Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cllr Auty interviewed by the Press.

This article appeared yesterday in the Dewsbury Press. This revealing interview shows that Colin Auty as a highly articulate, passionate political figure who really cares about the people in his ward and his town. It also demonstrates that he has the respect of some political opponents of the BNP because he is a man of his word, who gets things done and has learned lessons from the gritty reality of being involved in local politics.

Those detractors of Cllr. Auty who state he cannot "cut the mustard" on handling the media would do well to rethink their unjustified claims. Colin is a man who can take the BNP forward to new heights of political success, a man who doesnt have the baggage which has saddled the BNP and prevented it from capitalising on the enormous potential that exists in the current political environment.

Colin Auty's interview:

Painter and decorator and part-time BNP councillor Colin Auty shocked his party last week when announcing he would challenge Nick Griffin for the leadership. It's caused a rift in the local and national BNP, but does it signify high ambition from the candidate or frustration at a fading political movement? DANNY LOCKWOOD spoke to him.

On the Friday lunchtime, two years ago, when the returning officer for Kirklees Council announced Colin Auty as the duly elected BNP councillor for Dewsbury East in the main hall of the town's Sports Centre, there were various reactions.

Nick Cass and his hard core of BNP activists danced in jubilation: here was proof positive that their extremist party was inexorably on the rise. Or so they thought.

Eric Firth, the deposed long-serving Labour man, stood stunned, as grey as his beard. Colin Auty looked up at me, standing among the journalists on the sports hall balcony, with a bemused look on his face and shrugged his shoulders as though to say 'crikey, what next?'

Crikey indeed. The only leaflets Colin had distributed during his election 'campaign' had belonged to his Labour rival Firth. He'd found them so hilariously and (he thought) hypocritically targeted at working class parts of Chickenley, that he took Eric's leaflets and shoved them through letter boxes in the posher Bennett Lane area.

Three days after his election, Colin, dressed in his painter and decorator's overalls, stopped for a chat in Dewsbury town centre.

I told him I'd never painted him as a BNP type. He described how he'd got fed up of being the bloke at the end of the bar, moaning and complaining and doing nothing about it. How he was sickened at what was happening to the town of his birth, with his perceived 'British' way of life being diluted by the day, washed away down the Calder.

He spoke of a new breed of ordinary people flocking to the BNP flag. How even then, he found some of the party's hardliners 'distasteful'. (That probably wasn't quite the word he used in hindsight.)

Two years on lots of things have changed. Colin among them, though that's not an observation he might recognise. At the age of 57 he has found a new articulation; there's a confidence born of public speaking, though as a sometime musician he's always been comfortable on a stage. But there's also been a closer forming of his political convictions - and that's unfortunate for the British National Party, depending on how you care (or otherwise) for their fortunes.

Dewsbury was the "jewel in the BNP crown" as their adored/reviled leader Nick Griffin described it after the 2005 General Election, and the district was again the centrepiece of their march on Kirklees Council in 2006 when they polled almost 20,000 votes and boasted three councillors. But 2008 paints a very different totem.

The election results of just two weeks ago defined a political party in as much of a local decline as Labour was nationally.

Their group leader, David Exley, lost his Heckmondwicke seat to the clinically mobilised Labour vote. In Auty's own Dewsbury East ward any shenanigans involving the Tories fielding an Asian candidate failed to either dent Paul Kane's dominant position or rally voters to the BNP flag.

Their performance in Dewsbury South, where Thornhill has always been a stronghold without quite yielding a seat, summed up the BNP's declining fortunes. Their vote dropped by a third, as the Tories wiped the floor with all comers.

It was a result generally mirrored across Kirklees, and perhaps unsurprising given that the local party is in turmoil.

High profile boss Nick Cass has barely been seen since the execrable 'BNP Wives' documentary aired on national television - a massive embarrassment to the party, with Cass and his pretty wife Suzy front and centre.

There is a schism generally between the new generation of moderates and, not to put too fine a description on it, the 'Paki haters'. It translates onto the national BNP stage with Colin Auty fronting up the moderate BNP membership's assault on the hardliners, challenging Nick Griffin for the party leadership.

