Shake that fascist groove thing

Matthew Collins - 06 05 10

After 16 hours in Barking and Dagenham today, I decided to go home and write this blog before Lowles got me stuffing more envelopes.

Where do I start about today? Hmmm. Late Tuesday night we wondered how long the BNP could keep their grubby mits off of the voters and it didn’t take long before they began their intimidation tactics. The day before polling (I’m assuming you’re reading this on polling day) we had a team out bright and early at Dagenham Heathway station delivering our excellent light bulb leaflet.

Having arrived late, the BNP goons then began to try and intimidate some of our excellent young staff, while also sitting outside a cafe shouting racist abuse at black people passing by. And to be quite clear about this, Dagenham is very different to Barking station in this respect. The BNP could never get away with this in Barking, their usual arrogance was dented by the bravery of our young staff. They were not going to be moved or intimidated to go away.

In a recent edition of our magazine Searchlight, Nick Lowles suggested that there were problems in the BNP’s campaign and that the wheels were coming off. Some people who call themselves antifascists openly criticised this while not doing any work of their own, but as we began to see the day unfold it became apparent Nick was right. The BNP’s web designer has gone, and slowly it became clear, as our intelligence suggested, so had most the marbles of the remaining BNP members.

One particularly bright part of the day for me was bumping into the BNP’s owner Jim Dowson, whose financial shenanigans my colleagues and I have hung around his neck by doing the research on him few others seemed capable or brave enough to do. Little Jim was at, of all places, a cash machine being minded by the body beautiful, Martin Reynolds. I hope he doesn’t try and send me a picture of himself holding a gun, though I do hear he doesn’t get back to Belfast so much anymore …

But from all over London came today scores of people to help us. Our mantra has long been "give us one hour" and people were in and out of our office today doing just that. From committed good old fashioned lefties with their CND badges to people with no strong political convictions, some in desperation, offering to help and do something to beat the BNP. The sheer bloated vulgarity of the BNP was spur enough for most people.

Around tea time and with Steve our driver on chapter nine of his Frankie Frazer biography, word began to reach us that the BNP had finally lost control. It takes a bit of finding as the BBC "inexplicably" has edited and/or hidden the full version of the filmed confrontation, but the BNP’s Bob Bailey is seen trying to kick the head off a young Asian man who had spat at him (not a nice thing to do at all). The full length video here gives a little more of the background to the story.

Perhaps this will dent the BNP’s vote in B&D. Perhaps it won’t. The evidence suggests what does work is a disciplined antifascist campaign being filmed by Gregg. He’s currently kipping on my sofa with dribble on his cheeks, not so much a paragon of discipline but more of an example of the pitfalls of sleep deprivation.

Nick Lowles is asking over on HnH for one more big push on polling day. We’re all tired, we all have blisters and now some of us have Gregg the video man snoring loudly on their couch. If every vote counts today, as it may well, make sure you weren’t rushing home to watch EastEnders when another hour in Barking and Dagenham could have saved the day. If we can deal them one more blow, one more under-achievement, then perhaps B&D will finally shake that fascist groove thing.


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