My Friend Lenny

This was posted on a thread a couple of days ago. We thought as many people as possible should read it, so we decided to make it a post in it’s own right. Many thanks to John Mansfield for sharing.

“I’m banned from Britain First, but when I read some of these comments, my blood boiled, and I immediately created a new fake account, with the specific purpose of posting this. It’s a story I’ve posted on this page before several times. Regular followers may recognise it. To them, I beg your indulgence, but this sort of vile hatred gets my back right up. I have added a comment at the bottom just for the biffers.

When I first left school in 1975, I worked in the museum and art gallery in Liverpool. Most of the men who worked there were older than me. Many of them had fought in the second world war. There were stories to be told and fascinating memories to be shared. I developed a huge respect for these men and interest in their own stories. History is always more interesting when it is personal.

There was A, a man who had flown in Lancaster bombers over Germany night after night and survived despite coming close to death several times, seeing friends go down in flames, or simply not be there the following day. He had survived a crash-landing and had a steel plate in his skull. He was an alcoholic.

There was S, who had served in the navy on the Russian convoy run. He described seeing ships go down in the freezing water and being unable to stop to pick up any survivors. He remembered never wearing a life-jacket when manning his anti-aircraft gun, despite standing orders to do so, because it got in the way and would be a waste of time in water that was so cold he would last less than a minute anyway. I don’t remember ever seeing him smile.

Then there was Lenny. He was the most genial, easy-going man. Always had a cheery smile and greeting. He was always ready to help and the first to crack a joke. He was inoffensive, polite and a genuinely nice man. He had children and grandchildren who he worshipped, and ha always spoke of them with smiling eyes. He never, NEVER, EVER, lost his temper. Yes, he talked about the war as well. He had been a tank driver with The Guards Armoured Division.

Lenny told me funny stories. Like the time in Normandy when his commander had ordered an emergency fire mission to support some American infantry advancing across a neighbouring field. His tank was parked behind a large haystack and as the gunner aimed, Lenny stalled the tank on starting it. The flash from the gun set fire to the haystack, the burning hay covered the tank and they all had to bail out to extinguish the fire, then got a colossal bollocking for making the whole squadron look like idiots. He told me about driving through Antwerp during its liberation. “Never been kissed by so many girls in me life!” Someone gave him a cigar and lit it for him, then slapped him on the back. The cigar fell out of his mouth and down inside his overalls, setting fire to his underpants!

Those were Lenny’s memories. The funny, ‘Dad’s Army’ stuff.

Then, one day, some idiot was handing out some National Front literature in the canteen. He gave a leaflet to Lenny. Len stood up, glaring at the man. He said nothing for a few seconds, then screwed it up and threw it in the man’s face. He said, “you can take that filth and shove it up your f*^#ing arse!” Then he walked out. I had never heard Lenny swear before. Not so much as a “Bloody Hell” or even a “Damn”. I followed him. He was outside lighting up a cigarette, his hands shaking. I asked him if he was ok and he apologised to ME! He said, “Those fools don’t know what it means, or where it can lead”.

Later that day, when he had calmed down a bit, he told me another story. His unit had been one of the first into Belsen. He told me about the initial confusion, and being baffled by seeing people in striped pyjamas wandering by the roadside. He told me about the silent shock they all felt as they drove through the gates. He told me all about the heaps of bodies, about the dreadful, all-pervading smell, about the last German guards attempting vainly to hide the truth, about the huts full of dead, about the still living, who looked dead. He had volunteered to drive a bulldozer to bury the corpses. He did it breathing through a rag soaked in petrol, but it still didn’t mask the smell. He admitted to still not being able to sleep a whole night, without seeing it again.

The following day, he was back to normal. The genial comic, who always had something good to say and a smile for everyone. He had not an ounce of bitterness or hatred in him. He always saw the best in people and would do anything to help anyone, right up to the day he retired, which was the last time I saw him. He’s in his late 80s or early 90s now, if he’s still kicking. A lovely man.

I am a teacher now. Every Remembrance Day, I tell my students about Lenny and his stories, all of them.

He is the best example I know, of someone who has seen humanity at it’s very worst and yet, still spent the rest of his life trying to be one of the best.

