You are viewing blog items for April 2013.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 29 April 2013, 08:46
HOPE not hate is keen to collect as many local leaflets as possible from the BNP, National Front, British Democratic Party, English Democrats and UKIP.
If you have a leaflet from any of the above groups please either scan them and email over to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or post them to HOPE not hate, PO Box 67476, London NW3 9RF
Thanks in advance
Posted: 29 Apr 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 29 April 2013, 08:35
The weekend saw a burst of HOPE not hate activity across the country as voters prepare to go to the polls on Thursday. There were leafleting sessions in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and County Durham.
The final weekend of the election campaign was dubbed the 'Super 48' and it is when HOPE not hate core staff and supporters rush around the country leafleting key wards. This was the fourth time we have done it and as well as ensuring final leaflets go out, it is also a great way for us to meet and thank our local activists.
This year we covered two wards in Leicestershire on the Saturday, before driving up to Lancashire and leafleting county council wards in Burnley and Pendle.
I'd like to thank everyone who took part in our campaigning this weekend. I know that there's a bit more work to do over the next few days so let's hope it all proves worthwhile on Thursday.
Posted: 29 Apr 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 24 April 2013, 09:14
A week today and we could be seeing a BNP-free Burnley, for the first time in 11 years. This is quite an achievement given that ten years ago the BNP averaged 35% of the vote in the town and were the second largest party on the council.
Huge credit must go to Jason Hunter and the local HOPE not hate team. They have worked tirelessly in the snow, rain and sun. Over the past ten years they have distributed 328,000 HOPE not hate newspapers, leaflets and letters. Nowhere in the country has there been such concentrated and repeated campaigning.
That's why I'm so pleased that Jason and Peter Thorne have been profiled in today's Daily Mirror. While others talk a good game, they and a small group of other activists have delivered consistently, year after year.
Posted: 24 Apr 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 23 April 2013, 13:32
Statement from: Amber Valley Campaign Against racism and Fascism (AVCARF)
Posted: 23 Apr 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 22 April 2013, 09:56
HOPE not hate join national faith community organisations to reclaim St George's Day.
Tuesday 23rd April is St George's Day. Yesterday, the EDL and their "friends" descended on Brighton under the ludicrous pretence of a March for England. Not only did they turn up to cause trouble but their knowledge of England is so pitiful that they honestly believed that the Brighton Pavilion was a Mosque. Enough is enough. It really is time to reclaim St George's Day, so we have joined with partners to sign the following:
St George 4 All!
St George’s Day Statement from Leading Faith Groups
Time to reclaim St George’s Day for all English, say leading faith figures
St George should be a figure of national unity and pride. That’s why we – a coalition of English faith groups and campaigners – are ‘reclaiming’ England’s patron saint and demanding he becomes representative of all English peoples.
We demand him back from those who promote racism and extremism, and from those who say that St George can only represent a single ethnic group.
We want to promote a new, relaxed and confident, English national identity. A place where a hijab is as welcome as bangers and mash, and no-one is attacked for their race, religion (or lack thereof) or any other belief.
That is why this St George’s Day we are reclaiming St George.
As patron saint for England, St George is there for everyone living in England. Too often he has been hijacked and used as a symbol of triumphalism and division by those on the extreme Right. St George needs to take his rightful place as a national symbol of inclusivity rather than a symbol of hatred.
Although the Crusaders used the Cross of St George, St George actually lived before the birth of Islam and should not be associated with any hatred of Muslims. He is respected by many people in the Middle East because of his origins there.
Therefore on St George’s Day, we call upon all people of goodwill to join us in:
- standing up against the hijacking of a national hero by those who promote Islamophobia, antisemitism and other forms of discrimination
- opposing the modern ‘dragons’ of hatred and intolerance
- saying: ‘As the diverse people of England, we are comfortable with difference, and each other. St George’s Day is a time for highlighting harmony and peaceful national pride.’
