27th September 2010: I have sent the following letter to Eduardo Bugalho, the Coordinator of the Secretariat of Non-attached Members in the European Parliament.
The Conference of Presidents comprises the heads of political groups and decides on crucial questions such as the allocation of speaking time in the Parliament.
Until recently the rules said that the non-attached should decide on their own delegate, but in fact the Non-Attached MEPs were prevented from choosing such a candiate by the European Parliament's administration.
They recently changed the rules to allow the President of the European Parliament to appoint the representative of the non-attached group. This was clearly a move to prevent the Nationalist contingent electing one of their own, as nationalists of various kinds have the majority among the non-attached MEPs.
Dear Mr. Bugalho
I was appalled but not surprised that the President of the Parliament should have chosen, Mrs Diana Dodds (above), the least appropriate person, as an observer for the Non-Attached Members at meetings of the Conference of Presidents. She refuses to have any communication with the majority of the Members of the Non-Attached group.
When she first attended the plenary session, she had been allocated a seat next to me. She refused to sit there and asked to be moved. I can assure you that I had no particular wish to sit next to her but if she taken that seat, I would have treated her with the same civility that I show to all other MEPs and the staff of the European Parliament.
Her childish gesture showed that she would not be willing to have any communication with us and would not therefore be prepared to bring our concerns to the attention of the Conference of Presidents.
I would not try to insist that the person chosen should be somebody with whom I have political sympathy. However, I do believe that the person chosen must be somebody who is prepared to meet and speak to all members of the Non-Attached. If the President wishes to choose somebody who is unconnected with the 'Nationalist' Members of the Non-Attached, somebody like Angela Werthmann, who at least knows how to behave in a civilised way, would have been a more suitable choice.
20th September 2010: Taking advantage of a brief interlude between his European Parliamentary Committee debates in Brussels (last week) and voting in the Parliament's Plenary Session in Strasbourg (this week), Andrew Brons was on constituency duty in Barnsley at the weekend.
A British National Party newspaper stall has been present on the high street of Barnsley every Saturday for over four years generating a regular trade for the Voice of Freedom newspaper.
But the main focus of the activity this weekend was to publicise the British National Party's campaign to: ‘Support Our Troops’ – ‘Bring Our Boys Home’
Ian Sutton Barnsley Group Organiser and his team have created a highly visible stall that is often used by the public as a reference point of where to meet on the high street.
With an ideal location and a good flow of passers-by, the stall attracts a brisk business of supporters, well wishers and regular Voice of Freedom readers. On Saturday morning they were all keen to sign the petition to bring our boys home.
The eye-catching table top banner attracted many ex-members of the military services, some who had seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan. They all made it clear that they didn't agree with the war which they believed was creating more terrorism rather than fighting it.
One gentleman, who recognised Andrew Brons, said he was delighted to see him manning the stall as well:
"I have never met an MEP before, normally after the election they all seem to disappear until the next election," he told Andrew.
17th September 2010: Andrew Brons MEP was a guest speaker at a British National Party meeting in Royal Tunbridge Wells on Wednesday evening.
The meeting was to launch the BNP's "Bring our Lads Home" campaign in the Kent region.
Andrew, who prior to becoming an MEP was a college lecturer in politics and law, spoke on the decline of our standards of education and the political agenda that was specifically being taught in schools.
"The state control of such institutions, which, by the indoctrination of our students to Marxist ideologies, makes it almost impossible for free thinking peoples to voice an opinion without criminalizing themselves", he told the meeting.
Andrew was joined on the top table by fellow MEP Nick Griffin, with the two colleagues arriving in Kent after attending a Committee Session of the European Parliament in Brussels.
8th September 2010: I abstained on this motion. However, I would have voted for the (ECR) motion B7-0499/2010. Of course, I agree with the sentiments that stoning to death (or any other death sentence) for adultery is completely unacceptable even for Muslim countries that might wish to prohibit such conduct by law.
