Tuesday, 16 July 2013
By Adam Walker
This is not an article about the BNP but about politics and about one man, Michael Gove, who is out of control.
Most of you will be aware of the case following my actions in 2011, when I followed three anti-social kids and punctured their bike tyres after they had disrupted a St George’s Day celebration.
It’s been reported in the newspapers and on the internet. Following my trial, when I could again speak freely, I made a public apology via the BNP website HERE.
There is no excusing what I did, and, even though many people might disagree, I would always say that calling the police is the right thing to do when faced with a group of kids looking for trouble. Do not take matters into your hands.
Since the court case itself, there has also been an investigation by the new National College for Teaching and Learning. The NCTL is part of Michael Gove’s Department for Education.
I don’t actually work as a teacher anymore because of the problems the Establishment has with BNP members being allowed in a classroom.
The Maurice Smith report commissioned by the previous government concluded that banning teachers from being BNP members would be “taking a very large sledgehammer to crack a minuscule nut”.
Mr Smith himself said that to bar teachers, or other members of the school workforce, from joining non-proscribed organisations would be a profound political act.
Despite this, I still cooperated fully with this investigation. Let’s face it, I’d brought the attention upon myself, and I held my hands up to what I’d done wrong.
The hearing was last month and, of course, I fully admitted the genuine offences, just as I did in court. Interestingly, the NCTL tried to accuse me again of more exaggerated offences, including an allegation that I had threatened a child with a knife.
This accusation was utter rubbish and was contradicted by all the other witness statements at the time. The allegation had already been included in the crown court case but was rejected after I pleaded not guilty.
But it seemed that Michael Gove wanted me banned from teaching and didn’t care that I’d been to court and not been found guilty.
The new NCTL agency he set up in April this year was going to have another go at convicting me. It was only when their barrister (yes, they paid for a solicitor and a barrister) agreed that if the NCTL insisted on trying to bring that up again, then it would be contrary to British and international law in that you cannot be tried twice for the same crime.
This wasn’t the first time that Michael Gove had disagreed with such a judgement. I was brought in front of the General Teaching Council in 2010, accused of racial intolerance.
They were looking at comments I’d made about the two illegal immigrants who had shot dead a female police officer and about the people who had beheaded the British hostage Ken Bigley.
I said they were savages and that in many ways Britain had become a dumping ground for the filth of the Third World. Some people would agree with that and some people would not.
But the panel looked at the evidence and said even though they were troubled by what I had written, I was not guilty of racial intolerance.
I was, however, guilty of making personal use of a school laptop within school hours and received the appropriate sanction for that. In a temper, Michael Gove abolished the GTC a week later, and, in a Commons statement, he described the panel’s decision as “quite wrong”.
He pledged that he would allow school heads and governing bodies to sack teachers if they were members of the BNP. That first failed attempt to have me struck off for life cost the taxpayer £72,746.60, which they admitted in writing in March 2011.
Before my case in 2010, every teacher in Britain had to pay an annual fee to the GTC as well as their union subscriptions. Their union subs are optional but the GTC subs weren't.
After that body found me not guilty, Gove became so furious that he smashed up his GTC toy, and since then teachers no longer have to pay that particular stealth tax to Gove's department.
The disbanded GTC became the Teaching Agency, but, after only a couple of years, it became the National College for Teaching and Leadership after a merger with the National College for School Leadership.
I have received responses to Freedom of Information requests from these bodies about their staff. Nearly everybody who worked in the GTC was then immediately employed by the Teaching Agency, and they all still work for the larger NCTL.
So Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, first disagreed with a professional panel in 2010 and abolished the entire department as a result.
Then Michael Gove tried to have me struck off by trying to have a re-trial of the crown court case, even though the judge went on record to say he hoped the driving ban would not have an adverse impact on my employment and said: “I hope that your employers continue to value your good work as they have in the past and regard this episode as an utter aberration.”
Michael Gove was not present at the first GTC hearing to ask me any questions. Nor was he present at the crown court case. Nor was he present at the hearing in June.
He did not hear the evidence, and he did not ask any questions. His subordinate, the deputy director of the NCTL, was also not present to ask any questions.
