This morning’s notes are taken by BNP Press Officer Dr. Phil Edwards. Nick is having the final day off, simply sitting in the witness box next to Mark and following every word without having to scribble down notes.
10.45 - jury came in - Mr King commenced by saying "they are not here to defend a Party, but the right of the defendant to speak his views as long as they don't break the law.
"NG is on trial for a criminal offence - for words, not actions, not behaviour. We must not criminalise words."
Mr King said the European Human Rights convention enshrines a "golden principle" i.e. free speech - art 10 [which he read out to the jury]. He says that he makes no apology for repeating what his learned friend Lawson-Rogers said the day before, because these points about free speech are so fundamental.
He quoted a senior Judge - Lord Seddon who in 1999 had said that free speech should include the irritable, the offensive etc.
The European court of Human Rights says that freedom of expression applies to ideas which offend, shock and disturb.
It is accepted that it is necessary to establish restrictions, but they are to be very strictly limited.
Mr King said we cannot take NG's speech and look at odd words - so look at the speech as a whole, not just words in order to misinterpret the speech.
He said the Jury must have NO DOUBT about NG's meaning, adding " NG is NOT an advocate of the bomb or the bullet, but the ballot box. He is raising issues of concern to an audience who feel left out of the political process, providing a democratic outlet for frustration".
The prosecution must establish "racial hatred" - will be difficult to do. The speech is trying to show the evil [or was the word "effect"?]of the Islamic faith as it bears on Asians in the UK.
To say it was a "cloak" to hide a desire to whip up racial hatred was "absurd".
This is a private speech of a politician.
It was shown to 4.5m people by the BBC but NG did not know that at the time. Neither did NG use notes and the prosecution are "too analytical" of the speech. It is not a legal document capable of detailed analysis.
Mr King went on to say that the BNP is a lawful, legitimate political party.
NG is on trial for one speech only, and NOT for applauding Mark Collett's speech. Whether he applauded or not is irrelevant.
The jury have to decide if the words of NG were likely to stir up racial hatred adding "the proof of the pudding." i.e. what did happen as a result of this speech? Despite the passage of time, i.e. 2 years, the Crown has NO evidence of any incidence of disorder of any kind attributed to this speech.
NB: Must be precise in respect of the charge ie NOT a charge about speaking about RACIAL matters, the speech WAS an attack on multiculturalism and the problems of "white" people. Just because NG voices fears of "white" community does NOT equal racial hatred.
We may or may not like a person's opinion, but does not turn it into a race hate issue.
Everyone - and politicians - are terrified about discussing issues "which are on everyone's lips" - Political Correctness.
NG refers to "white" but this is not race hate - describing as a matter of fact the background, ethnicity, is NOT a criminal offence - the media do it regularly..
He says how he turned the TV on in his hotel room last evening and watched the coverage of the Kriss Donald murder trial - for the first time the media spoke of a "racial" attack by "Asians" - but you would not accuse the media of whipping up racism, said Mr King..
He added "Look at the speech as a whole, not cherry picking - it is not a critical academic thesis. Any fair reading of the speech would be the speech of a politician, to put over a political proposition".
He then moves through the speech itself. It is about a serious issue, the grooming and rape of children, and NG makes his comments about this important issue in good faith.
Mr Griffin makes a link between the Koran and the behaviour of the groomers. Then NG develops the Koranic theme. clearly none of this is capable of breaking a law against racial hatred.
He points out that here's nothing in the speech which says "go out and do something nasty to the opposition."
"Paki" is not a "bad" word. This is shown clearly by the evidence.
Mr King then said to the jury: "you might think multiracialism is good, but that's not what I'm here to defend, just the right of NG to debate it.
He then said it crucial to give weight to Nick’s comment towards the end of his speech that "It’s not a racial thing in a town like this, it's a cultural, a religious thing"
The whole speech, our campaign and the election were, he concluded, an archetypal example of democracy in action. This is what politicians are supposed to do, and it would be wholly wrong to convict his client for doing it.
The Judge then summed up by stating that his directions of law must be followed and accepted by the jury. There must be a logical weighing of the evidence leading to a logical conclusion and no speculation. The Jury must be SURE they are guilty. He also directed them to judge the overall effect of the speeches and not individual words. There was no room for bias or prejudice about politics.
He judge also repeated the points that free speech must include unpleasant, unpalatable views and duties not to abuse those rights, whatever their race, and however their [the BNP] views are.
[Subsequent note from Nick Griffin:
Tim King’s speech was in parts very similar to the one he made last time, though obviously slightly shorter on account of having to defend only one speech instead of two.
He was clearly more comfortable dealing with my strident criticism of Islam than he was last time with my comments about the disparity between the treatment of white and non-white victims of racist crime. He defended my right to say those things (so well that I was acquitted on those counts back in January) but not with the passion that he brought to bear this time.
One of the solicitors from Messrs Brian Jackson’s (the unsung heroes of this case, it’s always the barristers who get the glory, but they’re nothing without the solicitors) told me before we left court that this was probably the finest closingspeech she has ever heard Mr. King make.
I can believe it, for it was a mesmerising performance. The cause of British freedom was served exceptionally well by our entire legal team. Admittedly, like Mr. Jameson, they were at one level merely doing the job for which they were paid by the unfortunate taxpayers, but this was a heart and soul defence and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.
One other thing worth mentioning was a strange incident at the start of this morning’s proceedings. I had walked into the court proper before I realised that I still had my laptop bag over my shoulder.
I was of course barred by the judge from having my laptop earlier in the trial – the point at which the ’til then daily blog stopped – after the prosecution launched a petty ambush just before I was due to start my stint in the witness box.
Their complaint – justified as it happens – was that I had speculated on the possibility of one juror being a leftist, and had referred to Mark and Mr. Jameson verbally circling each other like a pair of weasels (Mark in the witness box, you will remember, had accused Mr. J. of being a weasel), something which was felt could prejudice Mark’s case.
I told Tim King that I had already taken steps to shut the blog down for the duration of the trial, thereby avoiding the judge so ordering in any case, but he also denied me the chance to keep on making laptop notes, hence the delay in posting this blog post-trial as everything had to be typed up from various peoples’ hand-written notes.
Accordingly, when I remembered the bag I leant over the smoked glass screen at the point where Jackie had sat throughout the trial in order to pass it to her. In haste, I put the bag over before my own head, with the result that I thrust the thing over not to her as expected, but on top of a rather startled Weyman Bennett. Bennett is I believe clearly a refugee from the destruction of Sauron’s forces at Mordor, but has disguised himself as a spokesperson for Unite Against Fascism.
I retrieved the laptop and passed it to Jackie, who had been forced to sit in front of the hate-filled creature and a delicately featured youth from Liverpool University who was there to hold his hand and – no doubt – to see if they could bring in a bigger squad of juvenile would-be thugs to kick off when the verdict came through.
The position was put right after the next break, when the two found themselves screened from our relatives by members of our security team, and later on kept out of court altogether by a relay of BNP supporters who came in from the demo outside to keep our places in the queue outside the court on the occasions when we went down to the canteen]
Simon Darby’s notes:
Judge enters courtroom 8. Public gallery once again packed with Usher having to remove people wanting to sit on the floor.
