Day 8 :Wednesday 25th January
Day 8 : Wednesday 25th January
While Nick is in the witness stand I've been left with the task of writing the Blog. I must say I've been overwhelmed by the support both myself and Nick have received. Court 8 has become a regular stop on the internal mail round of the court as letters and postcards expressing support for us have come in every morning. It's a good feeling to walk into the dock and have a pile of letters of support to greet you, and I'd like to thank everyone who has shown us support through this trial, it really has made all the difference.
Yesterday was definitely one of the hardest things I've ever been through. Simply giving evidence is hard enough, but cross examination is incredibly emotionally and mentally draining. The hardest thing about being cross-examined is that every question fired at you is deliberately placed to catch you out, and any words used in your answer can be taken out of context and brutally twisted against you. What's more, as soon as I reached the witness stand I soon realised that the prosecution had changed their stance on my speeches. At the beginning of the case they assured the Jury that the speeches must be taken in their totality, but it soon emerged that Mr. Jameson was not going to view my speeches in their totality, but instead cherry pick what he felt to be the best bits. These sections, when taken out of context of the whole speech, would be twisted and made to sound far worse because of course they were not being qualified by the rest of speech.
As the cross examination moved back and forth and got into full swing I soon realised just how much was riding on my shoulders. As I debated with Mr. Jameson he conceded many points, however for every point he conceded he was able to move on swiftly, for losing a point he stood to lose nothing. In fact he stands to lose nothing at all in this case, win or lose he'll walk away with his freedom and no doubt be financially better off. However for losing just one point, for one poor answer, for one comment or out of context quote, I could well end up losing my freedom. This system certainly places the defendant fighting an incredible uphill battle. I cannot say how I think I fared against Mr. Jameson, simply because I only know how I felt during the cross examination, anyone looking for an account would be best asking someone who was in the public gallery. However I can say I was never lost for words and there was not a single question put before me that I could not answer.
In retrospect though, after viewing the press coverage on the news and in reading articles in the papers about my cross examination, if the worst thing that people can raise is that I wore a pink tie, I can't really have said too much wrong.
We were initially meant to be in court at 11a.m this morning, however we were again delayed until around 11.15 am for counsel to view video evidence relating to Nick's case. The Judge enters the court at around 11.30 am and we finally begin with more legal arguments. The Jury eventually enter the court at 12.35 am and the Judge states that we can finally get on with the case, however follows his opening comment with the fact that we won't be in court at all tomorrow as the prosecutor has a prior engagement in the appeal court.
Swearing the oath
Tim King finally calls Nick to the witness stand and Nick swears on the Bible. Mr. King begins to lead Nick into his evidence running through his education at Cambridge University. Nick begins by stating he did not intend to use words that may stir up racial hatred and that he did not believe he used language that could have stirred up racial hatred. Nick then tells the court that the police have stated that there was no disorder at the meetings in question, or following them. He goes on to say the police actually interviewed him on five of the speeches he had made, not just the two on which he was charged for in April.
Nick talks of a speech he made at Shelf Village Hall which he was not charged for. In the speech he talked of the racist murder of an elderly Asian gentleman in London. In the speech he says that the person responsible for the attack deserves to hang, for which he receives a spontaneous round of applause. This is the only point in his police interview where he breaks the 'No Comment' interview and states "There's no hate in this audience, and none in me".
Nick then goes on to talk about why the BNP holds private meetings and why we don't advertise our meetings. He describes the pressure we are under from both the Establishment and the far left. He talks further about the audience and the fact that some members will travel to different meetings all over the area, whereas some will only go to their local branch meeting.
The questioning soon moves onto Nick's first speech, the meeting at the Reservoir Tavern in Keighley. He talks of how a young mother comes to the meeting to talk to him about what was happening to her daughter, she was being groomed by Muslim males. Nick talks of the problem of grooming and places the blame at the foot of the Muslim community specifically, not the Asian community as a whole. Nick is quoted as saying that grooming is taking place in Keighley because their "good book tells them so" because the Koran contains verses that permit, even encourage such things. Nick doesn't shrink away from a single word he said on that night, he boldly states the Islam is a wicked and vicious faith and he stands by his comments and is more than willing to explain this.
Religion and faith
The afternoon session begins again at 2 pm. Nick Griffin says he is not attacking the people who follow Islam, but the religion itself. It's not the case where individuals have joined a small sect or cult and are aware of all its laws and regulations, but a religion such as Islam is something that most of its followers are born into, and have little knowledge of all of its laws. He goes onto say that he doesn't label all Asians as Muslims and draws a very clear distinction between Muslims and Asians. Nick points out his friendship with Rajinder Singh, and tells of how he learned more about the differences between different groups within the Asian community. In fact it is the media, he claims, who blame problems such as grooming on the Asian community as a whole, whereas he lays these problems at the door of the actual culprits - Muslims.
Nick cites his awakening to the problems of Islam as being related to the events in Oldham surrounding the 2001 general election. At first he thought the problem was due to Asians in general. Both whites and afro-Caribbeans, he mentions, were being attacked. When his phone number was posted on a far left website he began receiving death threats, these though were from Asian Muslims, not simply Asians. Things they said, time and time again, caused him to begin looking into Islam itself rather than just looking at it as an 'Asian' problem. When speaking of his youth in the Nationalist movement he talks of his feelings toward race, and then speaks of how he later realised it wasn’t race that was the problem. Although, he states, he still disagrees with multi-racialism and race mixing for the reason that it destroys the identity and culture of both races whenever it happens. In fact it is culture that is the problem, specifically Islam, at the centre of the vast majority of multi-cultural problems and unrest all over the world.
Rajinder Singh is spoken of by Nick as a good friend, the Jury is told that Rajinder is in court today supporting us. Rajinder first contacted Nick after his famous appearance on Newsnight, Rajinder claimed that Nick was the only politician in Britain telling the truth on this matter. Nick goes on to say that he purchased a copy of the Koran and studied it extensively.
When questioned on using the term 'Multi-racial hell hole' he qualifies it by stating that multi-cultural Britain is a disaster. He says a homogeneous society is far more productive and stable. But although he hates this multi-cultural society he does not hate members of the ethnic minorities, but more to the point he hates the Establishment who brought this about. He goes on to say, hatred can only be fostered by stifling debate on the issue, and in fact the British National Party eases tension by offering people a legitimate political vehicle through which they can channel their anger through legal political debate and activity, which is in essence the key to a democracy.
Tim then asks what Nick meant when he spoke of the "last white man in Britain". Nick talks about the problem of whites becoming a minority in Britain and says that it is a terrible thing for the indigenous population to become a minority in their own country. Nick, in his speech, says there is "no knight in shining armour coming to slay the Islamic dragon". By this, he says, he means that people will have to build a political movement to stop this 'dragon'. He used the term 'dragon' as that powerful summons up the threat posed by Islam to western society, it is simply a way of articulating this problem in a way people would understand. Then he follows with this statement by talking of building a "political movement" to solve the problem through a legal and democratic process.
Position of love
Nick then attacks the Establishment for encouraging people of different cultures and races to 'mongrelise' themselves out of existence. This he says is a terrible thing as all cultures and races then lose their identity. He does not however blame those of other cultures and is quick to point out this isn't a position of hate, but one of love or his own culture and race and respect for that of other races and cultures.
When using the term "Paki street thug" Nick says he was referring to a particular section of the society. But, he says, this is no different to the negative use of the term 'hoodie' as to describe white people who act like thugs, similar to the use of the term 'white trash', it does not describe all whites. Much in the same way that "paki street thug" does not describe all Muslims, let alone all Asians. Nick also points out that 'paki' is a term used not only by whites, but also by certain sections of the Asian community, Pakistanis included. He goes on to say it is a comment frequently used by the working class in places like Keighley and is simply part of the local dialect.
Nick says in all the speeches, both his own and those of mine, hate was not being disseminated. But he accepts that hate was sometimes already present in those audiences, and that we were in fact calming this hatred by offering a legitimate political solution - in effect turning the hate of hopelessness into the hope of political change. He says we both consistently point out the fact that we blame the politicians who have allowed this to happen, not the ethnic minorities. He talks sometimes having seen young men coming to BNP meetings full of hatred, yet months later they are different people and their hatred had evaporated once they have become involved in the political solution and can see at least a chance of change occurring. He says the British National Party is the only party expressing these legitimate concerns. In his speech he had pointed out that it is no different to the way the early Labour party stood up against the mill owners for the rights of the worker.
He talks of Islamic aggression against Sikhs and states that Sikhs are Asians, but have been among the biggest victims of Islamic terror over the years. You can contrast this with Islam, which has nothing whatsoever to do with race, you see Muslims of all colours, black, white and brown. This goes hand in hand with Nick's assertion in his speech that the problems in Keighley are cultural and religious problems.
The Morley speech
At 3 pm we move onto Nick's second speech which took place at Morley Town Hall.
Nick begins by saying that he is speaking on a different topic, because he wants to make a different point as many people attending that meeting will have heard the previous kind of speech. He talks of Stephen Lawrence and the fact that 10 years after his death the media are still giving the story front page publicity and that his death is simply being used to further the goals of a left-wing media. On this particular day Nick says this over the top coverage or 'Stephen Lawrence Mania', as he calls, it was particularly sickening. He wasn't attacking Stephen Lawrence, but the mass media and the national newspapers which cover up the deaths of young white boys murdered in proven racist incidents. He particularly makes note of the bias from the BBC.