Whilst I am not in favour of using the criminal law to enforce moral conduct between consenting adults, I respect the right of other countries to take a different view, as long as they do not use disproportionate and savage sentences. I am also alarmed at the use of the criminal law against political dissent, either in Iran or those countries in the EU that are guilty of this. All defendants facing serious criminal charges should be entitled to legal representation and there should be safeguards against inappropriate police conduct before trial.
I do not believe that it is for the EU to tell Iran that it must never use the death penalty in any circumstances.
If this motion is not to be counter-productive, it must be measured and appeal to reform-minded members of a very conservative society. This motion will offend even pro-reform Iranians.
13th August 2010: Andrew Brons has sent a letter to the editor of the Spenborough Guardian in reply to a particularly sneering column that one its journalists wrote about Nick Griffin MEP being turned away from the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
Those who see views with which they disagree as psychiatric conditions reveal more about themselves than they do about those they are attacking.
The article about Nick Griffin and the Palace Garden Party (29th July) tells us a great deal about Adam Wolstenholme's tenuous grasp of difficult concepts and also about his attitude to political dissent.
It would be tempting to see Mr. Wolstenholme's confusion between neuroses and psychoses simply as the unintended admission of somebody who got lost in the middle of a Teach Yourself Psychology book.
However, there is a more sinister side to this practice. Those of us who remember the Soviet Union will recall that political dissidents were routinely characterised as suffering from mental illnesses and incarcerated (above) in secure mental hospitals. Totalitarianism sees its own world view as incontrovertible truth and opposition as insanity.
Mr. Wolstenholme's article places him in appropriate, if not exactly good, company.
6th August 2010: Andrew Brons has written to the editor of the Daily Telegraph over an article written by Andrew Gilligan (above) entitled 'Our dangerous dalliance with radical Islam'.
I feel so sorry for poor Andrew Gilligan. He would so like to be treated as a serious journalist but he simply cannot be bothered to carry out the necessary research. He clearly thinks that making yet more unsubstantiated jibes at the British National Party will win him friends in high places. He might be right.
In his latest outburst (6th August) he compares Islamists – Muslims who either wish to replace democracy with an Islamic dictatorship or sympathise with terrorism – with the British National Party. The BNP does not wish to replace democracy but to promote it and extend it. The BNP does not advocate violence; it is the victim of violent attacks from the David Cameron-sponsored UAF. Furthermore, the BNP opposes aggressive wars against Muslim states that serve only to turn ordinary Muslims into violent Islamists.
At the recent General Election, all small parties were squeezed but the average vote per contested seat received by the BNP was slightly higher than that received by the media-promoted UKIP and much higher than that received by the Green Party.
If only Mr. Gilligan would take the trouble to investigate before reaching for his keyboard, he might achieve his ambition of becoming a third rate scribbler.
2nd August 2010: Darren Lumb of South Elmsall and a member of the BNP’s security team addressed those attending a barbeque about the origins of Yorkshire Day.
Most Yorkshire people believe that Yorkshire Day – 1st August – originated from 1974 when the Heatho-Walkerian reforms of local government tried to destroy Yorkshire as a geographical entity. Darren explained to the people assembled that the origins lay much further back to 1st August 1759, to the Battle of Minden, in the Seven Years War, between Great Britain and France.
"Minden was an iconic victory for the 'Minden Regiments' that advanced to battle with white roses in their hats that they had plucked from the hedgerows," said Darren.
"The attack, by the British, Hanoverians, Hessians and Prussians, was in order to repel attacks by the French cavalry and their allies, the Saxons".
The armies of Britain and its allies were commanded by Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick and the armies of France and its allies were commanded by Marshall, the Marquis de Contades. There were 41,000 officers and men on the British side compared with 51,000 on the French and allied side.
"Minden Day is full of symbolism for the British Army. The four infantry regiments and their successor celebrate Minden Day with parades and dinners, decorating their hats and their lapels with white roses as they advanced through the countryside on 31st July and 1st August 1759."
23rd July 2010: When I received my invitation to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party I kept the matter to myself and a small circle of colleagues and family members.
In these interviews I emphasised that I had been invited by the Palace; I had not asked the Palace to invite me. It was for the Queen to decide whom she wished to invite to such events and it was not for other politicians to criticise the fact that I had been invited, anymore than it would be appropriate for me to criticise the invitations extended to others.
