the Disillusioned kid: Kilroy Takes The Anti-War Vote!
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Monday, June 21, 2004

Kilroy Takes The Anti-War Vote!

A lot of guff has been written about the elections which took place on June 10. The key factor in this, we are told by some commentators on the left, was the anti-war vote in protest against Blair's fiasco in Iraq. A cold, hard look at the facts suggests a less rosy picture. George Galloway's Respect Coalition are clearly very excited by having polled 252,216 votes in the European Parliamentary Elections, however the British National Party (BNP) polled 808,200, more than three times as many. Alongside this we must remember the huge vote (2,650,768) for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) - led by Robert Kilroy-Silk, whose TV show was axed after he made anti-Arab remarks - which forced the Lib-Dems, who were at least rhetorically opposed to the war, into fourth place. All of this seems a strange way to express one's opposition to the war.

Shortly after the elections I wrote a post in which I pondered whether talk of an anti-war vote was exaggerated, although I didn't really express a firm opinion on the matter. On reflection, what we appear to have seen is a vote against the establishment, a sentiment which expressed itself in various manifestations, some progressive, some not, some overtly reactionary. The best analysis of the election I have seen is this article by the ever incisive (if controversial) Red Action. Taking in the rise of the BNP, the emergence of UKIP as a major force, the collapse of the mainstream parties, the ideology underlying Respect and the victories achieved (in local rather than European elections) by the Independent Working Class Association (IWCA) they conclude that
Britain's political landscape is changing. The two parties that have alternately formed the government since the 1920's are visibly decomposing. The centre cannot hold. Appropriately it is the [BNP and the IWCA] who in their own small ways are helping change the landscape who are likely to be the beneficiaries of the collapse of the consensual centre. So for the first time in 80 years it is game on - with again literally everything to play for.
If they're right then the next few years are going to be interesting to say the least.

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