Race and the right

Johann Hari's ("Il Duce's heirs", 10 December) is much more schlock than shock horror. Why didn't he look at the underlying issues? Why didn't he consider the many obvious hypocrisies of attitudes on race? For instance, what is the difference between the Monday Club's policy of voluntary repatriation and Jack Straw's proposed voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees? (And what could possibly be wrong with something that is voluntary?) What is the difference between Eric Forth's reported remark, "all this sucking up to minorities is ridiculous", and David Blunkett's recent attacks on multiculturalism?

What was once considered "far right" is now becoming mainstream. Yet if a Tory home secretary had said anything like what David Blunkett said last weekend, Panorama would have been camped out on his lawn. More specifically, why shouldn't former members of the BNP join the Tories if they want to? Former members of the SWP and communist groups are common in the Labour Party. Why shouldn't Bill Cash associate with the Italian Alleanza Nazionale, when Labour co-operates happily with European communist and post-communist parties?

By the way, it's Stephen, not Stuart, Parker and Michael, rather than Colin, Brown.

Derek Turner
Editor, Right Now
London W1

This article first appeared in the 17 December 2001 issue of the New Statesman, The ignorance of the Islamophobes