Britain needs a real conservative party -- if only to stop the BNP

I thought it would be interesting to reproduce here (and afterwards make some wise-after-the-event comments upon) an article I wrote for the Mail on Sunday six years ago, on 9th February 2003, largely based upon an interview with Nick Griffin, the BNP leader. I had also been spending some time in the Pennine towns, where the BNP was becoming active and the problem of large, unintegrated Muslim communities had recently become rather obvious. Now the BNP bandwagon has moved south, and last week scored an alarming and possibly significant victory in formerly Labour-held council seat in Swanley, roughly where Kent and Greater London meet…

I don’t at all discount suggestions that the BNP might win a seat or two in the European ‘Parliament’ elections, and I think they could appear quite prominently in a lot of local council polls. As to whether they can break into the Westminster Parliament, ask me in six months or so when we have begun to grasp just how bad the economic crisis is, and just how little the conventional parties can do about it. I’m not saying, by the way, that the BNP can do anything about it either. People will vote for it because it’s not one of the old parties, in much the same way that the chronically ill, disappointed by conventional medicine, will turn to fringe quacks at the end, on the grounds that they can’t be any worse…

What’s needed, as I say over and over again, is a party that isn’t the Tories but is genuinely conservative, neither bigoted nor politically correct. Such a party could not only give the country a chance of revival. It would be the only guaranteed democratic way to stop the BNP.