Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Why did the BNP do well?

Well for starters it didn't do as well as has been made out. It gained less votes than the last election, partly because turnout was down. So it inspired less people to vote for it. However, some are wondering if it represents a real underlying racism in the UK among some, or if it is just an ignorant protest vote, or if the BNP actually does say what some working class young white men want to hear. The truth is a mix of all of the above.

The explicitly racist part is only a small part of the picture, otherwise it would campaign like the erstwhile National Front, which still comes out from time to time spouting openly racist policies. They never got the National Front far in the past, so the BNP has been more clever. An ignorant protest vote? Perhaps, but then protest votes can go a lot of places - the key is the BNP is made up of people who are like its voters - poorly educated, white working class, who believe the world ignores them.

It is a constituency the Labour Party believes it is entitled to. BNP voters almost all wouldn't vote Conservative - it can't relate to a party seen as upper class, involving businesspeople, the university educated, speaking received pronunciation who send their children to private schools, drive nice cars, live in the South East and use the word chav as an insult. The Liberal Democrats are invisible to them, as are the Greens, besides neither party appeals to young men whose primary pastimes involve drinking, football, cars and women.

However in that respect, Labour isn't much different either. The party formerly consisting of men who did hard manual labour, who were in unions, who barely knew what a university was and who waxed lyrically in parochial accents has changed into one that looks more and more like a group of university graduates, who never had a "real job", who espouse what is known as "political correctness" to censure the young working class male from making inappropriate jokes or comments, and who positively gush whenever minorities get elected. Minorities being those Labour embrace, women, people of Afro-Caribbean or Indian sub-continent descent or who are of non Judeo-Christian religions.

Is it any wonder the average barely educated young male thinks the Labour party ignores him? Quite simply because it does. So the BNP rhetoric about immigrants taking "their jobs" makes sense to them, because few bother arguing the merits of immigration, and most young working class men don't think of the reverse - them emigrating, for where would men who have rudimentary literacy in only English go in Europe to work?

Furthermore, the BNP has socialist policies on virtually all other issues. Opposing privatisation, supporting renationalising the railways, supporting tight regulations of business, opposing free trade and investment across borders, opposing EU membership, embracing the NHS and public services and wanting to crackdown on tax loopholes. None of this would have looked out of place in Michael Foot's Labour Party, but in Gordon Brown's it is half-hearted and almost embarrasing to have candidates who espouse many of these views.

On top of that, the BNP takes a hardline on one of the issues that working class young men face more than most - crime. It supports the death penalty and harsh penalties for child molestors, with hard labour for other criminals. It supports taking a draconian approach to drug traffickers (with a tinge of "well it isn't our people bringing this stuff into the country"). Few working class folk would disagree with these sentiments.

By contrast, what does Labour offer? A welcoming welfare state for all, which is noticeably enjoyed by migrants in increasing numbers. Strategies and job titles for state employees to advance ethnic minority access to taxpayer funded housing, health and education all sound like "foreigners are using our facilities and taxes to benefit from our system". Given education stats show the poorest performing demographic being poor working class white boys, is it any wonder that their families feel neglected. The scale of immigration to some communities particular in the North, and East Midlands has seen the ghettoisation of ethnic minority communities, which has frightened those of other groups. While the BNP likes to make a hyperbole of it, there is some truth to comments that a few youth of non-European minorities feel free to intimidate others knowing full well that accusations of racism are rarely believed in that direction.

Now I'm not providing enormous sympathy for the uneducated young white male underclass, whose own ignorance and lack of aspiration is largely to blame for their poverty. Their resentment is partially their own lack of self esteem projected onto blaming others for their status in life.

However, as Philip Johnston states in the Daily Telegraph "for years now they have been considered an embarrassment, a low-achieving, boorish, poorly educated affront to the sensibilities of the "progressive" elite that preached the virtues of multi-culturalism, promoted mass immigration and makes up much of the political establishment, including the modern Labour Party." In other words Labour would rather talk about the poor than talk to them, especially if they are young white men. Such men who are not worldly, whose primary interest is their own lot and who don't know why they should give a damn about people of different ethnic groups, who Labour openly courts. This has only been exacerbated by the rise of Islamist terrorism and the apparent flagrant way that some Islamists can promote violence in the UK, whilst being able to benefit from the generous welfare state.

