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.