Who are ‘Liberty GB’ anyway?

Picture of Barbara Ntumy, a Black lady with long, braided red hair extensions wearing a shirt showing large white flowers on an orange backgroundYesterday Channel 4 News broadcast a conversation involving Jack Buckby, the “outreach officer” and former parliamentary candidate for ‘Liberty GB’, and Barbara Ntumy, deputy president of the London Metropolitan University students’ union and a member of the NUS’s Black students’ campaign, in which Buckby handed Ntumy an application form for resettling a Syrian refugee and told her, “put your money where your mouth is … take in a Syrian refugee; I hope you don’t get raped”. The suggestion stunned her into silence for a few seconds before she told him she lived in a one-bedroom house and didn’t have the financial means to do so, but he probably did. But the question remains: what was he doing there?

Liberty GB, formed by former members of UKIP, the British Freedom Party and the BNP and whose main founder is said to believe that there would be a war between immigrants and the white working class (though his wfie is Romanian), is not a big organisation; it was registered with the Electoral Commission in 2013 and according to Wikipedia, its membership is 400. Its candidates in the south-east constituency for the 2014 European parliamentary election received only 0.11 of the vote (2,494 actual votes); they came 14th, after “An Independence from Europe”, the Roman Party and “YOURvoice”. In the Batley and Spen by-election, triggered by the assassination of the previous Labour MP by a local far-right extremist, Buckby polled just over 1% (220 votes) and lost his deposit; they have never polled more than 0.6% in any other parliamentary election. So, given his lack of expertise, qualifications or public office (even UKIP — and this rabble are more extreme than UKIP — have MEPs), what was he doing on the programme? The only explanation, as with so many previous instances in the British media, is that C4 invited him because a good barney would make “good telly”.

It’s despicable that this man should be allowed to suggest on national TV that a woman having contact with a Syrian refugee would likely result in her being raped. It’s simply racist, even taking into consideration the sex attacks in Cologne last year, which were assumed to be by Syrian refugees despite lack of evidence that they were anything other than men with (in some cases) foreign accents, which gave racist mischief makers the green light to accuse the Syrians. But in any case, a woman who agreed to take in a Syrian refugee would probably be assigned a woman, perhaps one with a young child, so there is no risk of her being raped. I subscribe to a video channel by a young woman in south London who has hosted refugees; if you are interested, you can see her videos on the subject here.

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