"Rightly or wrongly, this group of voters believes that the people who suffer most discrimination in modern Britain are "white people". This is the response of 77 per cent of BNP supporters; but it is also the view of 40 per cent of voters overall. They don't like the way that Muslim extremists appear to sound off with impunity while anyone defending their country's heritage and traditions is denounced by the progressives as a fringe loony. Hence the BNP's heavy reliance on wartime imagery to appeal to this nostalgic sense of a lost past."

So in essence, you take a bunch of disenchanted young white men, who witness an ever straining socialist health, education and housing system, enjoyed extensively by immigrants, a barely shrouded embarrassment among Labour activists for the culture and concerns of the underclass, an ongoing cultural cringe in the UK about what it means to be British and what the values of British society are about, whilst Islamists happily preach their own vision of the future damning what most people think British society IS about. Poorly educated white men who think the world owes them a living, a socialist housing, health, education and welfare system that is open for anyone in the EU and any new migrant to enjoy, a fear of expressing a British socio-political cultural identity whilst no such fear from those from outside Britain, including those who wish to destroy some of the bedrocks of the British system. Add a lot of socialist economics and social policies, and you have the BNP - it is a lot of old Labour, with some carefully shrouded proud nationalism.

The only difference with old Labour is that the BNP is socialism for one skin colour only. Traditionally, that end of British politics has been filled by barely competent inadequates, it has only been with Nick Griffin corralling his barely literate troops of racists (after all, who participates in the BNP if it isn't to let off some racist steam) to talk of racism working the other way, to talk of immigration straining public services and talk anti-capitalism, that has given it some credibility. Griffin is careful to oppose racism publicly, and to treat insults as water off a duck's back - knowing that the best way to respond to mainstream media baiting is to look tired at it.

As long as he leads, the BNP can maintain this veneer of credibility among a small minority of voters, but as long as Labour continues to treat what are its core supporters with barely shrouded contempt, it wont get them back. Indeed it created the dependency culture that its former supporters want to deny those of others races, it create the myth that for the working classes to progress, they needed Nanny State to advance, it also created the drive for "equality of outcomes" that have bizarrely resulted in bureaucracies and councils focusing on groups other than poor white males.

In short, the BNP did well because it exploits a culture of statism and dependency that the left have long promoted - blaming the failures of the system on immigration. The problem is not that, the problem is the system itself - and Labour will never ever tackle that.


KG said...

Not a bad analysis, but I'd certainly take issue with your characterization (repeatedly) of BNP supporters as being poorly-educated young white males.
That may have been true a few years ago but there's been a surge in membership over the past eighteen months or so and the newer members tend to be drawn from a much wider range of ages and educational levels.
There's plenty of evidence that the newer members are driven by concerns about two main issues--immigration and crime. They're not necessarily racist, it's just that the ruling duopoly of Labour and the Tories have done damn all about either of those things and show little sign that they intend to in future.
So where else are those people going to have their voices heard? The success of the BNP is due entirely to the failures of Brown and Cameron.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Kiwi, every time I entered the UK on a work permit stamped on my passport was "No recourse to public funds". Why aren't other immigrants treated the same?

Libertyscott said...

Ok they are also poorly educated old white males, and young white females and older white females.

The BNP is intellectually vacuous, Griffin denies his holocaust denying past, it has a senior member who has called Churchill a cunt because he waged war against white nations, and cheered Hitler. It has a whites only membership policy (Nick Griffin has justified it twice on national TV KG, but I guess you don't see that).

Many supporters may not be driven by racism, but any cursory research demonstrates the BNP is by and large a bunch of nationalist socialists who don't like people of different coloured skin.

