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A tale of two Griffins

If the voting pattern of the past two Euro elections is repeated this year, the BNP is in with a good chance of winning a seat, says Larry Neild

Published on April 29th 2009.

A tale of two Griffins

ACCORDING to my Collins Dictionary, a griffin is a winged monster with an eagle-like head and the body of a lion.

And in the coming weeks in Liverpool we will see the start of a very public clash between two mighty Griffins, battling it out for the prize of a seat in the European Parliament.

In one of those twists of coincidence, it seems BNP leader Nick Griffin is currently head-to-head for one of the North West’s eight seats with a one-time Liverpool city councillor, Labour’s Theresa Griffin. Of course they are not related.

It means there’s a stronger-than-ever possibility that we will be represented in Brussels by the British National Party. Some commentators are predicting the BNP will gather quite a handful of the 72 UK seats up for grabs this June when the country goes to the polls.

MEPs are elected on a system of proportional representation, with winners chosen based on the percentage of votes won in the election.

So when we go to the voting stations, we place our cross against a particular party, or, in the case of independents, against their names. The main parties, including the BNP, will each list eight candidates. Nick Griffin tops the BNP

slate, so if they win enough votes for one seat, he will pack his bags and head for Belgium.

Currently, Labour has three MEPs, with their list headed by Arlene McCarthy. In 2004 there were nine North West MEPs elected, but because of the enlarged EU community we will lose one seat this year. That means the percentage of votes needed by Labour to hang on to its three places will be higher – and that fact could open the door to the BNP.

Theresa Griffin is third on Labour’s slate, which means she could miss out if the BNP increases its share.

Looking at the statistics, that will not be such a mountain to climb for Nick Griffin, the Cambridge law graduate who brought up his family in Wirral.In 1999, the BNP won 1.34 percent of the North West votes, trailing behind the Liberals, Greens and UKIP. The 10 seats were shared out between the Conservatives (five seats), Labour (four) and Lib Dems (one).

In 2004, with nine seats available, Labour and the Conservatives won three each, the Lib Dems two and UKIP one. Trailing in fifth place was UKIP who by then had overtaken the other real challengers - the Greens and the minority Liberal Party. Across the North West the BNP polled 135,000 votes.

If the voting pattern of the past two Euro elections is applied to this year, the BNP is in with a good chance of winning a seat. Two factors will help the BNP – the increasing unpopularity of Labour, with voters wanting to send a message to Gordon Brown, and growing concerns about immigration issues.

A third issue could harm Labour: voter apathy. Surveys show more voters in the UK (30 percent) than in any other EU state aim to stay away from the polling stations. Turnout in the North West in 2004 was 41percent.

So should the North West be alarmed at the prospect of a BNP representative in the European Parliament? Well, whether we like it or not, the BNP remains a legitimate political party and an internet search will reveal strong feelings against and for the organisation

But come June 4 it is the people of this region who will decide, and the big parties can do no more than hope they are not deserted on that day.

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41 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

I have been made redundant twice in the last 6 months. Every single bill i pay has gone up, every single tax i pay has gone up........ i would love to champion Labour but feel massively let down by the so called 'peoples party'. Negative Equity, rising unemployment, schools, libraries and Leisure centres closing down all around me - it's not looking too good is it? What and where are MY choices?

VoterApril 28th 2009.

Even if you detest the EU you can't ignore the difference it has made to Liverpool and Merseyside. As much as I'd love to give Gordon Brown and his crew a bit of a wake-up call, the reality is that even they are much, much better than the thought of the BNP representing us in Brussels. So I'll be voting Labour and I hope people will turn out on the day to show the BNP there's no place for them in the North West. We all need to spread the word to stop the BNP. Thanks to LC and Larry for pointing all of this out to us.

PhilApril 28th 2009.

There is only one moderate political party that is putting the Britain and the British people`s interests first and that is UKIP.Labour,Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have sold us out to the EU which costs the British tax payers £40 MILLION Pounds EVERY DAY. And over 75% of our laws are dictated by Brussels.UKIP are fighting to restore our freedoms and indepence as well as control of our borders and immigration. Say No to the EU and vote UKIP on June 4th

AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

Ebenezer, firstly, i would rather eat my own eyes with chilli sauce than vote BNP, and secondly, i dont own my own home. i have been unable to get on the property ladder despite saving for 10 years, i dont use a private gym, i go to Europa in Birkenhead, i get the bus to work everyday because of the crazy amount it costs to park in Liverpool on a daily basis........ so what has Labour done for me?

Editorial PS:April 28th 2009.

this of course should be the paragraph end and start html tags, which of course don't show up. But you get the drift? Now, where were we?

use your voteApril 28th 2009.

A high turnout is likely to ensure the Bnp do not get a seat; so use your vote. However tactical anti racist voting will also keep them out. Relying on the red, yellow and blue parties to produce the right combination of votes to keep out the bnp is like rolling three dice and hoping for a double six. But if the bnp finish fifth instead of fourth then it really does make it far more likely that Nicholas Griffin will NOT be elected to the euro parliament. Go to http://www.stopnickgriffin.org.uk for more info.

AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

Another Labour donkey ready to be herded into the polling Station to vote Labour. there are other alternatives to Labour and the BNP. In fact this Labour government have done more for the growth of the BNP than any other party, with the sleaze,back handers,employing boyfriends,girlfriends,wives kids et al on the payroll. The large amount of Political Correctness that this bloody government have brought in which means,Christmas is a thing of the past. This labour government deseves to be kicked out lock stock and barrel. They have done F A for this City with exceptions to Loiuse,Bob Waring,and Peter Kilfoyle the rest are a waste of Space,and did not Jame have her snout in the trough over paying BF to be on her staff

Chris PaulApril 28th 2009.

Did you actually check the order the seats were won last time before writing this Larry? It cuts both ways. For BNP supporters and possible dabblers this story suggests a real prospect of victory for these Nazi-alike race-led fascists. I presume that is not the intention? And for all who are against them it is of course a call to get the vote out for any and all parties - particularly Labour and (ugh) Tory. But AFAIK Labour's third seat was not either the 8th or 9th to be allocated, AND had there been a 10th seat that too would have gone to Labour ahead of the BNP. They would have probably got the 11th seat. So if it's the same as last time they will miss getting a seat by even more. Turnout is key. We should be trying to crush them not just pip them for the 8th seat. IMO. No near misses. Crush them.

Common senseApril 28th 2009.

Makes me proud to come from the North today, this. Where's my passport?

Not as Anon as SomeApril 28th 2009.

In reply to the last 'Anon': the saying goes:'If you've half a mind to vote BNP, go ahead, it's all you need.'Not so much a party of conviction, the BNP is a party of criminal convictions (commonly for GBH and other charming antics). How many does your candidate have?As for UKIP, why were they in discussions with the BNP recently if they are the 'patriotic' non-fascist alternative?

DigApril 28th 2009.

Oh crap.

Tony J.April 28th 2009.

It is impossible to engage in debate about ~BNP without fear of spineless censorship.The reality is this; BNP represent a real and growing groundswell of opinion. They are voicing the fears and concerns of ordinary working people. These are inarticulate people without a media platform who have become sick of political correctness.It is about time that we admit the education system is flawed; degrees are worthless when anyone can pass them.The health service is creaking because our angelic nurses are starving on a fraction of American wages.Our soldiers are continually abandoned to police actions in support of corporate greed.Immigration is out of control as we accept the sick, criminal and deported elements of our laughing european neighbours.The news is full of murders of policemen, pensioners and children (often the victims of pampered paedophile monsters). Capital punishment is more than ever necessary to prevent a slide into chaos.What is wrong with saying NO MORE.What is wrong with a change of opinion?The first politician that acknowledges the real heartfelt concerns of the silent majority will sweep into power.

Fat CatApril 28th 2009.

And they all lived happily ever after. (thanks)

0151omskiApril 28th 2009.

Noone has mentioned the Hope Not Hate campaign yet. Take a look online at: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/ There's a day of action planned for 16 May with both Liverpool and Manchester being centres for the campaign in the region. I'll be doing my bit along with my partner and kids as it makes my skin crawl knowing that two houses in our road displayed BNP posters during the local elections. I always remember the poem that used to be on the wall of the Trade Union Centre on Hardman Street about when they came for the Jews i said nothing, when they came for the gypsies, the Jehovah's Witnesses etc etc and when they came for me there was noone left to speak. Doing nothing is not an option. Get out there and make sure as many people as possible vote. If the turnout from the last European election is anything to go by - 13% in Liverpool - then the BNP will only need 90,000 votes to get a seat.

Stanley StreetApril 28th 2009.

And why can't we type in paragraphs any more? I see that some people are getting preferential treatment...

AngieApril 28th 2009.

Email me, Stanley Street, and I'll be able to tell you a bit more clearly.

AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

I agree with the ranter above what have Lab done for us errrrrrrrr. Oh lined their pockets with alloances that u me and everyone else has to pay for. and the one eyed monster in Downing st is to blame he was Chancellor for 10 years,and he aloud the greedy money people to run amock without raining them in

DigApril 28th 2009.

You forgot to finish with 'and they all lived happily ever after'.

George DragonApril 28th 2009.

Why do we collaborate with the BNP by accepting the name of their leader as 'Nick' Griffin? It sounds far too friendly. I prefer to keep him at arms length as 'Nicholas' Griffin.

Fascist Scum was a great recordApril 28th 2009.

The last anonymous is just the kind of fodder whith his/her tales of banning Christmas, that the BNP love. A total pawn.

EuropeanApril 28th 2009.

Oh please, I've seen some of the statements UKIP MEPs have made in Parliament, they make me ashamed to be British.

The world's a funny placeApril 28th 2009.

Yes, but will the people actively see the BNP as a threat, or do they swallow all the honeyed bull****? You would be surprised how many ordinary people would rather vote to throw a Polish person out of the country than fight for their freedoms.

east lancsApril 28th 2009.

