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There's a more difficult issue here which explains the projected support for the BNP. You can improve housing, jobs, crime, community facilities in the areas where the BNP are gaining ground, but this will do nothing to tackle the other main reason why people are voting for them. They're witnessing the demographic transformation of their local areas (e.g. Barking), and by extension, their country through mass immigration - and they do not like it, as opinion polls and white flight show all-too clearly.

Really, this is a universal human reaction. There's no country in the world where people welcome the displacement of their particular ethnic group en masse by members of another ethnic group. Hence the fact that many countries (excluding Western democracies) specifically limit who can be a citizen to 'blood members' of their national group. Not a policy I'd advocate for Britain, but still it shows how the question of identity underwrites the impulse to restrict immigration.

People should be able to express their opposition to large scale demographic change (such as is happening at the moment) without being abused as a racist - a term that's in dire need of a coherent definition. The only caveat I'd add is that opposition to such change should be expressed without peddling hatred or the vilification of immigrants. Until a mainstream party addresses this issue, it shouldn't surprise anyone if people make their voices heard through the dubious vehicle of the BNP.

So, yes, by all means improve the important issues like housing, but as long as current levels of immigration continue to transform the ethnic composition of the country, people will continue to vote for the BNP (or not vote at all, indeed).

In America all immigrants have to learn about the US's history and constitution, take an exam and then swear an oath, pledging loyalty to the state.

I think that if someone comes to this country, becomes a British citizen, pays taxes and doesn't break the law they're doing all they should. The only problem is that we live in a country where we have allowed a distinction between someone's cultural identity and their national identity, with the former as primary.

As far as I'm concerned all that we need is a return to the concept of the good citizen. Someone should first and foremost identify themselves as British, whatever their ethnic origin, religion, whatever. Only problem is that we have people like the BNP who like to pontificate about just what does and what does not count as being British. However, as during the cartoons protests, we saw that members of minority communities also like to decide that they are not really British themselves. Hence we have such a problem with integration. Ironically, the BNP revel in our weak sense of national identity, by supplying their own sick, twisted version of it.

Better citizenship, taught in schools, would also cover our constitutional history and the importance of the democratic process. Perhaps combating the shocking voter apathy you sometimes encounter.

David Cameron was asked about the BNP on this morning's Today programme. This was his response: ""I want them to get the smallest possible share of the vote. I would rather people voted for any party other than the BNP."

"If the great and good are gtting their knickers in a twist about the BNP, what happens if a new 'collar-and-tie' anti-immigration party comes along?

Especially when some charismatic figure with no 'Nazi' baggage jumps on the bandwagon as has happened abroad and very nearly happened here with Kilroy-Silk."

That party already came along - it was us in 2001. Great result there, as I recall.

That party already came along - it was us in 2001.

No it wasn't. Despite the Portillista myth, William Hague didn't camapign that election on issues of race and immigration. The "foreign land" remarks referred to the effects of EU legislation.

The references to the BNP trying to appeal to both the left and right, reminded me of of the Nazis under Hitler with the term: National Socialism, which was supposed to bring both sides of the political spectrum together under the Swastika.
I am not directly comparing the BNP to the Nazis, but the similarity in the comments made here just struck me.
We Tories have to realise that there are great swathes of people in Britain, who could be refered to as working class, who are crying out for a political party who give strong unequivocal signals on issues such as immigration and crime, which they certainly do not hear from DC or the other main parties. We have to address this to have any hope of bring them into our camp!!


One should re-read Mark Steyn's article from two years ago, "The Lunatic Mainstream" to understand why some people would vote BNP.

"The "foreign land" remarks referred to the effects of EU legislation." ...and proved that a reactionary party can never be fit for government at either a local or a national leve.

...and proved that a reactionary party can never be fit for government at either a local or a national leve

Can you justify that pejorative or the conclusions you present?

Labour talked about health and education. We talked about europe and immigration for the entire campaign. Both times. We lost.

Labour talked about health and education. We talked about europe and immigration for the entire campaign.

That doesn't support your conclusion, Henry. That says that if a party concentrates on fringe issues alone it's more likely to lose.

And we didn't talk about immigration in 2001, or Europe in 2005. So your simplification isn't even accurate.

""The "foreign land" remarks referred to the effects of EU legislation." ...and proved that a reactionary party can never be fit for government at either a local or a national leve."

A German court recently revealed that 80% of legislation is made by the EU. In a democratic country, do you believe that to be a good thing?

Interesting thread!

I still don't understand why anybody who didn't hold racist views but wanted to register a protest vote would choose the BNP. Their views are well known enough to turn any reasonable person off.

I notice my earlier post was categorised as feeling over thinking. Perhaps.

When I was at uni we had a large number of Asian students on my course (without exception all of them fantastic people) I happend to be walking through town with them and we passed a BNP stall - they leaflet quite frequently where i live. The under the breath abuse that my friends got from them was so bad I wont repeat it. Being a bit hotheaded about things like this I stood up for them, I wont repeat what they said to me either.

So yes - perhaps feeling over thinking, but justified feeling. Justified because views like this are WRONG.

I don't want to be in a reactionary, heartless anti immigration party. I know that will get me labelled as a wine bar Tory (what's wrong with winebars anyway?) and a "PC liberal" but I'll put up with that.

Interesting thought - an immigrant prepared to do any job - and work at it for long hours to make a living, or a chav who was born here but refuses to work and lives on state handouts. I know who I have more respect for.

Maybe if we talked about health, education AND crime and immigration then we might win. (Europe probably a bit less of an issue).

People want a broad party, not a narrow church.

"David Cameron was asked about the BNP on this morning's Today programme. This was his response: ""I want them to get the smallest possible share of the vote. I would rather people voted for any party other than the BNP.""

Including the Far Left who want to abolish the middle class and private property?

"However, as during the cartoons protests, we saw that members of minority communities also like to decide that they are not really British themselves."

Indeed. For example, when the majority of Muslims feel loyalty to Britain rather than the Islamic world community then we will have progress. The question is, how do we get there?

"They're witnessing the demographic transformation of their local areas (e.g. Barking), and by extension, their country through mass immigration - and they do not like it, as opinion polls and white flight show all-too clearly."

And of course this leaves the major parties in a Cache-22 situation. They can't stop ethnic minorities moving into these areas because such a policy would be attacked as racist. But if they don't stop them moving in then the original residents will swing towards the BNP.

I think True Blue illustrates the sneering nature of most PC liberals...

No one here supports chavs who live on state handouts. Maybe if the welfare state had a moral dimension to who it gave benefits too then it would be less of a mess, but liberals don't like making such moral judgements...

Speaking of which, there is a clear difference between those who come here and try to fit in and those who don't and that is one moral judgement the Government needs to make a lot more.

If you feel rather than think you should be a socialist. Then you can spend all your time feeling smug waiting for some utopian vision to emerge and condemning the messy real world...ignoring the fact socialism has been a disaster.

Liberals are just socialists who hate the working classes and don't like paying taxes. Feelers, not thinkers, and I wouldn't trust them further than I could throw them.

Just out of interest - what is our position on immigration at the mo?

Damnit I meant midnight blue!

"I still don't understand why anybody who didn't hold racist views but wanted to register a protest vote would choose the BNP. Their views are well known enough to turn any reasonable person off."

You obviously don't understand... It is because it p****s off the political classes, and gets them all a twitter, that BNP is so attractive. It is the most effective way of putting two fingers up to the lot of them.

Therein lies your difficulty. It is one I met when talking to farmers' groups who, in this day and age, still moan about needing more "support" - i.e., subsidies. They have not come to terms with how much they are disliked by the urban communities and hated by NuLab.

Similarly, you seem to have difficulties in coming to terms with the fact that politicians (and political parties) are widely held in contempt by an increasing majority of the voters, not least because of the yawning credibility gap between promise and performance, and by the fact that the parties are seeking to occupy the same band in the political spectrum.

One option, of course, is not to vote at all - which is one chosen deliberately by more and more people, but it is much more effective (and fun) to wind-up "you lot" by voting BNP.

What the Boy King and his acolytes need to realise (but never will) is that his own version of the BNP - the Be Nice Party - simply isn't going to fly.


