Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Labour’s Inconvenient Truth

Amidst the déjà vu of another “race row” episode that has played out in the last day or so, with the errant candidate now departing the stage, it has been interesting to note Labour’s reaction. I’m not referring to the predictable “same old Tories” mantra. Nor just how the remarks have thrown into relief how well David Cameron has revived immigration as an issue in terms of the pressure on public services – an approach that has made his position immune to the “playing the race card” accusations. Nor how the candidate inadvisedly (in the current media environment) invoked the memory of Enoch Powell and that speech – even if there were a number of constituents in Halesown and Rowley Regis who do agree with old Enoch. If there is one British political figure the left hate more than Mrs Thatcher it is Powell.

No, Labour’s reaction has ignored the elephant in the room that any observer of recent electoral trends will know – that the old fashioned “send them all home” message resonates not so much with Conservatives, but with dyed in the wool working class socialists – the real old Labour. The inconvenient truth for Labour is that they have more to fear than the Conservatives when a BNP candidate stands in their ward/constituency – it is, after all, in the traditional Labour strongholds that the BNP have garnered most support – from Barking to Burnley.

Peter Hain has been quoted saying the remarks expose the Tories’ “racist underbelly”. Sorry Mr Hain, if there is a racist underbelly in politics today, you are more likely to find it among the hard left, not the Conservative heartlands.


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