What on earth was Denis Macshane thinking of? To most sane people, blaming a political party which has been out of power for twelve years for the rise of the BNP is as preposterous as it is insulting. His rationale is that Tory Euroscepticism is akin to encouraging xenophobia, and therefore feeds into the BNP agenda. I hardly need to rebut it because it is a ridiculous proposition. If the BNP was gaining in popularity because of issues related to Euroscepticism he might have a point, although it would be far more likely to be a reaction to Macshane-like rampant Europhilia which would send people to the BNP.
What Denis cannot face up to is that it is his own party which is fuelling the popularity of the BNP. It's no coincidence that almost without exception every area the BNP does well in has previously been or is currently represented by Labour MPs or councillors. Labour's previously loyal client state is reacting against years of being let down by Labour politicians like Denis Macshane. They have had enough. The only blame which can be aimed at the Tories is that they have failed to step into the breach quickly enough, and the BNP have skilfully filled the vacuum.
Blackburn, Burnley, Thurrock, Dagenham. Hardly Tory areas, are they? Even Labour cabinet ministers have acknowledged that the so-called white working classes feel let down by the political establishment. What a shame Denis Macshane cannot do the same and then come out with some constructive suggestions in order to address their concerns.
Instead, he has a go at the Tories and thereby gives the BNP the oxygen of publicity it craves. Well done, Denis.