Judge emphasises that the prosecution case was short and that no live witnesses had been called. "Take into account the arguments made to you by counsel" he urges – that has to be good for Nick and Mark.
"The cardinal principle of law is for the prosecution to prove the case - the burden of proof is with the prosecution. You must be sure - if you are less than sure you must find them not guilty".
"Consider the speeches in their entirety, not just odd phrases.
The judge then described how the jury should deal with each of the six counts and emphasised that religious groups were not covered by any of the indictments. He stated that Mark Collett was a man of good character and that this supported his credibility as a witness.
"You must not hold the fact that both men refused to answer police questions against them - they were perfectly entitled not to".
"This case was not about the politics of the BNP and it was a classic case requiring the good and balanced judgement of an English jury".
"We live in a democratic society which entitles people to freedom of expression”.Judge then mentioned the importance of article 10 of the European Convention and how it was entwined with English law (two specific refs 1979 and one later).
"This case is not about silencing the views of a recognised political party".
He reminded the jury that in Bradford 80% of Muslims are Asian with the figure in Keighley being 88%.
Break for lunch.
Judge resumes his summing up:
Of the 5 speeches made by Mr Griffin only one had been brought before the court as the CPS had found them completely legitimate. He specifically invited the jury to draw inference from this. He said they were political speeches.
There is a small mention of the police intelligence report about guns in Bradford mosque. Last time the prosecution had tried to challenge Mark’s claim about this, but this time around they had thought better of it.
The jury must decide whether the speeches made by Mr Collett were attacking Asians or Asian criminals.
He goes on to refer the jury to the revised tenancy agreement which is also included in the jury bundle, [and which Mark relies upon a) to show the jury that he was telling the truth and b) – we hope – to rekindle the annoyance that some of them must have felt against our Masters at times in the past when they’ve read asylum stories in the papers] .
Mr Collett had used the word ‘cockroaches’, had only once used the term "Muslim" but he insisted that it was the white politicians he hated as they had sold us down the line.
He told the jury that "twat some Pakis" drew applause but in fact he was wrong as this was shouted during the applause. Reminded the jury of Mark’s claim that he could have been paid for by the BBC to spice it up and improve ratings. [The way in which this idiotic comment was chewed over by the prosecution so much shows very clearly why such outbursts from angry newcomers who don’t grasp what we’re about must NEVER be tolerated at any BNP meetings].
He goes on to remind them that the BNP got more votes in Dewsbury than any other party but told jury that our claim that it was a political prosecution because it was authorised by the Attorney General was wrong in that Goldsmith was called upon in all such cases in his role as head of the legal system, and would have made his decision on purely legal and not political grounds. Well, he can tell the jury that, but whether they believe that of a Labour crony is another matter!
The fact that Nick and Mark had been previously acquitted by another jury was mentioned.
Mr Griffin, he says, claims that his speech was about religion not race and was designed to stir his audience to political activity. He mentions Nick’s evidence about the man in the meeting with the older daughter being a heroin addict and his younger being groomed by Muslims. [This is good stuff for the jury, especially those who are parents]
Then he refers to the Newsnight Paxman interview in which Nick said it was a Muslim problem not an Asian problem.
The judge then stated that Nick had added that Islam gives a low status to women and in particular non-believer women. He then added that the examples of Islamic fundamentalists dealt with in the court had indeed displayed a horrendous and sickening philosophy.
He mentions Nick’s discourse into the nature of Islam, and refers to his use of the word ‘fluffy’ to describe the ‘moderate’ wing which he has said is inconsequential.
He asked the jury whether or not a large proportion of Nick's speech deals with non-inflammatory subjects temper down the effect of the speech overall.
Before sending the jury out consider its verdict, Judge Norman Jones stressed to the jury that the BNP was not on trial and that the crime the defendants stood accused of was racial, not religious, hatred.
"This is not about whether the political beliefs of the BNP are right or wrong," he told them.
"It's not about whether assertions made about Islam are right or wrong. Those are issues to be debated in different arenas."
He added: "We live in a democratic society which jealously protects the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression, to free speech.
"That does not mean it is limited to speaking only the acceptable, popular or politically correct things. It extends to the unpopular, to those which many people may find unacceptable, unpalatable and sensitive."
Stirring up racial hatred was not the same as creating racial hatred, but related to inflaming or exciting it, he added.
"This case is about allegations of the commitment of a crime."
judge finishes his summing up and two bailiffs are worn in. Their job is to keep the jurors in a safe and convenient place and to make sure that no-one speaks to them. The jury then retires and we leave the court yet again.
The summing up was very different this time around. So much so that I think that the Judge’s nose must have been seriously put out of joint at the end of the first trial when Jameson said that he had received an email from the Attorney-General that the Judge had concluded was an attempt to interfere with the proper running of his court. His comment then, that the Government “did not, yet, have such power” was cutting in the extreme, and he clearly doesn’t want to see a conviction.
He is much fairer this time, stressing several times that the jury mustbe absolutely sure, the law has been broken before they convict, if they are not then it must be not guilty. Particularly in Nick’s case he made a point of referring to the “very interesting” part about the struggle for justice in the 19th century and invited the jury to consider that this “tempered” the rest of the speech.
I go home as confident as I can be that both Nick and Mark will walk from court free men tomorrow – albeit perhaps with the threat of another retrial hanging over them unless the CPS see sense.
[Subsequent note from Nick Griffin:
Last time around I was unhappy with a number of the points made by the Judge in his summing up. Particularly when he dealt with the permitted restrictions on Article 10 and free speech, he laboured the idea that ethnic minorities were entitled to go about their lives without being attacked or harassed or abused. This time was significantly different.
He stressed the way in which free speech is the cornerstone of our democracy, and that legitimate restrictions must therefore be interpreted very narrowly indeed. It was proper to prevent people from inciting violence against anyone else, he said, and since we had clearly not done so the implication was that what we had to say should not be silenced. He even gave as an example of the things that people (this time unspecified, with no mention of ethnic minorities) have a right to enjoy is for their children to go to school without fear.
Added together with the very considerable extra latitude that he gave me this time around when I was in the witness box, I can only conclude that his position towards us either changed as part of the general public mood swing and the shifting parameters of political debate since January, or reflected his annoyance that the CPS had refused to accept his advice at the end of the first trial that they should not hold a retrial, and his determination to ensure that the whole waste of public money and political bonus for the BNP should not be repeated again.
Occasionally the Judge refers to Mark simply as ‘Collett’, I keep a record of what he calls us, as it indicates how he views us and may well be intended as a very subtle but deliberate signal of his opinion to the jury. He uses ‘Griffin’ only once. More often it’s ‘Mr. Collett’ and it’s almost always ‘Mr. Griffin’, once even ‘Nick Griffin’, which is presumably an unintentional recognition of my high public profile, but perhaps a subconscious acceptance of legitimacy.
In any case, having heard the summings up by all the barristers and by Mr Justice Norman Jones, I was left as confident as I could be that only a totally rigged jury would convict us. I still went home that night believing that a hung jury was by far the most likely result.]
The Judge enters the court, the jury are brought in, and Nick is called back to the witness box to begin his cross examination.
