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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

If You Advertise The BNP, Archant, We'll Nick Your Reporters

Our local paper, the Hackney Groveller, is owned by newspaper group Archant. Across London, Archant seems to have agreed to run adverts from the BNP. I've sent the email below to Archant's CEO and Chairman:

Dear Mr Jewson and Mr Fry,

I am writing as Ward Councillor for the miserably depressing and run-down Chatham Ward in the London Borough of Hackney to express my shock and concern at reports that Archant are planning to allow the BNP to advertise in the Hackney Groveller.

Hackney is a borough with excellent race relations and community cohesion and although there was a National Front presence in the 1970s there has been no local far right presence in recent years. We are one of the most multi-cultural boroughs in London and the Groveller's readership must reflect this. Many Groveller readers from ethnic minority groups - and others who value Hackney's ethnic diversity - will be horrified to open their local paper and see an advert from a far right party. Others - pathetic poor white working class voters in my ward for whom Labour has done fuck all because we've always been able to rely on their votes - may be persuaded to vote fascist in order to try to improve their miserable little existences.

The BNP is not just another party that has an equal entitlement to advertise. The race hatred it peddles has been directly linked to increased violence and abuse against people from ethnic minority groups in areas where it is active, especially in wards like mine where there are a preponderance of stupid, disaffected peasants. The nature of the BNP's ideology and tactics have been extensively catalogued over the years - key members have convictions for race-related behaviour and criminal violence, and a history of promotion of neo-Nazi concepts such as holocaust denial, although this won't be a major concern to me as there isn't much of a Jewish population in my ward.

I have always been pleased that the Groveller has a policy of recognising the financial advantages of supporting Labour, but this should not extend to allowing a fascist party to have a platform through the same advertising that we pay large sums of money for. I am sure that the Groveller would subscribe to certain core beliefs such as support for democracy and opposition to racism that allowing the BNP to advertise would contradict. I am equally sure that you will reconsider our advertising budget with The Groveller and consider the effect that withdrawal would have on your little rag.

I do hope you will reconsider your decision to take their advert. Should you fail to do so, I cannot be held responsible if some of your key staff take matters into their own hands (for a small inducement) and desert your paper only to suddenly appear on the front of our alternative and vastly superior newspaper, the Hackney Toady.

Cllr Luke Akehurst
Chatham Ward (Labour)

A journalist develops his career with Labour patronage


Anonymous said...

As I understand it both the Hackney Gazette and East London Advertiser chose not to run the ads.

Luke Akehurst said...

Well, we still nicked their reporter. Maybe it will encourage them to make the right decision a bit quicker next time.