Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/312/11666

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 August 2003

BNP cash in on disillusionment with Labour

THE VICTORY for the BNP in Heckmondwike, a small working class town on the outskirts of Dewsbury and Batley in West Yorkshire, has come as both a shock and a wake-up call for the labour and trade union movement in Kirklees.

By Mike Forster, Huddersfield

This is the first councillor for the BNP on Kirklees Council, having already taken two seats in Calderdale. This represents a huge challenge to all those opposed to racism and fascism, as there is now the danger of a bandwagon effect building up behind the BNP.

Their victory came about because of a local by-election. The sitting Labour councillor, Tim Crowther, had resigned because he feared he would lose a reselection battle.

It wasn't a principled decision but based on his own career in the Labour Party. It meant two Labour candidates standing against each other (one as an independent) whose combined vote was over 2,000.

The BNP won with just over 1,400 votes, beating the Liberal Democrat candidate by 140.

How did the BNP manage to secure such a big vote? They polled well in last year's local elections around the Dewsbury and Batley area. There remains big dissatisfaction with the local council, which is currently run by the Lib Dems.

There have been residential and nursing home closures, cuts in services, backdoor PFI schemes which have left voters disillusioned.

Unfortunately, all the other main parties have supported these policies, prompting many voters to see the BNP as the only protest party. The Tory vote has collapsed into the BNP and many new voters supported them in a larger than usual turnout of over 40%.

There is also a predictable racist element to the BNP vote. Although their propaganda played down their racist policies, those later interviewed about their support, expressed opinions about asylum seekers and "those Asians".

Heckmondwike has a sizeable Asian community that will feel threatened and intimidated by the BNP vote. Unfortunately, the local press ran frontline stories about an alleged 'riot' between rival Asian gangs clashing on the streets just before the election.

There is a strong feeling that the BNP has been egged on by the local media and some small business people.

The lack of alternative to the BNP has allowed them to cash in on feelings of disillusionment, despair and anger. It is imperative that they are exposed for what they are and a strong, determined campaign is waged over the next few months.

The Socialist Party will be working with others on the left to bring this about, but also seeking to reach young people about the importance of fighting back now.

Kirklees Unison must also face up to the big challenge of mobilising public sector workers against the threat of the BNP.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 August 2003:

Guilty!

Hutton Inquiry: A can of worms for Blair

Spin, or the art of lying

Occupying forces face hostility

Dr Strangebush builds Nukes

BNP cash in on disillusionment with Labour

Postal Workers say: Time for action

Brazil: "Lula has betrayed us"

General strike in Chile

Kick big business out of football

Discussing a new Left party in Wales


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 August 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

BNP:

triangleWhy I joined: "I hope that more and more people are going to join the Socialist Party and the fight to end inequality"

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

Kirklees:

triangleCouncil proposes worst cuts in living memory

triangleGetting under Labour's skin in Southwark

triangleNarrow vote against action in Kirklees Unison

Asian:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building trade unionism among Black and Asian people

triangleRate of black imprisonment worse than US

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

18/10/17

Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2