BNP’s secret Belfast lair
Hardline ex-criminal boasts that he makes £500k each year for reviled political party
Published 14/06/2009 | 14:46
The British National Party is peddling its vile fascist propaganda from a secret Belfast bunker. The BNP’s national call centre is tucked away in an industrial estate in Dundonald — right under the nose of First Minister Peter Robinson, who lives just minutes away.
The man who runs it is Ballygowan-based Jim Dowson — a top BNP fundraiser and a militant anti-abortion campaigner who has a string of criminal convictions and has had links to mass-murderer Michael Stone.
In online BNPtv footage filmed at the Belfast HQ, Scotsman Dowson brags that the Belfast base is raking in £1,500 per day — more than £500,000 per year — and has 12 staff.
Visitors to Carrowreagh Business Centre are blissfully unaware that work is being carried out for the BNP at Unit 5 — there are no signs to advertise their existence.
And even staff at the Dundonald base — who had innocently replied to call centre job ads — do not have their wages paid directly by the BNP.
Staff wages come from Dowson’s company Adlorr-ies.com Ltd, which has registered address in Leicestershire. Dowson is the only named director of the firm.
Adlorries.com keeps a low profile — its website lists no phone numbers or address, you can only contact them by email.
A former worker at the centre told Sunday Life that one man at the centre enjoyed dishing out verbal abuse to anti-fascists when they call to complain about the BNP. The source said: “There is one bloke who will literally run across the room to take over a call if he knows it’s someone giving out about the BNP.
“I was shocked and decided there and then I wasn’t working in a place like that.”
The outraged ex-worker also said that the sackloads of mail to the Belfast HQ would often include hatemail — some with human excrement and vomit inside.
The insider added: “I couldn’t believe that, it was disgusting but obviously it shows the extent to which people hate the BNP.”
Dowson is the man who has masterminded the set-up of the BNP’s nerve centre in Belfast.
In a BNPtv News broadcast which can be found on YouTube, he brags: “I’m speaking to you from the reception of the British National Party’s latest plant to open.
“The British National Party is now mainstream and is growing so incredibly quickly that these plants are absolutely necessary to keep the party running and to cope with the growth.”
The footage then cuts to BNP leader Nick Griffin in the ‘distribution warehouse’ who boasts that they have 29million BNP leaflets there and states “it’s a huge operation here”.
It then cuts back to Dowson at the ‘political headquarters’ —which is in fact the Belfast office, which Dowson says is the “adminsitrative hub for the party”.
He says: “Here we’ve recruited staff of the highest calibre to take the party to the next level.”
Later in the video he says there are 12 staff at the call centre dealing with 35,000 calls over the election period.
Dowson says the operation cost £100,000 to set up — but boasts that the centre is taking in £1,500 per day.
He adds: “It’s a very worthwhile and intense operation and certainly no other political party in the United Kingdom has anything like this, it’s going very well.
“There is no other political party in Britain or Europe that has anything like this, it’s very
modern and very efficient.” Workers are handed a ‘British heritage script’ which provides a template and information to promote the BNP and products to callers to boost the party’s coffers.
Among the ‘pointers to mention’ in the script it says “mention the trouble with the Muslims and our troops”. Staff at the Belfast HQ handle incoming enquiries and mail, post out BNP propaganda, take donations and pester lapsed members to try and get them back in the BNP fold.
The office used to be occupied by Alphagraphics, a firm which has no association to the BNP.
But outside Dowson’s home in Ballygowan is an advert for a plumbing business called ultraplumb.com and vehicles with the company logos were parked both at his home and at the BNP’s east Belfast hideaway.
Dowson’s son James is listed as a director of ultraplumb.com and also works at the BNP office.
When Sunday Life called at Dowson’s home yesterday to ask him about his BNP work, he said: “This is private property, get off my land or I’ll call the police.”
BNP leader Nick Griffin made a secret trip to the Belfast base less than two weeks ago to film a propaganda video.
Our exclusive picture shows Griffin pictured at the Belfast HQ flanked by two members of staff, whose identity we have protected.
His victory at the polls has been met with outrage and the 50-year-old and colleague Andrew Brons were besieged by protesters and pelted with eggs at Westminster last week.