He Who Laughs Last…

The last time the Dewsbury MP and now former-justice minister Shahid Malik featured in a YEP news story it was to warn that Yorkshire will be a “laughing stock” in Europe if its voters elect a British National Party Euro-MP; this week Mr Malik has, intentionally or otherwise, beaten the BNP to it.

However, away from West Yorkshire’s shame-inducing politicians of all parties, Tiberius believes a more serious point should also be made about the public reaction to the recent revelations on MPs’ expenses.

In response to the above-mentioned article, the comment section at the YEP’s site became something of  a BNP love-in. Unfortunately, you can  see more of the same here in reaction to Mr Malik’s latest headline-grabber.

While Tiberius thinks that the BNP threat at next month’s European elections has been overstated by some (furthering self-serving political agendas), there is no denying the danger that the public’s justifiable disgust with politicans may spill over into a more generalised resentment of the democratic process.

Following last month’s Temple Newsam Ward Council By-Election [.pdf], much was made of the fact that the BNP finished behind only the Conservatives; however, this feat was due in large part to the local Labour vote collapsing from the 2,083 garnered last year to just 1,476 this time around (likewise, the Tory win fails to impress when compared to the previous year’s polls). The BNP actually received marginally fewer votes this year than in 2008, and still they managed to secure the runner-up spot – and all this took place before the recent expenses revelations! What will happen in a voting-system that actually gives prizes for second (and third, and fourth…) place?

Whatever your feelings towards the EU, there is no denying that the proportional system used to elect MEPs is far more representative than our own (Tiberius: “it’s kinda like Eurovision, but with more fascists”). Each vote in that election matters more because it will count for something; it’s the double-edged sword of democracy.  The worry then is not that more people will vote BNP, but rather that only the BNP-inclined will bother to turn out.

So, with the aim of avoiding further humiliation to our region, Tiberius would like to promote the following:

Leeds Unite Againt Fascism

HOPE not hate – Yorkshire Campaign

Love Music Hate Racism – Leeds

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