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Saturday 12 January 2013

EDL Solihull Demo

This afternoon an EDL demo has been taking place in Solihull, the first of 2013. According to various reports on Twitter, anywhere between 40 and 60 supporters took part. One estimate even placed their numbers as low as 25. Although billed as a ‘regional demo’, the numbers are small. There seems to be little other information circulating about the demo, although its detractors have asserted that its organiser – Matthew Pile – had been involved in a violent racist attack on a fellow bus passenger last October. Press coverage of the protest was limited to an article in the Birmingham Mail, which claimed that there were circa 60 demonstrators in total and whilst hostile in tone noted that the demonstration was peaceful. There was no counter-demonstration.

With Stephen Lennon/Tommy Robinson having recently been sentenced to a ten-month custodial sentence for having entered the US on someone else’s passport, and the EDL seemingly having passed its high watermark in terms of numbers attending demonstrations, some observers have been touting this as signalling the demise of the anti-Islamist campaign group, although in reality the picture is rather more complex. Lennon himself had assumed a high-profile role in the BFP alongside Kevin Carroll in April last year, but left in October, announcing that he was to transform the EDL itself into a political party. Carroll however stayed in the BFP whilst remaining a high-profile member of the EDL. To the surprise of many, Carroll became BFP Chairman earlier this month when Paul Weston stepped down from the role after a little over a year in the position. Adding to the confusion was the fact that the BFP became deregistered as a political party in November 2012 following its failure to pay its annual registration fee. The current status of the party is therefore unclear.

With Kevin Carroll having become BFP Chairman and his cousin now sitting in prison for the best part of this year, will Lennon’s intention to transform the EDL into a fully-fledged political party remain, or will he rejoin the BFP now that Weston has stepped down? It seemed that one of the primary reasons for Lennon’s departure was linked to a failure to see eye-to-eye with Weston’s political agenda despite the party's near monomaniac obsession with Islam, but with Carroll in control, this difference will now in all likelihood have been removed. If the BFP is to continue, it would appear that it will now be the electoral arm of the EDL, although this poses questions both for the BFP’s existing membership and for many EDL supporters who are averse to involvement in electoral politics. It is unlikely that there will be any clarity on this score for quite some time to come, and it seems probable that those EDL protests that do take place in the coming months will be organised by local divisions rather than by the national leadership. 


  1. Two comments.

    You state 'and his cousin now sitting in prison for the best part of this year'. Er, no. Robinson was sentenced to 10 months. He will receive 'good conduct' remission of 50% of the sentence. You have to be an absolute idiot not to get the remission. So he has to serve 5 months. But he has been held in custody since mid October and that time is deducted from the sentence he has to serve. So he will be out sometime in March.

    The status of the BFP is weird !! On the BD Forum the other day it was stated that BFP was being reregistered. The apparent cause of the 'delisting' was because the Party had not submitted their annual return. The BD Forum posting said the Party had notified a new home address for the Treasurer to the Electoral Commission (Elcom). Elcom had confirmed the new address in writing but their mail room had sent the annual return posting pack to the previous address. Having had experience myself of Elcom's incompetence I can well believe the posting. The posting said Elcom accepted it was their error and were reregistering BFP. I looked tonight and BFP are still listed as a lapsed party.

    Ivan Winters

    1. Two very good points Ivan! You are right in noting that he'll probably be out of prison very soon. As for the status of the BFP, it does seem very strange. Presumably, the Electoral Commission is the most reliable source, but as you say, the lapse in re-registration could be down to an administrative error. I note also that whereas the number of BFP members used to be displayed on their website, this figure has now vanished.

  2. Just thought I would make you all aware of a video that I just viewed showing a group of muslim 'islamic police' ordering people off the streets of London because of their dress or the fact they have had a drink that evening. Absolutely shocking, I can't believe they get away with this!

    Here is the video:

    Anyone else have evidence of such lunacy? Surely these maniacs should be locked up. I can't believe this is happening in our capital City!



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