He came to ask me what my relationship was with wannabe Nazi terrorist, Mark Bullman (pictured), and to warn me that Bullman is now out of prison, and is looking for me – I have moved address since he went to prison. Bullman had been sentenced to 5 years for racially aggravated arson, but has now been released after two and a half years. (Bullman also goes by the name Mark Bullock)
As I have reported before, in August 2006, BNP supporter, Bullman attempted to burn down the Broad Street mosque in Swindon using a petrol bomb. Mark was the registered fund holder for Wiltshire BNP, and actively campaigned for the party in the 2006 local council elections, just four months before the arson attack. Strangely Mark used to write to me while he was on remand, and even telephoned me from prison – not in a threatening way, but for a friendly chat.
He had left the BNP shortly before the fire bomb attack to form what he called the “1290 sect”, named after the year the Jews were expelled from England, and he wrote to me: “I only attacked the mosque because there is no synagogue in Swindon, and it was close enough for public consumption”. The fuse used for the fire bomb was a rolled up BNP leaflet.
It since transpires that Danny Lake, (former leader of the YBNP and also from Swindon, and who has since been expelled from the BNP), had raised concerns about Bullman with Nick Griffin, but the BNP did not consider Mark Bulman’s mental instablity, propensity to violence and gross anti-Semitism to be a problem. Bullman was supported by Wiltshire organiser, Mike Howson, and Danny Lake claims that Howson encouraged Bullmans’ extremism. Ironically, the main plank of Mike Howson’s campaigning in his native Corsham is “law and order”.
Mark’s letters to me, which I passed on to Searchlight, were filled with a virulent hatred of Jews, mixing up three themes. i) racialised anti-semitism; ii) Christian anti-judaic traditions; and iii) opposition to Israel’s War in the Lebanon, and the occupation of Palestine.
Bullman started ring me regularly late at night sometime during 2005. I decided when Bullman contacted me that it was simply safer to talk to him than snub him, and establish a human relationship, and impress upon him that I was a real person with young children, not just an objectified “enemy”.
I knew that it was him who had fire bombed the mosque as soon as I saw the pictures, because the Swastika daubed on the outside wall was identical to the rather idiosyncratic style that Bullman had used in letters to me. But before I could go to the police I heard that Bullman had already been arrested, indeed he had turned himself in and confessed.
The police decided to contact me after Bullman told his probation officer last week that he had visited my old address, in Avenue Road, where in Bullman’s own words “a communist lived” and Bullman told the probation officer he wanted to apologise to me.
Fair enough, I actually take that at face value. For all his weaknesses Bullman is a troubled and actually quite likable lad. He seems to have always been a bit of a misfit, and found a group of friends who accepted him through football hooliganism and far right politics. It was quite spooky having the police do an audit of the security of my house, and checking out the approaches to it in case they decided I was in serious danger and they had to put me on a rapid response list.
I was actually quite encouraged that they were also assessing the risk to Bullman himself. The bewildered lad has been playing games in his head with his Nazi fantasies, irresponsibly encouraged by BNP activists who exploited him. And his attempts to contact me suggest that he is drawn back to revisiting the same haunts and habits that he was in before his arrest.
Bullman fire bombed a mosque and daubed it with Swastikas. I am prepared to be understanding to Bullman only because I have had personal contact with him, and I have some partial insight into what a troubled and unhappy young man he is; who really needs help and not to be further ostracised and isolated from society. But other people might be less understanding and charitable about what he did than I am.
What really is scandalous is the way the BNP used this young man. They had no problem with exploiting his obvious mental distress, they had no problem with his open support for genocide against the Jews, instead they encouraged him, they used him up and spat him out.