The Rise and Fall of Neptune Comic Distributors: Part Two

In the first part of this potted history of Neptune Comic Distributors, I detailed roughly the history of Neptune from 1986 to 1988 but I neglected to mention the wedding of Geoff and Sarah. The reason being that it deserves a blog entry by itself rather than being lost in the bulk of another so here’s the story. Before diving in i’d go back and read the first part of this series of blogs otherwise you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about.

In spring of 1988 Geoff was going to marry Sarah in St. Helens which was fine and dandy as all of us workers assumed we weren’t going until we told that not only would he like us to come (we’re talking weeks of crawling here) but he’d pay for us and partners to come too. So he’d pay for hotels and gas if we provided the transport from Leicester. After a few chats with Gordon, Neil and myself we agreed to to go up as it’d bound to be a laugh at least and hey, it was in May and at least we’d get a weekend away out of it?!

Come the Saturday morning in May I was picked up on a rainy, miserable morning by Neil who’d crammed his girlfriend Amanda as well as Gordon and his partner, Sue, into a old Ford where the five of us were to sit tightly til we hit St. Helens. Todd was supposed to come from the US, but sadly failed to make it. The company secretary Carolyn, was coming up separately with her partner but we were all staying in this hotel which wasn’t actually in St. Helens, but some miles outside of the place. So we turned up at the hotel, checked in to our individual rooms, realised they all had mini-bars and some of us indulged in a few beers to mainly wash the memory of the awful trip up from Leicester. By the time we got to the church we were merry but not exactly drunk.

It was at the church we realised the scale of Geoff’s empty life. He had no friends and we’d been brought up to beef out his side of the church (there were a few friends and some family but compared to Sarah’s it was minuscule) as we positioned at the back as I think they’d sussed we were a wee bit jolly.We sat reasonably quietly through the ceremony and then headed back in the convoy to the hotel where we gathered in Neil’s rooms to hammer the mini-bars not to mention start cutting up lines of speed off the room’s mirror that Gordon had ripped off the wall. We then descended upon the reception managing to hold it together for the meal though Neil had hassled the hotel to get some Jack Daniels as Geoff was paying we thought we’d take advantage of this. They thankfully sent some poor sod on a bike into the nearest village to get this bottle and it promptly was plonked on our table.

At this point I lose the plot a bit. Well in fact, I lose consciousness. I know this as there’s pictures of my head in a pool of Jack Daniels with Amanda and Carolyn trying to see if I’m still breathing. Meanwhile something snapped in Gordon and he was dancing with Sarah’s parents on the dancefloor with his shirt hanging off and his girlfriend Sue trying to work out whether to join in or run away.  I awoke, went to the loo and threw up for around ten minutes while wrecking the toilet. I felt more alive so I returned to the reception to find Gordon now throwing himself around like a dancing loon, while Neil was virtually comatose as Jack Daniels had replaced his blood. I managed to get back on the beer to join in the what was now, sheer carnage which I don’t think the happy couple would forget in a hurry. However the night was not yet over! Gordon had gone off on one because he thought someone was hitting on Sue so I tried to find him in this labyrinth of a hotel but he was lost somewhere, and Neil and Amanda had left the party as they were by now, unfit for anything. By the time I got back to my room I found Sue outside telling me that Gordon was back in the room but had made a total mess in it which I interpreted that he’s made a mess in the bed itself so she shared my room (there was a spare bed as Todd was supposed to share with me) and we polished off the mini-bar till the wee hours.

Next morning was hell. The hangovers were Olympic sized and the idea of a long, long drive back to Leicester was making us all sick. We’d managed to piece together the bits and bobs of the previous night and checked out, though as we were checking out we were asked if we’d drunk anything from the mini-bar (we lied) and if we knew anything about the wrecked toilet, the sick and a broken door which we later found out was something Gordon did when he was in a rage. Of course we lied.

As we got in the car the last thing we needed was to spend a few hours crammed into Neil’s old Ford. Thankfully Amanda decided the best thing to do was stick the radio on to cheer us all up on a horrible rainy hungover morning in the North West of England. this is the song which came on…

Not knowing whether to laugh or cry we set off for the long, painful trip home, not to mention we’d have a week free of Geoff’s nuttiness as he and Sarah were on their honeymoon. Though on his return we found out about the wedding video which featured the wedding itself, some of the reception speeches and lots and lots of shots of us being drunk/speeding our tits off. There was a lot of Gordon dancing like a loon which seemed to amuse Geoff in that sad way people do when they cling onto the one thing that makes him interesting to people.