I'm not going to go into the dozens of reaosns why I'm not a socialist! 1AM - we agree it has been a disaster in its every occurance.

When you hear your friends being verbally abused it's hard not to feel. I would like to think that anybody would.

I don't think I've been sneering towards anybody - quite the reverse actually as I seem to be one of the only ones on this thread that doesn't "sneer" automatically at immigration.

Rich mate I do understand that people dislike the political class, but I'd really like to believe that people are decent enough not to vote for a bunch of racists just to wind up somebody else!

Henry said: "In America all immigrants have to learn about the US's history and constitution, take an exam and then swear an oath, pledging loyalty to the state. "

That is not strictly true - only immigrants who become citizens (my parents did this) have to pledge allegiance, mug up on constitutional history etc. Your other points were spot on though in my opinion - in Britain we do put cultural identity on a much higher footing that national identity.

There's a huge immigration debate raging in America at the moment (I in the US on holiday visiting aforementioned parents, hence my propensity to post at odd hours on this blog). The issue here is Mexican illegal immigrants are paying no taxes, yet use local state-funded/subsidised health care and other facilities etc. They are campaigning for America to recognise them as legal citizens, which frustrates both people like my parents who spent thousands going through the proper process in order to become legal citizens, and the indigenous population, and US citizens who rightly say "It's out country, here's the process for immigrants to follow, don't come whining to us if you don't follow it". All too frequently it is US employers that pay thousands to get immigrants over the border to work for less than the minimum wage. They want low-cost workers because they cannot afford to pay the wages that Americans demand.

The immigrants have run a pretty slick campaign - all the TV footage shows them waving American flags, wearing all-American white tee-shirts and jeans, and holding "We Love the USA" banners. Rather than demanding that the US respects their cultural identity, they are appealing to the nationalist instincts of Americans.

When did you see British flags being waved at a pro-immigration protest in the UK?

"Rich mate I do understand that people dislike the political class, but I'd really like to believe that people are decent enough not to vote for a bunch of racists just to wind up somebody else!"

Because in doing so they don't actually expect the BNP to gain any power and cause any harm. If there was a genuine chance of the BNP taking power then people would probably look elsewhere.

No one sneers at at immigration at a low and reasonable level - the problem is the current rate.

Mass immigration is a solution looking for a problem.

We have skills shortages - we should look to raise our own people's skill base.

People won't do a particular job - well wages for that job will have to rise until they do. That is how the market works.

We need immigrants to pay our pensions - as if they won't get old.

In return for some dubious economic benefits all kinds of arguments about housing, cultural integration, competing for manual jobs etc. etc. are dismissed and anyone who dares make them is called racist.

No one is arguing for racism on this thread. The BNP are a vile bunch of individuals. What we are arguing for is a reversal of the policies which are creating their rise.

They are campaigning for America to recognise them as legal citizens, which frustrates both people like my parents who spent thousands going through the proper process in order to become legal citizens, and the indigenous population, and US

Hardly a fair comparison.
Your parents spent thousands because they had thousands to spend. They weren't dirt poor labourers, I'm sure.

Also, I'm pretty sure the crummy jobs that those illegal Mexicans take on are quite different from the jobs your parents are doing. (That is if they are actually working).

My family who are recent naturalised citizens are rich enough not to have to work at all.
It would be ludicrous to compare them with mexican immigrants esp. those who can barely read or write.
The people responsible are those who break the law by employing the illegal aliens.

It's a simple supply and demand issue. Shut off the supply of low-paid crummy jobs, and the demand for it will dry up.

and 1 AM,
No one sneers at at immigration at a low and reasonable level - the problem is the current rate.
Many people esp. BNP and UKIP supporters will not support a low and reasonable level. They want zero immigration.

The fact that they assume that every person who is an ethnic minority just got off some mythical immigrant boat last week, makes them think the rates are higher than they really are.

Many people esp. BNP and UKIP supporters will not support a low and reasonable level. They want zero immigration.

Really? The most dramatic proposals I've seen have been for zero net immigration, which is rather different.

well then, it looks like you need to catch up on your BNP policies.

