Published on Sunday, 15 July 2012 16:54 Written by Ketlan Ossowski
The news this week that David Sloan (pictured, left) had been jailed for attempting to blackmail Nick Griffin, produced a fair amount of sturm und drang within the far-right as Griffin's many and varied opponents voiced their fury at the, as they perceived it, appalling mistreatment of one of Britain's dwindling number of small businessmen.
Following the verdict, Sloan immediately and unsurprisingly announced his intention to appeal - a foolish thing to do in my opinion, as courts have a nasty habit nowadays of extending sentences where they think the original judge has been a tad too genteel. Blackmail is regarded as a substantial crime and personally I'm surprised Sloan only got thirty months - according to the Theft Act 1968 he could have earned himself a term of imprisonment 'not exceeding fourteen years'.
I'd have loved to have been at Carlisle Crown Court for the duration of the case but, for various reasons, that was impossible. Thus, like most other people, I've had to rely on the appalling mish-mash of truths, half-truths, lies and lunacies that make up the internet to find out what happened and why.
More details, all of which I suspect are half-truths, if not complete lies, have been flying around the internet like angry wasps as Griffin's diminishing band of supporters have been planting disinformation here and there, to help muddy the waters and deflect us from the basic fact that here is a small businessman, driven to distraction by a rich and bloated plutocrat who refuses to pay his debts, thus getting richer and fatter.
Of course, what David Sloan did was wrong. If, as we must now assume, it's true that threats were made to older members of the Griffin family, that Sloan and his heavies tailgated Griffin's daughter's car all the way from Wigton to Carlisle and that Sloan sent many threatening texts, none of these can be construed as in any way proper behaviour, or indeed, likely to get him his money.
So why didn't Griffin, or the BNP, pay the debt in the first place? According to the BNP site; 'Sloan’s firm, Romac Press, who were asked to produce election leaflets for our party, failed miserably and Mr Griffin refused to pay, saying there were too many errors'.
This was not the story that originally appeared. We were told three years back that the party had 'large counter-claims' against Romac for 'late arriving leaflets and non-delivery of items'. This changed a couple of years ago, when Andrew Brons (among others) revealed that;
'The company’s owner, David Sloane, bravely refused an offer of payment by Mr Griffin which would have entailed him becoming part of a criminal conspiracy to frame Richard Barnbrook into a bankruptcy case.
It was Mr Sloan’s refusal to become part of that criminal conspiracy (which is currently the subject of a fraud squad investigation) which led directly to the non-payment of the printing bill.'
I have no idea if this is true or not (though the lack of a court case against Brons for libel would suggest there is at least some truth in the allegation) but now the emphasis has shifted over to Romac's alleged incompetence and we're hearing stories of boxes of leaflets only half-filled though labelled as the proper amount, numerous spelling errors, late or no delivery and even a bizarre and unlikely refusal from Romac to supply invoices/bills to enable payment to be made.
All this seems to have polarised those on either side, with their individual take on events determined by how much they loathe Griffin, who is a polarising event all by himself. Some on the BNP site appear to be hoping that Sloan gets more than his thirty months inside, thus;
'I hope he gets a bit of the old hard justice in his cell at night.'
The sycophants that are allowed to inhabit the BNP's comments section are, naturally, allowed free hand;
'...that's one less weapon in the marxists armoury to use to attack the Party, and one less distraction for the Party officials...The truth will always come out and it's another example of Nick or the Party going to court and proving that they always tell the truth.'
I'm not sure I understood the first sentence at all, though the second certainly made me laugh.
Just occasionally, a sensible comment is allowed though (presumably in error), like this one;
'Members donate to this party in good faith expecting business dealings to be handled professionally - so how did this situation develop in the first place...
Has there been an inquiry about how such a situation developed... did management issue a report into their findings..??
When did officials place the order - what date was it delivered - was there terms of contract - did head office receive a 'Proof Copy' of artwork in advance - was the printer given an opportunity to rectify errors - did management return literature for a refund - was a county court claim ever pursued..??
I feel members deserve a full explanation... however blackmail is never justified in these circumstances - but would like to know what made a businessman resort to such extreme measures to collect a debt while he could take legal recourse.'
Good questions, and wouldn't it be nice to feel that the weary BNP membership would get them answered. But they won't. Here's a response to the post above;
'I dont want this to come up again? why look for who said this, who did that. No it has been to court and we all know the verdict so why do some want to start going over this again? the time has well and truly come to move on or are you wanting to spend the next two years trying to say that some one heard that this was said or done, through the grape vine some one said that? The man has been found guilty and is serving his sentence if you want to find out what was done and by who the look at the court case and let use get on with trying to get out country back.'
Presumably, nothing more will be said and in a month or so, when some new crisis has hit the BNP, as it inevitably will, all will be forgotten, if not forgiven.
Over at the BDF, Derrick Day (Patrick Harrington) has this to say;
'This is just too beautiful for words. All that whinging and whining, not just from Sloan but even from so-called nationalists on here about this poor man, how his business is going to suffer, blah blah. And what happens? HE ends up in prison over it. You have to agree, Mr Griffin is a WINNER...The really hilarious thing is that the BNP is now in a good financial position and would have been able to settle this horrible man if he had waited a bit longer. But he won't be getting anything, other than certainly a **** up his **** once his black cellmate and his friends discover he was the BNP printer...Mr Griffin is like Captain Scarlet. He is indestructable. Mr Sloan has two and a half years to reflect on that.'
Nothing like a good gloat, huh?
A surprisingly short discussion on the nazi Stormfront forum left the readers in no doubt of where the sympathy generally resided;
'David Sloan deserves to have been paid for the job he & his company did for the BNP. If Griffin was so bothered about the amount of mistakes on election leaflets, why did he never not pay Mark Collett & his printing company when he f*cked up election leaflets time & time again? Griffin is a robbing bastard who ruins peoples' lives through his own greed.'
followed by this;
'Ever heard of the Decembrists? Everything they said about Griffin and the shysters surrounding him proved to be true. Most people I know who knew or had dealings with him say he is a corrupt, immoral, sociopath. I think that is proven beyond doubt too.'
And a final comment, which pretty much sums Griffin up for most people, no matter which side they're on;
'Gri££in is a thieving, lying, two-faced, treacherous scumbag...'