A British election report from Wife In The North. She tackles the anti-immigrant British National Party in her local town:
Out and about with the children, we stumbled upon a BNP stall. You have to go to Berwick to realise how unlikely this is. It is England's most northerly town - it has got encircling Elizabethan walls, historic barracks, and its population is white, white, white. I was so astonished to see the BNP, I felt obliged to ask the candidate how come the party have a presence when immigration is not an issue in Berwick. Silly me.
The nice man explained it's not just about immigration. OK I said. But what is the proportion of ethnic minorities in Berwick. The nice man said he didn't know. (I'm guessing so small as to be statistically insignificant.) I looked down the Berwick street heaving with shoppers and made the point I could not see a black or Asian face. A BNP lady informed me that some people might be looking at the national picture, not just the picture in Berwick. (As a matter of interest, she didn't seem to take to me at all for some reason.)
The BNP candidate, however, was just glad to talk to someone. Nice chap. Publican. Three pubs. Employs a Muslim and two black people. There's white immigration too he told me. Really? I said. What was he thinking about there? Polish people. And the Portuguese. Portuguese? I had this vision of a Berwick positively overrun with Portuguese immigrants. (I'm sure he said they came over for jobs in salmon farming, but my husband said that wouldn't make sense so I probably misheard him.)