Saturday, April 29, 2006

A worrying trend

BBC News has a piece on the electoral battle in Tower Hamlets. This local authority contains, amongst other things, both my university (Queen Mary, University of London) and George Galloway's constituency (and very occasionally George Galloway himself).

What worries me the most is this comment:

Labour is pinning its hopes on getting white voters to the polls, to compensate for loss of Muslim support to Respect.
Turning elections into crude sectarian headcounts does nothing to improve democracy. There are many problems in Tower Hamlets but they are not going to be solved by a party being seen to owe its electoral success to one ethnic group. All it does is perpetuate the idea that the body meant to help the population as a whole is only going to support that group. This approach merely breeds political extremism as a reaction.

As the article also says:

Millwall, a ward which briefly elected a BNP councillor, Derek Beacon in the 1990s.
That was the first ever BNP victory in the country.

And they're standing candidates in the borough...


Al said...

Well local elections in most of Tower Hamlets have been largely race-driven since the late '70's (although things only got really nasty towards the end of the '80's; as methinks you know) so it's not as though it's a new trend.
Certainly a worrying one though.

IIRC the BNP are running in one of the Mile End wards. Bearing in mind local voting patterns in Tower Hamlets, that probably spells a lot of trouble for the LibDems there.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Yes they're standing three candidates in Mile End & Globe Town, a split ward with Labour/Lib Dem councillors. (Also from a personal perspective it contains the Mile End campus of Queen Mary apart from some residences.)

Hopefully Galloway's antics on Big Brother and generally crap representation will help to cut through some of "RESPECT"'s support base. Let's see come Friday.


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