The snowball that rolled into Hell, and other notes on mental health

The announcement of Mark Collett’s candidature in the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough seat was greeted with a mixture incredulity and amusement on the part of fascists and anti-fascists everywhere this week, nobody being quite able to believe that Nick Griffin had sent in a Nazi Boy to do an Aryan hero’s job.

Allowing Collett to stand anywhere, given the amount of self-generated dirt he has accumulated over the years, seems at best foolhardy and at worst somebody’s idea of sick joke. If ever there was a sitting duck candidate with a very large bull’s eye painted on his backside, Collett is assuredly that candidate

Prone to giving barely comprehensible speeches that cause BNP meetings to turn into mass sleepathons, Collett is so widely disliked on the far right we’ve been hearing persistent rumours that his own shadow is seeking a legal separation.

The Nazi Boy, with Sheffield connections so tenuous even the most powerful electron microscope would have difficulty picking them out, declaims that “the BNP is the only viable option in Brightside and Hillsborough”, where Collett will attempt to unseat cow dodging roué David Blunkett – an event so unlikely that as yet undiscovered tribes in the Amazon jungle have inadvertently wiped themselves out as they died splitting their sides on hearing the news.

Collett thinks it’s most unsporting that people will keep raking up memories of his solo tour de force in the Young, Nazi and Proud documentary, saying “The issues have moved on and people aren’t interested in what I may have said or not said seven or eight years ago.”

If only that were true, but the bad news for the Nazi Boy is that Sheffield people are deeply interested in what he did say back in 2002, being a number of absorbing Collettian theories and observations along the lines of Churchill bad, Hitler good, and the Sheffield Telegraph has dug out a whole slew of former BNP voters who would rather not have a mumbling Hitler fan barely out of short trousers going off to tell the Commons what a c*nt Churchill was:

One reader from Rotherham said: “I am a BNP supporter – I have been for the last couple of years and I am not ashamed to admit it either – but I am glad I have not stayed in Sheffield if this is the sort of man we will have standing for the next election.”

A Crystal Peaks resident said: “I have voted BNP before but I won’t do again if this individual is standing in the Sheffield area. His views of Hitler are wrong, and he is not a local person so how can he know what the voters round here want?”

A Sheffield man said: “I would vote for anyone against Blunkett – but the BNP have shot themselves in the foot here. They should have had someone local with knowledge of local problems. Not this man.

Putting Mark Collett up for election must have seemed like a good idea to somebody, somewhere, sometime, but setting his GPS for Sheffield and sending him down the M1 to certain humiliation at the hands of, well, just about everybody, really, is of the same order as rolling a snowball into Hell with expectations of growing it into a polar ice-cap. That somebody either has a very nice sense of humour or the finely honed political instincts of a mildew spore.

Little Bob Bailey Blues

Of course, the master strategist behind the Nazi Boy’s candidature might have been in a condition of deep inebriation when inspiration struck, inebriation being so much favoured among BNP celebrities there are suspicions that some of their number were once perfectly normal people who one night popped into the local for a quick half, got in with the wrong company, and lurched out many hours later clutching titles like BNP Member of the Greater London Assembly and Leader of the BNP Opposition on Barking and Dagenham Council, while nurturing serious alcohol problems.

Bob Bailey, or “Little Bob” as he is known to his affectionate anti-fascist fans, is no stranger to the odd pint or two, followed by another odd pint or two, the diminutive but very human-like semi-professional drinker currently serving out an 18 month driving ban after refusing a breath test when the police caught him driving without lights.

It was at night, too, which only made things worse in the eyes of the boys in blue, but Little Bob wasn’t fooled for a moment, claiming his arrest and prosecution were part of “a conspiracy against me, my party and the indigenous people of this country”, thus introducing us to the novel concept of the politically motivated driving offence, pootling about Romford without lights and refusing to blow into the bag presumably counting as acts of patriotic defiance against the ever-watchful eyes of whoever it is who ever watches Little Bob.

A court appointed doctor was tasked with the fearful mission of appraising Little Bob’s state of mind, and the news wasn’t good. The heroic medic said that Barking and Dagenham Council’s Leader of the Opposition suffered a “possible personality disorder” which made him suspicious of police officers, a condition more commonly associated with burglars, deserting BNP servicemen who maintain dodgy Facebook pages, the inhabitants of the VNN England forum, and other B-list members of the Crimewatch supporting cast.

The man was “paranoid”, said the doctor.

With their friend’s health at such a fragile pass it might be thought that those around Little Bob, those who love him, care for him, and steady him when he wobbles, would tread carefully lest they pushed the newly-coined pedestrian over the edge, but poor Bob discovered that the BNP’s leadership has no more care for him than it has for a Haitian earthquake victim – for, as he loudly moaned, nobody told him that Dicky Barnbrook’s displacement as the BNP’s Barking candidate by a carpet-bagging Nick Griffin meant his own demotion from Leader to Deputy Leader of the BNP group on Barking and Dagenham Council, in favour of fellow Bacchanalian Barnbrook.

“They are not telling me anything anymore,” gloomed Little Bob when asked who was going to stand against Jon Cruddas in Dagenham, a candidacy he thought was his.

There are probably too many Barnbrooks in London to go around, if you ask Bob Bailey, the cruel irony being that one of the things they weren’t telling the little chap was that yet another Barnbrook had been slotted into the Dagenham sinecure.

This is Michael Barnbrook, apparently no relation to his brown-suited namesake, the “sleeze-buster” (sic) who has allegedly (according to the BNP) “exposed more corrupt politicians in Westminster than any other person”. How the BNP’s latest superhero accomplished these feats of detection we cannot fathom, since, like everybody else, we were forced to rely on the almost hourly revelations coming from the Daily Telegraph. Where Barnbrook got his information from has us stumped, and no mistake. It’s a real puzzle, as Martin Reynolds might say when working out which shoe goes on which foot.

The announcement of Michael Barnbrook’s candidature naturally brought forth the praises of the BNP’s online army of well-wishers and bad spellers, a curiously naive bunch positively swooning at the “sensational” news in a treacly gush of sickly-sweet messages predicated on the apparent certainty that the “sleeze” busting nemesis of 150 corrupt MPs will consign Jon Cruddas to deserved oblivion.

Amid all the masturbatory glee and mountains of discarded tissue paper however stands the forlorn figure of poor Little Bob Bailey, ill-used, smarting over the final words of the BNP announcement – a flat statement that Richard Barnbrook is “the prospective BNP leader of Barking and Dagenham Council”.

How that must cut to the very marrow of one who has served the cause of the BNP and alcohol consumption so unswervingly as Little Bob.

And if the man is down in his cups, who can blame him if he reaches for the bottle a little more often than is usual? Who can blame him if he turns up to greet Sir Trevor Brooking and the Royal Anglian Regiment “a little worse for wear”, “under the influence” and “in no fit state” at a showcase Barking and Dagenham event?

Certainly not erstwhile friend Richard Barnbrook, so recently told to “shut up” by Bailey at a council meeting.

Gallantly, Barnbrook told reporters that “in my presence he seemed perfectly fine” – but then, since Barnbrook spends so much of his own life under the influence, he would, wouldn’t he?


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