This wasn’t the only time we were used to fill out Geoff’s friends. We helped him move house in Leicester which we managed to do in half the time he expected so he gave us the rest of the day off which meant we went round to Neil’s flat, drank tins of Super T (it was all the shop had, honest) til the local opened and then very drunkenly tried to play pool and chat up girls. I’ll be frank, how my liver survives is a constant mystery.

Now the point of this story isn’t just to tell a couple of fairly amusing stories from the past, but it’s to show Geoff in a certain light. This was a man with few friends who worshiped Thatcherism and was so highly competitive it verged on sociopathy with a nice side order in psychopathic behavior. I fully believe that at times, Neil, Gordon, myself and everyone working for Neptune (and some of the creators of the comics) were at some point the victim of serious abuse. Yes, a lot of the time things were amazingly fun and it was cool a lot of the time but the darker side of things makes it difficult to tell this story without detailing just who Geoff was and to put it all in the context. What I’m describing is your basic bullying culture but it gets worse as I’ll describe later on, so remember that although Neptune did change things it was off the back of someone amazingly driven, but who did so by emotionally battering people.

In the next part I’ll pick up the story on the verge of the move from the Enderby warehouse to the new one in South Wigston and detail the messy birth of Trident Comics.

Advertisements

The Rise and Fall of Neptune Comic Distributors: Part One

Comics as a medium are currently more popular than at any point in my life, and getting your weekly fix of superhero comics is so easy, so if you live in the UK you get them the day after they’ve shipped in the US. If you buy them digitally from a site like Comixology you can get them on the same day as publication in the US. In 2014 there is nothing stopping you from getting your comics within 24 hours of publication in the US.

In the 1980’s this wasn’t the case and although I’ve covered this ground before, it’s worth going over again briefly to recount the struggles comics fans had to get comics in the 70’s and 80’s. I’ve outlined just how annoying it was to get your favourite comic before in detail, but the situation is by the establishment of the direct market. The establishment of the direct market is a long history and this series of articles at The Comics Journal gives a great history of it’s establishment and history, but it’s obviously a US focused series of articles.

In the UK, the establishment of the direct market saw a number of shops ship their own comics in from the US, but eventually a single distributor appeared which was Titan Distributors who supplied most of the comic shops/ SF Bookshops across the UK. At that point those would be notable shops like Forever People in Bristol, Odyssey in Manchester, Timeslip in Newcastle, Nostalgia and Comics in Birmingham and the SF Bookshop in Edinburgh.

sfbookshop

There was also Moore Harness who distributed comics, mainly DC Comics, to newsagents across the country while Marvel’s comics were distributed by Comag and didn’t feature the range of DC Comics, which had a fuller range distributed in newsagents but still had gaps. There was also the fact you had to wait months. Three at least as these were shipped to the UK as seafrieght while the comics Titan shipped were flown across by air, though they tended not to hit the UK til over a week later after publication in the US. In those pre-internet days there were no spoilers, but although shops were doing alright there was problems with Titan’s distribution. Titan however was the only game in town until Neptune came along.

The reason why anyone reading this get their comics on a Thursday is because of Neptune. They created a ripple effect and showed there was a demand for getting comics across to the UK as quickly as possible, so when you pick up a copy of Batman 24 hours after it’s been printed, give a wee thanks to those of us involved in the distribution field in the 80’s. I accept cheques and Paypal…..

So the situation by the mid 1980’s was that shops had a few sources to get their comics; Titan, Moore Harness and off their own back by creating relationships with one of the dozens of distributors in the US though that was risky, and anyhow because of how Titan’s discounts worked, you’d be best throwing your money with them even if at times their services was, well, shite. Comics would miss issues, or ship so stupidly late, or you’d only get a few issues of titles, or a shop in one city would get one fairly hot title and another nearby wouldn’t because they were on better terms with Titan’s owners. It was frankly, a mess and at the time I was firmly entrenched with AKA Books and Comics in Glasgow and I can say that from experience that Titan were ok, but like any company running a monopoly (which effectively they did in the direct market in the UK) they were complacent. There was also a huge gap in the market and some tried to take Titan on but the problem was they were mainly fans with no idea how to run a business and it needed a businessman who was a bit of an utter bastard to to take Titan on. That utter bastard was a student at Leicester Polytechnic called Geoff Fry.

Geoff lived at 67 Barclay Street in Leicester with his girlfriend Sarah and their friend Martin. Geoff was a comics fan, and a keen admirer of Margaret Thatcher. The others had no interest in comics at all but they were keen on Geoff’s vision of setting up a distribution company to rival Titan, and of course, to make shitloads of money. They started on a small scale in 1985 and I still remember their cold call to AKA pitching their business as I was the one who took the call. Of course calling your company Neptune is a clear sign that you want to take Titan on. and for Geoff he saw Mike Lake and Nick Landau (owners of Titan and as it was then, the Forbidden Planet shop in London) as people he wanted to take on personally even though he’d never met them. He still saw this as a personal fight against them.

