Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 June 2009

Defeat the BNP: Build a socialist alternative

Anti-BNP Socialist Party protest in Barnsley, photo by Yorkshire Socialist Party

Anti-BNP Socialist Party protest in Barnsley, photo by Yorkshire Socialist Party

THE FAR-right, racist BNP's success in narrowly getting two members elected to the European parliament has horrified millions. In fact the BNP's vote decreased compared to 2004 in both Yorkshire and the North West, but the collapse in support for New Labour meant that they still got MEPs elected.

Hannah Sell

Rightly, many workers and young people fear that the BNP will be able to use the platform and finance that they have gained to spread their racist, divisive ideas.

The BNP today tries to disguise its racism, falsely posing as a party that stands up for working-class people. In reality, however, little has changed. Black and Asian people are barred from joining the BNP, whose leader. Nick Griffin, was convicted for inciting racial hatred in 1998.

Andrew Brons, BNP MEP for Yorkshire, revealed the depths of his racism when asked if black athletes and footballers like Kelly Holmes and Jermain Defoe could be described as British - his answer was no.

The trade unions and anti-racist young people need to come together to build a mass movement to defeat the BNP. The first step should be a mass, national demonstration against their racist ideas under the slogan 'jobs and homes, not racism'.

However, if we are to succeed in undermining the BNP, demonstrating alone is not enough. It is also necessary to begin to build a political alternative that genuinely stands up in the interests of working-class people. The BNP's five highest votes were in Stoke on Trent, Barking and Dagenham, Thurrock, Barnsley and Rotherham. All these are overwhelmingly working-class areas where, until recently, the vast majority of people voted Labour.

Fury with New Labour is the primary reason for the increase in the BNP vote. In Barnsley, for example, New Labour's vote plummeted in the European elections from 45% to 25%, while the BNP's vote increased from 8% to 17%.

Peter Kellner, president of YouGov, summed up the findings of a poll of BNP voters. The BNP won MEPs, he argued, "not because its supporters are all racist, but because many voters feel insecure and let down by the main parties".

YouGov's poll showed that most BNP voters oppose the BNP's racist attitude to non-white people. While immigration was a major issue for most BNP voters, the single biggest issue was insecurity. More than 80% of BNP voters were not confident that their family would have "the opportunities to prosper in the years ahead".

Seven out of ten BNP voters believed that "there is no real difference between Britain's three main parties" and 59% of them that Labour "used to care about the concerns of people like me but doesn't nowadays".

The poll findings couldn't be clearer. Labour's transformation into New Labour - a party of big business and the super rich - has left working class people effectively disenfranchised. The brutal reality of 21st century capitalism, with unemployment heading towards three million, has dramatically increased working class people's feelings of anger and insecurity.

Faced with three virtually identical pro-capitalist parties a minority have been prepared to express their anger by voting BNP. Many more stayed at home and didn't vote at all. Central to the defeat of the BNP will be the creation of a party that genuinely stands in the interests of all working class people - regardless of their ethnic background or nationality.

The temporary electoral platform for the European elections - No2EU - involving the transport workers' union, the RMT, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party of Britain and others, was a first step. For the general election we have to aim to build on that and create a clearly pro-working class, socialist electoral alternative.

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

In The Socialist 17 June 2009:

Tories or New Labour - it's cuts, cuts, cuts!

A rat on Labour's sinking ship

Prepare for class war!

News in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Iran - mass protests erupt

Only working class action can end war threat in Korean peninsula

Socialist Party editorial

Recent industrial disputes bring important lessons for the future

Postal workers

Standing up to bullying mail bosses

CWU conference: Fighting for jobs and working conditions

Lindsey Oil Refinery construction workers

Lindsey workers fight the bosses' redundancy scam

Socialist Party workplace news

Victory at Linamar! Rob Williams reinstated

National Shop Stewards Network conference

Tube workers on strike

Glasgow cleaners score success


Defeat the BNP: Build a socialist alternative

Protests at BNP

Socialist Party review

Billy Bragg's Miners' Strike Tour


Home   |   The Socialist 17 June 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


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


triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

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

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer


triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

triangleRefreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

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



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



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



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice