Many people believe last week’s Question Time debate was a fiasco. It was. When will the inept, self-serving, political class wake up and smell the coffee? The BNP gained close to a million votes in June so Nick Griffin had as much right to appear on Question Time as the elected Chris Huhne and Jack Straw. I wrote a piece, “Why it is perfectly rational for the ignored white working class to vote BNP”, for this site back in July 2008, a year before the BNP’s success in the European elections. Did anyone in the political establishment listen? No. It is little wonder then that the BNP gained the support it did.
When I was pounding the streets of Watford, hardly one of the most salubrious constituencies in the land, at the last general election, I encountered resentment from working class whites. They felt powerless and ignored and were angry. That sentiment manifested itself in the election in June this year of a BNP candidate in South Oxhey, just outside Watford, to Hertfordshire County Council.The Economist newspaper this week highlights that poor working class whites perform worse than any other ethnic group at GCSE. Hardly the basis of a bright future. On top of that, there is tension over the lack of council housing available with 24% of whites feeling that their ethnicity holds them back, up from only 15% who felt this way in 2001. They also feel less able than any other group to influence decision-making both locally and nationally. That is hardly a surprise. In a decade where ethnicity has been foolishly focused on by policymakers as the primary source of an individual’s identity, people confer benefits and special treatment from the state by emphasising their difference. Against that backdrop one is justified in asking - who in Parliament speaks for the white working class?