The daily Blog of Nick Griffin and Mark Collett who are on trial in England. They both face up to seven years imprisonment for warning fellow countrymen of the dangers of uncontrolled immigration and the growing threat of militant Islam across Britain and Europe.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Court case blog – end of chapter one!
Court case blog – end of chapter one!
My apologies for the long delay in writing this ‘final’ piece to wrap up the coverage of the case that ended nearly a week ago.
A lot has happened since then. First, there was a rush of TV and radio appearances organised for me and our press officer, something which we spent considerable time organising only to have virtually all of them ‘pulled’ at the last minute when the broadcasters’ legal departments warned them that the CPS decision to go for a retrial made any interviews with BNP spokesmen about the case potentially sub judice.
Curious that, for it doesn’t seem to have stopped every anti-British scribbler in the mainstream media from having a pop at us, in a tirade of hate that still hasn’t stopped. Just this afternoon, the vicar from Abu Hamza’s area was on Radio Five Live spouting his view that the things I said were worse than anything Mr Hook came out with. Do they breed these creatures on some special liberal-farm?
Then there was a backlog of urgent internal organisational work to be done. Incidentally, ‘backlog’ is a splendid old English word. It was used in mediaeval times to describe the undone work that built up in a big household while the yule log was burning on the great hearth. The servants were relieved of many of their normal duties while it blazed away during the Christmas holiday, so often they would soak it in water before hauling it to the fireplace in order to get extra time off. The only trouble, of course, was that they had to do the work that had built up – the backlog - once the last piece of it had been burnt away. The word skipped the Atlantic with English settlers in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and then died out on our side of the Pond, only to be reintroduced via American business English in the 20th century.
The work continues
Anyway, there was certainly a backlog to be sorted out, and this work continues. Then there was the time I just had to spend with my family, for whom the trial was probably even harder than it was for me (Mark tells me he feels the same). So I’ve been cooking, trying out a few new recipes, walking, being with them and just lazing around. And I make no apologies for doing so.
So back to the tail end of the case – what a day that was. In some ways waiting for a verdict once the jury have retired is a terrible anti-climax. Released from the dock, but bailed to stay within the confines of the court, all you can do is sit around in the canteen (hello to any of the smashing dinner ladies there who happen to be reading this – thanks for all your kindness) and wait. And wait. And wait.
We had a false alarm near the end of the first day, when we were called in to be discharged for the night so early that everyone thought it was actually for a verdict. This would almost certainly have been a ‘not guilty’ result, as not enough time had passed for each charge to be looked at it detail. Then we had another on the final day.
Being called back into court like that is really hard going on families and supporters, and, for Mark and I, the adrenaline sets the heart going wildly. It’s not fear, because we’re quite willing to go to prison if that’s what fate demands, but the tension is indescribable.
As the clock ticked away on the second day of the jury being out, it began to look as though we’d have to wait another night. We’d already decided that such a development would probably indicate a split jury that couldn’t agree a verdict at all (always the most likely result, in our view, on account of the highly political nature of the case), whereas a verdict on this second day would be more likely to be a result, one way or the other.
We were called back into court just after lunch for what we assumed would be simply for the judge to tell the jury that he would accept a majority verdict, only to learn that they had reached a verdict on at least some of the charges. Mark and I stand as the foreman of the jury (Mr. Liberal-Note-Taking-Man., as predicted) also stands to deliver the verdicts.
On a number of the charges, no verdict, but on the four charges arising from two of Mark’s speeches, they have unanimous verdicts! “We find the defendant .... not guilty”. There is a huge sigh of relief from the public gallery each time the sentence is repeated, four times in all. Perhaps Mr. Liberal-Note-Taking-Man isn’t so liberal after all? Even the Muslim has agreed that Mark is innocent on half of the charges thrown against him by the New Labour-run CPS.
Then, having instructed the jury that he will now accept majority verdicts of 10-1, the judge sends them, and us, out again.
Just as the afternoon of waiting draws to a close, we are called back once more. Surely this is to send us all home for the night? But no, they have a majority verdict on one of us. Charges 11 and 12, this is my MorleyTown Hall speech. Given the fact that my other speech was all about Islam, and this is about the clearly ‘racial’ problem of media bias against the white victims of racist murder, I had all along regarded this short speech as being the only one of the two which could even be considered as in possible breach of the thoroughly bad law under which we had been hauled before the court.
The first of the pair of charges – intent to incite racial hatred – is deal with first. “We find the defendant .... not guilty.” That’s really no surprise, as to prove ‘intent’ is well nigh impossible and it would have been a most perverse decision in the light of all the evidence we had presented in court, not least by continual insistence to the audience on the night that such injustices had to be remedied through peaceful political action.
Then, on the lesser offence of ‘likelihood’ – “We find the defendant,” perhaps there is no delay here except in my head, but it seems like an age “... not guilty.” I hear the response from my family just a few feet away behind the smoked glass screen. It would be easy to cry.
It’s not just that the 10-1 verdict in my favour destroys that charge, it’s what it tells us about the frame of mind of the jury. How on earth can a group of 11 people who have already found unanimously in Mark’s favour on half of the charges against him, and 10-1 in my favour in half of the charges against me, go on to do the 180% turn that would be required to convict us on the remaining counts?
So what of the other charges? The judge asks the foreman if there is any possibility of them reaching verdicts on the remaining charges? On the intent ones? “No.” On the likelihood ones? “Very little.”
The judge’s ears prick up and he explores the difference in response. “Would more time allow you to reach a verdict? Is there a chance of a verdict” The foreman glances at his fellow jury members and shakes his head, “No.”
That’s it! A hung jury. This means that the remains of the case is about to collapse. I suspect that many of those in the public gallery don’t realise this yet. The judge confirms it, discharges the jury, and tells Mark and I that we are free to go. A spontaneous cheer from the public gallery infuriates the judge. I understand his position , and his need to maintain the dignity of his court and his office – he must see some real low-life trash through this place, complete with irredeemably scummy relatives. But this is different, and everyone immediately calms down.
Jameson is on his feet, telling the judge that the CPS have already decided to apply to the Attorney-General for a retrial in the outstanding charges. Mr. Justice Norman Jones is, however – as I wrote some time ago – a wise old owl, and tries to give the CPS time for cooler heads to prevail. Especially as the not guilty verdict against me has only just been announced, there is no possibility that the question of what to do now can have been properly thought through.
He suggests accordingly that the question can be dealt with ‘administratively’ (in other words by the judge and the lawyers, and without the Griffin/Collett showtrial media circus) at some stage in the following week.
