THE REAL REASONS WHY I RESIGNED AS ORGANISER.
I had wanted to quietly leave the post of organiser of Amber Valley BNP and not bring the party into disrepute in any way by criticising anyone, however, recent events have led me to believe that my name is being blackened by lies, innuendo and rumours circulated by the Ropers and Paul Hilliard to disguise the fact that it is they who have destroyed the local branch. By vilifying me to try to excuse their own actions over the past few months they have forced my hand into giving this explanation of the truth.
Before I can really explain my reasons for resigning, I need to explain how and why I became organiser in the first place.
There had been a lot of conflict within the branch and Lewis Allsebrook had been criticised for the way he ran things. I could sympathise with Lewis as he had a lot on his plate. Not only was he working full time and was a district councillor but he tried to fulfil his role of organiser too. He had frequently asked for someone else to take over as he was aware he could not do everything on his own. There was also some animosity between Cliff Roper and Lewis, of which nobody is sure how this all started, nevertheless this animosity allowed Emma Roper the opportunity to be critical of Lewis in defence of her husband’s actions.
Lewis had for a while been unhappy with Emma in her role of fund-holder and the final straw happened one evening when she ‘forgot’ to send out invitations to members about a meeting where Adam Walker was due to speak. Not only did she not tell anyone about this meeting but she herself and her husband boycotted it for some trivial reason. Lewis decided that Emma had to be removed from her position as fund-holder, Emma was not happy about this.
During the next couple of weeks Emma was constantly on the phone to both me and Paul Hilliard complaining about Lewis, blaming his organisation for poor local election results. Then Paul phoned me and told me he was going to sack Lewis due to the amount of complaints he had received. Needless to say, most of these ‘complaints’ were either from the Ropers or had been instigated by them.
In order to calm the situation down, I volunteered to take over as organiser on a temporary basis. I explained that my health was poor and I would not be able to do it alone and I did not wish to go behind Lewis’ back, I would take the role on with his consent or not at all. I also explained that there were a lot of tasks I would be unable to do due to health reasons. Paul accepted these conditions so I became organiser.
It was due to be announced at the next meeting that I was to become the new organiser when Cliff spat his dummy out over group finances and went Independent. The first I heard of this was through his blog where he posted some outrageous lies about Lewis. The meeting was re-arranged into a reconciliation exercise to iron out the problems. Lewis was angry about it but he promised not to retaliate in any way, he wanted a solution that mended the damage done to the local group. Cliff having resigned the party whip to sit as an independent councillor still believed he could remain a member of the party. I felt it was unacceptable for Cliff to retain his membership whilst criticising Lewis publically in such a slanderous manner.
I complained to Geoff Dickens and Paul Hilliard and arranged the meeting. Geoff told Cliff it was not an option for him to sit as an independent and retain membership. If he remained independent then he would have to resign from the party too. At the meeting Cliff was also told by Geoff in no uncertain terms that the criticising of other BNP members or councillors via his blog was unacceptable and he demanded that Lewis receive an apology and an assurance it would not happen again.
Cliff sat there like a mute until Lewis extended his hand of friendship so the group could move on from this. To appease the situation further, Lewis even offered Cliff the role of ‘leader’ of the BNP group on the Amber Valley Council. Cliff grabbed this opportunity with both hands and re-took the party whip after just 5 days as an Independent, reluctantly he also agreed an write a public apology. A half-hearted attempt at an apology went on his blog, and he gleefully stated he’d had been ‘appointed’ leader. Everyone believed this was then the end of the matter.
We did all realise that it would take more time before Lewis would trust Cliff again to resume their friendship in full. I then took over as organiser. Emma was to continue as fund-holder and I had hoped that Lewis would become secretary, but he found he could not work with Emma and so I did not appoint one straight away as I hoped I could talk him round eventually. .
In the weeks that followed I continued to be friends with Lewis and sought his opinion and help regularly on things so in effect he was unofficially the branch secretary.
Everything went well for a while, despite the strained relationship between Cliff and Lewis, the branch did continue to move forward and there were no major incidents. That was until the BNP leadership election. Cliff decided to back Andrew Brons whilst Lewis and I were firmly in the Nick Griffin camp. This led to further strains within the relationship of Lewis and Cliff.