Nick talks of how he spoke to people who knew Stephen Lawrence, people who went to school with him, their families and people who lived in the area. Nick even goes on to say that Stephen Lawrence was even talked of by rank and file members of the Metropolitan police who had stated that he died at the hands of another black man over drugs. Stephen was known in the area for bullying and 'taxing' other youths. He says he heard this from a trustworthy source.
Gavin Hopley murder
When questioned on the death of Gavin Hopley he tells of how he heard of the case, first from local gossip and later on in a report in the Oldham Evening Chronicle. Gavin was initially attacked in Glodwick, a Muslim area of the town ("because," he says "the West Indians who lived there before have been ethnically cleansed from the area) before dying a week later when his life support machine was turned off. He talks of a conversation relayed to him by Mick Treacy, a nurse at his bedside had said, "he wasn't murdered he was butchered". He was chased into Glodwick at 2 am on a Saturday morning when looking for a taxi and was set about by a gang of young thugs from the predominantly Muslim area, he was then beaten for a long period of time, until a "good-hearted and brave" Muslim lady came out of her home and saw what was happening and called an ambulance.
Next up is the case of Sean Whyte and Nick talks of the sources of his information on the case, which was initially local people connected to our branch. He recounts the horrorific case and said when the not guilty verdict was given at the case the police announced the case was closed, no further suspects were to be sought. Nick speaks of BNP members who went to the trial, yet the coverage of the case was ignoring in the national media and only snippits of information were put forward in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph. His aim, he tells the court, was to whip up righteous anger over this censorship against the Establishment in this speech, to encourage political activity and motivate activists.
The whole of this speech is based around media inequality. Nick comes on to the case of Lee Martin, the young soldier who came home from Iraq and was subsequently kicked to death by Muslims. He states that is the kind of human interest story you would think the media would love, a soldier come back from Iraq and is killed by the kind of Muslim fundamentalists he has just been fighting overseas. Yet the story received no national media publicity.
Kriss Donald murder
Nick is then brought onto the section of his speech where he talks of Kriss Donald. He describes the murder as the most brutal and sadistic murder he has ever heard of taking place in this country, let alone racist murder. Yet the only coverage it received was in a local Scottish papers, with virtually nothing in the national media. Nick says he was not even talking of the case in "graphic detail" as the prosecution allege; he in fact censored this because he heard, from a close relative of the victim in person, Kriss was also castrated and had his eyes gouged out before he died. He says he talks of the case in no more graphic detail than the detail in which the death of Anthony Walker was described in the press. He boldly states that it is the journalists sat behind him who have covered up murders like those of Kriss Donald who should be in the dock.
It is later quoted that Nick stated during the speech that Stephen Lawrence's death was indeed a tradegy, but something that has been overplayed. He even states that although he believed him to be a drug dealer he didn't deserve to die that way, but surely the death by one single stab wound should be less media worthy than the grotesque torture and death of Kriss Donald?
Nick points out that in the Macpherson report that a racist attack is a racist attack if any person involved in the incident or witness to it perceives it to be so. Thus when he is speaking of Scott Pritchard in Sunderland it should have been classed as a racist attack as that is what the local community in the area - and his family - classed it as. He berates the CPS and police for ignoring their own rules. Nick states his motivate is create debate to prevent those problems growing in our society. He describes Britain as a tinder box, not because he wants to cause it to explode, but because he in fact wants to defuse it.
Tim King then points out that in this particular speech Nick accurately predicts the terrorist attacks in London in July of 2005. Nick accurately points out not only the attacks but who the people were who would carry them out. He states that this prediction came about from his studies of Islam, he said it is blatantly obvious what was going to happen when you have seen this happen all over the world the same thing was bound to happen here. In the speech Nick asserts that the Establishment are trying to keep the lid on the 'pressure cooker'. Nick states that he does not want to blow the lid off the pressure cooker, but wants to defuse this by legal political activity. The backlash is coming he states, but asserts he wants it to be political. The British National Party are there to provide this political outlet to prevent a violent backlash.
Nick says the if there ever was racial violence on a national scale, then the Home Secretary would simply lock up and intern leading members of the BNP, so violence is the last thing we want. He goes onto say that if violence ever did erupt, then we would get the blame, hence all we want is the right to peacefully build a political alternative.At 4.07 pm the court adjourns until Friday. Three TV cameras are waiting for us as we leave the court. Then we're swept to the cars by the security team and it's the end of another day.