Under their almost-Cameron sounding "Agenda for Change", they say

To ensure that we do not become a minority in our own homeland, and that the native British peoples of our islands retain their culture and identity, we call for an immediate halt to all further immigration, the immediate deportation of all bogus asylum seekers, all criminal entrants and illegal immigrants, and the introduction of a system of voluntary resettlement whereby those immigrants and their descendants who are legally here are afforded the opportunity to return to their lands of ethnic origin assisted by a generous financial incentives both for individuals and for the countries in question.

and by "their descendants" they include mixed-race children (including my own), born to white, British parents.

I was thinking more of UKIP, though I did think the BNP had downplayed their voluntary repatriations line (especially as they were beginning to register success in some ethnic minority communities).

The reason people are considering the BNP is the "apparent" if not actual convergence of all parties on the centre. Thatcher killed the NF vote in giving a voice to the working class. The current Tory and Labour message may play well with the middle class but has little to offer the working class.


Might Labour be hyping up the BNP in the hope that disaffected Labour voters will go BNP rather than Conservative?

That would at reduce some of Labour's headline losses.

The one thing we should all be grateful for is the fact that the extreme(ish) right-wing vote is split between the BNP (extreme right-wing) and UKIP (pretty right-wingish).

If the two someone came together in a single party (which I don't think they ever will), it really would start to pose problems for both the Tories and everyone else.

"Interesting thought - an immigrant prepared to do any job - and work at it for long hours to make a living, or a chav who was born here but refuses to work and lives on state handouts. I know who I have more respect for."

Interesting how openly you show your contempt for the white working class Midnight Blue.

If someone implied that some immigrants "refused to work", you'd probably call them racist, wouldn't you?

"Liberals are just socialists who hate the working classes and don't like paying taxes. Feelers, not thinkers, and I wouldn't trust them further than I could throw them." I could not agree more.

Back on topic : I've said it before and I've said it again. The BNP are racist scumbags who want the forced repatriation of ever black person in this country and anyone who thinks or says different is either a liar or a fool.

When David Cameron said that you should vote for anyone from the Socialist Workers Party down before you vote for the BNP he meant that you should vote for a democrat before you vote for a fascist. They're about as democratically minded as Hamas. If they could get what they wanted through force then they'd do it that way, but they know that they can force their poison deeper by infecting the democratic process by their participation.

It isn't racist to talk about immigration or asylum. It is racist to be racist. They have an irrational hatred for people who are not white, english and anglican christian. That's the only reason they do or say anything.

"The BNP are racist scumbags who want the forced repatriation of ever black person in this country and anyone who thinks or says different is either a liar or a fool."

The problem is the BNP now have a policy of voluntary reptriation which allows them to appear less extreme. Obviously this doesn't change the fact that they would like to remove all non-whites (an odious idea) but it has played a part in making it more socially acceptable to vote for them.

"When David Cameron said that you should vote for anyone from the Socialist Workers Party down before you vote for the BNP he meant that you should vote for a democrat before you vote for a fascist. They're about as democratically minded as Hamas."

Thw SWP want to ban the BNP - that's hardly democratic. The BNP claim that they do not want to ban any political parties. You need evidence to back up your assertions.

"They have an irrational hatred for people who are not white, english and anglican christian."

Where have they said they dissaprove of non-Anglicans?

Let me repeat myself - we will not defeat the BNP by hurling abuse at them and telling everyone how "evil", "digusting", "vile" or "fascist" they are. This tactic hasn't worked. We need to identify the concerns of those voting BNP and address them without patronising them or calling them racist.

I agree, Richard. The way to puncture the BNP and UKIP's bubbles is not to say "you're racists" but to to say "I understand your concerns." For an historical example, I'd refer you to Thatcher's comments about swamping in, IIRC, 1978 and see what it did to National Front support

The one thing we should all be grateful for is the fact that the extreme(ish) right-wing vote is split between the BNP (extreme right-wing) and UKIP (pretty right-wingish).

If the two someone came together in a single party (which I don't think they ever will), it really would start to pose problems for both the Tories and everyone else.

You'reight. It's very unlikely that UKIP would ever join forces with the BNP.

So the way lies open for a new party of the right to emerge somewhere between the two.

That's what the Tories really have to fear...

...still, no sign of it yet.

If (UKIP and BNP) came together in a single party (which I don't think they ever will), it really would start to pose problems for both the Tories and everyone else.

You're right. UKIP would never agree to work with the BNP.

What the Tories really have to fear is the emergence of a new anti-immigration party somewhere between the two.

No sign of it yet, but I can certainly see it happening.

"So the way lies open for a new party of the right to emerge somewhere between the two."

Veritas?

Veritas was a party without a recognisable programme and a leader who was already a busted flush.

Other mini-parties of the right are usually keen to skirt around immigration.

Possibly the charismatic personality will come first and then the party.

Or maybe UKIP will prove to be the springboard for something of the sort.

However, contrary to Dave's rant the other day, UKIP actually contains more centre-left anti-racists than is generally realised.

Certainly enough to put me off joining.

"Veritas?"

They're seen as too much of a joke thanks to Mr Tangerine Man. Since he left nobody even hears anything about them anymore.

Perhaps a more likely candidate is the Freedom Party. It broke off from the BNP and has tried to put forward a more moderate image. It even had a councillor elected at some point but it is still tainted by the past associations of its members:

http://www.freedompartyuk.net/

"if the Tory Party wants working class votes it needs to understand the grievances of the working class.

Years ago the Tories had huge support in Liverpool and Manchester (likewise the Unionists in Glasgow) This was because they were not afraid in those days to address the grievances of the 'Orange' vote.

Then, long before Cameron was in nappies, some CCO smarta**e decided to "move beyond the core vote" Sadly the Catholics stayed with Labour and the Prods deserted the Tories.

Result - total collapse of Tory support in northern cities.

Posted by: Anti-Cameron Tory | April 17, 2006 at 10:45 "


I'm reproducing a post by Anti-Cameron Tory
from the beginning of this discussion because I think that it is so important to our regeneration in lowland Scotland.As an explanation: We have 1 out of 59 seats in Scotland , and part of that problem is because none of the unionists (think Rangers fans) vote for us any more. The catholic element (think Celtic fans) havn't traditionally voted for us, but there might be a window at the moment where we could simultaneously appeal to both groups. Indeed the Labour party is out of favour among SCOTTISH catholic church leaders (I was reliably informed at election time). Die Hard Unionism (for the Unionists) coupled with a strong moral stand on family values and christianity (for the Catholics) and we could start something in scotland. It would also be an intrinsically Conservative and Moral stance to take. And pre-emptively anti-BNP.
P.S. by 'orange' ACT means Orange Order, not lib-dem

I personally think Kilroy was the best chance for a breakthrough from the right which you describe (with a special appeal to old Labour voters and the disnfranchised white working class). Since his failure, I'm not sure where another such personality would come from. He would already need to be well known in order to get the publicity required, and I don't know anybody who fits the bill as well as Kilroy did.

The other possibility is that either the BNP or UKIP reform themselves enough to be taken seriously. But that doesn't look likely either, despite the hype we've seen with regard to the BNP in the past few weeks.

This is like that bit in Monty Python's The Life Of Brian where Brian meets the Judean Peoples Front but gets into trouble for mistaking them for the People's Front Of Judea, who are of course a completely different party. If you want a laugh just go the electoral commission website where such parties have their websites listed if you want a laugh during your lunchbreak.

I agree with Henry re our last 2 elections and why we did not do as well as we should. We talked about things like Europe and Immigration and Labour tralked about health and education. We must focus on the key issues like health and education amd also crime, pensions and council tax. We must be careful not to have gone from one extreme to another. We need to get back onto the main issues,

Matt

It's absolutely true that the disappearance of working-class Tory voters is something which makes winning an overall majority much harder than it would otherwise be.

Seats like Birmingham Yardley, Hayes & Harlington, Edmonton, and Feltham & Heston all used to be Tory seats despite having overwhelming working-class populations. It's virtually impossible to imagine any of them going to us now, unfortunately.

It could mean that being the largest party in a hung parliament is the best we could achieve unless something really spectacular happens.

"Hardly a fair comparison.
Your parents spent thousands because they had thousands to spend. They weren't dirt poor labourers, I'm sure.

Also, I'm pretty sure the crummy jobs that those illegal Mexicans take on are quite different from the jobs your parents are doing. (That is if they are actually working)."

Only an ass assumes.

It's absolutely true that the disappearance of working-class Tory voters is something which makes winning an overall majority much harder than it would otherwise be.

Seats like Birmingham Yardley, Hayes & Harlington, Edmonton, and Feltham & Heston all used to be Tory seats despite having overwhelming working-class populations. It's virtually impossible to imagine any of them going to us now, unfortunately.

It's absolutely true that the disappearance of working-class Tory voters is something which makes winning an overall majority much harder than it would otherwise be.

Seats like Birmingham Yardley, Hayes & Harlington, Edmonton, and Feltham & Heston all used to be Tory seats despite having overwhelming working-class populations. It's virtually impossible to imagine any of them going to us now, unfortunately.

It's not contempt at all John - I don't have contempt for anyone, no matter where they originate from, or what their skin colour is. (or for that matter their sexuality, sex, hair colour or anything else!)

I was making the point that there are people who were born here that refuse to work and people who want to come here that want to work. It seems to me unbalanced that we victimise the latter group and the former get away with no comment simply because they were born here and therefore are deemed "better people" by some on this thread.

"It seems to me unbalanced that we victimise the latter group and the former get away with no comment simply because they were born here and therefore are deemed "better people" by some on this thread."

Who are you quoting? Who said anyone was better? If anyone *appeared* to suggest one group was better, it was you.

Interesting thought - an immigrant prepared to do any job - and work at it for long hours to make a living, or a chav who was born here but refuses to work and lives on state handouts. I know who I have more respect for.

There is something as pernicious and divisive about playing off 'model minority' stereotypes with 'poor white trash' stereotypes and thereby assuming the superior moral high ground in doing so.

Hatred of the Working Classes is not confined to Liberals and far-Left Socialists who feel 'let down' by the Working Class's resfusal to become a vanguard of the Trotskyite/Belshevik Revolution.

The changes wrought by Mrs Thatcher throughout the 1980's brought us the (predonminantly non-violent) economic revolution, which has clearly had its own impact. Following the rise of New Labour, we have been undergoing a kind of Cultural Revolution (thus far, for the main part), equally non-violent. What has happened is that the Left/Socialist fraction have transferred their 'poor down-trodden masses' from the economically working class sections, to others who could be held up as 'victims of the system'. Our recent cultural paradigm shift has been from the binary divide of class antagonisms as once championed by the Socialists, to a Group-rights-based, grievance politics culture. These 'Groups' arise as a response to perceived 'discrimination', so we have 'sexual discrimination', 'racial/ethnic/cultural' discrimination, even 'sexual orientation discrimination'. This produces complexities of its own, most tangibly in the form of a 'Balkanised', patchwork-quilt heterogenous population, who have very little in the way of tradition or shared cultural practice to unite them.

Into this, can emerge a twist to the notion of 'identity politics'; that of mutual resentment and loathing. This is where a party can step in, not only to discuss the 'forbidden topics', but also to appear to offer solutions that shift the burden of blame onto others. This process is not confined to the BNP as regards working class people, it applies euqally well to other 'grievance groups' and it is this that is potentially ugly and dangerous.

We working classes have evolved somewhat, since the days of George Orwell. We took to heart, the value of education, staying this side of Lawlessness and generally trying to improve ourselves.

The fact that many of us for some reason or other did not succeed in this, while being characterised as 'chavs' by the chattering elite will, unfortunately, produce feelings of resentment. This can prove dangerous if there are among those who feel such resentment, some who will act on the basis of it.

For what it is worth, I think the BNP are far less of a threat than Margaret Hodge for example, finds it expedient to admit. She has no need to worry, whatever the result of the May 4th Elections, she is unlikely to be stripped of her wealth, status or political power.

When all is said and done, it is a bit of a political red herring.

Is it possible that, perhaps, these stories of the likely high BNP vote are nothing more than Labour propaganda designed to scare voters?
If they can get the middle class frightened that the BNP will get in, maybe they will rush to the polls to vote Labour, just to keep the BNP out, especially voters who might have been considering voting Conservative?
Just something to think about...

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