posted by: . | on: Thursday, 12 December 2013, 16:40
The sons of an English expat who left his £389,000 fortune to the British National Party in his will are battling in the High Court to claim the money.
When Northumbria-born Joseph Robson died in Alicante at the age of 81 in March 2010, he bequeathed his entire estate outside Spain - worth £389,000- to the British National Party, leaving his two sons, Jeremy and Simon, with £135 between them.
After their father's death, Mr Robson's sons launched a legal challenge to his will, insisting that their father was barred from giving his money to a British political party, because he had not been a registered UK voter in the five years before his death.
Now the BNP, represented by party Treasurer, Clive Jefferson, is battling against the sons' call for a ruling that the gift was illegal, and that their nationalist father had become a "foreigner" in the eyes of the law by the time he died.
Judge Richard Sheldon QC heard that Mr Robson, who was born in Ashington, Northumberland in 1928, and lived in Willow Tree Crescent, Lutterworth Leicestershire, after divorcing from his sons' mother in the 1970s, moved to Alicante on his retirement in 1992.
He made a will in 1996, leaving the whole of his worldly goods to the BNP, apart from a Spanish bank account containing just £135, which he bequeathed to Jeremy.
But the BNP ran into trouble when it tried to lay hands on the gift, the judge heard, after Mr Robson's sons claimed he was not legally permitted to make the political donation.
Barrister, Alex Troup, representing the executor of the will, told the judge that the sons claim Mr Robson failed to register on the UK electoral roll at any time during the five years prior to his death.
That meant that, under rules introduced by Tony Blair's Labour government in 2000 to curb "foreign donations" to British political parties, the expat was not entitled to make the gift, whether dead or alive.
Mr Troup explained that the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 restricted "permissible donors" to UK political parties to those whose names had appeared on a UK electoral register "in the period of five years ending with the date of his death."
Phillip Capon, for the sons, told the judge that the rules mean that Mr Robson effectively died intestate and that, despite his wishes, his whole fortune ought to be handed to Jeremy and Simon.
Robert Grierson, representing Mr Jefferson, argued that the party had successfully overcome the problem in September 2011 by executing a deed of variation to the will which would see the money paid into a specially set up charitable trust, rather then to the party directly.
The trustees of the charity are Mr Jefferson, Nick Griffin's daughter Jennifer Matthys, and former leading National Front member, Patrick Harrington, who is now a key adviser to party leader, Nick Griffin.
But Mr Capon insisted that moving the cash into the trust would make no difference and could not legitimise an "illegal" political donation.
"The obligation under the Act is to pay the money back. The BNP is not entitled to the gift under this will. It does not have the lawful capacity under the Act to accept this gift. The gift fails and there is an intestacy," he told the court.
Mr Capon told the judge that Mr Jefferson, in his representative capacity as BNP Treasurer, could in theory face prosecution under the 2000 Act if the party was found to have accepted the payment illegally.
Mr Harrington, addressing the judge in person, argued that it would be "utterly unjust" for the party to be stripped of Mr Robson's bequest.
"One son was given nothing and the other was give less than £150. It seems pretty clear that the father didn't want the bulk of his estate to go to his two sons - he wanted it to go to a political party," he said.
"Mr Robson had every right to be on the electoral register but, for whatever reason, he was unaware of the provision that he had to be. The pathway can never lead to the sons, that can never happen," he added.
Denying that the BNP are fighting the case because they are badly in need of funds, he told the judge: "The BNP has received sizeable legacies as its support base tends to be amongst older people. It is not desperate for money."
Mr Harrington asserted that the money ought to be released to the trustees by the executor of the will because, "at this stage no one knows whether or not he was a permitted donor".
He promised that, were the cash released, "a large pool of voluntary BNP labour" would be "sitting in the British Library going through every electoral roll in the country" to find out if Mr Robson was registered to vote in any UK constituency in the five years before he died.
"His solicitor should have told him that he needed to be on the register," Mr Harrington said.
Expressing his preliminary views on the dispute, Judge Sheldon commented: "The deed of variation itself would suggest that the BNP were not satisfied that Mr Robson was a permissible donor.
"If the BNP had investigated whether or not Mr Robson was a permitted donor there would be no need for this hearing."
The judge reserved his decision on the dispute until a later date.
Posted: 12 Dec 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Thursday, 12 December 2013, 16:01
Over the past few days, we've been overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and joy as we've mourned the loss of an extraordinary man and celebrated his incredible achievements in life.
