Will the BNP come to London?


by Sunny
17th December, 2007 at 9:29 pm    

This is a press release sent to me

London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi has issued a call to arms to London’s voters, saying the British National Party (BNP) have a “real and worryingly good chance” of winning seats in next year’s GLA elections.

Because of the electoral system used for the GLA, the far-right British National Party need only 5 per cent of London’s votes to gain a seat on the Assembly; 8 per cent would give them two seats. At the last election in 2004, Nick Griffin’s party were just 0.1% away from winning a seat.

Four years ago – when the GLA election coincided with the European election – the BNP’s vote was highest in areas where the UK Independence Party (UKIP) was also popular. Alarmingly, with no Euro elections this time round, there are fears that as many as 20% of UKIP voters could switch to the BNP.

This alone would give the party 6.5% of the vote, enough to see them elected. Coupled with their recent successes in London (they now have 12 councillors in Barking and Dagenham, and one each in Havering and Redbridge), everything points to a disturbing victory this May.

Murad said, “What these stats tell us is that this racist, fascist party are worryingly close to gaining real power in the capital. London’s voters should know that any complacency will see the BNP elected and given the power to decide the Mayor’s budget.

“I am proud to live in what is probably the most tolerant, diverse city in the world with its long history of rejecting reactionary, divisive politics. The only way we can continue this proud tradition and defend our city from the despicable BNP is at the ballot box in May 2008. It is not a done deal, but Londoners have to get out there and vote”

Murad is one of six candidates from an Asian background standing for Labour in the GLA elections next May. The others are Navin Shah, Shafi Khan, Ranjit Dheer, Balvinder Saund and Ansuya Sodha.


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  1. Cabalamat — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:12 pm  

    Sounds a bit alarmist to me. Even if the BNP do get someone elected, they’ll only be one of 25 members, so won’t have any power.

  2. Ismaeel — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:45 pm  

    Aren’t the BNP infighting and on the cusp of dividing into two groups thus splitting any vote they may get anyway?

  3. Ismaeel — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:46 pm  

    Isn’t this just typical Labour scare tactics to get people out to vote labour in fear of a BNP member being voted in?

  4. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2007 at 11:55 pm  

    My theory is that the more the BNP reaches to the mainstream, the more the chances it has to self-destruct. In fact, the BNP has changed its tune dramatically, now saying that they accept that Britain will always have ethnic minorities. And I think it is a nice sight to see the BNP having to work with minorities. I am not confortable to see them have more power, but having 1 out of 25 sounds just about right.

  5. fugstar — on 18th December, 2007 at 12:29 am  

    tired labour advert.
    wish theyd just be a bit more creative about it, and that people honoured barking with more attention when it isnt election time.

  6. ahmed — on 18th December, 2007 at 9:54 am  

    Ismaeel – the point is that the bnp need 5% of the overall vote to get elected. so the more people vote (for whichever party) the more votes the bnp will need to get to the 5% figure. where does murad say “vote labour”?

  7. Sofia — on 18th December, 2007 at 10:20 am  

    Ismaeel..it’s really sad that it’s under a labour government that the bnp has managed to get councillors etc elected.

  8. fugstar — on 18th December, 2007 at 11:10 am  

    vote labour is etched onto the the reason for sending the Pickle Lord a press release full of cliche. Perhaps its only logical for the release to come from someone elected into the GLA by the skin of his teeth last time around.

    dont ever try to vote for a non established party, because the loonies will take over the asylum.

  9. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2007 at 11:13 am  

    It was the last paragraph that annoyed me:

    “Murad is one of six candidates from an Asian background standing for Labour in the GLA elections next May. The others are Navin Shah, Shafi Khan, Ranjit Dheer, Balvinder Saund and Ansuya Sodha.”

    So what? If you want to encourage people to get out and vote to defeat the BNP, fine, but don’t then make such a partisan appeal at the end. It sours the message.

  10. Dave Cole — on 18th December, 2007 at 11:15 am  

    Sofia, I think that’s an unfair comment. While Labour has not been as active as one would like, individual members and parts of Labour have done a lot; at the last Mayoral election, lots of people were handing out anti-BNP things rather than pro-Ken. So far as I can see, all the main parties say ‘just vote against the BNP’ rather than ‘vote for us’ and parties effectively stop campaigning to allow the party best-placed to beat the BNP a free run when there’s a chance of the BNP winning.