And when the panel recommended that I be struck off with a review period of two years, I accepted my punishment. But then Michael Gove stepped in again.
His deputy, who as I said had not been there to hear the evidence or engage in the investigation in any way, decided to sweep aside the panel’s decision and impose a lifetime ban instead.
I have the chance to appeal this decision in the High Court, and that is why I am writing this article. It will be impossible for me in a practical sense to return to teaching in the UK.
I am too high-profile with my associations with the BNP for any of the teaching unions to sit back quietly and let me practise my profession.
And I’m a good teacher. I have the statistics and testimonies from former pupils and parents to prove it. Despite all the opinions and complaints from people that a BNP member shouldn’t be allowed to be a teacher in a school, nobody has ever presented any evidence or a witness to say that my personal politics were ever even referred to in a classroom.
My politics are my own personal views. They are even protected under the Human Rights Act. I kept them to myself whilst at work.
That is another issue. The question here is whether it is right for Michael Gove to be allowed to try a third time to sweep aside the considered judgement of a professional body or even a crown court judge and have his own way. There are more victims of Michael Gove’s underhand and unconstitutional methods than just me.
The main teaching unions struggle on a daily basis to protect their members from his idiocy, and, in May this year, the National Association of Head Teachers conference passed a vote of no confidence in Michael Gove and his policies.
If Michael Gove gets away with this in my case, then who is next? People are at as much risk from the fascist Michael Gove if they are BNP, Labour, UKIP, LibDems, Greens or even a faction within his own Conservative party.
My appeal deadline is closing, and I need funds to fight my corner.
As I said at the start of this article, this is not about the British National Party, although we are always in the firing line.
This is about stopping a political monster, who is clearly out of control.
Although I would much prefer to be able to afford an expensive High Court barrister, I will be representing myself to keep costs down, and I believe the case will stand up on its own two feet.
Michael Gove should not be allowed to abuse his authority. His actions show prejudice, show intolerance and show corruption. He has no regard for the law and no regard for the teaching profession or the education received by schoolchildren.
I know I did wrong, and I deserve to be struck off with a two-year review period.
That or even less is what happens in cases such as mine. I am not asking to be let off. I am asking the High Court to set aside Michael Gove’s decision and to uphold the one that the panel came to when they examined the evidence and had the opportunity to cross-examine me.
Please help me to make that case in the High Court.
I have set up an appeal fund quite separate from the normal finances of the Party or any other group.
Every penny donated will go towards the Court fees and costs.
Even if we win, I stand to make no personal gain because I will never be employed again as a teacher in any state school.
If there is any appeal money left after the High Court hearing, it will be donated to a recognised charity quietly and without any fuss.
I understand that most charities will not accept donations from political groups, and I stress again that this is not a BNP appeal but is all off my own back.
There is an argument for the Party to fight this on my behalf, but I do not feel it would be right.
Firstly, this affects everybody, not just BNP members.
Secondly, if I hadn’t lost my temper on that St George’s Day, this wouldn’t have happened.
To make a donation to the High Court Appeal fund, please use Internet Banking to Lloyds TSB Sort Code 77-20-40, Account Number 27588760 , in the name of Adam Walker.
Alternatively, if you have a PayPal account, please send your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you prefer, you can send a cheque payable to Adam Walker C/O PO Box 105, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 9BJ.
All the donations and expenditure will be recorded and published.
They will be anonymous in most cases, but if you want to put a name or a specific reference on the donation so you can check later, please let me know and I will make sure it happens.
It would be nice to see some of our traditional opponents on the list of people happy to put their names to this cause because Michael Gove is a threat to us all.
I am also writing to David Cameron to ask him to donate some of his personal wealth as part of the appeal. Let’s see if he trusts his colleague Gove’s judgement enough to help pay to have the decision reviewed by a High Court.
Some people have already pledged money, and you have my sincere and genuine thanks. Whether you can afford to throw in a few hundred like some already have or whether you can send me a couple of quid you have spare, we are all in this together.
Say No to Gove
Adam Walker to sue Michael Gove
County Durham BNP
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