People are quite exercised at the BNP's recent electoral success. This has led to a hand-wringing from and the good, who in many cases seem unable to comprehend that people would vote for fascists and racists. In fact they seem unable to really accept that the mere labels fascist and racist were not enough to dissuade people from voting BNP. Eric Pickles, Conservative Party Chairman, does not fall into this category, recognising that descriptive prose is not enough and that the BNP has to be taken on.
What does this mean though? Well, first we have to understand why people actually vote Nationalist. The BNP primarily draws its support from the Old Labour voter segment, that is traditional working class within established working class communities. New Labour has taken these people for granted since its inception, reasoning that the communities that have voted Labour for generations will always vote for them regardless. This has fallen foul of the reduction in tribal loyalty in politics, but it has also been reflected in over a decade of Labour policy. In policy terms white working-class culture has been ignored or denigrated and low-cost and social housing has been provided at the lowest rate for decades, creating competition with immigrant communities for a scarce resource. Labour has orchestrated increasing inequality and decreasing social mobility, trapping people in low incomes with no prospect of improvement and, of course, there is the very high level of immigration in general, which creates job competition at the bottom end of the employment market. I have found that this in particular can be incomprehensible to middle-class lefties, who really have no clue just how tough things can be for the people who serve them their morning latte.
In order to fight the BNP the Conservatives have to address the real policy issues that concern their typical voters. If we ignore their concerns then it is not unreasonable that they will turn to someone else, and on current evidence it won't be the Labour party.