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Why the far-right could prosper in Britain

The Radio 4 programme ‘Four Thought’ recently aired my talk on the prospects for the far right in Britain.

A slightly different version was published in the BBC News magazine, while a Kindle edition of my book was also released to coincide with the talk.

The aim behind the talk was to challenge the conventional wisdom that the British party system could never host an electorally successful radical right-wing party, similar to those seen in countries like Austria, France and the Netherlands.

While it might be tempting to dismiss parties like the British National Party as a political irrelevance, they are operating amidst a climate in which citizens are profoundly concerned about immigration, rising ethnic and cultural diversity and are also dissatisfied with the performance of the main parties on these issues. In short, the failure of the British far right has owed less to public demand than to the issue of supply. Drawing on years of research, dozens of interviews and analyses of various survey data, the talk presents my own personal view and begins with a story about a lady named Sharon…

[audio:|titles=Matthew Goodwin: Four Thought?]

Matthew Goodwin

Published inBNPBritish PoliticsThe Far-Right & ExtremismUKIP


  1. Mike Killingworth Mike Killingworth

    Many more years ago than I care to remember, I was taught that the sources of political cleavage are race, class and religion.
    At that time there could be little doubt that the most important of these was class. Ever since it has been declining in relative importance and race has been increasing. My gut feeling is that this process is now accelerating, not least because it appears that there is no way to accommodate equality with growth – or if there is no-one, Marxist or otherwise, seems to know what it is.

    And we now have a government which seems to think that blaming the victim is the hallmark of good citizenship. This too will accelerate the process.

    I don’t think it will be the BNP which will benefit, though. UKIP has far more support and a veneer of respectability which I suspect it could retain even if it adopted all the BNP’s policies.

  2. Ian C Ian C

    The real problem for the British right is that it collects much more than it’s fair share of oddballs and people with obvious mental health issues.

    Even a main stream nutter such as Melanie Phillips was pushing the Obama is a secret Muslim clap trap.

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