Of course I wish the Socialist Labour Party also was attacked for having sympathisers of communist regimes, but that doesn't excuse the BNP.

Libertyscott said...

Murray. Indeed. EU citizens have free movement, but funnily enough few Britons go to Bulgaria to claim Bulgarian health care.

KG said...

So what if it has a 'whites only' membership policy? The Maori rugby team has a Maori only policy, the Congressional Black Caucus has a blacks only policy, plenty of Japanese organisations have a Japanese only policy etc etc etc.
That's entirely the business of the organisation concerned--but apparently it's something especially heinous if white people do it.
The day may be drawing to a close where the left is able to dictate the terms of the debate by deciding what is and is not 'acceptable', both in language and behaviour. Nationalism has been made a dirty word, as has patriotism and the 'racist' epithet has become a catch-all word, used to shut down debate and de-legitimise opponents of multiculturalism.
While bleeding-heart idiots worry about the fringe parties such as the BNP, the people who organized an illegal protest against legitimately elected MPs--a protest from groups funded by Labour, while the police stood by and did nothing--represent a fascist, dangerous element in UK politics which ultimately is far more of a threat to peace and stability.
The rise of the BNP is due almost entirely to the way Labour and the Tories have treated the democratic process with utter contempt, the way those two parties have failed to address the real problems of mass immigration and crime.
Clean up the yard, and the rats will leave.

KG said...

And I assume you have some hard evidence about the relative education levels of BNP supporters and Labourites?

Libertyscott said...

Well I never said a race based policy for any organisation makes sense. Of course the BNP should be free to be racist, but that freedom includes my right to damn it for a being a bunch of knuckle dragging nationalist socialists.

Nationalism is a childish backward attitude, the idea somehow that you should be proud of your ancestors - even though you didn't do what they did. It is tribalism, primitive and the source of rivers of blood, and continues to be. The BNP treats people as collectives as groups, like socialists - no different from communists and fascists hating each other, hating competition for collectivism.

I consistently throw dirt at the open left - I consider the BNP to be far left as well. However you are right, Labour and the Tories have been abominable for some time, but it doesn't excuse closet Nazis.

I never said Labour supporters were bright, but I've yet to see a BNP member who wasn't a bit of a loser.

KG said...

Well, fair enough--I don't suggest that BNP is filled with MENSA candidates. :-) Neither am I a supporter, believe it or not. (as the last sentence of my first comment should indicate).
But I disagree strongly with this:
"Nationalism is a childish backward attitude, the idea somehow that you should be proud of your ancestors - even though you didn't do what they did."
There's nothing wrong with nationalism, in having an awareness of one's ancestry and a pride in and concern for the welfare of one's country. As for it being 'primitive'--well, in the long run of evolution we are still primitive and no amount of social engineering will change that.
And pride in the achievements of one's ancestors is a positive thing, something for youngsters to aspire to and model themselves on. Christ knows, enough of them lack any role models other than vacuous sports 'stars' and entertainers otherwise. You'd surely not suggest that young Kiwis shouldn't admire the likes of a Rutherford or a Hilary or a Fairburn?
There's plenty of evidence that a preference for people very similar to ourselves is a hardwired characteristic, that societies tend to do better--get along with less friction--when they're made up of people who share the same traditions and a similar outlook. Japan and China demonstrate that fairly well and it would be odd were it to be otherwise.
To expect that the importation of huge numbers of immigrants from countries which share almost nothing in common with the host country can be carried out without major problems is utopian idiocy.
Although I have Asian (Chinese/Singaporean)and Aboriginal mates, all of us recognise the fact that there are cultural differences that will never be resolved or fully understood by the others. It makes for some fun dinner parties and drinking sessions, but the differences are potentially very inflammatory when people either don't know one another very well, or one group is determined not to accept the other.
Which is why the BNP supporters and muslim immigrants who refuse to adapt are headed for a collision.
Sorry for the long comment--it's a huge subject and it's difficult to make it any shorter.

KG said...

A very good column by Delingpole in the Telegraph: