A healthy turnout of just over 50 people attended the North East’s GLA fundraiser meeting on the 12th of April.
Many of the faces were returning activists, and it was lovely to talk to people I hadn't met before who have already been involved with the Party for years.
Adam Walker was the first person to speak. He welcomed the returning members as well as the new ones and briefly referred to the internal problems we've had. His point was that we have a common cause and that worrying over who said what to whom is quite childish. We should all be pulling together not trying to pull one another apart!
Then Chris Thornton made an appeal for help leafleting in the North East for the upcoming elections on the 3rd of May. In South Tyneside there are eight candidates standing, which was enough to warrant a mention this week by our opposition. Martin Vaughan received a warm round of applause for his efforts in organising the local campaigns.
After the break, Chairman Nick Griffin took to the floor to give his speech. He told us about the campaign for the Greater London Assembly election and also about Carlos Cortiglia and how he is the perfect man to be standing as the candidate for London Mayor.
Nick also spoke about Question Time and how the BBC and the mainstream media still try to keep us a secret from the public. Although it was very funny to hear Nick describe the way the rules were constantly being changed to keep us off the TV, it also made people quite angry to hear first-hand about how he has had to "jump through hoops" to try to get the media to treat the BNP like any other political party.
Nick went on to explain how the publicity and the attention given to results in the capital would help the local branches all across the country.
He also talked about the Party's finances and how the work with the Treasurer Clive Jefferson has brought the Party back from a pretty weak position a couple of years ago to where we are now more than breaking even and growing in size and strength.
Nick agreed that money has often been at the centre of arguments between members, and he offered to answer any questions that people in the audience still had.
We had a collection for the GLA in a Dutch auction style, and, together with the pledges and cheques, we raised nearly five hundred pounds. Nick said that the Treasurer had promised to use Central Party funds to match what we raised locally, so, all in all, we in the North East made just under a thousand pounds towards the Greater London Assembly campaign.
Sophie Cooper finished off the speeches by presenting the new Young British National Party leaflet. She invited everybody with teenage family or friends who are proud to be British to join the YBNP and to take some leaflets to hand out to their friends. Her five-year-old brother Cruz was the first up to help.