Socialist Worker

Terrible election caps a bad year for the Nazi BNP

by Viv Smith
Issue No. 2251

The fascist British National Party’s (BNP) electoral strategy is in tatters.

The party lost ten of the 11 seats it was defending, retaining one in the East Midlands. It only gained one seat nationally, in Bradford.

The party stood in 268 seats—after contesting over 700 in the last two elections.

BNP candidates came last in nearly half of the seats they contested. Only four of its candidates polled over 20 percent of the vote, compared to 49 in 2010.

The party went into that election with two MEPs and 54 councillors. Its number of councillors is now just over ten.

In Stoke, once considered its “jewel in the crown”, it lost its remaining four seats.

The ongoing work of anti-fascists and the exposure of the fascism at the heart of the BNP have taken their toll.

The party has also been plagued by an internal row sparked by electoral failures.

Demoralised supporters had no appetite to campaign.

In Stoke, the North Staffordshire Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (NorSCARF), together with Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have campaigned to oust the BNP. Their work has paid off.

Jason Hill, the secretary of NorSCARF who won the NUT union’s inaugural Blair Peach award for anti-fascism work this year, sounded a note of caution.

He explained, “After their humiliation, Stoke BNP leader Michael Coleman said ‘We are not going to fall over and die’. There is no doubt that the fascists will continue organising in Stoke.” The same is true across the rest of Britain.

Fascist organisations in Britain have constantly reorganised in times of trouble. And there are other warning signs. The rise of the racist English Defence League (EDL) is cause for concern.

It held small protests in Dover and invaded the left wing bookshop News from Nowhere in Liverpool last Saturday.

The racists are not going away. Activists have to continue to build local UAF groups. These should also defend multiculturalism and immigrants in the face of David Cameron’s attacks.

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Tue 10 May 2011, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2251
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