Back when there was a bit of a flap about Richard Barnbrook, of BNP infamy, getting a blog at the Telegraph, I said I'd be checking in for a regular comedy fix. I have remained true to my word, and the bumbling oaf regularly makes me laugh with his ridiculous proclamations about sticking it to the Assembly when what really happened was that he got told off for eating a banana or something. Well, I laugh until I remember who he is and who he represents, and then my smile dies on my lips, but up until then it's okay.
What his blog reveals, among other things, is the relationship with the truth we'd expect from the BNP. Whether he's making stupid claims that get removed when they're shown to be bullshit, pretending things didn't happen in a video by pointing viewers to the wrong point, or just clearly having a fantasy version of what has happened in meetings swimming around his head, the man is clearly not averse to pointing his readers away from the truth.
One example is the creation of 'Mothers Against Knives', a group that appears to sponsor a petition he circulates on his blog calling for undefined 'tough new measures' to bring about the end of knife crime.
Except it doesn't. There is a real group called 'Mothers Against Knives', which apparently wants nothing to do with the BNP and has asked that the party remove all references to it from its literature.
Now, this could be an honest mistake
If this was the case, you'd expect the name of the group to be changed to something difficult to confuse with the existing one, the petition changed to reflect the new name and an apology published so that nobody confuses the two.
The actual reaction has been to quietly change the title of the blog post that introduces the petition (after it's dropped off the front page), leave the petition as it is and make no mention about the change either on the blog or in any of the blog's comments.
That new impossible to confuse blog title? 'Mothers Against Knives Steps Up A Gear' has become 'London's Mother's Against Knives Steps Up A Gear'. Score one for openness and honesty!
If the BNP had no idea they were piggybacking a genuine group and could well be confusing people into thinking there was some affiliation between the two when they set things up - they do now. Adding the word 'London' to the beginning of the blog post that introduces the petition does nothing to inform people who might be tempted to sign the form.
Of course, the party may be in the process of changing everything and in the next couple of days there'll be an apology and everything. But then again, maybe not eh?
**UPDATE**The petition on the blog has now had 'London's' bunged on the top in a different font. That's probably about as honest as we can expect.