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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Labour failing to stand up to UKIP racism

On his Telegraph blog, Dan Hodges is particularly cutting about Labour's failure to stand up to UKIP's racism. he is particularly critical of the Labour Party's failure to condemn Nigel Farage's racist comments about Romanians and their contention that assaults on the UKIP leader are a sign that members of the political establishment are ganging up to undermine him, and have actually helped him.

He says that the evidence shows the contrary view to be true:

The attacks on Ukip’s racism have damaged them. Ed Miliband may not be aware of that, but Nigel Farage certainly is. That’s why we’ve had his grudging “apology” for his Romanian comments, Ukip’s “black candidates” event, and yesterday’s farcical “street carnival”. It’s also why he announced this morning he would be handing over a number of his responsibilities to colleagues once the campaign is over. The great white hope of British politics has had a chastening experience.

Think about it for a second. The Conservative Party is targeting Ukip’s racism. The Lib Dems are targeting Ukip’s racism. The Sun is targeting Ukip’s racism. And while this is going on the Labour Party – the Labour Party – is scuttling round Westminster effectively spinning on Nigel Farage's behalf.

It is a view that is being reflected by some Labour MPs as the Independent reports:

Several senior MPs believe Labour has not taken the threat from Nigel Farage’s party seriously enough. Canvassing in their constituencies has convinced them that many traditional Labour supporters will split their vote by backing Ukip in the Euro elections and Labour in the council elections in England. There are no local elections in Scotland and Wales.

Peter Hain, the former Cabinet minister, told The Independent: “I don’t think we had a sufficiently robust strategy towards Ukip. It’s not about whether some of their members are racist.

“The problem is that there is a seriously alienated – mostly white working class, often male – vote out there that was traditionally Labour’s. They are not voting any more.

“They should be coming to us but they did not under Tony Blair or Gordon Brown see sufficient priority given to affordable housing, job security or well-paid skilled jobs that would take the place of mining or heavy industry.”

Ed Miliband's problems go deeper than he cares to admit and stretch beyond political cowardice.
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