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It's difficult isn't it? I don't disagree with any of the three ideas being put forward but don't have a huge amount of confidence that they will resonate with the public.Not all BNP members are criminals, house price falls are happening everywhere and as the BNP often a bit single issue and their support often comes from ex-Labour voters they are hardly likely to object to some of their socialist policies even if they are aware of them.
I think Pickles is right, we need to work harder than them and beat them at 'pavement politics'.
But if we are serious about defeating the BNP we absolutely MUST have a robust and credible policy on immigration. The BNP only do well when people believe the main parties have abandoned them.
Having said all that, I think it is easy to exaggerate the BNP presence. It suits the left to massively overstate the BNP threat. Without being complacent we should not fall into the same trap. They are a fringe party who completely lack the numbers or the skill to change anything.

None of which will work. The BNP have got clever. They don't speak of race, instead they speak of Britain for the British... in most peoples minds, that's the same thing.

At the end of the day, whether you like it or not, people will vote BNP because they are fed up with uncontrolled immigration!

Option 3 is the right way to go. We all know the BNP has a race-driven policy agenda which turns off any right thinking person.

But it is when you explain to people that the BNP stands for even more state control, nationalisation and higher taxes, that their carefully spun literature and doorstep presentation starts to unravel.

People have seen how Labour's flavour of centralised state control has damaged the country. The BNPs version is even more aggressive and would be even more costly. That is a powerful message that can shake many people out of their misplaced curiosity.

Looking at their website, they also say they will leave the EU, which many will also agree with.

They're very patriotic in their rhetoric, they will appeal to young and old voters. You stand to lose many conservative voters to them if you don't make your policies about immigration and the EU clear!

I agree this is difficult and particularly as the BNP are keeping their "knuckle-draggers" well under wraps so that the voters only see the sanitized version!
I suspect Option 3 is the best one - voters still believe the BNP to be right wing whereas in fact they are a Socialist party and this needs to be banged home.
Option 1 is tempting but therein lies a danger - if someone is tarred as a "criminal" and then sues we could end up seriously out of pocket and with much egg on our face. Caution is needed.

The local government reults indicate that we may lose some votes to BNP but not many.

They are left wing even though some (most) of the media portray them as right/far right. I remember Rachel Sylvester telling me that they had T shirts proclaiming "its good to be right" ergo they must be right wing. Not a very convincing argumemnt.

Immigration is key. Our border police policy works; man the unmanned ports etc. We are an island and should be able to control our borders properly. As for eu movements - simply a different and bigger problem. Vitally illegals must be returned and the law changed so that we can deal with terrorists propoerly.

Before you decide how to handle the BNP, I think you have to analyse accurately why people are attracted to them. It is easy to stereotype BNP supporters, but in my experience canvasing the usual stereotypes are not particularly accurate.

IMHO, the BNP should be viewed in much the same way as the Lib Dems. Lets assume that you are a voter who takes an interest in what is going on but is not heavily into the political scene (and large numbers of people fall into this category). Without understanding precisely why, you feel that things are not quite right and you draw the conclusion that the current establishment (implicitly Labour and the Tories) is not doing a good job. In my experience, if you tend to blame this on big business etc then you are likely to vote Lib Dem. If you blame it on cultural problems, you are likely to be inclined to vote BNP. Of course, the visibility of local activists may also have an impact on your choice.

How do we address this? Working hard on the doorstep seems like a good approach. The potential BNP voter described above needs to feel part of a decision making process that many feel completely alienated from. We can also sympathise with the feelings these people have. For instance, concepts of "us" and "them" are very basic human sentiments; they are feelings we should be wary of, but I do not think it is sensible to demonise those who feel uncomfortable because their cultural context is changing.

In fact, the BNP and Lib Dems have more in common that it might seem at first. Both have an intrinsically fascist streak -- being very controlling, and keen to tell you precisely how to think. Connecting these two voting inclinations together might be a very enlightening (and effective :-) strategy.

Denying them the oxygen of publicity remains the rational option. Seriously, what is the point of an anti-BNP campaign? They are a minor irrelevance whose votes come primarily from Labour's supporters, not Conservatives. They will never take control of a local authority or have any MPs.

The only reason for such a campaign is perhaps to prove to our new friends at the Guardian that our party is Not Racist. And if they don't believe this by now they never will.

It's far more important to have a coherent package of tactics for undermining UKIP. They are the ones who pose the real danger to the Conservatives, especially for the EU elections.

Emily Sedgefield is spot on. In fact I think that BNP will mostly split the Labour vote when it comes to a General Election, as opposed to local elections. But Emily's point is well made and applies particularly to UKIP in a GE in the South West.

BNP have made the logical connection between the impossibility of slowing up immigration if we cannot do something about the flood of Eastern Europeans because they are EU citizens.

Cameron has to pull finger on the EU and announce a national debate followed by a referendum. Leaving the EPP is a promising start, but one which few voters will know or bother about. If he made the commitment of debate and then referendum on the EU, he would knock both BNP and UKIP votes on the head. Does it really take that much courage to do this?

"They will never take control of a local authority or have any MPs."

Paul, I hope you are right! There is however a serious danger that they could end up with at least one MEP as their leader is standing in the North West.

I agree with the other comments which have been made on this thread, so far. There is no doubt that the BNP are a group of socialists, who would stop at nothing to divide our society and isolate just about anybody who did not share their views. Indeed, they would probably rely very much on propoganda and bullying tactics in order to control the electorate.

It is still quite positive, that the ongoing problems of too much immigration have been highlighted by the BNP. Also, their pledge to remove our country from the EU would benefit most of us.

Fortunately, some of the respectable organisations are continuing to emphasise the potential benefits to be gained from leaving the EU. These include "The Freedom Association" and "The Bruges Group", amongst others.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

A timely debate. I have been following the speeches of the BNP since I heard its leader Nick Griffin state that the image of the party had to change. "Suits not boots" was his phrase.

Something else he has said is "all that people want to know is what we can do for them that the other parties can't or won't". I agree with Paul Oakley. I believe they will do well where there is no left-wing and/or trade union opposition. I believe they should not be given a platform and this means all parties working to give credible alternative workable policies.

All 3 ideas are good - but useless unless coupled with a positive alternative on the issues which make people vote BNP.

It is labour voters who are going over to the BNP so it is of no concern really to the Conservatives, unless they would prefer
people to stick with labour of course.

Don`t forget Mr. Cameron`s "fruitcakes and closet racists" cheap jibe against UKIP, backed up by his sister in law Alice Sheffield, using a comment from Operation Black Vote!

He refuses to withdraw this unjustified smear.

This is absolutely NOT a Tory problem. No self-respecting Tory gentleman would ever consider voting for that rabble. This is Labour's problem. Let them deal with it.

