Those Tories: BNP “left-wing” says MP

Tory MP Edward Leigh (pictured, far right), the red-faced chief ranter of the Cornerstone Group of wingnuts, will apparently tell a fringe (in the truest sense of that word) meeting today that Cameron’s cuddly policies risk alienating right-wing headbangers who would normally vote Conservative (yes, we are paraphrasing). 

Interestingly, he will tell his audience that Tories may vote for the BNP despite that party’s “somewhat left-wing economics”.  We have not been able to track down the full text of the speech, but we have asked one of our trained Tories to head along to “check against delivery” the context in which he calls the BNP a bunch of lefties.

Coincidentally, the Cornerstone Group has a pretty tough approach to immigration themselves.  Oh, and a couple of the Cornerstone MPs have joined forces with BNP members to work on the Better Off Out campaign.

14 Responses to Those Tories: BNP “left-wing” says MP

  1. Ian G says:

    Ah yes, the tombstone group. I suppose the BNP do occasionally talk about nationalisation and state support of industries, which is probably what he means.

    Leigh is right in one sense, when Labour started moving to the centre there was no party on the left standing candidates against us. The Tories have the BNP and UKIP to contend wiith. It’s hardly surprising that Tories brought up on a diet of hatred for the EU and immigration, low taxes etc. now have trouble swallowing what Cameron is telling them. You sow the wind…

    Anyway, even better gaffes come from the other wing of the Tory party. According to Boris Johnson child safety seats for children in cars are “utterly demented” … “When I was growing up we all bounced around like peas in a rattle – did it do us any harm?”… and my personal favourite: “We need to re-introduce our children to the concept of failure..” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5400934.stm)

    Oh yes, and a delegate would rather exterminate all cows than give up budget flights! (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5400084.stm)

  2. Nick says:

    Presumably Leigh is effectively placing himself to the right of the BNP!

    Whatever next?!

    “Genghis Khan ‘soft on Europe’ says Leigh”

  3. tyger says:

    These fringe wingnuts are good fun don’t you think? A real headache for Cameron.

  4. Benjamin says:

    Leigh has a point actually. The BNP’s economic policies, such as they are, do appear to display some leftist elements, heavily tinged with nationalism. But that has often been the case with the far right. If you look at the Nazis, for example, they used Keynesian economic policies in some areas. But this is a simply a crude method to achieve aims about as far apart from social democratic ideals as you can get.

  5. I think that the whole thing mistakes what’s right wing or left wing about economics. The Italian and Spanish Fascists were extremely statist. That didn’t make their economics left wing. They didn’t give people more control over their economic destiny, which is what I think left-wing economic policy should do.

    The whole confusion comes from equating liberal, free market economics with the right. That’s actually only been true for the last thirty to fourty years, when, in the UK, people like Powell started to advocate free markets.

  6. Benjamin says:

    But still, it took Labour to do the big nationaliations 45 -48. The Tories were never inclined to actually do that, but rather went along with it afterwards.

  7. The Tory-led coaltion nationalised the railways. Mussolini also engaged in big nationalisations. There is nothing necessarily left-wing about statism.

  8. Benjamin says:

    Yes, but the point I am making is that in the British political context, Labour was/is more likely to nationalise stuff. I think that is historically accurate.

    My own view is that fascism can grow from a combination of rightism and leftism. I think its probably fair, however, to ultimately posit it on the right.

  9. Ian G says:

    Obvioulsy the difference lies in what the object of nationalisation is. If it’s for a more equal distribution of wealth and power, then it’s a left-wing policy. However this is not why the BNP espouse nationalisation, for them the attraction lies in increasing state power and preserving the heirachy.

  10. Nick says:

    I think Ian gets it absolutely right – nationalisation is as much a means as an ends. There are plenty of dirigiste or state interventionist policies that achieve right-wing ends, such as re-distributing from the poor to the rich. The Common Agricultural Policy is an example that springs to mind.

    Of course, some on the harder left may see nationalisation as basically a stepping stone to a fully socialised economy and see that as the end point of socialism. But that’s probably too big a debate to be had here!

  11. Matthew says:

    I think we’re getting away from the point here – the fact is that there are several Tory MPs who think its okay to flirt with extreme right elements in politics – we have seen this time and time again. When Labour had some MPs who were willing to go on platform with revolutionary socialists or even with the IRA, the media went nuts. Why don’t we hear a bit of that now with the wing nuts?

  12. Nick says:

    True – these people are probably further off the scale to the right than the Campaign Group are to the left…

    Even more concerning, Edward Leigh is far from a powerless backbencher – he’s Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee!

  13. Nick says:

    Just read that hilarious press release on the Cornerstone Group website – blaming immigrants not just for “rocketing house prices, shortages of water and creaking infrastructure” but also “long working hours and high levels of family breakdown” and “high mortgage and rent payments”.

    Do they also cause cancer?!

  14. The working hours and family breakdown stuff is obviously a highly consistent position given the tombstoners longheld support for the implementation of European workers’ rights legislation in the UK.

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