2012 Election Preview


On 3rd May 2012 voters in more than 180 councils across England, Scotland and Wales will be going to the polls, with nationalist politics at its lowest ebb for more than twenty years.  Approximately 5,000 council seats are up for election, including the Greater London Assembly and mayoral elections in London, Liverpool and Salford.  The Conservative and Labour parties will be contesting virtually all of these seats, and the majority will have Liberal Democrat candidates.  One big talking point among politicians and journalists is the threat from a wide range of fourth parties: but sadly very little of this threat is coming from nationalists.

The two biggest “minor party” challenges are from the Green Party, with almost 1,000 candidates, and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), with just over 700.  Opinion polls published in mid-April put UKIP on 9% – for the first time ahead of the Liberal Democrats on 8%.  Yet the majority of voters will not have a UKIP candidate, and UKIP’s policies of Thatcher-style free markets and fanatical pro-Zionist, neoconservative foreign policies put them a long way from most British nationalists.  As a Daily Telegraph columnist recently put it, “UKIP is a party with no grassroots” – and has little capacity to build a genuine challenge to the political establishment.

The Greens are a more substantial political force than UKIP.  They have one MP in the House of Commons, are the largest party on Brighton council, and are close to controlling Norwich City Council.  Yet few people believe they will ever be more than a protest vote, and their catalogue of politically correct crankery makes them anathema to most nationalists.

galloway-bradford-victoryFor many nationalists, George Galloway’s Respect Party is even worse, as it was formed out of an alliance between Muslim immigrants and fringe Trotskyists.  Yet despite being written off more than once, Galloway (left) made a stunning comeback to Westminster at the Bradford West by-election, and from what had been a declining base Respect seems to have mobilised a substantial slate of candidates for the local elections – even they represent a far more serious short-term electoral threat to Labour than anything nationalists can manage in 2012.

For the first time since Derek Beackon won the Millwall by-election for the BNP in September 1993, no one from either the depleted ranks of nationalist activists, or from within the political establishment, is seriously expecting gains for nationalist parties at this election – least of all in London.

In the Greater London Assembly elections the BNP will be aiming to retain the seat captured by Richard Barnbrook four years ago.  Having quit the BNP in despair in 2010, Mr Barnbrook is not seeking re-election and the BNP’s lead candidate to replace him is the party’s London organiser Steve Squire, a London sex shop owner with a record of selling the so-called “date rape drug”.  Meanwhile the BNP’s mayoral candidate Carlos Cortiglia is a Uruguayan immigrant who once claimed to have volunteered to fight for Argentina in the Falklands War.

You really could not make it up!  The BNP lurches from one self-inflicted disaster to another.  This year there will be 137 council candidates from the BNP compared to 612 last time these particular seats were contested in 2008.  In fact this is the lowest total of BNP candidates at local elections since 2002.  There are no candidates at all in some of the party’s former strongholds.  Take West Yorkshire, where the BNP fielded a total of 83 candidates in 2008 but only two this year across the councils in Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

Among the few BNP branches still putting up a substantial slate are the eight candidates in Salford; seven in Stockport; six in Burnley (including defending councillor Sharon Wilkinson); eight in South Tyneside; eighteen in Birmingham; eleven in Coventry; and eight in Nuneaton.  However Nick Griffin’s authority even in his own party has declined to such an extent that numerous BNP candidate are open rebels who are demanding his resignation.

Elsewhere in the country various nationalist dissidents who have at various stages during the last decade seen through BNP leader Nick Griffin are standing either as independents or for a variety of other parties, while many more are biding their time and building towards a post-Griffin relaunch of nationalism later this year.

Robin TilbrookThe largest of the factions so far is the English Democrats, who are fielding 86 candidates in various council elections around the country, as well as a GLA slate and mayoral candidates in Salford and Liverpool.  The strongest ED slates are eleven in Leeds (including former BNP councillor Chris Beverley), seven in Doncaster (where the EDs won the mayoral election but have no councillors), and twelve in Barnsley, including former BNP organiser Ian Sutton.  Former BNP election guru Eddy Butler is standing in Loughton Fairmead ward, Epping Forest but of course many ED candidates are civic nationalists who have no past connection with the BNP or any other racial nationalist party.  These include party chairman Robin Tilbrook (right) in another Epping Forest ward: High Ongar, Willingale & The Rodings.

Rival English nationalist parties formed from splits in the EDs during the past few years have promised a lot on internet forums but delivered little.  Neither the English People’s Party nor the One England Party will be fielding any candidates.  For that matter neither will the National People’s Party, formed by a small group of former BNP officials including Nick Griffin’s former chief fundraiser Jim Dowson – nor the For England Party, created in 2011 by former councillor Michael Johnson after his resignation from the EDs.

The only one of the new parties which is putting up any sort of electoral challenge is the British Freedom Party, which will have five candidates for Liverpool City Council and one in Basildon.

Richard_Edmonds_ElthamWith the England First Party deciding to target just one council area – Preston – so as not to disrupt the recruitment of BNP activists for a post-Griffin realignment, the main nationalist challenge outside the BNP and the (semi-nationalist) English Democrats is coming from the National Front, Britain’s oldest nationalist party.  The NF will have 35 candidates nationwide, but its efforts this year are heavily concentrated in London, where candidates for the GLA include party chairman Ian Edward and former BNP national organiser Richard Edmonds (left), as well as former BNP parliamentary candidate Tess Culnane.  There are three NF candidates for separate councils in North East England; four in Hull; one in Maidstone; four in Thurrock (including former BNP councillor Derek Beackon); one each in Southend and Basildon; one in Amber Valley; four in Birmingham; two in Sandwell; one in Dudley; one in Knowsley; one in Rochdale; and one in Rossendale.  Surprisingly the NF also has eight candidates in Scotland (where the BNP has been completely wiped out) and two in Wales (the same as the BNP).  Former BNP activist Peter Tierney will be National Front candidate for Mayor of Liverpool, where he is up against the BNP’s North West regional organiser Mike Whitby as well as yet another ex-BNP candidate – Dr Paul Rimmer – standing for the English Democrats.  Last year Dr Rimmer had a brief sojourn as a UKIP candidate for Liverpool City Council, while Mr Whitby is only eligible to stand because he rents a defunct pigeon shed in Liverpool!  The BNP has reached the truly desperate stage when it has to employ these sort of tricks to field a mayoral candidate in a major city.  Mr Whitby actually lives in Wales, and is standing as a council candidate for Wrexham on the same day as the Liverpool mayoral contest – but the Liverpool BNP branch has collapsed so completely that this was the only way they could find a candidate.

Meanwhile the Bradford-based Democratic Nationalists (founded by BNP dissidents in 2008) are extending their influence beyond their home city, having helped organise a series of nationalist unity meetings in late 2011 and early 2012.  The DNs will have three candidates in Bradford (including former BNP city councillor Dr Jim Lewthwaite); one in Pendle (former BNP activist Gary Topping); and one in Doncaster (former BNP mayoral candidate Dave Owen).

Once again flying the flag for hardline national socialism will be Dave Jones of the British Peoples Party, standing in Todmorden ward, Calderdale.  At the start of the campaign West Yorkshire Police arrested Mr Jones for supposed “election fraud”, but this will not obstruct his candidature.  In fact the investigation is a shocking waste of police time, prompted by the far left’s harassment of the people who had signed Mr Jones’s nomination paper.  One of these people ludicrously claimed that she had signed the paper not knowing what it was, hence the police investigation.  There is no chance of even the politically motivated Crown Prosecution Service proceeding with charges against mr Jones on this basis.

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