- Al-Khoei Foundation www.al-khoei.org
- Awareness Foundation www.awareness-foundation.com
- Baptist Union of Great Britain www.baptist.org.uk
- Christian Muslim Forum www.christianmuslimforum.org
- City Sikhs Network www.citysikhs.org.uk
- Faith Matters www.faith-matters.org
- Global Village (Lancashire)
- HOPE not hate www.hopenothate.org.uk
- Islamic Society of Britain www.isb.org.uk
- Joseph Interfaith Foundation www.josephinterfaithfoundation.org
- London Baptist Association www.londonbaptist.org.uk
- London Boroughs Faith Network http://lbfn.wordpress.com
- London Inter Faith Centre http://londoninterfaith.org.uk/
- Majlis-e-Ulama Europe http://majliseulama.org
- Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board www.minab.org.uk
- Muslim Council of Britain www.mcb.org.uk
- Radical Middle Way www.radicalmiddleway.org
- Religions for Peace UK www.religionsforpeace.org.uk
- St Philip’s Centre www.stphilipscentre.co.uk
- Three Faiths Forum www.3ff.org.uk
- Woman’s Voice www.womansvoice.info
- Liz Carnelley, Programme Director, Near Neighbours www.cuf.org.uk/near-neighbours
- Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal MBE DL
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 | There are 13 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 17 April 2013, 11:50
Mark Pritchard MP certainly hopes so. The Conservative MP for The Wrekin will lead a Parliamentary debate on immigration next Monday afternoon. The debate has been arranged following a successful e-petition entitled: ‘Stop mass immigration from Bulgarian and Romanians in 2014, when EU restrictions on immigration are relaxed’.
A little bird has told me that Pritchard will say that the UK should declare a ‘state of emergency’ in order to legally seal our borders.
The e-petition was created by Michael Fisher and gained the support of 144,986 signatures. The petition called on the Government to suspend “the easing on these restrictions for another 5 years” and re-negotiate the immigration laws within the EU.
Mark Pritchard has long been an opponent of further EU immigration into the UK and earlier this year called on the Government to explore “all legal means to deliver” to extend transitional border controls beyond 2013. It seems that declaring a state of emergency appears the only way that Pritchard believes this can be done unilaterally by the Government.
The debate on immigration will be held between 4.30pm-6pm on Monday 22 April.
Posted: 17 Apr 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 16 April 2013, 08:51
The British National Party is in disarray. It is standing its lowest number of candidates since 2002 and their chances of electoral gains next month are minimal. And yet, the Surrey Herald has decided to give the BNP front page coverage.
And this is despite the BNP standing just ONE candidate in the whole of the county.
What is worse is that the sub-heading includes a completely nonsense quote from the BNP candidate: "I think the time for our policies is coming ever closer."
For good measure, the paper reproduces a large photo of the candidate on the front page and quotes from the BNP website.
Is this really a front cover story? Of course it isn't. What is worse is that the Surrey Herald has just given the BNP a huge amount of publicity it would not have otherwise had.
Poor journallism to say the least.
Posted: 16 Apr 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 15 April 2013, 12:05
In next month's county council elections we finally have the chance to rid Burnley of the BNP. It all seems a far cry from 2003, when the BNP averaged 35% in the wards it contested across the borough and was the second largest party on the council.
Local HOPE not hate organiser Jason Hunter has been central to the work to kick out the BNP. Here, he reflects on a successful HOPE not hate day of action and on a wider strategy to overcome hate in his town.
Replacing hate with HOPE in Burnley
by Jason Hunter
Burnley HOPE not hate put yet another nail in the coffin of the BNP in our area yesterday; hopefully one of the last. Despite the pouring rain, activists came together, mainly locals but some travelling from Preston, Bury and Manchester. We distributed the Burnley and Padiham edition of the HOPE not hate tabloid.
Our day of action began in Hapton village at 9.00am and continued throughout the day. We finished 4.00pm and by then had done the entire ward of 6,500 houses, minus a few outlying areas which will be completed early this week.
