GE10 | BNP analysis

15 05 2010

It has been near enough two weeks since the result of the election and finally we are finding out how the Establishment fended off the Nationalist advance in Barking.

Thanks to the leftarded Guardian, find out it was not policy or personality that smashed the BNP in Barking but an Obama-style campaign of PR and intimidation coordinated by the Establishment’s agents.

The answer is a tale of determined activism by Griffin’s opponents, aided by the antics of his self-harming party. That activism began to develop a sharp focus two weeks after those Euro elections, when Lowles chaired a meeting of MPs, anti-BNP campaigners, church groups and trade unionists. He gave them a detailed breakdown of the BNP’s support. The message was stark.

“A decision was made to draw a line in the sand,” says one Labour party figure who was at the meeting. “The coming general election was going to be the defining moment. Everyone knew that if they won then, it would be almost impossible to remove them in the future.”

There was never a single anti-BNP campaign in Barking. There were meetings, events, leafleting initiatives run by Hope Not Hate – which coordinated much of the activity – and also by Labour and Unite Against Fascism. Hope Not Hate set up a base in derelict premises, and volunteers travelled across the country to prepare it for the coming battle; putting up a new ceiling, plumbing in toilets and setting up a print room. Some slept on the floors.

“The response was truly overwhelming,” says Lowles. “On one day of action, we had 541 people; on another, 385; and even on election day itself, 176 people came out to help get the vote out.” Many of the volunteers had not been involved in political activity before. “We had teenagers travelling up from Kent, old ladies from the other side of London turning out. It felt like a liberating experience for people who felt like we were doing something politically important.”

The Hope Not Hate campaign was supported by Joe Rospars, chief digital strategist for Barack Obama from 2007 until his inauguration, and his company Blue State Digital.

Rospars said it was the “best example” of a British organisation applying the lessons of the US presidential elections. “We are seeing a genuine community-based organisation, with people coming together around a common purpose,” he said.

Campaigners were able to identify the key groups least likely to vote for the BNP – women, pensioners and people from ethnic minorities. They built up an online volunteer force of 140,000 people, and Rospars advised on how to use them for maximum impact. In the month before election day, Lowles says more than 1,000 volunteers descended on Barking, delivering 350,000 specially tailored leaflets and newsletters.

At the same time, the Dagenham MP John Cruddas, and his neighbour who seemed most under threat, Barking MP Margaret Hodge, were fighting a parallel ground war against the BNP. Hodge escalated the effort she had begun some four years earlier to reconnect with voters Labour had lost to the BNP. Their rise in Barking had seen the then culture secretary heavily criticised by many inside her own party. For her, this election result represents a triumph for decency, and personal redemption.

“When Griffin announced in September that he would stand, that gave me a real scare,” Hodge says. “My husband had not long died, and I was still in grief. It was a tough period. I was quietly confident that I would win, but I really wanted to smash him. And I was really concerned about the prospects for the council.”

Hodge, with the help of volunteers from Unite Against Fascism, turned to the politics of shoe leather, knocking on doors and listening to people’s concerns. “‘What do you want to talk about?’ I would ask. It was up to them.”

Most talked about street cleaning, wheelie bins and antisocial behaviour, but inevitably many raised the BNP trump card of immigration. Even black residents raised the issue with Hodge. “I would say to them: ‘I can’t turn the clock back, but this is why the borough has changed, and we must make it work for all of us.’ Some people hated that. Some would understand. But they came to feel I was listening.”

Of  course the internal problems of the BNP didn’t help but the mobilisation and coordination between the Establishment and Vested Interests would put Robert Mugabe to shame.

And you still believe you live in a democratic country?

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3 responses

15 05 2010
Durotrigan

The scale of the operation in Barking alone is quite staggering, and yet I am sure that this type of negative propaganda effort would have been deployed in other seats that the BNP was contesting. Simon Darby certainly encountered a sustained opposition campaign in Stoke. How much money was expended in this process and where did it originate? It would be interesting to hear from BNP activists and supporters around the country as to how the anti-BNP campaign manifested itself in different locations.

22 06 2010
james

Its easy to win if ,1 you dump ethnic groups on to Barking,2 change the rules to allow postal voting,50 islamists at one address,3 ensure that election ballot boxes disapear,4 ensure that voting places close early,4 ensure that the media , dosnt look to closly at the corruption evident in labour,ect change to trial by jury, now we have the frech systen trial by judge,ect replacement of double jeperdy, NG tried twice on racial laws, make your own quongos ,equality commission to enforce your own decided law,STAR CHAMMBER ,arrrrr dont you just love NL, and there politics, BNP MEMBER,geee now you know why we hate you.

22 06 2010
james

Its easy to win if ,1 you dump ethnic groups on to Barking,2 change the rules to allow postal voting,50 islamists at one address,3 ensure that election ballot boxes disapear,4 ensure that voting places close early,4 ensure that the media , dosnt look to closly at the corruption evident in labour,ect change to trial by jury, now we have the french systen trial by judge,ect replacement of double jeperdy, NG tried twice on racial laws, make your own quongos ,equality commission to enforce your own decided law,STAR CHAMMBER ,arrrrr dont you just love NL, and there politics, BNP MEMBER,geee now you know why we hate you.

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