    I hope that the BNP are going to suffer electorally because of the split that seems to be forming apace within that organisation and because it gives a very clear example of their attitude to law and order, one of their main campaigning platforms to get away from the perception of a strictly racist party. Stop the BNP has lots of information about the BNP’s criminal activities at http://www.stopthebnp.org.uk/uncovered/pg07.htm.

    Jon Cruddas has written to Sir Ian Blair asking for an investigation of ‘criminal activities’ by the BNP leadership and is going to raise it in Parliament this afternoon, according to the Guardian.

  11. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 12:05 pm  

    “Murad is one of six candidates from an Asian background standing for Labour in the GLA elections next May. The others are Navin Shah, Shafi Khan, Ranjit Dheer, Balvinder Saund and Ansuya Sodha.”

    translation: ‘vote for me because I’m the same skin colour’. In other words, Murad and co are just as racist as the BNP.

    Hardly a surprise that, given Sunny’s enthusiasm for supporting politicans based purpley on Skin Colour (Bobby Jindal, anyone?).

  12. Parvinder — on 18th December, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

    In May 1977 GLC elections, the NF, forunner of the BNP won 119,000 London votes (5.7%) pushing the Liberals to 4th place. Racism attacks rose dramatically.
    In 2004 the BNP won 90,365 so slowly they are making progress.

    however, I agree in part with Morgoth, putting up candidates simply because they are asian or black smacks of tokenism. It your politics that matter in the battle to win over the white working class.

  13. Sid — on 18th December, 2007 at 12:52 pm  

    Murad and co are just as racist as the BNP

    Actually I know Murad, and ‘just as racist as the BNP’ he certainly isn’t.

  14. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 12:57 pm  

    “Murad is one of six candidates from an Asian background standing for Labour in the GLA elections next May”

    Why bother mention his skin-color/ethniticity then?

  15. Ravi Naik — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:01 pm  

    Why bother mention his skin-color/ethniticity then?

    Unfortunately, Morgoth, you are right. It is unfortunate that the best we can do is to play the race card, rather than focusing on how competent these people are. Which is what voters should care.

  16. Sid — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:07 pm  

    But are you sure he’s as “racist as the BNP” or are you posturing in your usual manner to get a point across?

  17. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:14 pm  

    Sid, Murad specifically makes a big deal of his ethnicity in the press release. How is that *not* playing the race card in a similar way to the BNP?

    I mean, who the fuck cares if he’s got slightly increased levels of melanin in his skin? How does it affect his eligability for public office?

  18. Sid — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

    Where? That sentence you just quoted was written by Sunny on this article? If Murad make “a big deal of his ethnicity in the press release” – and I’d like to see where – how does that make him as racist as the BNP?

    Do you have a fucking clue about the BNP racism or are you just blowing smoke our your arse for our benefit?

  19. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:22 pm  

    Murad is one of six candidates from an Asian background standing for Labour in the GLA elections next May. The others are Navin Shah, Shafi Khan, Ranjit Dheer, Balvinder Saund and Ansuya Sodha.

    That is the verbatim last paragraph of the press release sent to Sunny.

    I will ask you again: why bother mention his skin colour? What has his skin colour got to do with his standing for an election? Or anything?

  20. Sid — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    “Murad is one of six candidates from an Asian background”

    That makes him as racist as the BNP?
    I think you’re either completely and utterly ignorant of the BNP or you’re clueless about what racism means. I’d say both.

  21. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    Answer the question Sid, and stop spreading chaff. Why should I or anyone else care what skin colour Murad has? Why did he mention it in his press release? Why are you (and Sunny) so defensive when your own race-baiting (the mirror image of the BNP’s) is pointed out?

  22. Sid — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:36 pm  

    No Morgoth, I think you’re allegation is slightly more serious. You tell us why Murad is “as racist as the BNP” for telling us what his ethnicity is on the press release. Stop trivialing racism. If you can’t back up Murad’s racism, as you’ve alleged, we’ll accept it’s another one of your ridiculous slanders.