Mark and I round the smoked glass screen that divides the room. We’re back with the free men, women and children who are there to support us, and out of the realm of ‘crime’ and punishment. Our lawyers have been fantastic, but they’re welcome to that world in my opinion.
Hugs all round. What a feeling. The media jackal pack look glum, but not as glum as the three cops who helped initiate the case. They’ve been sitting near the press throughout the case, gradually looking more and more depressed. That should be tinged with shame as well; they’ve wasted thousands of man hours and hundreds of thousands of pounds on this persecution.
We go downstairs to the foyer. Outside we can see to the left the wildy waving flags of our loyal crowd of supporters. And a bank of TV cameras and still photographers like I’ve never seen before. This is going to be wild!
We come out of the doors, I grab Mark’s hand and raise our twinned hands in victory. There are ‘V’ signs everywhere. When I first used this back in 2001 in Oldham there was a predictable whine from a few old hardliners about using the symbol popularised by Churchill. That’s not a moan I’ve heard for some time now. I think all but the most obtuse and or moronic Hollywood Nazi clowns have finally grasped the massively powerful symbolic value this salute has with the older generation, and the extent to which we have now almost made it ours (in this country at least).
As the parallels grow between the West’s pathetic surrender to Islamic extremism (typified this week by the British media’s refusal to reprint those cartoons), and the long policy of appeasement of Nazi and Bolshevik ambitions by an earlier generation of our leaders, the Churchill myth becomes more and more important to us.
The actual history of those times, the details of gambling debts and unjust treaties and all the rest of it are irrelevant, it’s the symbolism and the psychology that counts. Here is a weapon we can use to help our people survive and regain their freedom. As someone once said: “Whatever it takes”!
Our crowd is ecstatic. “Freedom, freedom, freedom” rings out across the precinct. The flash bulb barrage matches the wild mood. A tiny demoralised handful of far-left/Islamic extremists behind the police cordon add a touch of comedy before slinking away. Mark and I and our families are handed huge bouquets of red-white-and-blue flowers, then we’re with our supporters. More hugs and handshakes. Friends who have stood so loyally in the bitter cold day after day have tears streaming down their faces, and no-one gives a damn.
The media have to wait for a bit, but then we head down to where they are pressing against a police cordon and give them a few off the cuff soundbites. I think everyone in Britain saw them played over and over on all the TV news broadcasts (“extraordinary scenes outside Leeds Crown Court” was how one of them summed it all up) so I won’t repeat them here. But we know from the public response since that my words, and our ordeal, struck a deep, deep chord with a British public who have thought for years that no-one had the courage to stand up and say in public what so many millions feel in private.
Some of my message is almost drowned out by the cheering crowd. This trial has seen another first – day after day, the noisy, ugly, hate-filled ranks of the far-left and their Islamist allies have been outnumbered by good-humoured, thoroughly normal, British patriots demonstrating in support of freedom.
Sky TV, ITN, Channel 4, Channel 5. They all want, and get, their slice of the media action. The BBC ask if they can have a few words? What a nerve! This whole trial has been the result of their attempt to put us in prison. But hell yes, we’re in a generous mood this evening, and I want to rub their noses in it, so I even do a bit for the Blatant Bias Corporation. Some of this footage, one can sense at once, is iconic. We’ve just made the leap to a new level in British politics.
And then, flanked by our “burly minders/unsung heroes/shaven headed thugs/essential lifesavers in the post Van Gogh world” (delete as applicable), we head for the people carriers and we’re away.
It’s been breath-taking. And, being followed by the extraordinary series of events arising from the Danish cartoon frenzy, it has transformed our standing among many millions of our people. If only we had European Elections this June, we’d walk them. The ‘Kilroy factor’ – being seen by the public as the people the liberal Establishment most hate – is now with us. Just as present, the BNP in general, and Mark Collett and Nick Griffin in particular, are icons for millions whose long-suppressed and growing anger at the undemocratic transformation of our entire society is now approaching boiling point.
Future of Europe
Make no mistake, other stories will come up which put Islam/multi-culturalism and the destruction of the West on the backburner again for a while from time to time. But there will come a time, perhaps sooner than anyone thinks, when those closely related set of questions about the future of the whole of Europe will finally have to be decided. And when that time comes, in Britain at least, the remarkable ‘coincidence’ of the Griffin/Collett and Abu Hamza trials, and the trouble caused by some very mild cartoons published in a quiet little country on the other side of the North Sea, will re-emerge as powerful factors in the mind of the British people as they finally give their verdict on what the liberals, the Tory traitors and the left-wing social engineers have done to our poor, poor country.
Until then, we need everyone who has followed this blog to make up your minds, right now, to get involved in some way and to help us to build the political machine that we will need to mobilise the resistance of our people along constructive and effective channels. We have, for a start, only a couple of months in which to improve our capability to take advantage of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Charge of the Stupid Brigade decision to prosecute us all over again.
They are about, yet again, to ignore the famous First Law of Holes (“when in a hole, stop digging.”) Come along and help us to use this stupidity to bury them.
Despite the lies from the BBC and a few other media outlets there is NO definite retrial; the decision whether a retrial can go ahead can be made only after careful consideration of legal aspects by the CPS, defence and the trial's presiding judge.
The Free Speech Two walked out of Leeds Crown Court earlier this afternoon as free men.
Both Mark Collett and Nick Griffin were found NOT GUILTY on half the charges with a hung jury on the remainder.
Mark Collett faced a total of 8 charges of using words and behaviour likely to incite racial hatred. He was found NOT GUILTY on four charges unanimously. The jury could not agree a majority verdict on the other four charges leading the judge to dismiss the charges.
Nick Griffin faced a total of 4 similar charges of using words and behaviour likely to incite racial hatred. He was found NOT GUILTY on two charges unanimously. The jury could not agree a majority verdict on the other two charges and likewise the judge acquitted Mr. Griffin.
The Crown Prosecution Service could order a retrial but the New Labour appointees face a dilemma. Could they afford the extra cost of another trial which to even the most ardent critic of the BNP would seem like State persecution?
Mark and Nick are the heroes of free speech lovers across the land and we wish them a truly happy celebration this evening.
Due to start at 10 a.m. Judge arrives at 10.05 a.m. Mr King is held up on the motorway, so Mark's junior, the very able and darkly humourous Mr Nutter, is standing in as a formality to represent my interests. More cards and letter for both me and Mark, once again, many thanks.
One of them is a poem, aparently by someone who has been in court. It's really rather good:
Beneath the lion and unicorn Of HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE The theatre stands in readiness Our British justice to dispense.
