What always amazes me a few months before any election, since New Labour took office anyway, is their level of paranoia about the minority, extremist British National Party (BNP).
This time it's Harriet Harperson gobbing off and giving them priceless free publicity. In this report she claims that the BNP, with no MPs and barely 100 local councillors, is a threat to Labour at the European elections on June 4th.
The other strange thing is that Labour usually trundle one of their wimmin out to make these paranoid statements about the BNP. Why is that? Surely even Labour diehards find Hodge, Blears and company highly patronising and totally lacking any level of sincerity or gravitas.
In my opinion what they are trying to do is to scare the Labour voter, the one thinking of abstaining in protest at what the government has done since 1997 in the name of the Labour Party. Switch that old class warrior button on, the old war against fascists, and like Stepford Reds they'll all come out to support the Labour cause. It may also cause those voters thinking of kicking the big three by voting for a smaller party to think again, they don't want to allow extremists in unintentionally.
My view is that what these Labour scares actually do is give the BNP priceless publicity and make a sizeable chunk of thoroughly decent people think: "Well I may dislike them but it's obviously the way to kick the establishment where it hurts". After all, anybody with a brain knows that the elections on June 4th are of no real consequence, they certainly won't put the BNP into power.
For my part I will be abstaining on June 4th as I have every Euro election except 2004. Then I foolishly believed that UKIP would gain a high profile and the resources to make an impact in Westminster elections by getting MEPs.
How terribly wrong I was. Those who believe in withdrawal from the EU do not further the cause by voting in EU elections. All they do is put supposed opponents onto the EU gravy train who then proceed to achieve absolutely nothing.