  23. fugstar — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:38 pm  

    too boring to otherwise make a mark.

  24. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:39 pm  

    Ok, Sid. He basically said “Vote for me, I’m asian!”

    And that is exactly the same as the BNP do.

  25. Sid — on 18th December, 2007 at 1:43 pm  

    That’s embarrassingly weak, Morgoth.

  26. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 2:12 pm  

    I think the only embarrassing thing here is your defense of racism, Sid. Why did Murat need to mention his ethnicity in conjunction with his running for election?

    Racism is wrong, no matter what skin colours are involved, Sid. Its a shame your objections to racism are so selective, Sid.

  27. ZinZin — on 18th December, 2007 at 2:25 pm  

    Morgoth
    Please stop. Man brings up his ethnicity and he is a racist and a race baiter?

    “Racism is wrong, no matter what skin colours are involved, Sid. Its a shame your objections to racism are so selective, Sid.”

    Morgoth, you have no idea what racism is, Not your fault though as you have never been on the receiving end of it. Though you would like to convince us otherwise.

  28. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 2:51 pm  

    Zinzin, he brought up his ethnicity in the context of him wanting our votes. “Vote for me, I’m Asian!”

    That is racism, pure and simple. Not that it will stop the professional race-obsessives here from excusing it purely because he’s slightly-dark skinned.

  29. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 2:55 pm  

    And as for not knowing what racism is, well, Zinzin, I’ve had much worse. I’ve been physically assaulted and threatened due to my apparent nationality/ethnicity. I’ve had close relatives and friends murdered because of the poltical views they’ve held. So don’t you fucking dare tell me I don’t know what its like to be on the receiving end of bigotry and hate.

  30. Sofia — on 18th December, 2007 at 3:06 pm  

    Dave..although I appreciate that there are many labour “activists” who work diligently against racism..much like non labour supporting people…i do find it incredible that the bnp has managed to make such “progress” due to a mix reasons including local politics and political correctness, the unwillingness of certain labour councils to deal with issues that the bnp will exploit, and also putting forward Asian/black candidates to appeal to a particular group instead of someone who is actually deserved of being MP/councillor…

  31. Sid — on 18th December, 2007 at 3:10 pm  

    I think its you who’s trivialising racism Morgoth. You’re also a clueless chump, who defends Martin Amis call for the detention of people because they look like Pakistanis and Arabs. And equates a man who calls himself an Asian to the BNP. You couldn’t make it up.

  32. ZinZin — on 18th December, 2007 at 3:13 pm  

    “So don’t you fucking dare tell me I don’t know what its like to be on the receiving end of bigotry and hate.”

    You also dish it out.

    “Not that it will stop the professional race-obsessives here from excusing it purely because he’s slightly-dark skinned.”

    Irony I presume? Taking into consideration your muslim obsession, it has to be.

  33. Kismet Hardy — on 18th December, 2007 at 3:16 pm  
  34. Ravi Naik — on 18th December, 2007 at 4:20 pm  

    “And as for not knowing what racism is, well, Zinzin, I’ve had much worse. “

    A person who plays the race card is not necessarily a racist. An opportunist, perhaps. And you know very well the difference.

    I’ve been physically assaulted and threatened due to my apparent nationality/ethnicity.

    What is your apparent ethnicity? And rest assured, you are not going to be labelled “racist” for answering that question. :)

  35. Kismet Hardy — on 18th December, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

    Morgoth is from planet Zorg

  36. Morgoth — on 18th December, 2007 at 4:42 pm  

    I grew up in Northern Ireland, Ravi. So as Kismet says, it might as well been Planet Zorg given how it compares to the rest of the planet.

  37. fug — on 18th December, 2007 at 5:09 pm  

    its the same song every time the local election cycle reaches this position. will be interesting to see any changes in the box ticking when its over.

    the words ‘rascist, fascist party’ only ring truly when someone like lee jasper utters them with unspeakable venom.

    Labour will play the scare card, which it shouldnt because Blair is over now. to blame londoners, and BNP voters for complacency and not take the bull by the horns does labour discredit and shows how far they are from understanding social forces and serving everyone, especially amongst the white working class in far east london. TBH its only a party political press release.

