Stephen Curry, who has announced his candidacy in East Barnet for the council elections, is the BNP's deputy London organiser. He has stood before in Barnet, in the by-election in Hale ward in May 2008. He got 213 votes, which doesn't sound much, but was 3.8% of the total turnout. As well as standing for Barnet council, he will be one of the BNP's 32 London parliamentary candidates, standing in the Westminster North seat.
From comments he makes on the BNP's London website, we can't be sure whether he will concentrate his personal canvassing efforts in Barnet or in Westminster North. But I think it's clear that the BNP would like to use the council election to recruit in our area. What could make Curry think that East Barnet is a good option? Perhaps stories like this, reported in the Times series, indicate a seam of racism in the area that the BNP would hope to mine:
The teenage ringleader of a gang which terrorised traders on the Dollis Valley Estate has been jailed.Standing in Hale ward in the past made a certain sort of sense as well, when you consider where Curry lives: Kingsbury Road. In Brent, a BNP candidate is standing in Fryent ward. This is right next door to the area Curry comes from. I imagine the BNP dreams of building a small base in this area, where Barnet, Brent and Harrow meet, which is pretty run-down.
Phillip Joy-Friel, 18, of Dollis Valley Drive was jailed for 18 weeks after admitting a string of offences at Hendon Magistrates Court.
...Dee Rajhwani, who manages a shop in High Barnet lived close to the bully and said he suffered regular racist insults and threatening behaviour by him.
I've spent the afternoon preparing a briefing for Barnet trades council on this. We will be campaigning against the BNP in the next few weeks, and also promoting our positive values of defending and extending public services, defending and creating jobs, and building homes. It is when services and jobs are under attack, and decent homes are scarce that the likes of the BNP hope to grow fastest, as they scapegoat immigrant populations for all our ills.