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When the fuss dies down, make sure you do your bit to keep BNP at bay

PUBLISHED: 10:17 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:57 07 September 2010

THERE IS one sure way to help the BNP reach its target of five per cent of the Assembly vote, and that is to treat them as if they were not real, like a bad dream. In terms of the bigger picture, the upshot would be that while the BNP works tirelessly to

THERE IS one sure way to help the BNP reach its target of five per cent of the Assembly vote, and that is to treat them as if they were not real, like a bad dream. In terms of the bigger picture, the upshot would be that while the BNP works tirelessly to maximise its vote in receptive areas, more enlightened people who remain apathetic in the midst of an uninspiring election campaign by the other parties, join upwards of two million Londoners who do not vote at all.

The way to ensure that the BNP is not elected is first to accept that like it or not, they are part of the political spectrum - the ballot paper is proof of that - and then be part of the high turnout that would stifle their electoral ambitions.

The need for a pro-active response has been highlighted by the main mayoral election candidates coming together to counter the BNP offensive. In doing so, Ken, Boris & Co must have seriously considered the implication of 'advertising' the BNP's involvement, but rightly decided that it was more important to acknowledge the threat they pose and spell out the need for voters to reject them at the ballot box.

The Jewish Board of Deputies appears to be taking the same approach, using the home page of its website to highlight the BNP's quest for a seat alongside a 'Your Voice or Theirs' campaign encouraging Jews to register and vote.

By all means regard the BNP as political pariahs. Like the lepers of old, ring the bell and shout 'unclean! unclean!' every time they pass. But ignoring them is tantamount to inviting them into the Assembly by the back door.

The osmosis of extremism cannot be stemmed by the burying of heads in the sand or merely by the stamping of feet in righteous indignation at their heinous policies, however understandable that form of expression might be.

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