Monday 15 June 2009

Cruddas: "First past the post creates space for extremism"

In a new podcast interview with the Fabian Society, influential Labour thinker and backbencher Jon Cruddas, says he now believes that the first-past-the-post electoral system has opened up a space for extremism.

Cruddas, the MP for Dagenham, has been ahead of his time in talking about the threat to the Labour Party vote from the BNP and over the past few years has been calling on Labour leaders to address why traditional working class voters felt ignored by the party.

In an exclusive interview with the Fabians he said: "I always used to think that first past the post choked off the space for extremism, I now think it creates it."

Cruddas said: "I don't think this is the end of the road here (for the BNP). I don't think you can assume they have hit a ceiling."

If the BNP is articulating a class politics then it is up to Labour to work out what it is, not reinforce it. "You have to confront the motivating issues that lie behind it," he adds.

"I'm not a big egger," says Jon Cruddas MP in a podcast interview. He believes direct action such as egging will be seen by the public as disrespective of their votes and disrespectful of the office of MEP. "If there is a cry for help ..if they are articulating a class politics which is resonating the way out of that is not to reinforce it."

"They racialise access to public services," he added, suggesting that housing policy and resentment to the way housing waiting lists currently worked was a driver of supporter for the BNP.

Traditional Labour voters were so frustrated by the access to housing they had chosen to go elsewhere, he said.

"The BNP results were not that bad, I thought they would get more," he said. "I think we got away lightly this time."

Listen to the podcast here.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Housing, Welfare, JSA, labour following a unelected leader, who is more Thatcherite then Cameron could also add to the feeling Labour has left the room.

I could not vote BNP, but on the other hand I cannot vote Labour anymore, after 40 odd years of voting Labour because thats what I did, my family all said your mad, and I thought to myself they are right.

But labour has moved to the right and now it has to live with it.