I wasn't actually promoting UKIP; I think they're pretty useless. Just saying that if you wanted to register a "protest vote", then please use a non-fascist party :o)

Stanley StreetApril 28th 2009.

The reason there is such a low turnout in European elections here is because our U.S.-obsessed media barely bothers to even mention what is in fact a rather important event in which we Britons have VOTES that COUNT. Even the B.B.C., our state-funded “public service” broadcaster prefers to masturbate itself into a frenzy over irrelevant foreign elections (i.e., the months of hysterical coverage of every U.S. election) in which we Britons have no vote, rather than give appropriate coverage to OUR ballot to elect OUR M.E.P.s to run a world economic power with more than TWICE the population of the U.S. If for no other reason than to keep the B.N.P. Fascists and the U.K.I.P. lunatics out of power, VOTE! (Preferably for the Labour M.E.P.s who have shown their worth in office.)

AnonandonymousApril 28th 2009.

Teresa looks hot. The other one looks bothered. More seriously, this issue will probably get me to the polling station where in the past I've felt that all the candidates were too similar to vote for one or other of them.

Liverpool WagApril 28th 2009.

What an excellent read, Fat Cat.

AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

All these comments from other party supporters and the rants of the far left telling us who we shouldn't be voting for......for that reason alone i shall be voting BNP for the first time........perhaps it's time the people of this country had a real voice in europe instead of the corrupt bunch of gravy trainers we have now.

Stanley StreetApril 28th 2009.

Been reading the Daily Mail or the Express then, Tony J.? No wonder you are angry if you believe all that!Our nurses don't get what you call "American wages" because presumably we're not in America (which has 35 million-plus below the poverty line by the way). In one way you are right though, we'd all be better off under full European Terms and conditions of employment, rather than the watered-down, Tory-New-Labour version we have to put up with.

Chris FApril 28th 2009.

How any scouser can actually contemplate voting for these nazi thugs in suits disgusts me. They are nothing more than the NF in Amarni.Do yourselves and kids a favour and vote for the party that will keep them out, vote Labour.How would it look to the rest of Europe if our area is represented by a racist bigot.Liverpool will a facist MEP....what has the world come to??

Manny ParsellApril 28th 2009.

A BNP presence within local politics is to be welcomed.They campaign on specific local issues to ensure a high turnout and for this reason are able to encourage debate and mobilise interest amongst youngsters who are disaffected by their parents laziness.We do need the BNP - not because it is moderate, left wing, and liberal, but precisely the opposite.Good government only functions well in the face of radical oppostition.BNP are the only radical party in existence.

UKIP SwindonApril 28th 2009.

European says..“ Oh please, I've seen some of the statements UKIP MEPs have made in Parliament, they make me ashamed to be British.”You clearly are already given your posting name. UKIP are the only moderate main stream party who are offering what 55% of UK citizens want and that is to be out of the EU. Given the BNP's links with European Neo-Nazi groups their claims about Britain being for Britain's seems somewhat at odds with reality.Vote UKIP for a free, democratic Britain.

The True AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

UKIP = Xenophobic nutcases with no grasp of reality

RachmanApril 28th 2009.

Ha ha! You used that silly expression 'housing ladder'! It is a Tory expression that was invented to create an apartheid system that drew a distinction between the haves and the have-nots, landlords and those who are worthless, second-class citizens in Tory Britain, i.e., most people. And it is the Lib Dems to blame for the parking charges in Liverpool.

Stanley StreetApril 28th 2009.

""What?"" (Is baffled) .

AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

Three cheers for Eric the Fish!

AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

Theresa and Arlene are both committed representatives of Liverpool. Arlene has worked hard to help free Michael Shields and was instrumental in helping Gary Dunne's family get his body back from Spain to be buried in Liverpool. I know who I will be voting for.

EbenezerApril 28th 2009.

Your choices, anonymous, have already been used, anon, in that you own a house and a car probably and maybe have a credit card and a nice life, otherwise you wouldn't even be talking about negative equity. That is the payback for the capitalist system that you have bought into. That was your free market choice.

StryderApril 28th 2009.

My late granddad was involved in the marches against Mosley's Brown Shirted fascism in the streets of Liverpool. Although we have no wish for riots on the streets, we can defend the communities of Liverpool in the ballot box and throw out the likes of BNP, UKIP and other fascist groups. (just a bloody shame the Labour party messed up so badly!)

AnonymousApril 28th 2009.

UKIP are a joke - protesting about Europe and the apparent 'waste of money' whilst soaking up expenses and wages from being MEPs. The EU has done fantastic things for this country and if we didn't have such a euro-sceptic media who focused on the stupid stuff, people would realise that.

EditorialApril 28th 2009.

Ah, Stanley Street, the technical people changed it so that now you have to end your paragraph with a "" (no quote marks) and then start the next one with a "". Works a treat (in theory)

DigApril 28th 2009.

Stanley Street.""""It works a treat.

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