When asked by one questioner about ‘the BNP’ being invited to the Palace, I emphasised that I was invited as an elected politician and not as a representative of a political party. I was asked by one questioner what I thought I would get out of the visit. I replied that I would get some cucumber sandwiches and a cup of tea – possibly two! However, I added that I thought that our political system would gain a lot from these visits by politicians from all parties (as well as the many non-political people who attend). By accepting these invitations, people are committing themselves to the two pillars of our political system: Parliamentary democracy and our constitutional monarchy, which must be a worthwhile achievement.
I was asked what I thought about the withdrawal of Nick Griffin’s invitation. I said that I had been told that it had been withdrawn on the ground that he had broken ‘protocol’ (apparently involving statements on his web-site and interviews that he had given). I said that we had received a piece of paper instructing people what they should wear and where they should park. We were also told not to take photographs or use mobile telephones. There was nothing in the instructions about giving interviews or refraining from giving interviews.
Nick was apparently ‘punished’ for breaking a rule that had not been announced until he had broken it! In one interview, after the garden party, I compared it to Jeremy Bentham’s description of case law as ‘dogs’ law’ – if you want to prevent a dog from misbehaving, you do not tell the dog, in advance, what it must do or refrain from doing; you wait until he does it and then you reprimand him! Bentham said that it was, “the law following the event”.
In another interview, I compared the decision with the words of the Red Queen* in Alice Through The Looking Glass: “He’s in prison now being punished: and the trial doesn’t even begin till next Wednesday and of course the crime comes last of all”. During the morning, Nick was told by the BBC (not the Palace) that his invitation had been rescinded. He was later told that this was because of interviews and his web-site. It was only much later in the day that he was told (several different versions of) the precise nature of his transgressions.
I said that the manner in which the decision to rescind the invitation was taken was completely inappropriate. If the content of his web-site had contravened some (unwritten and unannounced) rule, he should have been approached quietly and told the consequences of his failure to take down the offending content on his web-site. Instead, the decision was communicated to him by means of megaphone diplomacy through the BBC. I believe that the real decision was taken in 10 Downing Street. It must be remembered that the ‘organisation’ that has been lobbying for the withdrawal of the invitations is the U.A.F., an organisation devoted to violent attacks on BNP members, including a claw hammer attack on our members, Tony Ward in Leigh, Lancashire. The UAF is an organisation that is ‘sponsored’ by only one Conservative M.P. – David Cameron** – our current Prime Minister. The decision, ‘by the Palace’ to withdraw Nick’s invitation had the grubby finger marks of David Cameron all over it.
I have been asked by several interviewers about what I think of people who feel that the invitations to us were completely inappropriate because of our policies. I replied that the Labour Party (with Conservative support) had waged illegal wars that had resulted in the deaths of hundreds of our service personnel and hundreds of thousands of Muslims. This might lead me to think that invitations to Labour members would be inappropriate. However, it would be impertinent for me to tell the Queen not to invite people on this or any other ground. One interviewer sprang to the defence of the Labour Party by saying that at least it (the Labour Party) was inclusive. I replied that killing people did not seem to me to very ‘inclusive’ He said that at least it did not ‘discriminate’. I responded by saying, “Oh, so it’s all right to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, just so long as it does not discriminate!
Were people wincing and hiding at my presence at this event? No but nor were they applauding and seeking my autograph. Only a handful of people gave any indication that they had recognised me. They included two smiles and a couple of scrutinising examinations. The people immediately in front of us in the queue knew who were, simply by the presence of gaggle of photographers who took hundreds if not thousands of photographs. They were quick to point out that they did not share our political opinions but spoke politely nevertheless. The day showed that I neither enjoyed fame nor suffered notoriety. To the vast majority I was simply another anonymous person there.
