Tuesday, October 28, 2008


In the previous post I referred to this article about Trevor Phillips and his suggestion that the white working class will turn to "right-wing extremism" unless they get some sort of government help during this recession.

There are two problems with this. First of all, the British people don't do "right-wing extremism" and, even if they did, there isn't actually any extreme right wing party to support. What he actually means, of course, is the BNP - but the BNP are neither extremist or particularly right wing. Socially conservative? Yes. Racist? Maybe - but racism per say does not make someone or something "extremist".

Let's be honest, Trevor Phillips has made a career out of being racist. The organisation he leads has spent decades promoting the causes of black and Asian immigrants over the rights and freedoms of the white indigenous population. That is racist.

The reality of the BNP is that their policies are socially conservative and surprisingly socialist. UKIP are much more right wing in traditional politics than the BNP. The two of them are much more like the old Labour and Conservative parties than they are anything else and their differences are divided by what used to be the centre ground 50 years ago.

What is clear is that fifty years of far left politics has left Britain in a worse state than it was before the main parties started their leftward drift back in the sixties. I think there are many people who, like me, haven't really moved politically in the same way that Labour and the Tories have. We are the people who have stopped voting because we know it makes no difference - the three main parties are all the same.

I'm sure that these people, like me, are now starting to realise that the only real alternative to the left wing stranglehold is either a vote for BNP or UKIP. Both parties, to me, have an appeal - the problem is deciding which is the best one for me to support.

I've never denied that I was, once, fairly left wing. I was a member of the Liberal Party (not the Lib Dems) for a short time when I was young (before voting age). The first time I was allowed to vote was in 1979 - and I didn't vote for Thatcher! I was, I guess, more traditional Labour than I was Conservative. That is why there is a part of me that likes the BNP even though their policies are, in many ways, rather socialist.

I like the fact that they are nationalistic, but I don't agree with their ethnic policies. The idea of banning mixed race marriages is preposterous - the state should never have the right to interfere with the free choice of the individual to that extent - and they'd never get it past the House of Lords (unless the Lords is also an elected House). I like the fact that they are prepared to back British manufacturing and industry, but I'm not so keen on their unqualified support for the NHS - an institution which, mawkish sentimentality aside, is seriously inept at doing what it is supposed to do.

So, for me, the BNP is the equivalent of the Labour party. And to the right of the centre ground we have UKIP - the modern day equivalent of the old Conservative Party.

I also like UKIP - or rather, I like their potential. Again, they are fairly nationalistic and prepared to put the people of Britain and this nation first and foremost in their policies - but they are so hung up on the issue of the EU that they do themselves no favours with the voters. Unless they change that then they are always going to struggle. I don't mean they should abandon their policy of withdrawing from the EU - heavens no! - they should just stop using every opportunity they have to bang on about it.

As long as they keep referring to the EU and blaming everything on the EU then they will remain, in the eyes of the voters, a single issue party. In reality they are much more than that. They've put out more policy in the last couple of years than the Tories managed in 10 years of opposition, but because they don't seem to be able to mention that without referring to the EU much of this gets missed.

UKIP need to take a leaf out of the BNP's book. The BNP are also committed to EU withdrawal, but they have the sense to frame most of their policies in terms of what it means for Britain rather than focussing on the EU.

Over the last year or so I have been researching these two parties as well as one or two others (the English Democrats and UK Libertarian Party) and I have decided that I am going to join one of them. I still don't know which, though. As things stand, the BNP appeal to me as a party with real potential to make positive inroads into the left wing alliance, but politically I am much more drawn to UKIP. Because of that, at the moment, UKIP are favourites, but I'm open to persuasion.


Mark Wadsworth said...

I am also a liberal sort of chap, so it's UKIP for me on any level. And I agree that they waffle on about the EU a bit too much and don't attack LibLabCon nearly enough.

The funny thing is my wife leans towards BNP, I keep having to remind her she is neither white nor British-born.

Stan said...

My Brummie mate is not white either - though he is very much British born - but he is a BNP voter. The only thing he doesn't like about them is that he can't join!

UKIP have enormous potential, but every time they build any sort of momentum they implode - that worries me.