This photo was taken last Sunday when Nick and Jackie Griffin visited Carlisle to help with the launch of our local election campaign in the city. Here they are helping BNP candidate Michael Elliott, and his wife with campaigning in Yewdale ward. I look as though I'm miles away, probably wondering what won the 3.30 at Hexham.
It's going to be a manic week as we are moving on Friday and have only just received confirmation that it is definitely going ahead. Back in August we were all set to move but just a week before completion the chain broke and all the arrangements we had made had to be cancelled. What a nightmare.
Everyone within the British National Party is full of optimism at the moment which is a great mentality to have as we approach the final two weeks of campaigning. But it is also the time for a few of the older heads to try to introduce a level of realism to temper some of the expectations being bandied around at the moment.
There was a timely feet-on-the-ground report on the elections in the East Midlands from Wayne McDermott which popped into my inbox over the weekend. Heanor West should be an easy BNP gain on May 1st, with just a 15 vote Labour majority to overcome, but Wayne won't have that. He believes we will in fact struggle to win it because the near miss in 2006 came on the back of a huge BNP campaign which is something we cannot do this time around. Of course he's hopeful, but he's not getting carried away which is the example we should be setting to those of our more enthusiastic members.
I'm hearing of wards being fought where there BNP team are confidently talking of overturning a Lab or Conservative majority of 300 plus. In the real world that isn't going to happen. Yes, we can poll 300 plus votes when standing for the first time, but increasing an existing vote by that sort margin is a tall order that, in most cases, will be beyond us.
Last year, all the talk was about how Tony Blair was the most unpopular Prime Minister in history and that the Labour vote was in meltdown and this would give the BNP its chance of a breakthrough. But it didn't happen because the Labour vote held up in the seats we were taking them on head to head. This year, the talk is the same - about how unpopular Gordon Brown is and that once again the Labour vote is disappearing like melting snow. I dearly hope this is the case but we must be prepared that their vote will once again be more resilient than we expect.
I was disappointed, yet again, by Melanie Phillips with her rather unpleasant criticism of us in her article today in the Daily Mail. She said:
"When the public becomes so disaffected, extremists often move in to exploit the situation - which is why there is such a danger that in the May elections the British National Party, which has successfully camouflaged its true racist nature, may do well."
We are not extremists and we are not exploiting the situation, We have been saying the same thing for the last 30 years. I'm afraid I have no time for the likes of Melanie Phillips, Richard Littlejohn or Peter Hitchens. They clearly identify the problems facing the British people yet refuse to back the only political party that has the answers. Their articles in the popular press, in fact, ferment unrest by raising the very issues for which Labour, the Tories or the Lib-Dems do not have the policies to deal with.
I got soaked in a cloud burst at Borough Park on Saturday as our weather gets more bizarre by the day. This morning it should be a lovely Spring morning but the temperature here in Silloth is hovering around freezing point. I hope it is a bit warmer tomorrow night when Burscough visit Workington.