I had two very strange telephone conversations yesterday and today with a Journalist from the Times - Fiona Hamilton. Earlier in the week Fiona wrote an article about a £5000 donation made to our Union brotherhood by BNP Leader Nick Griffin. As reported elsewhere on our Site Nick had been given a donation to use as he saw fit - at his absolute discretion. He decided to give it to our Union as he was impressed by our defence of some of his members who were being persecuted by Bosses on account of their political views. It is now alleged that the donation was part of an attempted 'Sting' operation. The idea, it is said, was to get Nick Griffin to keep the money personally or to smuggle it into BNP funds in contravention of electoral law. He, however, seems more honest than most of our current elected representatives! So the Sting backfired and Fiona doesn't seem very happy.
Fiona asked me unusual questions which I want to summarise and answer here.
1. Fiona asked me if I had attended meetings of the BNP. I have looked at my diaries and I can state that I have attended only three such meetings, one in Durham, one in Newcastle and a Red, White and Blue festival. At each I was given the opportunity of promoting our Union. I attended at my own expense and without recourse to Union funds. I make no secret of the fact that I am a long-standing personal friend of Mr Griffin. I am also a member of a different Party (the National Liberal Party) which has significant policy differences with the BNP and stands against them and supports alternative candidates at elections. I attend many different political meetings (most recently in support of the Palestinians and Tamils) and am happy to speak at any gathering to promote our Union. Please feel free to send invites!
2. Fiona asked me if we were an "all-White Union". Anyone perusing our website will see that we clearly state that membership is open to people of all ethnic and Faith backgrounds. I told her this and she asked how many members were drawn from non-white communities. Our Union keeps no figures on this but I told her that I personally knew six. Although we are a small Union I have not met every member. I told Fiona that we had recently reached a good settlement for one of our members who is a Tamil. I offered to E-mail further information to Fiona on this point but sadly she has not yet contacted me (as she promised) with her E-mail address.
3. Fiona asked me if we gave money to the BNP. We don't. In fact we don't have a Political Fund and give money to no Party. This is in contrast to many establishment Unions who donate large sums to Labour and even have block votes within that Party. Our members support different Parties and exercise their own judgement in such matters. A number are members of the BNP as other Unions have refused to offer them protection in employment matters. We, in contrast, are happy to protect the Human and Employment rights of all.
I don't know what kind of article Fiona intends to write. Perhaps it will be fair and objective. Let's hope so. It would make a refreshing change.