The BNP has won a council seat in Sevenoaks, Kent and with that victory it has brought about more free media coverage then it could possibly have afforded.
I am not a BNP supporter, but I have to say that my position on Freedom of Speech means that I have to accept that in return for that freedom, opinions that I disagree with must also be heard.
It is my opinion that just covering our ears and shouting "la la la" at the top of voice is not going to make them go away; The BNP, and their views have to be defeated by hearing their arguments and proving them wrong. It is not through the BNP educating people that they are winning votes; it is through a lack of education and lack of interaction from the political classes. The BNP is winning votes by listening to people that mainstream parties only pretend to listen to when they need their votes.
Mainstream politicians are failing, and in a free, democratic society their failures allow for other people to stand up and have their say. Not so long ago UKIP came along, and snatched a lot of disgruntled Tory votes away. They have held many of those votes.
The BNP has been around longer than UKIP but is doing the same with the Labour Party. Labour has never before had 12 years in power to become so universally disliked, now that they have there is plenty of areas of disenfranchise for new voices to be heard on. I am told that on people’s doorsteps the BNP line is that "We are the Labour Party your parents voted for." You can't tell me that they can get away with that in Labour districts without a total lack of engagement from the Labour Party and a total lack of hope and respect in the Labour leadership.
I drew the analogy with UKIP. I am likely to give UKIP my vote at the upcoming European elections. The presence of UKIP has over a period of time kept me from joining the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party is wrong in its support for the EU. I largely support the Conservative Party's ideals but support for the EU is completely incompatible with conservative values of democracy and individual freedom.
If UKIP did not exist we would have to invent it because the Conservative viewpoint is wrong. Every time someone votes for UKIP they are also voting against The Conservative Party. David Cameron could win back thousands of UKIP supporters by promising a referendum on Lisbon regardless of what stage it is along the route to ratification, and by doing as he promised to pull the Conservatives out of the EPP-ED. It is disenfranchisement on this point that has people moving to, or at least lending their votes to UKIP. It is easier to understand this than it is when the BNP wins votes from Labour.
The BNP is hoovering up votes from Labour supporters. Labour grass roots are looking at their communities and the see political failures. They have heard the sound bites from their Labour Party on TV and in the Newspapers and they do not see the delivery on the ground. They hear the promises over and over again, and each time is a fresh failure. Labour has failed. They will not vote Conservative, because they do not think that will help, and because Labour has drilled the message of Conservatives being an enemy, rather than an alternative. So when the BNP turns up and talks about their concerns being the same an accord is struck. They are speaking to Labours forgotten electorate, and they are doing it with a native tongue. Their parents voted Labour because Labour was putting workers first; the BNP has tweaked the message. Consider this, who would seem more at home in a working man’s club, David Milliband? Peter Mandleson? Jack Straw? or Nick Griffin? Labour is seen by many as no longer putting the Working Class first.
The Lib Dems should have gratefully hoovered up Labour protest votes, but their message is too confused. Largely Lib Dems do not know how to speak to the working class, and by being the third party for so long all big left minded thinkers have long since joined the bigger, Labour Party.
Consider this, if Lib/Lab/Con wants to raise £100,000 they hold a glitzy dinner, or speak to one donor, or one union. If you or me or the BNP or UKIP or anyone else wants to raise £100,000 for political purposes it is likely we would have to garner the support of approx 10,000 people all paying approx £10 each. Lib/Lab/Con speak to a few people, everyone else would have to speak to masses of people. In doing so, we would have to talk to a lot of people about what we would like to do with their money, and we would have to listen to what they would like done as well. If they don’t like it, they won’t hand over their hard earned cash. Such practices only encourage minority, but well funded people and organisations to be truly influential.
The trend to move away from the big parties will continue, unless they make changes in the way that the parties operate. The way to beat the BNP is to defeat them and their arguments and to listen and act on people’s concerns. It needs to be done on the doorstep. Lib/Lab/Con need to actually start listening and delivering to the people that vote, not to lobbyists, and definitely not to the EU. People know what they want, so politicians should stop dismissing them.
The BNP wants to "Stem the tide on non-white immigration." I say that policies that apply to people based on the colour of people’s skins are stupid. I believe the inference is that White People are better than non-whites, and thus there should be fewer non-whites in Britain. I disagree.
I think that people are individuals and should be judged by their achievements, not their appearance. India produces more Doctors than any other country, and the training and education is of a high standard. If the UK is short of Doctors and The UK needs Doctors to come from abroad to address a shortage, (which is also a failure at home to educate enough students to the required levels and/or a failure to make being a doctor attractive enough to get sufficient levels of people to want to be doctors...) I would prefer we got the best Doctors available and look at their training and abilities to heal people, rather than striking of exceptional professionals on the grounds of their skin colour. To me, the BNP position does not make sense, unless you value the colour of skin above the content of a person’s mind.
I do think that our current immigration policy is failing, but this is because of combined Labour and EU policies that allow people in without jobs in place first, and a steadfast refusal to kick people out who are here illegally. We cannot help people by allowing them in to the UK to live in poverty. The issue is one of maths, not skin colour.
If you condone policies based on people’s skin colours why stop there? Why not hair colour, or eye colour. Why people with turbans and burka's, but not Burberry jackets or the wrong brand of trainer shoe? If appearance is it, then why not a beautiful people’s party and kick all the ugly people out.
What if people refused to go, what extent are you prepared to let your policies be enforced? Should law abiding people then be rounded up and put in prison because you and your government don’t like the way they look or the way they talk? Please, don't jump on board this particular band wagon, as when the people in power suddenly turn their attentions on you, there may be no one left to fight for you. Elected officials and governments always use the powers that are granted to them, they very often abuse them. People should not be afraid of their Governments, for there in lies tyranny. Governments should be afraid of its people for there in lies Democracy.
If you don’t like what the mainstream parties are doing, then shout and scream until they start acting better, or change parties (you are allowed to.) If that doesn’t work, start your own party or stand as an independent. But do it on principles and values that can work, not by using race or the politics of hatred. For a start, it’s not nice, secondly because if you purport such methods, then be prepared for them to also be used against you, and thirdly because we can all do better, and we can all expect more from our government, but we have to be prepared to hold our politicians to account. Because if we don’t and they think they can get away with something, they will always disappoint. Let us all ask for more substance and fewer soundbites.
All of which is just my view and my opinions. I do not want people to vote BNP, but people need theor voices and concerns to be heard. I am sure you will let me know where you feel I have gone wrong.