Thursday, March 15, 2007

British National party (BNP) is heading for record gains in the May local elections, reflecting high levels of concern among voters about immigration

David Smith:

The anti-immigration party, which has 53 local councillors, is set to at least double its representation, according to Professor Michael Thrasher of Plymouth University’s Elections Centre.

“They are gaining real votes,” he said. “It does look as though people aren’t reticent about voting for them any more. Unlike in the past, it’s no longer one man and a dog.”

Searchlight, the anti-fascist organisation which is running a “Stop the BNP” campaign for the local elections, has warned that the party poses a threat in 93 separate wards in the UK.

Thrasher said that 93 potential gains may not be an overestimate given the BNP’s recent showing in council by-elections.

Phil Edwards, a BNP spokesman, said that the party did not have a target for seat gains in the local elections but attacked Searchlight’s “Stop the BNP” campaign as being undemocratic.

He also criticised David Cameron, the Tory leader, for bowing to political pressure in sacking Patrick Mercer, his homeland security spokesman, for alleged racist comments.

“Why is it that the Marxists at Searchlight have this influence over Conservative politicians?” he asked.

While the BNP has been gaining support at the expense of Labour, it is also picking up some support from the Tories.

The BNP has been successful in attracting white working-class voters, particularly in depressed former industrial areas. Its vote tends to be highest in areas adjacent to those with large ethnic minority populations.

In recent council polls held in wards in Nuneaton, Burnley and Calderdale, the BNP’s vote has been between 27% and 36%. The effect of a BNP candidate also appears to increase turnout, suggesting that the party is good at getting its vote out.

Jon Cruddas, the Labour deputy leadership candidate, has warned that Labour is playing into the hands of the BNP by failing to provide enough social housing for local people.

Trade unions are also concerned about the party’s rise. “The BNP has been trying to gain support in the mining areas around

the country because in our absence, with the rundown of the mines, they’ve tried to target these areas,” said Steve Kemp, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers.

Last week Aslef, the rail union, lost a case in the European Court of Human Rights over its attempt to expel a member who had joined the BNP. Members of the party have recently set up a trade union, Solidarity, intended for party members who are not welcome in their existing unions.

“It’s a nationalist union but it is not a BNP union,” the party spokesman said. “There are a lot of ordinary working people who don’t like the way trade unions are being run.”

Party's coming of age in Harrogate

Migrants are high on BNP's agenda


At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Solidarity ( is an independent Trade Union. We are happy to accept support from all political persuasions and none. Our Union refuses to politically vet members. That's the new McCarthyism. I am a member of Third Way (not the BNP). Our Vice-President is a disgruntled member of the Labour Party. Anyone who cares for our country and the ordinary worker is welcome in our Union.

Everyone in Solidarity is fed-up with the cronyism and corruption of many established Unions. We stand against the forcing down of our wages through migrant labour and the destruction of our jobs through offshoring.

The BNP has gained support because the established parties have failed to address issues of real concern. It has largely been a protest vote for many. In a similar way established Unions have ignored the concerns of their members and workers in general in favour of a confused internationalism. They have grown fat and out of touch.

Whatever smears are directed against Solidarity we will continue to promote a positive agenda in favour of the rights and interests of all British Workers. I was personally delighted to welcome our first Sikh member this month and look forward to our ranks increasing in both numbers and diversity. Our Union has a clear mission and we will carry it out.

Patrick Harrington
General Secretary


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