The Free Speech Two stand resolute, The victims in a war of words, Indicted for sincerity, Called to account in Counts absurd.
Public displays of unjust laws, Designed to silence all debate And quieten those who would speak out Against a multicultural state.
The battle rages long and hard, No quarter do The Two concede. They firmly to the truth adhere; For Freedom's cause they intercede.
The world is largely unaware Of selfless two-fold sacrifice By those who see with seers' sight The politicians' artifice.
But those who follow, hearts inspired With pride, at honest eloquence The Free Speech Two displayed, with such Victorious magnificence,
Will cause the fruits of courage, rare Within this land, so lost and lorn, To grow with greater vigour there And bring a braver, brighter morn.
Thank you, 'Britannia'.
[Note to overseas readers, the French motto in bold means 'Evil Be To He Who Thinks Evil of It'. It, together with the lion and the unicorn, grace the Royal Crest which adorns the wall behind the judge].
The jury file back in at 10.08 and the judge explains why my counsel are absent at present. He then turns to Mark's fourth speech.
The judge points out that the Abu Qatada to whom Mark refers in the course of his speech when he talks about asylum seekers including terrorists, is the same man shown on a DVD clip included in my defence. This had shown clearly that Qatada was an extremist, stirring up trouble, and that he was an asylum seeker funded by the British taxpayer. The same is true of Abu Hamza.
Quite a bit of time is spent on comments Mark had made about a once-pretty young white girl and the "Asian/asylum seeker" who called at her house and who he took - on pure experience knowing the area - to be a pusher.
The judge tells the jury that it would be unfair to set much store by an unfinished essay that Mark had written at the age of 19, which the prosecution had provided as evidence of his intentions and state of mind. "Especially in politics, people change their minds, and he is now a man of 24".
He reminds the jury of how Mark had said that, living and working politically in working class Leeds, he sees things that wealthy liberal enthusiasts of multi-culturalism don't see.
So far the summing up is very fair, he stresses again that if Mark's evidence makes them have doubts about whether the prosecution claims are correct, then they should not convict.
Two whole pages of the speech that follow are clearly political, involving criticisms of our political opponents. These are important, says the judge. "To what extent do they colour the rest of the speech, and water it down?"
Mr King QC arrives at 10.30 a.m., just as the judge is telling the jury that the Attorney-General brings prosecutions not as a Minister of the government but as a law officer. "There is no reason to believe that he did not carry out his duties properly in this case." Of course not, he's an active Labour party supporter and a friend of the Blairs, and we know that makes him an honest and trustworthy chap.
He turns to deal with my speeches.
He runs through my general defence, and gives due weight to the applause in the Shelf meeting when I spoke of the wickedness of the people who racially murdered an elderly Asian. Again, it's all fair at present.
He moves on to review my Keighley speech (incidentally, for those readers who have now seen it online, I can say that, if I am at liberty at the end of this, I will get posted up my defence material on how I formed what may at first sight seem to be a very harsh judgement of Islam).
He deals at length with my description of how 'grooming' occurs, and how I said that the problem was continuing. Next time, if there is one, however, we need to ensure that the full details of the process, right to the end when girls are either gang-raped or got hooked on hard drugs (often by being given what they think is an ordinary cannabis joint which is in fact spiked with crack cocaine) is explained properly. It is deeply shocking and, because we weren't allowed to show the Edge of the City documentary, the jury still don't really have a full picture of what it involves.
Talking of my references to the Koran he points out that the page copies I have provided are marked, so it is easy to see what I am referring to. In discussing the Crown claim that when I say 'Muslims' I really mean 'Asians', to my mind he gives rather more weight to it than to my arguments to the contrary.
He moves on to what he describes as 'the kernel of Mr Griffin's defence': "In attacking the Muslim faith I do not attack Asians. Many Asians are not Muslims, indeed a friend of mine, Mr Singh, is a Sikh, an Asian, who helped me form my views on this issue."
It is now 10.54, I was right to think this would take longer than an hour today. He goes through at length what I had to say about how I formed my views on this subject. The jury are taken through what I had to say in significant detail. He's still having trouble with the name 'Qatada'.
It was clearly a mistake not to fight harder to stress the material I came across in my studies of Islam which convinced me that it is inherently 'extreme', fundamentalist and dangerous, as the impression can all too easily be gained from this review that it's only obvious fanatics like Qatada and Hamza who are dangerous. This can be taken to suggest that it is unfair to tar the whole religion with their brush. Here is something else that, in the light of the way my views have not been adequately presented in this trial, will have to be put right if we get a hung jury and a retrial.
My references to our becoming an oppressed minority in our own land again brings the judge to refer to how the official figures have been interpreted by demographers to show that this is on course to happen sometime between 2060 and 2100. This is the great unspoken issue in the whole of British politics - indeed in the political discourse of the entire Western world. Our raising it is, in many ways, the core reason for us being in the dock.
Even my rhetorical flourish about 'killing the Islamic dragon' which was shown on BBC is an exhortation to get involved politically, he reminds them the evidence showed, and goes on to remind them of my exchanges with Mr King, including a repetition of my warning that "Within decades Western societies have to decide whether to retain their standards or to become Islamic republics", that I believe that Islam is a menace, a metaphorical 'dragon'.
Although this is all fair enough, I'm not sure I really see the point of it. Line after line is analysed, both in favour of the prosecution and of the defence. Why not just get the jury to look at the speech once more and leave it to their judgement?
He reminds the jury of how I described a 'Paki street thug' as a specific type of young man from the Muslim community, "they swagger .... and use the word 'innit' at the end of every sentence." The 'Paki' extracts from Edge of the City are also referred to, as these showed very clearly that the word is perfectly normal and non-pejorative in places like Keighley. In the end, he tells the jury, "it's for you to decide." What a shame we weren't allowed to show the whole programme.
Yes, much of what he is saying is very fair. He reads a big chunk of my evidence as to how I've seen young men come to meetings clearly feeling hate, but how, after they've got involved, they come to understand that the problem is political and needs a political solution, and how when I see them a few months later "the hatred has evaporated." I think this is a very important point, and I hope it's taken on board. The trouble is not what Justice Norman Stone is saying at the moment, but that he may be going on so long that the jury might be switching off.
Liberal note-taking man is still taking notes, and is now wearing a suit and tie - a clear indication he wants to be elected jury foreman. It will either be him or the Tory-looking lady.
When he moves over pages which are not 'sensitive', the judge reminds the jury that they must still be borne in mind as part of the overall picture.
At the end of the speech the judge yet again tells them to look at it as a whole, and also take into account what I've said in the court, and the documents I've put before them.