Jameson begins by asking Nick if he still believes that the BNP used to be ‘racist’ but isn’t now. Nick points out that ‘racism’ is a cant Politically Correct concept invented by Leon Trotsky to demonise opponents, then goes on to confirm the question.
(He is doing this partly to ‘close the door’ on the possibility of some later implicit assertion of his ‘good character’ otherwise opening the door to the prosecution to raise the matter of his previous Race Act conviction. The prosecution worked hard to be allowed to tell the jury about this last time around, and Nick’s lawyers worked equally hard to keep it out of court. While they were successful, Nick had to remain alert to the possibility of inadvertently opening a window through which Jameson could try to reintroduce it in the course of the case).
Jameson moves on to establish the fact that the BNP does not have non-white members, and then asks if the changes and details of the party’s modern position are in the manifesto.
Nick goes through the changes in the manifesto, explaining in some detail where we stand and why. Within minutes Nick has turned the courtroom into the political arena he wanted. Fantastic! Though the Judge steps in gently to remind Nick not to make long political answers. Nick got five such warnings while in the witness box back in January, I wonder how many he’ll get this time?!
Jameson’s aim in opening this can of worms becomes clear when he refers Nick to my speech at the Reservoir Tavern. Where he’d said ‘Muslims’, I had said ‘Asians’ and the prosecution tries to use this to force Nick either into condemning me as a possible inciter of racial hatred, or into defending me in such a way as to undermine his own defence. Nick deftly avoids the pitfall but his opponent comes back to try again.
Jameson begins nitpicking about the date of the changes in the BNP, and questions why, if we really had refined much of our criticism of ‘Asian’ wrong-doing into a more accurate condemnation of things done by Muslims for religiously-inspired reasons, more hadn’t been done to get this point over internally.
Nick answers perfectly, including by pointing out that we address far more subjects than just race, immigration and Islam. He points out that such matters cover only about 10% of our manifesto, and briefly details some of the other subjects we address, mentioning for the benefit of the jury things such as our opposition to Britain’s membership of the EU, and our critique of the shattering effects of globalisation on blue and now white collar workers. The jury are getting a political education.
Jameson tries again, describing the switch in emphasis from ‘Asian’ to ‘Islam’ as the great change in BNP presentation as part of our modernisation programme. Nick rebuts this, pointing out that the really important point was the change from a policy of compulsory repatriation in favour of a policy of shutting the door, ending all ‘positive discrimination’ schemes, the deportation of illegals, criminals and bogus asylum seekers, and a huge programme to encourage voluntary resettlement. Surely some members of the jury at least must agree that this all makes good sense.
Returning to our joint meeting In Keighley, Jameson makes the unfortunate slip of referring to the meeting chairman, Paul Cromie, as ‘Lee Massey’. Nick punishes him with a great shot, reminding the jury that Lee Massey wasn’t there as he was the lad who had nearly been beaten to death by Iraqi asylum seekers.
Jameson picks himself up and goes on the attack over what I said at the meeting. Nick explains that he felt that not everything I’d said was as he would have said it, or was even strictly accurate, but he says firmly that I was doing it for a good reason – seeking to win over an angry audience to peaceful political action. He also says that he believes in free speech, with the only proper limit being to stop people inciting illegal acts.
In any case, Nick responds to the idea that I was somehow in the wrong to say ‘Asian’ or that our speeches were contradictory: “Everyone else uses the word ‘Asian’. The papers, the police, the courts. Why should Nick Griffin and Mark Collett be the only people in the country who can’t use the A-word?”
We move on: Does Nick think there is a moderate majority of Muslims in Britain? Jameson says that he’d like ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to this batch of questions if possible. Somehow I think that’s unlikely!
Nick says there are broadly three types of Muslims to consider in answering this. The peaceful, other-wordly Sufis, who he characterises as being so unIslamic and unusual as to be regarded as heretics and persecution targets by mainstream Islam; those he describes as ‘heritage Muslims’ – those whose religion is on a par with Mr Jameson’s when he probably buried his granny in church – and the genuine Muslims.
This latter block is in turn divided in two, between those who want it all now, like Abu Hamza, and those who are cleverer and more willing to bide their time. To be careful is not to be moderate, so the one-word answer to Jameson’s question is ‘no’.
The prosecution asks if racial violence and racial/religious intolerance is common among most young Muslims? Nick answers by recalling that some 20,000 Muslims from West Yorkshire protested in Bradford against Salman Rushdie. Only a minority at present use direct physical violence, but clearly this population is not assimilated into our way of life.
“Do you accept that Islam has a strong moderate thread?” “No”.
Do you accept that there are passages in the Koran that can be misinterpreted?”
Nick explains the Islamic term ‘Nashk’, which means that the moderate - ‘fluffy’ as he puts it – verses, written while Mohammed was weak and had little support while based in Mecca, are overruled or abrogated by the much harsher and aggressive ones he recorded once based in Medina with the backing of an army.
So the way in which verses are misinterpreted is to make the Koran appear softer than it really is to Muslims.
Nick states that he did several years before write to the Muslim Council of Britain to ask their ‘experts’ to explain what the verses meant, but they did not reply.
Is it a duty for a politician to try to encourage ‘moderate’ Muslims to speak out against the violent ones? Nick gives a clever answer about a fire in a theatre – if there is no fire it has always been an offence to shout ‘fire’, but when there is a real fire then the proper thing to do is to warn people, not to waste time discussing the physics and properties of fire. We have a duty to talk about problems, not one to cover them up.
There is a rustling of paper among the lawyers and at the Judge retires the jury while a matter of law is discussed. This is the production by the prosecution of a document which the prosecution say was retrieved from Nick’s computer, and about which Jameson wishes to question him. The judge and defence counsel are given copies and read through it. Nick stands impassively in the dock. An initial look of concern on his face has now been replaced by what is either amusement or contempt. My guess is that he’s worked out what the document is and isn’t in the least bit bothered.
Tim King for the defence says that having read the document he has no objection to it being used in court, provided it can be confirmed that it was indeed Nick’s. The Judge asks him if it is. Nick smiles and says that it may well be, but that he is at a disadvantage as he hasn’t been given a copy. Mr. Jameson puts this right, Nick skim reads it and confirms not just that he wrote it, but also puts a rough date on it – “July 2003”.
The jury returns at 11.41 and are given copies of the document. It is several sheets, being partly a set of layout instructions to me, then the text of a double-sided A4 leaflet entitled ‘An Open Letter to Britain’s Muslims’.
Jameson works his way through the letter. This explains why he let Nick run amok with his explanation of the essentially extreme nature of Islam earlier in the morning, for he now draws attention to the way that Nick wrote otherwise in the open letter, which was an appeal to ‘moderates’ to explain the verses that are said to be misinterpreted by ‘extremists’.
The aim of this ambush is clearly to make the jury think that Nick is a liar, and/or that we say one thing in private and one in public. This is Mr.J. on top weaseling form.
Nick deals with it all easily. First, he says, he was simply being polite, as we English are. Furthermore, he explains that this was a leaflet and was deliberately softly worded so as to be well within the law against ‘religious hatred’ that we erroneously thought had become law back in 2001. It wasn’t just a matter of Nick avoiding trouble, he didn’t want to give repressive police forces any excuse to arrest our activists – a particular danger in places such as West Yorkshire, he says, getting in a sideways dig at Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn.