AKA were one of Geoff’s first big customers after winning us over by getting John Byrne’s Man of Steel, a Superman mini-series which redefined the character to AKA before the Titan shipment.

steel

Getting these copies on a Tuesday as opposed to a Thursday, or even a Friday or Saturday morning changed things. It meant that AKA could pull the rug out of any other shop by doing something they weren’t and giving fans a chance to buy these comics first.  See, comic fans are not known for their patience, so Neptune gave AKA an advantage over shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh which meant customers were more likely to buy their comics from AKA, and the more Neptune did this the more business they were given. This was repeated across the UK and as Neptune grew the business could no longer be run from a terraced house in Leicester by three students and they moved up a gear, by getting warehouse premises in Enderby,just outside of Leicester, and recruiting staff such as Neil, a lad who’d worked in a comic shop in Leicester by the Polytechnic that Geoff went to.

On moving to Enderby, Geoff was able to expand his ambitions. He wanted more business and I know from when I was still at AKA that he was pushing hard for more business but we weren’t daft, and still had a good part of our comics coming from Titan, not to mention the seafrieght comics from Moore Harness. For much of 1986 and 1987 Neptune were gaining shops across the country and eating  into Titan’s monopoly. The big change for myself came at the UKCAC of that year.when I met the Neptune lot who were at attendance punting for business, not to mention trying to piss off Mike Lake.  A few months later I was speaking to Geoff on the phone and was offered a job at Neptune which started in January 1988.

At this point Neptune were not at their peak. They were still in a fairly small warehouse in Enderby which saw everyone tripping over each other at times, and everyone worked their arses off. I addition to Neil and myself, there was Gordon, a serious Harvey Kurtzman fan, and we made up the warehouse team in Leicester, with Geoff and Martin helping. In the office, Sarah was helped by Carolyn so it was a small team punching probably way above our weight. Also at this point I have to point out that frankly, Geoff was a bit mental. I think by the end of my first week I’d seen him have a stand up argument with Neil and then with Sarah and then with Gordon. I was used to the odd argument at work  but this was something else. Geoff to put it mildly, had anger management issues. This aside though he was someone who could run a business but he was very, very lucky in assembling a team around him who were also young and hungry, not to mention weren’t suffering from the complacency Titan suffered with. We all wanted Neptune to work as well as we all wanted to give Titan a bit of a kicking because we were hip young gunslingers in the world of comics distribution.

After a while I settled into a routine. Monday was the day we’d ship out all the minor accounts across the UK and tidy up the delivery from the previous week. Tuesday we’d start getting information from Tod (our man in New York who formerly worked for Bud Plant) by the miracle of fax about what was going to ship on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday was a day of preparation so we’d write up pull lists for our accounts and on Thursday we’d ship ourselves down to Staines to pick up the Sparta shipment from the US. these were the general newstand comics sold in the US also sold to the direct market. Friday was the day we’d get the Ronalds shipment from Canada via the Us and these were the direct market comics from mainly DC Comics, but we’d have Marvel and other publishers there too. Thursday and Friday meant leaving Leicester normally quite early in order to get down to Staines, or direct to Heathrow to pick up the shipment, break it down, and then get it out in London thanks to Martin bombing round London in the van, and across the UK to those shops who wanted a Friday/Saturday delivery via ANC. Then we’d truck back up to Leicester via the M25 and M1 and hopefully get back in time for last orders before heading off to The Fan Club or if you were feeling more rocky, Sector 5 which used to be next door. Saturday would see hangovers and afternoons shopping or drinking in The Globe. Sunday would be spent in the late, lamented Pump and Tap pub and then an early night for the week ahead.

pumpandtap

This is of course, if everything went smoothly. Often we’d be in London at 8 in the morning, or still pulling comics in Staines on a Friday at 6 in the evening and we’d always be stuck in traffic jams getting back from Staines to the point we’d take a short cut through Oxfordshire so we’d avoid the M25. All this work did mean we were creeping up on Titan which was reducing their market share, which in 1988 in a comics scene far, far smaller than today, meant money was being lost from them to us.

Sadly we’d fuck up but a lot of the time it was down to Geoff’s impatience or his arrogance. A classic example is the Batman story A Death in the Family and this issue in particular.

