THIS month the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight launched its campaign to stop the British National Party from winning seats in the London Assembly.
Searchlight editor Nick Lowles wrote: “Our objectives are simple. We need to prevent the BNP from gaining the five per cent in the London list vote that would give it one seat, the eight per cent which would gain it two and the 11 per cent which would see the party win three.
“Over the next three months we will undertake our largest, most targeted and sophisticated campaign to date.
“We will adapt the lessons from recent campaigns across the country and bring in new techniques that have been pioneered in the United States.
“Given the size of the London constituency, with around 5.3 million potential voters, there will be a much bigger emphasis on internet and email campaigning, though this will not come at the expense of community work, especially the enthusing of minority communities and the mobilisation of faith communities.”
“There must be no pretending that our task is straightforward. In last May’s local elections the BNP polled 14.7 per cent in the 742 wards it contested across the country. The highest average regional vote was in the Eastern region where the party achieved 19 per cent of the vote in the 65 wards contested.
“The BNP is hopeful of success. In the 2006 local elections the party polled 41 per cent in the wards it contested in Barking and Dagenham. It gained councillors in Havering and Redbridge, and overall it averaged 25 per cent of the vote in the 27 wards it contested.
“Its prospects will also be boosted by the virtual collapse of the UK Independence Party, whose London Assembly representatives now sit as the One London party.
“The election will also be an important dry run for next year’s all-important European elections. Victory here, rather than in London on its own, would take the BNP out of the political margins.
“Each MEP would receive at least £200,000 a year in salary and allowances, so would be able to employ several BNP members as staff, but just as importantly MEPs would give the fascists a credibility they currently do not have.
“So, given all of the above, is it certain the BNP will win? Absolutely not, but we will only be successful in preventing a BNP victory if we can launch the biggest anti-BNP campaign to date. And that means people getting active and increasing turnout".
To find out more please visit our campaign site http://www.hopenothate.org.uk