Let's hope not because it was all over by that evening. The caravan they were meant to be staying in had been broken into and clothing and £77 in donations that had been collected from those who had waved them off had been nicked. Steve King's bulldog spirit had apparently dissolved and he'd gone home with a sore back and a blister or two, leaving Tom Linden stranded in Wigan until one of his colleagues could get him and the canoe back home.
This farce points up a couple of different issues. One is that the BNP are as full of shit as they ever were and the other is the way they gather donations from events that don't seem to happen or for things that promptly disappear. This event fits into the former category but the latter could refer to the famously-invisible Boadicea, the BNP's 'battle bus'.
Way back in February 2006, the BNP was begging its members to donate vast amounts of money for all kinds of crap to make the bus roadworthy. Here's the list:
SPARE BULB KIT - £5.50
CHAMOIS LEATHER - £7.00
12 X MUGS AND CUPS - £14.00
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT - £22.00
PNEUMATIC LIFTING BAG - £35.00
ALUMINIUM LADDER - £40.00
GARDEN CHAIRS AND TABLE - £55.00
TEA AND COFFEE MACHINE- £77.00
VACUUM CLEANER - £82.00
SPARE WHEEL AND TYRE - £112.00
T.V.MONITOR AND DVD PLAYER - £212.00
RACKING AND STORAGE - £360.00
FRIDGE/FREEZER - £370.00
CALOR GAS COOKER AND BOTTLES - £460.00 (how much???)
VINYL DECALS (OFF-SIDE) - £580.00
VINYL DECALS (NEAR-SIDE) - £580.00
SLIDE-IN MESSAGE BOARDS (OFF-SIDE) - £640.00
SLIDE-IN MESSAGE BOARDS (NEAR SIDE) - £640.00
7 METRE FOLDING AWNING (NEAR-SIDE) - £1,770.00
240 VOLT GENERATOR AND CABLING - £2,300.00
CCTV SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM +ALARMS - £3,300.00
Pretty hefty, huh? We're told that a LOT of donations were made but the bus has never reappeared or been mentioned again.
Not wanting to join and post on the hardcore nazi forums that most BNP members seem to post on, we'll ask our questions here in the hope that one of the many, many BNP members who troll Indymedia can provide a sensible answer or two.
We're told (by a disgruntled BNP member) that thousands of pounds have been donated to the Boadicea fund. His questions were - how much has been donated, where's the money and where's the damn bus?
Or is this all yet another BNP lie?
Tom the gossip