We ended on an area where 10 years ago anti fascists were threatened and chased off. It was an area where there was once 39 BNP posters up in windows in one election campaign. Today, we completed it without difficulty, with only a frustrated former party member throwing a copy of the paper back at us.
We were given a boost recently by hearing that Sharon Wilkinson, the only BNP County Councillor in Lancashire, had decided not to defend her seat. We took this as evidence our campaigning over recent years has broken the BNP's ability to win in what was once their strongest ward in the country.
However, the determination shown today by our activists; men and women, trade unionists, community volunteers, older and younger, makes clear complacency is not in our nature. We are challenging strongly the BNP substitute candidate in his bid to retain the seat for the fascists.
What a far cry this is from the BNP's heyday in 2003 when the BNP averaged 35% of the vote in 13 of the 15 wards in Burnley. The positive of message of hope over hate was perfected in late 2003 and has helped us make advances every year since.
Essentially we have demonstrated that the BNP have none of the answers to our area's problems. In contrast, we have highlighted local community campaigners who do have something to say have in our tabloid. This year, a local campaign against charging community groups for using public buildings and the volunteers who deliver the local food bank were centre stage.
We won’t know until election day if the area is BNP free and obviously that depends on people responding to our appeal to vote for hope and against hate. However, we do now travel hopefully.
Posted: 15 Apr 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 14 April 2013, 07:53
The HOPE not hate campaign will be campaigning in the Longbridge ward, in Barking & Dagenham, over the weekend of 27/28 April. The by-election has been called by the sad death of Councillor Nirmal Singh Gill.
The BNP has already announced a candidate, so we will be going full pelt to remind voters of the true nature of the BNP. The BNP's embarrassingly poor result in Havering last month shows that when people are told the truth about the BNP then they want nothing to do with them.
If anyone would like to help get involved, then please get in contact with me, at email@example.com
Posted: 14 Apr 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 12 April 2013, 21:49
by Matt Hanley
Tomorrow the HOPE not hate team aims to almost continue what was started over a decade ago, in full cooperation with the local community, and rid Burnley and east Lancashire of any trace of an elected BNP presence.
The BNP rode into Burnley Town Hall on the back of the race riots of 2001, an explosion of community and racial tensions that the BNP were quick to cynically exploit to suit their own violently racist views.
From the first year that the BNP arrived, HOPE not hate helped create a network of community activists and groups in east Lancashire opposed to the far-right presence in their neighbourhood and council chambers. It’s been a long campaign, and bit by bit we’ve help claw Burnley and Pendle back from the hands of the far-right.
This weekend the HOPE not hate team will be back once again, making sure that the BNP lose their final council seat in Burnley and make no gains in their target county council ward of Pendle Central.
Plans for our exciting Action Weekend in Burnley and Pendle have been delivered far and wide, through east Lancashire trade union networks, community and faith groups, and among all local Lancastrians who refuse to allow the hateful BNP be part of their community.
And we’ve been getting great feedback and support from groups as diverse as Lancashire TUC and the Lancashire Council of Mosques.
Thousands of HOPE not hate leaflets, full of colourful positive articles about Burnley and Pendle community, and urging people to go out and vote for HOPE on Thursday 2 May, are ready to be delivered by our wonderful team.
If the BNP lose in these elections, HOPE wins and Burnley will be BNP-free for the first time in a generation. That’s a campaign well worth joining.
Saturday 13 April
STOP THE BNP WINNING IN PENDLE
Meet 10.30am and 1pm
Primet Hill Community Centre, Primet Hill,
Colne BB8 9NF
Sunday 14 April
LET’S GET RID OF THE LAST BNP COUNCILLOR IN BURNLEY!
Meet 10.30am and 1pm
St Marks Church Hall, (Just Behind St Marks, Church),
Burnley BB11 5DQ
Posted: 12 Apr 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 10 April 2013, 17:15
One of America's most important racists is set to speak in London next week. Jared Taylor, author of White Identity and editor of American Renaissance, is speaking to the Bloomsbury Forum in London on Thursday 18th April.