He is still, and always will be, a hero to me.



People like Lenny, who fought the Nazis, the evil murderers who you seem to admire so much, ARE this country, I’d like to see you low-life scumbags just try to ‘take it back’ from them!!!!”
I fully expect this to be deleted from BF’s page within minutes, but I had to say something to these bottom-dwelling, ignorant Slimeballs”.

Why I Expose Britain First – Kit

As Landlord decided to write a blog about why he decided to join the EBF, I thought I (Kit) would give it a go.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always challenged injustice, even if it goes against popular opinion. I was always the child that asked ‘but why’ about everything, even if it got me into trouble, which it often did.

BF EBF Kit injustice mosque invasion

Since the birth of the Internet, I’ve kept up with the news online. What struck me was the increasing lack of empathy and judgemental attitudes, coming from people on news and social media sites. There is one story I recall, it was on my local news site. It was about an elderly man who forgot to change the batteries in his smoke alarm. His house burned down. He escaped with his life but he lost everything and he didn’t have insurance. I was utterly appalled by the comments on the article. There was little sympathy for him at all, in fact most people said it was his own fault. When I commented to offer my sympathy and to express my horror at the lack of empathy, I was insulted and called a do-gooder. It’s all too familiar now.

This brings me onto Britain First. I stumbled across it because a family member had shared a meme. I clicked on it and at first I thought that it seemed to be a place in which to debate things people seem to be worried about. So I started joining in. I was a bit confused with some of the memes and stories because they weren’t factually correct. I could see people were getting angry about things that weren’t true, so I started to provide more factual sources. I wasn’t called a do-gooder then. I was subjected to a tirade of abuse on their page and in private messages. Then I was blocked from commenting. I saw that the people who had abused me were allowed to remain, that was an injustice! I could not believe that there was a page like it. I was immediately concerned about the nastiness that was allowed to breed there while any dissent was blocked.

I started to do some research about Britain First. It didn’t take me very long to find groups commenting about them. I found Exposing Britain First. I could see that EBF were challenging Britain First and more and more people were joining who’d had the same experiences. So I started joining in, helping with research. I couldn’t challenge Britain First on their own page but I wanted to let them know that they may have created an echo chamber of hate but they could and should be challenged. So when I was offered an admin roll, I jumped at the chance and here I am.

Exposing Britain First doesn’t just deal exclusively with exposing Britain First. It also provides a space for people to counter some of pure hatred that exists on many social media platforms. It’s really helped to know just how many lovely caring people there are and that empathy does still exist. – Kit

Are ‘Burkas’ The New Bandanas?

When I sat down to start my stint of volunteering for EBF Friday, little did I know that I would still be sitting there 15 hours later, still trying to write a post.

Thursday, 18th June, 2015, a man dressed in a burka was arrested and a package that he had allegedly left in a doorway was safely detonated by a bomb squad. Well, of course, they SAY it was a burka but the photographs show that it was not a burka but a niqab.

In fact, there have been NO crimes committed wearing a burka in the UK, some have been committed wearing a niqab but, as the word ‘burka’ is commonly incorrectly used to describe the niqab and it is the burka which Biffers want banned, I will use the word ‘burka’ in place of niqab.

There are still very few details about what happened yesterday. We don’t know anything about the man or whether or not there was an explosive device in the bag he allegedly left. What we do know is that our police and armed forces collaborated quickly and calmly to evacuate the area, seal off Watford to ensure everyone’s safety and that the man was arrested. And, yes, he was wearing a ‘burka’.

Not surprisingly the incident started a foam fest over on Britain First and now it seems that ‘burkas must be banned’ and ‘all Muslims must die’ once again – because of the alleged actions of this one man, despite not yet knowing what he did or whether the bag which was detonated contained explosives.

So I thought I would have a look around to see if we really need to be so anxious about women wearing burkas, because ‘it could be anyone in there’ and therefore burkas are a security risk.

I didn’t anticipate that this would be an easy task and I was right.

I started out by looking at press reports of crimes committed while wearing a ‘burka’ and I found 21, dating between 2002 – 2014. Nine jewellers had been robbed, one travel agent, one Post Office, two banks, one Securicor van and one phone shop.