The branch became split down the middle as half the members were supporting one candidate and the rest of us the other. This became worse after an ill-timed event at Ashfield in which Andrew Brons was invited to speak which led to Cliff again using his blog to criticise the party and Nick Griffin. This time Lewis decided to retaliate in response to this meeting which contravened internal party election rules, and Cliff’s illegal one sided campaigning. He produced a video of Andrew Brons exposing his intention to allow Eddy Butler back into the party. Ashfield branch organiser took exception to this and complained to the regional organiser. Despite this we still held things together and continued hoping that after the election we could re-group and continue to fight our real enemies and not each other.
As soon as the election was over and Nick Griffin won, Cliff then started criticising the party again on his blog, and insinuating that Lewis was not pulling his weight as a councillor. This was absolutely untrue. Cliff was again told to take the offending articles down. He did do this; however, not soon enough, as by then, they had been picked up by the Labour Party and were reproduced on their website.
Geoff Dickens was particularly annoyed by this and said that while ever he was regional organiser Cliff would never stand for election again for the BNP.
As Emma was still fund-holder at that time, she got to hear of this and repeated it to Cliff who yet again used his blog to air his differences, by producing an article saying he had been de-selected.
I became very disillusioned with Emma as by now I had realised I could not trust her. I spoke to Paul and Geoff about the situation and about her constant negativity and moaning to other the branch members. It was then decided she had to go. Paul contacted her and in effect ‘sacked’ her from her role of fund-holder.
We were all in agreement, Paul, Geoff, Lewis and I that the Ropers were trouble and we would be better off without their negativity and whinging. The damage they had caused within the branch was terrible, but we felt we could overcome this and grow again without their interference.
Emma did however, have a different agenda and was not prepared to just leave quietly. She started phoning Paul on a daily basis to tell ‘tales’ and stir things up. She stated that Cliff was not supporting Nick Griffin and would not be involved in anything but she would still like to be involved in stalls and activities.
On one Sunday we decided to hold a stall in Matlock. It was a particularly hot day. My daughter Amy had been asking for a drink every time someone went to the shops but they kept forgetting to bring her one. A few hours later Lewis decided that he was going to fetch something to eat. Paul then vanished. A few minutes later he started phoning the other male members asking them to join him and Lewis. I felt this was unacceptable as we were all hungry and thirsty and to leave just women on the stall was not very safe. Emma was also annoyed at this lack of consideration by Paul. Amy yet again asked for a drink so I sent her to our car to fetch one. Emma decided to accompany her. All the way to the car, Emma nagged at Amy that ‘someone should say something to Paul’. Then by chance, both Amy and Emma spotted Paul and Lewis sitting eating in a café. Amy, who had been egged on by Emma, confronted them and in effect humiliated them for their actions. Paul was livid.
Paul was not going to forget this in a hurry and then started his campaign to get rid of both me and Amy. At first he told other members that he wanted Amy out but if I would not continue without her then I had to go too. I would think it obvious to anyone that I would not betray my daughter for anyone or anything. After all, I did not consider the incident in Matlock to be as important as Paul obviously did. Lewis also quickly got over this small incident. My daughter Amy is a teenager after all and from the antics of many teenagers I know, the situation could have been far worse than just a verbal encounter.
At our next branch meeting, Paul told me that as far as he was concerned, he would not forgive Amy’s outburst and she was now on her final warning. I was really annoyed by this, particularly when Cliff had done so much and got away with it every time, yet Amy had lost her cool just once and now it was her final warning.
Paul tried his hardest to encourage Lewis to take over as organiser again and I spoke to Lewis about this. I told Lewis if he wanted the job back then I was willing to stand aside, but he refused. I really felt like resigning at this stage and was getting constant phone calls from Emma encouraging me to do so, but several members including Lewis persuaded me to stay. Lewis even told Paul and Geoff that both Amy and I was an asset to the party and we should be encouraged to stay.
I continued in the role of Organiser however both Lewis and I distanced ourselves from Paul and the activities he had organised and we concentrated on Amber Valley instead. Emma on the other hand, along with Cliff, decided she preferred to go along with what Paul was organising and they turned their back on Amber Valley. By this time, Paul had unilaterally decided that all the Derbyshire branches should join forces under his leadership and go everywhere together as a group. The relevant Organisers were not asked their opinion on this; it was simply decided by Paul that’s what would happen.
