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In this, our fair city, Conservative opposition to long-running anti-arms trade campaign Smash EDO is something of a given. They support the dealing of weapons to human-rights abusing regimes and we oppose them. Recent tactics from their side have included tabling motions condemning Smash EDO's (non-existent) plans to target Jubilee celebrations or Olympic Torch ceremonies. Nothing outside the usual hurly-burly of local politics.

But something nastier has bubbled up from inside the Tory cauldron. Back on April 30th Robert Nemeth, Deputy Chairman (political) of B&H Tories (and co-incidentally manager of the office of Mike Weatherley, Tory MP for Hove) posted a claim that Smash EDO had put anti-semitic graffiti on the inside of a squatted building (since evicted). The date of the 'revelation' was well chosen – the evening before a major demonstration outside EDO MBM's factory.

In the event the accusation boiled down to the fact the in the same building where there was a Smash EDO banner, the word 'Jew' had been  enigmatically scrawled on a door. Below it somebody had sinisterly (or not) added a cross in a different colour. The fact that the building has been empty for years and has been squatted numerous times didn't stop Robert from penetrating to the dark heart of the Protocols of the Elders of Smash EDO. Fearlessly ripping off the campaign's mask of liberal hippy tolerance he denounced them as 'anti-Jew to the extreme'.

Having misrepresented these pictures to label the group as anti-Semitic, Nemeth then spent the month of May denouncing SMASH EDO via his twitter account, “@Smash_EDO followers are often anti-Jew, no doubt about it”. By 2nd May Nemeth was claiming Smash EDO had an “anti-Semetic [sic] stance”. By 27th May he was referring to Smash EDO's “militant anti-Jew stance”. On 7th June Nemeth dubbed the Summer of Resistance campaign a “Summer of anti-Semitism”. Energetically re-tweeting Rob's insights was one Graham Cox, former head of Sussex CID and now Tory Councillor.


Adding her own bile was Rachael Bates , Mike Weatherley's P.A. Choice comments include “smash edo are anti-semitic and absolutely vile” and that they were “the equivalent to Nick Griffin”. Is this all going on with Mike Weatherley's approval? We think we should be told.

The June issue of Latest Homes, an estate agent's rag that clutters up Brighton, ran a column by Nemeth where he repeated the allegations. Smash EDO wrote to them – and as soon as Latest Homes had a chance to check out the facts, the comments about the campaign were removed and and an “unreserved apology” was given. Mike Weatherley MP, however, has refused to distance himself from Nemeth's smear campaign.

Funnily enough almost as soon as Nemeth received this very public rebuke articles started to appear on Indymedia denouncing SMASH EDO for expelling its Jewish members. Needlessly to say this story is complete bullshit but it appears and re-appears on various open publishing websites. Even we've been drawn into the fray with one troll claiming that the truth about the exodus of Jews from the campaign was detailed in an 'excellent SchNEWS article'. Excellent it might be – but it doesn't exist.

Now it's almost certain that this whole smear is actually aimed at the local Greens, the Tories main rivals for control of the local council. According to Andrew Beckett, Smash EDO spokesman “Mike Weatherley seems to think that the Greens are vulnerable to accusations of running too closely with the black block. Well that's politics we guess, but to drag the spectre of anti-semitism, responsible for so much horror historically and still a real evil today, to try and grab a few votes underlines the morality of the Tory Party”

P.S Nemeth got a minor come-uppance this week when he was covered in glitter by an outraged squatter at a talk he was giving on the “Housing Crisis”.

For a complete list of Nemeth's tweets

That controversial graffiti in full
Robert Nemeth, presumably on the release of his conceptual ambient darkwave album.... Moody!
Mike Weatherley - MP for Hove & Portslade and massive liar
There are 21 comments on this story...
Added By: Robert ' G. Gekko' Nemeth - 29th June 2012 @ 3:27 PM
Is it me of does the aspiring Tory Deputy Chair-boy (political) own a real estate company he has named 'G.Gekko and Co Ltd' after the infamously ' greed is good' fictional anti-hero of Wall Street - a corrupt inhuman real estate dealing monster who stops at nothing to achieve wealth and power and is regularly misunderstood as a positive role model by corrupt and greedy power seekers ?

