Across the channel the far-Right is in trouble. As the second round of French parliamentary elections approaches it appears that they will make their worst showing for years, and the reason is not hard to discern: mainstream French politicians are listening to their people's concerns in a way that leaves the extremists no ground to colonise. Sarkozy's UMP hasn't resorted to bigotry, but they are representing legitimate fears about immigration and national identity that had previously been left to Le Pen's National Front to exploit. Meanwhile, in Britain, there are signs that the Labour Government are getting the same message, with Ruth Kelly telling immigrants to learn English the latest in a serious pronouncements that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. It seems to be having the desired effect on this side of the Channel to, with the BNP making no progress in May's local elections.
Here in Basildon, the Conservatives have never had a problem with taking on the BNP, sometimes against the advice of other Tories who don't actually face that party in elections themselves. So, we act to scotch rumours about asylum seekers in Council houses, have a policy making local connections a consideration for getting a Council house and fly the Cross of St. George and the Union Flag above the Council offices.
To beat the far-Right, take away their issues.