The 2,400 messages in our book of condolence beautifully express the profound gratitude we all feel for the gift of Nelson Mandela's time with us. We delivered it to the South African Embassy this morning, where they were met by the South African High Commissioner, who was extremely appreciative of your kind words. Thank you.
Now, we must take time from our remembrances to consider how we can build a future worthy of this great man's memory. Our duty is clear, and for guidance we must look no further than the words of Mandela himself:
"Our work is for freedom for all ... We say tonight, after nearly 90 years of life, it is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now."
The loss of one man has left a hole in the fight for equality and justice that must be filled by millions. It's up to those of us who remain to continue Mandela's legacy, and for you and me that work starts right here at home.
Today, and every day, we commemorate him in our continued fight for hope, love, tolerance and acceptance. Together, we will realise the just world he always believed possible, and that will be our final gift to honour his service and sacrifice.
posted by: Adam Barnett | on: Thursday, 12 December 2013, 14:10
Islamist firebrand Anjem Choudary will attend a march against the drinking and sale of alcohol in Brick Lane tomorrow, the Advertiser can reveal.
The infamous leader of the group al-Muhajiroun said he hopes the rally will help convince Muslims and non-Muslims to “cut out alcohol from society altogether”.
The march on Friday by The Sharia Project, a group based in Waltham Forest with members in Whitechapel, will protest the drinking and sale of alcohol by Muslims in east London, which it says is sinful under Islamic law.
Mr Choudary today confirmed his links to the group after its spokesman Abu Ramaysah described him as one of its “mentors”.
He said: “I teach a lot of them and they have studied Sharia with me.”
Mr Choudary also criticised mosques in east London for tolerating the sale of alcohol, accusing them of doing so for money.
He said: “A Muslim knows it’s completely prohibited to sell alcohol.
“Some Muslims have gotten quite wealthy in the area of Brick Lane, and some of the so-called mosques in the area are benefiting from the sale of alcohol, so they keep their mouth closed.
He added: “The Whitechapel mosque and others take money from businesses in the area in donations at Friday prayers.
“This is not good enough. For non-Muslims it’s one thing. Muslims should know better.”
An East London Mosque official has said the rally is a publicity stunt that would “antagonise local people and business owners”.
On Monday, Mr Choudary defended three men sentenced to jail for threatening people drinking alcohol in east London in so-called “Muslim Patrols”.
He said the men, who were members of his group, were “fantastic individuals” who deserved to be “patted on the back”.
posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Wednesday, 11 December 2013, 17:31
I'm a huge fan of Monty Python, and one of my favourite sketches is the famous Dead Parrot sketch.
There can be few people who are unaware of the sketch and many Python aficionados like myself will be able to quote the lines from the script word for word.
If you haven't seen it the sketch involves an irate John Cleese returning a dead "Norwegian Blue" parrot to the pet shop where he bought it, with the shopkeeper, Michael Palin trying to convince Cleese that the parrot is in fact not actually dead but sleeping, after a long squawk.
So I put it to you dear readers that The English Democrats are a dead political party.
The English Democrats are no more! They have ceased to be! They've expired and gone to meet their maker!
Maybe I am being a bit premature with my condolences but take a close look at last weeks by election results and you will see the point I'm making.
In 2009 the English Democrat fortunes were running high, having just had its biggest victory of its short life, with Peter Davies winning the Doncaster mayoral election.
Things seemed to be on the up but then they made a fateful mistake, allowing their party to be taken over by a group of rejects from the BNP once Griffin's far right gang had began to implode.
The takeover upset a number of English Democrats including Mayor Peter Davies who quit the party in 2013 claiming the BNP invasion was unacceptable.
The English Democrats have been in a nose dive mode ever since, clearly illustrated in two council by elections held last week.
In Liverpool, one of those BNP rejects we mentioned, Steven McEllenborough received just 9 votes in the Riverside Ward By Election last Thursday.
If that wasn't bad enough English Democrat candidate Stephen Paxton finished in last place with just 6 votes in the Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough by election for Arbury ward.
Where has the English Democrat vote gone? Probably mostly to their sworn enemies in UKIP and with this series of failures the English Democrats look like they will take a hell of a beating in next years European Elections.
Maybe the English Democrats are just pining for the fjords? They are certainly bereft of life.
Posted: 11 Dec 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 11 December 2013, 12:04
Jacob Mchangama has written a great piece on the Daily Beast on how the so-called 'counter-jihad' movement are as bigoted as the people they claim to oppose.
