A few years or so ago “Joined up thinking” seemed to be the buzzphrase that had captivated the imaginations of those in power in the ‘Westminster village’ – I tried to trace the etymology of the phrase but was largely unsuccessful. I raise the point only because there does seem to be a particular absence of 'joined up thinking' surrounding the issue of how best to deal with the far-right.
On the day that Blair is accused of blaming a spate of murders on 'black culture', the abscence of joined up thinking was painfully apparent in the Latest edition of Searchlight magazine. The frontpage editorial (which went to press before the aforementioned story aired, though it's guaranteed limited coverage in the next edition) outlines the campaign being run both within the pages of the Daily Mirror and within the constituencies in which the BNP is standing as one embodied by the slogan which it has adopted for this purpose: “hope not hate”. Below this editorial we find another column outlining the adventurist policies of a government drive to “deny work, benefits and services to illegal immigrants” (No. 382). Little hope here, it seems for those currently under attack by the Home Secretary. What is perhaps interesting here is the complete failure to comprehensively link this aggressive anti-immigration drive to the wider context of a resurgent far-right movement.