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July/August 2009

Parliament has broken up for the summer. But it has broken down for good. Back in April — before the expenses scandal fully broke — the Labour MP Frank Field wrote on his blog: "Week after week, MPs have been turning up but with almost no serious work to do...The whole exercise is vacuous." That period now looks like something of a golden age. In the weeks since then, the public's pickpockets at Westminster have been turning up with nothing to do other than check whether their office neighbours have jumped out of the window.

What we have seen from the expenses row, through the aborted coup against the Prime Minister and finally to the European elections, is that the main political parties in Britain have become useless as reflectors or the concerns of the public they presume to represent. After a pitiful showing in the European Parliament elections, and a pitiful reaction to that pitiful showing, it has become clear not simply that the main parties are incapable of rising to the challenges they face, but that they are actively creating and causing many of those challenges.

The failure of Westminster in its current guise is nowhere better demonstrated than in the major parties' refusal to recognise messages even when given in a resounding, often shockingly clear voice. The UK Independence Party (Ukip) coming second in share of the vote still doesn't seem to be enough to make the parties wonder what they were being told about Europe. And even the election of two British National Party MEPs has not provided the much-needed wake-up call.

Gordon Brown and David Cameron practically compete to misunderstand the significance of that event. At Prime Minister's Questions, Cameron tried to seize fairly easy moral high ground by dropping in, correctly, the fact that the BNP were thugs and fascists. Brown responded: "On the Labour side of the House, we will do everything in our power to show that the problems that made people vote for the BNP are the problems that we are dealing with — on housing, on social justice and on employment."

Which is to miss the point rather spectacularly. But the PM is not the only one. At a recent meeting in Westminster, I questioned one of Cameron's key strategists about what the party was planning to do to stop the BNP's rise. I was told that internal polling showed that while disenfranchised Conservative voters go to Ukip, it is disenfranchised Labour voters who go to the BNP. In other words, he spelt out smugly, the BNP was not a problem the Conservatives could do anything about.

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August 19th, 2009
5:08 PM
You are absolutely right that we need a revolution. I don't see any sign that new labour are going to respond to this challenge. They are too strongly wedded to their core beliefs, such as 'it is Islamophobic to question Islamic theology' and 'it is racist to call a halt to African and Asian immigration to Britain'. Liberals and Tories feel the same way, while making occasional conciliatory but meaningless announcements. They believe, at heart, that the British Empire was a crime against black and brown people of the world that we all should feel guilty for and expiate our guilt by facilitating the colonization of Britain by third worlders until the words of Blue Mink's 'melting pot' can be actualized: 'What we need is a great big melting pot, big enough to take the world and all it's got, and keep it stirring for a 100 years or more and turn out coffee coloured people by the score.' As Fraser said, 'We're all doomed'.

July 3rd, 2009
11:07 PM
Kinana Much of what Mr Murray writes here I agree with as regarding the disaffection that many voters have with the major parties. I voted for UKIP for the reasons Mr Murray states but also on the issue of immigration. But let me be more specific. It is not immigration per se that is driving voters to UKIP and the BNP but a particular type of immigration that is mostly the problem. Why not spell it out? I support a sensible migration/immigration policy, which contain the following three principles: if the people are needed here in this country, for human rights concerns, and if there is a genuine proven track record of certain migrant populations making a genuine positive contribution to the country in the long haul. By this last point I mean to point out the ‘elephant in the room’ and say that Islam teaches and encourages Muslims: To not fit in; To separate themselves from non-Muslims; To push push push for the implementation of Sharia law in all aspects of life in this country; To use our tolerance to promote intolerance of non-Muslims; That their first loyalty is to the umma, the nation of Islam; That they should only marry Muslims; That it is okay to cheat the system in order to promote and live a Muslim life, like a man having more than one wife; That Muslims who leave Islam should be killed, That Muslim men are superior to Muslim women, That all Muslims are superior to all non-Muslims I could extend the list but I trust you get my point that, in general, and the historical record corroborates my point, Islam encourages Muslims to NOT be good citizens of this or any non-Muslim country. If the political parties really want to reflect the concerns of voters who vote for the BNP and UKIP I suggest they learn a bit more about Islam. They then should begin to filter out migrant populations which have a proven unwillingness to do anything other than subvert and change the country in which they reside into a country like any number of Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and elsewhere. The individual Muslim is not necessarily a problem, but Islam is!

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