The Manchester Evening News reported on the incident last Saturday when so-called “Yellow Vest” protester James Goddard threatened one of its journalists. “Wearing a t-shirt featuring the faces of Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin, James Goddard can be heard announcing to a crowd of anti-fascist and anti-racism campaigners in Piccadilly Gardens that 'things would be a lot different in London’”. There was more.
“He can be heard to say over a loud hailer: ‘Trust me when you are in London next time, it ain't gonna be the same as it is here … Each and every one of you, when you come back to London, things are going to be a lot different’ … In another clip, the pro Brexit campaigner can be heard telling photographer Joel Goodman, who was working a shift for the Manchester Evening News at the time, that he would be 'finished' the next time he is in London”. Nice chap, or maybe not. But then it got worse. A lot worse.
“Approaching the photographer, who was taking pictures at Saturday's demonstration, Goddard can be heard to say: ‘I've warned you, I swear to god when there's no police around here, I'm going to take your head off your shoulders, and all the football lads will as well, your card is marked … Trust me, next time you're in London mate, you're finished. All the football lads know exactly who you are and you will be ran out of London. Next time you're down, you'll see what happens’”. But threats were as far as he got.
Because this morning, the self-appointed head of the Amateur Comedy Sturmabteilung was duly nicked. The cops raided the Goddard hovel where he can be seen on video complaining that he has yet to get his socks on, while the Police confirm to him that the whole scene is being recorded on their body cams. Goddard acts faux tough and counters that his camera is recording the scene too. The cops shrug. Whatever.
Goddard, argumentative as ever, takes issue with the cops not being impressed by them telling him to end his phone call and carrying on talking instead. He acknowledges that it is his threats to Joel Goodman which have landed him in the mire. But he still has a speech to make. “It’s the usual shit again mate, isn’t it? The usual shit again. Where’s the footage of Saturday? Let my solicitor know … wrong, the way that you grabbed me”.
Poor dear. He wanted to use the toilet as well. “Can you get me a drink before you go? I’m quite hung over” he pleads. “Can I have my wallet, cos I need to get hold of my solicitor?” He was gently told that that happened at the Police station. He then went to use the toilet and the complaints continued. What sounds like someone else demands to know why the cops could not have nicked him yesterday when he signed on at the Police station.
Goddard continues to protest from the toilet. But ultimately he goes moderately quietly. Stephen Lennon he is not. That’s two arrests, the latest when he’s still having to report to the Police regularly as a result of what happened in London to cause the first one.
But good to know that the threats and intimidation are going to meet a robust response. Now the same needs to happen to the likes of Lennon when he goes round threatening those who displease him and engineering confrontations with his targets.
The far-right is being faced down at last. Just rejoice at that news.
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