Michael Howard tells us we’ve not done enough to combat the threat of the BNP. 2005 election campaign anyone?

Cast your minds back to elections past – namely 2005. Tony Blair vs. Michael Howard. The infamous Tory poster:

(with added graffiti)

Fast forward to the present, and Howard’s been telling the main parties that they have not done enough to combat the threat of the BNP. I’m tempted to ask exactly what planet Howard’s been on recently, because his election campaign directly played on anti-immigrant vote. So to turn round now, almost five years later to tell anti-BNP activists that we “haven’t done enough” when his election campaign directly fed into unfounded fears about immigration is just a tad bit hypocritical (!)

And before I get the inevitable deluge of “well Labour can’t ignore immigration as an issue”, I should probably point out that I am all for a debate surrounding immigration policy, I don’t shy away from it and I do listen to all sides when I talk to voters. I also campaign bloody hard to fight the BNP’s disgusting and inhumane rhetoric. I want to hear people’s concerns, whatever they may be. If we don’t debate and challenge the unfounded rhetoric that exists in the immigration debate, then the BNP and their ilk certainly will capitalise on it.

But Michael Howard cannot tell us we haven’t done enough, because his campaign also capitalised on that rhetoric. It was a mistake that I believe the Tories should know not to repeat.

Meanwhile, whilst riding of his European election success, Nick Griffin has now got his sights set on Westminster. Of course, him getting in would be an absolute travesty.

So could us anti-BNP activists please be allowed to get on with what we are doing without being told by someone who played into empty and false rhetoric about immigration that we aren’t doing enough?

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5 Comments

  1. If more attention had been paid to limiting immigration over the past twelve years and had politicians of the left not screamed “racist” whenever it was raised as an issue then we would see a lot less of the BNP now.

    It is New Labour with their almost open door policy on immigration (probably for electoral advantage as they view the immigrant vote as largely theirs) who have caused the BNP to flourish. It is perhaps ironic that immigration is now the topic second only to the economy that concerns the electorate and as a consequence this rotten government has just woken up to the fact that they must do something about it. It has now ceased to be “racist” to discuss it but the damage has been done and you now have the pathetic BNP to deal with who are just Old Labour with a bit of racism thrown in.

  2. Labour has hardly had an ‘almost open door policy’ on immigration, particularly since the adoption of a points based system a year ago. The main problem is that because of freedom of movement, the only immigration that can actually be limited is from non-European countries.

    I sincerely object to the idea that a Conservative poster stating “it’s not racist to impose limits on immigration” equates to BNP-level racist rhetoric. It just doesn’t.

    • Dave,

      I agree that now they have introduced a points based system the door has been slightly closed (but what about student visas?). Why did they introduce it? Because they finally realised that “it is not racist to impose limits on immigration” brought about because they are losing votes to the BNP.

  3. This poster has an overwhelming resemblance to the one released by David Cameron. Same style, same design – apart from Howard’s was missing the giant picture of himself, and I wonder why! It’s the same old Tories for sure. It’s defensive and completely shows the Tories on the back foot. They are having to prove themselves and defend their plans, not the ‘vision for change’ that they imagine – there is no change!

    When we look at immigration perhaps take a step back from the scaremongering view of the media and see it for what it really is. I think you’ve shown Rosie that you are right, it is time for a strong debate on these issues, something that actually Gordon Brown has been calling for – proposing 6 live televised debates – although how much difference they will make will still seen to be seen. The Tories shy away from the debate and for good reason, just look at their past record.

    Labour did not bring in those laws because they were ‘losing votes to the BNP’ – what nonsense!

    • Why then did they suddenly bring them in then after a decade of “open door” policy?

      Why did it suddenly become O.K to discuss limiting immigration?

      Why isn’t Gordon Brown, who now wants to discuss immigration, a racist?


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