Jameson clearly thought that he’d be able to stitch Nick up with this, but he falls flat on his face. Nick rips him to shreds in an icy cool manner – it was contempt I spotted a few minutes earlier.
Jameson moves back onto the ground that Nick was cloaking his views and Nick seizes the opportunity to make a telling point: He says that, although he doesn’t approve of any laws that restrict freedom of speech beyond what is necessary to ban incitement to violence, he would still be very concerned at doing anything that could be said to incite racial hatred for the simple reason that people cannot change their race. A law, on the other hand, that prevented criticism of a bad religion could be broken because everybody had the chance to change their religion.
Jameson suggests again and again that the differences in tone between the letter and what Nick said in Keighley and in court indicates that he has some kind of hidden agenda. Nick says no, save that he wanted to lure the MCB into answering his challenge, and felt it best done by posing as naive and ill-informed. “It was a propaganda leaflet”, he says with blunt honesty, “a verbal trap.”
Also, he says, “I wanted an answer, not a fatwa,” pointing out the tendency of “these people” to issue death threats at the drop of a hat. This is a good way to reinforce his rebuttal of the prosecution claim that he is hiding behind criticism of Islam to avoid the Race Laws – hardly realistic given the fate of Theo Van Gogh and Salman Rushdie.
The fact that the MCB didn’t even bother to reply only further convinced him that their ‘moderation’ was phoney. Nick then uses the opportunity to make further propaganda points, describing the so-called ‘anti-terror’ booklet that the MCB sent to every Muslim home in the country after 7/7 (“at taxpayers’ expense, because it’s all subsidised by the government with our money” – the Judge is letting Nick get away with much more than he did in January, and it’s great to watch).
He explains how almost all the booklet was about Muslim victimhood, the rights of Muslins if arrested and so on, with only two pages being devoted to a mealy-mouthed condemnation of terrorism against ‘innocent people’. This is why, Nick says, he has given up completely on the so-called ‘moderates’. What was meant as a trap for him has given him a platform to put across views which can only influence the jury in our favour, reminding them of the carnage of 7/7, for instance, is subtle but powerful stuff.
Jameson tries to make something of the contrast between the tone of the letter/leaflet
The fact that Nick mentioned this letter earlier in the morning adds to the credibility of his answers. Jameson tells the court that he would be perfectly happy to put his own name to the letter – which is a stunning indication of how far public opinion and the debate on this subject has shifted in the last few years, since I can remember squeals in the press about how ‘extreme’ and ‘Islamophobic’ the leaflet was. If Jameson thought this was going to help his argument, he has in fact presented the man in the witness box/pulpit with a vulnerable balloon. “Splendid. Thank you, Mr. Jameson,” smiles Nick, and nearly everyone in the court bursts out laughing as another prosecution bubble is burst.
But the prosecution have clearly decided that this letter ambush is their trump card, so Jameson plays it yet again. Nick counters by saying that the letter was in some ways really nothing more or less than the kind of verbal trick that lawyers use – “like you’re trying to use against me now, Mr. Jameson” – all he wanted was an answer he could use to further his argument. He also notes that back in 2003 it was very radical. The fact that it is not now is due to a sea change in popular opinion. Is it right, muses Nick, that he should be jailed simply for being a couple of years ahead of everyone else?
The final shot of this series of exchanges comes when Nick responds to the ‘cloak’ claim. Bringing the jury’s attention back to the speech itself, he points out that, by his own admission at the very start and end of the speech, he clearly didn’t know he was being filmed, and hence had no reason whatsoever to ‘cloak’ any of his views. The prosecution argument is totally illogical. Jameson shifts from one foot to the other and moves on.
Back to attacking me. Did Nick consider my speech to be a criticism of Asians? No, I was talking about criminality in the Asian community.
But couldn’t he see that what I said could be abusive or insulting to Asians? Nick launches a blistering attack on Jameson and accuses him of being a snob. You’ve totally misunderstood the dynamics of such meetings, Nick tells him. He describes the makeup of the meeting and ridicules the idea that “middle class southern graduates” could go and ‘stir up’ a working class Yorkshire audience as the product of a snobbish view of such people sitting there with slack jaws and cloth caps.
People up here say worse things than Mark or I said about their mates when they’re having a laugh, Nick tells him, contrasting the commonsense world of working class Yorkshire with “Crown Prosecution World” and its upper class chatterers down in London:
“In CPS World you think it’s abusive to give someone the wrong coloured jelly babies,” jibes Nick, referring to an absurd and abortive ‘Race Hate’ case that made the front page of The Sun near the start of the trial. Everybody laughs, even the judge, and Nick presses home his advantage: “And in CPS World you think it’s sensible to spend a quarter of a million pounds trying to send someone to prison for giving someone the wrong coloured jelly babies!”
Jameson retreats and starts talking about Nick attacking Muslims. Nick corrects him, he doesn’t attack Muslims, but the evil at the heart of their faith. He doesn’t need to elaborate on what he means by that, the evidence he presented while being questioned by Mr. King yesterday was brutally conclusive.
Mr. Jameson brings us back to the “seven years” comments in Nick’s speech. The first time, Nick said it “could” land him in prison, but at the close of the speech he said “would”. Nick rips apart the attempt to make a big thing of this tiny difference. He takes Jameson and the jury to a passage in his speech where he criticised WestYorkshire police for being “politically incorrect”, when he clearly meant “Politically Correct.” Only in CPS World, he said, would so much time be wasted analysing minute textual differences from a speech that was delivered off the cuff to an audience in a pub.
Nick is asked if it wasn’t vitally important to get across to the audience that the problem in their town was Islam rather than Asians? Not at all, he says, again seeing the threat to me, the vitally important thing was to find local people willing to stand in the election and to campaign to win the political influence needed to get the problem of grooming addressed and dealt with through the democratic process.
Nick again takes Jameson, the jury and the Judge to a piece of his speech, where he said he wanted to come back in a few months time and congratulate everyone on getting candidates elected in Bradford in general and Keighley in particular. His emphasis on how he got exactly what he predicted, and that this was because he knew his audience and he knew the circumstances is convincing stuff, but earns him his second rebuke from the Judge for making political speeches. Nick apologises and then carries on doing pretty much the same.
Jameson mentions that Nick uses the word ‘Asian’ as well as ‘Muslim’ and Nick again goes on the attack. Having again defended the right to use the word, he points out that the only time he used ‘Asian’ by itself was in reported speech. It was where he was describing what the audience might think. “If the CPS transcribers weren’t semi-literate the phrase would have inverted commas around it,” he says coldly, before instructing all concerned where they should be.
The prosecution’s opening claim that he used the words interchangeably wasn’t worth a lot anyway, but now it lies in tatters.
Nick presses on. It’s hard at times to tell who is being prosecuted. He talks of the other speeches he made. Only one out of five secretly recorded is indicted. He suggests that if it had been his intention to incite hatred then he would surely have tried to do so at each meeting, and he proposes to Mr. Jameson that he is sufficiently articulate to have found the words to do so had he wished. The question answers itself.
Then he turns to the ‘likely’ charge and tears that apart too. He draws an imaginary line across the front of the witness box and says that one end represents ‘Certainly not’ and the other ‘Definitely’. He suggests that ‘likely’ must be well over towards the ‘Definitely’ side. The Judge steps in and says that he will instruct that ‘likely’ means ‘probable’, which supports Nick’s analysis.
