Boris Johnson and the BNPPosted: May 3, 2008
I did my best, I got off my arse and voted, and, sadly, it didn’t make a sodding bit of difference.
The scruffy-haired, bumbling monkey still got in.
Now, in this country, we have a secret vote, which means that you don’t have to tell anybody how you voted. But we have freedom of speech, which means that, within reason, you can tell anybody you want to.
To elect the Mayor, I got two votes (I was special!).
Your first choice vote obviously is counted first, and in this, I voted for the Green party candidate Sian Berry, because I like her party, I’d like to see a female mayor, and to be honest, I thought it might be time for a change.
But if no single candidate gets a majority of the first-choice vote, the two candidates with the largest shares of the vote go on to the next round, in which your second-choice vote is counted. As I understand it, your second-choice vote is only counted if you haven’t already voted for one of the two remaining candidates, which seems to me to be a bit of a dilemma if you truly believed that, say, the best thing for London would be Ken followed by Boris, or vice versa. But then you’d have to be a bit odd to think any such thing.
Anyway, so I chose Ken Livingstone for my second-choice vote. Because I really, really didn’t want my city led by Boris. And because Ken’s done very good things with my lovely London buses.
And, as it happened, my second-choice vote would have been counted, and Ken lost the election with more votes than he won it with last time round.
I suppose that’s some consolation. Just not much.
But actually, although I dislike Boris immensely, there was worse to come.
For the London Assembly (which is meant to keep the mayor in check, although it ran into problems with Ken when he pointed out that actually, no, they couldn’t fire him), you vote in a proportional representation style system.
There are 25 members of the London Assembly, fourteen of whom are attatched to a particular voting area. So you vote for the person you want to represent your area, and you also vote for a party, which need not be the same as the person.
The person gets elected in a first-past-the-post system – the majority vote wins – and the London Assembly is then made up proportionally of all the parties voted for, taking into account the people who have already got in. (Since there are 25 members, each one must be worth 4% of the vote, so if, for example, the Green party got one candidate in as a person, and got 8% of the vote, they’d get another person into the assembly). I hope that makes sense – it does in my head!
I voted Labour and Green, in that order – Labour for my representative, since in a majority vote in Lewisham, Labour will always win, and Green for the proportional representation bit since they get enough of a vote to get into the assembly and therefore curb Labour a bit, who tend towards arrogance.
Sadly, nearly everyone else voted Conservative!
Although, as it happens, I was right – the Green party didn’t get a constituency, but they got two candidates in because of the proportional representation bit.
Conservatives ended up with 11,
Liberal Democrats 3
British National Party 1
A conservative majority, while disheartening, seems somewhat innevitable given the vote fell in Boris’s favour, and I could have predicted that Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens would have turned out like that – but the BNP???!!!
Well, see here for the BBC’s take on what that means.
Or, see here for the party themselves.
Or indeed here, which is a page ostensibly dedicated to “countering the smears”….
Now, I don’t want to quote too much, because there’s always that danger of selective quoting, or accusations of the same – namely, that I’ve picked the quotes that prove my point. Frankly, though, I feel I could quote the entire damned website and still prove my point.
The first three FAQs themselves say a great deal about the party that is noticeably absent from its policy page;
“Why do you disapprove of mixed marriages? “
“What is your attitude to homosexuals?“
“Do you believe that blacks or other races are inferior?“
Presumably, mixed marriages (white with non-white, evidently!) are B-A-D because the non-white partner is, by their standard, not ‘British’. Oh, and we don’t like Teh Immigrants. Duh.
As for homosexuals…. I wonder why the party felt the need to mention them at all?
The BNP is fixated with the idea that it’s immigration that is causing the Collapse of Society(TM), and I’m fairly sure that British people can be gay too…
Well, I’ll let them explain in their own words:
“The British National Party is not ‘homophobic’ and believes that what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms is a matter for them alone and is of no concern to anyone else. On the other hand the BNP is not blinded or cowed by political correctness and recognises that homosexuality, which affects less than 2% of the population, is not the norm and that homosexual relationships do not produce offspring – essential to the survival of a people and a nation. “
So, condensed down a bit, I read that as “we don’t care about what kind of sex they have. But being Gay is not normal, dammit! And anyway they can’t have babies so they’re not doing their jobs for the British people and our whole population will die out because of this ‘2%’.”
It’s a tenuous link, but I think I got it!
Also, I know it’s always a difficult thing to pin down, but I’d always thought the proportion of gay people was about 10%.
Oh – and the last one -“Do you believe that blacks or other races are inferior?“
Well, you know, call me overly PC, but my personal opinion is that it doesn’t matter what you say after that, if you’re going to refer to black people as “blacks”.
You may as well just call them “wogs” and be done.
I can’t quite believe that these people got a candidate in.
London, I am officially ashamed.