Two recent items in the Guardian have started me thinking about how the British people have lost the run of themselves over Labour at the moment.
The first, today, was the reaction to Peter Hain’s Comment is Free piece about the BNP. Hain said, correctly, that it was vitally important they didn’t win a European Parliament seat, and cast his mind back to the 1970s campaigns against the National Front:
‘…the BNP leaders are more sophisticated than the old National Front. They wear suits rather than openly flirt with nazism. They sound smooth and plausible on radio or TV. They are exploiting alienation from Westminster politics, particularly among the white working class. Yet their politics are fundamentally similar: the scapegoating of black people, Muslims, Jews, foreigners, gays and lesbians for social and economic problems. Whenever they are ascendant locally, racial violence and racial hatred are barely beneath the surface.’
And what’s the reaction from commentators – in The Guardian, remember? Well, it can be summarised as: ‘Labour is making such a mess of things that we don’t blame anyone for voting BNP; Labour will get what they deserve.’
Excuse me? I remember the days when, if you were fed up with Labour, you thought about voting Liberal Democrat, or Green, or staying at home. Not voting for a party whose policies include repatriation, and whose concept of Britishness isn’t based on citizenship as measured by your passport, but by the colour of your skin. Since when was there any justification for voting for such a party? - or excusing others who do so?
The second item was a summary of three recent opinion polls on voting behaviour, all of which put the Tories on 45%. That’s nearly half. Surely there can be no clearer demonstration of the political and economic illiteracy of the British people than the intention of large numbers to vote for a party that would cut public spending at the present time, just when unemployment is rocketing. Do people really think they will pay less tax under a Tory government? No – the Tories may well use a greater share of tax revenues to repay national debt more quickly, but it’ll be at the expense of the services we all depend on.
So let’s recap. If you want to live in a country governed by the Tories, along with a sizeable BNP presence in Europe and in local government, and you are middle class:
- you’ll have to pay higher taxes
- and pay for medical care
- and for your children’s education, including university
- and for a state of the art burglar alarm.
If you're working class:
- you'll be fucked.