Essex Chronicle website accused of taking a shine to the BNP

Local newspaper journalists have done a lot of soul-searching over the years about how to cover the BNP.

Some newspapers simply refuse to because they fear stoking up hatred along racial lines in the communities they serve.

This is not a stance taken by Northcliffe-owned Totalessex.co.uk, the website of the Essex Chronicle, which carries this curiously gung ho report about a meeting of the local BNP branch on its website.

The piece begins:

PROUD nationalists were asked to dig deep to support an election candidate when the Brentwood branch of the BNP met for the first time.

Buoyant supporters packed into a back room of a patriotic pub for the inaugural meeting of the Brentwood and Chelmsford branch – which has been founded in response to the party’s growing membership.

Paul Morris, Parliamentary candidate for Brentwood and Ongar, said: “It was a good turnout considering it was very last minute.

The piece concludes:

Unlike other parties which are funded by unions and wealthy donors, the BNP relies purely on members’ donations and as the first half of the meeting drew to a close, Mr Morris stood up and asked for donations.

“Michael Bateman is standing in Chelmsford and we need a £500 election deposit,” he said. “Can anyone afford to put £500 in the pot?”

Searching faces scoured the room until a man who had until then sat quietly in the corner, put his hand up to pledge £100. Others then thrust crisp £50 notes in the pot before the less well-off handed over their screwed up £10 and £20 notes.

There was much applause and hand shaking as the money came flooding in, uniting the room in the campaign to bring about radical change.

My tipster said that “other local journalists are disgusted” by the piece.

Commenter Kev from Chelmsford writes: “This looks as though a BNP press release has been regurgitated in its entirety.”

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