The final speech was the one at MorleyTown Hall on 5th May, very close to the election.
Next time, if it arises, we'll have to provide the photograph that shows that Stephen Lawrence's black power salute has been shoved down the media memory hole. It very powerfully illustrates the media bias. Imagine, for example, if one of the white lads whose ignored murders we decry had been photographed giving a Nazi salute? The media or the prosecution in a case like this would immediately use the picture to suggest that they deserved to die, or at least probably brought racial violence upon themselves. As always, it's one law for the 'ethnics' and one for the whites.
This speech, he reminds the jury, was described by me as an attack on the press.
Inevitably we revisit the Stephen Lawrence issue, before moving on to review what I said about several white victims. Gavin Hopley is the first. I think back to a few days ago, and my livid anger when the prosecutor suggested to me that in this case 'justice has been done' because someone had been jailed for riotous behaviour. Swine.
Sean Whyte. Again, I suspect that Mr Jameson and Co really don't believe that the killers of victims like this do indeed swagger the streets and boast and intimidate both the victims' families and other people in the community. I wish I had had the chance to tell them how 'krypto' have become a slang verb in Pollockshields, Glasgow - Krypto was the nick-name of Kriss Donald, and to this day young whites are threatened by 'Paki street thugs' in the area "Do you want to be kryptoed?" The joys of diversity!
At least the disparity in media coverage seems to be coming out today, better so far on this than yesterday.
The judge loses his thread and stumbles slightly more in my material than in Mark's. I fear this is an indication of the fact that, even when slowing down to give evidence, I talk too fast.
The fact that a statement from Kriss Donald's mother saying she didn't want the murder flagged up as a racial killing appeared in the Scottish papers is used to case doubt on my evidence about having met a member of his family and family friends. Having done so, however, he does point out that I might have met someone other than Kriss' mother. Precisely.
Part of my speech about the murder of Scott Pritchard in Sunderland included a piece of irony. Unfortunately, despite my having pointed out the actual meaning of what I said during my evidence, the judge misses the point. It's only a small one, but it does totally undermine my explanation of this point.
This speech did, in substantial part, he says, deal with more political issues, take these pages into account.
My 7/7 and 21/7 prophesies are read out yet again, as is my point that the eventual backlash could and should be political and peaceful, through the ballot box, but that if the BNP is persecuted and suppressed so that this option ceases to be available, the result is likely to be violence.
It's amazing how the liberal political and media elites in particular readily concede this point when explaining what went wrong in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, leading to thirty years of horror, but when it comes to mainland Britain in 2006, they really do seem blind to the dangers inherent in their repeated attempts to suppress peaceful political involvement and solutions.
He says that my bundle includes not just the Koran but also material from writers 'antagonistic to Islam'. This is a reasonable analysis from what he has heard, but only because he earlier in the case wouldn't allow me enough time to explain my position in full, including the fact that authors such as Hiskett are in fact thoroughly balanced in their views of Islam.
Finally, the jury are told to feel under no pressure of time. They file out at 12.04 and we are granted bail within the precincts of the court. That's it. End of case. Now we just have to wait.
We retire to the canteen, where the ladies are once again very friendly and supportive. We find the curtains overlooking the street closed and guarded by police officers. Their job is to keep us away from the windows on account of the rabid little mob of far-leftists screeching hate down below. As this also stops us waving our thanks to our rather larger band of supporters waving Union and St. George flags on the other side of the road, we decide to go outside to meet them at 1 p.m. (the judge having indicated that we can leave the 'precincts of the court' for an hour at lunchtime).
Together with the biggest and clearly most effective security team we've had so far, Mark and I, plus his parents and Jackie and my eldest daughter, all walk through the main court doors and out into the relatively fresh air. A huge cheer goes up from our people, followed by howls of hate from the placard-waving freaks to the right of the entrance.
TV crews and still photographers surge forwards, and I shake hands with 'St. George' (many thanks, Derek) amid a sea of flashlights and a media scrum. One of our Event Stewards (clearly visible in smart high-viz tabards) hands me a hand-held megaphone and I address the crowd briefly. I thank them for coming and point out the clear contrast between them and the hate-filled workshy rabble across the street. I go on to say that the prosecution now cannot win: "Either we walk free, and millions of people will hold their heads a little higher and feel a little more free to speak their minds, or we are jailed, and millions of people will be utterly disgusted by the fact that we are sent to prison simply for telling the truth."
Mark and I shake hands with those of our supporters we can reach through the barriers and the hubbub, then we head back into the court and our long wait for the tannoy message which will call "All parties in the case of Collett and Griffin to court number 10".
Depending on what happens then, I may or may not have more to say in a final blog. Either way, it certainly won't be the last you hear from me.
10.55. Lawson-Rogers resumes his closing speech on behalf of Mark, returning to the European Convention and its impact on British law.
He tells the jury that Article 10.2 allows controls on free speech, but makes it clear they must be as limited as possible. He reads two passages from case law, as "I can't improve on them".
I don't have time to note the precise details, but the gist of the judgements is that "Freedom of speech includes opinions that offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the population, such are the demands of that pluralism and tolerance without which there is no democratic society."
Free speech includes not just bland comments which everyone agrees with, but also "the irritating, the heretical, the provocative......freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having ...... from the condemnation of Socrates to the persecution of modern writers, we have too many examples of the abuse of power of the State." This judgement went on to acknowledge the debt our legal system and free society still owes to the jury which refused to convict William Penn, despite enormous pressures, in 1670, "for preaching ideas which offended against state orthodoxy."
He goes on to rubbish the prosecution claim that this is not about the BNP. "If that was the case, why did the prosecution feel the need to draw attention to the party's policies on admission of immigrants and the deportation of criminals?"
State broadcaster’s bias
The whole case, he says, only arose because the BBC - motivated by political bias - instigated undercover activity. The police didn't do this for the good reason that they knew there was nothing to be investigated. It was only after the BBC broadcast edited extracts that West Yorkshire police were pushed into action.
The case comes under the Public Order Act, a law to control public order, but the prosecution has admitted there were no public order problems, and no long term affects either. "The fact there was no violence is very relevant to your decision." The lack of any problems, he continues, also calls into question the propriety of even bringing the prosecution. The police would know that no-one would be present at those meetings who might have been offended.
The purpose of Mark's speeches is clear when you read them - not to stir up hatred or encourage violence, but to encourage political, legal activity."
"Is he being prosecuted because he dared to speak the name of racial tensions, you may think." The prosecution admit there are problems, and concede it is justified to discuss them, "but are they only paying lip service to this idea?"
