According to a post on Nottingham Indymedia, the anti-mayor campaign currently being run by the Labour Party in Nottingham has sunk to a new low.
A leaflet (found in the street outside a mosque) claims, “The Racist BNP & EDL want a £1M Extra Mayor. That’s the only way they can win in Nottingham.” This is desperate stuff on Labour’s part.
While it is true that the BNP have expressed support for elected mayors and will presumably stand somebody in the unlikely event that the city votes in favour of a mayor in the May 3rd referendum, they are unlikely to win anything more than a handful of votes. As “Weasel Hunter” points out, “They polled at around 3% of the vote in the ward where they stood in Nottingham last year.” The EDL meanwhile are not a political party (despite the aspirations of some members) so their opinion on elected mayors (if they have one) is of no consequence.
That Nottingham Labour is now using the threat of the far-right to further their political agendas is particularly ironic given that when the EDL came to town in December 2009, council leader Jon Collins encouraged people not to join the counter-protest. Fortunately he was widely ignored.
This sort of cynical exploitation of anti-fascism by politicians, seeking to protect their power, can only serve to discredit serious anti-fascism – presenting it as a conservative force, defending the status quo – and needs to be condemned in the strongest terms.