Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Can bad things lead to good?

Bonkers ex-Tory Bob Spink MP (pictured, far right) has joined UKIP, giving them their very first Member of Parliament. This is great news, cough. Good man, choke.

In London, right now, there is a battle on for the Assembly List which will decide not just whether Labour lose another AM and where the Lib Dems are going to come but also which of the minor parties will make up the remaining places, a factor that could have a decisive impact over the running of London over the next four years.

In 2004, when the Assembly vote was taking place simultaneously with the Euro elections, UKIP shocked many by gaining two Assembly Members. As is the way of these things the new UKIP representatives soon split off to form an even more fascicle groupiscule, One London, and these two AMs have spent the intervening years being ineffectual and meaningless at the tax payers' expense, an irony that will not be lost on at least some of those who voted for them in the first place to combat wastefulness and the electoral gravy train.

Due to the particular maths of this election it's extremely important that at least one of those two effectively vacant places is taken by a progressive candidate, but it is unfortunately very likely that at least one place will go to a far less savoury character.

This time UKIP and One London are both running candidates, but have no profile, no agenda to speak of, nor any content to their campaigns bar the vague pompous rhetoric that sustains their hard core eccentricity. Add into the mix the Christian People's Alliance, who will undoubtedly draw some support from the strong Islamophobic undertow, and the English Democrats and we have a deliciously split racist vote.

But it is the BNP who are the real threat here. With 5% of the vote the BNP could gain the highest profile political position that they've ever had but, worse, with a touch more they could win two seats on the assembly which would notonly be disastrous in the fight against fascism but could also have a significant impact on the direction the Assembly takes over the next four years. In this sense it is very good news that the BNP have four main rivals for their detestable affections, not including the single issue anti-congestion charge grouping who may also steal some of the BNP's potential vote.

It puts progressives in an odd position when UKIP come out with statements designed to appeal to the less welcoming of this nation's inhabitants in that every racist vote sucked into the minor tributaries of the right wing hodgepodge of groupings is a vote the BNP does not get. That means Bob Spink, by lending some sort of credibility to UKIP, directly cuts into the BNP's chances of taking a second seat on the assembly - or maybe even deny them any place entirely.

Thanks. I think.

I mean I don't want to encourage these people to be racist and clearly the priority is to maximise the progressive vote but whilst the left often looks in horror at its own split and divided nature it's as well to remember that the far right is in a similar position, forced to compete with like minded entities for a very similar demographic. For a change the number of racists on the agenda may work in our favour.

5 comments:

Sue Luxton said...

your third paragraph is a bit jumbled up!

Jim Jay said...

thanks sue!

weggis said...

How do you know that Statler and Waldorf are UKIP members?

LondonStrategicVoter said...

Folks interested in the London election may be interested in the London Strategic Voter site at http://www.strategicvoter.org.uk

The main resource on the site is the ward-by-ward information on the startling difference in the Mayoral and Assembly vote last time in 2004. Our concept is to use the 2008 results to "to help build a strong base of London progressive voters ready, willing and enabled to vote strategically to get rid of pro-war, anti-environment and pro-privatisation New Labour MPs across London at the next General Election - as part of the overall national Strategic Voter objective strategy of achieving a hung or “No Overall Control” parliament followed by electoral reform."

Please watch this space if you like that idea

Anglonoel said...

I wonder what Bob is saying? Possibly "You lot can stay but don't tell all the others."