    Others will get the ethnic minorities out to vote. Operation Black Vote and brothers would be more relevant than Operation Brown Mushy peas.

    Some more daring people will prepare for the eventuality of a BNP GLA member.

    The GLA member in question does a lot of nonrace type work. At least look at his record before generalising him with a race card. its ironic really I think he’d make a less naff posterboy for ‘Asians’.

  38. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2007 at 5:39 pm  

    I agree with Ravi:

    “A person who plays the race card is not necessarily a racist. An opportunist, perhaps.”

    However, we would criticise the BNP for making statements like “all of our candidates are white”, so why not Labour? Labour are not nearly as racist as the BNP, but this does not excuse the last paragraph of this press release.

  39. Sid — on 18th December, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

    Yeah, and the Conservatives are not racist in the least (that was irony for the irony-challenged BTW), because they never mention the racial/ethnic identity of their MPs. They do however launch billboard campaigns like the “Are you thinking what I’m thinking” – which looked like it was straight out of the BNP PR company. But they never mention the colour of their MPs.

  40. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2007 at 7:10 pm  

    Sid:

    The Conservatives are wrong to do that as well.

  41. Ismaeel — on 18th December, 2007 at 10:27 pm  

    Isn’t the elephant in the room the fact that the BNP’s re-emergence in the last few years is due to it’s being able to tap into the virulantly anti-Islamic discourse supported by far too many in the mainstream media and politicians to clothe their (the BNP)’s racist agenda.

  42. Ravi Naik — on 18th December, 2007 at 11:41 pm  

    Isn’t the elephant in the room the fact that the BNP’s re-emergence in the last few years is due to it’s being able to tap into the virulantly anti-Islamic discourse

    What about radical islam, Al Qaeda, and those who bombed us, do they share some blame as well?

  43. marvin — on 18th December, 2007 at 11:48 pm  

    No Ravi, only the BNP, and some conservatives, does that answer your question?

  44. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:35 am  

    Really? You don’t think that radical Islam, Al Qaeda and those who bombed us are responsible for the rise of the BNP? Or is it a case of spontaneous Islamophobia?

  45. Dave Cole — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:04 am  

    I’d suggest that non-whites have more experience of racism and are better placed to identify its current nature, particularly where, for whatever reason, it is unseen and how it affects people.

    Furthermore, delivering an antiracist message from a non-white mouth can make the message more effective.

    I want a party that reflects all of society; the easiest way to win votes in a first-past-the-post dominated system is to put up a homogeneous bunch who appeal to the largest subset of society. For that reason, we need to advertise non-traditional (ie not white men – including me) candidates.

  46. Sunny — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:23 am  

    The only way Morgoth can have a conversation is by trying to turn it around and accuse others of being racist. Let’s forget the fact that racism is actual bigotry or discrimination – just mentioning that there are 6 Asian candidates running in an election is enough to put you on the same level as the BNP.

    Very amusing Morgoth – well done for keeping your trophy as the resident blog idiot.

  47. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:49 am  

    Dave – the problem I have with this narrative is that it seems we are reducing governance to one single issue: race. Vote non-whites because they understand “racism”… and that’s it?

    Murad says that we should be alarmed about the BNP, because it is a racist and fascist party. Oh really, is there a danger of Britain becoming a nazi state any time soon if they win one or two seats? No, the real danger is that those seats might be won by two incompetent and ignorant fools, which is what the BNP has been treating us for the last few years.

  48. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 8:24 am  

    Ravi,

    so because of the actions of Al Qaeda, everything is justified is it?

    So we can safely attribute any anti-Hindu coverage in the future to actions of the BJP, Shiv Sena or the Tamil Tigers in the future can we? And that would be alright with you?

  49. Dave Cole — on 19th December, 2007 at 9:14 am  

    Ravi 47 – no, I totally disagree. Just because we are only talking about it on this thread (which concerns the BNP) does not mean we don’t talk about other demographic issues elsewhere. Given that the BNP’s primary stance is against non-whites, that doesn’t seem so unreasonable. I’m afraid that you are putting words in my mouth when you say “Vote non-whites because they understand “racism”… and that’s it?” as I was at pains to say that non-whites might have a more nuanced view, along with three other arguments why it made sense to talk about your candidates’ ethnic backgrounds in a press release against the BNP.

    There is no risk of Britain becoming a Nazi state in the near future, but that comes as little comfort to those who have to deal with the increase in violence that tends to accompany BNP electoral successes. Equally, complacency and an attitude of ‘it could never happen here’ led to the rise of the FN in France and the Vlaams Belang in Belgium

  50. Morgoth — on 19th December, 2007 at 9:53 am  

    Very amusing Morgoth – well done for keeping your trophy as the resident blog idiot.

    Haha – this coming from someone who without his race obsession would be a total nobody – very amusing. But then racism coming from Sunny Hundal (c.f. Bobby Jindal) is somehow acceptable apparently.

    The plain facts of the matter is that the last sentence of the press release is racist.

  51. Parvinder — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:53 am  

    #49: ‘There is no risk of Britain becoming a Nazi state in the near future, but that comes as little comfort to those who have to deal with the increase in violence that tends to accompany BNP electoral successes.’

    Totally agree.

    Ahmed Hassan was only 17 when he was brutally murdered in Dewsbury on Saturday. This is the stark consequence of the racist language coming from the likes of the BNP and some quarters of the media.

    In the 2005 general election, the BNP received a higher vote – 5,066 – in Dewsbury than in any other constituency in Britain.

    Do people still want to give these people platforms to debate?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3065806.ece

  52. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 11:45 am  

    Parvinder,

    giving them a platform to debate is something completley different. I would love to see Griffins on a prime time slot on the BBC where he had to debate against someone of substance and have his lies exposed and shredded so that he could no longer pander the excuse that somehow he is a victim.

  53. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 11:59 am  

    “as I was at pains to say that non-whites might have a more nuanced view, along with three other arguments why it made sense to talk about your candidates’ ethnic backgrounds in a press release against the BNP.”

    I stand corrected.

    “There is no risk of Britain becoming a Nazi state in the near future, but that comes as little comfort to those who have to deal with the increase in violence that tends to accompany BNP electoral successes.”

    Is there evidence that racial violence increases with BNP electoral successes?

    “Ahmed Hassan was only 17 when he was brutally murdered in Dewsbury on Saturday. This is the stark consequence of the racist language “

    Have they found the killers and their motives? If not, then I suggest we wait. it is not worth making it a case against anyone, unless we know why.

    Equally, complacency and an attitude of ‘it could never happen here’ led to the rise of the FN in France and the Vlaams Belang in Belgium

    While we could dismiss FN as the French BNP, it is important to know that there are “minor” differences. One being this, and the other being that the French FN have black and muslim candidates and supporters.
    I predict Griffin would have gone that route – focusing less on the race part, and more on the culture part – if his supporters were not staunch racists.

  54. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    “so because of the actions of Al Qaeda, everything is justified is it?”

    Let’s focus on what we are talking about: the rise of the BNP. I believe you failed to mention that radical Islam, Al Qaeda and the bombings are also responsible for the rise of Islamophobia and the electoral successes of the BNP. The Left also shares blame for closing its eyes to hate speech from religious communities, when they have so swiftly condemn and prossecuted hate coming from white power groups.

  55. Dave Cole — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:18 pm  

    Ravi @ 53 – yes, there is evidence. The figures are on the Stop the BNP website, which is down atm. I believe it was a tripling of racially-motivated attacks when the BNP had their success in Tower Hamlets.

    The FN used to be as the BNP now, and you can see Griffin’s efforts to tone things down with ethnic liaison officers and so on.

  56. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:24 pm  

    “Let’s focus on what we are talking about: the rise of the BNP. I believe you failed to mention that radical Islam, Al Qaeda and the bombings are also responsible for the rise of Islamophobia and the electoral successes of the BNP. The Left also shares blame for closing its eyes to hate speech from religious communities, when they have so swiftly condemn and prossecuted hate coming from white power groups.”

    Al Qaeda and Radical Islam have been distorted out of all proportion by both our politicians and our media into
    a) having a much wider following than they actually have
    and
    b) being representative of Islam and Muslims generally.

