a decade and brexit later, the time is ripe for this nonsense politics.
But Blue Labour figures also argue that the working class is fundamentally conservative. This is where the problems begin. They argue that for a fundamentally conservative working class an ethics of community and solidarity implies a defence of traditional institutions and identities such as the family, patriotism and the nation, faith and the work ethic. The Blue Labour approach is often summarised with the slogan; ‘faith, family and flag’. They also argue – and this is where it gets ugly – that defence of traditional working class community values and identities specifically implies by definition a defence of British ‘white working class’ traditions and identities. They argue that ‘mass immigration’ and ‘multiculturalism’ has been hugely destructive in terms of community cohesion and so must be resisted.
This, I think, is a very dangerous message – and it’s very troubling that this sort of thinking is, apparently, so influential within the party at the moment. We could, quite legitimately it seems to me, reword the Blue Labour slogan as ‘faith, family and dog-whistle politics’.
far right movements are pretty dead in the water but never fear, keir is here! creating a lightning rod for all the nutcases who were happily living in their own social media bubbles until now.
Let’s be clear what Blue Labour are saying. They are claiming that the working class is somehow naturally and inevitably anti-immigration and pre-disposed towards far-right views. This is what they are seeking to accommodate. Their way of fighting the BNP and the EDL is not to take their views head on and to argue the case for leftist, anti-fascist and anti-racist ideas. It’s not to stand up for and to defend immigrant and ethnic minority communities. It’s to make major concessions to racist prejudice and suspicion. This is a real betrayal of labour movement traditions - for all Blue Labour’s talk of being true to fundamental labour movement values. It’s very dangerous. Even as a miserable strategy of seeking to undercut support for the BNP and the EDL by dressing up in some of their clothes it’s one that won’t succeed. It will only help to further legitimise the views of organisations such as the EDL and it risks creating the political conditions in which far-right groups enter into the political mainstream. If ideas associated with the far right are brought into mainstream political discourse and articulated by mainstream political parties, what’s to stop far right groups themselves capitalising on this?https://libcom.org/book/export/html/36449