There was one case of embezzlement by a woman who normally wore a hijab, changing into a ‘burka’ to carry out her crime, and there were four assaults. One assault was committed by a woman who ALWAYS wore a ‘burka’ and didn’t don it for the purpose of the assault, and one case involved pickpockets in ‘burkas’ targeting the very wealthy.

Robbery seemed to be the most common crime committed in a ‘burka’. That being the case, I thought I’d have a look and see how many robberies occur in total to work out a percentage of ‘burka’ wearing robbers. I found figures for April 2015 at which show that there had been 4,104 total cases of robbery UK wide.

I then looked through the press for robberies committed wearing other disguises and, of course, there were a variety, including mask variations from Scream to monkeys and skeletons and even one man with underpants on his head (no, it wasn’t Paul Golding at the Cenotaph this time). And I found 19 reports of robberies where disguises were used between 2009 – 2015.

However, only using the press to research the subject seemed unscientific so I decided to go to to investigate the results of court cases in England and Wales. I searched for ‘robbery’ (the most reported crime) between 2008-2014.

There were 1209 cases – but how to narrow this down to see how many ‘foreigners’ were committing crimes – Biffers are always telling us that it’s the immigrants who commit the crimes (I’ll get back to the ‘burka’ in a bit).

Since the Law Pages don’t record people’s religion or skin colour, it was going to be quite difficult to ascertain how many ‘Johnny Foreigners’ had been convicted of robberies. I did what I suspect lots of people do, not just Biffers, I looked at people’s names and put them into categories according to their name. I must stress that I know this is far from ideal but I needed detail, not simply numbers. There is something to be gleaned from estimating nationality of origin from people’s names, although we don’t know if everyone called, say, ‘Stavros Popoupolis’ is a Greek immigrant, is second, third or fourth (or more) generation Greek or if he is not Greek at all, but it’s my best guess that he’s not French.

Of the 1209 convictions for robbery between 2008 and 2014, origins or backgrounds of names suggested that 91 seemed likely to be Asian, 10 likely to be Sikh, 31 likely to be East European, 39 African, two Jewish and six ‘other’, Far Eastern, for example. Of course, as I stated earlier, they could all be British, although one was known to be an asylum seeker who was given a jail term followed by a deportation order.

So, out of 1209 convictions, we have POTENTIALLY 179 foreign born people convicted of robbery in a six year period. That means that 1,118 convictions were for people called Murphy, McCloed, Bowman, Smith, Jones, Knight, Tyler, Grant and….Curtin.

I was quite interested in Curtin, because he had worn a ‘burka’ to commit a jewellry theft from Selfridges in London in 2012, with his accomplice Connor Groake (which sounds a bit Irish).

So now I had 179 names I could take back to the press reports to see how many of the POTENTIALLY foreign born people who had been convicted of robbery had worn ‘burkas’ when committing their crime.

I found reports about some of the convicted ‘burka’ wearing robbers in the press. 
I found that a jeweller in Burnley had been robbed by four MEN wearing ‘burkas’, Rais Atcha, Fahim Kola, Mohammed Asif Khan and Baber Khan, the phone shop in London had been robbed by Mohammed Sabek and Aneek Khan, dressed in ‘burkas’ and the robbery from Selfridges had been committed by Sam Curtin and Connor Groake, wearing ‘burkas’.

As for the crimes I found in my initial press sweep this morning, matching them up with my Law Pages search, three out of the nine jewellry store robberies achieved convictions, and the robbers of the phone shop were caught, as was the embezzler mentioned at the beginning.

So, there are some thieves out there who use ‘burkas’ as disguises to commit robberies. There are also three people who used Scream masks, one man in a green/yellow mask, and one in a pig mask.

What do I get out of all this at the end of the day? What I can say is that if you’re a robber, wearing a ‘burka’ seems to be on a list of potential disguises. It’s not top pick though. The majority of the cases on the Law Pages chose balaclavas and ski masks, some chose leggings, some chose hoods and scarves. Wearing a ‘burka’ is down the list and doesn’t seem to have any greater a ‘success’ rate than other disguises.

I’ve also learned that I never want to own a jewellers shop and there are some VERY nasty people out there. Most of them are not wearing ‘burkas’.