Batman427

This was a massive issue as it featured the point in a story where readers could call a number in the US and decide whether Robin lived or died. It was getting mainstream media coverage and shops were frantic to get their copies, but the shipment came in late, not to mention we got reduced numbers as the shipment was split so Geoff fiddled with numbers to split it across shops in London which was the priority. Unfortunately things were fucked up because Geoff decided to pull comics in a moving van and poor Gordon was the sod stuck with having to put comics into boxes. We did warn that things would fuck up and lo and behold, the next day saw Geoff raging at us when in fact, he bore serious responsibility for it all.We got earache, and I remember leaving work that day serious miserable. Next day though Geoff was all friendly and nice which obviously was because Sarah had a word so he tried to be nice which if I remember meant paying for our lunches at the pub near the warehouse in Enderby while trying to avoid being punched by one of us.

This aside though we were incredibly good at not only getting new business, but expanding existing customers. For example, one time we (Geoff, Todd and myself) were to see John McShane and Pete Root at AKA Books and Comics in Glasgow to discuss the whole business with Forbidden Planet opening in Glasgow and the potential for a closer relationship between Neptune and AKA, not to mention more business. Now most sane people would either go up for a few days or even though internal short haul flights were normally expensive in 1987, it was worth flying up for what was going to be a hopefully successful meeting. Nope, we drove from Leicester to Glasgow and back in a day with a few hours of a meeting crammed in a middle, plus a pub lunch at Blackfriars, a pub I always made fine use of when I lived in Glasgow.

blackfriars

 

It did end up being a great meeting which ended up being mutually successful but we were frankly making all this up as we went along.  This became clear when Geoff decided to inform us about his plan to start publishing comics, which frankly did excite the hell out of all of us. He’d already bought Fantasy Advertiser by hiring then custodian of the magazine, Martin Skidmore, a Bristolian who was very well known on the British comics scene and is sadly no longer with us. What we did do was to make Fantasy Advertiser look more professional by throwing a few more quid than Martin had at it, but really what Geoff wanted was Martin’s contacts which is why he was made editor of the Trident Comics line.

fa99

It has to be said that even though Geoff was an arch Tory and Trident was motivated mainly by trying to get one on Titan who’d never delved into making original comics, there was a large element of trying to make very good comics using new and existing talent. We managed to get people like Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Eddie Campbell, John Ridgeway and even Michael Moorcock on board as well as new talent like Paul Grist, Nigel Kitching, Dominic Regan and Mark Millar. It was an impressive line-up for a small company operating out of a tiny warehouse just outside Leicester and this company was paying these people pennies, but the deal was they could do whatever they wanted.

The problem was the warehouse in Enderby was too small, so in 1989 we moved from Enderby to South Wigston and into a much, much larger warehouse. The business was booming and plans were to expand across the UK with a Manchester warehouse opening as well (to be run by me! Jings!) plus Trident to get off the ground, things were busy and that meant Geoff had to delegate. The business was about to hit it’s peak and in its own way change the face of British comics, not to mention distribution forever.

In the next part of this blog I’ll detail the story of the move, how staff came and went, the tales of various UKCAC’s and GLASCAC’s, the rise of Trident Comics, the birth of Toxic!, and the beginning of the end.

And I’ll also tell the full gory story of Geoff’s wedding…..

A (hopefully) final word about Joshua Bonehill and the Daily Bale

I’ve been involved in this story about Joshua Bonehill since August when he attacked the Globe pub in Leicester, and this resulted in him being found guilty of malicious communication last month.Yesterday he was sentenced.

 

Maynard Griffin, chairman of the bench, ordered Bonehill-Paine to complete 180 hours unpaid work, a two-year community order and costs of £145.

That’s right, Bonehill has to pay for his attack on the Globe this way, though the court did say:

Upon sentencing he told the defendant: “It will not hurt to say that another repetition of this type of behaviour could leave another court with little option but to deal with you differently

 

Considering Bonehill’s online behaviour this is probably going to be sooner rather than later, however the reason why Bonehill isn’t currently sitting in prison (as many including myself feel he should be) is this.

Accompanied by his mother to court, magistrates were told how widespread “provocation” over a long period of time from a number of individuals had led to Mr Bonehill-Paine’s actions.

Michaela Rose, defending, said the defendant accepted the information behind the article was wrong and he had made a “huge error” in sharing the information without checking its truthfulness or validity.

She claimed in the lead-up to the inaccurate article, Mr Bonehill-Paine had been subjected to “disturbing” messages from individuals who had taken a dislike to him – and the defendant believed the Globe pub landlord was part of this internet attack on him.

Miss Rose said: “Mr Bonehill-Paine was completely at fault for what he did and accepts it was inappropriate.

“He responded to some quite extreme provocation by a number of individuals now known to the police. It’s fair to say he was put under a lot of pressure and was encouraged to engage in these ‘tit for tat’ exchanges.

“The hatred shown towards him became quite extreme to the point his address was publicised in a public forum, forcing him to make police complaints and having things put through his letterbox.

“Mr Bonehill-Paine felt the only outlet to express himself and respond to the allegations about him was on social media.”