He opens the piece by saying:
"One of the supposed core values of the so-called “counter-jihad movement,” a loosely organized collection of vocal activists battling what they believe is the immediate threat of an Islamic takeover of the West, is an unflinching defense of free speech. Because dominant parts of the political elite in many Western states have been hesitant to oppose the real threat that certain Islamic states and Islamist groups pose to free speech, as seen by, for example, their handwringing during the Danish “cartoon crisis,” the counterjihadis have had some success in posing as the true defenders of free speech. The counterjihadis appear willing to defend this enlightenment principle, whereas feckless politicians and intellectuals fear appearing as bigoted or insensitive to minorities. Yet one need only scratch the surface to realize how dominant members of the counterjihad movement are more than happy to compromise on free speech as long as the ends justify the means and those denied their rights are Muslim."
Read the rest here:
Posted: 11 Dec 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 10 December 2013, 17:49
Today is an important day in the campaign against the Gagging Bill. The Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement has launched a second report ahead of next week’s Committee Stage in the House of Lords. HOPE not hate features as one of eight case studies used by the Commission to underline how undemocratic and illiberal this bill is.
The report is the result of a rapid consultation carried out during a five week pause that Ministers were forced to concede to, in order to avoid the Bill being delayed for up to three months. Its recommendations are supported by over 100 organisations from charities and campaign groups, to think tanks and blogs.
It is also a final call to Government to take seriously the severe damage to trust between the Coalition Parties and organised civil society, which going ahead with the Bill will undoubtedly cause. It comes a day after a Government letter, sent to members of the House of Lords, suggests that the “listening mood” of which we were reassured five weeks ago, was always intended to be just that – a promise, nothing more.
The recommendations that the Commission has come up with, which will safeguard HOPE not hate’s ability to fill the vacuum left by the three mainstream political parties in challenging candidates and parties determined to spread myths, fear and hate in order to gain votes, can be found here http://civilsocietycommission.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Civil-Society-Commission-Report-2.pdf
With key votes on these recommendations expected at Report Stage in the House of Lords, around 13 January 2013, HOPE not hate would like to stress once again that limiting our campaign spending to only 2% of the funds available to the BNP, while quadrupling the regulated activities we have to account for, is surely reminiscent of totalitarian regimes and not of the tradition of the world’s oldest working democracy who, next year, will celebrate 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta.
If voted into law without these key amendments, the Gagging Bill will send a terrible message across the world, but particularly to those emerging democracies who look to Britain for example on how to build and organise civil society and get it engaged in the democratic process. It will ultimately affect our ability to persuade foreign quarters on strategic British interests, from the position of a “legitimate” and “respected” world power.
Posted: 10 Dec 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 7 December 2013, 07:01
Over 2,000 people have sent tributes in about Nelson Mandela following his death on Thursday night. Hundreds more have sent us messages on Facebook, Twitter and by email.
Young and old, our supporters have been united in their outpouring of sadness at the passing of a man who helped steer South Africa out of Apartheid.
But it clear that he meant so much more to so many people and even after his death he will continue to inspire, motivate and encourage people to fight for a better, more peaceful and a more just world. He was an embodiment of HOPE not hate.
We are giving our supporters an opprtunity to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and what he meant to them personally and politically. We will then hand our Book of Condolence in to the South African High Commission early next week.
Please add your tribute here:
Posted: 7 Dec 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 6 December 2013, 12:29
Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) is holding a vigil and tribute outside South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, tonight (Friday 6 December) in memory of Nelson Mandela.
The vigil is being held between 6pm and 7.30pm and ACTSA is calling on as many people as possible to salute and honour the world icon for freedom. It is asking for floral tributes to be placed at the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square.
ACTSA said: “Nelson Mandela is the most admired man of our time. He was a freedom fighter, prisoner, great statesman and reconciler; a leader who inspires but also one with great humility.
While we mourn his passing and send condolences to his family, the government and people of South Africa and the ANC, if we are inspired by Nelson Mandela we should take action.
Nelson Mandela stood for, fought for, and was imprisoned for his commitment to rights, dignity and justice. He campaigned against poverty, inequality and discrimination. Today we call on people, inspired by Nelson Mandela, to commit to making this world a peaceful, fairer, more just and sustainable world.”
Posted: 6 Dec 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 3 December 2013, 08:32
Our attention is rapidly turning towards next year's European Elections and yesterday I was up in Yorkshire meeting our local organisers from Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Sheffield and Saltaire. Together we mapped out our campaign strategy for the elections and agreed on both regional and localised material.
