BNP photo fail

You’d have thought by now the BNP would have got a bit wise when it comes to using pictures of nice happy smiling (decidedly white) families on their leaflets that it’s probably not best when trying to depict ‘British’ people, to use foreigners.

Not that they haven’t got form for it in the past, using Italian pensioners and the like but you’d have though they’d be clever enough not to get caught doing the same thing twice. Or perhaps they simply don’t have any members or friends and family who are reasonably aesthetically pleasing who are prepared to appear on their leaflets.

So, without further ado, I give you exhibit 1:

BNP leaflet

Fresh off the presses and being delivered in the Walsall North constituency today.

Now I don’t know if it’s just me. Call me picky if you will but for some strange reason, they just don’t look very British. I can’t place my finger on it, perhaps it’s the perfect pearly white teeth, the distinct hint of having a bit of a sun tan or the fact that it’s taken outside and there’s actually some sun about but this got me in the mood for a little Googling and what should crop up but this:

Exhibit 2:

orthodontics website image

An orthodontics practice in Missouri. Incidentally, the website is here. Now you’ll notice that it’s not an identical photograph, clearly a stock photo from the same set but definitely of the same people.

Now I guess they could be a bunch of Brits who have a penchant for nutty right-wing parties who happen to do a bit of modelling that ends up on American orthodontics websites but I’m betting it’s a bunch of American models, which begs the question, why are the BNP using them on their literature, all patriotic n’all as they are.

Weekly review

I’ve not posted much for the last few days. Actually nothing as I’ve been doing a few other things so I thought I’d do a little bit of a round up of events/issues.

On Tuesday the Penguin household braved the border patrols and sneaked into the Sandwell Borough to attend the launch of the Jon Cruddas Deputy Leadership campaign. Bob Piper did a good summing up of the event and in truly photographic genius style, managed to get the backs of the whole Penguin household in the frame. I learned one thing from that; I need a hair cut.

On the serious side it was refreshing to see Cruddas talk about issues that seem to have not got the attention they deserve in recent years, primarily that of social housing. The problems have been brewing for a generation but even if the debate is finally up there where it belongs, then perhaps we can start address an issue that affects many on lower incomes.

Following on from that, and it does beg the question: “where do we get these people from”, the comments made by Margaret Hodge. Short of making a play for the Leadership of the BNP, it makes you wonder how some people get to where they are on the basis of such awful political nouse. Perhaps it’s a lack of imagination but her comments have been rightfully condemned by many as they should. If she is concerned about the gains made by the BNP in her own constituency, not helped of course by her own last rash of daft comments then she should learn at least one thing of which I would have thought someone who has got the position of being an MP should already know.

You cannot win on the basis of using the argument of the opposition. Especially when that opposition are the horrid bunch of toe-rags that the BNP are. You cannot appropriate the blame for a lack of social housing by accepting the arguments from the far-right that it’s all these naughty East Europeans invading the country. She should know, unless Barking is a very strange place indeed that migrants rarely end up in council houses. The vast majority end up in low quality private sector accommodation or the equivalent of shared dorms of workers. They’re not holed up in nice 3 and 4 bedroom council semi’s because although if they are in the UK, earning and paying tax then they should be entitled, there’s a shitload more people ahead of them on the waiting lists who’ve been there for years and short of a very exceptional circumstance, they ain’t going to be able to jump the queues.

She would have been far more productive in addressing the reasons for this lack of housing and it’s underlying causes, rather than effectively writing the BNP’s next leaflet campaign in Barking for them.

I spotted this during the week too. I just have a few thoughts on this, none of them complimentary towards Microsoft as regular readers will have probably guessed. So here’s the scenario, Microsoft want there to be a professional body for IT people in the UK because there’s too many out there doing dodgy fixes or bodged jobs on systems.

First point being that this is a bit rich given the output of Microsoft in terms of ‘good’ programming is laughable. They release software with bugs in them, highly unsecure systems and quite frankly are not the people to lecture others about high levels of competence.

Secondly, they’ve helpfully inferred that their own Microsoft accreditation programme would be very useful in assessing and registering IT ‘professionals’. Well, no it woudn’t, it would tell people that they know how to use one of a myriad of different systems available, and the poorest of those to boot. Are they seriously thinking that the UK Government would fall for what is patently an attempt to sew up the market by being supplier and effective registrar of those who work in the industry. Come on, no Government Minister is going to fall for that one. On the other hand this is IT so it’s always possible, but thankfully it appears the Government is very cool to this idea of a professional body anyway.

Thirdly, and finally, I’ll admit it, I’m a bodger. Not so much these days but in a past life of being surrounded by Microsoft’s products at work. There’s two reasons you have to bodge around with systems. It has nothing to do with your level of expertise and everything to do with Microsoft. Apart from the software they produce being unstable and a complete security nightmare at times (yes I do remember manually having to hack a rather pernicious virus of computers across the UK via remote access and manually having to do every machines registry system because none of the tools that were supposed to work did, or they allowed the machines to re-infect each other before you could isolate them) but as with everything with Microsoft, you never 100% know what you’re dealing with. I can happily mess about the registry of a system, that thing they tell you never to touch because a character in the wrong place can happily kill a machine but despite this knowledge, I still don’t know exactly how Windows works. Why? Well, because they don’t release the code, it’s all secret so at best you’re dealing with educated guesswork or previous experience. You can never know exactly what’s going on because it doesn’t get outside of a building in Redmond.

I think that’s pretty much it for the weekly review. Apart from Mrs Penguin has nicked my ‘good’ computer, I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying watching my son learn to run and I’m looking forward to my first trip to the cinema to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 since I went to see Star Wars – Revenge of the Sith, from which you can deduce I don’t go to the cinema very often. I’ve also took advantage of the brief bit of good weather to do some of the jobs I haven’t been able to do outside or that require sunshine. Sadly this opportunity seems short-lived as it’s decidedly pissing it down again. Good night to one and all.

Walsall Borough election result before the votes have been counted

I’m going to stick my neck out here and do a bit of election result prediction. Feel free to shoot me down should I get things spectacularly wrong but give me credit that at least I’ve got the bottle to put myself up for a potential right drumming.

Just for information I penned this article on April 28th 2007 in the early hours of the morning. I’ll be releasing it around about the close of polls on election day. There may be an hours discrepancy in terms of the time stamp as I can’t be bothered to adjust my sites times to BST but you’ll see it definitely went up before the votes were counted and feel free to save it but I promise not to try and pull a fast one by retro-editing it simply to make myself look good or get out of the shit if I get it spectacularly wrong.

So here’s how I think the make-up of Walsall will look come next Friday.

Tories 32
Labour 21
Independent 1
LibDems 6

Which is actually how it stood before the election.

In fairness it could be anything between:

Tories 34
Labour 18
Independent 2
LibDems 6

and:

Tories 30
Labour 22
Independent 1
LibDems 6

So anyway, for you delectation I give you a quick run down on what’s going to happen in Walsall. It’s by no means exhaustive and of course there’s things I know and factors at work in some cases that I have no wish to put into the public domain for use by other parties against us but just for a bit of fun and for Paul Macmanomy to take the piss out of me when I get it spectacularly wrong here we go:

Birchills Leamore: Lab Hold

This on paper should be one of the safest Labour seats in the borough yet last year the majority over the Tories got down to 80 something (can’t be bothered to look it up). The reason for this was that the Labour Councillor at the time Carol Rose defected to the Tories, strangely enough she did this a week or so after she failed to get selected to stand for Stourbridge in the 2005 General election after she was flaunting her wares as a committed Labour person so she obviously thought the Tories were a better prospect for her future. She’s standing again but against Tim Oliver the current leader of the Labour group she doesn’t stand much of a chance.

Blakenall: Lab Hold

Again another seat that should be one of Labour’s safest in the borough. Complicated by a very active Democratic Labour Party candidate but despite that Labour should hold it. If we don’t then there should be some very serious questions asked.

Bloxwich East: Tory Hold

Labour held this seat last year by seven votes if memory serves me correctly, anyway not more than ten. That was with a local candidate who’s well known. This year, not a chance of picking up this seat, Tories will walk it.

Bloxwich West: Tory Hold

Labour have an excellent local candidate here and former Councillor who works hard in the area. Despite that the Tories have a far superior organisational structure in terms of campaigning in Bloxwich which accounts for them holding five out of the six seats in a town that on paper should be completely Labour and as above, our one seat is very tenuous.

Short Heath: LibDem Hold

I’m going to really stick my neck out here and give the positions of the parties.

1.LibDem
2.BNP
3.Tory
4.Labour

I’m not going to go into the reasons but Labour will get slaughtered in this ward and the BNP will pick up a considerable amount of votes and clearly be second.

Willenhall North: LibDem Hold

Change of candidate for the LibDems here. They’ve put up the bloke who stood in Willenhall South last year who was so committed to us, so much so that he’s buggered off to a nice cushy safe LibDem seat.

Willenhall South: Lab Hold

Much to the contrary of Colin Ross and Paul Macmanomy saying this one’s too close to call I’ll go into numbers and predict at least a 200 Labour majority over the LibDems, Tories coming third and the Democratic Labour Party struggling to get over 100 votes if that. Simple analysis, Labour has the strong local candidate who lives in the ward, works very much on local issues and getting things done for people round here. The LibDems have put up that woman who used to be a member of the Labour Party, then joined Respect and has now ended up with them. Scraping the bottom of the barrel for candidates is putting it mildly.

Aldridge Central South, Aldridge North and Walsall Wood, Streetly, Rushall Shelfield and Pelsall: Tory Hold.

I’ve done these wards together because they make up the constituency of Aldridge Brownhills. It’s plain and simple, the Labour Party is next to non-existent in this bit of the world, we stand no chance of winning anything however you’ll note I left the Brownhills ward out which I’ll do next. The only ward to watch would be Rushall Shelfield, one of the BNP’s two target wards in Walsall. They’ll do well here, almost certainly come second but overturn the Tories? Almost certainly not.

Brownhills: Lab Hold

This one’s very tricky. If I was to play it safe I’d say Tory gain but I think Labour might just hold on. Electorally Brownhills is a funny ward. In the all-up election in 2004 it returned two Tories and one Labour although it was narrow between the second Labour candidate and the second Tory. Labour failed to gain it last year by a very narrow margin despite having an excellent campaign and a hard working candidate. It is also complicated by being one of the two focus wards for the BNP in Walsall that has almost turned it into a three way tie between Tory, Labour and the BNP. The BNP might pick it up but I think that the combination of a well known local Labour candidate who works hard in the ward may just see her through with those extra few ‘personal’ votes that such candidates get.

Pheasey Park Farm: Tory Hold

Nothing much to say, the Tories will win.

Bentley Darlaston North: Lab Hold

A presumed safe Labour seat and with the candidate who both works and campaigns hard in the area there shouldn’t be a problem in winning it.

Darlaston South: Lab Hold

Another ward with a hard working Labour Councillor up for re-election. Probably has the best run campaign of any in the borough. There’s a threat from an Independent, the wife of the current Independent councillor for the ward who won last year for very special reasons but against the Labour candidate combined with her formidable campaigning approach (at least compared to the rest of the Labour campaign in Walsall) this should hopefully be a Labour Hold.

Paddock: Tory Hold

Not much to say. The Tories will hold it.

Palfrey: Tory Hold

Another funny ward. A lot of Muslim community politics goes down in this neck of the woods. Last year it was a Labour gain and potentially could be a gain this year but I doubt it.

Pleck: Labour Hold

Again a bit funny due to some Muslim politics which saw a Muslim Tory elected in the all-up election of 2005 who then defected to Labour and decided not to stand this year so it’s a fresh Labour candidate but someone who’s known very well locally and works hard so he’ll probably get through.

St. Matthews: Tory Hold

I’m biased on this one as the candidate is the one who stood last year in Brownhills. He’s an excellent campaigner and was prior to the 2005 all-up election, the Councillor for this ward. Following the boundary changes this ward changed considerably. To the cries of gerrymandering and such, a large area with a good thousand or so Tory voters got shifted into this ward and effectively wiped Labour out. Is it possible to regain the ward? Sadly probably not and the Labour Group would be all the worse for the lack of the presence of it’s candidate in this ward sitting on the benches.

So there you go. My prediction for Walsall despite all the bad press, investigations, auditors reports (nicely delayed until after the elections), referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service, the background of what amounts to a completely crap Tory run council and I doubt they’ll be any change whatsoever and if anything maybe a Tory gain of one or two.

feel free to take the piss out of me if I get it completely wrong though.

[Update] As it’s polling day I’m going to stick pretty much with the predictions above but with some rather dodgy feelings regarding the Blakenall, Brownhills and Darlaston South wards.

Funny lot those BNP

Haven’t said much about the BNP for a while. Partly because it seems most of the fun seems to go on over in Sandwell when it comes to the assorted ranks of misfits, council tax dodgers, bringer uppers of hooligans which are deftly handled by Unity and Bob, but just so they don’t get all the attention. Seems like Dominic Bugler, the BNP’s candidate for the Pelsall ward over here in the elections to Walsall MBC had to pop up to Walsall Magistrates Court yesterday to face charges of possessing a fake firearm.

Suffice to say it doesn’t appear that he’ll be at the count to see his election result on Thursday as he’s been remanded in custody to appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court on May 8th. Funny lot those BNP people.

Hope not hate

Been out for most of the day delivering Searchlight over in Sandwell in the fight against the BNP, followed by an excellent session by Billy Bragg. Sadly we only caught the last few minutes as we were still out in Tipton.

I’d like to say something profound but I don’t think I could match the words of the Bobmeister on the event.

Posted in BNP

Daily round-up

Nope, not attending to pests with a well known brand of weed killer, I’m doing a bit of an overview and catch-up of the days events.

I’ve been out most of the day and busy with fatherly duties and attending to a visitor from Germany most of the evening so I’ve been a bit slow to catch up on what’s been going down in the wider world today.

So first up is the launch of a ‘new’ website by tweedle dee and tweedle dumber. My first impression was what’s the point? If the objective of the exercise is to encourage debate through the use of t’internet then someone might have told them it’s already been going on for years and they obviously just missed it.

Of course after a quick squiz through their comments section they have it appears successfully managed to attract a large number of the usual have a go at the Government brigade and Tory trolls which then begs the question, so what has this site achieved apart from becoming another forum for attack by those who do not like either the Government or the Labour Party?

For me it shows that an idea has been hatched by people who truly do not understand the online medium and were they to follow anything that is actually going on in recent online political discourse, one would assume they wouldn’t be so daft as to put a link to the Tory, sorry independent thinktank Policy Exchange. If by their claim that they wish to debate policy and direction within the Labour Party then by all means link to organisations that broadly share our common values. If their position is to entertain the views of a North American Neo-Conservative dominated organisation who’s aims are the antithesis of everything that any right-minded member of the Labour Party should believe then personally they can fuck right off.

So in summary, pair of losers launch pointless website that will achieve nothing other than more daft headlines and media speculation about the state of the Labour Party and foister claims of challenges and infighting which are pretty much in the wishful imagination of the Daily Mail et al.

Next up, and we’re on to Policy Exchange again. This one sort of took me aback slightly. Having a reasonable knowledge of the kind of right-wing rubbish that comes out of the charity status think tank I wasn’t quite aware that this was their sort of thing.

However reading the Metro on the bus today I came across an article based on research done by Policy Exchange. I’m assuming there’s only one thinktank in the country called Policy Exchange so here we go. Was it a study of the impending impact of mans activities on the future of our planet? Was it an evaluation on the proliferation of nuclear technology to states that may wish to support terrorism? Was it even a nice bit of we should privatise everything and leave the free market to sort things out? Nope, it was an investigation which revealed that Britons are the most unfaithful [to their partners/spoues] in Europe.

Well that’s nice to know, that Policy Exchange’s contribution to the discourse on British society is that we’re the most likely to shag someone else while in a relationship. (I’m using the “we’re” term there to include myself as a Briton but certainly not in relation to my own practices towards fidelity just in case you were wondering). For some strange reason this little piece doesn’t appear on their website amongst all the other titbits where they’ve been featured in the more high-brow end of the media. Of course to know Policy Exchange turns out this drivel for the tat end of the printed press market makes you wonder why Iain Dales resigned in the first place.

Finally there’s this story in the Guardian from last week that I meant to write on but didn’t. LibDem Councillors back a BNP Councillor to be on a committee. Brief outline, they did this, their group decided not to take action because like good little children they promised not to do it again, they then expressed no regrets about it and the party suspends them. In all fairness the LibDems are doing the right thing in suspending them while it’s investigated and of course were they found to be supporting a far-right party in such a way they deserve nothing more than to be booted out of the party.

I only mention this because I’m sure this is one of those situations where myself and my old friend LibDem Colin Ross would put our party allegiances aside and stand up for our principles as Colin so eloquently put it in this post a while back.

You know it’s strange though, because there’s not been one little squeak from Colin over this matter or a call for these two Councillors to be thrown out of his party. Strange that isn’t it?

Finally, finally, word reaches the Penguin that Walsall Council has been receiving enquiries from various people regarding the nature of Colin’s employment paid for by the hard-pressed tax payers of Walsall, sorry Colin, just to let you know, it wasn’t me, I never got round to it, another one of those jobs on my long list of things to do.

Those bloody muslims are taking over again….

This passed my way today. It’s a petition on 10 Downing Street’s website. It goes like this:

Dudley council West midlands is considering spending twenty million building a mosque and comunity centre next to it in this Medevil Town which has a town centre run down and like a Ghost town, the Muslim population is two and a half per cent and they have a mosque already in a listed building. it is time to wake up in Dudley the Traffic problems not to mention the eye sore, and yet just less than a mile away we have a Hospital with a shortage of beds staff and parking no we dont want a Twenty million pound mosque but the Town centre with not one Resturant in it to be regenerated, It seems the Muslim Population have already purchased the land for the Mosque yet the Planning Department have not given the go ahead yet for another Two weeks, They must be very confident to buy the land I am very concerned.

Apart from the author’s pisspoor quality of English it is an interesting example of the limitations of the petitions system set up on Downing Street’s website. I say this because it is a complete load of bullshit and lies which fits ever so neatly into the realms of those who wish to propagate such nonsense.
So here’s the facts just for the record. An application has gone to Dudley Council for Planning Permission to build a mosque. The funding for it is nowhere near

How to help the BNP, by Trevor Phillips

I’ll start by saying that I used to have a lot of respect for Trevor Phillips, but following his statement yesterday in conjunction with a number of other bits of crap he has come out with since becoming Chair of the CRE I’ve come to the conclusion he neither lives in the real world or is fit to be a spokesman for any organisation on the issue of race relations.
I’m concentrating on his comments reported by the BBC that we need to combat the far-right and the BNP. Up to this point I agree. However, one of his strategies to achieve this is to encourage the use of positive discrimination by local authorities to purely shortlist non-white candidates for job interviews. He also claims that a vast amount of talent has been wasted because black and asian people haven’t got certain jobs in local authorities.
Now just two things wrong here. Might I point out that to exclude white people from shortlists is to negate the fact that they may just be more talented and better qualified than the asian and black candidates. So from losing the talents of some people, we now progress to a situation where we lose the talents of others purely on the basis of race. Strangely enough, I thought that was racial discrimination. Interview processes for jobs in local government should be as in all fields of work, that the person best qualified, suitable and talented for the job should get it irrepective of their race, colour or crede.
However, what really annoyed me about this idea is that he in some way thinks this is going help combat the BNP. On the contrary, and might I say as someone who has spent rather a large proportion of his time combatting and making sure these bastards don’t get into power that he has single handedly just given them another years worth of ammunition. You see, if I was a BNP activist, I’d be straight to the printing press sorting out leaflets picturing the local town hall with a big sign over it saying ‘no whites here’. It doesn’t matter if this is never going to be a policy, but by even coming up with such crap he has given the BNP another stick to beat those of us who do truly believe in a free and equal society where there should be no distinction perceived or otherwise relating to the colour of our skin.
So a message for Mr Phillips, do the world and us poor sods on the ground trying to combat the far-right a favour. Piss off and keep your gob shut.

Posted in BNP