Magistrates were told that a Facebook page was set up against the defendant entitled “Bail Out – Send This Sick Psycho to Jail” where he was threatened, goaded and jokes were made about what may happen to him in jail.

 

So there you go. Someone who abused, libeled and attacked people, businesses, not to mention used the murder of Lee Rigby to make himself a local celebrity while seemingly scamming charities has got his wrists mildly slapped because some in the anti-fascist movement played the same tactics against him. Well done guys, I hope you’re all proud. You’ve given him the excuse to get away with it as prison might just have shown him he can’t get away with what he’s done, but now he can voice vaguely false platitudes while yet again pushing his usual bullshit.

“It has been a victory for me personally in the sense that those who have so wrongly agitated me over these past few months have not gotten what they want, that being my imprisonment.

“I will take lessons away from this whole thing and now work to better myself and move forward.

“During my time while standing in the dock, I had a Union Jack Flag in my pocket, a Union Jack tie on my chest and a flame in my heart that burns for patriotism and a love for this country.

“I am sure that through divine belief and my confidence in this trial, I was not imprisoned for that reason.”

 

I stopped blogging about Bonehill because I realised I was giving him exactly what he wanted which was to feed whatever psychosis he’s suffering from. He’s used the attacks on him on social media as a defence which is frankly, fucked, but it’s clear looking at some of the responses towards Bonehill that they’re almost as bad as some of the shite Bonehill has come up with.

I hope this makes Bonehill think about all the dozens of people he’s hurt. The lives he’s upset and the damage he’s done. I hope his words are genuine and I hope he takes this opportunity to try to repair his life so this doesn’t hang around his neck to heavily for the rest of his life. I’d like to be that optimistic but I don’t see it happening. If he’d any sense he’d stop using Lee Rigby’s murder as a propaganda tool for right wing fascism and racism (something Rigby’s mother strongly objects to people doing) not to mention using the Daily Bale as some sort of mouthpiece for his frothing insanity. If not then he may carry on campaigning for UKIP, but seeing as the EDL have told him where to go I’d imagine he’ll carve himself the niche he seems to want by creating some movement designed to annoy anti-fascist campaigners which will carry on feeding this lad’s insanity.

So I’m going to stop talking about him. People are fee to use any of the blogs I’ve written about Bonehill or the Daily Bale to discuss this but unless there’s anything worth talking about I’m hoping Bonehill does fall off the internet, sorts himself out and gets his life together. I’m hoping protesters move from him and focus on the genuine threats like UKIP and the various fascist/racists infesting the internet.

I hope it’s all over and people move on. I’m hoping I never feel the need to talk about this again.

My Top 20 Horror Films-8-The Blair Witch Project

It’s October, the month of Halloween and what would be more clichéd than doing a countdown of top horror films, so fully admitting to being a walking cliché, I will be doing a series of blogs running down the films in my own personal top 20. Here’s the previous blogs for numbers 20, Audition, 19, Night of the Demon18, Zombie Flesh Eaters, 17, Last House on the Left, 16, The Beyond, 15, An American Werewolf in London14, [REC], 13, Don’t Look Now, 12, Event Horizon , 11, Cannibal Holocaust10, The Wicker Man and 9, Halloween.

We now go for a wander in the woods in The Blair Witch Project.

Image

 

It’s a simple plot which has now become far too familiar as the Found Footage genre became overused but in 1999, it was still fairly new.

Three film students go missing after traveling into the woods of Maryland to make a documentary about the local Blair Witch legend leaving only their footage behind.

 

The film starts with an opening text telling us about the three student documentary makers going missing before launching us right into their lives before going to film their documentary about the Blair Witch.  Not a lot happens for this early part of the film, but in fact this is the most important part of the film as it’s during the interviews with the people of Blair and the telling of it’s history that we as the audience get told what exactly is going to happen to our three protagonists. These scenes need to be watched closely as it’s all about mood, and also, because most of the people are acting naturally they present a convincing tale so by the time our filmmakers are hopelessly lost in the woods being stalked by something, we’re unsure and thrown off balance by the events on screen.

At the end we get what I think is such a simply terrifying shot that was set up in the film’s opening ten minutes or so.

Assuming we’ve been paying attention then we should be sitting in a cooling pool of piss by now. If you’ve not been paying attention then you’ll find all of this boring, and frankly, that makes you worse than Hitler.

The Blair Witch Project is a spectacular horror film even though it’s made for around a fiver and some orange peel because it does everything right, while remembering that without any money the best thing you can do is get the audiences imagination working overtime. This creates a genuinely unsettling experience as the mounting doom of our three main characters looms closer and closer we don’t know how they’ll meet their fate, but as said, we actually do. It also helps if you’ve seen The Curse of the Blair Witch, the mockumentary which was shown on TV just before the cinema release of the film. That gives a lot of background only hinted at in The Blair Witch Project, plus it’s an effectively creepy little film in it’s own right that deserves it’s place with the best of it’s genre.