Don't connect the bnp with anything, they will defeat themselves!
Start representing the peoples views and aspirations. Lead for heavens sake, don't hope to win by dengrating the bnp. What are we frightened of, if we act with integrity and tell the people what we will do when in office and how we would go about resolving our current difficulties that would be a good start, but Cameron and co won't even tell us which makes me think they might not know.
DONT WOORY ABOUT THEM. GET SOME POLICIES ON THE TABLE, GET TALKING ABOUT THEM!!!

I'd just like to bring it to everyone's attention that in a council by-election in my home town of Grimsby, the BNP polled 370 votes (17%).

This ward is a Liberal stronghold, but is only about 3 miles from Lindsey Oil Refinery, scene of the "British Jobs for British Workers" protests. I dare say some of the people affected by that incident live there.

Out of a ward of 11,000 (mainly C2/DE) electors, for the BNP to only drum up 370 f***wits to get out and vote for them shows that their challenge is overstated.

Local elections may sometimes be national referenda, but when it comes down to it, people are still voting on how often the bins get emptied, how well the roads look and how low their council tax is. Surely the best way for any councillor of any party to avoid being beaten by the BNP is just to do a good job?

I think this matter is of utmost importance. Whilst I agree that we shouldn't do anything that would give additional publicity to the BNP.

In my opinion we need to have robust and sensible policies on immigration and British cultural identity. In the past the party was dominated by those on the right who were too alarmist and extreme in their analysis and suggestion for solutions. The debate often gets closed down by the media or critics, with the ghost of Enoch Powell. Simply being labeled "Powellite" is enough.

We now have an opportunity to talk sensibly about immigration and about what it means to be British. We have a range of MPs and shadow minsters such as Sayeeda Warsi who are from 'minority' backgrounds. They need to lead the debate. Whilst I don't believe it matters what background you come from, it is still important to the media. British identity matters.

I fully commend Boris Johnson's support for St George's day. We must not let the BNP own British-ness or even patriotism, it is far too important. The Conservative party has the ability to redefine what it means to be British in a very inclusive way. The majority of immigrants who have come to Britain have come because they are attracted by what Britain stands for, they want to support and maintain British culture and most importantly they are proud to be British. The Conservative party needs to embrace this pride and patriotic behaviour and outline a positive picture for a multi-racial British future.

PS How long before the BNP's "Google Alerts" start a flood of weak arguments appearing from BNP trolls?

They're a British party, proud of the flag, that wants to leave the EU.

The best way to kill the BNP is to be a British party, proud of the flag, that wants to leave the EU.

Those ideas are gimmicks. Regular people are attracted to the BNP because of the substance. The BNP are lunatics but it's obvious that they love Britain. You can't beat sincerity with fakeness. We have to be more sincere and more reasonable than them.

We're crying out for a real British party to replace Labour so we can have some real arguments about the future of the country. It's just what we need. The BNP shouldn't be that party but unless somebody else makes a British party they're going to be an unstoppable vote hoover.

Is this the best you can come up with?
This indicates a lack of any policies on the part of the conservatives.
1 - Criminals? No more than the present shower in government. Liars thieves and criminals in abundance and they are only ten points behind the Conservatives in votes.

2. Get real this is world wide - house prices dropped in Florida by 53%. A non starter.

3. YES the BNP is OLD Labour. That is true, but the problem the conservatives have is that when their STUNNINGLY GOOD MEP Dan Hannan has received over one MILLION HITS on his viral video guess where it is NOT shown. The BBC yes. But it is also horribly absent from the CONSERVATIVE PARTY WEB SITE>

how stupid ARE these people?

Were Hannan to replace Cameron and Boris to be given the job of Shadow Home Secretary
I would rejoin the party and give a contribution.

Instead as the party appears to be no more than socialism lite I will vote to cause the maximum damage to the Party, when even Vince Cable makes sense you people really DO have a problem.

The two great problems facing Britain are Immigration and Europe. The Conservatives appear not to mention either and I believe have badly let down the people of Britain. That is why I joined the British National Party, the only major Party to have firm views on these subjects. My greatest worry is that the Conservatives and BNP will fight against each other and allow the Left to remain. Before it is too late I would urge all Conservative Members to ally themselves with the Policies of the British National Party to have a Britain that we can be proud of.

Mr A: What's your party all about then?
Mr B: Well we love Britain and we want to make it good.
Mr A: I'll vote for that!
Mr C: Mr A is racist!
Mr B: No he loves Britain, just like me. I'm sick of the BBC trying to shove anti-racism down my throat. I'll vote for him.

Jack Iddon , yes the Conservatives should look to setting out their own policies rather than trying to denigrate others. It seems to me this 'plan' is being put forward as a result of failure more than anything else. The Conservatives know the reason for the BNP's success, it is the BNP's views of immigration that is getting them support, but the Conservatives rather than trying reflect the electorates concerns about immigration, instead look to take the BNP on via smear tactics.

This message works against the BNP and UKIP etc etc - They are a fringe party and all fringe party votes are wasted - therefore they help Labour and the status quo.

One more thing, Cameron should have the plain Union Jack displayed during his speeches, not defiled by silly computer graphics! It's such a subliminal insult! We need a real sense of Britishness, not what Brown was trying to shove down our throats. We should be proud to be British, not afraid, not cowards who are scared what the Guardian would think of the flag.

Perhaps instead of attacking The British National Party on stereotype propaganda their Mantefesto should be read. Intelligent debate rather then playground battle cries?


This sounds like a Labour subterfuge to me. Why do we need to tackle the BNP at this point? Surely our job is to point out the weaknesses in the Labour administration and the strengths in Conservatives policies.

A man dying of thirst in the desert would hardly start searching for the nearest place he could buy a bar of chocolate, so why are we even talking about silly little irrelevancies like this when we should be tackling the big issue, which is the Labour decimation of our country?


“No self-respecting Tory gentleman would ever consider voting for that rabble.”

Very true, Lord Crouchback. However I am pleased to record that we have a large number of one time Tory gentlemen in UKIP and some are real aristocrats whilst many more, such as I, come from peasant stock.

As for you, My Lord, I suggest you might return to the pages of PG Woodhouse, from which you seem to have escaped, along with your chum the Earl of Emsworth.

I agree with David Galea
What is attractive about the BNP is their pride and their patriotism and their certainty.
There is an awful lot of ugliness about them too.
The Conservatives have let them walk onto the good territory having withdrawn from it for fear of NuLabour. I don't think anyone except possibly Steve Hilton is scared of NuLabour now and we should move back. We don't need to engage with the BNP just steal our clothes back.

