Friday, 23 October 2009

More questions than answers

Troubling times
Not sure what to make of the whole Question Time thing, it had far too much of X-factor hype about it for my liking. I'm all for challenging and defeating racist bullies but the "hoo ha" sidesteps many of the real issues that are leading to the BNP's rise. Oh and not many of the BNP's supporters watch QT.

In fact the fight against intolerance is a dual strand (at least) firstly the ongoing fight against deep seated prejudice that still sees people kicked to death in our towns for being perceived as different in some way. Be they a Goth couple on their way home from the pub, Gay men out celebrating or a black lad in the "wrong" place. This and all the humdrum prejudice of those we meet day to day (which can be hard to confront when it comes from people  that in other ways we like or even respect).

Then there's the support for BNP some of it from racists and bigots but other support is from the benighted and confused; the "what about me" vote.  A weird mixture of people's natural parochialism, small town isolation and misdirected socio/economic grievances. When governments have been doling help to all sorts of vested interest (the banks,the hedge funds,those in high tax bands) this group  has looked around and thinks they've lost their place in the queue and their bitterness can lead them to BNP.  Of course there are people in this situation who don't turn to fascists but who give of themselves to others in their communities in all sorts of ways and maybe it's these people our senior politician should be working with instead of hanging out with billionaires on their yachts all summer.

The problems we face are serious but not insurmountable we do  live in a more tolerant country, for instance my friends who teach tell of openly gay schools kids who even though it's not completely problem free feel able to come out at school. This would have been unthinkable when I went to school.

It's not all perfect and we take steps backward as well as forward all the time. We all just have to find the little ways to make a difference, like I say no massive answers from me but if you hear of ways to help let me know.
La Lucha Continua!


Cocktails said...

Your 5 paragraph post is sadly more nuanced than an hour of last nights discussion.

The real elephant in the room for the major political parties is that to tackle the BNP they have admit to their own major failings. It's not just the la-de-dah immigration/population policies they were trying to outdo each other on, it is as you say, an ongoing preference for supporting the City,the wealthy and themselves.

I wish I had the answers BLTP, but don't you think that just being a decent person yourself is a good start?

Anonymous said...

the best thing about QT last night for me was that Nick Griffin did manage to unite the nation - against him and his kind

also, love the fact that the spitifre they used as a backdrop to one of their pres conferences was Polish and flown by a Polish pilot

ally. said...

i'm continua!ing i'm continua!ing

grand bit as usual comrade.


BLTP said...

thanks everyone, C&M yes I think it is about making the small world around us better and being decent is the way forward.

anon. the BNP view of the Poles is great they begrudgingly "like" "old" spitfire flying poles but obviously don't like anyone else more recent than that, don't know (or care) what they make of the likes of me who's family came from that neck of woods a while ago.

oh and Ally *I'm making the raised fist sign* while I type it's quite tricky.

Ex-Coventry Blogger said...

I don't know what to think of it, glad you can get the words together better than me. I don't get why 'the bankers' are still getting bonuses when the public sector is getting it in the neck... beats me. However that doesn't make me want to vote BNP! Or Cameronian...

But you're right that we are more tolerant in many ways, such as kids in some schools feel OK about coming out.

al_uk said...

A couple of points.

Here in Barnsley a BNP councillor was elected not because thier share of the vote went up but because the supporters of the other parties did not get out and vote. The actual number of crossess on ballot papers for the BNP stayed largely the same. So your campagin to get us all to vote must go on.

Secondly for me its access to the data. Too many people I come into contact with make assertions that they have read (Daily Mail Express) or from a friend of a friend who works for the council, that these immigrants are taking council houses, benefits, jobs, costing the country millions. As I understand it all of those are false and that unless we increase the numbers of people working, living, buying food, paying VAT etc then there won't be enough to pay my pension!