Friday, 6 March 2009

BEATING THE BNP

The BNP has been talking up its hopes of winning a North West seat in the European elections. Victory in council by-elections could provide momentum and credibility, and the resignation of a Liberal Democrat councillor in Carlisle gave them an opportunity. According to The Independent (Feb 28), the BNP candidate in Castle ward was given a friendly reception on many doorsteps, and they would deliver 10 leaflets to every home by the March 5 poll.

Everything the BNP stands for is anathma to Liberal Democrats. We champion the right of every individual to reach their full potential. We oppose all forms of discrimination. We believe in the concept of community, and we have little time for national borders getting in the way of the need to develop shared solutions to common problems. To borrow the old anti-apartheid slogan, Liberal Democrats believe that there is only one race - the human race.

But a time when people are worried about their future is the perfect opportunity for racists to exploit fears, and with low turnouts in council by-elections there was the danger of complacency and the risk that we might have been caught napping in Carlisle. So in the last few days of the campaign we got on the telephone, summoned some help, and raised our game.

The BNP were out in force on Thursday, with party leader Nick Griffin amongst them. Their hopes were high - only for the people of Carlisle to dash them by a significant margin.

The Castle ward result:

Lib Dem 465
Labour 304
BNP 255
Con 143
Green 125

Turnout: 30%


This contest may have been the last chance before the European elections for the BNP to snatch a seat off the Liberal Democrats. They failed to do so, and I for one will use this result to point out that even in times of trouble a very large majority of people prefer Liberal values to fascist ones!

1 comment:

Steve Cooke said...

Fantastic result and a huge relief. I have to say though that I think Labour are often guilty of talking up the BNP threat as a means to get the left out in their support. This time it looks like it was the BNP who were doing the talking up though.