Grim days in British politics as an associate of Italian fascist, Roberto Fiore, and former chairman of the National Front are elected to the European Parliament. The latter, in particular, has expressed concerns about the exuberance of attacks on synagogues, but stated those responsible had their hearts in the right place.
Both can be seen in this archive photograph from the 1970s (C. David Hoffman).
Hope Not Hate has launched an Internet petition to defy of these two representatives. Here I disagree. The only Internet peitition I ever have signed is the one which called for Tony Blair to stand on his head and juggle ice-cream. The BNP is a legal political party so opposition should either be based on reversing this status, or working to encourage more voter participation than the dismal 1/3 showing across the United Kingdom last Thursday: not a commitment free click with a mouse. When a potential 30 millions British voters do not vote in an election, dedicated retinues for such minority parties are always going to succeed under such PR systems (which, I concede, I do not fully understand).
Nor can 943,958 British voters (including 27,714 in Scotland) all be classed as the same core of unreconstructed Nazis and Odinists and criminally-inclined racists which dominates the BNP leadership. For whatever reasons, many will have been beguiled by the leadership into thinking the three main political parties have failed them and the BNP represents their concerns. One of those caveats is true. It is damning with faint praise indeed to observe that Labour came second in the Scottish region with three times as much as UKIP, giving them two MEPs.
What should also be noted is, as with across the EU, the move towards insular nationalist-inclined groups; such as UKIP and the BNP and, yes, the SNP. Fifty years ago, Scotland returned a majority of MPs for the Tories. Whilst this party’s vote has dropped through the floor – largely due to Margaret Thatcher – the SNP’s vote has risen inversely.
What, I have to ask, is there to suggest that the SNP ever could be a party of the Left?
(Six MEPs were returned from the Scottish region: Ian Hudghton and
Alyn Smith of the SNP; David Martin and Catherine Stihler of Labour; Struan Stevenson of the Conservatives; George Lyon of the LibDems.)