I agree with most of what you say timeforchange but look, we need to get it clear that this country is not multi racial, multi cultural or multi anything else of the kind. This is the sort of statement that creates the concern and fear that the bnp play on to drive voters to elect them. We are a white Cristian nation with some, yes, fairly substantial mixed race immigrant communities which unfortunately in many cases haven't integrated into the main. This ghettoiseation, (sorry about the Bushism)is one of the problems we need to address. But these are welcome communities so long as they are peaceful and here to enjoy the life our country, created by our Christian standards and values can offer them, abide by our law and don't try to change it to that which applies in the countries which they have chosen to leave.

I like that idea, David. It could be on a pole, behind him when he makes speeches, just like in America. It would be understated, solemn, serious, yet still making the statement "I'm in charge and I'm going to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom"

Subliminally, it makes him look more authoratative and statesmanlike too. If people see the image enough times, they make the link and the association sticks in their mind. It's just like advertising or sales; perceptions take a long time to change, but perception is EVERYTHING.

I think that standing at a lectern with the Union flag behind him would make David Cameron look more like a Prime Minister in waiting than giving speeches in front of wacky computer graphics OR video walls.

THe BNP are preying on the fears of a specific segment of society, white working class people who accepted- in a manner of speaking- the fact that they weren't going to have big houses and flash cars but who expected schools, social housing and good health service.

As these services deteriorated under Labour's watch, the BNP cast the blame on "immigrants" as a vote-winning ploy. They took people's fears of declining services- on which they were dependant- and invented a false responsible party: anyone "different".

Lots (though sadly not all) of the BNP voters are people who have fallen into the mistake of blaming the wrong people for their problems. It's not the immigrants, it's not the people with different skin colours or more syllables in their names, it's the inept and bloated Labour-fed public services. Reform public services, make them efficient and the BNP withers and dies.

The most obvious option is surely to just debate rationally with them.

Every account I have heard of Richard Barnbrook is that he should be in the media all the time because he would just destroy the BNP's cause (though let's face it, 4 years of BNP control in Barking and Dagenham would at least clear out the dross there).

The BNP are a legal political party. I don't like them any more than the rest of you BUT...

"Denying them the oxygen of publicity" is just censorship and stifling of free speech. Again.

The way to defeat abhorrent ideology is through argument, debate and confrontation. Not by sticking your head in the sand or arrogantly presuming you "always know best."

As for "policy as advocated by Eric Pickles", am I the only one that found his performance on Question Time last night incredibly embarrassing? Really, if he can't perform on these sort of programs we should be encouraging the MPs who *can* to get out there and encouraging the others to take a more back-seat role.

Emily Sedgefield @ at 09:18 has spotted what is going to happen. None of the 3 main parties cares tuppence about Britain's relations with the EU - they all favour being submerged in that totally undemocratic organisation.

The BNP will gain votes and probably seats too in the euro-elections. People will vote for them in utter fury at having their wishes (55% wanting to leave the EU this week) ignored. UKIP will lose because they are comfy in their role of being extremely well-paid gadflies without achieving anything. The Tory vote may slip too. In the euros you'll not get MY vote - you've rigged the lists and packed them with europhiles which is not what party members want.

This will cause a stink in the media which is part of the reason for voting for them. Nobody pays the slightest attention if UKIP do well but the BNP --- Oooh WOW!

This could well spill over into the general election and affect voting patterns there once people realise that the BNP can get mass support.

The only reason it can be considered a threat is that the Tory party is a limp-wristed gutless body trying to please everyone simultaneously and failing.

How about commiting to deport all foreign criminals, failed aslyum seekers and illegal immigrants and not let anymore in.

Emily Sedgefield speaks the truth and gets her comments overwritten.

You can ignore what I am saying. Most of those who comment on here are obviously well educated. The BNP aren't looking for your vote, they know that you are Conservatives.

They'll win more seats than you imagine and I hope it bites you in the behind!

It is not just white working class etc who will vote BNP - on my grapevine Conservatives have already done so and will do so again - though they wont post that on ConHome!

The critical issues others here have highlighted - the EU, immigration and multiculturalism.

What does that green/blue squiggle of a tree say about fuanmental values?

Until Cameron has strong policies we can all understand, policies putting this country first, not a soggy liberal amalgam of clever speak 'let's all sit in another part of the European parliament' etc, until that day other parties will take Conservative votes.

The BNP will do especially well if UKIP falters and of course will be aided by PR.

After Eric Pickles being outed on Questiontime last night as another snout in the trough MP he is probably not the person to tackle the BNP. I read somewhere that BNP councillors donate a portion of their expenses to local good causes. They also say the things people want to hear. Out of the EU, sack jobsworths, stop the expense fiddles, abolish quangoes etc. all the stuff one would normally expect to hear from the Conservatives.

The racism tag doesn't work any more either. The whole population has been called racists for so many years now if they so much as mention immigration that it has become a bit of a meaningless phrase. I say good luck to the BNP. At least they're providing a realistic alternative to the LibLabCon alliance.

The big myth is that the electorate are put off by talk of race or accusations of racism. They are often not and one of the reasons for the growth of the BNP is that they make it acceptable to some voters to focus of issues of race and immigration when the major parties won't talk about it. The BNP will not be defeated just by loud cries of "racists" and as such the three prong attack proposed is certainly an improvement on pretending that they are not there or that all "right thinking" people will abhor their racism.

The ony way to destroy the BNP is to address the concerns this party is tapping into. The above ideas are ludicrous and will be seen by voters for what they are. Politicians going to any lengths to avoid doing what the people who elect them want. 'The BNP depresses house prices...' what utter rubbish.

Is the BNP right wing or left wing?

I prefer the 'egg theory' put forward by Donald Wade, the former Liberal MP.

He reckoned that instead of a straight line with the left wing at one end and the right wing at the other it was better to draw an oval. Put the Conservatives at the top, Labour at the bottom, Liberals at one end, and Communists and Fascists at the other. The Communists and Fascists have much in common.

How about the simplest (but probably for any MP the hardest) and that that is to actually get out there and have a face to face public debate.

All the time that is wasted by telling people how wrong they are to vote for the BNP, could be well used by showing them the real difference by informed discussion.

All this looking down their noses in abhorrence, and saying how terrible the BNP are, and that people should not vote for them - does absolutely nothing. The more something is reviled and forbidden, the more attractive it becomes. The only way to show these people up is by talking to and with them. I am beginning to think that our esteemed politicians really cannot be bothered to use their brains once they get in....

That's the way to do it - treat the electorate like dumb animals.
All Dave has to do is to set out his stall by way of a manifesto and see what happens.
the BNP, English Democrats, UKIP, et al are all just as sincere in their aspirations as any other party.
If you don't agree with them, don't vote for them - simple.

' voters are confused.'
Arrogant and pompous
Heh, and this is why a lot of people trust the BNP more than Labour or the Conservatives

Have any of the contributors here ever read the BNP manifesto or studied their web site? If so please start to deracinate its POLICIES as opposed to the current yah boo sucks politics evidenced here.
As for Sally Roberts I bet you a meal at the Ivy that the BNP gets 7 MEPs. Also the BNP is likely to win a seat in the Northwest at the Westminster elections. As long as the Conservatives continue to eschew the major issues of the day, these being our destruction by our membership of the EU and immigration (also controlled by the EU) then the Tories will languish only ten points north of Labour.

A view from the dark side...

None of the above options will work.

The biggest problem for the Tories is that the public see no difference between them and Labour & the Liberals.

LibLabCon - All three want to be part of the EU monster.

LibLabCon - All three want open borders (meaning any criminal/feckless European can enter whenever they like).

LibLabCon - All three DO NOT believe in free speech (only the BNP would introduce a 'first amendment' type law).

LibLabCon - All three believe in discriminating against White people (A-list anyone).

LibLabCon - All three believe in soft sentencing for criminal scumbags.

LibLabCon - All three want the Asian country of Turkey to join the EU (meaning 70million Muslims will have access to our housing & health service).

LibLabCon - All three are against Capital Punishment.

LibLabCon - All three have almost identical tax policies (BNP believe in lower taxes).

The list goes on and on.

And another thing...connecting the BNP with criminality will completely backfire as the Cons shall we say 'patchy' record in this respect is raked up in response. Aitken anybody?

I reckon Peter may be right about the BNP getting 7 or more seats. I was speaking to some people in Surrey last night, that's in the SE constituency apparently. They told me that the only person they wanted to get through was Daniel Hannan and he only needs 7.5% of the vote which they reckoned he'd get comfortably so it's safe to vote BNP without dislodging Hannan. I have no idea if the figures are correct but if they are it shows people are aware that their vote actually holds a bit of power in the Euro elections.

I do not believe that the BNP should be banned. Also, it is a shame that the left continue to distort the genuine arguments aginst further uncontrolled immigration.

Only in theory, is immigration currently controlled by the authorities. It's also naive to claim that many immigrants are attracted by our English values or culture. In reality, they simply want what is best for themselves. And yes, this does put our public services under great pressure.

Before the problem deteriorates even further, I advocate the following:

* Much tighter border controls
* Caps on the numbers of immigrants from specific regions of the world.
* A complete ban on immigrants with criminal records, or any extremist affiliations
* Deport all of the illegal immigrants, and those who preach hate against our society.
* Abandon multiculturalism. It simply does not work.
* Impose harsher punishments, for employers who recruit illegal immigrants to work for them.

I think the best plan is to "out" them as the Socialists that they are. The other tactic that will work; is for us to become the natural Party of British Nationalists. In short we should bang the drum for Britain.
In some ways I think it would be good for Democracy in this country if the BNP were to do well in the European elections.The public are sick of the duplicity of the traditional parties, who continue to ignore the deep anger about our fall into Europe and the mass of immigration. In any case the old tactic of at best ignoring the BNP and at worse villifying its membership will not work. For every BNP activist that has been in trouble with the Law, we have a Lord Archer to undermine our case.

"The BNP will not be defeated just by loud cries of "racists" "

This is utterly true, in fact there is far more to the appeal of the BNP than racism alone. Many of the strengths of the BNP are areas we used to be very good at exploiting ourselves. Such as pride in our Nation and a love of our culture. We don't need to shave our heads and wear bovver boots, to beat the BNP at its own game, but we do need to recognize the anger about the immigration and the mini-baghdad's that used to be our city centres. We need to recognize the damage that is done each time there is talk of Shariah Law. We need to be clear about our condemnation of those who would make war on us from within our our borders in the name of Islam. In addition we need to be willing to take on the BNP policy for policy, rather than pretending that they do not exist. The reality is, that its politicians who are afraid to talk about race
the public are not so squamish.

One thing I find very disturbing is the way BNP activists are using THE Dan Hannan video on YouTube to promote themselves.
They post in the YouTube comments promoting their party in regards to the forthcoming elections.
Of course, they are at liberty to do this. Maybe Dan could make a video to tackle this point. I'm sure, as he ventures into the murky world of celebrity, he doesn't want Nazis hanging on his coattails.

I'm absolutely adamant about the need to stand up to the BNP. As a student in London I (literally) fought them on the streets. I now realise that violence is never an option.
In regard to the tactic espoused by Charles Walker MP: I would just say that as inheritors of Winston Churchill's party we should seek to free people everywhere from the tyranny of 'Socialist Police Governments'. He was primarily concerned about their presence on the European continent. I am concerned about their presence in any part of Europe.

Spent too much time shooting the messenger.
now look at the mess.

A message from Sweden. A cry for help! (part 1/2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_QPxDm80Rw

I agree with Oakley's position here. But we need to be a bit more proactive. We must make our stance clear on the way we treat our armed forces and their families.

Our soldiers and their families deserve better - be in terms of housing, soldiers leave and pension as well as retraining.

Alas, since the army housing stock was sold off and given to private management companies, the quality has fallen. A lot of families live in what the local authorities could call unfit dwelling units.

And forces families are drifting towards the BNP taking with them C1/C2 potential Tory voters.

Sorry this is off-topic, but did anyone see the woeful performance of Eric Pickles on Question Time last night?

I have always been slightly worried about the 'Pickles-mania' (my words) exhibited by many on here, based presumably on his undoubted local campaigning skills; my suspicion has always been that Eric Pickles is a lightweight, a classic Local Government Pol, great at leafleting, local campaigns etc, but unable to enagage in or win Policy debate at a national level. My worst suspicions were confirmed with his quite simply disastrous performance on QT last night.

Eric Pickles was already under a cloud for me, with his blatant luddism and lack of faith in internet and electronic campaigning techniques, in itself unforgivable in a Party Chairman.

With fears that this Party Chairman is weak in Communicating Policy details and winning strategic (Media) encounters with Labour, coupled with (it is fair to say!) a less than enthusiastic embrace of new and emerging campaigning trends (which are and should remain a Strategic advantage for us, we cannot afford to cede internet campaigning advantage to labour) I REALLY DO FEAR THAT ERIC PICKLES IS THE TOTALLY WRONG MAN TO BE CHAIR OF OUR PARTY GOING INTO THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION!!!!

The difference in class between Charles Clarke a first rate Political Operator and Communicator (even though he was a failed Home Secretary & crap Government Minister!) and our Party Chairman, was frankly embarrassing.

Post-European Elections a New Party Chairman is needed, who I am not suggesting, but they MUST be a FIRST-RATE Media Performer and convincing policy communicator.

