Though Autumn by-elections are nothing particularly special, Having been born in Burnley, and this key nationalist battleground being only seven-and-a-half miles from where I live, I was bound to take an interest in this one. The candidate, an old friend of mine (and fellow dry-stone waller) Steve Smith was coveted by both the North-West National Front (who have recruited several Burnley BNP veterans) and the Bradford-based Democratic Nationalists. in the end Steve elected to stand for the National Front because they were higher profile.
The literature took the form of cheap and nasty, badly designed, risograph printed leaflets proclaiming the NF policy of kicking the non-whites out of England, presented in newsletter format called "Burnley Nationalist", The NF put a lot of hours in, and no less five editions out,
As I see it the volume of leaflets, shoved through letterboxes by volunteers from as far as 50 miles away, should have overcome the quality - so we can only presume that it was the the "Stop Immigration - Start Repatriation" message that the voters were rejecting.
The NF must decide if the want to simply ram an unwanted "repatriation" message down the throats of the voters or employ some of the other tools of getting your people elected (better quality literature, demonstrating to voters you are competent at addressing issues that affect them, finding alternative nationalist policies that have a wider appeal etc...) Most voters who want repatriation also want their candidates to be a little more tactful about it, and most nationalist voters are agnostic on repatriation anyway. Showing the voters you have no tact will not work, even if they get twenty leaflets through the letterbox a day from you.
Having spoken to NF members, they are justifying this by saying "the voters are thick", "we were never going to win" etc. Others say, "we've made our stand". Of course it is all deluded nonsense. This year the NF' Deputy Chairman Kevin Bryan obtained respectable votes in nearby-Irwell ward, Rossendale, under the exact same electoral conditions that exist in Burnley, and the BNP have successfully taken the Trinity seat not so long ago.
Maybe the NF were just making a point, but it gives me no pleasure to see Steve Smith join Mark Leat (who got 2 votes in Stoke) and David Child (an Autistic BNP candidate from South London who also who got 26) as the poorest performing nationalists this year, nationalism cannot stand any more damage done and the damage done by this kind of a vote is very real. I'm sure the NF will do better next time but I say again the damage is done.
The fault is not Steve Smiths, while he was interim Chairman of the England First Party, he fought a much better campaign and united practically all the white voters in Burnley's majority Pakistani Ward of Daneshouse with Stoneyholme, we know that Steven is capable of better than this.
At this point I should point out that the BNP campaign for Trinity was not much better, they went from one extreme to the other, while I confess I haven't read their literature I am told it was just the type of shameless, locally-relevant, brand-promotion we are used to in the modern, "caring and compassionate" BNP. Sorry that won't get you your lost votes back either. .
Warm, fuzzy leaflets BNP leaflets promoting the BNP leadership containing nothing at all relevant to Burnley people still pulled in over three times the vote that the NF's much more intensive campaign did though. In my town, which has no history of successful nationalism I obtained a good 8.5% of the vote (253 votes) and believe me I have a lot of lesbians, yuppies and Muslim vote to overcome, plus a tarnished name. I find that is achievable because I;
1. I design quality, aesthetically-appealing literature.
2. Propagate a message that is both hard-hitting and dealing with relevant issues.
3. Have high profile in the town, regularly attend Town Council meetings and locals know who I am.
4. A reputation for sticking with my goals and giving local senior-establishment apparatchiks a headache.24 / 7.
I am fighting a Town Council by-election on October 25th, and it is my intention, as an Independent, to show my former and current friends throughout East Lancashire and the Calder Valley that there is a better way to do things. And if I get 26 votes I will be ready to stand corrected and take it all back.