27th February 2012: Last week Andrew Brons wrote a letter to the editors of all Yorkshire and national newspapers on the subject of David Cameron and immigration.
This is what the British National Party MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber had to say:
"Mr. Cameron has signed a letter with eleven other Conservative leaders calling for greater labour mobility in the European Union, and he has claimed that migration is good for the economy, as though all public policy should be subservient to alleged economic needs.
"Is this the same David Cameron who, in the run-up to the local elections in May 2011, claimed that the Government would cut immigration?
"When I said that Cameron was not to be trusted on this issue, because all Conservative governments had broken their promises on immigration, I was accused by some journalists of being unfair. We now know that my warnings were fully justified.
"Cats chase mice; dogs chase cats; and Conservatives break their promises about cutting immigration.
15th January 2012: Last week, Andrew Brons wrote the following letter to the editors of Britain's national and regional newspapers. Copies were also sent to French and Turkish English language websites.
"So the French political establishment wishes to make it a criminal offence to deny that the killing of up to 1.5 million Christian Armenians by the Turks in 1915 was genocide.
"Perhaps the French establishment was simply following the example of the Turks who had threatened to prosecute Orhan Pamuk in 2005, for claiming that the killing was genocide.
"Differences about propositions of fact are one thing; differences over description and classification of events are quite another.
"Professional historians understand that there is never the last word spoken or written on an area of historical study; there is only the latest word. All words of wisdom are doomed to be qualified or superseded by subsequent findings or conclusions. Academics in other subject areas would agree, mutatis mutandis.
"People who hope to set current findings or conclusions in stone, for all time, are at best ignorant of the nature of progression in academic research or, at worst, hostile to it. States that attempt to do the same reveal themselves to be totalitarian, anti-academic and, in an Age of Reason, utterly illegitimate custodians of a national and international cultural and intellectual heritage."
15th January 2012: At the beginning of last week, Andrew Brons wrote to the editor of the Sunday Telegraph concerning a report the newspaper carried entitled 'How Racist Is Britain Today?' Andrew's letter wasn't published, but this is what he wrote to Ian MacGregor. "The name of the British National Party does not deserve to be included in an article (How Racist Is Britain Today?) on the murder of Steven Lawrence, anymore than the name of the Conservative Party deserves to be associated with the activities of Bernard Madoff. Just as the blanket word ‘racism’ is used to cover everything from vile racially-motivated murders to political opposition to immigration, so the word ‘capitalism’ might be used to refer to the ideas of Adam Smith, the policies of David Cameron and the criminality of Bernard Madoff. "Words with a variety of undifferentiated meanings belong in four-ale bars and not in periodicals that would like to be seen as serious newspapers. "I could have asked whether the name of a Labour MP, known for her generalisations about white people, should be included, just as unfairly, in articles about the vile racially-motivated murders of the white teenagers, Richard Everitt and Kriss Donald or the disappearance without a trace of Charlene Downes. However, the dilemma does not arise because your readers are in no danger of reading articles about any of these people. "The British National Party does not say that any characteristic can be attributed to all of any population group. I understand that we are not allowed to speak for ourselves but please do not speak for us."
10th January 2011: Andrew Brons has received a mention in a book celebrating the history of Huddersfield College of Education, known as Holly Bank, where he took his post-graduate training qualification (three years after graduating from university). Andrew continued to teach full-time until he retired in 2005 and then part-time for four years until 2009, when he was elected to the European Parliament - in fact he continued to teach a further week after he became an MEP. The author, a former tutor at the college, had this recollection of Andrew: "As an active member of the Labour Party, Alan Taylor hated anything to do with the British National Party (BNP) then known as the National Front. When he found he had a BNP member in his in-service group it stretched his limited patience. The student had to be visited on T.P but Alan initially opted out complaining “He will bring his politics into the classroom”. Nothing was said at the time but words like “kettle and pot” came to mind, as I remembered my student days at Holly Bank when several lecturers failed to leave their politics at the door. "I got the job of making the first visit to the BNP student at Harrogate College and saw a first class politics lesson without any bias whatsoever. The young student’s name was Andrew Brons. Thirty-five years later he is one of only two British BNP members elected to the European Parliament. (Ex-Holly Bank students get everywhere I can hear someone saying). "The Member of European Parliament remembers his successful in-service course when he used to attend York College every Friday with summer blocks at Holly Bank. Looking back he comments that “perhaps the value of the course was not so much what it taught us, but the way in which it made us self-critical."
3rd December 2011: St Andrew’s Day was, of course, celebrated in Scotland on Wednesday, not forgetting Russia, Ukraine and Romania. However, it was also marked in Brussels by celebrants from six different countries.
Another Andrew, a Moffat rather than a saint, wearing highland attire, led the address to the haggis, to the sound of bag pipes. He spoke to the item of foodstuff as if it might have responded to, and even appreciated, the words of the immortal Robert Burns. Why even a sapient and sentient being should appreciate being described as having a sonsie face, still less of having hurdies like a distant hill, I cannot imagine. If it did understand, it certainly didn’t give the game away.