He goes on to put it all in its proper perspective: "The views expressed are no different to those expressed in pubs and clubs up and down the country."
He says how Enoch Powell, and the two of us, are 'answered' when we warn of potential problems by being castigated as 'racists'. He lists some of the tensions and problems caused by mass immigration and asylum. "These are facts, not speculation." Some of the jury bundle was intended to prove that Mark was "talking about matters of immense public concern that have to be addressed."
He puts the boot into Tony Blair by pointing out he went to war on Iraq on the basis of intelligence which he believed at the time. Even though it turned out to be wrong, the fact that he believed it shows his intention at the time. Mark similarly had reasons to believe what he said (much better than our Tone, I would add).
The BNP is entitled to talk about these issues. Whether or not you like Mark's words or style is beside the point.
Mark's targets are the "ineffectual politicians who have allowed these problems to come about" and the journalists who do not report what is going on properly.
The prosecution started by telling you to look at the speeches "in their totality", but then went on to "cherry pick" the material.
He accepts that on odd occasions Mark exaggerated "If that is a crime what politician is innocent?" he asks. In any case, any exaggeration merely goes to strengthen his efforts to get people to do things politically; it is no evidence whatsoever of any intention to incite hatred.
"Mr Collett vehemently denies being a racist, but even if he was, being a racist is not yet a crime in Britain. Not yet. We don't yet have Thought Police in this country, but watch this space."
L-R’s presentation is superb. The jury appear to be paying close attention. His tone rises and dips, he pauses for effect, then presses on. No-one is going to sleep now.
Suppose Mark had wanted to incite hatred, which he didn't. "There is a wealth of words and expressions" which exist out there which he could have and would have used if it was his intention to incite hatred. And if it was his intention to incite racial hatred, he clearly failed, didn't he? He didn't know he was being recorded and he was speaking to a sympathetic audience. He had no reason to restrain himself.
As Mr Griffin said in his evidence, if there were to be any racial violence, who would get the blame? The BNP. How would that help their cause? That's why their meetings are held privately, in fact in secret, in order to avoid the possibility of opponents coming and causing violence.
Having dealt with the absurd idea that the intention was to incite racial hatred, he turns to the question of 'likely under all the circumstances" to stir up racial hatred. You need to look at the whole speech, he says, at the effectively private nature of the meetings.
Audience of four million
Referring to the fact that the most un-PC bits of the speeches were shown on national TV, he asks a very pertinent question: "How could you find that racial hatred was likely to be stirred up when the whole thing has been tested on four million people and there is no evidence that any hatred was stirred up? There is not a shred of evidence that, in those tiny meetings, any hatred was likely to be stirred up".
The fact that there was no one there to be "threatened, abused or insulted" may assist them, but even ignoring that they have to look at the intentions and circumstances.
He moves on to examine the phrase 'racial hatred'.Hatred, he points out, is "strong stuff", "active dislike", the dictionary says. And it must be hatred of a racial group, not of politicians, and not of asylum seekers, who come from various races. When Mark said he didn't hate Asians and asylum seekers, but did hate the white liberals who brought them here, this would be likely to dampen down any hatred that a member of the audience might feel towards those groups.
"This case should never have come to criminal proceedings, and it never would have but for the interference of politically correct journalists." This is not a 'borderline case'.
Mark does not have to prove his innocence; it is for the prosecution to prove his guilt. Look at the evidence and decide.
A 'not guilty' verdict is not a kind of vote for, or vindication of, the BNP. That is not what this case is about; it is about freedom of speech in our society. He asks them to have the courage to find the case 'not proved'.
He finishes at 11.41 and Mr King rises to his feet.
Basis of democracy
He starts by saying that, as an advocate, one has no choice but to represent a client, regardless of what they say or do. His personal views, and theirs are irrelevant.
“But we are proud to live in a democratic society.” There are 2 key factors in a democratic society. First, we believe in the ballot box, not the bomb as the way of resolving problems and issues. Second, we believe in freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is not a mantra, not just words, it is fundamental to a democratic society. The right to speak not just what is attractive but also what is unattractive.
He says his learned friend Mr Lawson-Rogers has 'stolen all the best lines' but he repeats the expression of the court which encapsulates the position
A Lord Justice on Appeal said that freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having ... tolerance is both extended by the law to opinion of every kind …. from the condemnation of Socrates to the persecution of modern writers, etc, etc. Good stuff – and current English case law material.
The Crown admit it's an attack on freedom of speech but claim it's justified. We say it is not on the facts of the case.
Mr Griffin is on trial for just two speeches, not for any particular words within them. Each speech must be taken as a whole. This is why we say to you it's a wholly unjustified prosecution. The starting point is that the BNP is a legal political entity. It has the right in a democratic society to put forward ideas and policies which some might find uncomfortable or even offensive.
In each speech Mr Griffin firstly is advocating the ballot box and not the bomb or the bullet, and secondly was raising issues of genuine public interest to a private audience who he believed, you might think rightly, felt left out of the political process and who he was inviting to get back involved in that political process.
Wholly unfair to over-analyse the speeches by picking out lines. Must look at overall impact.
And remember context of each speech - that of a politician speaking to a politically committed audience, there to get a political message and go out to work in a political way. Nobody is going to listen to every line, every nuance. It would be wholly unfair to forget that fact.
'Threatening' has disappeared, and rightly so. Look at insulting or abusive words intended or likely to incite hatred. The prosecution says I am disguising my true intention "what a basis to try to prove an intention!"
The message from the law cases of the importance of freedom of speech is that any restriction on it must be narrowly interpreted.
At one point is his evidence, Mr Griffin was driven to say "I was giving a political speech, not a theological lecture." He feels the same way, but wants to read another legal judgement
“Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society... extended not only to information and ideas favourably received but also to those that offend shock or disturb.”
Hence any such restrictions should be narrowly interpreted, so cases should only come to court if it’s really clear. "If there's a debate about it - what does this line mean, what does that line mean - the case clearly isn't clear. It just isn't made out at all.
He looks at how 'cherry picking can go horribly wrong'. “One particular one stuck in my mind: The Crown extracted a line from one of Mr Griffin’s speeches in which he spoke of 'the evil which these people have done to this country.’ Look to divider 4. He too thought this was about ethnic minorities, but look at the page. He reads the passage, and it is clear that "these people" are the politicians, particularly the Labour party. Looking at the previous page, where I attack Jack Straw and the Labour party, it is absolutely clear what I meant.
It is part of my stance, he continues, to say that a multi-cultural society hasn't worked. “You and I may disagree, but that isn't the point. The real point is that it is open to any politician or member of the public to make that point.”
