Fascists in profile: Karen Otty
As we approach the council and parliamentary elections on 6th May, a fair few up-and-coming fascists will receive exposure by standing in elections. Who are they and what, if anything, distinguishes them from the far-right’s old guard? Liverpool Antifascists takes a look. First up is Anfield candidate Karen Otty.
DOB: 12th January 1974
Role: Secretary, Merseyside BNP
Standing: Anfield, prospective city councillor
Karen Otty has been described by Merseyside BNP organiser Peter Squire, on the laughably illiterate Merseyside BNP blog, as a “female activist warrior Queen.” As far as we can tell, this is the “feminine” equivalent of the self-aggrandising title of “super activist” given to Peter Tierney and Tony Ward, essentially for seeking out confrontation and trying to intimidate the public.
However, on her Facebook profile, she describes herself thus;
I have read an extensive amount of imaginative literature (Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror) and I have also been avid fan of many Sci-fi programs. I found that such material stimulated my mind and allowed for new and creative ways of thinking. However, more recently I have developed a great appriciation for my own British History and am reading extensivly in this area. I completed my undergrad degree at Liverpool Hope in 1999 (Theology and Religious Studies 2:1). I also took courses in psycology and sociology. I then took up a place at Lancaster University to follow a Masters in Religious Studies. At Lancaster I was involved in extra-curricula Politics and Religion group. This presented an opportunity for staff and students to discuss related material of interest. I also participated in a post-graduate seminar group. This was designed as an informal arena for students to practise writing and presenting a lecture and chair the post-lecture discussion. I graduated from Lancaster in 2000 with a view to proceed to PhD. However after 3 years of trying for funding this did not happen! I decided to teach instead and in 2004 left Edge Hill with a PGCE in RE and Citizenship. Of course this never worked out either and I spent 2 miserable years on supply. I now have a ‘proper’ job that I could have got 10 years ago with 5 GCSE’s.
Rivetting stuff.With the BNP being her sole social outlet for the past 18 months, Otty has risen through the ranks quickly. As well as attending events such as the BNP’s Red, White & Blue scumfest, she has written articles for the BNP’s Identity magazine, and her day-to-day work for the party involves admin, paperwork, and sending out letters to members.But, it seems, the life of an activist warrior Queen and dedicated party apparatchik is not all paper-packing and envelope-licking.Here she is in London, during the recent public announcement of their membership rules changes;
Here she is at a protest outside Liverpool Crown Court, where BNP demonstrators made a holy show of themselves;
And here she is at an English Defence League demonstration outside the House of Lords in support of Geert Wilders;
The BNP’s stance on the EDL is extremely clear. According to Nick Griffin, “the English Defence League is a dangerous and obvious “honey trap” fake organisation and is completely proscribed for any members of the British National Party.” But it is well known that this “proscription” isn’t enforced to any noteworthy degree and their marches remain well attended by members of the BNP and other assorted fascists.
Obviously, we cannot take this as concrete proof that Otty is in the EDL. Attending a demonstration they have held does not prove that she holds any kind of membership. It does prove that she is refusing to follow the proscription order and keep her distance from them.
The likelihood is that the combination of visceral racism and the desire for confrontation is to much for a half-hearted ban of one fascist organisation is not going to stop those from another fascist organisation coming along for kicks. For example here is what BNP member, and friend of Otty, Jamie Luby posted on his brother Eddie’s Facebook wall on the day of the EDL demo in Bolton;
Even if it turns out that Otty is not a member of the EDL, this is neither here nor there. What we do know is that she has attended at least one of their demonstrations and that she (not to mention our old friend, “super activist” Peter Tierney) maintain a close comradeship with Jamie Luby, who has openly professed his willingness to fight with “Pakis.”
Clearly, she is not of the new school of BNP activists, who would at least make pretensions to dissasociate themselves from such people.
More than that, she remains a committed activist for the BNP, whose racist and anti-working class credentials are well established.
She wants your vote on 6th May, claiming to stand up for the local people of Anfield. It is worth remembering not only that she is a member of the party which stands opposed to organised labour and the idea of workers standing up for their rights, but she is the friend and colleague of seasoned fascists who are only too happy to use violence and intimidation against antifascists and trade unionists.
There are many ways to respond to the elections on May 6th. You may want to vote for a workers’ alternative, such as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, for the Greens as an antidote to the pro-business politics of the big three, or you may view voting as an unneccesary distraction from organising within our own communities.
Whatever the case, that is up to you and Liverpool Antifascists will ot patronise you by telling you what to do with your vote.What we will say is that Karen Otty and her fellow fascist goons do not deserve it.
A vote for the BNP is not a protest vote – it is a vote for FASCISM.