By Marcus Dysch
May 28, 2009
I’ve never liked Rotherham.
It was my first 'patch' as a trainee reporter in south Yorkshire. On the first day I was pounding the streets in search of news stories when a driver decided to purposely speed through a sizeable puddle at the side of the road, thus drenching me.
Also, on the first day of the 1998/99 season I travelled to the town to see Hull City take on Rotherham. It was the start of Mark Hateley’s second season as Hull manager. He’d been built up as the saviour, the ex-England striker who would fire us up the Football League. This was going to be our year.
We lost 3-1 and he was out of a job by November. City were left adrift at the bottom of the bottom division. Had I known then that ten years later we’d be in the Premier League, I’d have laughed in your face. How times change.
What doesn’t change is the BNP.
Nick Griffin and his cronies may well have worked hard to change people’s perceptions of the party, but what he can’t do is erase its past.
Hence we discover today the grim reality of what a vote for the Yorkshire and Humber candidate in next week’s election will mean.
Representing you in Europe could be a woman who thinks the Holocaust was a good thing because the Nazis helped us learn about dentistry and plastic surgery.
If it wasn’t so truly frightening it could almost be amusing. It’s easy to sit around in central London, paying £4 for a cup of coffee and laughing at "those silly people up North". Or forgetting to vote in Barnet and Hertfordshire because the rising BNP support in east London is "miles away".
But beware, next Thursday these people, the likes of Griffin and Marlene Guest, will get their voters out, they will win a few seats here and there, everyone will tut and move on. Then at the next election they will do the same. And a few years down the line, where will we be?
There are only two ways to tackle them – the first is to go to the ballot box and vote for someone else, the second is to show them up - like Guest - for what they really are.