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Monday, November 13, 2006

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Mike Bennett

I don't think a coalition of the willing is the answer - I would suggest that you should go for the root causes. Why are the poorest so disaffected?

Many outside government argue that the ever widening gap between rich and poor that this government has worked for - means serious hardship for the lowest levels of our society.

Labour has its roots in things like "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists" which show graphically how capitalism extract the money from the poor. And how capitalism intrinsically lacks a heart which can be provided by politicians. Like Tony Benn for example - I feel a care for people from him in contrast to many on the front bench of all parties.

So I suggest that you have the solution in your article - just not in your conclusion. It's responding to genuine local grievances.

Surely what politicians should be doing anyway?

el tom

I think that noth of you are right. We have to combat the root causes, here Cruddas is certainly right. Where he is also right is that we need to harness activism.

Unite against fascism is too SWP dominated, much like it's predecessor; but this doesn't stop people joining and turning it our way. Searchlight is an excellent organisation which is too small.

Labour people need to combine a labour-centric approach outside of these coalitions, as well as making policy which looks after those left behind, as opposed to giving them a kicking. In this respect, I have to say that I don't think centrism is an answer. Only the politics of the left can defeat fascism.

But Labourites must be willing to look beyond sectarianism, and win the anti-BNP coalitions for the sensible, without cutting people out.

snowflake5

If the "BNP is often successful in what he describes as the ‘forgotten’ white areas", how do you explain the BNP presence in prosperous leafy Tory-dominated Epping Forest?

It's a mistake to think that economic woes are at play here - lets not forget that from an economic point of view, things have never been better, never have so many had a chance to work. If poverty was the root cause, then 1993 would have been the moment the BNP took hold.

What's more likely is that 9/11 and 7/7 gave certain racist types "permission" to express their views. There is less of a taboo about being BNP now because a certain sector feels that these arn't prejudices (which by definition are irrational) but that their suspicions about the Islamic community that are vindicated.

And while the "War on Terror" goes on, with a very high profile, it will be very difficult to argue that Islamophobia is irrational. And if we can't argue that it's irrational, we can't defeat the BNP.

Angela PInter

The above comments and Cruddas are prefect examples of political evasion.
It is no good condemning the BNP without condemnning the conditions which gave rise to their growing support.
The responsiblity for this falls on the Labour Party at local and national level.
Itis trure that things have never been better but there are growing inequalities. And the greatest burden is falling on the working class. In particular the benefits of inward migration go to the wealthiest while the costs especially at local level fall on the poorest in the poorest areas.

We need a dose of realism andnot more slogans about how bad the BNP are.
The possibility of a mature debate is remote when any critical comment is apparently closed down by use of the term 'racist'(sic).

Bob Piper

I don't think the rise of the BNP can necessarily be related to poverty. In fact in sandwell where the scum have four seats, they play on the all-white aspiring working class vote. The BNP, like the NF before them, tend to come to the fore when Labour are in power. The racist vote drifts away from the Tories and leads to a surge in voting for other 'right' parties, such as the BNP and UKIP. Angela argues the BNP's case in the same way the ghastly Tony Parsons did on This Week recently: Immigration harms the poorest and benefits the middle classes, therefore Labour should stop immigration and the BNP would disappear.

It is a compellingly simplistic argument, and one Labour, and the other anti-fascist groups Mike Ion mentions, must confront.

David

So it is not before time that Labour Friends of Searchlight are putting together a country wide organisation to counter their threat.

It is time for us all to get involved and make it a big success so Labour stays the lead anti fascist party and leads the counter campaigns.

james

As a BNP member you are talking out of your arse. You will never defeat us , any more than idiots like those above in this blog site understand, TRUTH, Here are some examples for you morons,
speed of light 186,000 miles per second.
is it possible to square the circle, no you arrive at PYE.
IF THIS IS NOT ENOUGHT,
CONSIDER THIS
MATTER +mind =subject to maths. this is why we will shit on you.

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