Harriet Harman’s latest wheeze is to warn us that querying MPs’ disgusting behaviour will “Play into the hands of the BNP”.
There is an excellent article on the BNP by Jeremy Seabrook in the Guardian.
It is absolutely true that under Blair the Labour Party abandoned the interests of the White Working Class. That hasn’t really changed. Bankers can have hundreds of billions from the taxpayers, but the Corus steel foundry on Tyneside can go to the wall.
Seabrook’s evocative description of “forlorn estates of liquor shops covered with chicken wire, leaky drainpipes, semi-wild dogs and tattered flags of St George ?” everything that symbolised the last gasp of a disappearing working class” immediately transported me back to canvassing in Mill Hill ward in Blackburn. There was little political downside to abandoning the “sinks”. Voter turnout among the hopeless voters of Mill Hill was down to around ten per cent. But I found the people friendly and engaging. I was frequently invited in for tea. They did not vote, not because they were stupid, but because they no longer believed it would do any good.
It was quite simply true that vastly more of the huge amount of public money which underpins the economy of Blackburn, ended up benefiting the immigant rather than the poor white community. But these essentially decent white people fully shared the strong British dislike of anything associated with fascism. The BNP only got just over 5% in Blackburn – the same as I got as an anti-war Independent.
Meanwhile, there was an incredible 29% of all votes cast by postal ballot in Blackburn. This was over twice the national average, and I believe the highest percentage in the country. As part of New Labour’s plan to maximise the value of their postal ballot vote farming through patriarchal power structures in immigrant communities, these postal ballots were by law mixed with secret ballots before counting, so it was not possible to record any discrepancy between postal and secret ballots. But I learnt from tellers that they looked to be “over 90%” for Jack Straw. (See Murder in Samarkand p. 365). That means Straw only got about 30% of secret, non-postal ballots.
These postal ballots came almost entirely from the Muslim community, and almost entirely went to Jack Straw. So he doesn’t need the white people of Mill Hill.
The mainstream parties exaggerate the electoral threat from the BNP because it is in their interest to do so. The astonishing thing is that the BNP do not have more support from the politically abandoned poor whites of this country. That is a reflection of the British people’s fundamental decency.
What is needed now is a politics of fairness and concern, of work and the dignity of labour, and which respects the values of liberty and toleration that still appeal to working class people as a fundamental part of their British heritage. The Labour Party can never again stand for that. New Labour never did. A radical political realignment is beginning to take place in the UK. How men of goodwill should try to influence that for the better is a grope in a forest rather than a march down an open road at present. I hope a track may be found soon. But getting rid of Brown, Harman, Mandelson and this terrible government is an obvious priority.