Sunday, June 14, 2009

Birmingham Stands Alone

So there we have it. A week ago today, the BNP gained two seats in the European parliament in their most high-profile victories to date. Despite getting less votes than they did in 2004, they gained a bigger proportion of the vote in the North West and Yorkshire & Humber to take the last seats, allocated by proportional representation, in both. I do not think we should be so sure that an increased turnout in future elections under a likely Conservative government will necessarily happen; both the North West and Yorkshire & Humber were part of the postal voting experiment in 2004 designed to increase Labour turnout. We may have to turn to the opposition to the BNP which exists in this country to get them out in five years and remove the stain of electing them sixty years after British troops landed in Normandy in an attempt to remove fascists from Europe. European elections will become more exciting than they ever have.

It was not all bad news, however, as BNP no 2 Simon Darby got nowhere near getting a seat in the West Midlands constituency. The sixth seat went to UKIP, with the potential seventh, should Lisbon be ratified, going to a third Tory. Next would have been the BNP, but the population in the region is not big enough for us to get any more representation. Perhaps we need a few more immigrants?

This leave Birmingham, unlike London, Manchester and Leeds, free of fascist representation at any level, which is quite funny given the national press have tended to think we are one of the most likely places to elect Nazis. Just like Britain in 1940, Birmingham now stands alone as a bastion of freedom in the fight against fascism. Let us not underestimate how much fascists can damage the reputation of a city. Richard Barnbrook, elected to the London assembly under PR with just over 5% of the vote, has undermined England's 2018/22 bid for the World Cup and potentially embarrassed the Queen by attempting to take Nick Griffin to Buckingham Palace with him; both a direct consequence of his election. If it had been any other city other than Our Glorious Capital! no doubt the press would have been sneering. Perhaps all future events to promote the country should take place away from London to stop this happening in future. All we need is a major city that has refuted fascism at the ballot box at every opportunity.

How about Birmingham?


Jonathan Walker said...

I'm also pleased we have no BNP MEPs, but I think the results for the West Midlands are more worrying than you suggest.

The BNP gained 8 per cent of the vote in the north west, and won the eighth seat. They won 8.6 per cent of the vote in the West Midlands, and if we had eight MEPs, their candidate would be one of them.

We don't have a BNP MEP because our region has a smaller electorate, and therefore fewer MEPs, not because they were less likely to win seats here.

Louis said...

Jonathan, you are spot on of course and I was merely putting a positive spin on the results. However, the argument could go that if we had more people they would not necessarily be voting BNP in the same proportions.

Nonetheless, it is true there are more people voting BNP in the Midlands than in Lodon for example, but the fact they have a seat in London is part of the London-centric nature of the country and the fact that it is the only city in England which has devolved power. I would tolerate BNP representation in Birmingham if it meant we had more of a say over our own affair - but we have never been given the chance.