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July 20th 2009 print

Hal G.P. Colebatch

British elections

There has not been a great deal in the local media about the recent British local government and European Parliament elections, apart from the fact that the BNP got two seats in Brussels (with nearly a million votes), but there were some interesting aspects to them.

There has not been a great deal in the local media about the recent British local government and European Parliament elections, apart from the fact that the BNP got two seats in Brussels (with nearly a million votes), but there were some interesting aspects to them. 

Remarkably for a governing party, the Labour Party managed 15% of the vote (just over twice what the BNP got). Added to the fact that it has an unelected Prime Minister, and the most powerful man in the government, Peter Mandelson, was put in the Cabinet via elevation to the House of Lords without having to win a Parliamentary seat at all, that adds up to a mandate probably unprecedented since Britain emerged as a modern democracy.

Another interesting point was the fate of one would-be Labour councillor, Elaina Cohen, who wished to stand for a Birmingham ward. She claims a fellow Labour councillor and former Lord Mayor, Mahmood Hussain, said he would not support her application because “because you are too white and Jewish.” Mrs Cohen has made an official complaint.