When did Briton become so stupid, and so moiserable, that voting for the BNP - a miserable bunch of fascists-in-suits - seems like a reasonable course of action?
Ian Birrel provides some basic analysis in The Independent:
I think that is half right, but no more.
Some would argue that the reason is simple: there is too much immigration, upsetting the delicate balance of society, and our politicians talk too little about a core concern. They are wrong. The problem is not that there has been too much discussion, but that it is unashamedly hostile to newcomers. Just as it is little wonder support for the European Union is wilting when it is never publicly defended, so it is little surprise that a racist party can rise when there seems to be only hostility to immigrants and asylum-seekers.
By talking of schools being "swamped" by immigrants, or demanding "British jobs for British workers", or even by constantly trying to define "Britishness", politicians like David Blunkett and Gordon Brown – in tandem with elements of the populist press, the net and radio talkshows – have coarsened the public discourse. Instead of cool discussion of an incendiary issue, such loose talk has sanctioned race-based politics, contributing to a situation in which politicans are terrified of tackling urban myths on issues such as housing and education.
The result is that, on the same day as Britain elected two racist MEPs, a revelatory report was published by the Red Cross, which showed how skewed British perceptions are on asylum-seekers. It revealed, for example, that people believed the UK is home to one in four of the world's asylum-seekers; the true figure is about one in 33. In such a climate, is it any wonder that sections of a confused electorate, angry with its politicians, turn to a party based on race hatred? (1)
If it was just an issue of immigration, London would be a BNP stronghold, run by a BNP mayor. It isn'tThe other reson people turned to the BNP is because Labour no longer seemed to represent them. The BNP's vote was strongest in areas which have been traditionally Labour, and which have been taken for granted for too long.
The BNP suceeded in the North of England because the Labour party didn't think it needed to do anything to maintain its vote - falling into the old trap that because the BNP is a far right party, its supporters would be disillusioned Tories. The BNP, of course, advocates a Hitlerian combination of racial supremacy, cultural chauvanism and a veneer of bargain basic socialist populism. Which worked for Hitler, and worked - to a rather meagre, but still concerning extent - for Griffin and his knuckle dragging cohorts.
So it is understandable that the British working class - seeing 'their' party acting just like the TOries - would be susecptible to the slimy advances of the fascists. It's symptomatic of the lazy self-centredness that afflicts Britain (I blame Thatcher) - "I feel unhappy, it must be the fault of the effi' immies, taking the jobs and the good houses and getting preferential treatment all the time, I'm not going to stand for this, I'm proud to be British, I'm voting BNP."
Understandable, but still stupid.
1 - "How our politicians failed to stop the rise of the far right," bu Ian Birrel, published in The Independent, 9th of June, 2009. (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/ian-birrell-how-our-politicians-failed-to-stop-the-rise-of-the-far-right-1700206.html)