Letter from me in the New Statesman

New Statesman - Letters

My letter, regarding the portrayal of Croydon in Brendan O’Neill’s article “What’s Driving the BNP?” last Friday, got printed in this week’s New Statesman. The letters pages seem only to be archived for a week, so here it is:

Rotten boroughs

As one who was brought up in Croydon and who regularly travels back there for work and social purposes, I must respond to the references to that borough in Brendan O’Neill’s article “What’s driving the BNP?” (5 May).

The northern part of Croydon has had a substantial non-white population for decades, but I have personally travelled on buses and trams there, and have rarely been the only white person in sight. Most of Croydon, incidentally, is predominantly white.

Charlotte Lewis, whom O’Neill portrays as a ditzy woman with a chip on her shoulder, is in fact a former candidate for the British National Party. She stood in the 2006 local elections for the St Helier council seat in Sutton, but was exposed for falsely claiming to live in the borough (a requirement) when she actually lives in Thornton Heath, in Croydon.

At least four other council candidates did the same during those elections.

Matthew J Smith New Malden, Surrey

I actually told them at the end that I had gathered this information from a simple Google search, and that Lewis was deploying a time-honoured BNP tactic, namely lying. But the gist of it got printed and so a reply to the lies of a stupid, amateur BNP agitator was made, alhamdu lillah. Surprise surprise, my letter to the Spectator didn’t get printed (although an opposing letter to Phillips did), so I’m still waiting to see whether my reply to John Draper Nordelph’s letter will.

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