I'm with Eric Pickles on this! If we attack them we are likely to drive away people on the "Social Right" who may well have voted for us. The Criminal Tag is foolish, their Leader these days is a Solicitor and if their membership list, which was published on the Internet some months ago, is accurate they feature people from what would be considered "Respectable" occupations. Drop in Housing Values? Rubbish! That is being caused by the Economic situation and has nothing to do with the BNP. As for tagging them as "Left-Wing" sorry that just won't wash with most voters. Although the Economic situation is in most people's minds these days as they worry about their Jobs, Savings, Pension, etc, it is a paradoxical fact that most people are not the slightest bit interested in Economics, they do not understand it, and find it crashingly boring. It certainly does not inform their voting intentions. On the doorstep very few ordinary people will say "I am a Keynesian and am voting Labour or Lib-Dem" or "I believe in the Free Market and Supply Side economics and will vote Tory". People I have found will vote on "Gut Issues" such as Defence, Immigration, Law and Order or Local Issues such as Education, Housing, Transport and Traffic etc and the BNP seem to have tuned into these concerns. Like it or not they are also perceived as a Right-Wing Authoritarian Party by most voters, NOT as Left-Wing no matter what the Econo-Tories and Libertarians may say.

It would seem that whilst the Tory Party was swimming with the Greens, the BNP have stolen some of our clothes. In Local Elections I would feel that our candidates should address the concerns of the voters of the Ward they are contesting and keep the contest local. In a General Election the BNP are very unlikely to win any seats under FPTP and long may we keep that system for Parliament, but the main damage they can do is to take sufficient votes in marginal seats to deny us, just look at some of the near misses in 2005. I cannot see them gaining 7 seats in June's Euro Elections, it is far more likely that they will gain only 1 or at the most 2 MEPs. However, they can again do damage to the Tory MEPs and may well lead to one or two missing out.

There is an old Scottish proverb, "The more you tramp on s*it the more it spreads!" I feel that Eric Pickles has the right approach to as far as possible deny the BNP the oxygen of publicity but to address the issues they have raised.

Identify those issues where the public have a genuine concern and where the BNP get an audience because the other parties ignore that issuse, e.g. crime and violence by minority gangs, and come down strong on those issues. A Law and Order message is useful, so build on what you've been doing.
Why are the BNP growing in specific areas? What local problems are not being addressed? Stress law enforcement and urban renewal. Take the right stand, openly and consistently, on issues like Sharia law.

number 3 is the most important. It's about time people were properly educated about how the BNP's political philosophy originated from the left.

Ex-Tory Gent is pretty much bang on. The conservatives' appear to be being advised by the same political elite that advise Labour and the Lib-Dems, so the fact there is so little between them is no surprise. The attempt by the main 3 parties to deny the BNP 'the oxygen of publicity' has been successful to a point but it won't be successful forever. I've read the BNP Manifesto (which may or may not be full of lies and a front for Combat 18 or whatever) but taken at face value it is a reasonably sensible document that will strike a chord with many normal folk. With a bit of tweaking of the language it would strike a chord with a great many more. It is worth remembering the BNP wouldn't be the first party to reinvent itself - a tree and a rose spring to mind. People are aware that the media, the politicians and the police are far more agressive towards the BNP than they are to other Ethnic or leftist organisations. You will recall that the police tried to prosecute Nick Griffin for some race related offence after he was secretly filmed using inflamatory language to address a small group in a bar or club. Conversely when the 'Undercover Mosque' documentary was filmed clearly showing the clerics advocating the stoning of homosexuals, the suppression of woman and the overthrow of the infidels (us in otherwords) they tried to charge the producers of the documentary. These double standards are not lost on everyone, benefit the BNP and should be of grave concern to us all.

Another telling point for me was Portillo's description of the banned, right-wing Dutch MP as a 'populist twit'. Any MP who isn't populist should be unemployed as he/she is not doing their job of representing the electorate.

As a party we should be representing the views of the people. If we reflect their views they will vote for us. If we don't they will vote for someone who does. it is that simple. If the people want to stop immigration and come out of europe, we should say that's what we'll do and when elected do it. That is the way to deal with any rise of support in any rival party whatever their hue.

My impression is that people perceive that they are under threat - either by being swamped by mass immigration, losing their jobs to cheap foreign workers, soldiers being killed abroad and mocked by miltants or return, traditional values being destroyed etc. etc. It's a long list but the perception is maybe quite close to reality.

I don't think it's wise to go knocking a party that wears it's patriotism on it's sleave when the nation is probably feeling more patriotic than at any time since the Falklands. We'd be far better adopting a few pro-British policies and drawing folk to a righteous cause than attacking a force who's ranks are beginning to swell out of utter frustration with the main parties.

Forget an anti-BNP strategy, just concentrate on an pro-people strategy.

The BNP are useful in that they have highlighted some public concerns-- so address those pubic concerns and job done.

Regarding Pickles on Question Time - I really think he should do an 'osborne' and issue a detailed statement clearing it up.

If an MP has a second small residence that they use during the week, away from their family/home then claiming for it seems quite reasonable (even to me and I am the first to condemn abuses - spelman getting away with it is one of the main reasons why I am not a member of the party now) - it doesn't matter exactly why they do it that way, it is genuinely for their parliamentary work, so fair dos.

If it were classed as their main home, or significantly larger than required, or not used as a matter of course, etc that might be different.

But what Pickles said (after his first goof about getting to work on time!!) seemed to fall into what (even) I would consider reasonable.

It would be good to get it cleared up -- so we can get on with not remembering him!


Sally - it may well be possible for the BNP to return an MEP (and another reason why we would be: Better Off Out). This will be solely and entirely a consequence of the absurd PR voting system and is nothing to worry about.

Richard Barnbrook received a dismal 2.84% of first preference votes in the London mayoral elections. He then only just scraped through the 5% threshold to become a top-up member. And this is in London, which has the highest density of immigration in the UK.

The British people have more sense than to bring the BNP to power. This morbid obsession with the party is a kind of nazi-porn.

Picking up on a few random points.

In Gravesend at the last elaction Adam Holloway always displayed a Union flag on his communications ( still does) and had a Jack Russell who became a minor canine celeb for wearing a Union Jack coat around town.

You might think that it made him look a bit BNP - yet Gravesend - which has always returned a Government MP - delivered a poitive vote for him WAY out of line with all polling predictions. I hasten to add that Adam has done all the necessary things as well -including voluntary work on the new Sikh temple so there is no closet agenda in his patriotic show. The point is it patently did not put off the voters by any improper BNP association. DC can probably risk a discrete national flag if he wants to.