I adore The Blair Witch Project. I first saw it at a late night showing at a cinema in Leicester when I was living there, and to this day the reaction of that audience sticks in my memory because it was amazing. Having a few hundred people breathe in deeply at the same point as the remaining two characters explore a derelict house is an amazing feeling.

Also, this was the first film to really, seriously use the internet to market itself properly, as well as use the online campaign as part of the film itself.  You can see the legacy of the Blair Witch in virtually  every marketing campaign for every film released today, and that’s not bad for a film that cost just over 20 grand.

However it’d be remiss of me at this stage to not point out The Last Broadcast and the huge similarities between that and The Blair Witch Project.

lastbroadcast

 

I won’t give too much away about The Last Broadcast but I will say that everyone has one good film in them then this is that film for the people who made this. It’s a bloody brilliant piece of horror that is probably the first film of any sort to effectively use the internet within the plot without it seeming awful. Considering The Last Broadcast was made a full year at least before production on Blair Witch started I’ll leave it to you to decide who copied who, but both films owe a lot to Cannibal Holocaust, not to mention there’s a wee bit of Ghostwatch in both films.

At the end of the day I don’t care. Both films are wonderful. Both films should be enjoyed. Watch them both.

Next time, I have such sights to show you!

 

The Daily Bale’s Campaign of Fascist Insanity

I’ve already blogged about the Daily Bale’s attack on the Globe in Leicester, and how they’ve continued their libel even though they’ve been made aware the police are investigating them.

The problem is they’re continuing putting out the usual mix of lies and old stories to whip up hate that a lot of neo-Nazi sites do, but what is unusual is how The Daily Bale is taking shots at UKIP by repeating a story from earlier this year.

A UKIP candidate is facing calls to resign after claiming the solution to crime in Britain is sharia law and thieves should have their hands cut off.

Self-employed builder and UKIP activist Dean Perks, prospective candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, shocked supporters at a rally when he suggested the brutal punishment as a legitimate way to tackle crime.
Mr Perks is due to stand for the party at the next general election but leader Nigel Farage is now facing a barrage of calls to get rid of him.

Bonehill clearly holds a grudge against UKIP, assuming it wasn’t his crony Alex Wood, but the point of this is that after their attack on the Globe they’ve made it very, very, very clear what the blog is and what they’re trying to do.

They’re not being ”satirical”. They’re not challenging ”PC” attitudes. They’re fascists and racists. Anyone suggesting otherwise is either being stupidly obtuse or are cheerleaders for Bonehill and his blog.

The Daily Bale Continues It’s Libel Against the Globe in Leicester

A few days ago I documented how the fascist blog The Daily Bale spread a vicious piece of libel against the Globe pub in Leicester, and how failed Tory candidate Joshua Bonehill was the opportunistic ‘mind’ behind it all.

Today he’s posted this article on the Daily Bale.

With newspaper sales declining and popularity lacking for the Leicester Mercury, it’s been harsh times for the paper in recent months and a degree of desperation has consumed the offices of the Leicester Mercury. On Saturday 17th of august, the Daily Bale had reported on a story that came directly from the facebook page of the Globe pub In Leicester, shocking news that the pub had decided to ban all British military personnel.

After we broke the story, it was quickly distributed around the internet and went viral reaching the many far corners of the world as people stood unified in disgust against such a policy as a military ban.

If this post had not appeared and we hadn’t been alerted to this by a member of staff who worked at the globe then we would not of posted the story, it’s as simple as that.

Earlier today, somebody who does not wish to be named got in touch with the Daily Bale to give us a shocking insight onto what really happened on that day and why the Globe put that post up.

Our informant who will be named as Jane told us that The editor of the Leicester Mercury and the manager of the Globe pub had been colluding together in an attempt to draw mass publicity to the Globe Pub in order to revive business and the Leicester Mercury would be the first to report on the incident before selling the story across the world and profiting out of this whole affair.

Jane who has worked at the Globe for the past 2 months told us that both Richard Bettsworth (Editor, Leicester Mercury) and Chris Cobbett-Rayment (Pub manager and Middle class left-wing activist) has been meeting in a room at the premises several times before the story broke and would be seen to leave the room laughing.

In the wake of this scandal, the Globe Pub has seen a massive increase in profits and the Leicester Mercury has sold 4 times the amount of newspapers and made money from selling the story across the globe to the various media outlets.

