Tuesday, June 2, 2009

please don't waste your vote on the BNP

I was delivering leaflets for the Conservative Party over the weekend on behalf of our representative on Cambridgeshire County Council, which is Conservative-run and hopefully will stay so. I met a couple who are friends of ours, who invest more unpied time in building up the community than anybody I know. I've never heard either of them make a political comment in the years I've known them, and so was pleasantly surprised to hear that they are lifelong Conservative voters.

There is, of course, a different texture to Thursday's elections, which coincide with elections to the European parliament. The all-consuming public passion at the moment is the widespread abuse of expenses by MPs of all parties; the prospect of some voters staying at home, coupled with that of others registering a protest vote, means that there are no sure things, no shoo-in cases.

And here be dragons: the economic downturn, coupled with such governmental negligence towards immigration policy that even Donna Covey (left), the Refugee Council's chief executive, wrote to the Telegraph to admit that "that there are serious failings within the asylum system", have delivered an unprecendented audience to the British National Party.

These are not under-rated truth-sayers. They are, as Norman (Lord) Tebbit says, socialists with racism, and with this aphorism he captures a key truth: a party that wants to nationalise everything in sight and micro-manage the lives of its citizens does not belong to any part of the right-wing spectrum. In this they ape their heroes in the Nazionalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, which was Marxism wrapped in a flag.

But while that abberation was led by another who was so bad a manager that he had the thousand-year Reich dead in the water within twelve years, the éminences grises of the BNP, fascists as they are, are not as disordered as Hitler. The cynical manipulators at the helm have straitjacketed their public image in the iconography of victimhood, but if elected the ties will come off; and the people of Britain will relearn the lesson of their German cousins in 1933, that sometimes that which glisters is poison in a shiny bottle.

Lord Tebbit pulled a masterstroke when he advised voters of all parties to register their disaffection at the European elections by voting for smaller parties, as the primary winners would be the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), who would then have to explain to their electorate why they had a surfeit of representatives in the European Parliament they so detest but none in Westminster.

However, please be aware that the BNP stand on the sidelines jealously eyeing protest votes. In this crossroads of British history all votes will count, not least those that are not cast. Vote as you will; but no matter how angry you feel - and heaven knows we all have every right to our rage - please do not abuse your suffrage in a game of Russian roulette with the BNP as the bullet pointing at everybody's head.

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