I think the BNP probably does make headway with what was once called the "repectable" working class who feel patronised. In today's Spectator Sarah Standing uses a phrase that resonates with many. ( I take her words out of context but they are strong and adaptable)

" I loathe the fact that normality is under constant threat of being marginalised."

Read that again and consider it in this context.

I think that sums up how many feel when they see the traditional values of their communities changing,( whether by immigration influx, or anti-social behaviour seemingly unaddressed), their unsophisticated religious and monarchical sympathies mocked and/or a wholesale lack of discipline in schools and public transport. Add to that ( rightly or wrongly) a long wait at the doctors whilst staff are slowed down by the need for translation and the groundwork is laid for the BNP.

Put a seemingly ordinary "Joe/Jo Public" candidate alongside a Union flag saying these things in plain language and you have a focus for a protest vote.

If we want to build a broad coalition it has to reach out to these people even if they are not going to sit very comfortably alongside some of a more progressive persuasion. They are the equivalent of the Reagan Democrats.

It has to be number 3 - Many young people believed the labour lies of the 80s that thatcher was a 'nazi' and thereby so are the conservatives.
This whole 'wing' business means that if the BNP are classed as right wing then it backs that up.
So tories lose votes (yes, I have known people vote labour on that basis)

Group BNP with labour and socialism where they belong; Labour lose votes to Conservatives by being in the same wing, or they lose votes to the BNP from socialist types. Everybody's happy (well, 'real' people are happy - the evil people don't count)

"they see the traditional values of their communities changing,, their unsophisticated religious and monarchical sympathies mocked and/or a wholesale lack of discipline in schools and public transport."

The argument for not raising these issues is that they were unsuccessful in the past. However I believe this argument is flawed. The problem was that we were ashamed of ourselves for wanting to bring common sense into politics. Michael Howard and others came across as completely ashamed of what they wanted and they were too shy to say it publically in an open way. We should be a confident party that is never afraid to do the right thing. We should never ever be ashamed of doing what is right and we should never lose our confidence to Labour's baseless attacks. Confidence is the way to win. No "are you thinking what we're thinking?", just "we will be strict on immigration because that is what Britons want".

I think the obvious has been missed..

So here we are - option 4:

Listen to the voters and have policies that match their wishes. Then there will be no need for voters to look to other parties.

One of the advantages of being retired is the opportunity to pass the time of day with local people. Without fail, after introductory pleasantries about the weather, one both of the following topics comes up:

benefit cheats and those who will not work;
crime and the apparent lack of punishment.

The people I talk to, many of them men who left school at fifteen or sixteen to enter a trade, don’t go on about “foreigners taking our jobs”; what exercises them more is that British people won’t do the work that immigrants take, and prefer to live on state hand-outs.

The conversation is invariably punctuated with what might be construed by the over-sensitive as racist remarks, but without the crudeness that I remember from fifty years ago. There is a smouldering sense of unfairness caused by certain groups seeming to be “above the law” when it comes to drug-dealing, prostitution, benefit and insurance fraud, failure to tax and insure vehicles, and the theft of farm and building equipment.

I cannot imagine any of these people voting BNP, if only because BNP councillors seem to have been ineffective, incompetent even, where they have been elected. Our most popular local councillor, to whom even life-long Tories give their vote, is an ex-Labour independent who has a well-deserved reputation for effectiveness, and that seems to count more than anything.

"I would just say that as inheritors of Winston Churchill's party we should seek to free people everywhere from the tyranny of 'Socialist Police Governments."
Posted by: Conand | March 27, 2009 at 11:57

There is the possibility that the public may connect the Tories with socialist policies too..

Emily Sedgefield and David Eyles have both correctly pinpointed the main reasons for the BNP's increasing popularity as being the refusal of all three main parties to address the issues of immigration or the EU which is, of course, also inextricably linked with immigration.

But, it would be a mistake for the Conservatives to believe that the BNP's support comes almost entirely from former Labour supporters. They appeal equally to disillusioned former Tory working class voters and possibly to a number of people who would never normally have considered voting at all. At yesterday's local elections the Conservative vote at Yarborough was down by 4%, Labour's held steady, whilst the BNP polled 17% from nowhere.

Whilst it is unlikely that the BNP will win any seats at the general election, they may very well do so at the EU elections and, more importantly perhaps, their votes could mean a loss of Conservative seats at both elections.

If any party were to announce the promise of an EU referendum I would guess that this would immediately increase their rating in the polls by at least 5% and probably more. Indeed if Labour were to promise a referendum Cameron would probably be forced to follow suit, but without the kudos of being able to claim that this was Conservative policy.

In fact if Labour were to replace Brown immediately, coupled with the promise of a referendum by the new leader (Brown's referendum promises having already proved worthless)the prospect of a hung parliament would become a real possibility.

So why is Cameron so averse to commiting himself to a referendum which would steal a march on all the other leaders, immediately enhance the popularity of the Conservatives, be seen as democratic without favouring either faction of his party,and largely eliminate the threat of votes split by either UKIP or the BNP?

One argument which the BNP might predictably make is that the leaders of all three main parties are all deeply commited to further EU integration and will do anything to prevent the people of Britain from having any say in this.

Ex-Tory Gent:
You talk nonsense. The Conservative "party" is not the same thing as the Conservative leadership. Nor will the current leadership always be the leadership.

I'm a dedicated conservative. I dont want to be part of the EU, don't want open borders, ABSOLUTELY believe in free speech, believe is tough sentencing in appropriate cases, do not care if Turkey is in the EU as long as we are not, am in favour of capital punishment in extreme 'safe' cases.

I'm sure plenty of other Conservatives share some of those views.

It's a weak argument used by our opponents that we are "all the same", aimed to try and pull members to more extreme parties.

You're right, the current Conservative leadership don't speak precisely for my views. But if they did, then there would be other Conservatives that feel let down.

It is arrogant to presume my views are "right", so I don't. I hold those views, but remain open to debate on them, and wish to work with fellow (more moderate) Conservatives to 'get it right' for the country.

That's the correct way for politics to work in my opinion.

I am finding it hard to join the B.N.P. after the visit by Nick Griffin,during the 1980's to Libya.In those days,it was the Green N.F.and Libya had supplied training to terrorists in the old Rhodesia.

"So why is Cameron so averse to commiting himself to a referendum"

EU referendum on "in or out" or the treaty business?
He's promised one on the treaty, unless it's too late to have one, which seems sensible. Seems a little ungracious to claim that it's not their policy to have one.
I'm not sure there's a will for a referendum on whether to leave or not - best see how ukip does in the euros. If the conservatives are nicer to ukip then maybe this will also reduce the BNP vote, grouping them as both nasty which seems their current tactic only serves to give BNP credence.

To continue, I think this hits the nail on the head.
The nefarious and deliberate mispositioning over the years of the BNP as something to do with the right has confused a lot of people including some here. The BBC has a lot to answer for on this matter alone.
They are, of course, an emanation of the left and because of that are not primarily a problem for the Conservatives. The Labour party are threatened by them but that is their concern.

Last week, the BNP held a fundraising dinner in Essex.
150 guests produced £10,000.00 for the funds. Most Conservative Association fundraisers would give their eyeteeth for a result like that.
Wake up, folks.

"He's promised one on the treaty, unless it's too late to have one, which seems sensible"

It is never too late!Only what you do after the result differs.Having seen the power of the Hannan video Cameron may yet do the decent/right thing but rurrounded by Clarke,Hesltine et al I doubt it.

I am sorry, but until our political establishment gets a handle on immigration, particularly Islamic immigration, the BNP will increase its support ! I am desperately worried by the cowardice shown by ALL the mainstream politicians on this topic !

No sane British democrat would vote for the LibLabCon - that is for sure.

the leaflet the BNP has just put out in a by election round here is distinctly knuckle-dragging and unreconstructed, seeking to use religion as a surrogate for race and to portray all muslims as militant and various leading conservatives past and present as pro-islamist.

The BNP is not a Conservative problem: they are taking votes away from Labour, and it should therefore be Labour's responsibility to deal with them. BTW, I think that Charles Walker's strategy is insane if the object is to deprive the BNP of support: highlighting the fact that they are essentially an old-fashioned socialist party might actually attract white working-class voters.

I just love the smell of fear amongst Tory supporters!

You people want to take a look at how your party has been fairing in local elections since last May - it's not good and absolutely no where near what opinion polls might be saying. The BNP, on the other hand, has been working hard and building a strong core of support, which will see it gain its first MEPs (yes, it will be plural) in June and its first MPs in 2010.

As someone who is frequently out canvassing, I can tell you that there is widespread disillusionment with the LibLabCONS (or should that be the One Party?)on the doorstep, and the voters are more than amenable to consider a radical change.

There is a new paradigm in British politics and it is called Nationalism. Your three party consensus is going to be consigned to the dustbin of history. It's time for another Glorious Revolution, with the BNP in the vanguard.

The tories could take the lead fully open out the race/immigation issue and nail it once and for all.

I wrote a bit about it here http://pauper01.blogspot.com/2009/03/freedom-of-movement.html.

I suggest much of the problem is that many immigrants/migrants don't really want to be here at all (its cold, wet, remote, undisciplined, irreligious etc). They happen to be here as a consequence of some other driver (maybe money/work/family or even birth) so they may have no particular loyalty or interest in the UK and its culture - maybe even resenting it. This would clearly set them at odds with people who do want to be here and do want to enjoy UK culture and way of life.

Race, creed, colour in themselves are pretty irrelevant - its broadly about actually wanting to be here, and being happy about being here.

Wondered how long it would take delusional BNP sympathisers to get on this site. Not long it seems.
Without the ludicrous voting system the BNP would have little chance of winning a seat in the Euroelections. In the general election they have no chance of winning a seat whatsoever.
As I said at the beginning of this thread,let's not exaggerate the threat from them but let's not be complacent either.

Dear Hugh - You obviously have no idea what a paradigm is. A hint: it is not that thing you fantasised doing with Jorg Haider and his very fetching stormtroopers.

Norm [email protected],
I meant a referenum on in/out.
The quasi-promise of a referendum over the Lisbon Treaty really takes us nowhere, if the Treaty is fully ratified if and when the Conservatives take office, then EU integration proceeds full steam ahead (which it is already doing anyway) without the British voters ever being given a say.
If it has not been ratified by then and we reject it in a referendum, then integration will not cease, or even slow down, but, like Ireland, we will be told to go on voting until we get the answer right!,whilst doubtless being threatened with penalties (or loss of "privileges") in the interim.

Rather like Cameron's promise to withdraw from the EPP, his Lisbon referendum promise sounds more eurosceptic than it really is.

As to your comment that you are not sure whether there "is a will" for an in/out referendum; the UKIP results at the EU elections will have no bearing at all upon this, unless you are implying that only those who voted UKIP would be in favour of a referendum?

Regardless of how they intended to vote in an in/out referendum, I would suggest that that an overwhelming majority of British voters would be in favour of being given the chance of expressing their wishes over our continued membership of the EU.

Regardless of the outcome of the vote, the holding of such a referendum would be of immense benefit to Britain, for it would put an end ( at least, hopefully, for several years) to an issue which otherwise will become increasingly bitter and divisive with every new transfer of power to Brussels.

@JackIddon

I more or less agree with your view that Britain should be mono-cultural rather than multicultural (Trevor Phillips has already stated that Multiculturalism did more to harm integration and therefore failed). I would also agree that our culture should be based around our Christian heritage and tradition, even though I am an atheist.

However, I do not agree that Britain is not multi - racial. Only when you accept that Britain is multiracial is it possible to say that race does not matter, ie. that what unites us should be a shared culture. Perhaps I have misunderstood what you are saying, but if you are saying that British-ness necessarily involves being white then you are wrong.

Race does not in anyway influence what it means to be British. I am brown and I am very proud to be British. People cannot change their race, but people do change their culture and their religion. You don't choose to be white in order to move to Britain, but I believe you should want to be (culturally) British if you do decide you want to move here.

I read this last week of a postmaster in Nottingham who is Sri Lankan born who refused to serve immigrants in his post office (at peak times) because they didn't speak English and it meant he could not serve his other customers in a timely fashion. He was right to raise the issue, but he was fired from his job. He understood that if you want to be British you have to make an effort. Similarly, I think that the majority of the immigrant families that have come across prior to the 90s did wish to be integrated into British society.

Britishness has to be multiracial otherwise you are going to marginalise people just because of their race: Because of the colour of their skin one would be preventing them from ever being fully "British". We need to make it as easy as possible for people from all ethnic groups to want to be British and to share the culture, language and social norms that make us British.

With regards to the BNP's policies: They can write what they like in their manifesto to try and appear like they have other priorities, but it comes down to a simple question about whether they want to accept other races into this country IRRESPECTIVE of whether they want to be British or not.

I propose a criteria that is 'race blind' and says that to be British is to accept our language, culture, traditions and society.

However, a bigger problem is to categorise what we would define as British society anymore: Binge drinking? Teenage pregnancy? Those issues are hardly due to immigration or multiculturalism. Indeed, immigrant communities often have very strong and traditionally conservative social structures: Many came to Britain because they wanted to live in a safe, courteous and fair society. Unfortunately, we have not had that since the 50's.