Or is that just a smear?
Added By: Theodor Herzl - 2nd July 2012 @ 11:58 AM
There are plenty of Jewish activist that support Smash EDO! What a pathetic attempt at a smear!
Added By: Confused - 2nd July 2012 @ 2:31 PM
So what is the reason the three were asked to leave Smash EDO ?
Added By: Jo Makepeace - 2nd July 2012 @ 3:53 PM
No activists have ever been asked to leave SMASH EDO.
Added By: Victor Moody - 2nd July 2012 @ 4:48 PM
What is wrong with the word Jew.
Added By: Lex - 2nd July 2012 @ 5:49 PM
Agreed, Victor. There is no context. It may have been written by a Jew. Prove to me it wasn't!
Added By: Jo Makepeace - 2nd July 2012 @ 7:42 PM
Sorry Lex - who are you asking to prove what?
Added By: Miko - 3rd July 2012 @ 2:54 PM
Latest Homes apology for Nemeth's lies:
Added By: Even more confused - 3rd July 2012 @ 5:43 PM
Well as a student at Brighton ican say that three Jewish supporters of Smash EDO were asked to leave so the original question remains. For what reason ?

We are asked to beleive it was not anti semitism but what was it then ?
Added By: Jo Makepeace - 3rd July 2012 @ 9:08 PM
You're not confused - you're a troll. The incident you refer to never happened.

Have you got any evidence that it happened. We'd imagine that the expelled members would be pretty pissed off - why haven't they come forward or issued a statement?
Added By: Jo Makepeace - 3rd July 2012 @ 9:11 PM
Brighton&Hove Tories issue a statement in response to the SchNEWS story


Full response tomorrow.
Added By: Miko - 3rd July 2012 @ 10:28 PM
Nemeth didn't "speak out", he fabricated evidence of anti-semitism then smeared Smash EDO with it on Twitter for over a month.
Added By: Brighton student - 4th July 2012 @ 9:14 AM
Trolling ???

I see Jo Makepeace has taken a leaf out of the Indymedia Mayday play book with the cry of "troll" when information inconvenient to the argument is spoken off. If as I suspect you are closer to this entire disgrace then you are saying then I also suspect you know full well who the three are, why they have taken the decision not to speak publicly and what they will be doing next. (which I assumes worries you a great deal)

Smash EDO screwed this up and you know it, they gave in to pressure from individuals with a dubious agenda and then tried to cover it up, this has nothing to do with the idiot Tory and you probably know it.

This was anti semitism at the heart of a campaign that should have known better and your defence of that is appaling
Added By: Jo Makepeace - 4th July 2012 @ 10:38 AM
Wow - the plot thickens - you know you are lying and we know what your agenda is.

We're not deleting your comments - we're letting the world see what an idiot you are.

Can you imagine a campaign in hippy liberal Brighton that asked people to leave on the grounds of their ethnic origin?

Would that campaign be supported by SchNEWS or allowed to use the Cowley Club? Of course not.
Added By: Tony Greenstein - 4th July 2012 @ 4:21 PM
The word 'Jew' by itself signifies nothing. Absolutely nothing.

We have a 'Jew Street' in Brighton. Almost certainly it was called that on account of Jews who traded in that area and therefore will certainly have anti-Semitic antecedents. But then again I can remember a no. of Jews who ran tailor's shops in that area when I came to Brighton and 'Jew' and trader were synonymous in the 19th Century. Perhaps Weatherley could turn his limited attention span to that?
Added By: Anonymous - 5th July 2012 @ 10:22 AM
I know for a fact that smashEDO had nothing to do with the graffiti. The squat that's in the middle of the story had been previously squatted (god knows how many times) and when we moved in the word "Jew" was already on the door. Weatherley is obviously looking for the slightest reason to attack us. As he always does.
Added By: Alex Casper - 5th July 2012 @ 10:12 PM
"Blood or Glitter"
Alex Casper, Brighton, July 4th

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to a slanderous and wholly malignant piece, published on the Brighton & Hove Conservative Party website on the 3rd of July. In it there is an ascertation that the Smash EDO campaign is anti-semitic, based on evidence found by Mr. Nemeth published but later retracted by Latest Homes magazine. This evidence appears to be the fact that there is a Smash EDO poster in a building that was once a squat, and in an entirely different part of the building there is the word 'Jew' written on a door. The piece then takes the opportunity to link my conceptual art action of the 23rd of June, in which I threw glitter on Robert Nemeth, tore up his speech and challenged him to a debate, to the Smash EDO campaign and an imagined anti-semitism. This is problematic because I spoke at length to an Argus community reporter about the motivations and context for the action, but also because Nemeth himself acknowledged the reason for the disruption: "it's about squatting", he says in the recorded video of the event. My allegation is that the new Legal Aid Bill, designed by Robert Nemeth and the office of Mike Weatherly MP, is not just ethically bankrupt. Rather, it is economically and sociologically unsound.

