I've received a number of queries about the BNP stall that appeared briefly outside the Town Hall yesterday.
They had not sought permission from anyone to be there - and the County Council, who are responsible for pavements (being the highways authority) are on record as saying they wouldn't give anyone permission to run a stall of that size on the pavement there. However the general opinion amongst the Borough Council Exec was that to take any action to 'move them on' would just have given them more publicity - the notorious 'oxygen of publicity' which the Thatcher government tried to deny the IRA.
Congratulations to the group of KEVI students who argued with them though - rapidly showing up the BNP in their true character.
We did send a Community Safety Officer along to keep an eye on things, and of course, the CCTV on the Town Hall entrance will have a full record. And - and not many people are aware of this - the Borough Council are required to submit regular 'tension monitoring' reports on political, racial and religious activity that could create 'community tension' - so this will be reported routinely to the Home Office.
Personally - I think the BNP would not make any headway if the mainstream political parties and media were doing their job and addressing the concerns of the public. Offering simple, single solutions to complex problems is a hallmark of fascism - but in a 'soundbite' world - the media tend to lead us to expect them.