American Renaissance and its associated conference, brings together neo-nazis, white supremacists and racial eugenicists. Several British nazis have attended over the years, including Nick Griffin, Adrian Davies and Peter Rushton.
Taylor will be in good company over here. The Bloomsbury Forum is a far right discussion club run by barrister, and leading British Democratic Party member, Adrian Davies. He set the group up with the now deceased Jonathon Bowden. It initially brought together the intellectual wing of the far right with the far right of the Conservative Party but over time most of the Conservatives involved have left, with many involved in the BDP.
HOPE not hate sources suggest that the meeting is likely to attract the nazis from Heritage & Destiny, BDP members and several Holocaust Deniers.
For some background on Taylor and American Renaissance, I would recommend the Southern Poverty Law Center profile:
Posted: 10 Apr 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 10 April 2013, 09:52
HOPE not hate has just put up a list of BNP, far right and other nationalist candidates standing in the 2013 Elections. The headline is that there are only 142 candidates of the far-right and nationalist right standing.
The BNP can only muster 90, down from 450 they stood in 2009. The newly formed British Demcoratic Party, set up by former BNP organisers, is only standing three candidates.
You can find out who is standing where here:
Posted: 10 Apr 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 10 April 2013, 08:59
UKIP leader Nigel Farage is currently on his 'Common sense' tour of the UK. Yesterday, he was in Boston, Lincolnshire, and HOPE not hate's Owen Jones was there to watch. This is his report:
At a cold and wind swept bus station on the Lincolnshire coast, Nigel Farage of the United Kingdom Independence Party launched his party’s County Council election campaign for the town of Boston. Met by a smattering of journalists from the local press to Belgian TV, Mr. Farage answered questions about his vision for Europe, his party’s chances in the elections and, most notably, immigration.
Boston is a town which is seemingly obsessed with the issue of immigration. East European shops line the town centre, providing food and goods to the significant migrant population from counties such as Latvia, Romania and Poland who have relocated in this town to work on the Lincolnshire farms. It is a subject which quickly arising in any conversation with local residents, who believe and fear that immigration is the cause of the town’s unemployment problems, with Eastern Europeans “stealing” jobs off the local folk.
Long before Farage and his team rolled into town in was very clear that UKIP were going to focus on and exploit local concerns surrounding European labour crossing the North Sea to Boston. A trailer circled the town with a large poster declaring that the locals were “being lied to about EU migration…Huge numbers are coming next year in the ‘second wave’; how much more can our houses, hospitals and schools take?” UKIP have also erected a large poster greeting you as you enter the town with the message “Stop open door EU migration”.
As Farage spoke to the various journalists, his views on the migrant works was quite clear, “cabbages weren’t sitting around rotting in the fields before the EU expansion”, before proclaiming that these jobs should be given to British workers. Farage claimed that the Eastleigh by-election showed that UKIP are the only party willing to openly discuss the problems which immigration is bringing to this country, and other parties are now trying to jump on their bandwagon.
It is hard to tell how well received this small event was by the local residents, with only a small handful turning up. One woman and her boyfriend out walking their dog approached a rosette emblazoned UKIP member to ask what was going on. When the member proudly informed her that the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party was visiting her town he was met by a very blank response as she had never heard of him or his party.
[Footnote] HOPE not hate will be out campaigning in Lincolnshire over the next few weeks. If you live in the area and would like to show your opposition to the rising anti-migrant political rhetoric, then please drop Owen a line to get involved. Owen@hopenothate.org.uk
Posted: 10 Apr 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 9 April 2013, 14:20
Ok, a couple of people have asked me for a list of far right candidates. we are still waiting for half a dozen councils to announce but this is what we have so far:
67 British National Party
3 British Democratic Party
3 National Front
Right-wing English Nationalists
29 English Democrats
2 New England Party
2 United People's Party
I have long argued that 2013 will be the year that UKIP destroyed the British far right's electoral threat, and with 1,760 UKIP candidates already identified this certainly seems to be the case.
