Croham NF candidate dropped from election broadcast

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: does he realise that the lager in his hand is... foreign?

Tony Martin: does he realise that the lager in his hand is… foreign?

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.

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5 Responses to Croham NF candidate dropped from election broadcast

  1. Ken Towl says:

    Reflective of what is going on in the country – the ostensibly racist far-right NF/BNP knocked off the agenda by a hugely-hyped eccentric-right UKIP. In Croydon, the only real debate is the one between Labour and Conservative.

  2. mraemiller says:

    What would Bieneosa Ebite do without all these (it has to me said mainly white and male) politicians to protect her from herself?

    I find it very hard to believe that a black woman would have given Tony Martin an easy ride. And he’s probably now got far more publicity out of the fact he’s been unbooked than he would have done going on a programme that, let’s face it, very few people listen to. But then again if you don’t draw a line somewhere … but really … would they really get more and more airtime…? Or is that paranoia?

    Honestly this is almost enough to make one believe in Intersectionality. Maybe there are other reasons or motivations – rather than your implied motivation of shameless self-promotion – why a black woman might want to talk to a white racist man on air. Or maybe not. But I think Barwell is right: people like Martin should be given a platform from time to time if only so we can have a good laugh at them. And if people aren’t laughing at him mainstream politicians should go figure why this is rather than instantly jumping for the censorship button.

    It is complicated. There is a wide spectrum of opinion with regard to anti-fascism and the best way to do it, from the UAF’s highly (sometimes physically) confrontational approach to Searchlight’s probably too armchair anti-facism for those of us who’s idea of fighting facism is shouting at Nigel Farage from the sofa.

    The problem is, of course, that many of these far right people don’t actually believe in democracy or the democratic system or violence-free politics. So to what level should you resist them just with words? Or indeed censorship. I’m not sure that anyone really knows the answer, or indeed if there is one, but I love the idea of all Croydon’s politicians threatening in unison not to talk nonsense. Scary!

  3. To set the record straight – this matter was resolved by Tuesday afternoon after Croydon Lib Dems refused to share a platform with the National Front when alerted to plans on Monday.

    We are unaware of any other party taking a similar stand. This raises questions about other participants who seemed at ease with conferring credibility to extremists by bringing them into mainstream discussion.

    Bieneosa did at least have the courage to reverse her decision when presented with reason.

    • Clearly, we do our journalism better than you do politics.

      The LibDems were never alone in the scramble for some assumed moral high ground on this, and your attempt to smear others is unworthy and untrue.

      Have you ever read On Liberty?

      And what happened to Ebite having “the courage to reverse her decision when presented with reason”?

  4. I have debated several times with Tony Martin and I would be prepared to do so again.
    He was respectful.
    I am a BME and believe in debate as the only way forward.

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