To want to go back to 'the old days' is a sensitive issue, and if raised by a politician he is immediately accused of the sort of offence with which Mr Griffin is accused. To advocate restrictions on immigration etc is not to want to incite hatred. It is a legitimate point of view. And when the Crown start ticking off the number of times Mr Griffin uses the word' white' I submit it is wholly unfair. It is a legitimate topic of debate and we do no service to say that those who raise it do so at risk of prosecution.
It is especially dangerous to jump and tick these issues as criminal offences, because it could lead to these problems ending in violence instead of political debate.
Raising racial issues in a speech does not mean you are seeking to incite racial hatred, or even that it is likely to be stirred up. Far from it, raising it in political debate is a good way of preventing that happening.
No issue as to my good faith, my genuine belief. The Crown didn't do anything to suggest otherwise in cross-examination, although they did in Mr Jameson’s closing speech. But in fact no evidence laid before you AT ALL to contradict what Mr. Griffin said, or the evidence he presented.
Mr Griffin was roundly criticised for relying on second or third hand information - it went through my head, he tells the jury, that the government of the day justified going to a war on third hand information.” I don't stand here to attack anyone over the war in Iraq, I just use it as an example of how a politician can use second or third hand info, and still be genuine in their beliefs.”
Crown used closing speech to question the genuine nature of my beliefs on Islam, but they didn't do this in cross-exam. In fact, at that point, Mr Jameson accepted"I don't dispute the genuine nature of your feelings about Islam."
Prosecution twisted words
He kicks Jameson again with another example of how he twisted my words to say things I didn't:
Jameson went to end of speech where I say I'd get seven years and said this was an admission from me that I was breaking the law against incitement to racial hatred. He didn't remind you of the way I used the same line at the start of the speech. "The second (reason) is, their good book tells them it's acceptable. Now that sentence could get me 7 years in prison." This cannot be capable of any other interpretation. We know it is a reference to the Koran. It is patently clear that I have a belief that attacking a religion, not a race, could land him with a prosecution. But the Crown did not see fit to remind you of it.
Also triggers another big issue, Crown can't gainsay that I was raising issues of the Islamic faith on behaviour. Not a criminal offence, but then Crown say it's a disguise. We submit there is no basis for this, for it is clear from his evidence that he vehemently believes in the dangers in the Islamic faith.
Moves to another example, how Crown chose to ignore the context: Having spoken about the canvassing of different people, “canvass Sikhs, they may well vote for us …. it's not a racial thing in a town like this, it's a cultural religious thing."
You couldn't have a clearer statement of what this is all about, he tells the jury.
Second speech, at Morley. I talk about what might happen in the future. He repeats my uncanny prediction of who would carry out the 7/7 (and also the 21/7) bombings. The Crown make no criticism of this. But Mr King suggests that had I been put on trial before 7/7, I would have been roundly criticised for this prediction, they'd have said my intention was to incite racial hatred. It wasn't then, I was trying to make a sensitive point about a real problem.
Hindsight can help. When you are assessing intent or likelihood, it is not unfair when there has been a huge passage of time, to see what has happened. We know precisely what happened as a result of these speeches in terms of their impact on audiences who heard from them - and the answer is absolutely nothing. A
This is admitted by the Crown. You may feel that is a very good piece of evidence, for you can bet your bottom dollar that had there been any evidence of people going out and committing offences after hearing these speeches, we would certainly have heard all about it.
Not disputed that there is an overlap between such meetings. Heard about the speech I made in Halifax, with largely the same audience as in Morley, for example. You heard, and it's been admitted, and it's an important point, that, in the course of this speech Mr Griffin describe the murder of an elderly Asian man as an"appalling wicked incident and whoever did it should hang for murder" and the audience broke out in spontaneous applause. Powerful piece of evidence as to the reality, as opposed to the strained interpretation the Crown seek to put upon these two speeches.
Suggests what would be a fair interpretation of each of these two speeches:
Keighley. Not in doubt that I speak from very few notes, spontaneous, keeping ear to concerns of audience. No doubt that the concern of Keighley audience was the grooming of white girls for sex, committed by Asians. Very fact of raising it raises problem that aim is to incite hatred. Very unfair, because it is a matter of genuine concern and debated in pubs and homes. For politicians to ignore it risks alienating people from the political process.
In context of that issue Mr Griffin not only raised the issue but also put forward a bona fide, honest view as to what had caused it. We may not like his analysis, but it's honest. There is criticism of Islam and of the multi-cult society. There is clear concern for the way the white working class concerns are ignored. All in context of motivating audience not to go out and commit violence or to be offensive, but to work for a political party.
Look at the framework of the speech. The grooming issue is raised, then the Islam issue, then the failure of the Establishment and Muslim community to do enough to prevent the problem, then the problem of the way Keighley is increasingly less white. Sensitive issues here, the statistics that we could be a minority in our own country in just a few decades is a legitimate point for discussion. It may be unpalatable to discuss, but Mr Griffin has the right to discuss it, especially with a group of people who are themselves worried about it. But aim is to ensure those concerns are channelled into political outlet.
I was talking about building a political movement ... ordinary people at grass roots level. This is a political speech, they inevitably include hyperbole, politicians live on it. You don't damn a man for hyperbole, it's the message that counts.
Then the audience gets a history lesson, the history of how people in Keighley stood up against the then Establishment. No apology for my saying 'mongrelising us out of existence' - we may find it offensive, but it's a way of expressing the view of those who oppose the multi-cult society.
'Paki street thug' - Mr. King tells the jury how I was clearly talking of a specific type. But admits when he first read it he thought it would be hard to explain away. Was educated by Edge of City extracts, especially how the white girl used the word about the boyfriend she loves, and then one of that community using it as 'us Pakis'. Eye-opener to me, because it wholly supports Mr Griffin's point that it's just a descriptive phrase. Only one word anyway.
Talking about feelings of the white community doesn't mean you are saying going out and hate other communities. Such a false leap.
If I wanted to incite hatred, I would surely have used very different language, and done it. But I am talking about the need to change political masters, on the need to canvass. Eye-opener when talking about canvassing that I say knock on Mr. Singh's door.
I'm not saying go out and fight them, spit on them in the street, etc, I'm saying get out and be involved in the political process. If I was winding people up on a soap box in a racially mixed area that might well break the law, but this is simply not the case.
If the BBC were genuinely concerned that criminal offences had been committed, why didn't they just give the tapes to the police, instead of broadcasting extracts.
Read as a whole, the first speech "doesn't begin to get past first base" in terms of breaking any law. The law was not aimed at this kind of speech.
