Not content with being roundly exposed as a regular contributor to the cess pit that is the Stormfront Forum, Great Bridge BNP Councillor Simon Smith has very quickly succeeded in demonstrating that other notable facet of the BNP…
…plain old-fashioned stupidity.
Simon, like other Sandwell Councillors, is given his own personal website on the councillor.info system, which runs under the aegis of the Local Government Association and subject to some pretty stringent rules such as this, on political publicity:
Because all CouncillorSites are funded by a Local Authority, Elected Members may not use their CouncillorSite to promote political campaigns and advocate political stances on issues. They may not use the site to promote a political party or persons identified with a political party. They may not use it to promote or oppose a view on a question of political controversy which is identifiable of the view of one political party and not of another.
Section 4 of the 1986 Local Government Act enabled the Secretary of State to issue a Code of Practice on Local Authority publicity. The original Code was amended in 2001. The Code was made more flexible in relation to publicity about individual councillors and the relevant paragraphs are:
“Publicity about individual councillors may include the contact details, the positions they hold in the Council (for example a member of the Executive or Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee) and their responsibilities. Publicity may also include information about individual councillors’ proposals, decisions and recommendations only where this is relevant to their position and responsibilities within the council. All such publicity should be objective and explanatory and whilst it may acknowledge the part played by individual councillors as holders of particular positions in the council, personalisation of issues or personal image-making should be avoided.
Publicity should not be, or liable to misrepresentation as being, party political. Whilst it may be appropriate to describe policies put forward by an individual councillor which are relevant to her/his position and responsibilities within the council, and to put forward his/her justification in defence of them, this should not be done in party political terms, using political slogans, expressly advocating policies of those of a particular political party, or directly attacking policies and opinions of other parties, groups or individuals”.
Elected Members may use the ‘My Politics’ section of their website to link to external websites of a political nature.
Right, you got that – no politicking allowed… and yes, I do know that makes these sites about as much use as a chocolate teapot but then I don’t make the rules, the government does under a code of practice published under powers conferred by section 4 of the 1986 Local Government Act.
I should note one curio about the AUP for councillor.info, which notes that :
Care should be taken to ensure compliance with Local Government legislation and Local Authority’s policies on the following issues
- The particular legislative requirements relating to discrimination/incitement to racial hatred etc. (Anti-Terrorism, Crime And Security Act 2001 & Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000)
- Publication of obscene material (Obscene Publications Act 1959, Protection of Children Act 1978, Criminal Justice Act 1988)
- The restriction on the promotion of homosexuality (Contravention of Clause 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act)
Which is, of course, hopelessly out of date as clause 28 was repealed in November 2003, but that’s by the by for moment – the AUP can be read here in full…
So having been given few municipal website, just what has Simon been doing with his time? Well this…
I’ve used a screenshot here (when it bloody well displays properly), rather than simply cut and paste text to ensure that there’s no possibility of Simon editing out anything and the claiming that I’m making all this up.
So, what we have so far is:
– a post about Labour/Lib Dem/Conservative criminals – which looks rather like a breach of the AUP on political publicity…
– a post in which Simon says that he doesn’t see why he should declare in interest in planning applications submitted by a cousin – big hint here, Simon, it has to do with preventing councillors misusing their public office.
– a post commenting on a recent meeting called by local organisations to look at ways of combatting extremist politics to which he responds by saying that ‘his job’ is to ‘prevent Asian rule in Britain – no it’s not, its to act as fucking local councillor – which he follows up by alleging that the media is owned by business that benefit from immigration. We seem to be a bit close to mark on race relations legislation, not least the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, which requires him to actively promote racial harmony.
– and finally, he takes a potshot at the scrutiny process which he seems to the is a ‘fix’.
Not bad going for his first month in the job, he’s already disregarded or just not read the AUP for his site.
I’d complain – the councillor.info has the facility to do this – but the complaints system doesn’t appear to a have an option for complaining about everything and, in any case, I much prefer him to keep making a total arse of himself in public anyway.
What a twat!