Eighty years on from the day anti-fascists clashed with Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts in the Jewish East End of London, David Rosenberg tells the story of the long struggle to protect the giant mural. Link to the Brick Lane Bookshop's article, and to more info about the founding of Tower Hamlet's Art Project, which still seems to be going in some form in the middle of our current 'austerity'. The story of the mural touches on world history*, community involvement, political activism, shared values*, spirit of place, and continuity. It's a fine example of the interaction between local and global; and perhaps of the legacy of Britain's now threatened, always contested, post-war socialist idealism. [more inside]
"This is what anti-racism looks like. Equal opportunities are not handed down from on high by Westminster bureaucrats; they have been fought for by ordinary men and women. Even at its peak, the BNP never spoke for anywhere near the majority of working-class white people – in Dagenham, or anywhere else. Daniel Trilling, in The Guardian on Ten myths of the UK's far right. [more inside]
"Everyone knows there’s a catastrophe unfolding, that few can afford to live in their own city. It was not always so." - China Miéville on Apocalyptic London
Ubisoft started it with four Space Invaders characters. The trend grew within Ubisoft and then to a couple (Youtube link) nearby offices. It has since spread (Google Translate link, original here). [more inside]
"Labour 51 BNP 0" Shouted the Guardian after the recent elections, as the BNP failed to return a single candidate who stood. Many felt this was the beginning of the end for the BNP, but how true was this? "The stark facts are these. Nationally, the Green Party's share of the vote actually went down 0.1% to 1%. In terms of vote share, the BNP (1.9%) and UKIP (3.1%) both did better than the Greens. Nearly twice as many voted BNP as did Green, while three times more people backed UKIP. The BNP almost tripled its support compared to 2005, while UKIP received around half as many votes again as last time." [more inside]
Polls open in the UK General Election. This has been one of the closest election campaigns in decades, with all three major parties polling within a few points of each other. [more inside]
Due to the threat of legal action the British National Party has amended its membership policy to be open to all races. It's first non-white member, a Sikh, will soon be handed his membership card personally by BNP leader Nick Griffin. Explains Griffin:
Anyone can be a member of this party. We are happy to accept anyone as a member providing they agree with us that this country should remain fundamentally British
Last night, leader of the BNP Nick Griffin controversially appeared on the BBC's flagship political discussion programme Question Time. Missed it? Cassetteboy provides a handy summary.
You know, if I ran the BNP, I think I would think twice about this whole "trusting people with the members list" idea.
BNP Wives. A 46 minute documentary following three female members of the far-right British National Party.
Babes of the BNP [probably NSFW]
The far-right, whites-only British National Party (BNP) has won two seats (Andrew Brons, Nick Griffin) in the European Parliament. [more inside]
"The BNP represents Britain's workers? They don't even represent basic British craftsmanship" - a response to the recent political broadcast by the UKs far right extremists the BNP, who are currently trying to exploit expenses scandals hiting the larger parties. Weirdly despite demanding British jobs for British workers their advertising uses American models.
British media goes mental when someone leaks a list of British National Party online. The list is here as news outlets are wary of quoting directly. Given that membership of the BNP is forbidden for those in the Police force amongst other organisations, it's interesting reading. Their leader is interviewed on this morning's Five Live breakfast (about 2hrs in) on the matter, pointing out that as a party standing for election they are as legitimate as any other.
Not In The Newsfilter: Yesterday, two men attended their pre-trial hearing at Preston Crown Court, accused of possession of explosive material. As previously reported only in local newspapers, Robert Cottage was in possession of 'what is believed to be a record haul of chemicals used in making home-made bombs', while a search of former BNP candidate David Bolus Jackson's house 'uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals... and a nuclear biological suit'. Some webloggers, and the left-wing press, are wondering whether the story might have received more coverage if the suspected bomb-makers had been, say, Muslims. The BBC blame reporting restrictions.