Posted: 9 Apr 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Tuesday, 9 April 2013, 13:44
With all but a handful of councils still to publish the names of candidates for the forthcoming County Council elections, the BNP seem set to stand their lowest number of candidates for almost a decade.
We currently have the details of just 67 candidates, which is some way off the 450 the BNP stood in 2009, when the county councils were last contested.
The English Democrats have also fallen far short of the numbers they were boasting just a couple of weeks ago.
We will post up a complete list of far right candidates as soon as all the councils declare.
Posted: 9 Apr 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Monday, 8 April 2013, 11:22
Still not saying a word about his party's embarrassingly low number of candidates in next month's County Council elections, Nick Griffin has taken to twitter to attack UKIP and in the process indicate as to the future direction of the BNP.
On 5 April, Griffin tweeted: Ukip slogan: "Stop open door EU immigration" - i.e immigration from Africa and Asia is fine by them! BNP policy: "Stop ALL immigration."
Yesterday, he added: Looking at Ukip's billboard & local chap saw me. His response to their 'Stop EU immigration' slogan: "Poles No, Pakis Yes! F*ck that!"
The BNP is in deep crisis. Party membership has plummeted and it appears as though the BNP will stand fewer than 100 candidates in the County Council elections, compared to 450 in 2009. They also could not find candidates for the Mayoral elections in Doncaster or North Tyneside.
As HOPE not hate has been arguing since last summer, the rise of UKIP potentially puts the final nail in the electoral coffin of the BNP. And it seems Griffin knows this. On one hand he shouts states conspiracy, while on the other he screams sell-out.
His tweets give a clear indication on the BNP's response to UKIP. They will move further to the right in order to prove that only they are the real racists in this country.
The problem for Griffin is that very few people are listening.
Posted: 8 Apr 2013 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Sunday, 7 April 2013, 09:29
The newly formed British Democratic Party has finally broken silence on their 2013 election campaign. In a very brief posting on the Democracy Forum, one of their leaders write:
"We are testing the water as a new fledgling party and fielding 3 British Democratic Party candidates in the County Council elections in May."
They then go on to list the three candidates.
So, are they really just testing the water or are the three candidates simply a consequence of their appallingly bad organisation? Quite how three candidates, out of a possible 2,300, would have been a good test is beyond me, especially when one of their candidates is going up against a BNP candidate, and former councillor, in Pendle. So, I would argue the latter.
The BDP was eighteen months in the planning but was eventually launched last October. However, it took the new party, which is made up of former BNP activists, another four months to hold its inaugural meeting.
That should have been the catalyst for a nationwide push but little has happened since. Indeed, their website has not been updated since the February launch meeting.
The BDP had hoped to stand a candidate in the Doncaster Mayoral election but their candidate, David Owen, opted to stand for the National Front instead. That about sums it up really.
Posted: 7 Apr 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Saturday, 6 April 2013, 06:54
Good morning everyone and welcome to our 2013 Election blog. While councils do not need to release details of who is standing until Tuesday, this is what we currently know.
We have 34 BNP and just two British Democratic Party candidates announced so far. Obviously a lot of councils have still to publish who is standing but we can still say that the number of fascist candidates will be way down on 2009. Back then, when the BNP was at its peak, the party stood 450 candidates.
Neither the BNP or the BDP is contesting the Doncaster and North Tyneside Mayoral elections, though the National Front is standing a candidate in the South Yorkshire town.
The BNP's sole County Councillor, Sharon Wilkinson, is not defending her seat, presumably knowing that she will be defeated. This gives us the real possibility of the Burnley not having a BNP councillor for the first time since 2002.
The absence of BDP candidates is interesting. Formed in February, after almost two years of planning, the BDP presented itself as a serious rival to the BNP. Some commentators rushed to talk up their threat but it is clear that they are as organisationally inept as the party they are trying to replace.
We will continue to update this blog as and when we hear of new candidates and by the middle of next week we hope to have a comprehensive list.
