June 8th, 2009

default [trufflehog]

European Parliament election results

The BNP has won two UK MEP seats to represent my country on the European stage. One of the seats goes to the leader of the party, Nick Griffin. When asked about the racist policies of his party by the BBC earlier this evening, Griffin had this to say:

"What we should be talking about is why we've been elected. And I can tell you that in huge parts of South Yorkshire there is a problem with racism, there's overwhelming racism against the native, indigenous peoples of these islands who've always been there, the people of the Peak villages, who are put at the bottom of the heap by the government, put to the bottom of the heap by local councils, and whose plight and problems are consistently ignored by the mass media. That's why we've done so well, it's ordinary decent people in Yorkshire kicking back against racism, because racism in this country is overwhelmingly directed at people who look like me."

(There'll be a prize for the person who can identify the most fallacies, lies, and factual and historical inaccuracies in the above, heh.) I won't link directly to the party's website, but you can read about their policies with plenty of direct quotation here on Wikipedia. This is deeply depressing, and more so as I read that both new MEPs will be joining up with other far-right groups from elsewhere in the EU.

I'll tell you what, though, I hope this serves as a wake-up call. Because voter apathy is to blame here, probably more than anything - in Yorkshire & Humber, voter turnout dropped enormously due to a change in the postal voting process. Consequently, all parties received less votes this year than they did in the 2004 elections. The difference for a group like the BNP is that their voter turnout will always drop less, proportionally, because their supporters are hardline and committed. If you were eligible to vote in the UK European election this year, and you didn't, then you are responsible for the increased percentages the BNP received almost across the board, and that's how they gained these seats.

My next point is a little pre-emptive, but I really don't want to see people attacking the two areas that did give the BNP seats on the grounds that their area is just so much better. Tonight, 916,424 people decided that voting for the BNP was a good idea. [source] The reasons for the party's success are complicated - disenfranchisement, Euroscepticism, ignorance, rising unemployment - but none of those are excuses, and you really can't tell me that our country doesn't have problems with race any more. Collectively, we've got to start owning this ugliness, before it gets worse.