Police and Crime Commissioner elections 2012
The forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections should be a perfect opportunity for a right wing party to cause an upset. A low turnout and dog whistle law and order politics could see all manner of strange results. But, as Simon Cressy reports, that is unlikely to be the case.
If a monkey could get elected as Mayor of Hartlepool and an English Democrat as Mayor of Doncaster, one would have thought that right wing law and order candidates would be falling over themselves to stand in the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
But that is not the case.
As nominations close there are very few right wing candidates contesting these elections. UK Independence Party has 24 candidates, the English Democrats has six candidates and the British Freedom Party just one.
That means that there are no British National Party candidates standing anywhere in the country. So much for Nick Griffin’s claims that the BNP is Britain’s fourth political party.
The biggest hurdle right wing groups found was the £5,000 deposit, which given the fact that the Government refused to allow candidates a free mail shot made standing a more unattractive proposition.
For a party like the BNP, which has no money and virtually no activists to spread their message, the huge deposit proved a killer.
But Nick Griffin pointed to one more reason when announcing the BNP’s decision not to contest the elections, namely that too many of their leading members were convicted criminals and given the tight rules governing these elections were not allowed to stand.
Most attention will now focus on Kevin Carroll, the deputy leader of the English Defence League who is standing for the British Freedom Party in Bedfordshire. Carroll will be hoping to use the EDL’s base in Luton as a platform for a respectable vote.
Carroll and the other right wing candidates are very unlikely to win but given that the main parties are talking about a turnout of just 10% anything is possible.
HOPE not hate profiles some of the candidates.
(British Freedom) Bedfordshire
Luton-based Kevin Carroll is the joint leader of the far right English Defence League and is deputy chairman of British Freedom, a far right political party, started by disenchanted and expelled BNP members.
He is the cousin of EDL leader Tommy Robinson, aka Stephen Yaxley Lennon.
Carroll signed the nomination papers for Robert Sherratt, a BNP candidate, in Luton in 2007 who was also an activist in the tiny nazi group, the November 9th Society.
In 2009 Carroll was convicted of a public order offence for hurling abuse at Muslims protestors at the Poachers’ homecoming parade through Luton. He subsequently lost an appeal against the conviction.
As joint leader of the EDL, Carroll has presided over several violent demonstrations and seen the imprisonment of over 100 of his supporters. This appears at odds with his strong law and order position he is taking for these elections.
He recently announced: “British Freedom and EDL share the same ideology and have been working together since May. I’ll be representing British Freedom, which is the political wing of EDL.”
Carroll is closely linked to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, the two New York-based anti-Muslim activists who were behind the recent posters on the New York subway which likened Muslims to “savages”.
In 2011 Carroll and Lennon scaled the headquarters of FIFA in Zurich in protest over the ban on the England football team having embroidered poppies on their shirts. The pair was arrested when they came down from the roof after four hours, and were fined £2,300 and had to pay £700 court costs.
They were also jailed for three days according to Carroll.
He racist, Carroll often posts offensive comments and jokes on his facebook site, including: “What’s brown and black and looks great on a Pakistani? A Doberman.”
(English Democrats) Lincolnshire
Elliott Fountain is currently an English Democrat councillor on Boston Borough Council, representing the Fenside ward.
Despite Elliott Fountains and The English Democrats strong views on immigration, it is rather ironic he is listed as a company director and operations manager of Latvian Labour Limited, a now dissolved company specialising in bringing in immigrant Latvians into the Boston area.
He is also, according to a BBC video, a landlord who owns several properties in the Boston area that he rents out to immigrants.
Fountain appears to like a large number of “erotic” Facebook pages such as “Sluts” “EroticaUK” and “Bikini Babes”.
He also ‘likes’ the Facebook page “British Friends of Golden Dawn”, the Greek hardline nazi group, along with pages by the EDL.
He has described Muslims as “Goat ragging backward rats” on Facebook and posted controversial comment on Facebook condemning Winston Churchill’s actions in WW2, saying we should have never have gone to war with Germany, describing it as a conspiracy.
He has also advocated the taking of the drug Ecstasy, which some might consider a strange policy for someone wanting to run a police force.
* Fountain had declared his intention to stand but withdrew at the last moment.
(UKIP) West Midlands
Bill Etheridge is a showroom manager in a home improvement shop in Upper Gornal, Dudley, where he claims to be on the minimum wage.
He is elected governor of the Dudley group of hospitals and is also a school governor at Northfield Road school in Netherton. He is also the Black Country co-ordinator of the Campaign Against Political Correctness and right wing The Freedom Association.
Previously a member of the Conservative party, Etheridge was embroiled in controversy when he and his wife, both prospective Tory councillors, were forced to leave the party after posing with a toy golliwog on Facebook.
Golliwogs appear to be his thing as he has written a pamphlet on political correctness adorned with images of black doll.
More recently, he has just been condemned for his part in a sick thread posted on Facebook regarding paedophile Jimmy Savile.
(UKIP) West Humberside
Godfrey Bloom is the UKIP MEP for the Yorkshire and Humber Region. He was first elected in 2004, and re-elected in 2009.
Bloom is the president of The European Alliance for Freedom, a collection of far right MEPs and politicians within the European Union. Among the Alliance’s members are Andreas Mölzer and Franz Obermayr (Austria, FPO), Philip Claeys and Peter Kleist (Belgium, Vlaams Belang), Marine Le Pen (France, Front National), Krisztina Morvai (Hungary, Jobbik) and Kent Ekeroth (Sweden, Sweden Democrats).
Bloom is a highly controversial figure, who has admitted to speaking in the European parliament under the influence of both drink and drugs.
In 2004, hours after taking his European seat Bloom told the media: “No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age.” He also said he wanted to deal with women’s issues because: “I just don’t think they clean behind the fridge enough”.
He added: “I am here to represent Yorkshire women who always have dinner on the table when you get home.”
In the same year Bloom was accused of sexual harassment after he invited a group of female students to Brussels. Rebecca Bowtell, from Cambridge University, claimed that she witnessed the MEP “sexually harassing a number of women, and making a constant stream of sexist and misogynistic remarks.”
In 2006 he confessed to visiting brothels and declared that, far from being exploited, most prostitutes “do it because they want to”. He added that he used to visit brothels as if he were going for a curry following an after-work drink.
More recently, in 2010, Bloom congratulated the French for bombing the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior, prompting outrage from an environmental group which has accused him of “celebrating” the death of a Dutch photographer killed during the attack.
Also in 2010 Bloom was ejected from the European Parliament after directing a Nazi slogan at a German MEP as whilst speaking during a debate. Bloom interrupted the MEP and said “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer”
Bloom has stated that if he is elected he would like to abolish the concept of hate crime and says he would not prioritise dealing with crimes against victims from cultural or social minorities over any others.
(English Democrats) Merseyside
Paul Rimmer has done the political rounds. He was a member of the BNP for years but before that he was also a member of the Labour party and the Militant Tendency. He later joined the Conservatives.
He was the English Democrat mayoral candidate in Liverpool in 2012.
Rimmer was arrested last May for a homophobic hate crime (Section 5 Public Order offence) after he objected to a Liverpool police station flying the pro-gay rights rainbow flag to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.
He later announced he planned to sue the police for flying the flag.