Harold Parker, the very well regarded Labour councillor for Fishwick ward, has resigned due to ill health. It is very likely the resulting by-election will be held on October 1st.
Preston LibDems have selected Luke Bosman, who I trust will be a fantastic candidate, especially as the Preston Labour party continue to amaze with their lack of action and plunging support.
However one shadow over this by-election, in a ward where Labour taking voters for granted shows wherever you turn, is the threat of the far-right. The maverick England First Party are one threat, the British National Party another. Sources tell me the BNP have relaunched in Preston only last month pre-empting a new attack on the city. This is a sad development.
Clearly anything which can be done must to ensure the end of the BNP threat in Preston. Fishwick is the kind of ward where their slogans can often seem attractive against the “mainstream”, but any close inspection of their policies soon shows their real colours. The ugly prejudice of the BNP runs against everything which makes Preston the exiting and vibrant place it is. A recent Love Music Hate Racism event attracted hundreds of people to a night of dancing and uniting against the empty ignorance of the British National Party and their tired rhetoric.
Nick Griffin has barely been on the news since his shameful victory in the European Elections. I say “victory”, but it was only with 8% of the vote, a laughable score from a joke party.
For the next month all resources should be spent on showing the best policies for the people in a troubled ward. The BNP can only talk in negatives and attacks. Their presence in Preston is an irritation but can be removed.