Thanet Star

Are BNP a credible threat to Thanet?

Given that Yahoo news has announced that over one fifth of the population (22%) would consider voting for the racist BNP party in the next election Thanet needs to be on it's guard. (YouGov Poll for the Daily Telegraph)

Prime BNP targets include areas that traditionally vote Labour but have elected Conservatives - such as Dane valley Ward. Right now we have a ward that has become so thoroughly offended by the party that should be traditionally caring for it that it has voted for the other side only to have them bog off to be Mayor of Margate or to do some business halfway across the globe.

Let's face it Dane valley will have had 8 years of total disinterest by the next full elections. 4 years from a choice of two Labour oldies looking for an easy ride to retirement and a conservative whom no one was ever able to reach. 4 years after that of total disinterest from Conservatives.

When turn out has fallen below 30% as the general population of Dane valley realises that there is no point voting because both parties couldn't give a toss who are Dane Valley going to turn to?

Labour have failed, conservative have failed and the Liberal Democrats have failed to get any attention at all.

Keep reading after the light hearted video to find out why all parties are failing so hard and what might be needed to turn the tide.

Purple Cows

Seth Godin (leading new marketing author and no relation to a certain local property tycoon) puts it like this: If you are driving along and you see a brown and white cow for the first time you might want to stop and look. After a few miles you've seen so many cows that you stop noticing. If you saw a purple cow, on the other hand, that might be worth looking at again.

Why is that. It is because the purple cow is remarkable.

In a world where all parties are converging slightly right of centre and are seen as harmonized to the point of indifference any party that is different is both remarkable and refreshing.

The BNP, while possibly the worst choice ever, are remarkable. In a world of faceless grey suited nobodies the BNP are different - they are the purple cow. In this alone they will always have the edge. They win by default.

People will vote for a name they recognise long before they will consider a party they have lost faith in.

Thanet's most interesting cows

Who are the District councillors that get the most press time, the most blog time, the most talked about? In rough order of remarkableness: Sandy Ezekiel (con), Iris Johnson (lab), Simon Moores (con) and Mark Nottingham (lab).

Why do you think a seemingly universally despised District level part retains power time and again? Why do the Conservatives vote for such an unpopular leader? The same reason that 22% of people might vote BNP - they are remarkable.

They are remarkable for all the wrong reasons but they are remarkable.

They get to trounce the others not by being right (which anyone could argue that they are not) but by being remarkable. Trying to be "right" to play it safe means that you blend right in and go unnoticed. As the BNP have proven safe is the new dangerous.

How can Clive and Sandy save their parties from a BNP lashing?

The only way to get ahead in a world where safe is so dangerouse is to give up trying to be perfect (it's impossible anyway) and start being remarkable. Yes you will draw enemy fire, yes you will be heavily criticised by bloggers and newspapers from time to time but as Mr Wilde so dryly pointed out - the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

It may be a cliché but it happens to be pure 100% proof truth. The BNP have got people talking and writing about them. By being different to the rest the pack they are gaining a lead.

Will we see Clive and his Labour buddies abandoning safe and shooting for remarkable? Not likely - remarkable is a young man's game and frankly the gray hair count might actually be too high in the Labour party right now. Mark Nottingham might actually be their last best hope - unreasonable attitudes and all.

What remarkable action would you advise Clive and Sandy to direct their party towards?

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Public Comments

This Normal comment was left by Luke Edwards [score: 0]:

Remember that BNP leaked membership list? I actually had a nosey at that when it leaked last year - it turns out there are 27 BNP party members living in the Thanet area. And although nobody stood for the BNP in the 2005 general election, a National Front candidate, Thomas Holmes, stood in 2001, and received 395 votes in the Thanet area. So it's still concerning.

As for remarkable being a young person's game, I think Labour (and the Conservatives) should work at the grassroots of politics and get more young people involved. I think that's the only solution to solving a lot of local problems - older people generally seem to think they're automatically wiser than the young, little realizing that the young have more enthusiasm to actually deliver upon their potential. It would be nice to see some young blood on the local political scene.

I'm not sure what remarkable action I'd recommend to Clive and Sandy. But all I will say that all parties converging on the political centre ground is not healthy for democracy at all. Incidentally, I think local MPs need to make more of an effort to give a COMPREHENSIVE overview of their political views upon election.

Rather than solely focusing upon local issues, they should discuss other subjects (i.e. their views on immigration, the NHS, etc.). Because, lest we forget, MPs actually vote in Parliament, and the fact that none are particularly honest about what they value is a bit disconcerting (i.e. Laura Sandys hasn't commented on her views on the NHS, for instance).

I'd feel uncomfortable voting for somebody who would, say, vote completely the opposite way to how I would vote if I were in Parliament, but because they don't discuss such matters, we'll never know either way (unless we keep tabs on them by checking

I think openness is probably all they can be to be remarkable. Rather than hedge round a subject like Jack Straw did frequently on Question Time, I'd like to see a politician be blunt, frank and unafraid to - shock horror - be honest. That, in itself, would be remarkable.
24/10/2009 11:36:55

This Normal comment was left by Richard [score: 0]:

The surest steps to power are your opponents' lies. Labour should come clean and admit the truth for example:

(1) "Institutionalized racism" was not a carefully crafted definition emerging from the Lawrence Inquiry. It was a red herring concept invented, for Home Office sociology research purposes, to test for gullibility and malleability in Police Recruits.

(2) Stephen Lawrence was denied justice in part due to the exploitation of his death to promote the myth of "Institutionalized racism" to bogus reality amongst a whipped up climate of mass hysteria.

(3) After the Lozells riot the Labour Govt was advised that the (unlawful) multicultural experiment had failed and to gradually work towards a new (unlawful) experimental concept "Interculturalism"

(4) To protect the Lawrence Inquiry (being conducted by Bob Ayling Kent Police) Jack Straw refused to compel inquiries called for by Kent Police Authority including about the 1989 murder of 11 Royal Marines by IRA at Deal Barracks. The fact is that when conducting the Lawrence Inquiry Kent Police were concurrently refusing to conduct inquiries called for by their Police Authority. Including lines of inquiry mutual with the Stephen Lawrence case. I mean matters of expulsions of BNP members in Kent (which BNP isn't coming clean about either !)

The problem Labour has is the age old one they want to attack the plank in the BNP eye without admitting there is also a massive plank in Labour eye. Labour intensified a social experiment and the result is greater tension in a more divided society.

My position is that Stephen Lawrence is guaranteed justice, as are we all, by the authority of the Crown under the Queen who by oath at Coronation became sole fount of justice in mercy. IE Stephen and 11 Royal Marines have equal rights to justice but they have all been denied it.

Now we need the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819 to open the matter up and, against all principles of separation of powers, a "Minister for Justice" put it through for repeal. Jack Straw.
25/10/2009 11:28:09

This Normal comment was left by Adrian Cameron [score: 0]:

The surest way to power is to be an underdog and whilst I had no issues with the BNP's appearance on Question Time, I have real issues with the ridiculously skewed approach that the BBC decided to take to that particular show.

Had the BBC treated the show in the standard QT fashion with no attempt to embarrass Nick Griffin, then he may well have gone away from the show with barely a ripple. As it was, every single member of the show, audience and even supposedly independent presenter was out to score marks and show their own pious indignation at what the BNP stands for. The end result, sad to say, was that it didn't seem a fair fight, and as such Nick Griffin gained support on the basis that he was the subject of such single minded focus.

He talked nonsense about Churchill, managed to insult Muslims, was unable to refute meetings with the KKK and yet at the end of it, you still thought it wasn't a fair fight.

I can disagree with his views until I'm blue in the face, but if you are going to give him a platform, make it a fair one. Bloody mindless sense of communal politically correct outrage played right into the BNP's hands. Not a great moment for the BBC and perhaps for British politics
08/11/2009 19:20:57

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

The BBC like to have a good "public driven" blood letting. This was exactly what they set up. Especially so that they can claim that this was just what the people were asking. They have no editorial control? (I'm doubtful).
13/11/2009 22:48:31
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