Great advert for the BNP
Labour's lost ground
"Stoke-on-Trent used to be a Labour stronghold, but now it has nine BNP councillors. Some fear that the far-right party could be running the town hall by 2011. Patrick Barkham reports on how the left is losing the battle for white working-class votes"
"The men and women of the BNP look like your neighbours," says Michael Tappin, the former Labour group leader and ex-Stoke MEP who lost his council seat on May 1. "They are not the mythical 25st men with body-piercings and tattoos as portrayed by antifascist demonstrators. They are respectable. It's impossible to demonise them. They wear suits, they look tidy." As Tappin says, they pick up old ladies when they fall over in the street, shop for the elderly and cut people's lawns."