Croydon Radio was forced into an embarrassing U-turn yesterday, as it withdrew its invitation to Tony Martin, Croydon’s representative of the fascist far-right, to appear on its endurance test of a four-hour “election special” planned for Sunday.
Tony Martin – not to be confused with the trigger happy East Anglian farmer of the same name – has previously stood in elections in Croydon for the BNP. This time around, he is to be a candidate in May’s local elections in Croham ward, although because of some internal party wrangle, the National Front is at present preventing him from using the name of their racist and pro-repatriation party.
The “citizen radio station” had asked Martin to appear as a guest on its programme, to be presented by the local PR executive with media aspirations, Bieneosa Ebite.
But yesterday, the station performed a “reverse ferret”, withdrawing the invitation after other political parties made it clear that they would boycott the programme if Martin was provided a public platform. One of Croydon Radio’s other presenters, so disgusted with the invitation, threatened to quit the station if Martin was given air time, even on the online station which on a good day numbers its listeners in hundreds, rather than thousands.
The National Front, when fielding a different candidate, was frozen out of coverage ahead of the Croydon North parliamentary by-election in 2012, when it polled a grand total of 161 votes – or 0.7 per cent of the poll. The Monster Raving Looney candidate did almost as well.
At the 2010 local elections, Martin stood for election for the BNP in Ashburton, where 419 people voted for him.
Martin describes himself as the “only National Front candidate standing in Croydon”, although he lacks the formal endorsement of the NF. He says that he has been lobbying Croydon Radio over the past six months to be involved in the hustings.
He says he has opted to stand in Croham because of Tory Councillor Maria Gatland’s history as an active member of the IRA.
Croydon Radio’s Ebite refused to comment on the reasons for Martin being invited, or on the decision to drop him from the programme.
“It was foolish to invite the whites-only repatriation party on the programme in the first place,” one member of the Establishment right told Inside Croydon tonight.
The programme will still fail to be properly representative. Planned to conclude with a head-to-head debate between the leaders of the Tory and Labour groups on Croydon Council, florid-faced Mike Fisher and Tony “Soprano” Newman, the only party to have more than one local election candidate on the show in the preceding three hours of the snooze-fest is… UKIP, a party which has never managed to get a councillor elected on to Croydon Council nor to claim a single MP at Westminster.
Peter Staveley (chairman of the UK Independence Party’s Croydon South and Central Party) and Winston McKenzie (who heads UKIP’s “Lambeth and Croydon North” Party) are both due to appear. Relationships between Staveley and the sometimes eccentric McKenzie are thought to be at best cool; neither is booked to appear in the same section of the programme, so they are unlikely to share notes on candidate selection or campaigning even while at the studios.
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: The Great Beauty, Apr 10
- Norwood Society Talk: Crystal Palace, Apr 17
- David Lean Cinema: Inside Llewyn Davis, Apr 17
- Opening of Marlpit Lane bowling and putting greens, Apr 17
- Arts and Crafts Market, Exchange Square, Apr 19
- David Lean Cinema: Short Term, Apr 24
- Norwood Society Talk: West Norwood – a place of change, May 15
- Croydon RFC charity memorial day, May 17
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 72,342 average monthly page views (Jan-Mar 2014)
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