Both of the men involved in this scandal are Left-Wing activists and have a history of attending UAF marches but what’s more shocking is that leader of Hope Not Hate, Nick Lowles frequents the Globe pub and is well Known to Chris the Manager. Is it just possible that Nick had anything to do with this as well?

The Police are currently investigating this incident and treating it as Malicious communications under the 1988 act, the Pub has alleged that their facebook page was hacked and the above message posted out. The Police will eventually find that the page was not hacked or compromised and the truth will be revealed.

The by-line again is by Steven Sodholmy, who is probably Bonehill rather than his crony Alex Wood, and again the article is full of the usual paranoid fascist nonsense we’ve come to expect from Bonehill, not to mention a massive deflection away from him as in fact the police are investigating those behind the Daily Bale, not the Globe, the Leicester Mercury or anything else the Daily Bale claims it is because the police have bloody told us what they’re investigating.

Even a casual reader can see the message in the article attributed to the Globe has the same style as the Daily Bale article which leads one to think that whomever hacked the Globe’s Facebook page and is behind the Daily Bale are the same people.

baleglobe

Of course that assumes that whomever wrote the article didn’t just Photoshop that image.

Assuming this is Bonehill then he’s clearly aware of just what he’s doing, and judging by the attitude on display he’s out to give his little band of fascists a martyr, but there’s no strength thorough purity here as Bonehill is hardly pure, and there’s no purity through faith as it appears he believes that if he makes the libel an enormous one then everyone, including the police, will believe him.

They won’t.

So stick by the Globe, the people of Leicester and those The Daily Bale attack. They won’t be the ones facing criminal prosecution at the end of all this.

Who Are The Daily Bale and What Have they Got Against The Globe in Leicester?

I detailed yesterday’s events in regards how the blog,  The Daily Bale, published a dreadful piece of libel against The Globe pub in Leicester. Before reading on, I’d go back and read yesterday’s blog I put up as it’s got all the story of how the Daily Bale spread a lie which forced the pub to close and it’s staff to receive threats via phone, email, social media, and to the pub and staff in person.

The Daily Bale  today have been quiet apart from some guff about Princess Diana, which was apparently written by a Steven Sodholmy. A Google search on that name brings up a Facebook page called R.I.P Lee Rigby, which you’d think was a tribute page to the murdered soldier Lee Rigby, but instead is using his name to peddle Daily Bale articles and other neo-Nazi views, even though it actually did appear to start out as a tribute page.

The person behind the Daily Bale seems to be someone called Joshua Bonehill as this article seems to show. Bonehill has an interesting history, including how he broke into a police station and stole an inspector’s uniform when he was still calling himself Joshua Bonehill-Paine and was a prospective Tory councillor.

 

As much as I despise UKIP, it appears they’ve been doing their best to purge him from their ranks much to the annoyance of Bonehill-Paine who clearly seems to think an awful lot of himself as the self-proclaimed leader of the ”Stand Strong‘ movement.

The links between Bonehill to neo-Nazi groups has been made clear but what was interesting is their use of fake profiles to constantly hide from anti-fascist investigators trying to expose them, as the one thing they can’t hide is their writing style which is the same racist and hyperbolic style employed in the Daily Bale, not to mention the casual throwing around of accusations of people being paedophiles.

Googling these two bring up a list of accusations and evidence against them which could keep me writing all day, so I won’t as there’s enough evidence to link these two to the Daily Bale, but why have they focused on The Globe, Leicester and thrown around libellous accusations which have affected people’s lives when they’re based round the South West and don’t seem to have any connections to Leicester?

It seems Bonehill had a run in with the Leicester branch of Stand Strong that’s suggested on when you look at this cached page of Stand Strong’s Facebook page from the 6th July 2013. One post leaps out.

leicesterss

What exactly did Bonehill do to Leicester Stand Strong? I don’t know as all that exists is that comment from that cached page from July which strongly suggests something was done. However a search for Leicester Stand Strong’s Facebook page brings this up which says the current admins are a Julie Hogben and Thelma Bone.

A search of Google’s cache from the 8th June 2013 brings this up, and just look at who the admin is…

bonehillleicester

Looking at much of the current content of the Leicester Stand Strong page it’s the sort of far right nonsense you see on EDL pages, and in fact, the page defends the EDL when it appears again it started as something else. Some of the other Stand Strong pages also veer into neo-Nazism, but most seem to have started as something else before diving deep into the pool of bigotry. What is different though about Leicester and the Globe especially that makes Bonehill attack it in such a libellous way?

