The BNP - a serious threat?

It appears that the BNP has being gaining support among the British people as of late, mostly due to the immigration “threat”. Whilst many doubt that this could become a large scale movement, it does seem a genuine possibility. They have tried to make themselves look respectable and distance themselves from the likes of the National Front, yet this link appears inalienable due to many members criminal record of racial assaults (ironic how they claim to represent “law and order”). Are any other UK citizens here as concerned as I am?

I’m not all that concerned. I go to college in Oldham and although I’ve heard of many racist attacks (which do concern me, obviously) I don’t think the BNP is smart or dedicated enough to gain real political power. Burnley’s BNP councillors, for example, didn’t turn up to any of the meetings. They are really just thugs, they’ll never gain influence but remain a worrying reminder of the racism being stirred up in society by the media hysteria over race matters recently.

As far as I can make out, in the 2001 election the BNP amassed 0.2% of the national vote, which equates to around 120,000 people. That’s about a tenth of the number of people who turned out in Glasgow and London to protest against war with Iraq. We managed to achieve pretty much bugger all (though it was worthwhile), so I’m not concerned that the BNP will really make gains. It’s worrying where there are areas of so much concentration, though. And while the Guardian says,

I would venture a guess that the majority of Brits would prefer it if we didn’t have all that many illegal immigrants, and that 22% of the population being anti-Europe is probably one of the lowest results of the last century!

Quite what the answer is, I don’t know. If you’ve played Nation States, you’ll know how the dilemna of which to set aside - freedom of speech or freedom of race - can affect decisions. I agree with what many left-wing commentators have been calling for: the four/five principal parties must recognise the existence of the BNP and of this sentiment, and they must not turn a blind eye - they must shout at them, and defeat their beliefs. Only then will the British people really have an understanding of party policies and the deeply rooted racism contained within. Otherwise people will - understandably - be attracted by one or two radical policies that will make the country safer and nicer, voting in blind ignorance of the other policies that would emerge when in power.

(NB: I couldn’t find the YouGov poll on their website)