He then moves to the Morley speech.
The purpose of the speech is to raise a genuine concern, with a disaffected white working class audience, about the way in which racist attacks on white people are played down by the media. You may agree or disagree with that, but it is a legitimate matter for concern. The Met Police Commissioner has just been in the news for saying the exact opposite, again one can agree or disagree with him, but it's a legitimate issue.
Mr. Griffin roundly attacked for going into the details. But unless you go into the detail and go into the attacks it is impossible to get over the point about how unfair the media bias really is. Second point is that it is a political speech and you can't damn a man for trying to keep the audience's attention.
Crown says this isn't a speech about Muslims. Agree, and Mr Griffin is open about that, it was a speech about the way the media cover racist attacks. He is attacked over the sources of his information, but not a scrap of evidence has been presented to show they were wrong.
Spontaneous speech, not designed for line-by-line analysis. Fair interpretation that it is about a real issue, take it as a whole. Much of speech addresses other issues: Gerrymandering; the political drift towards effectively a one-party state, policies about the EU and capital punishment.
Closing passages show clearly the aim of the speech: To give the audience a peaceful political outlet for their concerns. I warned about 7/7, and warn how the media unfairness is creating hatred, and that a backlash will come.
But if the BNP is allowed to organise, the backlash can be political, and lead to a debate about how to reverse the multi-cultural experiment. That sums up the aim of the whole speech. Are we going to damn him for talking about real problems and saying that we need political solutions to them?
We are instinctively uncomfortable with this prosecution. It is designed to silence people. Thanks jury for listening carefully and asks them to consider all the matters fairly.
This has taken us perfectly to lunch.
We return at and the judge starts to address the jury at 2.04.
He explains that he will give the directions as to how the law applies in this case, and says they must follow his directions. But it is for them to decide the verdict by looking at the defendants, and the limited number of witnesses. In particular they must judge Mr Collett's and Mr Griffin's evidence, fairly. They can come to commonsense conclusions, but mustn't speculate beyond what they've seen and heard. Pay attention to the submissions of the counsel who spoke for the prosecution (he doesn't say 'Crown' all the time) and for the two defendants.
If in the course of summing up the case I appear to emphasise a particular part of the evidence, don't adopt it because of what I saw. Give regard to any piece of evidence which I don't deal with but which you think is important. When it comes to the facts it is your judgement alone that matters.
The prosecution bring the case, they have to prove it. The defendant does NOT have to prove his innocence. How do they do that? By making you sure about it. Underline that word in your mind, if you are not sure your verdict must be one of 'not guilty'.
I still can't make out My Lord's accent. Educated, upper class, but there's a hint of something from West Britain. My David Williams, who is a North Welshman himself, thinks it comes from the Caernarfon area, tallying with the surname 'Jones'. To me there's something a bit more West country in it. Either way, it's a melodious and voice full of character. I dreamt a few nights ago that we had dinner together. He said that we shouldn't discuss the case, but we did spend some time bemoaning the sub-literacy of so many even educated young people these days! Strange tricks the mind plays sometimes when sleeping
What is said in relation to one count is not related to the other, except where we shared a platform and | applauded what Mark said.
Each count is dual. Odd number ones contrary to S.18aeven ones to S.18.i.b
Two defendants, each charged with separate counts. Each defendant and each count must be approached separately.
The jury must look at the whole speech in each case. The Crown has said it is fair to look at details within the speech and use them to draw inferences as to our intentions and the likely impact of the speeches.
The first element of each charge is for the prosecution to prove that the defendant used 'abusive or insulting' words or behaviour. The word 'threatening' can be crossed out in each case.
Give the words their ordinary English usage as you understand them. Do not strain those meanings to fit the words. They do not have to be addressed at anyone in the audience. But under offences requiring 'intent' it is not necessary to prove that the words were abusive or insulting, it is the intention to incite hatred which must be proved. But under 'likelihood', the prosecution must prove not only that the words were abusive and insulting, but also that we intended them to be so or was aware they might be intended to be so.
The prosecution must prove in any case under 18.i.a that the defendant intended to stir up racial hatred. This is defined in the statute: Hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality including citizenship or ethnic or national origins. What is meant by 'stir up racial hatred'. Not merely creating it, also inflaming it if it is already there. Does not require the creation of disorder or violence.
The hatred has to be racial, the stirring up of religious hatred is not unlawful. Could not be convicted of intent to stir up hatred against Islam.
How do you decide a man's intention? Judge it by looking at was said and the circumstances in which it was said. If guilty of intentionally stirring up hatred, there is no need to consider that 18.i.b alternative. If not guilty on first count, they must look at the 'likely' charge, and look at the circumstances of the speeches on the evenings in question. The Crown has to prove racial hatred was likely to be stirred up, not merely possible. Must be sure that this is the case, if unsure you should find him not guilty.
Now, I have some legal training and am familiar with this law, but I'm finding the details of the slightly different position re all these different subsections hard going (our lawyers later say they felt the same!). Some members of the jury at least will be slightly lost by now. The judge realises this as I speak and reiterates the position. A wise and sensitive owl.
Defendants declined to answer any questions in police interview. Directs the jury that they must not infer any element of guilt from this silence.
Having dealt with the matters of law he says he will turn to the facts.
Focus on court activity
General points: Case deals with alleged commission of crime. Brought after police investigation and tried before representative jury. This case is not about their political beliefs. It is not about whether assertions about Islam are right or wrong. It is about our intent and manner. This is a classical jury case where the good judgement of the jury is required. Reflect the views of society as it is in this country. When you came into witness box you took a solemn oath on your holy book to put to one side your preconceived opinions and consider the evidence, and only the evidence you have seen or heard.
If you have seen media reports, ignore them. Everything of relevance to your considerations has occurred in this court, and nowhere else.
Bear in mind we live in democratic society that jealously protects the rights of its citizens to free speech. Article 10 part of English law. but along with rights come commensurate duties. Freedom of expression can be curtailed in limited circumstances, where it is necessary. May be done in interests of national security, territorial integrity, prevention of public disorder and crime, protection of rights of others, protection of independence of the judiciary.
Freedom of speech not limited only to the acceptable and unpopular. Bear in mind what was said by defence.
One of exceptions to free speech is protection of rights of others - individuals have rights to live their normal lives, etc, or to legislate to prevent disorder or crime - this is what S.18 of Public Order Act is there for. Approach it with care, as it does infringe freedom of speech.
