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Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Ian Dale, Dennis McShane and the BNP

Blog post on BNP today:
In response to Iain Dale.
“Macshane Falls into BNP Trap
Iain Dale 8:57 AM
What on earth was Denis Macshane thinking of? To most sane people, blaming a political party which has been out of power for twelve years for the rise of the BNP is as preposterous as it is insulting. His rationale is that Tory Euroscepticism is akin to encouraging xenophobia, and therefore feeds into the BNP agenda. I hardly need to rebut it because it is a ridiculous proposition. If the BNP was gaining in popularity because of issues related to Euroscepticism he might have a point, although it would be far more likely to be a reaction to Macshane-like rampant Europhilia which would send people to the BNP.

What Denis cannot face up to is that it is his own party which is fuelling the popularity of the BNP. It's no coincidence that almost without exception every area the BNP does well in has previously been or is currently represented by Labour MPs or councillors. Labour's previously loyal client state is reacting against years of being let down by Labour politicians like Denis Macshane. They have had enough. The only blame which can be aimed at the Tories is that they have failed to step into the breach quickly enough, and the BNP have skilfully filled the vacuum.

Blackburn, Burnley, Thurrock, Dagenham. Hardly Tory areas, are they? Even Labour cabinet ministers have acknowledged that the so-called white working classes feel let down by the political establishment. What a shame Denis Macshane cannot do the same and then come out with some constructive suggestions in order to address their concerns.

Instead, he has a go at the Tories and thereby gives the BNP the oxygen of publicity it craves. Well done, Denis.”

I must disagree strongly. I'm from south Essex where BNP support is very strong, in last year's local elections the BNP was first, second or third in every poll. And it's VERY Tory round my end of the world. VERY VERY Tory.
Rather than mud-slinging, let's have a think about this. The old thing about the BNP doing well when Labour does badly seems to strike true, more or less. But there are deeper problems which the left don't like to acknowledge, i.e. that some lefty people might be a bit racist.

But shunning the BNP doesn't help, only talking about them and giving them "the oxygen of publicity" can drag them out of the shadows and into the stark light of reality where they can be tackled. Very often they get their support by being 'outsiders' who 'say what others won't' etc. etc,
only by dealing with them can we deal with the problem that they are the symptom of


Anonymous said...

It might also be the tabloids feeding them absurd lies about immigrants taking our jobs, raping our children and defiling our nation. But no politician is brave enough to take them on because they'll get crucified.

Moscow Mule said...

Ian Dale also mentions in another post Ken Livingstone's view on the BNP. He advocates tackling the ideas of the BNP. How can you win a debate if you don't address the other side's view?

And why do the tabloids feed the absurd lies? Because it sells. Why does it sell? This is the question.

Bearded Socialist said...

Thank you both. I agree that the media is a huge problem. A while back I tried engaging some BNP supporters, and the reason they supported the BNP was because they believe a huge number of people were living off benefits, not working etc etc etc.
Makes very good tabloid headlines and a good moral panic. Then the BNP comes along and people flock to them. The people themselves didn't even really know WHY then were BNP, so that gives hope for people being able to engage with these people and convince them away from the BNP