Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Voting BNP makes you go bald, says Cameron

Well, he hasn't quite gone that far yet. But the latest Tory attempt to prevent people voting BNP is almost as bizarre. Apparently, if you vote BNP, the price of your house will automatically fall:
Voters in the South-East were today warned that electing the BNP could cost them thousands of pounds in depressed house prices.

Tory activists have decided to use property costs against the far-Right party ahead of tomorrow's local elections.

In one leaflet, the Conservatives claim that voting BNP "could cost you £17,000" because areas that have backed the party in large numbers have seen their house prices hit hard.

Any figures for what happens to house prices in an area flooded with immigrants?

Tories claim that once an area has the "taint" of the British National Party, its reputation suffers.

A leaflet distributed in Broxbourne, Herts, warns of the financial penalty.

Broxbourne was the first place in the South-East outside London to elect a BNP councillor when Ramon Johns won in the traditionally Tory seat in Rosedale ward in 2003.

The leaflet claims that Barking, which elected 12 BNP councillors last year, saw homes rise by 1.2 per cent compared with the London average of 9.1 per cent.

It says the difference meant Barking homeowners lost out on an average £17,000 over the past year.

In 2005, the year before the BNP got elected, Barking homes increased with the London average.

Of course, even Tories should know that correlation does not prove causation. As an example, I recall reading somewhere (sadly I can't remember where) that the level of alcoholism in Scotland had risen in direct proportion to the increase in the number of Presbyterian ministers. This does not, however, prove that Presbyterian ministers cause alcoholism. There were other factors, unrelated to the ministers, that were responsible for the increase in alcoholism. Equally, it is unclear what factors have had an impact on house prices in Barking. One doubts that the Tories have undertaken in-depth research into the matter.

In any event, telling people that their houses will lose value has to rank as one of the stupidest arguments on record. Presumably the Cameron Tories are so weak on the issues that really matter to people that they have to resort to something that sounds like a Private Eye parody of a Daily Mail headline. Indeed, the whole argument reminds me of a Steve Bell cartoon in The Guardian before the 1992 election, which depicted a Tory holding a gun in one hand and a puppy in the other, and telling voters, "If Labour win, I will personally shoot this cute little puppy in the head". Proof, if any was needed, that Cameron's little acolytes have now descended completely into farce.

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