by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2004-06-11
As London went to the ballot box on June 10 to vote for a new mayor for the capital, SomethingJewish invited all the candidates to respond to a series of questions about where they stand on general as well as specific issues. Find out what BNP candidate Julian Leppert said.
1. Why should Jewish Londoners vote for you?
Quite apart from the general common sense policies which would benifit all Londoners, Jewish Londoners in particular should vote for the British National Party, because we are the only people who are prepared to resist the proliferation of fundamentalist Islam in this country. If current demographic trends continue, this Country may well become an Islamic Republic well before the end of this Centuary, and perhaps even before we are half way through it. If any of your readers think this is good news for Britains Jewish communities and their children and grandchildren - they should vote for somebody else.
2. How have you worked with Jewish Londoners (either personally or professionally)?
Although not strictly within the boundries of `London` I have been working with the courageous Jewish lady - Pat Richardson, who is standing for us just outside London in Debden, Essex. I`ve been out canvassing for her on the doorsteps, and hopefully Pat will become our first Jewish Councillor this Thursday. So much for the BNP being `anti-Semetic!`
3. What do you understand about Jewish life and culture and the contribution Jews have made to London life?
I do not claim to be any kind of `expert` on Jewish culture, although coming from a Catholic background I am well aware of the historical links between the Jewish Faith and Christianity.
4. If elected mayor what would you do to help promote Jewish culture in London?
I think that promoting Jewish culture is a matter for Jewish people. For myself or any other candidate to try to dictate or direct how this should be done would be patronising in the extreme.
5. What will you do to help facilitate better relations between ethnic and religious groups in London.
Better inter-racial and inter-religeous relations would be best served in my opinion by the election of BNP representatives into the London Assembly (although of course I would say that!). Why? Because at the moment, British and European people simply do not have a voice in their own Capital City. All they have is self-serving careerist polititians pandering to various minorities and special interest groups in the desperate scramble for their votes. They have been brought to their knees by political correctness, and are therefore too frightened to say or do anything which might cause offence to anybody. This does nothing to improve community relations, and only increases tension and resentment among those of us who currently feel like second class citizens in the Country our Grandparents fought and died for.
6. What is your position on the conflict in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians and how do you think the situation can be resolved?
As Nationalists, we believe that every child of every race, culture and creed has the basic human right to grow up in accordance with the values and traditions of their ancestors - safe and secure in their own geographical homeland. This of course applies to both the Jewish and Palestinian people of the Middle-East. There must be a 2-State solution to the conflict, and the two peoples must find a way to live seperately and in peace, on either side of borders that fairly accomodate everybody.
7. There are calls by some to ban the practice of ritual slaughter of animals used for food. This practice is paramount to both the Jewish and Muslim faiths, what is your position on ritual slaughter of animals for food and do you support those who think it should be banned or those who do not want it banned.
This is a very touchy subject, and you might not like my answer to this question. However, I have been a commited vegetarian since I was 16 years old, and I consider myself to be the only genuine `animal rights` candidate in this years Mayoral Election.
I therefore totally oppose the practise of ritual slaughter, and so does the British National Party. We are supposed to be a nation of animal lovers after all, and I hope and believe that there are many compassionate Jewish and Arab people who share my feelings about the needless pain and suffering inflicted upon Gods creatures.
8. What steps will you take to ensure that the rising tide of anti-Semitism is curbed?
On the subject of Anti-Semitism, I think we should be realistic about where much of such hostility to Jewish people actually eminates from. I would therefore refer you to my answer to question number 1. I also think that shouting `Anti-Semite` or `Holocaust Denier` at anybody who dares to speak out against Zionism or the actions of the Israeli Government wins no friends at all for those Jewish people who resort to name-calling to avoid confronting the issues. Nobody is imune from critisism in this world. The BNP has issues with the Spanish nicking all of our fish, but we are not `Anti-Spanish` any more than we are `Anti-Semetic`.
9. Name some Jewish people you admire and respect and tell us why?
I have always been a huge fan of Woody Allen. I have most of his films on video and I`ve also read a few of his books/biograpies. My favorites among his films would have to be `Annie Hall` and `Play it again Sam`. Possibly my all-time favorite comedy scene is the `Art Gallery` scene in `Play it again Sam` where Woody`s character tries to chat up the morose woman in front of the painting. Know the one? I`m also a big fan of Bob Dylan. I`ve got all of his main works, and a self-produced `best of` tape which often gets an airing in my car.
10. What is your favourite Jewish food and why?
I`m rather partial to a cream cheese bagel or 2. When I stood as a candidate in Gants Hill last year, we often popped in to the Jewish Takaway just by Gants Hill Tube on the way home for a snack.