The lowest turnout in recent UK political history was the European elections in 1999 when a dismal 23% of the voting public turned out. That record may well be beaten this week, when the Police and Crime Commissioner elections are held in England and Wales. A poll taken by Ipsos Mori predicts a turn out that could be as dire as 15% [PDF].
No doubt hoping to capitalise on the low turnout of mainstream voters is the English Democrat Party. Despite never having won a single seat in Westminster, the English Democrats are fielding several candidates for the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections on the 15th of November, including candidates in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Sheffield, and Kent.
The PCC elections give nationalist parties the opportunity to campaign on a law and order platform, which could well be more palatable to voters than a position based solely on immigration and identity issues.
The English Democrats wish to position themselves alongside Plaid Cymru and the SNP, but unlike those parties the English Democrats maintain links with the Far Right that belie their mainstream rhetoric. Hope Not Hate recently highlighted the many ex-BNP members now involved with the EDP (4) These include former activist Chris Beverley, who ‘likes’ Marine Le Pen on Facebook. Whilst clearly disillusioned with the BNP, Chris Beverley is still the constituency officer for Andrew Brons, who was elected as a BNP MEP. Brons has has recently formed the new Far Right party True Brits which has offered a haven for those who didn’t find the BNP extreme enough, including various Holocaust deniers and a former National Front chairman.
The English Democrats have also formed links to some very unsavoury groups outside the UK, including the banned extremist group Serbian Obraz (8) and the Greek fascists Golden Dawn (9) The English Democrats claim to be a mainstream party of ‘cultural nationalists’ (10), but their continuing links to the Far Right show that they are not people that we want in control of police budgets and decision making.
If there is an English Democrat candidate standing in your area, please consider turning out to vote for a mainstream candidate. Voter disillusionment and disinterest work in favour of fringe parties, and they know it. Don’t allow the Far Right in through the back door.
A Harry’s Place Reader.