Then Nick points out that the speech was heard by about 60 people, with by the Crown’s own admission no evidence of any disorder or problems. And that the selected, bluntest parts had been seen by 4.5 million people, again with no evidence of any incidents arising. And that the whole speech had been downloaded from our website and seen by around 20,000 people since January, again with no reported consequences.
So, given that the speech had no effect whatsoever save to help get two candidates elected in Keighley, how ‘likely’ was it that it was ever going to incite anything? Ace!
Jameson tries another tack, taking Nick back to his description of the meeting as ‘emotionally charged’. Didn’t a responsible politician have a duty to work to calm things down? Nick agrees, and says that he and I were discharging that responsibility by giving angry people a way in which to voice their concerns legitimately through the political process. We were behaving responsibly, as he has said earlier, our giving politically correct sermons as the prosecution seems to think we should have done would have solved nothing.
Again, Jameson attacks us for having used the word ‘Asian’. Nick asks him and the court to turn to a page in the blue file of defence evidence, which is a copy of an editorial from the desperately anti-white Keighley newspaper. It refers to Labour MP Ann Cryer using the words “Asian sex-ring”. “If either Mark or I had used that phrase, Mr. Jameson, you’d have been all over us like a rash,” Nick slams the unfortunate prosecutor.I feel the point goes home.
Then we come to Nick’s reference to ‘Paki street thugs’. Again, Nick explains that he is talking about a particular type of youth, not the entire community from which they come. “It’s no different to when people talk about ‘white trash’; it doesn’t mean that they’re saying that all white people are trash.
He reminds the court of the masked youths rapping out anti-kuffar hatred while brandishing a Koran and a handgun, and says that this was precisely the sort he was talking about, and that his Keighley audience would have known exactly what he meant.
“They drive around Keighley, in fact all over West Yorkshire, pointing their fingers at people like that” he says, turning his hand into the imaginary gun that at least some of the jurors must have seen or heard of in such circumstances. Nick adds to the drama by turning his hand upside down, as the rapper had held his gun: “I don’t know why they think that a gun can only work if it’s upside down,” he says, “but they all seem to.” Yes, that sums up the ‘Paki street thugs’ and buries another part of the ‘case’ against him.
Nick throws another couple of shovelfuls on for good measure: As we’ve seen from the short clips from Edge of the City, “even the Pakis call themselves Pakis”, and it’s no surprise, because it simply means “Pure”, it isn’t capable of being an insult to them. As for white community, “pop round the Paki shop for a pint of milk” is entirely normal terminology in West Yorkshire.
Nick explains that he would not use the word himself because its use is capable of being misinterpreted by white liberals as implying things that are meant, but for all that its use is normal in the real world as carries no hatred or incitement.
Nick is asked whether, by using the word ‘white’ to describe the victims of grooming and racial attacks, he isn’t accepting that all the trouble is racial? He walks easily round this trap by stating that, yes, in Keighley the victims are indeed all white, and he’s as entitled to use the description as the police and newspapers, and it’s how his audience class themselves. So the victims are chosen on a racial basis, but the attackers’ motivation has a religious and cultural base rather than a racial one.
Mr. Jameson must realise that he’s not going to make any headway here, so at seven minutes to one to sits down. The Judge thanks Nick and tells him he may leave the witness box. That was a morning of hard work. Hard work well done.
2.10 p.m. Nick Griffin is back in the dock and taking notes again.
There is another brief legal discussion, mainly about the directions the Judge intends to give the jury. There is concern as to how best to present Mark’s good character without making it too obvious that I can’t rely on this on account of my 1997 Race Act conviction. The jury are called back in at and Mr. Jameson sums up for the Crown, with the jury members looking intently at him across the court room.
Jameson says that he won’t be long, as they’ve heard a lot from him today, or rather, they’ve seen a lot of him today – a good-humoured reference to the fact that I did the bulk of the talking this morning.
It is, he says, not a difficult case. There are just three speeches, and they need to be considered according to the law. The main complexity is in the defences.
He says the Crown accepts that our motive may well be good – to get support for legitimate political action (by stating this he effectively jettisons the ‘intent’ charges right from the beginning, although this point may be too subtle for some to pick up). the problem, he says, is in our methods.
He draws a whacky parallel: Gordon Brown can’t shoot Tony Blair and rely on the defence that “I only wanted to make sure that I took over as Prime Minister, and that’s not a crime, is it?”Hmm!
Politicians have a responsibility to be careful and positive about sensitive subjects, did we discharge that responsibility?
The real issue in Mark’s case is the question of whether, when he said what ‘the Asians’ were doing, did he confine this critique to Asian criminals or was he deliberately implying that all Asians were to blame? He says it’s easy to read the transcripts and to decide – he picks out some points and submits that “it’s pretty damn clear.”
He points out a passage from Mark’s Keighley speech about press reports from Bradford:
“In the space of a week there’s always at least two rapes of girls, white girls, between the ages of fifteen and sixteen by gangs of Asians. And it’s always white girls by Asian males.”
He moves down a couple of paragraphs to where Mark points out the difference between these gang rapes of young girls and “what happens to the young white lad, where a twenty or twenty-two year old can go into a night club. There’ll be a young girl in dressed up who’s snuck in there and she’s fifteen but all dressed up and he’ll end up dating her in a totally decent way believing that she’s over sixteen or over eighteen. We’re talking about gangs of Asian males going to all white schools and soliciting white children for sex and we’re saying ‘enough is enough’ and we’re the only party saying that.”
Why did Mr. Collett use the example of a white lad, instead of saying that it could be a lone Asian lad falling for a dressed up fifteen year old instead? Mark’s ‘failure’ to produce a fantasy example is held against him.
Another piece has Mark amusing the audience by recounting how a letter in the local paper in Blackburn from a Muslim after we won a seat there said that he and “all my Asian pals are going to move out of the ward”. Instead of accepting this as a casual joke intended to help ‘hold’ the audience, this is presented as evidence of hardcore ‘hate’. It shows, says Jameson, that Mark was seeking to attack all Asians and asylum seekers, not just criminals.
He moves to Mark’s second speech. There is, he says, not a lot to say, just take the thing as a whole.Then he alleges again that Mark was really seeking to attack all Asians by highlighting the wrong-doings of Asian criminals. It’s a huge leap of ‘logic’, but it sounds passably convincing – if the jury want to be convinced.
Another prosecution slip up
Jameson makes a meal of the fact that Mark’s second speech said that none of the Keighley paedophile rape gang had been jailed, when he must have heard in my first speech that I’d said that they had been. He talks of Mark’s “utter contempt for the literal truth”. It sounds good, but it’s wickedly dishonest, for Jameson knows perfectly well that the real truth is that I was mistaken, that none of that gang was in fact jailed, and that one individual had been jailed for his part in a similar but unrelated incident in the town.
He deliberately avoided raising this subject during cross-examination, as he knew we would explain the discrepancy, so now he can try to jail Mark. With the final shot being a claim that Mark’s speeches are both “overtly racist” (by which, more than anything, members of the liberal elite mean recognition that the white race exists and that white people can be victims of racism and injustice too) Jameson moves on to my speech.