Is he serious? A two-year councillor, a BNP member for only five years? Best known for writing an insulting ditty about Saville Town and performing it outside MP Shahid Malik's office in Daisy Hill?

Colin is pragmatic about his challenge:

"I don't think I will be allowed to win. I won't be allowed to address party meetings. I've had one cancel already and I was only going along with my guitar to sing a song.

His challenge has certainly ruffled feathers across the BNP. Their national election officer, Eddie Butler, has said members should refuse to sign Auty's nomination, describing his challenge as "pitiful and moronic", him as a "joke candidate" and saying that if a leadership challenge must be staged it should be "quickly, quietly and with no publicity".

So much for good old British democracy, but then again democracy has very little to do with the British National Party's traditional way of doing things. And that is why Colin Auty has chosen a bloody collision course and may or may not have a future in the party by the end of the summer.

The BNP leader, Nick Griffin, has an advisory panel but can override them. He has a virtual dictatorship - which the BNP's many critics will nod sagely at. Ring any 1930-ish bells?

"I will not follow a dictatorship," said Cllr Auty. "I don't want to see the party accountable to one man. I want to see the one man answerable to the party."

At a meeting in Leeds a few months ago, Griffin called BNP councillor Chris Beverley "vermin". Beverley, like Auty, is one of the new breed of BNP members calling for a more reasoned approach to politics.

"I find that abhorrent," Auty continues. "Just because the man is a moderate who wants to promote change? He is called vermin by his own party leader?

"I'm a councillor. I've stood in the firing line. I know what it's like to have the spears chucked at me. Nick Griffin comes out of his fort in mid-Wales to preach to the faithful every now and again.

"People see the media dwelling on the negatives, and it all surrounds people like Nick Griffin and Mark Collett.

"My voters say to me 'it's the image'. Nick Griffin is causing the stagnation of the party, with his holocaust denial, saying Islam is a wicked religion. It stops people voting for people like me and David Exley."

It would be interesting to hear Griffin's view of Colin Auty enjoying hospitality in the homes of Muslim politicians. To hear Colin describing how he gives respect to Labour councillor Shabir Pandor, the Lib Dems' Karam Hussain, the Tories Mohammed Mahroof and Khizar Iqbal - and they him.

"They are all due my respect. Everyone is worth respect. I never hurt and I never hate. I sail through life and I try to have a pleasant attitude to things."

It's ironic that the most hate and bile he has endured has been from white politicians. At the election count a fortnight ago a senior Labour figure threatened to punch his lights out - and got a real surprise when his bluff was called. There's not much fear flowing in Auty's veins. But then again like so many of his generation, he grew up in the school of hard knocks. Bullying, and attempts at it, receive short shrift.

The Kirklees Council learning curve has been steep.

"I remember my first time at a planning meeting. It was like the first day at a new school. I was sat on the bus on my own."

But it wasn't all cold shoulder. One councillor came up and offered him a sweet.

"Some individuals have managed to separate the badge from the person. They see that I'm a moderate kind of guy. They don't see me as a Nick Griffin type. I don't live in a fort, and only come out surrounded by bodyguards wearing shades."

After two years the experience of being a councillor has witnessed changes to the way he sees both politics and his party - though not his town, or his own beliefs.

"I've never been afraid of losing votes or even my council badge over what I say. This just gave me a chance to give a voice to the average people I meet on the street. But I don't have to hold onto the 'voice', because I really don't have any personal ambition at all.

"It seems to have created a vacuum for me though, in so much as although people are listening and agreeing and saying 'that's right Colin' and 'we agree with you Colin', they aren't necessarily behind me. It doesn't show itself in the vote. And I end up feeling a lone voice.

"Some people vote for me, but others cannot because of the image of the BNP. I'm trying to sell a new car with a scratched bonnet.

"My attitude has changed towards the BNP. It's changed locally as well because you get a better insight when you are involved within the council. You see issues differently on the inside.

"It's about power - the council. It's certainly not about people. Whether it's the parties or the individual politicians whatever they believe is right and just, they would relinquish it for a vote. That's probably my naivete, but I could not tell someone something wrong or go against what I believe, just to further my own ends. There aren't enough people out there telling it like it is.

"I got into politics to do something, achieve something. To see issues addressed, issues debated honestly, and then a positive outcome. That's not the reality, I'm afraid."