Avoid straining the words of the count to fit the contents of the speeches. This case is not against the British National Party or its beliefs. It is not directed against a legitimate political party. It is about alleged crime. This is not a Labour inspired prosecution, he says, the law passed in 1986 under Mrs. Thatcher. (This, of course, misses several points, not the least of which is that it doesn’t really matter who passed the law, what counts here is that a NuLab Attorney-General approved this prosecution, after the then NuLab Home Secretary announced his intention to destroy the BNP.
Turns to the facts and the evidence. It is not common for juries to be able to view the incidents that give rise to the allegations. In this case you have the entirety of the evidence. You will need to read and re-read the transcripts of the speeches. Bear in mind the evidence of each defendant. Bear in mind evidence they gave that these speeches were directed to converted audiences, with a view to encouraging political action. Weigh this evidence, and more, against the prosecution claims.
Prosecution called only one witness, Jason Gwynne. Reiterates what Gwynne told the court about how he was involved by Nick Lowles, then joined the party in Bradford. For a six month period he regularly attended meetings and secretly filmed them. Secret Agent had four million viewers. And the police went to the BBC and asked for the material.
A statement from Bradford council was read out, illustrating "the ethnic and religious splits within the Bradford area". The prosecution invites you to bear in mind the strong Muslim/Asian link when considering what Mr Griffin said about Islam.
Draws attention to my sole comment in interview "there's no hatred in this audience and no hatred from me". Then to Crown admission that this was made after hearing spontaneous applause from audience after I condemned the wicked murder of an elderly Asian man. "Mr. Griffin relies on this as demonstrating the attitude of his audience and, indeed, perhaps even more significant, his own attitude." (I hope the jury take particular note of that point).
Bear in mind that a total of five speeches by Mr. Griffin were recorded. The Crown admits that only two have led to charges. The defence asks you to draw the inference that the others contained nothing which could have led to charges.
It is nearly . The judge runs briefly through were and when each speech was made. Each speech must be considered in the round. What you must not do is simply cherry pick though of course you should look at individual passages. Equally, in looking at specific passages, don't just look at ones the Crown has used, look at those relied on by the defence about political work, electoral success and other policies. Consider the watering down effect of such passages on the other parts of the speech.
Consider what the defendants have said about their motivation to address genuine issues and to motivate political action. And what they have said about the audiences already agreeing with them. Remember that these are political speeches, and hyperbole is permitted, but not if it spills over into inciting hatred.
Each defendant has given you a folder containing materials which they say helped form their opinions. He skims briefly through what these are. He doesn't intend to go through them, "you can read them in detail when you retire".
Judge’s comments on media
Uses the Scottish press coverage of Kriss Donald's murder and local Bradford coverage of other anti-white incidents as showing that there is plenty of press coverage of such problems. Here he misses the point entirely - these are in local papers, not in national ones. Similarly, he says, other politicians such as Ann Cryer and Michael Howard have dealt with issues such as grooming and asylum. This is grotesquely unfair and inaccurate, and doesn't bode well for the rest of the summing up. The only thing to be said for this is that not one of the jurors has been taking notes for the last 20 minutes or so.
I wish now that I'd pressed my defence team harder to include solid evidence from Google about the anti-white media bias in cases such as the murders of Stephen Lawrence and white victims. Try it for yourself, the contrast is staggering, especially when you realise that most of the tiny number of internet mentions about the likes of Sean Whyte are from local newspapers, the BNP or other nationalist websites, whereas the records for Stephen Lawrence, Anthony Walker and others are overwhelmingly from the BBC, national newspapers and government institutions. Another field in which, if we end up with a re-trial, we'll have to do a fair bit more.
Proposes to look at parts of each speech highlighted in evidence and remind them of what the defendants said about it.
I've been talking for an hour, he says. We need a ten minute break. During the break Lee Barnes flags up several areas in which he believes we already have grounds for appeal.
The jury files back in at 15.22 and are given a slightly amended, corrected, version of the indictments.
The judge reminds the jury of what Mark told us about himself. This is fairly summed up. This includes Mark's evidence about how far-left pressure makes our meetings effectively private, if not almost underground. His aim when speaking is to motivate members and supporters to get involved politically.
He goes through Mark's Reservoir Tavern speech, and looks at Mark's answers during cross-examination. This part of the summing up seems totally even-handed, but from the detail he is going into it looks as though this summing up will not be completed until tomorrow morning.
These summings up appear to be pretty much a summary of the speeches themselves, together with material brought out in cross-examination, which in many cases has already been covered in this blog, so I'm not going to repeat them again. Just a few key comments may be worth noting.
It is now and we're still only going through Mark's second speech. Fair again now, but heavy going.
It is interesting, I conclude to look at the face of the jury and to note just how homogeneous the native peoples of the British Isles are. 'Liberal note-taking man', as we have dubbed him, looks like a crop-haired/ balding version of one of our old hands in Norwich. The younger man next to him could easily be Darlington BNP stalwart Trevor Agnew's brother. One of the older chaps in glasses could easily be mistaken for Halifax BNP councillor Geoff Wallace. The lady with the ponytail looks very much like Sue Butler, the wife of the BNP's National Election Officer.
At the end of the second speech the judge again reiterates that it must be looked at in the whole. Do parts of it so colour the whole thing as to put it beyond the law?
Gulf of understanding
By 16.09 we're into Mark's speech in the Crossroads pub in Keighley. In this one, in my opinion, in trying to hold the attention of a rough and ready audience, Mark let some of his rhetoric go a bit downmarket. Even here, however, his crystal clear purpose was to grab them and persuade them that here is a party that understands how they think, and that they should get involved in constructive and peaceful political work under our banner. I think that here there is probably a genuine gulf of understanding between the sheltered, well-to-do world of barristers and judges, and the real lives of real people in the poor parts of multi-cultural Britain.
To think that a young middle class politician could go into such a place and stir up trouble is to misunderstand very badly the extent of commonsense and healthy cynicism about politicians that exists in such places. Such thinking is really nothing more than snobbery. The cloth-capped working classes live in ignorant bliss until we come along and stir them up to hate their charming neighbours. What nonsense. The reality is that there are growing frictions and hatreds in such places, and that our being there to act as a constitutional safety valve is the best chance our society has of these problems leading in due course to the most appalling communal violence.
Back to the judge: “Look at the speech like a cake. It contains flour, eggs, currants, butter and so on, but when you've made it you don't say, "'here's a block of flour, eggs, currants and butter', you say 'here's a cake'." But then he goes on to say they must also look at specific terminology. The law is difficult to assess, precisely because this is such a bad law.
It’s half-past four. Enough for the day. He says he expects to take another hour tomorrow morning and then to send the jury out.
Will that give them enough time to reach a verdict tomorrow? Only time will tell.