By Joanna Kirby
In her pre-BNP days, Marlene Guest was a Lib-Dem but she also joined Rotherham Council Watch, a group of local people who were becoming more and more concerned about the behaviour of Rotherham Council.
She witnessed the rising tide of Pakistani immigrants and noted that the areas where they settled were soon turned into foreign ghettoes. Marlene was appalled at the decline of these areas and decided that the best way to fight against this influx was to join the BNP.
That was approximately ten years ago and a local BNP meeting was where Marlene and I first met. Marlene immediately volunteered to create and run a branch at Rotherham. She was retired by that time, but I was a widow in a “sensitive” occupation and was forced to keep a low profile in order to protect my job. Thus I became branch treasurer.
Marlene dedicated her life to furthering the cause of the BNP and together we walked many miles and delivered thousands of leaflets for the Party. She then persuaded them to supply her with a printing machine and turned her spare bedroom into a print workshop. She then used the Freedom of Information Act to extract information from Rotherham Council. Based on this information, she printed up her own local leaflets, which we distributed in the relevant areas.
Marlene was a brave woman-. she always printed her own Land line number and address on ah her leaflets and wrote many letters to the local newspapers. As a consequence, she received much abuse via telephone calls and in the letters column of the local papers. The threats and abuse didn’t deter her: she was more concerned about her country than her own safety. However, she also received phone calls from people who were having problems, either with the Council, Police or with immigrants who had moved into their local area as the ghettoes grew and expanded.
Among the people who called her was a grandfather, who told her that his granddaughter had been abused by Pakistani men and that the Police and Council were not prepared to do anything about the problem. This was approximately five or six years before the Jay report came out. Marlene interviewed the man and his granddaughter and recorded it on DVD. I watched that DVD.
Via the Freedom of Information Act, Marlene acquired a list of Council grants to various groups and societies, many of them Pakistani. I have seen this information and, believe me, these groups have been given thousands of pounds of our Council Tax money, while services to our areas have been drastically cut.
It is said on the local Council Watch blog, Rotherham Politics, that the Pakistani community brought with it from Pakistan the “Biraderi” system of politics, where a few powerful families control the whole population via intimidation and threats.
It is alleged that Councillors who were forced to resign following the Jay Report, were the patriarchs of such families and they delivered a block Labour vote in return for the disproportionate power they were given over important areas of local government. One of these Councillors, who is alleged to have been involved in Sex Exploitation via a relative, was convicted of violent affray some years ago and given an “ASBO”. He was still allowed to continue being a Councillor after this conviction.
Marlene lived to hear the Jay Report and felt vindicated. By this time, she was too weak to write any more letters to the local paper so she asked me to do one last thing for her: to type and send a final letter, which she dictated to me in her Living room, surrounded by the medical items needed by one who is terminally ill. I typed and sent the letter and it was published.
The next time I saw her was on the day she died. Her family told me that, although she couldn’t speak, she could hear, so I said my final words to her, “Tara love.” She died two hours later.
Unfortunately, she didn’t live to hear the Casey Report, which declared the whole Council, “Unfit for purpose.” Marlene had been saying that for years.
This forms a summary of a speech given on the 28th March at the Yorkshire Forum Meeting.
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