Sleepwalking towards fascism
5 December, 2007
At the last london assembly elections in 2004 the BNP gained 90,365 votes just 5714 votes short of winning a seat on the London assembly. Just another 0.3% of the vote and they would have succeded. In May 2008 we may not be so lucky.
Since 2004 we saw the local government election in Barking and Dagenham in May 2006 where the BNP won the vast majority of seats that it stood in. So the picture of the BNP is unfortunatly not one of electoral collapse after 2004, even if internally they are have some major difficulties. Helpfully documented by the ever useful Searchlight.
What the BNP had to do in 2004
Turnout Seat 1 Seat 2 Seat 3
37% 96,079 153,726 211,373
57.8% 152,031 243,250 334,469
37% was the actual turnout in the assembly elections and the 57.8% was the general election turnout. If we can produce that next May then the job of the BNP gets very much harder.
The scale of the threat posed by the BNP in the 2008 London assembly elections is greater than our current appreciation of it. In other words we need to be less interested in the Ken and Boris show and more interested in stopping nazi criminals who make Boris’s views on race look like a community cohesion how to guide.
We need a campaign that asks people to show support for a modern vision of London as a global city. This means not just campaigning in the Barking and Dagenham but also mounting a strong campaign from all parties to boost turn out across the capital.
The fact is that most people would rather not have criminal racists running their city and while they may not be at all in love with the mainstream political parties at the moment most people can see that they are an improvement on people who have counted terrorists and gang rapists amongst their number.
We also need UKIP to pull its finger out because if their vote collapses and then sees the BNP as a viable alternative to the mainstream parties then we may not be just taking about the BNP winning one seat. In 2004 in the 14 constituency seats the combined UKIP and BNP vote was over 10% in 10 of them.
Personally I don’t believe that in over 70% of the capital that one in 10 are hardcore Nazi’s. Clearly this is not the case. It is a political problem with no doubt political solutions. I know Jon Cruddas have given a large amount of thought to this, see here, and given his constituency you can see why.
So it is up to all good people to do something about this before next May because by then it may be to late. Winning a seat would give them legitamacy, media opportunites, staff, resources and four years to prepare for the next election. It would also be the best springboard they could possibly devise for the 2009 European elections.