La Vie En Rose for 2009 June 8 (entry 0)

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[Comments] (3) Immigrant/expat, what's the difference?: The big news is the BNP, a crazy rightwing party, has managed to swing two seats in the recent european parliamentary election. I picked up a BNP pamphlet the other day when I got off the overground at Kew, because I was so surprised to see someone had stuck it in with a lot of TFL brochures, and I was curious to see what it says. Then I began to fear what people would think of me if they saw me reading it. The irony is I'm actually an immigrant myself -- could I ever oppose immigration? A lot of it is not so bad -- protecting the environment, etc. Then there is the "We're not racist, but..." yes, actually, you are.

Labour is at an all time low, and while it's very upsetting to think of the idea of a conservative government, especially as they'll likely end up changing immigration laws, part of me feels they should give up the ghost. I don't know who I'd vote for, but the possibilities of a multi-party system (unlike what we have in the US) are appealing and I quite like the idea of more leftist parties, such as the Greens or the Lib Dems, coming into power even if it's part of a coalition with Labour. But then again it doesn't matter how I'd vote -- I'm just an immigrant.


Posted by stacy at Mon Jun 08 2009 18:21

what is most disappointing is that Labour voters voted for the BNP. That's a true low.

Posted by rachel at Mon Jun 08 2009 19:54

what disgusts me about the BNP is the racist, anti-immigrant ideology which I find equally repulsive in both liberal and conservative voters

Posted by seb at Mon Jun 08 2009 20:52

Immigration is a tough one in a recession - you'll have a hard time trying to convince people in a region with close to 15% unemployment that cheap foreign labour flooding the market is a good thing. UKIP did pretty well on the back of this sentiment, and that's going to have far-reaching consequences for the UK's Europe policies.

There's a lot of talk over here about electoral reform right now, and the possibility of bringing in a proportional representation voting system for the UK. In many ways this would allow the smaller parties to flourish, but at the expense of Labour, who enjoy a substantial majority due to our first-past-the-post system. Given how PR has worked out this weekend, it unfortunately seems less palatable now.

Whatever happens, the BNP's wins are shocking and repulsive to many, and likely to provoke a substantial period of activity and activism to ensure that they never get to repeat this result.

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