Friday, 16 May 2008

Maltby and the BNP: up close and personal

Ed: I received this article via the Comments option on this blog in response to 'Why the BNP is succeeding'. The poster is "the Maltby resident in the article" and the author of 'Crossing Borders'. I publish the article as sent to me, on trust that the details given are factual, as I believe it is a helpful contribution to a necessary debate.

There has been a variety of instinct reactions since the recent local elections, where two BNP councillors gained seats from long standing Labour councillors in the Rotherham Borough. John Gamble has taken the Brinsworth and Catcliffe seat from the Mayor of Rotherham and William Blair, here in Maltby, from long standing Labour councillor Glynn Robinson. Headlines in local and national newspapers have ranged from “Labour Disaster”, “Damning Indictment”, “Shock Results Outcry at BNP” to even “Pride and Prejudice: The Fear Factor” in The Independent.

Obviously these headlines, as well as the results, have a resounding effect on people’s feelings and concerns for the implications. The BNP (British Nationalist Party) has long been associated with, and reported as, the ‘politics of hatred’ particularly referring to the importance of race and keeping Britain as a place, predominantly, for Britons. The mission statement of the BNP states that it exists to “secure a future for the indigenous peoples of these islands. We use the term to describe the people whose ancestors were the earliest settlers here after the last great ice-age, and which have been complemented by the historic migrations from mainland Europe.” It goes on to say that these ancestors are the Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Danes and closely related “kindred people”. Perhaps then, not racist completely, but specific about which races they wish to associate themselves with?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the term “racist” as someone who believes that other races are not as good as their own and therefore treats them unfairly. (Personally, I would define it with only the latter part of this definition ie. that someone is treated unfairly because of their race — but that is another story) The BNP declares that they are definitely not racist as racism means “hatred of other races” and that they do not hate anyone.

The issue can all become a matter of words and definitions and consequently become even more confusing for us ordinary Maltby Residents. I went to speak with William Blair at his home and shop on Muglet Lane, to see what his views are and how they match up with the BNP’s.

Mr Blair has been in Maltby for around 20 years, coming from a farming background in Northern Ireland, then working in agriculture before taking over the shop. His wife, son and niece work in the shop with him and are well known to locals.

We sat in Mr Blair’s back garden, on one of these surprisingly hot and sunny days that we have had lately in Maltby, his pigeons fluttering in their loft behind us and his poodle dog brushing against my legs and wanting attention. I asked him if it was OK to question him directly from the BNP policies list that I had and he was fine with that. “Ask me anything you want,” he said, “I am here to help the people of Maltby and make it a better place to live.”

Because it is a personal issue, I asked first about the BNP’s disapproval of mixed marriages. “I don’t have a problem with that. If you love each other and get on happily, then that’s all that matters”, he said. This is not the BNP’s view, however. They believe in preserving the identity of all different ethnic groups and that a small number of mixed marriages, with mixed race children is ok (how small they do not say). But if it is “encouraged as it is at present by politicians and the media, then the British genotype will be endangered”. They refer to environmentalists preserving animal species in the wild, and ask why this should not also apply to people. They do also say that Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, points out that often mixed race children suffer identity problems. I assured Mr Blair that at my age there was no fear of me bringing more mixed race children into the area and he said that it would be fine even if I did. My experiences with my ‘other race’ stepsons in Maltby, has been enough, thanks!

Mr Blair agrees with the BNP’s views on homosexuality that: what people do in ‘the privacy of their own bedrooms’ is up to them, that they are not homophobic, but that homosexuality should not be “encouraged or promoted”.

He doesn’t agree with not letting “blacks and Asians” into the BNP party — I am not sure why blacks and Asians are specifically named, and neither is he — and here is yet another anomaly between William Blair’s views and those of the party he is representing.

As do many, if we are brave enough to admit it, he believes that the immigration levels into Britain have become out of control and that more forward thinking needed to have been done a long time ago. He would, as the BNP states, deport all illegal immigrants immediately — how we find them all and also the money to do that. neither I nor he are sure. Deport all who commit crimes and whose original nationality was not British — again, how far back in time do we go here to determine ‘British’. Review all citizenship/residency grants to make sure they are still appropriate, that is, anyone who has been granted citizenship because they have married a ‘Briton’, need to be still married. Watch out husband — divorce me at your peril!

Attend to the needs of pensioners before asylum seekers (note here the BNP does NOT say immigrants, but I wonder if they sometimes confuse the two.)

Invest in transport, the NHS, defence, the environment. Stop sending aid to other countries until we have solved the problems with Britain. Change the attitudes of the young people to one of a work ethic and not a take for doing nothing one. Make sure all unemployed people take the jobs that are available or stop their benefits. After all, as Blair says, “We don’t need immigrants when we have all these WHITE people here who won’t work” (my capitals on ‘white’)

It appears from his own words that William Blair is neither racist, nor wishing to be devisive in any way. He wants the best for Maltby and Maltby people and intends to do his utmost to start with the basics — sorting out the litter problems by regularly putting skips in various areas of the town, repairing fences, doing something about the roads situation. He believes that a lot of the problems that residents feel are the main problems — mainly anti-social behaviour and general apathy of some — can be alleviated by attitude change and a more community based approach to life here. All sentiments that most of Maltby residents share.

People I have spoken to in Maltby quote numbers and percentages and proportional representation as the reason why Maltby now has a fairly elected BNP councillor. Some say that it because of recent changes and disruptions with the Town Council.

I asked Mr Blair why he had stood as a BNP candidate when he clearly does not whole -heartedly agree with all their policies. Why did he not stand as an Independent?

“I suppose I am 80% BNP and 20% other”, he says. “Independent candidates are either old Labour people or old Conservatives. What we need is change.”

Let’s hope that our new councillor’s change goes in the right direction, and that the change is for the better for the whole of Maltby. Time will tell.

Brenda Abou El Ola

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.


  1. (Chelmsford)

    Stop sending aid to other countries until we have solved the problems with Britain.

    That may be the most objectionable policy here. What, no aid even for tsunami, cyclone or earthquake victims until ...? Do they really mean that? And until when? Until there are no problems left in Britain and everyone is happy with their lot? That will never happen of course, not until there is a new Britain as part of a new earth.

  2. It seems that the BNP are selfish people who only care about them selves. and target people who are different to them. i live in Maltby right now. and the BNP party is a fascist party. if you go to one of the pubs on the week end (queens pub)they wuill hold a little party around the back, shouting "Pakis out! Pakis out!".

    They are also bullies. they have called me names once. because i came back from holiday with a tan (even tho iam 100% british). and i had my windows smashed and someone has sprayed on my garage in big red writing "blacks Out".

    I think they should get over it and start writing better CVs and work harder. People try not to employ maltby people because. they have had them in the past throwing stuff around the work place and not taking orders. so really they have fetched it on them selves.

    also if You have a friend with a differnet race than you. they rip the piss out of you.

    When someone mentions the word BNP this is what comes to my head first because i have mixed with the BNP:
    racist, (Always comparing with another races)
    pot noodles,
    microwave meals
    selfish people
    and more.

    Get a life!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Thanks Ed for reposting this article at what is an appropriate time. Two years down the line and I can report that not a lot has changed here in Maltby (suprise, suprise).Many people appear to be tactically voting just to get Labour out (which has happened nationally but never locally here!) I think what concerns people about "Independents" is that it is almost impoossible to define what an Indpenedent is. In fact here in Rotherham, despite many claims that it was not going to happen has resulted in a "Rotherham Independents Group" - note "group" not party.

    Still VERY worrying I feel that in a town of around 17,000, the BNP got 810 votes. Granted these were no doubt by the people that "anonymous" speaks of that are basically ignorant thugs - not sure they are even really fascist - and hang around causing bother for bother's sake. Incidentally the pub anon speaks of is now boarded up completely - set alight and vandalised too many times by it's patrons for anyone to risk money on it.
    Will Blair still spouts the same old stuff - he is not racist etc etc...just get jobs for the "whites" before giving them to snyone else. His main thing at the moment seems to be campaining for more parking in the town, which is good, but nigh on impossible.Mr Burke , Cllr Blair's side kick, didn;t have a manifesto or a leaflet giving his opinion, not that I saw. But Will Blair did manage to slide some photocopied lesflets spouting the usual hatred and ignorant theories into some newsagents asking them to put them inside newspapers.Luckily not many did, but they did manage to get out into the community.
    Maltby is a good place to live. I wouldn't be here otherwise. I am proud of the way my children and grandchildren are growing up to be. If only we could guarantee this in the future.

    What will happen now, who is to say? Perhaps we now wait in anticipation for the squabbling to start within this new coalition government- or maybe we will have a fruitful, peaceful one. God willing.