“What an election! We have the first Conservative Mayor for London and we also have the first racist Islamophobe from the BNP in the London Assembly. So what do we make of this? Is this the end of an era or is it a beginning of a new one? …
“So what caused this shock result? Was it anti-Brown or anti-Labour sentiments? Was it the recognition that ‘the Conservatives have changed into a party that can again be trusted after 30 years’? Was it the overt support of Muslims 4 Ken, as some have commented? Or was it the politics of fear created by the government and media? Can it even be as simple as ‘he’s been there too long’? We may never know the real reasons, as most voters will have different reasons for voting the way they do – but here is my thought on why the BNP got its first Assembly Member.
“If you recall the last 2 to 3 years, you will no doubt notice that the most discussed subject has been Islam and Muslims. The rancorous manner in which the government – a Labour government – attacked Islam and Muslim has been unforgivable. Together with the relentless and vitriolic media, it created the perfect atmosphere for the racist BNP to peddle its malevolence with impunity. In the eyes of the BBC this racist party has now become ‘The anti-immigration British National Party’. Anti-immigration! When Jack Straw said that it’s not Ken’s fault alone and that everybody in government had some responsibility, I sincerely hope he together with the likes of Ruth Kelly and others recall their Islam bashing and how they allowed the BNP to espouse the myth of ‘Islamofascism’. And how the hatred they spew is becoming acceptable and mainstream. Maybe this is the ‘new era’ that has begun!”
Azad Ali assesses the results of the London elections.