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9:00am on Monday, 8th June, 2009:

You Kip if you Want To


The British National Party won two seats in the European elections yesterday. Now we have our very own fascists to represent us, instead of having to rely on those of other countries.

This is entirely the fault of the Labour party.

Those people who are voting BNP are erstwhile Labour voters. They are poor, they come from deprived areas, and they feel that no-one is fighting their corner. They used to see Labour as being on their side, but not any more: constant streams of legislation from the government has made life worse for them, not better, yet they've been taken for granted as they had nowhere else, electorally speaking, to go. Unfortunately, the BNP has now given them somewhere to go. With its "you're discriminated against because you're caucasian" message (always studiously avoiding how that word "caucasian" is defined), it's easy to appeal to the British sense of fair play. We don't want to have more rights than immigrants or people with exotic ethnic backgrounds, we just want the same rights. We're not going to get those from MPs who are claiming twice as much in allowances as you get in benefits.

Yeah, right...

I can see why people, listening to this message, would decide to vote BNP. Perhaps the pendulum has swung too much in favour of dealing with the grievances of ethnic minorities over those equally badly off but (in racial terms, if not social terms) majority population members? Whose country is this anyway? Yes, OK, European election: give them a vote.

If this were indeed the entirety of the BNP's message, it wouldn't be so bad. However, it's not. The BNP has a much wider agenda than that which they have been pushing at the polls, and if they did get any degree of power then we could expect to see them pushing its other plans for this country forward too. It wouldn't be all at once, though, it would be gradual: just as Labour has gradually eroded our civil liberties rather than removing them in a single bill, so the BNP would gradually advance whichever of its views happened to benefit under some prevailing current affairs situation. A shooting here, a bombing there, a scandal to one side, a bad conviction to the other — anything that could be used as an excuse for forcing through legislation would be used to do just that. Yes, the voters will indeed get what they voted for — they'll just get a lot more that they didn't vote for, and wouldn't have voted for if they'd known in advance it was coming.

This should be a wake-up call for Labour. They should be shocked by the stark evidence that they have abandoned their natural supporters so much that people are even prepared to vote fascist rather than for them. They need to readjust their priorities — and fast. Yet what are they doing? They're saying that this shows proportional representation to be a poor electoral system because it allows extremist minority parties to get seats.

Excuse me? YOU allowed them to get the seats! You arrogantly believed those votes were yours by right. Extremists don't get in because of proportional representation: they get in because swathes of people are being ignored by mainstream politicians. At least with PR you get to see this while you have time to do something about it. So DO something about it!

There are some decent people in the Labour party. There are plenty of decent Labour MPs. Their problem is that although they are in parliament, they're not in government.

10% of the votes in Yorkshire went to the BNP ... jeez ... as a Yorkshireman, the shame I feel right now...

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).