The traditional far right might not appear the threat it once was but there was no complacency in the room, with everyone agreeing that while UKIP was obviously the main issue we should still target groups like the BNP and BDP.
Most of the discussion was obviously around the threat from UKIP and a strategy that will be launched in the New Year was devised.
Posted: 3 Dec 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Rees Morgan | on: Thursday, 28 November 2013, 14:53
BNP boss Nick Griffin’s national socialist fixations have been showing again, this time evidenced by his junket to Moscow yesterday for a collective bleating session about the Greek government’s crackdown on his new-found pals in the nazi Golden Dawn party.
It appears that not everything was to his taste, however, as he couldn’t resist tweeting that he had been on a “horrible overnight flight.” It would be good to know who paid for the exalted Leader to be so reduced to such discomfort. Not him, we bet!
What was the Griffaloon doing just west of the Urals? We thought we’d let an internal page on the website of convicted Italian fascist terrorist Roberto Fiore explain. After all, it’s from the horse’s mouth (no offence to horses intended).
The Italian fascist statement says with customary pomposity: "On November 27, Russky Vestnik (The Russian Messenger) will hold a conference in the Slavinskaja Hall, Moscow, on the theme of “the limitation of freedoms in Western Europe.”
“The conference is organised by Russian experts and will host speeches from European politicians such as Roberto Fiore, a former MEP and leader of Forza Nuova; Nicholas Griffin, MEP and leader of the British National Party and the Greek Golden Dawn MP Matthaiopoulos”. It appears they – both Fiore and Griffin – did not know Matthaiopoulos’ has a first name, Artemis.
That was left out as was the fact that young Artemis has a certain measure of hardcore nazi “form”, not least the fact that he was also a “punk” musician who once sang about burning down the Greek parliament.
His band, for which he featured as bass guitarist, was the charmingly named Pogrom and was notorious for vicious racist lyrics. Among the songs that this mob performed was one titled “Auschwitz”, which contains – inter alia – the lines “F*** Wiesenthal. F*** Anne Frank. F*** the whole tribe of Abraham. The Star of David makes me vomit.”
As the Times reported last year” “The band’s best-known song is called “Speak Greek or Die”, an overt threat to immigrants coming to Greece, with the lyrics: “You come to our country, you don’t have any work, you’re starving, you bums, and you eat children, you speak Russian, you speak Albanian, but now you will speak proper Greek. Speak Greek or die, speak Greek or die.”
Matthaiopoulos’ new career may be seen as surprising as one song in his repertoire called “A Stroll in Parliament” includes the lyrics: “I’m going to go into the Parliament and I’ll burn it all down.”
Matthaiopoulos, incidentally, was the second nazi raver to warm a bench for Golden Dawn in the Greek parliament. The other is the thug George Germenis, who goes by the stage name Kaiadas; after the chasm where Ancient Spartans were said to have hurled their defective babies.
This “hero” led a black-clad crew of steroid-inflated Golden Dawn louts to an open-air market near Athens to smash the stalls of unlicensed migrant peddlers in September 2012. In an earlier incident, he was arrested for punching a 12-year-old girl.
Matthaiopoulos is reported to be a “close friend” of the daughter of the porcine Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos, whose wife is also in Parliament, and who is currently in a prison cell, facing a charge sheet that includes belonging to a criminal organisation, murder, extortion, and involvement in the disappearance of up to 100 immigrants.
It was alongside such intellectual luminaries as the nazi Matthaiopoulos, the fascist Fiore and the Russian nationalists of Russky Vestnik that the BNP’s bloated and bumptious boss sat to consider “The problems arising from the promotion of a law which criminalises 'homophobia', thus limiting individual and family rights and the repression and persecution of political movements inspired by nationalist, populist and Christian beliefs.”
“In this sense,” the Italian fascists’ statement went on, “Greece is especially important and the case of Golden Dawn will be considered in detail.”
Other items on the agenda were “The prosecution of revisionist historians and researchers for so-called “crimes against history’” and “World Health Organisation directives asking national governments to introduce sex education classes from primary school, thus justifying de facto paedophile behaviours” .The mind can only boggle at the pearls of wisdom this agenda will have generated.
As the BNP’s star rapidly fades and Griffin faces personal and party wipe-out by UKIP, he is returning to what he knows best: unashamed, unapologetic extremism and finding comfort surrounded by Europe’s most extreme fascists and nazis.
We just hope Fiore and Matthaiopoulos didn’t order a curry…
Posted: 28 Nov 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments