THE election of a far-right neo-Nazi to an Aberdeen community council should be of concern to us all.

Not because it is the start of a trend. But because it shows what happens when we take our votes for granted.

Very few us have ever bothered to vote in a local community council election.

Yet the people elected to these positions have access to taxpayers' money and can make powerful decisions affecting local communities.

And yet most of the time community councils are so desperate for locals to be involved that they don’t need elections. People just turn up and find themselves co-opted.

Despite the best efforts of people in Garthdee and anti-fascist campaigners, 18 people voted for the leader of the National Front to be on the community council. It may not be many but it means he has a platform to share his horrific racist, homophobic, misogynistic views. He can now take decisions which affect people in his community. And those decisions will, unashamedly, be based on skin colour.

This is a dangerous time. The world is changing. We see the largest displacement of people in Europe since the Second World War. The sheer number of refugees looking for help or hope over the next few years is going to be intense. People are scared, fearful of change and of difference. Scared of being compassionate.

The National Front and other right-wing groups will try to exploit that fear. We must stand strong and stand up to those bullies and say no.

National Front leader Dave MacDonald is elected to Aberdeen community council