He describes me as “a very different and more complex character than Mark Collett. Entertaining and engaging..” and, somewhat bizarrely, says that I’m the sort of chap the jurors may well think it would be interesting and fun to have a pint or two with one evening.
Then he begins his pitch, saying that issues of race and religion overlap and are not “hermetically separate”. While this is true in practical terms, it is untrue in legal ones, but Jameson has no choice but to use this weak argument, for it is all he really has.
Most Asians in the Keighley area, he says, are Muslims, and vice versa. I knew this, and that the audience regarded it (he squirms desperately to avoid reminding the jury of what ‘it’ is) as a racial problem. He says that I admitted this, which indeed I did, but specifically in terms of the victims, not perpetrators.
He reminds the jury to take the speech as a whole, and accepts that plenty of it is wholly unobjectionable. He cites the section about the way in which local working people organised trade unions to defend their rights in the 19th century as something which would bother no-one – “not even the thought Police that Mr Griffin seems to think I am here to represent.”
What on earth is he thinking of putting such a thought back into the minds of the jury? Is this a guilty conscience breaking to the surface, or a misjudged attempt to discount the possibility by raising it openly?
Then he mentions my open letter to Muslims, and again says that everybody there would probably sign it. But while the letter was, he says, reasonable, under cross-examination I had had to say I didn’t believe it because if I did believe that there was a significant Muslim strand and that the Koran has been misinterpreted then my speech would have been unreasonable and aimed to cause trouble.
This is Upper VI school debating society stuff, especially as it wouldn’t have been illegal to incite religious hatred even if I had been. I can see what he’s trying to get at, but several of the jurors are either bored or confused. That though may not be good, for they may miss the fact that I answered all these points under cross-examination.
If he’s got them switched off enough to overlook that then this speech is actually a fairly decent silk purse out of a rotten sow’s ear of a case. It is, of course, difficult for partisan readers to remember that Mr. Jameson is simply doing his job.O’Connor, the Crown Silk who was rapidly replaced right at the beginning of this whole persecution, was clearly ideologically motivated and unable to keep his personal anti-racist/anti-English passion under control; but Jameson I think is doing the job just because it is his job. I doubt if there is any malice there.
You can see my racial motivation, he goes on to say, by the way in which, despite describing the attackers as ‘Muslims’, I describe the victims as ‘white’ instead of as ‘Unbelievers’. Desperate stuff.
The biggest block of all to getting a conviction against me for racial hatred is a phrase in my speech: “It’s not a racial thing in a town like this, it’s a cultural, religious thing.” Jameson knows that, if the jury are fair, his case is utterly demolished by this and by my differentiation between Mr Aktar, whose door you wouldn’t canvass, and Mr. Singh, who may well vote for us.
He tries to deal with the problem by drawing the jury’s attention to the “not a racial thing” passage – he knows from last time that my defence will make a meal of it even if he doesn’t mention it – and inviting them to believe that my just making the point once wasn’t enough.
As he winds up, he throws in one very dishonest point aimed at a subconscious level, changing my phrase warning of events in the future “as the whites find their way to the sea” into “as the whites fight their way to the sea.”
Then he contrasts my blunt answers to his many probing attacks with what he terms were Mark’s ‘evasive’ responses, and effectively asks the jury to condemn us simultaneously for being either blunt or evasive. Like suspected witches thrown into the village pond we can’t win. In fact, we’re even worse off, for the CPS regards us as guilty even if we sink.
He sits down at , and I suspect that he’s glad that, come what may, this case is over for him.
The judge gives the jury a ten minute break. The summing up they’ve just heard, while intellectually and legally threadbare, sounded at least half-convincing and Mark is plunged briefly into Private Fraser mode. Since I regard the prospect of acquittal or a hung jury as a personal triumph and relief, and conviction as a political jackpot, I’m not fussed either way, so I’ve tended to take the rougher bits of the trial more in my stride than he has. I’ve been here before, but it’s undoubtedly tougher on someone much younger for whom this is a baptism of fire. I tell him to wait until he’s heard our defence barristers respond, because they’ve got much more to make their cases with than Jameson had.
Defence summing up
The jury are called back in at 3.25 and Stuart Lawson-Rogers rises to his feet to sum up Mark’s defence. He speaks in a stronger voice than Jameson, who has a tendency to speak without opening his mouth very wide and so to muffle his own points. Furthermore, the defence team sit nearer the jury, and Lawson-Rogers is a taller, more imposing figure, so straight away we have an advantage.
He calls Jameson’s effort an “eloquent speech,” but says that it presents the case as the Crown (this is lawyer-speak, I tried throughout my evidence to refer to ‘the prosecution’, so as not to lend to this Blairite Showtrial the dignity of association with the Monarchy) as they would like it to be, not as it really is.
The facts have been blown up out of all proportion, he says. The prosecution is “misconceived and inappropriate” and has totally failed to discharge its duty to prove the case. Some of the prosecution (he’s doing the same as me now) speech “lost touch with the reality of our world.” What a blistering opening! The jurors are hanging on his every word as he tells them that they have a heavy responsibility.
He reminds them that they are not sitting in judgement on the BNP. Issues of race are, he accepts, sensitive, but they must be debated. Political Correctness intends by the use of some words and the prohibition of others to prevent debate. (This is actually hardcore radical understanding and critique of PC, way above the Daily Mail level ‘PC gone mad’ stuff with which the jury will already be familiar).
“You can think what you like but be very careful when you open your mouth” is how he describes the PC assault on freedom of speech. It’s all about ‘spin’, he says, using a term which is guaranteed to prejudice 99% of people against those doing the spinning.
We all feel the pressure being applied in this case, he says, even Mr. Jameson used the phrase “tarred with the same brush” and felt the need to apologise if he was being up-PC. “Did the world collapse? Did the world stop spinning?” Brilliant!
It’s very easy to pick apart a speech in hindsight and in print, but an off the cuff political speech is not a legal document.
Cornerstone of democracy
Furthermore, free speech was a cornerstone of our democracy, but “today our rights and liberties are under attack as never before” by the Government. He cites all sorts of things, including the NuLab push for ID cards “to ‘protect us’” he sneers at their deceit and Big Brother mentality.
George Orwell appears in the courtroom “If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people things that they do not want to hear.”
If you conclude that this is a political prosecution, he tells the enthralled jury, you know where to consign it.And here the State is prosecuting a legal political party over election campaign speeches.
He reminds the jury that the Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith had to give permission for this prosecution, and that charges were laid on 6th May 2005 “coincidentally or not the day after the announcement by the Prime Minister of the General Election.”
When you look at Mark Collett’s two speeches in totality, the prosecution case is simply not made out to the legitimate standard; it is just an attempt to criminalise free speech.
He moves on to talk about the European Convention on Human Rights, how it is now the law and how government and the courts are obliged to act in accord with it. He repeats what he said at the end of our January trial about Article 10, and about the very limited reasons for which free speech may legitimately be restricted. The law protects not just popular ideas that also those that offend, shock or disturb any section of the population.
Lord Justice Sedley’s binding opinion, that freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having, is quoted in full (too fast for me to write, but look back at the tail end of the January blog record to find this noble piece of English law in full). And Lawson Rogers reiterates that the jury system can still check abuse of power by the State, just as it did hundreds of years ago in the famous Quaker case cited by Sedley.
