Monday, March 31, 2008

How the media will deliver BNP success

There is this morning a very interesting, and arguably accurate analysis by Tim Hames in the Times of why the BNP are going to do well this year in May, and that everyone should prepared for the shock. The only criticism I have of the piece is that Hames has missed one crucial point. The media will be complicit in bringing about the monetary revival of the BNP and this is why.

Hames argues, quite rightly, that the reason UKIP did well last time around was because the elections occured on the same day as European elections. This time round there are no European election so UKIP will see their vote squeeze. Hames is quite explicit it should b said in noting that whilst many who vote UKIP will vote BNP, the voters are not really identical, and neither are the parties.

The problem though is that UKIP, whilst it may contain some members who are as nutty as fruitcakes, and as mad as a box of frogs, not all of them are like that (every party has its loonies of course, not just the Right but the Left too). However, as a result of this kind of "they might be a bit mental" assumption about UKIP they have a tendency to be ignored by the media quite significantly.

Take the issue of immigration for example. UKIP tend to be the ones that push the issue the greatest, mainly because they get, quite rightly, annoyed with the fact that the Tories in the European parliament vote in favour of open border policies and then domestically stand up and shout and complain about them.

Does that get covered by the press though? Of course not. In fact, you will regularly see the three main parties quoted in the press in stories that have been sourced from the office of UKIP. From a purely party political point of view of course I don't mind that they get squeezed, but, at the same time, is it right that the media should actively cut them out?

Take for example the Home Affairs editor at the Daily Mail, James Slack. He writes often about the issue of immigration but will always go after the Tory quote. All fine and good of course from a party political standpoint, but is it responsible journalism given that he's allegedly acknowledged privately that he knows the Tories have acted hypocritically in European votes and the party cannot actually do half the things it says it will on immigration?

The side result of this sort of thing is that a party as odious as the BNP will, as Tim Hames points out, do well in local elections, whilst the far more moderate party UKIP find themselves wanting. This is why the media will play a part in seeing the white-power socialist BNP's brief and I expect momentary revival in May.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not about to become a member of UKIP (although I did sign up to Better Off Out), but as long as that party is ignored in domestic reporting the ones who gain are the BNP. Perhaps the decision to ignore them is driven by a belief amongst the right wing media that to pay them attention will split the Tory vote. The problem is that actually when they get ignored the vote does not stick with the Tories anyway, it shifts over to the BNP, and that is why Nick Griffin will be a happy bunny comes May.


Anonymous said...

1.) Voting BNP is the one (and only?) thing that *really* annoys politicians.

2.) The BNP actually offers some things that people want, and they want them so badly that they are prepared to put up with the other nonsense.

3.) Due to the EUmpire, our politicians are no longer useful or important, but they are expensive (and annoying) decoration. So voting for the BNP no longer has real consequences, but it will be entertaining to watch if they get in...

4.) You're overrating the media, spin only works to a certain degree, in the end, it's the people who make the decision where to put their cross -- if they can be asked at all to waste their time on this farce at all.

Anonymous said...

At least the BNP have labelled their can.

We still don't know the contents of Nu Tory.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people are like me? I vote UKIP not because I support them and their policies but because we need to break the system and force the three mainstream parties to re-align themselves and offer us a viable choice.

Anonymous said...

As per anon above.

I vote UKIP because it's the only hope of smashing the current cosy concensus and getting a genuinely radical party onto the map.

Also because if I fundamentally and utterly totally disagree with the EU project in all its manifestations then who else is there to vote for?

Having said which, the idea that you might think this in any way predisposes me to think well of the BNP is a bit horrifying. Where's the parallel? BNP is a statist party of the so-called Far Right, all the mainstream parties are statist parties of the slightly-left-of-centre, if such labels still mean anything.

Only UKIP (and, to be completely fair and rather surprising, the Scottish Lib Dems) have ever said anything remotely liberal in the original sense of the word.

Seems to me UKIP and BNP are about as far apart as they could be.

Perhaps your concern is that both might take votes off Call-me-Dave and the Not-the-Conservative Party?

Mr Eugenides said...

What's all this "give UKIP a fair crack of the whip" stuff all about, Dizzy?

Anyone would think they'd got to you somehow...

dizzy said...


Anonymous said...

It's a common error to believe that the BNP pulls the majority of its votes from the Tories.

Research shows that most come from Labour.

dizzy said...

I didn't say that they pull the majority of their votes from the Tories in fairness.

silas said...

From what I read on the BNP's website (and it has its moments of high comedy, like Tory & Labour) they actually seem to be more left wing than Labour (no real surprise) and the LibDems.

Seriously, there is a very good chance that if they manage to keep the utterly nutterly right wing nonsense quiet, they may do VERY well at the elections.

Anonymous said...

given that they are collectivist (as long as you're white) and advocate greater state powers against individual freedom, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the BNP are socialists as well as 'nationalists'.

I'm sure there was another Nationalist / Socialist party years ago but I forget the details. Maybe Mr. Godwin can tell us.

Anonymous said...

The media's responsibility toward the growth in the BNP goes far beyond not mentioning UKIP enough. Read Richard Littlejohn and Melanie Phillips. Read the Daily Mail, The Sun and The Express. When you bang on day after day about the evils of immigration, benefit cheats, the evil empire of the EU, etc. you will, over a period of time, create a constituency for a party that takes these positions to their logical conclusion.

If the right wing press don't want the BNP to do well on May 1st they should look at how they are contributing to the atmosphere that sustains them.

Anonymous said...

"When you bang on day after day about the evils of immigration, benefit cheats, the evil empire of the EU, etc. you will, over a period of time, create a constituency for a party that takes these positions to their logical conclusion."

Er, isn't that how this democracy thing is supposed to work? You know, bang on about things like lower taxes or rights for workers & then come election time folk vote for parties that offer policies that reflect their opinions. Or is immigration still something that we can't discuss?

Thatcher's Child said...

At last, someone else can see that the BNP is going to cream it at the election.

I wrote about it on my blog a while back, but why do you think that UKIP and the BNP are similar flavours of the same party?

One is fascist while the other is libertarian and I know which one I would vote for - unfortunatly, only the BNP are in our area - I just hope it rains on election day.