A day trip to Rotherham with the BNP
Poor Rotherham. This is the third visit to a cracking place by the far-right in the last few months and you have to wonder how many more times they have to put up with this crap.
This time the unlucky townspeople had a visit from the BNP. Rotherham is one of the few places in Yorkshire and indeed the country where the BNP vote hasn’t been decimated and Marlene Guest, the local organiser managed a third place in a recent parliamentary by-election. Marlene herself called for this protest and she made a few appearances in the local media. By far the best appearance was on the Toby Foster show on BBC Radio Sheffield which you can hear here.
Chocolate Bob and I got to Rotherham at about 1pm and had a bit of a scout around and a look at the BNP’s demo site. The atmosphere in the town centre was very different from the previous far-right demos we had witnessed in Rotherham with just a few police around the train station and a few vans hidden up side streets.
Click the images for full size
The demo site was out of the way of the town centre and caused little disruption to the local population. It was at the back of the old B&Q on some parkland and had a main road at the side.
Rather than walking back into the town centre we went and had a wander up to a pub Chocolate Bob used to drink in a few years ago. On the way to the pub we caught sight of Marlene and her minions filming outside a derelict chapel. I’m sure the forthcoming video will be the third or fourth time the BNP have used this place in their propaganda.
There was a very well attended funeral taking place at the mosque just up the road from the chapel but the police were watching what the BNP were up to.
A quick pint in the New Inn opposite the bus depot and then back down the hill in search of the BNP. We walked through a housing estate expecting to run into BNP members out canvassing or leafleting but there wasn’t a sign of them. Even at the demo site which we could see from a distance there didn’t appear to be any activity or police officers around. I was beginning to worry that we had got the wrong site but that would have served me right for believing anything on the BNPs website.
Crossing New Wortley Road is a pain in the arse. We had a choice of walking all the way down to the roundabout you can see on the map or up the hill to a bridge that crosses over the road. We chose the bridge and ended up chatting with with a couple of local Asian teenagers. My opening gambit of asking them if they had seen any BNP knocking around was met with a laugh and we chatted to them for a few minutes.
We followed their directions around the back end of the park through a street of terraced housing and factory units until we got to the old B&Q. There was still nothing to see apart from a couple of kids on bicycles using the carpark as a makeshift BMX track. Now at this point I was getting bored and as a reasonably keen outdoors type I was noticing the first hints of spring in the local fauna and I saw some lesser spotted bile spewers.
Sorry, that image isn’t very clear but to aficionados of bile spewers that coat is unmistakable. This picture was taken 10 minutes before the demo was due to start.
We walked back towards the underpass / roundabout and we noticed the police presence had increased a bit but nothing like the NF or EDL demos.
The demo was supposed to start at 3pm but at that time less than 10 people had turned up.
Just after 3pm hoards of BNP members and supporters started appearing from nowhere is how the BNP would spin it. In reality they managed to scrape into double figures.
We were by now in a state of mind numbing boredom. To put this dreadful turnout into some sort of perspective, Marlene Guest got 1,804 votes in a recent by-election and over 3000 in 2010. There had been articles about the demo in the Sheffield Star and Rotherham Advertiser as well as the Radio Sheffield interview. The local BNP had been leafleting in both Rotherham and Sheffield and the BNP had published several articles on it’s website.
A few more people had started to dribble toward the demo site.
And then the Infidels and EVF turned up and doubled the number of people there.
Robert West, the BNPs fake vicar had turned up to deliver a sermon.
A makeshift stage had been expertly crafted out of three milk crates and a bit of wood and Marlene started screeching through a megaphone. The sound quality was so bad that even though we were only a few yards away we couldn’t hear or understand the bile. Quite lucky really. Only a Vogon can really appreciate her poetry.
If any BNP organisers happen to read this can I recommend they get one of these.. It will more than likely sound better than the crap you currently use and you will be able to record for posterity the various rants.
Around this point a group of local youths had gathered at the top of the park and were heading down the hill to confront the BNP but the police acted quickly and put a couple of lines of horses and officers between the two groups. Unfortunately our pics didn’t come out very well.
We really had had enough by now so we buggered off into the town centre for a pint. At the most the BNP had managed to get about 40 people to a demo in one of their last remaining “strongholds” and that was with two other organisations taking part. It was pitiful. We went to a Wetherspoons about 10 minutes walk from the demo site and it was pretty busy, easily over 100 people in there and the pubs close by all looked busy for a Saturday afternoon.
On the way back to the train station we saw these two idiots having a go at the police.
So all in all it was a total waste of time. It didn’t cause anywhere near the disruption that the NF and EDL demos caused and it was well policed apart from no police in the underpass which was “interesting” at times. Two arrests were made and that was about it.
Thanks to Chocolate Bob for the help.
The BNP have kindly uploaded a video of the demo so you can experience just how bad it was yourself.