In the meantime, if you hear of any far right candidates standing in your area please drop us a line, either as a reply to this blog or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: 6 Apr 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 22:20
I'm not sure we are going to get any more nominations in today. The current number of candidates are 28 BNP and 2 BDP. Poor by any measure.
Before I sign off for the night I'd just like to say a big thank you to Adam, one of our new researchers, who has done sterling work collecting in the BNP nominations today.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 17:18
Launched in February after two years of planning, the British Democratic Party has finally made it onto an election ballot paper. The BDP is standing two candidates in Leicestershire.
While this is still far short of the seven BNP candidates standing, I guess it is something.
There have been some people talking up the BDP, as though they are a really serious threat. The evidence of these elections are that they are simply an embarrassment to themselves.
Here is a full list of far right candidates in Leicestershire:Coalville - Graham Partner (Brit Dem) Glenfields - Peter Cheeseman (BNP) Birstall - Ken Tilson (BNP) Bradgate - Jim Taylor (BNP) Loughborough South - Kevan Stafford (Brit Dem) Sileby & The Wolds - Maurice Oatley (BNP) Sileby Fosse - Cathy Duffy (BNP) Syston Ridgeway - Stephan Denham (BNP) Thurmaston - Robin Derrick (BNP)
Posted: 5 Apr 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 17:05
One of the biggest bits of news so far is that Sharon Wilkinson is not defending her seat in Padiham and Burnley West, part of Lancashire County Council.
Not only is the BNP now unlikely to win the seat but it increases the chance of having a BNP-free Burnley for the first time in 11 years. Now that's something to cheer!
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 16:55
If the BNP wasn't struggling enough to get candidates, then they have to deal with the incompetency of their members. Nick Griffin probably went to bed last night thinking that the party was standing two candidates in Dorset.
Today, he will realise that the BNP is not actually standing any.
Simon Lane has been disqualified as a candidate because the electoral number he submitted on his nomination form did not match the electoral register.
William Kimmet put his nomination papers in but it has now been withdrawn.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 14:49
I'm hearing that there are no BNP candidates in Staffordshire, though need to get this confirmed.
Are we going to get BNP candidates declared today?
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 14:17
In the big shock of 2013 elections neither the British National Party or the British Democratic Party are standing in the Doncaster Mayoral contest.
There is, however, a National Front candidate.
He will go up against the English Democrats and current Mayor, Peter Davies, who is standing as an Independent.
Posted: 5 Apr 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 13:44
There will be no far right candidate standing in the North Tyneside Mayoral contest. Nominations closed at Noon (not 5pm as I mentioned earlier) and the Returning Officer has confirmed that the only candidates are Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems.
This is a huge embarrassment for both the BNP and the newly formed British Democratic Party, both of whom are active in the North East.
This is possibly an indication of things to come as we hear from other councils.
Posted: 5 Apr 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 12:29
UKIP have released their list of candidates for the Derbyshire County Council elections. The bad news for the BNP is that they are standing in Heanor Central, a ward the BNP narrowly lost in 2009.
UKIP did not stand in 2009 and that, coupled with the BNP's decline, will surely end any chance of the BNP taking the seat this time.
The question is whether the BNP will even stand this time.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 11:18
As we await nominations to close I thought I would have a look at the websites of the respective far right parties to see how they were gearing up for the elections. You might be surprised to hear that there is absolutely nothing on the British National Party, British Democratic Party or the National Front websites.
I think that is probably indicative of how each of these parties is viewing the elections. Or possibly it shows just how disorganised and rubbish they are. A bit of both probably.
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 09:19
At 5pm today nominations close for the 2013 local elections. There are 27 county councils and eight single-tier authorities up for election, plus Mayoral elections in Doncaster and North Tyneside. In total, approximately 2,300 seats will be contested.
The chances of any far right gains are minimal. In fact, the key story is unlikely to be how many seats they win but how many candidates they actually are able to stand. In 2009 the British National Party (BNP) stood candidates in 450 council wards, winning three. It polled more than 15% in 96 of these wards and came second in 30.