I don't believe Nationalism is a dirty word, but you have to ensure that the concept of a nation can include all races. I will remain proud to be British and supporting the only party that has some respect for our democratic history and wants to produce a fair Britain for all, irrespective of race: The Conservative Party.
TIMforchange

Ti[email protected],

I agree completely and unreservedly with everything you have written.

You are obviously a natural Ukipper!

the UKIP results at the EU elections will have no bearing at all upon this, unless you are implying that only those who voted UKIP would be in favour of a referendum

No, but if they have a strong showing then it points to there being a will to leave.
If they have a poor count then it would say that people are prettymuch happy as they are and so a full referendum would be pretty pointless.

Maybe it would gain a few votes, but I wouldn't say it's worth conservatives committing to it at the moment and there's hardly a danger of labour getting there first; like they want the people chosing anything. Committing to something is just giving your enemies a weapon to try and use against you (even if it's a positive thing)

I think the pressing concern for most people right now is to kill off labour and so saying much on europe is distracting from that (important though it is) - vote on our government before we vote on who controls it.

So the Tory plan, as usual, is not to tackle the issue but to smear another Party that is.

I wonder how much Dave paid is marxist think tank 'Demos' to come up with that one.

You say Tories wont vote for the BNP, well this one will and everytime I read such halfwitted nonsense as this thread starter is just confirms my choice.

BTW, before you start trying to smear any Party as criminals or anything else I suggest you look up 'liars, buggers and thieves' on their website for a comprehensive list of what your Party has been up to, it may make you think twice.

John Ionides suggests, ” How do we address this? Working hard on the doorstep seems like a good approach.” - So this is “addressing the problem” of e.g. the frightening levels of immigration – both legal and illegal – in recent years? Not taking any substantive measures but relying on bland reassurance of voters whom one believes to be simple, childlike, easily swayed…? Pretty much par for the course Tory thinking, I’m afraid, and exactly why all the anxious recriminations and/or complacent bombast will do damn-all to prevent significant votes in June for both the BNP and UKIP.
Sue Doughty asserts, ”..all fringe party votes are wasted - therefore they help Labour and the status quo”, a message that appears here often but which is, apart from being somewhat arrogant, entirely the wrong way around: kneejerk votes for the established duo of Lab/Con are what maintain the status quo, same medicine, different bottles…
OTOH Christina Speight suggests, ” The only reason it can be considered a threat is that the Tory party is a limp-wristed gutless body trying to please everyone simultaneously and failing,” which by contrast seems like an eminently sensible assessment…

"BNP seem to have tuned into these concerns. Like it or not they are also perceived as a Right-Wing Authoritarian Party by most voters, NOT as Left-Wing no matter what the Econo-Tories and Libertarians may say."

Well left right at the extremes the distinctions break down. Its like Libertarians and Anarchists, some people see a distinction others don't. It's much the same with race. To me a person is British if they a integrated into British society. Many of the immigrants who have invaded Britain in the last few years seem to be as white as the next man, and if the Polish are anything to go by, ten times as prone to racism. Given 15 years, most of those who stay will be almost indistinguishable from the majority ethnic mix. The BNP isn't shy about excluding people which is what really holds them apart from the rest of British politics.
"The Great Recession was caused by White People with Blue Eyes" At least that is the view of the Brazilian president. This tells me that Racism is far from dead in Latin America. We will have to respond to other peoples racism because they certainly will be judging us on the evidence of their prejudices which often will have some historical reason. If we are honest the problem started in the US, but it was the weakness of British institutions that spread the pain around. Is our Knee jerk reaction, which is to fight recession with cuts and a more introspective economy, really a virtue or something far less healthy. I detect more than a little willingness for tough measures aimed at people who are believed not to measure up one way or another. The times are ripe for scapegoats to be found. So in Brazil it becomes blue eyed white men. Here it seems to be benefit recipients. Despite the reality of our failed economy being in no small part the fall out from an American economy which refuses point blank to pay all of its due taxation. There is already a lot of fingers pointing in different directions and all of them want to apportion blame to somebody, anybody, rather than themselves.I believe that if any party is going to bang the National drum ,or play the race card however subtly, it should be us, because we at least have some commonsense. We can catch the peoples mood best by listening to their concerns and responding to the majority view.
What we can longer get away with is sweeping the race issue under the carpet.


UKIP speak for an awful lot of Conservatives. UKIP is presented, all too often, as the BNP ally.
The BBC doesn't like either, for instance. So both parties have the glamour of the underdog and the secrecy of not being known.
This is hugely dangerous.
Hitler - I am making an historical point here - didn't amount to anything before the depression hit Germany in the 1930s.
With imminent riots over G22 in London, a growing climate of anger and disappointment among all bloggers, and a mountain of unpayable debt, sooner or later, people will turn to the people who have a simple solution. The UKIP and the BNP both have simple solutions, and they are untainted by politics too.
The difference, as we all know, between UKIP and the BNP is thatt the BNP is racist - like the Nazis. and the brown Shirts are there too - just look behind Nick Griffin on the pictures.

Posted by: ex-Tory Gent | March 27, 2009 at 11:38
according to a late-Victorian album of Punch I have, the original "Sick Man of Europe", was -
Turkey.

I feel truly embarrassed for the complete lack of ideas that this thread demonstrates along with the arrogance of treating the electorate as being stupid whilst at the same time conveying the idea that it is the absolute right of this Party to be in power, even if you don't know what to do with it, as if it is your inheritance.

The peole of this country who are supporting the bnp will be joined by millions more if we attack them on flimsy points.
It's a fact that the bnp are as legal as the Labour,Conservative and any other British Political Party.
If we try to do as has been suggested,then we are to be seen in the future as the Fascist,undemocratis Conservative and Unionist Party.
Let us all face up to our dilema,David and those who surround him in the Cabinet will never bring about a victory in the General Election that we all all crave.We have another Labour period of five more years in front of us I'm afraid.Woe is me,I should have been born in '89 instead of '39.

@DavidatHome

I'm glad you agree, but I am not a UKipper. Surely I can hold ideas which maybe concurrent with theirs, without supporting their whole manifesto? I'm glad UKIP exist and are there to extoll their views. However, I am fundamentally committed to making change happen within the Conservative party. Some call me an idealist, but I believe that optimism is one of the Conservative party's oldest principles, as is tolerance and respect for a broad church of opinions. I think more people who criticise should actively get involved in the Conservative party and seek to bring about that change.

I think more people who criticise should actively get involved in the Conservative party and seek to bring about that change.
"Flogging a dead horse" comes to mind. And my local Conservative Party looks like the cast from Night Of The Living Dead.

Timforchange,

Good luck to you and I hope you manage, with others, to change the Tory Party in the way you wish it to go. Ultimately, it is the country matters and the parties to which we may belong are just the means for doing the best for our country and all its people, whatever their race.

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