Tenant's rights, fought for and won across the expanse of English history, are the reason that Britain was more insulated than other nations from the economic crisis. In the US, where squatting is criminalised and renting is rare, young people and families are forced to find and buy homes, taking on extensive mortgages that are dangerous to the entire economic system, not to mention the foreclosed millions. In the UK, where council housing, squats and homeless shelters are more common, there is a buffer that allows a certain level of protection. Those who chose to live - uncomfortably - in derelict buildings provide a crucial safety valve, tempering rising property prices and decreasing the incentive for large-scale landlords to leave certain properties empty to drive up the rent in others. For some, squatters appear to be lowlifes. I have a distinction in my post-graduate degree, hitchiked last week to present at several conferences and squat only because cuts to education funding and support have made it impossible for me to achieve my dream of an education without living precariously. I run no-budget art galleries, as a way to help my friends avoid drugs and depression. Nemeth considers them to criminals, useless trash. I believe otherwise. What Nemeth seems to propose is a form of alienation and abandonment that cannot but lead to another summer of rage.

I grew up in a mixed Yiddish and Irish family. Celebrating both sets of holidays, I developed a unique understanding of the way cultures develop and evolve. One thing that united different strands of my family was a shared commitment to social justice; while my mother's father was a trade union activist in the english midlands, my father's mother taught lessons of peace in boston's jewish community. While living in New York I had the opportunity to learn more about the Palestinian struggle from some jewish friends; on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, we typically would say prayers asking for forgiveness, for not doing more to improve the abysmal apartheid conditions in the Holy Land. This is why I take every opportunity I can to stand with my friends in Smash EDO. I have also tried to learn all I can about other faiths I was not born into; Coptic Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, and of course Islam. Each encounter gave me a greater appreciation of the faiths we develop in the spaces we occupy.

My initial response was honestly one of anger: as a victim of anti-semitic abuse as a child, as somebody who has taken a beating trying to defend the tolerant community of Brighton and Hove, I was shocked, perhaps more insulted than I have ever been in my life. Yet a Buddhist friend helped me meditate and release my anger, leaving me with the desire to teach and not to return blows. So I will speak of the meaning of the 'graffiti' that Nemeth saw, the eponymous 'writing on the wall'... In the picture, below the word 'Jew' is a reddish diagonal cross. While I assume the substance is not lambs blood and is instead a vegan alternative, the reference is clear to anyone who knows the first thing about Judaism . In the book of Exodus, the tenth plague was to take the first born child of every Egyptian family. Jews were to mark their door with a cross and thereby be 'passed over'. We eat matzo, or unleavened bread, because it was only following this most terrible plague that Jews were allowed to leave and head towards Palestine. I am glad that Nemeth has found evidence that Pesach is celebrated in Squats, though I am worried that his discovery of the religious diversity of the Brighton squatter scene has not since endeared him to the victims of his legislative abuse.

Mark my prophecy: the extent of the Conservative agenda of austerity and suffering is such that it can now be seen as nothing else but a plague. They may not take your first-born's life, but they will take their right to a University or College education, their access to universal healthcare, any chance they might have of a stable job or a pension. Though it must be said if multinational corporations such as ITT (of which EDO is a subsidiary) continue to exert the same influence that they have done over British politics, it is highly possible that we will be edged into an apocalyptic war in the Middle East, or perhaps Europe, a war from which few in my generation will emerge unscathed. As such, I suggest that we all, regardless of our religious affiliation, start placing 'X's on our doors. Only blood and glitter can save us.
Added By: mithra - 8th July 2012 @ 1:59 AM
Nemeth probably painted it himself, scummy little tory boy.
Added By: Ben Kidd - 14th July 2012 @ 7:08 AM
Excellent piece Alex. I doubt you'll get an adult response from Mr Weatherley though...
Added By: mitzi - 30th July 2012 @ 2:29 PM
thank you alex casper,

that was very interesting to read.
my thought....what does it matter what belief you have....we are all mother earths children, born the same way,but taught a different story.
we all have something to say, and until we think that only a few matter, we will never be a unity.
Added By: mitzi - 30th July 2012 @ 2:31 PM
i mean ...until we stop thinking only a few matter...we will never be a unity
Stories about similar subjects...

Shamed Tory Nemeth's nemesis, aka the glitter throwing thug, in his own words

(Actually this was originally posted as a comment on the article "Tory Story" but we felt it was just too good not to share more widely)

Activists began a project of land reclamation in Runnymeade

Brighton and Hove Tories were kind enough to respond to our previous story. Unfortunately their response left a little to be desired. Here's what we said in return.

Brighton's squatted Autonomous Homeless Shelter organised a Mass Sleep Out action outside Brighton Town Hall. The following day representatives from the AHS attended a court hearing in Brighton magistrates where they lost possession of the property.

New Police tactics but the good city of Brighton and Hove luckily survives to live another day as Smash EDO score a pre-emptive strike for peace with a "No War on Iran" demo

New squatted space in London puts Palestine on the map

Anti- Third Runway Land Occupation in Court

Brighton's Autonomous Homeless Shelter plans a mass sleep out outside Brighton Town Hall on Wednesday (6th).

Twitter: @SchNEWS