He enjoys to healthy debate of the closed room, trying to get things done for the district.

"But it's not the same in public. In a non-public arena we will get more people willing to talk. Once in public they feel the (BNP) badge comes to the fore and they are tainted if they at all acquaint themselves with me."

He speaks bitterly of credit for his work being claimed by political rivals, of seeing his contributions to local stories edited out of the Dewsbury Reporter, of local projects being schemed to suit political ends. But beyond that he gets great satisfaction out of simply being an effective ward councillor. "I like helping people, and you get to help lots of people in this job. Isn't that what it's about? It should be."

For now Colin Auty's political future is defined starkly by the next two months, when the BNP will be expected to stage manage the cursory dismissal of his leadership challenge. He knows that, but hopes his effort might begin a process of democratic change within the party. He is guarded about what the outcome will mean to him personally.

Certainly the way feral elements of the local BNP have turned on him have left a mark that won't be soon forgotten. Steve Cass, father of Nick, a regular Press letter writer and very much a Griffin acolyte, has been violently insulting of Colin Auty's leadership challenge.

But the core beliefs of the bloke no longer just moaning at the end of the bar endure still.

"Our children's children have to have a country that they can call their own. If you're from Hungary or Pakistan you can go back to your roots and they are there, your culture and heritage and traditions. But we are eradicating our own heritage, our own children's heritage, to accomodate all these people. It is sheer madness and there isn't another nation on earth would do it.

"Wherever they come to this country from, they still have their history and roots. And we won't have any in 20 or 30 years. That's a good enough reason in itself for me to stand as a politician, all by itself. To fight for our children's right to have a country still theirs.

"It's not because you don't like the colour of someone's skin or their religion. It's because they have their culture guaranteed and we have a country of white politicians trying to give away ours."

And after the Griffin challenge?

"I'll face that when I come to it. I'm stuck between the left-wing elements of the established parties and the right wing of the BNP, but I'm straight down the middle. And I think that's where the people are."

The Press


Marcia said...

Colin, I like what you're saying, it's exactly where I am coming from, good luck, keep your principles and stay strong, please!!

Anonymous said...

As a non BNP member this sound very interesting, I'll be watching to see what happens.

Woody said...

A great interview and very fair coverage by the Dewsbury Press. Will we see a mention of this on the BNP website, in Freedom, the members bulletin and will it attract praise from Simon Darby who as Press Officer should be shouting from the rooftops that an elected BNP councillor got such immense coverage in a regional newspaper.
I wont hold my breath!

Anonymous said...

You people make me sick. Dont you understand that something is very wrong when the establishment media reports favourably on someone challenging Nick Griffin? It means the enemy want Mr Griffin to be unseated. You are doing the enemies work for them. Dont you see that Mr Griffin was the ONLY reason thousands of people like me joined the BNP in the first place. Take away Nick and there is nothing left. Colin Auty might be a decent bloke who enjoys a cup of tea with his Muslim mates on the council but he aint going to follow in Nick's giant footsteps.

North West Patriot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard Chadfield said...

Anonymous said...
You people make me sick. Dont you understand that something is very wrong when the establishment media reports favourably on someone challenging Nick Griffin? It means the enemy want Mr Griffin to be unseated. You are doing the enemies work for them. Dont you see that Mr Griffin was the ONLY reason thousands of people like me joined the BNP in the first place. Take away Nick and there is nothing left. Colin Auty might be a decent bloke who enjoys a cup of tea with his Muslim mates on the council but he aint going to follow in Nick's giant footsteps.
I assume that this is Satire but just in case it is not consider this. Yes I know that I have said all this before but in politics things have to be repeated.
1) BNP security intercept sadie Graham's telephone messages. Interception of messages is illegal and can carry a two year prison sentence for those who do/authorise it.
2) The BNP broadcast the intercepted messages on their own website. Broadcasting intercepted messages is illegal and can carry a prison sentemce.
3) BNP security enter Sadie Graham's home in her absence and by deception. Thats illegal.
4)BNP security remove goods from Sadie Graham's home ,in her absence and without her permission. That is illegal irrespective of who the goods may belong to.
5) BNP security access the contents of Sadie Graham's computer's hard drive. They access confidencial and personal data. That is illegal
6) Nick Griffin, at a meeting at Charles Mather's home, on 12th December 2008 assured North West members that there would be no legal consequences from the actions of BNP security. He assured the members at the meeting that he had spoken to the police and that the police had assured him that they would take no action in the matter.

Now here is what happened after these illegal acts were carried out.

a) The police refuse to act
b)The press choose not to report the matter
c)Establishment politicians who are well informed on the issue choose not to discuss the matter

To me it looks as though someone is being protected by the state and it is not Sadie Graham. If someone is being protected by the state what does this tell us about that 'someone'? It tells me that 'that someone' must be considered as working for the state. Media silence can ,sometimes, be a form of favourable reporting. Considering the above statements do we really believe that the state wants the current BNP leadership changed? If not why not?
People don't join the BNP because of Nick Griffin.People were joining the BNP before Nick Griffin was Chairman and will be joining and working for the nationalist cause after he has gone. People join the BNP because they understand that our society is collapsing and that a truthful, honest, uncorruptable and radical alternative to the establishment parties is a Prerequisite for our survival. People should join a party not because of the presence of a momentary leader but because they agree with the party's policies. The party is NOT one man.

Anonymous said...

We need a regular series of video clips of you talking or being interviewed. This is the only way the wider membership, including me, will be able to get to know you better, and what you stand for. You need to start making an impact and building up momentum now.

Any such clips also need to be well produced and edited, and have decent sound.

Aberdeen Patriot said...

Cllr Auty, the difference between you and Griffin is that I can believe what you are saying. Its this honesty and none hateful politics that we need to propel our party forward.
You still managed to get our message across about preserving our childrens homeland, and the way you put that message across is what voters want.

Cllr Auty the more I read about you and find out the more I am impressed.
I cant vote because for supporting the sacked Scottish members of the party I have been refused from renewing membership, just another Dictatorship symptom, of having Griffin in charge. Its time for the BNP to go mainstream and grow up.

SE voter said...

Well said Richard, I have said exactly the same thing, in a nut shell, Nick Giffin is a 'State Asset'

It must also be remembered that Griffin said he would rather see the BNP destroyed and have to start again from scratch rather than surender the leadership, are they the words of a true BNP member, a true Nationalist.

Anonymous said...

I'll be voting for Colin because I believe a democratic BNP would be electable while the Griffin (and Butler) BNP reeks of anti-democratic despotism.
When Griffin can sack the likes of Cllr Sadie Graham and Kenny Smith but keep incompetent and negative elements like Hannam and Collett, it is time for him to go.
When Griffin publicly backs free speech but denies Cllr Colin Auty the right to speak at meetings, it is time for him to go.

A activist -Thurrock said...

Great interview Colin. You have the ability to be understood by the membership. I have not been happy with Mr.Gri££in for some time but have remained quite. No longer, I will spread your word as far as I can in my area ready for the leadership election!
I already know other people that will be voting for you.

Danny Lake said...

You're ten times the man Nick Griffin will ever be and my best wishes go out to you.

Everybody who values honesty over dishonesty, right over wrong, a moral political approach over the immoral ego trip that has dogged Griffin's leadership - vote for Colin Auty!

Anti-gag said...

A really excellent article, with the one except being Colin's comment about Griffin not letting him win, that did really annoy me. Of course Griffin won't let Colin win, but so what! We (and by 'we' I mean the grass roots membership) must make sure that the Griffin/Collett gang can't stop this leadership challenge being decided democratically by the membership.

Griffin himself is undoubtedly very smart, just as his cronies are undoubtedly very stupid, while Colin's election team are indeed top rate people. We simply can't allow the Griffin/Collett gang to hide this challenge away from the membership, we must take it out to the members ourselves. If everyone in the party who supports democratic change offers their help, Colin will be the BNP's national Chairman by July. If supporters stand idly by, more than this leadership challenge will be in jeopardy, our nations last change may well be lost as well.

Chris Hill

neil craig bradford said...

It is healthy to see that Colin's own local press are willing to bring the challenge into the public domain (where it should be)can people find other means to do the same, then Gri££en cannot stop this SERIOUS challenge that will save the BNP and make us electable.
Lets keep the momentum going!