The BNP, who's the blame?

I was interested to read a few blogs commenting on the BNP in the last few days. One suggests they won’t win any MEP slots, one suggests gains are likely, and one talks about it being left wing.

Having spent the last 3 or 4 months fighting the BNP in various local by-elections, I thought I’d chuck in my two penneth worth on why I’m concerned about their threat, and why Conservatives and Labour may have a share in the blame for it.

Firstly the position on the ground, canvassing seems to suggest people are becoming more blatant about their support for the BNP. While only a few months ago you had problems finding them, now people are more open and giving their reasons. Immigration of course is a concern but there is also the feeling of disfranchisement from political decision making.

The 2 main Parties must take their share of the blame for this. To take the Conservatives first, the way the 2005 election campaign was run really pumped up the publics worry about Immigration. Although the Conservative policy is one I agree with, the endless emphasis really precipitated a fear. Twelve times as many immigration leaflets compared to Education of Health policy leaflets were sent to us from Central Office. After ‘Are you thinking, what we’re thinking’, is there any surprise that as the economy goes wrong, the seeds sown from that campaign start to sprout.

However the main damage has been done by Labour. Many people who are voting BNP are former Labour voters who during the Tory years believed Labour would eventually look after them. Instead they oversaw the immigration policy that they believe caused their wages and progress to be pegged back. That promised so much improvement in public services that has failed to be delivered, and that has overseen a breakdown of society which it failed to tackle. The worst thing Gordon Brown himself ever did though was use the phrase ‘British Jobs for British workers’ for obvious reasons. Undeliverable and straight out of the BNP handbook.

So what of the BNP itself. Well they are no longer simply a band of amateurish bunch of racist thugs. Instead they are now a professionally organised bunch of racist thugs with tactical campaigning know how. Having witnessed them first hand, they portray themselves as victims, claiming the UK is a one party state. They then turn to the voter and tell them how they’re being victimised by this one party state and how they must team up together to beat the establishment.

Where will this leave the BNP, well there is no doubt they’re gaining ground in certain parts of the Country. Interestingly this seems to be in 95%+ white areas where the fear of immigration and the unknown is driven more by the media than any feeling on the ground. In these areas they will continue to do well in council elections where due to the Centralisation of our political process, you can have a BNP Councillor and not really know it. With that in mind there’s an outside chance they could do well in this years county and Euro elections. It’s a concern and one which will become more prevalent as the recession bites.