History in the making
This must be amazing stuff for someone who thought that their jury service would probably see them trying some scrote for twocking cars. The court official who told me on the quiet a day or so before that this case was history in the making certainly got it right.
The TV programme that started the case was the brainchild of people antipathetic to the BNP. Would there have been a programme at all if the comments had been made by two people not in the BNP? If not, he says, then the whole thing is political. (Superb rhetorical logic, although perhaps a little flimsy legally. Good stuff though. From time to time, he makes his points almost in a whisper, so that the jury have to lean forward and strain on his every word. He’s a showman, and this is some show.)
There were private meetings, with security to keep out people not likeminded. The recordings were obtained through devious methods and it took a year before the decision was made to prosecute. Did West yorkshire police feel the need to investigate Mr. Collett of their own volition? No. Was there trouble aftet the meetings or the programme? No.
Going to the primary allegation, of intention to stir up hatred, the BNP is striving to establish itself as a legitimate political party, so it is not at all in our interest to cause any kind of trouble. The real aim of the speeches is easy to see – it is to stir up political activity, and this is clear if you don’t cherry pick the speech (everyone has adopted the phrase that Mark threw at the prosecution during cross-examination in the first trial).
L-R gestures as he speaks and at 3.55 has only lost the rapt attention of a couple of the jurors for brief moments throughout this tour de force.
The Crown, he tells them, is only paying lipservice to the idea that we all have the right to discuss problems. Since 1958 and later the time of Enoch Powell, those who have criticised established policy on racial matters have been castigated as ‘racists’. But these things are big issues now “the great issues of our time, and they need to be addressed.”
Furthermore, Mark has provided samples of press coverage to show that he wasn’t making the problems up. He believed it all to be true, which goes to his intention.
“Mr Collett is criticised for the use of the word ‘Asians’. This is absolute nonsense, absolute nonsense. It is perfectly proper to use it.”
Mr Collett talks of multi-culturalism – so long approved of by our leaders. Now it is being challenged as divisive. The Government itself has provoked – deliberately – a debate about the veil. They can’t criticise the BNP for wanting to discuss it, and for recognising these issues a long time ago. The burning issues of our time.”
(What a shame that court cases aren’t televised as they are in the USA. This highly political and superbly presented defence would blow the whole apparatus of PC repression out of the water).
Mark is not on trial for the use of inelegant language. He is not on trial for being a racist – even if he were. He was seeking to address concerns that the audience already had and trying to mobilise his listeners to political activity.
There are a wealth of unpleasant words to describe all races. You know them. Mark is not using them, but if he had wanted to stir up hatred he would have done. There is nothing racist in using the word ‘white’ to describe victims who are white.
If we had wanted hatred and violence, wouldn’t we have advertised the meetings so as to spark trouble from opponents?
Then he moves on to examine the alternative charge of ‘likely to incite racial hatred.’ The jury have to be sure that his speeches were likely or probable to incite. But his words were tested on 4.5 million people!
It is not abusive or insulting to say “A hates B”. What does ‘racial hatred’ mean? Hate is strong stuff.
He draws attention to the part of Mark’s speech where he said he didn’t hate anyone except the white politicians who have sold our people out. He had no reason to say this if it wasn’t true, and the point would tend to dampen any feelings of racial hatred that some listeners might have.
Mark did want to stir something up – enthusiasm for legitimate political action.
The case should never have come to court, and it never would have done, if it hadn’t been for politically motivated journalists at the BBC. It’s not even a borderline case, and the prosecution haven’t proven it to the necessary high standard, sure of all the components, on the basis of evidence. They should acquit his client.
Mr. Lawson-Rogers concludes at 4.25. As he sweeps his black gown to one side to sit down I find m hands quite literally move involuntarily to applaud. I stop myself in time, but later find out that a number of people in the public gallery had the same spontaneous reaction. He was very good last time, but this was outstanding. I’d be happy if that was the only defence, but we’ve still got Tim King to speak on my behalf tomorrow morning, and I am confident that he’ll be working on it tonight and will provide another barnstormer.
Mark too is happy now. If he had a tail it’d be wagging nineteen to the dozen.
We're due on at 10.15 so we arrive just before ten and have time to chat briefly with the loyal hardcore band standing with their flags and placards in the precinct (yet again it's cold but clear and dry). We have to go in as it wouldn't do for us to be late. But, of course, it's a different matter for the Great and Good and the Establishment, and by half ten one of the barristers still hasn't arrived and got 'robed' so Mark and I are still chatting with the security guards in the dock.
Mark is a bit nervous as he's going to be giving his evidence today. I tell him that he's much better placed relative to his adversary today, because last time around Mark had never even been in a Magistrates Court for a speeding fine before, let alone stood in the witness box in a Crown Court, so he is now 100% more prepared than he was last time.
The judge enters Court Number 8 at 10.36 and the jury are brought in straight away. Mark is called to the witness box by his Silk, Stuart Lawson-Rogers. He swears on the Bible and we're off.
He is briefly taken through his education, then how he got involved with the BNP as a result of meeting Chris Beverley, who was also at Leeds University, in the Leeds Uni Free Speech Society.
By a quarter to eleven Mark is being questioned about how and why we have to hold our meetings in private, usually through re-direction points, so as to avoid confrontation with the far-left.
A member of the public wanders into the public gallery and, spotting an empty seat at the far end of a row of seats proceeds to excuse himself and chatter as he squeezes past people. Just as with the way that no jurors bother to wear ties or really smart clothes, there is an amazing lack of respect for the legal process among the general public these days. Despite my deep loathing of the essentially parasitic and unproductive legal system, I find this a shame - just another example of the collapse of civility and proper standards which is proceeding at Gaderene speed throughout British society. From a personal point of view being in the dock, I get very uncomfortable when individuals can't behave themselves and stay dead quiet while in the public gallery, lest in some way their disrespectful attitude rubs off on me and Mark.
Within a few minutes the man in question, who I've never seen before in my life, says 'yes' in a very loud voice when Mark, being questioned about the problem of 'grooming' in Keighley, says that we were working in the area to try to get the issue addressed because it is a very serious one. The judge orders him to leave the court and he does so, saying as he does so that it's time that something was said and done and that there's "no point all sitting there being quiet about it." I'd guess that he's come as a member of the public who has personal family experience of the scandal of sex/drugs/violence/police blind eye anti-white racism that we were addressing in our speeches and campaign, and is just too angry to control himself. How would you feel if your daughter had been turned into a heroin-addict prostitute?
That, of course, is no excuse. Again, it's a sign of the collapse of our society that a grown man can't be bothered to, or doesn't understand the reason why he should, control himself in a court of law. Of course, we get the same thing at our own meetings sometimes, and the prosecution in cases like this dishonestly use them as 'examples' of us 'winding up' otherwise calm and rational people, whereas the truth is that there's a lot of anger among ordinary people out there anyway. We believe it is better channelled positively, rather than brushing it under the carpet to fester.
Mark now looks relaxed in the dock. He explains how 'grooming'is systematic, controlled and deliberate, taking the jury through how it is done stage by stage.
