Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Richard Barnbrook claims victory over Rise Festival

The British National Party's representative on the London Assembly, Richard Barnbrook, has claimed a personal victory after Boris Johnson scrapped Europe's largest anti-racism festival.

Writing on his own website, Barnbrook claims that:

"Last week I asked Boris Johnson to confirm how much money from the London Assembly was used to finance last year’s RISE festival. You will remember that last year’s event was nothing more than an orgy of anti-BNP rhetoric heightened by a desperation to prevent me from becoming elected onto the London Assembly."

Barnbrook then claims that Boris replied with the information that the event would cost the GLA £300,000. 'Impressed' that Boris had responded so quickly, Barnbrook then claims to have replied with the following:

"The net cost to the GLA of this event will be £300,000. With this in mind can you confirm if this festival will once again be a political ground with active campaigning against the British National Party as in previous years? Obviously this event is being funded with public money and as it is being arranged by the GLA it would be totally unreasonable to campaign against a member."

Boris's decision to remove the anti-racist message from the Rise Festival will therefore predictably be portrayed by the BNP as their first significant victory on the Assembly. 

And whether Team Boris were actually influenced by Barnbrook's correspondence or not, the decision to remove the anti-racist message will undoubtedly allow Barnbrook and his friends to label Rise 2008 as one big 'slap down' to the anti-fascist cause.


angelneptunestar said...

Richard Barnbrook can portray RISE 2008 however he likes. We all know the truth, that he is the skidmarks on the underpants of society.

BenSix said...

Munira Mirza has been brought in for the whitewashing:


My five pence:


The Tory Troll said...

Thanks for the link Ben. I notice that Munira also enjoys deploying the Phil Taylor tactic which involves shouting 'Lee Jasper' whenever her boss comes under attack. Good to see she's earning her £80,000.

a very public sociologist said...

This couldn't have happened without Tory central office backing. After all, it is they with their hand up Johnson's bum. So much for "cuddly" conservatism eh?

Doug said...

Who thought it'd be a good idea to let the RCP into City Hall? They already have much to answer for...

A True Nationalist said...

Only Richard Barnbrook pulling the emergency brake on the Gravy Train?
How many years have these "others" been ripping of the "Londoners"?
And Richard has only just started.

The Tory Troll said...

Not quite sure how you can paint a free festival open to all members of the public as a 'gravy train' but hey, what do we us "Londoners" know about such things (what are those quotation marks all about?)

Revamp said...

(what are those quotation marks all about?)

He means that black people aren't really living in London.


Doug said...

You know the BNP's attitude to Londoners. They consider the City a "cess pit" and us "scum." We don't deserve free and music festivals, clearly, for letting the City slip away into the hands of people who won't vote for them.

Anonymous said...

Yes - it's outrageous to shout 'Lee Jasper' when his only connection to Rise was that he was an officer of NAAR (which co-ran Rise) and he spoke from the main stage at the event every year (as photos on the Rise website confirm).

It's obviously a total smear to try to associate Jasper with Rise..

The Tory Troll said...

Again, what has this got to do with Boris canceling an anti-racist event? Anything? There's only so long you can push smear by (Jasper) association before it loses it's effect.

Anonymous said...

Barnbrook is mentally ill, as you can tell if you read his blog. Its terribly weird.

Naturally enough, though, he has claimed this as a victory for the BNP, and proclaimes on their website '... it would seem that my efforts have not gone unnoticed and despite the fact I would much rather see the money go to London’s Air Ambulance service or Age concern, I might check out the festival myself."

Hear that, kids? He might go and check out the festival himself. I wonder what that actually means? He wouldn't go alone?

stuart_graham said...

I've heard that Boris's banning of alcohol on the tube was a personal attack on Barnbrook, but now I'm not so sure.
It's very clear - including by this thread - that the racists are being encouraged to come out of the woodwoork by Boris.
Opposing racism is worth spending money on - the Rise Festival is a much cheaper way of dealing with it than locking scum like BNP supporter Copeland up.
The festival also pre-dates the GLA, by the way.

The Tory Troll said...

National Assembly against Racism sent me this response to the story:

A spokesperson for the National Assembly Against Racism said:

''This is the 'different' kind of anti-racism Munira Mirza, Boris Johnson's advisor on culture, was talking about on the BBC - one that is welcomed by the BNP. The BNP judged accurately in giving its second preferences votes to Boris Johnson - the first time that the BNP endorsed a mainstream candidate for Mayor. They were relying on Boris Johnson to dismantle the defences against racism in London and he is doing just that. The fact that Johnson/Mirza's position is welcomed by the BNP shows the real issues involved.'

angelneptunestar said...

Anon. I agree with you that Richard Barnbrook must be mentally sick. Nobody could possibly say such evil things and believe such evil things as the ideas of the BNP unless they were sick. It's like that guy who believes the Royal Family ,Ken Clarke and Edward Heath are lizards ruling us all, what's his name? David Icke. He was sick for years.

I would never vote for Boris Johnson unless I had total faith in his attitude on such an important subject. If the BNP want to claim a victory where there is no victory, let them have their deluded fantasy. That is all they will ever achieve in this country, hot air.

Tim said...


How's he 'scrapped' it? It's still taking place, isn't it?
Sorry if I'm wrong, but hasn't it just been rebranded?

Doesn't Munira's point about the CND and Cuban Solidarity presence prove that Rise's central anti-racist message was somewhat diluted anyway, even under Ken?

Obviously there's no way of knowing for sure, but if the point about 60-70% of last year's RISE being white, it's fairly ironic!

The Tory Troll said...

I don't really see what's 'ironic' about 60-70% of attendants being white. That's what the percentage of white people in London is.

I also don't see how the presence of CND 'dilutes' the message but even if you believe it does, then the most sensible thing to do is to remove them from the festival not to remove the whole purpose of it.

Because he has effectively scrapped the festival rather than re-branded it. The whole purpose of the festival was it's anti-racist message. Removing that message effectively removes the festival. If you held a bike festival but didn't have any bikes there, then it wouldn't be the same festival. What he has done is create a new festival with no politics behind it but kept the 'rise' name.

barry rochford said...

Those who complain about the promoters at the festival (eg Cuba solidarity, CND, SWP etc) have to consider why it is seen as the left's province to fight racism. There is nothing that suggests that being a Lib Dem or Tory supporter that means that you have to be unconcerned about racism - 'London United Against Racism' implies that everyone (except BNP who are racists whatever tricks they play to deny it) are included inthe anti-racist message. What message is Boris sending out? That Barnbrook is happy with a 'non-anti racist festival' says it all

Geordie said...

Delusion runs rife I see! The BNP are not inheritantly racist they simply defend the rights of whites as vigorously as other groups defend the rights of Africans, Asians, Chinese etc.

Is wanting to deport illegal immigrants who get by on a life of crime so wrong? Is punishing criminals non-PC now? Being tough on crime and the causes of crime is a line trotted out by all parties, but only the BNP would follow through with the promise!

Don't judge the BNP until you have studied them and you can make your own informed decision. Their economic, environmental and welfare policies are more sound than any of the other parties. The "no platform" stance of the media is denying them the right to reply to the allegations in a fair and just society.

Political Suppression is a tool of the communists

Tom said...

Boris is a communist? Geordie is, however, a tool. I could go into *why* the BNP aren't what he describes, but the fact they're inherently racist and anti-democratic stands out a mile to me - why would they have welcomed my Irish grandparents, immigrating for economic reasons (indigenous, you see), but not my German grandmother, immigrating to avoid the Gestapo (oo, can't have her, she's *foreign* and has a funny religion, haven't you read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?).