The European Election on Thursday could change British politics for the next 50 years. For the first time, the farright BNP has a real chance of electing its candidates - including leader Nick Griffin - to power in Europe. This worries me in many ways.
As a human being, believing that people of all races and backgrounds are equal. As a Briton, enjoying our rich and diverse country. As a mother, wondering what future my children will grow up in. And as a woman, because the BNP isn't just a racist, homophobic, xenophobic party, it's a sexist party too. Whatever they pretend, they just aren't a normal party.
So, where other parties and politicians might have some mildly suspect views on women, their attitude is straight out of the dark ages. As politicians of all parties seek difficult solutions to the current economic crisis, Richard Barnbrook, BNP member on the London Assembly and the [creepy and fake] Rev. Robert West, the BNP lead candidate in the East Midlands for the European Elections, said on BBC1 in February, that the answer to the recession was for women to work at home.
London BNP organiser Nick Eriksen was even more blatant: "For a woman to consider a job or career more important than having children is, quite literally, unnatural," he wrote. "Instead of complaining that nature prevents women from having successful careers women should embrace the career nature has ascribed to them - motherhood." Meanwhile, his views on rape, aired on his blog, are utterly abhorrent.
Eriksen actually believes that rape is like force-feeding women chocolate. He wrote: 'Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal. To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that force feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence."
When his comments were exposed, the BNP was forced to withdraw Eriksen as a candidate for the London Mayoral elections. You barely have to scratch the surface of the BNP's own website to find examples of the way they feel as a party about women. And it's not just the men in the party.
On a recent documentary about BNP wives, Suzy Cass, the wife of the party's former manager Nick Cass, told how she was instructed by her husband to insist on a White European midwife when giving birth to their children.
As a mother, I found this perhaps the saddest statement of all. The BNP is now targeting women worried about feeding their families in the economic crisis, and that's why I believe it's time to air some of their views on women as well as their better known views on race. I urge women and men, black and white, to reject this party at the next - and every - election. We need to send the message that however worried or desperate we feel about the recession, we won't turn on our neighbours. As proud British people, we are so much greater than that.They are from the dark ages.
Fiona Phillips: Mirror