More on Luton Protest

Tabloid Watch casts an eye over the Daily Star’s coverage of recent events in Luton:

Today’s [15 April] front page has a small teaser story headed ‘St George ban anger’. It’s continuation inside reads St George banned but it’s okay for Muslims to abuse our troops.

And just about everything about this story is provably untrue.

Let’s take the headline. St George has not been banned. Indeed, there is a two-day event celebration taking place at Wrest Park. Two days from 10am-6pm. That’s a lot of St George if he’s ‘banned’. And as this and this shows, there was a similar celebration last year too.

The “St George banned” part has since been removed from the headline. As I blogged a couple of days ago, an application for a St George’s Day parade through Luton was recently made by Paul Ray, the pro-BNP anti-Muslim blogger known as “Lionheart”. Due to lack of details the application was rejected by the local council, and as a result there was a protest on Monday, which apparently attracted a number of football supporters. The Star claims that one protestor had two teeth knocked out by the police. The protestors, and the Star, contrasted the fate of the proposed march with the recent counter-protest by a small number of Islamists against a military parade. According to the local Herald and Post (16 April p.11):

Demostrators waved placards blaming Luton Borough Council for extremists being able to hold a protest, but the authority said yesterday it had never sanctioned their presence at the March 10 parade…

A report at Bedford Today adds:

The protestors were demanding someone in authority be held to account for a group of Islamic extremists being allowed to demonstrate during the parade by the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment on March 10, which resulted in ugly clashes that hit the national headlines.

…Six arrests were made during the afternoon, but a spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said none of them were protestors. One, a 17-year-old who threw a brick at a police officer on horseback, was charged with possessing an offensive weapon and will appear at Luton Magistrates Court on April 21. The others were involved in an assault and public order offences and bailed by police.

Strangely, there is no mention of anyone losing two teeth as a result of police violence, despite this being a dramatic and topical detail.

Tabloid Watch also notes:

As an aside, I would like to point out that a man called Glen Jenvey is a member of Paul Ray’s ‘St George & D-day in Luton’ Facebook group. Is it really him?

Indeed it is – Ray was at one point a strong defender of Jenvey against the claim he had made bogus postings to Muslim websites in order to create tales of extremists he then sold to tabloids; in January he complained that the evidence had been concocted by “some obscure blog that is full of lies, hate and denials” (that would be Bloggerheads) and a Muslim extremist. However, as the evidence against Jenvey piled up – and as his behaviour became more erratic – Ray has become silent on the subject. Perhaps he’s taken his lead from Jeremy Reynalds, who wrote a strange piece defending Jenvey. His article was soon after quietly removed from the original source, and Reynalds has since put a bit of distance between himself and his former collaborator.

Jenvey does not have many Facebook friends – just Ray, Dave Smeeton of “March for England” and a couple of others. Jenvey’s involvement is not encouraging – he recently sent Tim Ireland an email threatening physical violence for investigating his activities.