|New Labour's Soviet Republic||John Tyndall on his recent arrest and interrogation|
We were just leaving a Christmas social, organised by the 'Spearhead Group'. The place was Blackburn, Lancs. It was the late afternoon of the 12th December, and I was being taken by two friends in their car back to their home a few miles away, where they had been putting me up for the weekend.
A police car was spotted through the rear-view mirror. Was it tailing us? It was. A minute or two later we were waved down. Had my host been exceeding the speed limit? It looked as if it could be something like this when he was asked to get out of the car. But no! A minute or two after that, I was asked to get out. By now another car had come on the scene. Two plain-clothes police officers approached me, obtained confirmation of my name and told me I was under arrest in connection with a speech I had made in Burnley back in March, parts of which had been shown in the TV documentary Secret Agent in July.
Most readers will remember that documentary. A disgusting creature of an undercover journalist had insinuated himself into a British National Party meeting by posing as a party supporter. Using a concealed camera, he had filmed the meeting, as well as filming other party scenes across Lancashire and Yorkshire. A few extracts of my Burnley speech were shown in the programme.
I was informed that I was being taken to Halifax, in West Yorkshire, for questioning (i.e. interrogation) concerning the speech. During the journey down the M62 the two officers, who I must acknowledge were not personally hostile, told me enough to make it clear to me that my arrest was only a part of a major operation, involving large numbers of officers and extending over several months, all with the object of ascertaining whether there was enough evidence for me and others to be charged with offences under the 'race hatred' section of the Public Order Act.
Tie, belt and laces taken
On arrival at Halifax police station, I was subjected to the usual procedures carried out with arrested persons. All my personal effects were taken. I was required also to hand over my tie and belt the reasoning here being that I would thus be deprived of the means to hang myself should the mood take me! I was then shown into a cell but first obliged to take off my shoes just in case I might use the laces for a similar suicidal effort. Just how I could have performed such an operation I am still trying to work out!
I was not there too long. After about 20 minutes, a plain-clothes sergeant arrived and I was led into an interview room, which was to be my place of abode for approximately the next three hours. With the sergeant was a youngish WPC, also in plain clothes. Oh I forgot! We're not supposed to call them this nowadays. All are now 'PCs' according to the new PC code (pardon the pun), which does not recognise sex differences!
In the first part of the exercise was that I had to watch the entirety of the secretly filmed video of my Burnley speech made by the KGB sorry, BBC agent. This was in order that I may have fresh in memory any parts over which I would be interrogated. After this the interrogation began.
Needless to say, the questions centred on those passages which our lords and masters think might be deemed 'racially inflammatory'. I said straightaway that the speech was made to what I regarded as a closed audience, that is to say one consisting entirely of BNP members or supporters. It was a BNP branch meeting, not a public one. Those at the door had the right, on security grounds, to refuse entry to anyone they chose, a very necessary procedure at all such party meetings. I said that because of the composition of the audience I felt it was safe to assume that no one listening to the speech would be thus influenced on racial matters one way or the other. Almost everyone present was assumed to have the same views already on such matters as I did, and should it transpire that the audience had been infiltrated by hostile elements (which happened, as it turned out), it might likewise be assumed that such people's views would not be changed by anything I said.
The interrogator kept, as in the manner of prosecuting counsel in court, trying to put me on the spot by asking me to consider whether someone in the audience might, as a result of something I said, be prompted to go out after the meeting and commit some violent act on a person or property belonging to one of the ethnic minorities. I replied saying that no speaker, anywhere, can absolutely guarantee that there would not be some unbalanced individual in his audience who could commit such an act subsequently though trying to tie the act to his speech would be exceedingly difficult by all normal criteria of justice; also that such a contingency could occur following any kind of speech by any kind of speaker, not necessarily one talking about race. I was as confident as it was possible to be that my audience on this occasion comprised sane and rational people who would not run out afterwards and break the law. However, if every speaker on whatever subject had to allow for the odd exception, nothing strong on any subject could ever by said on a platform anywhere. Free speech would come to an end.
The Sergeant quizzed me on my words about Tory leader Michael Howard (indeed the main thrust of my Burnley speech was in the way of a reply to a speech by Howard in the same town a short time before). Howard had come to Burnley specifically to attack the BNP, and I had taken it upon myself to counter-attack.
I was asked whether my reference Howard as 'Hecht' (his family's real name) had undertones of racial incitement. I replied that I just had a personal dislike of people who unnecessarily changed their names. Whilst such a practice could be excused in the case of someone on a witness protection programme, it was generally unacceptable. What, the interviewer asked, if the person in question was merely trying to integrate himself better with the host community? Quite the contrary, I replied: I saw it as merely that person's attempt to assume a disguise, to pretend he was something he was not. At that point the good Sergeant actually quite an agreeable fellow evidently decided that this line of questioning had been exhausted.
Asians and riots
Attention was drawn to a reference in my speech to the Burnley riots of 2001 being the work of the local Asians, not the Whites. Surely this was 'racist'! My reply was that I was simply stating a very self-evident fact. Was I referring to all the local Asians? No, only some of them, I said. But, the questioner retorted, I had referred to "the Asians." That implicated the whole community. Surely it is recognised, I replied, that every speaker is permitted the occasional use of shorthand: if he qualified everything he said with sub-clauses it would not be a speech. Besides, I went on, what about Mr. Howard's speech when he referred to the BNP as "a gang of thugs dressed up as a political party?" Should that be taken to mean that he regarded every single BNP member as a thug? Again, here was a speaker just employing his own particular brand of shorthand. Thereupon the Sergeant again changed the subject.