The human spectators from the six countries seemed just as reluctant to show any evidence of understanding the meaning of the words, let alone their significance. Indeed when Andrew (the Moffat and not the saint) threatened the afore-mention item of food with his dagger, while shouting wrathful imprecations in a loud voice, one or two of the guests looked worried and seemed to edge towards one of the doors.
They had read about the British from their tabloid newspapers, starting quietly when sober and then launching into a murderous attack when intoxicated. Would the poor haggis only be Moffat’s first victim to be followed by this Northern European, that Central European and the other Easterner.
The beer was drunk, the red wine was sipped, the white wine ignored but the Glenfiddich was relished.
The haggis was tried; the beef was enjoyed and the pudding was scooped with delight.
Songs were sung in all manner of languages; indeed some would have sounded unfamiliar even to native speakers. However, enjoyment and goodwill were the lingua franca of the evening.
The last guests disappeared at about 4.00 a.m.
Address To A Haggis
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy o' a grace As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill, Your hurdies like a distant hill, Your pin wad help to mend a mill In time o' need, While thro' your pores the dews distil Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight, An' cut you up wi' ready sleight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright, Like ony ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin, rich!
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive: Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive, Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve, Are bent lyke drums; Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, "Bethankit!" 'hums.
Is there that owre his French ragout Or olio that wad staw a sow, Or fricassee wad mak her spew Wi' perfect sconner, Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him ower his trash, As feckless as a wither'd rash, His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash, His nieve a nit; Thro' bloody flood or field to dash, O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread. Clap in his walie nieve a blade, He'll mak it whissle; An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned, Like taps o' thrissle.
Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care, And dish them out their bill o' fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware That jaups in luggies; But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer, Gie her a haggis!
9th November 2011: There is a report by Andrew Brons MEP on the Public Service Europe website detailing his work for the week last month when he traveled to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. You can read Andrew's 'diary'here.
19th September 2011: For the last three quarters of an hour the European Parliament has been suffering from a power cut that has brought everything to a standstill. Perhaps it has been relying too much on electricity from inefficient wind farms. However, if it had relied on the hot air produced by its own members it might have been better served in one sense but worse served in another. My Committee starts in fifteen minutes and without the help of the electronically driven translation service we shall revert to being a Tower of Babel in which nobody can understand anybody else!
"I have signed Written Declaration 26 on Dog Population Management in the EU. I am reluctant to sign declarations that add to EU power or prestige. However, this only gives the Commission the authority to call on member states to adopt dog control programmes and anti-cruelty laws, anti-rabies vaccination and sterilisation of strays and promotion of responsible pet ownership. Furthermore, it will encourage member states bring in registration and disease prevention. It will not compel member states to introduce measures. "The UK has already adopted many of these measures so this will encourage other countries to bring in dog protection measures."
1st September 2011: When Andrew Brons and his parliamentary assistants arrived at their house in Brussels on Tuesday, they got a bit of a shock when preparing the evening meal. Andrew Brons told his MEP website: "I went to the refrigerator to check on the stock of foodstuffs. When I opened the door I did not expect to see two eyes staring back at me. A mouse had gnawed its way through the back of the fridge and gained entry to it. "To show how much we have been affected by all of this talk of asylum and refugee status, a debate immediately ensued as to the legal status of the mouse. "One of my colleagues insisted that it was seeking food and was therefore an economic migrant. "Another said that it was avoiding the cat (what cat?) and this meant that it was an asylum seeker. "Another quoted the principle of non-refoulement (that an asylum seeker must not be returned to a country in which he was likely to face danger). "I tried to make the distinction between asylum seekers who were personally at risk and those who simply came from dangerous places. This was met with the observation that if we accepted the latter definition (the EU definition!), we would logically have to invite the whole mouse population of the world to share our house with us. "In the meanwhile, the mouse, tiring of the debate, disappeared out of the refrigerator but not (unfortunately) out of the house. "I referred to the mouse earlier as 'he'. I do hope so. The idea of a refrigerator and house being full of infant mice (to which even more sympathetic EU legislation applies) is too much to contemplate."
30th July 2011: Andrew Brons MEP has written to the editor of the Daily Telegraph in response to a report in that newspaper this morning. In his letter Andrew said: "The frantic attempts by your reporters to refer to the British National Party when investigating the associates of the Norwegian mass murderer, Breivik, could best be described as smear by lack of association. "Breivik is reported (Telegraph 28th July) to have sent his ‘manifesto’ – an inappropriate word if ever there was one – to 250 British-based contacts. There is no suggestion that any of the 250 asked for this document and only three of the addressees were on record as having referred to the British National Party. One of these had spoken of his support (not membership) of the Party. "It goes without saying that Breivik’s actions were unutterably evil. I am not aware of anybody having defended them, apart from Breivik himself. They were also completely counter-productive. This provides the clearest clue that Breivik is completely irrational, apart from being irredeemably evil. It might also suggest the hypothesis that any person found to be an associate of Breivik is likely to have a completely different and indeed opposite political agenda. "The only person reported to have said anything favourable about Breivik, after the bombing, is an Italian MEP, Mario Borghezio, who is a fellow member of the European Freedom and Democracy group, with UKIP, in the European Parliament. He is reported (Telegraph 27th July) to have said, "One hundred per cent of Breivik’s ideas are good, in some cases extremely good".