Friday, 9 May 2008

Even our Harrogate results had a sting in the tail!

Well, it's exactly a week since my last post, but I have a good excuse. Getting Freedom finished for the printers, with all the local election results and a limited election analysis, was a massive job and there just wasn't any time to be sidelined on anything else.

The newspaper is OK, and has all the information that our readers have come to expect of the May issue. No doubt there will be some mistakes in some of the results, so if you spot any, please let me know. Last year we missed out our best result in Sedgefield - still, it made a good story when we published the correction in the June issue.

The dust is settling on our excellent election campaign and quite naturally much of the publicity is focussing on Richard Barnbrook and our victory in London. The front page on the May issue of Freedom highlights this success and how it was achieved against all the odds. The logos of those organisations that campaign against us help to illustrate this point.

But May 1st was about so much more than just our GLA victory and this comes across in Freedom if you take the time to study the results in detail. There are lots of special stories from our local election campaigns across the country and over the next few issues of our newspaper I shall be covering these in more details.

One campaign that didn't get any coverage in Freedom was in Harrogate. This was because the results there could only at best be described as "low". But from these votes some excellent publicity has been gained, which will help the British National Party to progress in Britain's more rural areas.

Janet Street-Porter covered the BNP effort in Harrogate in her report Deep in rural England, fresh fields for the BNP. She wrote:

"Now that the BNP has gained its first seat in the London Assembly, commentators have tended to focus on the party's growing appeal to lower-middle and working-class urban voters. But there is another side to the story.

"For the last 20 years I've had a house in rural Yorkshire, and the list of candidates who stood for election to Harrogate council last week was fascinating. The BNP fielded no fewer than six, four of whom were under 25 and male. None was successful – the percentage of votes gained ranged from 6.4 per cent down to 2.8 per cent.

Examining the profiles of these four BNP candidates is interesting; Ashley Banner, a 19-year-old bricklayer, stood for the pretty village of Kirkby Malzeard, surrounded by fields of cattle with a sleepy main street of picture-book cottages.

Gamekeeper Joel Banner, 21, stood for my local town of Pateley Bridge in Upper Nidderdale, which has a thriving tourist trade, an award-winning museum and where black faces are rarely seen.

This beautiful valley, a chain of tiny villages and unspoilt moorland, is utterly harmonious – a place where the community turns out in force for charity events and the annual agricultural show on the last Tuesday in September. The biggest cause for concern at council meetings seems to be improving flood defences, and the band of youths who lounge outside the branch of Spar at the bottom of the high street every evening.

Further down the valley, James Thackray, a 22-year-old gardener, stood for Lower Nidderdale, and on the outskirts of Harrogate Sam Clayton, a green recycling worker, also 22, stood for Marston Moor.

There are plenty of issues in North Yorkshire really affecting young people, affordable housing being the biggest problem, with property prices in rural areas remaining high as retirees seek the good life. Many derelict cottages and barns are restored and rented out to holiday-makers, remaining empty for most of the winter. Lack of jobs is hardly an issue – the hotel and restaurant industry in Harrogate, which has a thriving exhibition and conference trade, would grind to a halt without the help of thousands of young eastern Europeans, who seem to have been accepted without much comment. So it is depressing that the BNP is clearly targeting working-class younger voters further out in the countryside by fielding candidates like Joel, Ashley, James and Sam."

It's a good report, appearing in a newspaper where the Party seldom gets a mention and showing the BNP in a completely different light to what is normally expected. I expect our candidates in Harrogate were disappointed on election night that they hadn't done better, but I hope after reading the Independent's report that the disappointment will be replaced by a determination to carry on the work in their local areas which will help increase the British National Party vote next time around.


Brin said...

Many voters are now aware that the three mainstream parties have amalgamated into one party. The Anti Democrat Party or ADP. We are the only opposition which is why the anti democrats attack us so vehemently to deny us a voice.

Hold fast and don't be shut up by the UAF or ADP. They are entitled to their view and we always gave them time to talk. Now they must listen to us.

alanorei said...

J S-P wrote:

"the hotel and restaurant industry in Harrogate, which has a thriving exhibition and conference trade, would grind to a halt without the help of thousands of young eastern Europeans."

Who did these jobs in Harrogate before EU enlargement? Are these hoteliers and restauranters preferring EEuropeans because if they pay local employees less than the minimum wage, the locals might complain to an MP and/or local journalist?

I strongly suspect so.

Re: May VoF headline, an excellent choice of words, Martin. It is almost the same as the title of the autobiography of Chuck Norris, Against All Odds.

Norris is of course well-known as a fast-action, straight-talking, kick-boxing movie hero and especially as the main character in the long-running CBS series Walker, Texas, Ranger.

He is now a committed Christian believer who writes a weekly column for World Net Daily.

He recently wrote one about immigration in the US. It could have been written by a BNPr.

It is to be hoped that Richard Barnbrook can be the GLA's 'Chuck Norris,' where corruption, fraud, incompetence, waste and inefficiency are concerned.

I am sure he will be.