Monday, February 09, 2009

BNP in Bexley

A very depressing result in Bexley, outer South East London, with the a close second to the Tories, and the far right vote split by the English Democrats - discussed by Dave Hill (h/t Transpontine/853). Up north, Lancaster Unity portrays a Labour win in Newtown Hyde, Greater Manchester, as a victory, but it was another fairly strong second place vote for the BNP. And in Fenham, Newcastle, they only came third, but with nearly 900 votes, over 25%. These are scary times.

See also Philip Honour at Labourist.

6 comments:

Antifa said...

British National Party members discuss attacks on Jews.

Stephen Gash said...

How is the English Democrats, a party that fielded a Sikh in the London Assembly elections, far right?

The BNP call the English Democrats feeble liberals.

bob said...

I am not going to dispute the extent to which the English Democrats are or aren't far right (and I'm sure there are lots of Sikhs I'd call far right). But the EDs' electoral constituency is the same right-wing populist constituency as the BNP in a place like Bexley.

Stephen Gash said...

Populist, another meaningless expression.

Presumably communists, are not populists!

I suppose the regime that has killed more people than all other regimes put together cannot strictly be called populist, no.

The English Democrats had muslim candidates in local council elections. I suppose you might consider them far-right too.

Stephen Gash said...

The thing English people are voting for now, is an English Parliament. A policy stolen by the BNP from the English Democrats.

Any one of the three main parties adopting an English Parliament would sweep to victory at the next general election.

However, all three are led and manned by Anglophobic bigots, none will even look at the merits of an English Parliament.

The Bexley election showed that the Tory vote plummetted and defected to the BNP. Therefore, the Tories are right wing populists too, in your assessment.

bob said...

Populism: Populism, as I understand it, is an appeal to the lowest common denominator in a given situation: to the simplest, most immediate solution to a given social problem. In this sense, Gordon Brown's "British jobs for British workers" or David Cameron's image of the future children of Britain in debt are populist appeals.

Appealing to the lowest common denominator or the most simplistic explanation is not in itself make them wrong. Sometimes the simplest solution is the right one. What makes populism wrong is the extent it misses - and, in particular, the extent to which it willfully misses - the real explanation or solution, which is often a complicated one.

In my view, "Anglophobia" or "foreign workers" are silly, simplistic slogans that ignore the complexity of the global capitalist economy.

Where populism can be particularly bad is where it stirs up or plays into conflicts along ethnic or 'racial' lines, creating tension between people whose interests are fundamentally the same.

Note, I think the left shares some of the blame for the growth of right-wing populism. The left has stood by while the working class institutions that held our communities together have collapsed, while instead playing with divisive forms of identity politics, juvenile celebratory multiculturalism, vicarious patriotism for the struggles of oppressed brown people (and especially distant oppressed brown people) while ignoring the real concerns of the majority of people in this country, who are also being fucked over.

An English parliament: So, The thing English people are voting for now, is an English Parliament. Wtf? A hundred or so people voted for the EDs in Bexley; maybe some of them particularly liked the idea of an English parliament. The hundreds who voted BNP were much less likely to have voted BNP for that reason.