Cliff again started his antics of using his blog to stir things up and I was getting increasingly frustrated at my inability to do anything about it. Lewis then noticed that some of the ‘old’ articles which Cliff has agreed to remove several months before had re-appeared along with many more ‘new’ articles posted in the guise that they had been there many months. In all there were 21 articles criticising him. This was absolutely unacceptable and in my opinion Cliff should have been sacked from the party for it.
As the Ropers had been valuable to Paul and Derby by then, it was impossible to convince Paul at this time that they had to go. So, despite the views of the Amber Valley officials, Paul decided to be peace maker and convince Cliff to remove the offending articles, promise not to put any more up and return to the branch. They deliberately held this meeting on the same night as the arranged branch meeting so they did not have to attend. As if this was not bad enough, Emma had been phoning round her ‘friends’ within the party and convincing them not to attend my meeting either. Of course, she denied this and convinced Paul she had not done any such thing!!
Despite their interference we still had a good meeting and raised a nice sum of money for the branch. In fact, the atmosphere was vastly improved without the whinging tones of Emma. We had even managed to convince two extra members and four who were considering joining to come to the meeting so we had quite a good turnout.
By now it was late November and the colder weather was upon us. I had already told Paul and Geoff that my activities in the winter would be limited due to my health issues. Nevertheless, Paul continued to criticise me for my inability to deliver leaflets or stand in the freezing cold on stalls. I had done my best in the summer but that all seemed to be forgotten now.
Paul sent some really nasty text messages to members about me and it was clear he still wanted me out of the job of Organiser. He even hinted at the fact that he knew that the next election would be disastrous and that I could be blamed for that as Organiser as a way to remove me from the job. No mention was made to the fact that it was Cliff and his blog that were responsible for bringing the party into disrepute or the fact that now the opposition had picked up on these articles that they would use them against our candidates, particularly Lewis.
It was at this time that Lewis decided it was futile to stand for re-election and he was withdrawing from his duties with the BNP.
We therefore decided to cancel the upcoming Christmas fund-raiser as it seemed pointless raising money to be spent on an election campaign that we would not be involved in.
I then decided to inform Paul and Geoff I was taking a break until after Christmas. I had hoped to talk Lewis round and we could continue our branch but just exclude the Ropers. But Lewis persuaded me that whatever we did we would be undermined by Paul and Geoff as before and any money we raised would still be spent on the Ropers election campaign. Even though Cliff hardly ever attended any of my meetings or helped in any way to raise the money, he would still feel he was entitled to a share spent on him.
I then felt that my only option now was to resign. I sited the main reason for this as my health and also pointed out that I could not accept the Ropers back into the branch after all the damage they had caused. By now Lewis had decided definitely he was going and I felt that as a very good loyal friend I would feel it a betrayal to continue without him.
Now I have resigned it seems that I have become ‘fair game’ and the person to blame for all the ills within the party; or in particular the branch. I have been accused of being a ‘tory’ plant and a trouble maker amongst other things.
All I can say in my defence is, I am a committed Nationalist, I support Nick Griffin whole-heartedly and my political stance is as right-wing as it has always been. However, I do not feel able to support the local branches and feel very much let down by the local officials that I cannot in all sincerity renew my membership whilst those who have done so much to destroy this party are in positions of power.
Finally, on the subject of the new Derby Patriot blog, I would like to point out that I have tried my best to be neutral in all disputes and have not criticised anyone or the party. However, I have found myself under attack. The things being said about my character, family and commitment to the cause are horrendous. The comments are personal, callous and without any foundation. It is with regard to these comments that the new Derby Patriot blog was started by supporters of both Lewis and me.
It was borne out of sheer desperation of our being unable to defend ourselves against the true enemies of the party who had gained the protection of the party hierarchy.
Whilst the blog has attacked certain members vigorously, this is nothing compared to what has been said about us. I therefore fully endorse the site. To anyone who may disapprove, all I can say is, attack is sometimes the only way you have left to defend yourself.
I fully appreciate that members should not attack each other but remind everyone, it was not me who started all of this mud-slinging and throughout it all I have remained silent whilst being attacked and undermined relentlessly.
It is always easy for outsiders to sit in judgement, but I wonder if they would think the same way if it was they and their family who were being verbally abused by traitors once considered to be their friends.