Pastor Terry Jones and “England is Ours”

The news that Pastor Terry Jones has been formally banned from entering the UK provides an unwelcome opportunity for the Pastor and a British far-right activist to grandstand; the Guardian reports:

The English nationalist group that invited Jones is opposing a Milton Keynes pub being converted into a mosque. The group, England Is Ours, said the ban was an attack on “freedom of speech”.

…Barry Taylor of England Is Ours said he hoped other members of Jones’s church, based in Gainesville, Florida, would be able to visit Milton Keynes.

“We are very disappointed,” said Taylor, a computer engineer. “This is about freedom of speech. We were hoping that he would come and give a few private talks and hold an outdoor service here.

“We want to talk about the way he has drawn together various organisations that are opposed to Islamisation. We have been helping the British National party demonstrate here against plans to turn a pub in Bletchley into a mosque.”

Taylor said his group, which has about 30 members, contacted Jones after the English Defence League withdrew its invitation.

It was always obvious that Jones would be added to the list of those whose presence in the UK is deemed by authorities to be “not conducive to the public good”, but that announcing a planned visit would therefore generate a good deal of publicity for very little effort.

I blogged on the EDL invitation here and here. It was followed by an invitation from the far-right National Front, which Jones announced on his church’s website. This announcement was quietly removed soon after it appeared, and the website of the East Midlands National Front posted that:

Now Terry Jones Pulls Out!!

It now appears that Dr Terry Jones will not be attending an event in the UK after all. It seems that following the EDL canceling his engagement and subsequent alterations to his international itinerary the UK will probably not feature in his list of engagements.

It is also suspected that diplomatic representations to the US may have had some bearing on him ‘changing his mind’. (1)

Taylor’s “England is Ours” is an obscure outfit, although it has websites here and here. According to its blurb:

It is our intention to take back governance of the United Kingdom and return it to the control of the British people. We shall campaign to modify the behavior of local authorities where this is contrary to the wishes of local people. We also wish to welcome others with similar views to move to the Milton Keynes area of the United Kingdom where we are able to unite and co-operate among ourselves to improve the situation. This process will obviously be slow and beset with problems, but has already had some success. This is somewhat akin to the “P.L.E.” project in the Northwest USA.

“PLE” stands for “Pioneer Little Europe”; the concept was devised by H. Michael Barrett, an associate of David Duke who is quoted as describing it as “a generic term for any local community where Whites live in close proximity to businesses which offer cultural facilities and services, most of whom openly support their political revival.” Taylor also apparently has another website here, where he explains his opposition to the mosque and asks readers to send Christmas cards to (among others) some imprisoned Holocaust deniers in Germany and Austria.

Taylor’s background has been outlined by Islamophobia Watch:

Barry Taylor, the spokesperson for England Is Ours quoted in the report, is presumably the same Barry Taylor who was formerly a member of Milton Keynes BNP and stood for the far-right England First Party in the Milton Keynes Council elections in 2008. That same year Taylor was responsible for organising the annual John Tyndall Memorial Meeting, where a “gathering of white racial nationalists” celebrated the life of the late founder of the BNP. In 2009 Three Counties Unity named Taylor as part of a group of individuals who “straddle a variety of nationalist groupings, having dealings with the BNP, Nationalist Alliance, British People’s Party (BPP) and lately, the England First Party”. It was leaked documents written by Taylor which revealed links between Luton BNP and the football hooligans known as the MIGs some of whose members played a central role in launching the English Defence League…

(I blogged on the MIGs here)

Index on Censorship has some more details:

The England Is Ours website provide links to links to the BNP, the National Front and StormFront. When I spoke to England Is Ours secretary Barry Taylor he said he has “no idea” if Jones is racist but he thought not because Jones has an “Egyptian chap as a pastor and some African–American chaps”. Taylor happily admitted Jones is anti-gay “but that’s a Christian thing.”

The “Egyptian chap”, as I blogged here, is Morris Sadek of the self-styled “National American Coptic Association”. I don’t know who the “African-American chaps” may be, but here’s Jones explaining his fondness for the word “nigger”.

(H/T to a reader)