Leicester is a massively multicultural city which does have problems with racism, but it also has groups like Foxes Against Racism (Leicester City fan group fighting racism), leading academics like John Williams who speak out against racism, not to mention there’s a strong anti-racist movement generally in the city. The Globe is a popular pub with a vast cross section of customer including bikers, students, football fans, families and a general cross section of the Leicester community.  It also used to host meetings of anti-racist groups when I lived there, and I know it still does. It seems that the people behind the Daily Bale wanted what they though was an easy target, but in reality the truth is they were stirring up trouble which worked a treat for them as the pub was forced to close yesterday until they got security in.

I know from a friends Facebook page that The Globe opened last night and people went down to say Fuck Facism. I also know that the Baby Squad (a notorious group of generational football hooligans who I was first told about on my very first Saturday afternoon in Leicester when I moved down from Glasgow in January 1988) were on the prowl outside the Globe last night trying to cause trouble, which I’m betting is exactly what The Daily Bale were hoping for but the people of Leicester have told fascism where to go and if there’s one thing I learned in 13 years of living in Leicester is that you don’t piss the locals off. You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry.

As for The Daily Bale, they’ve not let up today though their blog is as said fairly quiet today. The real bile is on social media where their Twitter feed reveals they’d like to see the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond executed.

balesalmond

They also boast of setting up the New British Union which seems to be a political party for those who think the BNP are a wee bit too liberal and soft. It’s as if they read V for Vendetta and thought Norsefire was a template for their ideas. Or to put it bluntly they’re dangerous bigoted  fantasists who have libelled a pub, endangered it’s staff a patrons, accused the editor of the Leicester Mercury of being a paedophile, want to execute Alex Salmond, and have now set up their own political party.

Thankfully it looks as if the police are going to come calling and that may well be the end of that, but seeing as it looks as if they’re prepared to martyr themselves for ‘their cause’, while UKIP, the BNP and even the EDL try to distance themselves from them you have to hope that they end up getting what they deserve.

As for the people of Leicester you have my support for what little that actually means seeing as I no longer live there and haven’t even been back to visit since 2003. I had an interesting time in my time living in Leicester and although I’m perfectly happy in sunny Bristol I wish the city and the people well. Don’t let the bastards win.

EDITED TO ADD

It’s just after 3pm on the 18th of August. the Daily Bale have posted this on their site.

Nick Lowles has been leading the Anti-British movement for some time now but recently shocking evidence emerged linking Lowles to the 1993 Harrods bombing. The Sunday Bale investigates:

After joining the communist party of Great Britain in 1992, Nick Lowles wanted to make an impact and strike fear into the hearts of British people.  Patrick Hayes and Jan Taylor who were convicted of the 1993 bombing of Harrods on behalf of the Red Action militant communist group

managed to convince Nick Lowles into helping their cause, in late December of 1992; Lowles joined up with Red Action.

It’s alleged that Nick Lowles, Patrick Hayes and Jan Taylor plotted to carry out the Harrods bombing at Lowles seedy london apartment, after preparing a package containing 1 lb of Semtex plastic explosive, the conspirators soon moved in to place it outside of Harrods in a bin, knowing that many would have been injured or killed.

The Explosion outside Harrods happened in January of 2013, both Hayes and Taylor planted it in the bin whilst Lowles kept watch on the other side of the street, no doubt he stood and watched as many were injured and chaos erupted in the busy London Street.

Shortly after the attack, Hayes and Taylor were arrested and sentenced to 30 year prison sentences whilst Lowles managed to evade police investigation and headed to the city of Leicester where he later founded Hope not Hate and took control of communist paper ‘Searchlight’

The truth is that Hope not Hate is founded on good old grassroots terrorism, backed by nonce Tom O’Carroll and various other unsavoury characters.  Nick Lowles has been responsible for the death of many innocent people who decided to take their own lives after having a vicious hate campaign mounted against them by Hope not Hate. People have been murdered as a direct result of Lowles hate campaign waging and many people have lost their jobs.

So it comes to no shock that MI5 Had opened a file on Nick Lowles in the late 1990s with fear that he may launch another strike against British soil sometime in the 2000s. The Daily Bale believes that Nick Lowles is still in touch with his former terrorist comrades from the Red Action militant group.

Lowles currently lives in the city of Leicester with his wife Clare Hewitt who filed a report against Lowles in 2009 for assault and battery which resulted in the death of their unborn child; she later dropped all charges. 

The byline is again by a Steven Sodholmy who is probably a pseudonym for Bonehill but as vile as the article is it does contain a hint as to why they’re focusing on Leicester.

Lowles managed to evade police investigation and headed to the city of Leicester

There’s no truth to these accusations as this was an IRA bomb but it appears that the Daily Bale really do want to target Leicester in order to get at Nick Lowles. It also looks like they’ll be facing more legal action for this libel as I’m sure Lowles, etc are not going to let Bonehill, etc get away with their pretty vile accusations.