New fuel protest group Transaction 2007 is planning a series of protests across the country over the price of petrol and diesel fuel. Essentially it's a narrow self interest group which is demanding cheaper fuel, although the Road Hauliers Association has distanced itself from the protest and Transaction 2007.
Whilst the RHA has voiced concerns about protest methods, it still seems an odd position to take when you consider that on the face of it Transaction 2007 and the RHA have some similar objectives.
Although claiming not to be a militant organisation, some of Transaction 2007's vague demands have a slight whiff of the right wing about them, with foreigners coming in for a bit of heat.
The item in the Gazette on Tuesday featured the poster boy of the 2000 and 2005 protests Andrew Spence together with obligatory Union Jack poster, although unusually the Transaction 2007 website doesn't mention the publicity hungry Spence at all. What the Gazette failed to mention (and does so regularly) is that Spence has a past with right-wing groups. He stood in the 2001 general election for UKIP, and for the BNP contested the Leadgate ward in Derwentside in the local elections this year and also was parliamentary candidate in the recent Sedgefield parliamentary by-election.
He left the racist party after a minor fisticulation incident at the party's booze-fest in Derbyshire this summer. Afterwards, Spence stated he parted with the BNP because it's "not the party I thought it was", although he "was proud to be in the party".
The BNP itself has had links to the fuel protests since they began back in 2000. The BNP ran the website fuel-protest.com in support of the 2000 protests and party supporters were encouraged to get involved in both the 2000 and 2005 protests. BNP chums the National Front also got in on the act, intimidating tanker drivers by threatening to set alight bails of hay at blockades.
Why the Gazette fails to mention Spence's former affiliation with the BNP seems odd, as it certainly is newsworthy, especially since he's 'proud' to have been in a party of racists and bigots.
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