I emailed Forward Press. Politely, unlike another dipshit, who if Mr Walton is to be believed, told him to go and have sexual relations with his mother. Although the beauty of claiming to receive nasty emails is of course that you dont actually have to prove it...just like the lovely Gary Titley MEP who claimed to have received the same from UKIP members right before the Euro Elections but then spectacularly failed to produce a single bit of that pesky evidence stuff to prove it.
But I digress.
Mr Walton has it seemed emailed back everyone who emailed in protest. A robust defence it must be said. Firstly he starts by correcting us that in fact the book is not being distributed across the UK, and only 450 copies were made. Ah, so limited distribution anti-semitism is OK it seems, nothing to worry about.
Next he proceeds to establish his own (yawn) 'anti-racist' credentials by telling us about his huge multicultural family which it seems is partly of stock as 'mixed' as gypsy and irish and english and scottish and zzzzzzz. Yeah, and I bet he thinks the Black Panthers are anti-racists too...
He does interestingly mention that someone called the Big Druid got on his company's case when they launched a Christian Poetry imprint some time ago, claiming racism etc etc. And again, this is highly relevant to the matter at hand. Really.
He then mentions donations to good causes including the British Legion - oh and the Farrago Poetry Collective whom he calls the most anti-racist group of poets in London. Hmmm. I won't bore you overmuch with the details of what a little research turns up, but let's just say that if you go here and then search the likes of Joe Ambrose ('Trotskyist, feminist and anti-imperialist and lead singer of the Islamic Diggers'), Courttia Newland (I'm black, all my characters are black and have had bad things done to them by whites, I'm doin OK but I'd be doin much better if not for whitey etc etc) and others listed you find that term 'anti-racist' actually means (with the exception of Ambrose the Trotskyist) 'Black, Guardian Award winning, pro-Black, kept down by whitey, did we mention we're Black?'. Just a wee stretch of the term 'anti-racist' there, especially when in the context of trying to justify a Joooo-oriented poem.
Mr Walton then goes on to explain the reasons why the poem in question appears on Page 1 of the anthology - I'd missed that! - is that, get this, entries are entered alphabetically into their computer by school and printed accordingly. But wait, the lad in question, the mysterious 14 year old Gideon Taylor, does he go to Aardvark High then? No, says Mr Walton, because individual submissions to the website are eligible and therefore because they dont have a school name they are printed first.
So in other words not only did Forward Press take the dubious decision to publish this poem, but it doesnt actually have a school name or address to verify this supposedly teenage boy's identity! So without any form of verifiable check on whether or not he is actually say, David Irving or Omar Bakri having a giggle, they decided to publish an incredibly inflammatory piece of poetry and be damned.
I think that perhaps Forward Press are just naive...or maybe Mr Walton, saddled as he is with print runs of just 450, decided to try and get a little bit of controversy going to boost future sales. Part of me doesnt care, but see, here's the thing. We can't email the President of Iran when he calls for the annihilation of Jews. We can't Email Palestinian Islamic Jihad (though I am sure Tom Hurndell and Rachel Corrie's friends in the 'peace loving' ISM could pass on a message).
But we can Email pillocks like Mr Walton and maybe, just maybe, the next time he feels like being all 'controversial' he may just remember the stick he got this time and decide 'Hey, it just isnt worth it.'
Drop in the ocean though it would be.