Saturday, March 21, 2009

BNP - what Labour has to be afraid of

There are times when Plato trips over something and it makes her stop and think.

That has just happened whilst surfing YouTube.

As a common or garden goat, I have no strong ideological views as far as politics is concerned. I've voted for cranks, loonies and the usual suspects. But I've never voted for the BNP or similar organisations such as the National Front.

I've always associated them with 80s skin-heads sporting spider web tattoos on their scalp and a Union Jack on each cheek.

And I'm not kidding.

As a 'hippy' living in Newcastle in the mid 80s, our regular meeting place was the lovely Victorian

...if rather shabby back then...

Central Arcade.

It was full of shops selling:

- second hand Yes concept albums

- patchouli incense burners

- and Nuclear War No Thanks badges.

Clearly Geordie skin-heads were too stupid to ever end up on YouTube, so please accept this screen grab instead. The sound quality is so crap that he could be talking Urdu - but I suspect that's fairly unlikely.

Now where was I?

Oh yes, there was always a chubby plod there with an Alsatian...

called Killer.

We were regularly told to stop patting Killer or spoiling him with dog toys and biscuits as one day he may need to intervene in a bitch fight between two teenagers wearing far too much black eyeliner - note this could be boys or girls :)

Every few Saturdays, there would be dark rumours of a 'skin-raid' and we'd all lurk close to shop doorways in case it happened.

For those who haven't experienced 50 negative IQ National Front morons crashing a very small shopping mall, grabbing the slowest and kicking the shit out of them - well you missed a character-forming experience.

The plodster and Killer would scarper pronto. The skins would get a result and we'd all cower behind the Peter Frampton posters. I don't recall anyone ever being prosecuted for any of this stuff and it was ugly.

Fast forward to the late Naughties and the BNP are winning more seats. Let me say that again whilst I pinch myself - the BNP are winning seats - more of them.


I'm just an ordinary goat that bleats about the lack of local bus services and the proliferation of CCTV to make up for it.

Having viewed this video - I can now see why a chunk of Labour's core old vote - white, working class and proud of it - are putting their X in the BNP box.

There was a truism that when Tony stole Margaret's wardrobe - Labour's core vote had no where else to go but shopping with him. That is no longer true. Mr Griffin may not be my cup of tea, but then neither is Mr Kilroy-Silk.

I've never really given much ear-time to those who have talked about the BNP as a significant vote splitter outside Dagenham, but I've changed my mind. From what I recall, UKIP were considered Jimmy Goldsmith's joke until the pissed off Tory used them as a protest vehicle (as I did).

I suspect the BNP will do the same for Labour - and it will look a whole lot nastier. UKIP were uber Euro haters and generally seen as harmless if deranged.

The BNP on the other-hand has a load of unsavoury baggage that still taints all that vote for it.

But things have changed, and that baggage is being set aside by those who are voting for it in greater than ever numbers.

We used to talk about 'shy Tories' - I struggle to think of a suitable adjective to describe a BNP supporter in opinion pollster speak.

The latest Ipsos MORI poll has the BNP on 2% of the vote - the Greenies by comparison are on 1% - a rather surprising result given the acres of coverage of green issues/climate change/renewable energy/recycling/light-bulb replacement over the last few months.

Now 2% may sound like very small potatoes - so here is something by way of context...

The Lib Dems are on 14%. So for every proud 7 Lib Dem voter - there's a BNPer who's happy to come out. A 'shy Tory' has nothing on this.
I wonder what will happen at the ballot box in June?