For the first time ever in Bromsgrove the BNP will have a parliamentary candidate at a General Election, as revealed by the Bromsgrove Advertiser. This doesn’t surprise me as they fielded 9 candidates in the County elections this year, but what surprises me is the support they had, achieving c.10% of the vote in some wards.
The BNP are running on banning any possible mosques being built in Bromsgrove, but there are very few Muslims in Bromsgrove, and in fact ethnic minorities are only c.3% of the population, well below the national average.
So at the top level Bromsgrove does not seem to have the ingredients which could allow parties such as the BNP to pick up support. What it does indicate is that the main parties in the area have not listened, or addressed sufficiently, voter concerns and the BNP are able to pick up those who want to voice their anger. Ignoring the BNP will not make them go away. Only by engaging with the disaffected voters will this be possible, many are not racists, but are looking for someone to blame as they feel neglected by what the mainstream political parties offer.
I am prepared to debate (and listen) wherever and whenever with any political party or any voter. As the BNP’s appearance on Question Time showed, media exposure does not allow a platform to recruit more voters, but exposes the true nature of the party.