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April 11, 2008

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Damian Hockney AM

The biggest problem with all the media coverage of the BNP remains the fact that it actually helps build the party's brand. When a politician like the Mayor, elected by less than 20% of the electorate (even including first and second preferences) tells the other 80% not to vote for someone...then the voters are very likely to give that person a second look, where otherwise they might not have. It might even be the deciding factor for some of the Anyone But Ken brigade. There's another worry: if you look at the London paper, the Evening Standard, then the only real coverage of the 'minor' parties fighting to be elected is personalised attacks on the BNP. Although interesting, today's full page treatment of the BNP candidate list also lacks any critique of policy, as do previous attacks. What other 'minor' party could get just under a full page for its candidates in today's edition? Left List? UKIP? English Democrats? It says little for commitment to diversity or alternative voices that the only coverage of the minor parties is negative personalised publicity about the BNP. Is that the only time they are worth mentioning?

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