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April 27, 2011

TheEnglandFirst Party  – people who think the BNP is too soft!


If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know a bit about the BNP (if not, I suggest as a good place to start).  But there is another fascist party putting up candidates inStoke-on-Trent this year.  As if one bunch of Nazis seeking election in this city isn’t already too many!

The England First Party is a dissident faction of the BNP, with members who think Nick Griffin’s Nazis aren’t hard-line enough.  Their founder, Mark Cotterill was chairman of American Friends of the BNP and established links with violent white supremacist extremists in theUS.

While that might make them sound pretty scary, they only have 10 local election candidates across the whole of England.  But Stoke-on-Trent has 6 of these; it’s a sad sign of the damage having BNP councillors has already done to our city’s reputation that these extreme Nazis have chosen to make their stand here.

And the EFP truly are Nazis.  In articles on their website they refer to WWII as “the second European civil war of 1939-45” and link to sites that promote Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Oswald Mosley’s biography, Holocaust denial and eugenics.  Another link is to a site proposing relocating the entire Jewish population ofIsrael to Birobidjan inRussia.  They positively hero-worship National Front founder A K Chesterton and BNP Founder John Tyndall.

Local Zeroes

The EFP candidates inStoke-on-Trent are a strangely indecisive lot.  Mark Leat was elected as a BNP councillor in Longton North in 2007 but only a week after his election left the party and declared himself a non-aligned Independent, before standing as an EFP candidate last year. 

Spencer Cartlidge clearly hasn’t checked out his new party properly as he told the Sentinel last year “Obviously I stood for the BNP in the past, but in the end it was a little too extreme for me.”  I think the technical term for this is jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!

The EFP’s most notorious candidate, foul-mouthed Craig Pond, has also done the political hokey-cokey a few times.  Having been Stoke-on-Trent BNP branch secretary, in March 2009 he was ejected from the party, when Alby Walker was still leader and was trying to give the party a respectable veneer.  Pond set up the inocuous-sounding Potteries Communities Federation – which consisted of himself and two supporters running an offensive blog – and claimed “We will be looking to stand councillors beneath a PCF banner, and will be working towards having representatives in every area.”  


But none appeared, and within a year he was back in the BNP fold courting favour with new local leader Michael Coleman, and even writing a fawning letter to the Sentinel claiming Coleman was the best councillor in the city.  But it seems the honeymoon didn’t last.


Pond Lies


Craig Pond and his wife Lynne gained a reputation for dishonesty and exaggeration over several years making regular comments on the “Pits n Pots” bloodspot, and were ultimately banned from it.  Pond continued to spread his poison via his PCF blog and now via the EFP.  We’d need a leaflet the size of a Sunday broadsheet to tackle all his lies in detail, but here are a few that may get recycled by him in this election:

  • Pond says illegal immigrants and refugees living in Britainget £250 per week in benefits, plus £225 more for a spouse and a £100 weekly hardship allowance and so says they get more than UKpensioners.  These figures are completely untrue.  The truth is, illegal immigrants are entitled to no benefits at all and asylum seekers get a home office payment of about £50 per week, but no social security benefits.  People who have fully legally accepted as refugees have exactly the same benefit rights as UK citizens, and no more


  • Pond says there are hidden numbers of immigrants living in council housing because Turkish, Albanian, Romanian, Polish, Lithuanian tenants all class themselves as white British – the truth is that there is a clear “white other” category which counts white immigrants, and they make up fewer than 150 households in local authority housing across the whole city.


  • Pond says Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice Bureau has special “immigrant days” – this has never been the case, and still is completely untrue.  Pond made the claim as part of a rant in which he wanted major cuts across the whole voluntary sector in Stoke-on-Trent, organisations who are providing vital services across the city.


  • Pond says Tunstall library is to be turned into a mosque.  No such plans exist, but it is a common tactic of fascist parties to lie about things like proposed new mosques and sites for gypsies and travellers.


  • Pond says US President Barack Obama is a Muslim.  This is a myth put about by the American extremists the EFP call their friends.  Barack Obama himself clearly states that he is a Christian.


  • Pond says “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims”.  Perhaps he should discuss that view with the people of Omagh?


Pond’s racist hysteria really knows no bounds – after the arson attack on Hanley mosque he posted a comment  “bloody good on ’em!” on the PCF blog, and has recently called Mohammed Pervez, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council “a brown Adolf Hitler”. 
He’s also disappointed that the EDL aren’t more extreme, writing: “The English Defence League? More like the League of Nations!  The irony seems to have by-passed those EDL leaders who front an organisation called the English Defence League, but which includes afro-caribbeans, jews, hindus. These may well be upstanding guys, but they’re not bloody English!” and “…the inclusion into the ranks by the EDL’s leadership of blacks, hindu’s, sikhs, Jews, and even a handful of muslims, proves the point that this is nothing to do with defending England, but introducing multiculturalism to nationalism!”

But Pond obviously admires the thugs who trashed Hanley in 2010, writing “this country has need of a street army, and that’s exactly what it has in the EDL’s footsoldiers.”

Stoke-on-Trent doesn’t need councillors like this.  Vote for the best your city can be – not the worst.

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