The BNP has been refused permission to use a venue in Swanley to hold a party meeting.So, of course, he’s wrapped the union flag around himself and called in the media to rely on the British sense of fair play:
Paul Golding, BNP councillor in Swanleys St Mary, says he tried to book a large expensive conference room at The Woodlands in Hilda May Avenue but has been “banned” by Swanley Town Council.
Cllr Golding said: “It's absolutely outrageous in the extreme.If they didn’t before, they will have now!
“They are aware all their support is coming over to us in droves, they are terrified of losing their remaining seats to the BNP.
“I'm sure they're realising we have enormous support in the area.”
He added: “We don't see why they can arbitrarily ban a party from holding meetings especially when the political party they are banning has elected members in the area.Which belies the fact that, of course, the BNP probably would do exactly the same if they were ever in a position of power…
“If the roles were reversed and the BNP had banned a meeting of Labour in Swanley, the whole political establishment would go into a frenzy.”
So, what excuse have the council proffered for this catastrophic misstep?
The leader of Swanley Town Council, Councillor Robert Woodbridge, says there were concerns about possible protests and negative publicity for Swanley Banqueting, the council department which runs the venue.Oh, great…
‘We can’t allow you to speak to the public because the radical Muslims and the UAF and other assorted other racemongers and fascists will tear the place down’.
Great! That’s not inflamed anything, has it?
Labour councillor Cllr Woodbridge said: “Yes we did refuse to allow Cllr Golding from using our premises (Ed: Sic) and this decision was taken at the informal leadership group meeting because of the potential conflict that may have been attracted not necessarily by the BNP party members, but perhaps by others who may have wished to protest against the meeting.How do you think this is going to work out for the BNP, councillor?
“In addition, the leadership considered the potential for conflict and the potential issues including the potential for adverse publicity for Swanley Banqueting that this may cause at a time when banqueting colleagues are doing their utmost to secure bookings.”
Because I think it’s going to work out pretty well. Instead of confirming your commitment to free speech even for those who are your opponents, and stating that any violence from either side will be dealt with, you’ve cravenly blocked a part of the democratic process, thereby giving them every opportunity to point at you and say ‘Look! They don’t want you to hear what we have to say because they are frightened of their pets turning on them!’