What did we make of the event itself? It was in some ways rather low-key and unorganised though not disorganised! People were free to eat refreshments, catch glimpses of elusive royals or simply wander around the grounds. The visible security in the garden party itself was minimal, despite the presence of eight thousand guests. Why? People who are invited to events of this kind (including the only person on record to have his invitation withdrawn) are civilised people who know how to behave, so a few ageing Yeomen of the Guard and the same number of top-hatted ‘organisers’ are all that are necessary to keep order. I am sure that there were plenty of well-armed and trained personnel in reserve (or perhaps in plain clothes). However, the atmosphere was very relaxed and very English (or should I say British?).
I am pleased that I attended. Whilst I am not a fawning admirer of everything that the royal family does, I believe that a constitutional monarchy is preferable to a presidency held by a corrupt retired politician. I have now seen our Head of State, in person, which I feel is important, though I am not quite sure why.
The garden parties will continue to be important. However, the decision to exclude an invited guest for an offence that was not an offence when it was committed, have caused small but visible and irreparable damage to these otherwise splendid events and to the institution of constitutional monarchy.
*In these interviews, I attributed these words to the Red Queen when they should have been attributed to the White Queen (Chapter Five of Alice Through The Looking Glass).
** Cameron was a sponsor of the UAF when the attack on Tony Ward took place in 2009. He has been challenged several times to withdraw his sponsorship and has failed to reply.
23rd July 2010: This morning Andrew Brons MEP wrote the following letter to the editor of The Guardian:
I write in reply to your claims concerning my attendance at Buckingham Palace yesterday, in which you state that:
"In his leader's absence, Brons, the MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, cut a distinctly isolated figure among the clergy, civic leaders, members of the military and charity workers also attending the garden party, the last of three at the palace this summer. He had boasted on his website that he would be "welcomed at Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty the Queen" but found himself several rows back in the crowd lining the Queen's route towards the refreshment tent, with no chance of meeting her, let alone being welcomed. He spoke to no one except his daughter Emma. Brons told the Guardian: "The cucumber sandwiches were excellent. I don't blame the Queen for this. I think it's down to the politicians."
It is not true that I spoke to nobody apart from my daughter. We exchanged a few words with the people ahead of us in the queue. They knew who we were although they were quick to point out that they were not supporters of the BNP. We exchanged a few words with other people in the grounds. However, they probably did not know who I was and I did not know who they were. In fact most people seemed to talk only to people within their own circles or people whom they recognised. Only a very small number of people gave any indication that they recognised me.
The article states that I said on my web-site that I thought that I was going to be,"welcomed at Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty the Queen". These words were put on my website without my knowledge and consent and as soon as I read them I arranged for them to be removed and I have never suggested here or anywhere else that I would be welcomed by or have any access to the Queen. It was made quite clear that the Queen would meet only very carefully selected people and I have never been naive enough to think that I would be one of them. Indeed I believe that it is more appropriate for the Queen to confine her attention to those who have no political involvement.
3rd June 2010: Andrew Brons addressed a gathering of Hungarian Nationalists outside the European Parliament. They were there to present a petition to the European Parliament objecting to the Treaty of Trianon which was signed ninety years ago on 4th June.
The Treaty transferred large parts of Hungary to neighbouring countries including Slovakia, Romania and Serbia. The protest was also against the treatment of Hungarians in Slovakia and Romania.
This is what Andrew said:
" People in Central and Eastern Europe understand the difference between Nationality and Citizenship - a difference that most people (but not Nationalists) in Western Europe have forgotten.
"The Treaty of Trianon was clearly drafted by people in the West who thought that it was acceptable to change national boundaries and thereby transfer people to another state and they would automatically become Romanians or Slovaks.
"They did not; they were Hungarians before the change and they remained Hungarians. They are Hungarians to this day.
"If I were to move voluntarily to France, it would be reasonable for the French to insist that I spoke French. However, if people are moved from one state to another involuntarily, they are entitled to keep their language and traditions.
"State boundaries should ideally be based on national boundaries and it is to be hoped that they will be. However, in the meanwhile, Hungarians living in neighbouring countries such as Romania and Slovakia must have their ancestral, cultural and linguistic heritage respected.
"Even the liberals from the European Parliament recognise that linguistic minorities have rights. We, as Nationalists, really understand your position. I hope that you will achieve your aims in the end."