These are just a few of the points in the questioning that I can recall. No doubt, every little phrase and sentence is being intricately scrutinised by an army of lawyers just as these words are typed into my (temporarily hired) computer, of which more anon. It is a flattering thought, though one mixed with outrage at the public expense involved.
I was eventually released at some time between 10 and 11 p.m. The Sergeant, as was perfectly proper and no more than my due, was about to drive me back to the location in Lancashire where I had been staying. Then just as we were leaving Halifax he received a call on his car phone from his superior, who in hectoring tones (I was within earshot) told him that police resources could not be spared for such a journey and that I should be dumped in Halifax. As it was, I had a friend in nearby Leeds who took the trouble to come over, pick me up and then take me to another friend in Leeds, who was able to put me up for the night. This was just my good fortune: had I had no such friends on call, I would presumably have had to spend the night in one of the police cells and then be let out onto the street in Halifax the next morning, presumably (again) to find my own way, at my own expense, to where I had to go. This was back to Lancashire again because I had to pick some personal belongings that had been left at the home of my hosts. As it turned out, one of my Leeds friends helped out again though not at the police's expense, as should have been.
The concern of the Sergeant's superior (a superintendent, I believe) about the use of police resources was touching from the taxpayer's point of view when measured against the total cost of the operation aimed against the so-called 'racists', which I am informed has been going on for many months and has involved great numbers of officers of all ranks. Remember, I had not been charged, let alone convicted, of any offence. I was being subjected to a lot of damned inconvenience over the Sunday and Monday; and yet it was apparently too costly and too much trouble for the police to return me to where I had been picked up hours earlier. Were I a suspected illegal immigrant, I would almost certainly have been treated better!
The one bright feature of this affair was the comradely concern for my welfare shown by my friends in the North of England and elsewhere, some of whom put themselves to considerable trouble to help me in various ways. Let me take this opportunity to thank them.
Raid on home
While all this was going on, more than 200 miles away another scene of the drama was being enacted. Simultaneously to my arrest up north, a police raid was taking place at my home in Hove, on the Sussex coast. In the early evening seven yes, seven! officers appeared at our door. From my wife's later account, two were youngish WPCs from the local station. The other five all male had come down from Yorkshire, where all this massive operation is centred. I understand that female officers are mandatory when there are women (two in this case and one of very senior years) in the house. The one appearing to lead the raid was quite polite and not unfriendly, as was one of his colleagues. The other three, resembling 'terminator' types in physique and manner, just glowered and looked threatening but did not appear to do very much. The operation could easily have been carried out with half the manpower; but perhaps intimidation of two women is part of the establishment's 'anti-racist' policy a régime which seems powerless to deal with murder, rape and robbery just showing that it can act 'tough' when the occasion demands!
The police took away my computer and several floppy disks and CDs. I cannot for the life of me see what evidence of wrongdoing these could have provided. Did they seriously expect to find documentation relating to planned bomb outrages or assassinations? The arrest and investigation were occasioned by a speech I had made. The evidence of the speech was on the video I had been shown back in Halifax. What more was needed?
Whilst the items seized were totally irrelevant to this matter, their seizure has most certainly put me to considerable inconvenience. Since the items are likely to be in police custody for several months, I have had to order a new computer, and in the meantime hire one while awaiting its delivery. I somehow think that if I send the bill to West Yorkshire police it will be ignored (though, remember again, I have not yet been charged or convicted over anything).
Leaning on dissidents
No doubt, all this disruption of my and others' work schedule was part of the intention of the powers that be. If they do not get convictions against me or anyone else in the BNP, they will give us no small hassle; they will (they hope) earn a few brownie points with the 'ethnic' lobbies; and they will demonstrate their firm commitment to the upholding of law and order! In this way do the pygmies of politics, who have almost totally lost any grip of the country, puff themselves up to quite ludicrous proportions and show everyone that they are 'doing' something. Also, of course, an objective is to strike new fear into anyone who might wish to question the doctrines of the multi-racial New Order.
I now understand that similar actions were taken against others connected with the BNP, including the party's chairman. We must now await developments with regard to any possible charges.
So ended a couple of days in the life of New Labour's Soviet Republic. Now, as you will see, snoops are employed by the regime to infiltrate meetings of dissidents. These snoops are equipped with hidden video cameras and sound-recording gear so that they can take down any politically subversive utterances by those present. After the secret police and their hired lawyers have studied the 'evidence' and considered the gravity of the crimes, arrests are made of the allegedly guilty persons while their homes are raided and necessary work items are confiscated for as long as the régime pleases. We are perhaps not yet at the stage of hard labour in the Arctic Circle for those judged to have transgressed, but we are well on the way, and the principles at stake are essentially the same.
In the meantime, journalists daily regale us with soothing words about how lucky we are to live in a land of 'freedom' and of how necessary it is for our wonderful 'democracy' to be safeguarded!
Perhaps the last word should be granted to the leader writer of The Daily Telegraph, who on the 15th December commented:-