Lawson-Rogers takes Mark through the two speeches, repeatedly bringing out the theme of how he was seeking not to incite 'hate' but to persuade new members and enquirers to get actively involved and to help advance our cause through the democratic political process. There are, of course, no fireworks at this stage, but between them Mark and his defence QC lay down some good material for the jury to think about and for the defence summing up.
"Has the party grown in the way you said you wanted it to at those meetings?" asks the QC. Yes, certainly, replies Mark, giving as a particularly good example the way in which the BNP got more votes in the last council elections in the whole of Kirklees than any other party.
By 11.35 a.m. they are going through Mark's jury bundle. The jury peer closely at the first document, a copy of a cutting about the Bradford riots from the institutionally anti-white Bradford Telegraph & Argus. Lawson-Rogers skims through cuttings such as one from the Dewsbury Free Press about Lee Massey (the near murder of this young dad by a gang of Iraqi asylum-seekers wasn't covered anywhere else), asking the jury to study them more carefully later. Mark says very little through this stage. An account of a brutual attack on an elderly man tending the grave of his wife in a Bradford cemetery, by a gang described by the police and local paper as involving "six Asian teenagers" is particularly shocking.
The jury, among other things, are talked through the Home Office Joint Tenancy Agreement, which shows the huge list of handouts and luxuries given to asylum seekers in private accommodation (at taxpayers' expense). Hopefully this raised a few hackles against Establishment folly among the jurors, although it's hard to tell because a large TV is positioned between them and me in the dock at the back of the court, so I can't see them all.
By 12.15 Mr Lawson-Rogers has finished going through the source material, and sits down. Mr Jameson takes over for the Prosecution and offers Mark a short break as he's been in the witness box quite a long time. Mark declines and says we can just get on with it.
Jameson tries to get Mark to accept his proposition that if someone says that "all Asians are criminals" it would be abusing or insulting. Mark says it might be, but he wouldn't regard it as such. He points out that he has been called a criminal by various media outlets and demonstrators, but isn't abused or insulted, "it's just one of those things."
Jameson admits that Mark's motive is to get support for political action and to get elected, but then says he accepts that, but "what was the point?" Mark responds that he thought that the motive was the point, and Jameson moves on. Once again Jameson tries to make something significant about the fact that Mark talks about the problems of Bradford, rather than Keighley. Mark points out that Keighley is simply part of Bradford in political boundary terms and the point is dropped. This is all moving along at a fair bit faster than last time.
The two joust over the press cuttings, with Jameson trying to use the most sickeningly PC propaganda tale parts of them as 'evidence' that Mark has somehow got it all wrong. "Did you speak to the mothers quoted in the paper who say it's not a racial issue but a child protection one?" Mark is asked. "No, but I talked to the mothers of victims who came to our meetings and they had a very different opinion; they thought it was racial." A scoring point!
"Do you suggest that the police weren't doing everything they should?" Mark is asked in an incredulous tone. Jameson has just dropped his guard and walks on to a cracking right hook: "When you've got carloads of young Asian men aged between 18 and their mid twenties sat outside schools waiting for young white schoolgirls, to get them onto drink, drugs and rape them, and the police do nothing to stop these perverts, then of course the police aren't doing everything they should."
Mark stops Jameson and accuses him - rightly - of cherry-picking instead of taking the speech as a whole. Jameson asks his forgiveness and says that he doesn't want to gloss over Mark's overall political aims. Mark says he forgives him!
Mark starts to make a point, Jameson interrupts him and gets him to answer the question. The judge then interrupts Jameson and gives Mark the opportunity to say what he wanted to. Very fair.
At one p.m. precisely we adjourn for lunch, expecting a few questions still to come.
We start again at 2.15 prompt, with a brief discussion on the timing of the rest of the case. A piece of extra evidence that I have found should have been viewed by my team during the lunch break, but one of them had to go to the A&E Department of the local hospital with something in her eye. It is therefore agreed that today will finish at the end of Mark's evidence, with me starting tomorrow morning.
Mark had been advised by his counsel to be defensive and non-aggressive in his responses. Over lunch we've concluded that, while he's done fine under a much tighter cross-examination than last time (Jameson has dropped all the weak points that got him such a comprehensive hiding from Mark last time around) he does better when taking the fight to the 'enemy'.
We're right. Mark comes out fighting. We're going through his second speech now. Jameson tries to make something out an idiotic (or planted?) comment from the audience and Mark uses it to condemn such morons and say we don't want them, but that there is righteous anger over what is going on in places such as Keighley, and that it is far better that this is brought out through sensible and peaceful channels.
Mr Jameson now (rightly) gets accused of worming his way around and using weasel words. Mark, on occasion, however, can be weasley too (he knows that and happily admits it) and the pair verbally circle each other warily.
At one point in my speech in Keighley I said that the members of the paedophile rape gang that had been exposed (just once) on Channel 4 were all in prison. Mark had later said that none had been jailed. Why, Mark was now asked, had he not given my answer. Had he not listened to what I was saying. "No", said Mark, grinning boyshly as he said of me that "he does go on a bit." The judge and jury and almost the entirely court laugh or smile; I'm not able to see if Rodney Jameson joins in the brief merriment.
Asked a question on his use of the word 'pride' and why it's important that white people especially should have pride, Mark launches a powerful response that "when there are Asian Pride Melas or Black History Month it all gets a round of applause from the Guardian and leftists, but when we talk of pride among white peope we're 'racist'." The blow goes home and Jameson moves swiftly on.
In fact, he moves swiftly on to the end. Mark has got his teeth into him and doesn't want to let go. Jameson's final question is about press coverage of the kind of incidents which our speeches were about, but he doesn't even stay on his feet until the end of Mark's reply, which concludes by asking him "Mr. Jameson, if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it fall, does it make a noise?" "I'm not answering your questions" he grumbles as he sits down, distinctly deflated once again.
"Spot on. That was brilliant," says one of our guards as Mark picks up his files and steps down from the witness box - the typical position, I'd reckon of virtually the whole of honest, hard-working, taxpaying Leeds if they could but have heard the exchanges.
That's it, we're done for the day by 2.55 p.m. At one level I'm glad, because I want to have one more look through my own material before taking the stand. But, at another, I'd love to be able to get straight on with it. My defence team, security chaps and a couple of members of the court staff stay behind after everyone else has left. We are now able to play and watch the last minute piece of evidence I want to produce, a DVD of a Jihadi rap video in which I feature and am recommended for death. Charmers!
While the lawyers discuss the material one of the court staff asks for my autograph on a court document. Actually we've found that they're pretty much all on our side, although not all as blatantly as that. I take the opportunity to step into the witness box for a moment, just for the fun of it and by way of practice for the morning. A severe adrenaline rush - I'm going to tear the unfortunate Mr. J. to pieces tomorrow. Of course, I know he's only doing his job, and I'm not one to hold grudges, but he did try to rough young Mark up this morning and I'm looking forward to repaying him in kind. We'll see, I'm all too well aware that it doesn't pay to count your chickens before they're hatched, and given my tendency to "go on a bit" M'Lud may well keep me on a much tighter leash than he has Mark.
Come what may, Mark will be your reporter from the dock of Court Number Eight tomorrow so I, like you, will look forward to reading what he makes of it all.