This time, the party will do well to stand 100 candidates and it poses a significant threat in only a handful of seats.
The recently formed British Democratic Party, made up of disgruntled BNP supporters, look likely to struggle to make any impact at all. Despite a rash of big internet pronouncements around their launch, the BDP, which if anything is even more hardline than the BNP, has failed to develop into a political party in any meaningful sense and its ability to stand candidates or run decent campaigns will be limited.
The National Front might stand a few candidates here or there but they will do poorly as usual.
Both the BNP and the BDP will use UKIP’s rise to explain their lack of candidates and probable poor results, as if to suggest that it has been a deliberate policy to sit out these elections. While the rise of UKIP has obviously severely dented morale this should not be used as an excuse for the awful mess the British far right is in at the moment. The BNP and BDP are unable to mount significant electoral challenges at the moment even if they wanted to.
This may well be shown in the Doncaster Mayoral election, where the rumours are circulating that neither has a candidate. If that is true then that’s a disaster for both of them. Even if one or both do find a candidate at the last moment neither party has the ability to run a proper campaign.
The English Democrats (ED), meanwhile, had hoped to capitalised on the BNP’s decline but it too has been usurped by the rise of UKIP. A few months ago the Mayor of Doncaster belonged to the ED and they were hopeful of retaining it. In addition, it hoped for strong showings in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Essex. That looks increasingly unlikely now, not helped by the drift to the right in recent months.
So, I’ve drawn up a few key things to look out for in these elections:
- How many candidates will the BNP and BDP stand?
- How many of the ED candidates will be former BNP activists?
- Will the BNP or BDP even stand a candidate in Doncaster?
- Will Sharon Wilkinson defend her seat in Padiham and Burnley West? And if she does then will it be for the BNP?
- Will Paul Golding, of Britain First, stand for the English Democrats in Kent?
- Will Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies stand as an Independent or have UKIP persuaded him to stand for them?
HOPE not hate will be running regular updates on candidates over the next few days. In the middle of next week we will publish a full list of far right candidates.
In the meantime, we would encourage all of our supporters to notify us of any far right candidates standing in their areas. You can reply to this blog or email me at email@example.com
Posted: 5 Apr 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Friday, 5 April 2013, 00:17
The BNP came last with just 3.3% of the vote in a council by-election in the Wigan ward of Pemberton.
The full result was:
Community Action 203
posted by: Nick Lowles | on: Wednesday, 3 April 2013, 12:30
Nominations for this year's County Council elections close in just 48 hours time and when it does we will have a clear indication of the strength (or more probably, weaknesses) of the British far right.
In 2009, the last time the county councils were contested, the BNP stood 459 candidates. This year I'll be surprised if they can muster half that amount. Thinking about it, getting 100 people to stand will be quite an achievement.
Then there is the newly formed British Democratic Party. Some people have pumped them up as a serious alternative to the BNP but so far they have done absolutely nothing. To even consider themselves a serious rival to the BNP in next year's all important European Elections, the BDP will need to begin to contest elections in some of the BNP heartlands. This might happen with a sprinkling of candidates in the East Midlands and North West but I really can't see them making much of a national impact.
The collapse of the BNP should be good news for the English Democrats but any hope they had of benefiting has been blown away by the rise of UKIP. I'm sure the EDs will stand candidates in the East Midlands, Eastern region and South East but if there is a UKIP candidate also standing then they are likely to poll badly.
Perhaps the most interesting single election will be that for the Mayor of Doncaster. The incumbant, Peter Davies, was elected as an English Democrat, but recently became an independent. We have learnt that UKIP are hoping that he will stand for them, which, if he does, then the ED have little chance of recapturing it. Just as interestingly is whether the BNP or BDP will stand candidates and if they do whether they will make any impression on the vote.
The electoral wing of the British far right is in turmoil and these elections seem likely to quicken its demise still further.
Posted: 3 Apr 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments