Disgust with MP expenses could help the BNP
People are understandably disillusioned with politicians from all the main parties as they learn how some have played the expenses system.
It would be only natural to say a plague on all their houses and make a protest by refusing to vote in the forthcoming elections. Norman Tebbit has come very close to saying this.
But this would be a big mistake. Refusing to vote will not stop a single councillor or MEP getting elected. Instead it will simply make it much more likely that extremists – particularly those peddling race hate and intolerance – will be elected. This is a particular danger in the Euro-elections where the proportional system allows people to get elected on a relatively small share of the vote.
Mainstream politicians now know that the system has to change. Sending racists to the European Parliament will do nothing to reform the Commons.
We have a problem in our democracy, but the problem has to be solved by more democracy, not by electing extremists.