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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

BNP ride Hodge's big wave

The old adage that we reap what we sow must surely have hit home with Margaret Hodge by now. Her selfless promotion of the BNP has led to a media storm in which the BBC and normally sane newspapers are predicting that the right-wing party could win up to a fifth of all votes cast in the local English Council elections in two weeks time. Nothing is more likely to produce that outcome than the credibility given to Nick Griffin's candidates by Labour Ministers such as Mrs. Hodge and Phil Woolas and the subsequent talking-up of the BNP by newspapers such as the Daily Mail.

The only saving grace in all of this is that the BNP are not fielding enough candidates to be able to secure the percentage vote that is being mooted for them. One can only hope too that the voters have too great a sense of decency to bring themselves to vote for policies such as 'the segregation of 'foreign pupils' and 'native English speakers' in schools and the use of asylum seekers to sweep the streets.' It is likely though that in areas such as Barking and Dagenham, where the Labour Party has lost all credibility with its core supporters and there are no other clear alternative candidates in many wards, the niceties of policy may not get in the way of a protest vote.

I remain astonished at the sheer naivety and lack-of-understanding of senior Labour politicians at both the way the BNP operates and why people vote for them. If Margaret Hodge really wanted to demonstrate that she takes this threat seriously then she would have been better off showing some sorrow for the way that Labour have let her constituents down and talked about the issues they are raising with her. In doing so she might at least have had a chance of persuading those who want to vote BNP as a protest to stay at home. Instead she has reinforced the BNP's own rhetoric and earmarked them as a possible home for the disaffected.
Perhaps Labour have decided that the only way to motivate their own supporters is to give them a bogeyman to campaign against, having failed to give them something to campaign for?
The problem is that this bogeyman bites!
Hodge's was an astonishingly maladroit intervention: no political sense behind it at all. If it was intended to make Labour refocus its interests onto the working class whose vote it takes for granted, that tanker is too big to change direction quickly. All it did was give the BNP a lift. Ironic that a woman who in a past political life flew the red flag outside her town hall has given the BNP the best week publicity they ever had.
well, you see, we all know the LibDems are just a protest vote party. Given the challenge being mounted in urban areas by the LibDems, perhaps they think that they should talk up another protest vote party to try and split the vote. Divide and conquer and all that...

Perhaps that's what they're thinking... (combined with the assumption that the voters are stupid and can't tell the difference between the BNP and LibDems... which whilst typically condescending of Labour I have difficulty believing even they may believe that)
I take that Tristan's comment is ironic!
Sorry, I fail to see how mentioning the BNP is a 'bad thing' as you imply. If Margaret Hodge is encountering genuine pro BNP sentiments (let's be charitable and call it 'disillusionment with the established parties') then far better for this to be aired rather than ignored, surely? Isn't that part of the BNP's argument?

By the way I am not a troll or a Hodge apologist.
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