb. South East London organiser, Colin Smith has amassed a total of 17 convictions for burglary, theft, stealing cars, possession of drugs and assaulting a police officer. Founder of the BNP John Tyndall has been jailed twice - first in 1962 for organizing a private army and four years later, he was again sent to prison for possession of a loaded gun.

Kind of ironic, then, that their party newspaper is called the Voice of Freedom.

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