An election was held on July 20th for the Loatland ward of Desborough town council, in Kettering borough, and was contested by two nationalist candidates; Kevin Sills of the English Democrats polled 14.2% and came third, beating the BNP’s Clive Skinner who polled 6%. Both beat the Libdems, who came last in yet another dismal local election for them.
This is an interesting result, with nationalist parties grabbing a fifth of the vote between them, and the BNP getting beaten convincingly by new-kids-on-the-right the English Democrats. This result will encourage the ED, who are attempting to establish themselves as a specifically english nationalist party, occupying political terrain somewhere between the tories and the BNP.
They do not qualify as a fascist party, although they are firmly of the right, with attacks on “political correctness” and a tough anti-immigration attitude, for instance. It is important to note that their activist base contains a large proportion of ex-BNP members, with some claiming that 43% of their candidates in May’s local elections were recent BNP defectors. The party certainly seems a comfortable home for rats who have jumped the BNP’s leaky old ship, and it seems inevitable that this fact will shape the political development of the ED.
Desborough man Kevin Sills is not a recent BNP defector; however, he is certainly no stranger to fascist parties, having previously been a member of the National Democrats and the Freedom Party (not to be confused with the EDL-linked BNP breakaway British Freedom!) and, allegedly, the National Front, all three of which are now defunct. Sills has also stood in local elections as an independent.
Sills is a good example of the sort of candidate the English Democrats seem to attract – a veteran fascist still searching for a credible political home in which to make electoral advances. We remain very sceptical that such people have truly renounced the far-right politics where they cut their teeth, and will continue to monitor the ED, especially where they are performing strongly in parts of the region.