29/06/2010 - Back in the USSR?

GARY Marsden  is a singer, songwriter and musician. In the 80s, he was involvedwith the Leeds-based rock band, Brik Marine. Today he’s the driving force behind the band Anglo-Saxon. And up until recently he was a civilian worker employed by the West Yorkshire Police.

Gary  had worked as a public imaging officer for over 20 years. During his time with the West Yorkshire Police he “had a good employment record and was not the subject of any relevant previous disciplinary action.”

Like many artists, Gary is influenced by – and then writes songs about - what happens around him. As such, he was “particularly influenced” by the terrorist attacks in London on 7th July, 2005. Several patriotic songs, such as This is England and This is Not a Crusade, were written after this attack.

He made no secret of his involvement with the band – indeed, some of his work colleagues purchased copies of his Anglo-Saxon CDs. His web-site and music videos were also viewed by colleagues (although he never made reference to his job or employers).

Mr. Marsden made use of the technical equipment held by West Yorkshire Police to produce his music videos. However, this was done with the permission of his supervisor. (Other staff also used work equipment for their own private use - to listen to i-Tunes, play computer games and so on).

However, on 29th March 2007, Mr. Marsden was suspended from work. Why?

The reason given was that he’d used work equipment for his own use!

Hands up all those who have ever used work equipment for their own use. We’re sure the vast majority of you have got your hands up now! Using work equipment to look up e-Bay or a football team or band web-site is hardly a hanging offence. (If it was, probably nine tenths of the national workforce would be strung up by now!)

Let’s also be honest here – let’s get real. Using work equipment for your own use is hardly a reason for suspension either. For instance, a simple verbal warning would suffice. But not the West Yorkshire Police. Oh no. They went the whole hog and suspended Gary.

For some bizarre reason, in April they raided his house. Computer equipment, CDs and – shock, horror, gasp –  British Sovereign flags were taken away. He was also interviewed under caution. According to the West Yorkshire Police they wanted to know if “there was sufficient evidence to justify charging Mr. Marsden with the offence of intending to spread racial hatred”. (Six months later they decided there wasn’t).

The West Yorkshire Police then decided to proceed with their internal disciplinary action (relating to the use of work equipment for personal use).

However, much of it resembled a political show-trial. In this case Mr. Marsden was the ‘dissident’ – the specific out-of-favour individual – whilst the West Yorkshire Police took on the combined role of the Gestapo and KGB. Full details of the Police witch-hunt are given on the Anglo-Saxon website.

Incredibly, this investigation took two years. At the end of it Mr. Marsden was dismissed and is now unemployed.

Mr. Marsden feels that the investigation was a farce. Indeed, he told Solidarity that “the judgment itself is not a fair representation of the hearing. Many things in my favour simply aren't mentioned.”

He went on to note that his sacking was “a sad day for freedom of speech, artistic expression, liberty, democracy and human rights. It is a good day for political correctness."

Solidarity Trade Union hopes to feature an in-depth interview with Mr. Marsden soon. In the meantime, however, we’d urge all freedom-lovers to visit his web-site and send him messages of support  and maybe even purchase a CD?