    This however has not been the case with other faith based terrorist organisations so there is good reason why I have lain the blame with the media and politicians.

  57. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:52 pm  

    This however has not been the case with other faith based terrorist organisations so there is good reason why I have lain the blame with the media and politicians.

    Again, in your little apologist head of yours, you forget that Al Qaeda and radical Islamists have been busy plotting and executing murderous attacks against civilians in Europe, and quite succesful in that. I am not saying that the rise of Islamophobia is justified or that the media is not responsible for sensationalising it, but there is no doubt that the cause of it has been the attacks, which has helped the BNP. Extremists helping extremists, does that sound so crazy?

  58. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:05 pm  

    “The FN used to be as the BNP now, and you can see Griffin’s efforts to tone things down with ethnic liaison officers and so on.”

    Still, it is hard to see Griffin in a BNP poster hand in hand with a multi-racial crowd, or even having a black or Asian officials representing the BNP in local elections, or blacks and Asians appearing in crowds supporting the BNP. This is precisely what the french FN has done over these years. So, I would not put the BNP and FN in the same bag.

    This is not to say that Le Pen is not a racist or an anti-semite, but at least he has broken the racial taboo in nationalist parties, and one has to give him some credit for that. Another interesting aspect of Le Pen is that he was the first French (back in the 50′s) to have a Muslim running mate. That was before going to the dark side.

  59. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:18 pm  

    “Again, in your little apologist head of yours, you forget that Al Qaeda and radical Islamists have been busy plotting and executing murderous attacks against civilians in Europe, and quite succesful in that. I am not saying that the rise of Islamophobia is justified or that the media is not responsible for sensationalising it, but there is no doubt that the cause of it has been the attacks, which has helped the BNP. Extremists helping extremists, does that sound so crazy?”

    I haven’t forgotton anything about what Al Qaeda has done, my point which you have so woefully been unable to deal with is what should have been the appropriate and responsible way to deal with it.

  60. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:28 pm  

    “my point which you have so woefully been unable to deal “

    My point was to rebuke what you said in #41: that the BNP’s re-emergence is only due to politicians and the media, and forgot to mention radical Islam, Al Qaeda, and the apologists (both the Left and Muslim political organisations).

    I would say everyone has contributed to this sad state of affairs, but let’s not forget that it was extremists who started it, extremists who exploited it, and people who should have known better just either ignore it, or made it worse.

  61. Sir Percy — on 22nd December, 2007 at 12:07 am  

    I stumbled across this site by accident this evening while looking for something else.

    For the record, although I grew up in a ‘left-wing’ household, I’d now place myself firmly in the ‘non-committed’ camp. However, I still retain my strong dislike of the BNP who are, as other contributors have said and despite what the BNP leadership say, racist AND fascist. How can I be so sure? I post on other political websites and forums and have ‘got to know’ a couple of BNP members in passing.

    It’s interesting to me that people say things like ‘the BNP’s re-emergence is only due to politicians and the media’.

    I’d make two observations on that point.

    Firstly, the media seem more than happy to use the BNP as convenient boogie-men whenever the opportunity arises. The BNP are mentioned out of all proportion to the actual influence that they exert.

    Secondly and this is perhaps more important, it’s dangerous and complacent to assume that the BNP doesn’t actually have a constituency of its own. Labour has failed many white working-class people in run-down areas of the country and it seems to me that these, often politically illiterate people, have few other places to turn apart from the BNP as every other party would prefer to disown them.

    It’s important to try to understand that for many unskilled and ignorant people, the 21st century has brought them little in the way of hope.

    The wages that they could have expected to earn have been depressed by waves of new immigrants, many from the old Eastern Bloc countries, who are more than happy to work hard for very low wages.

    The BNP can exploit the resulting frustrations and have done so successfully in London – in Barking & Dagenham in particular.

    Politicians must understand the reasons behind people’s frustrations and be more creative in dealing with them.

    Merely dismissing the BNP as a bunch of racists and fascists misses the point and may well play into their hands.

    Finally I must say ‘hello’ to Ismaeel who I believe I’m come across before on several other sites…

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