From an article by a Labour party member of the British pariament:
This is not about race. Immigration and bogus asylum seekers act like the barium meal of an X-ray, showing up the weakness of the body politic. Yet the revolt of working-class voters is not limited to areas of high immigration. Race merely acts as a flashpoint. In my constituency, Birkenhead, where black faces are still a rarity, the revolt is just as fundamental as in London and other multicultural centres.
Many on the Left imagine that support for the BNP and other extremists represent a cry for the reinstatement of Old Labour values of nationalisation and high state spending. In fact, the objection is much more fundamental. It represents a clash between people's sense of fairness, grounded in a collective social ethic, and what they see as the foreign idea of individualised rights....
Housing remains a flash point. The working-class sense of fairness is mocked by allocation policies that put at the top of the list groups who, in the local community's eye, have less claim than other groups. A policy of housing the homeless is noble. It is the way it is carried out which is so objectionable. I have never heard a constituent - even one who has waited in the housing queue for decades - argue against a policy that looks after the homeless. What so many of my constituents object to, as I do, is the way the homeless jump to the top of the queue and are able to choose the best homes. This policy strikes at the very sense of fairness that working people hold. Fairness demands that those who have striven longest should rise to the top of the queue and take the best housing. The accommodation they vacate should then be offered to the homeless.
In parts of the East End, the housing flashpoint is colour. In Birkenhead, it centres on the advantage that single parents or the homeless have in sweeping the weekly housing jackpots. The objection is the same. Dench and Gavron detail the ways current social housing policy favours the family in crisis against the family that has strengthened the local community.
The values that welfare preaches are equally objectionable to decent poorer families of any colour. Within the living memory of many voters, welfare has been reshaped from a system whose values reflected a working-class collective culture to one based on individual rights. In place of effort and contribution, a welfare system has been rolled out preaching and practising inalienable rights that individuals gain simply by turning up and asking for help....
Political correctness on individualised rights now runs deep in the Parliamentary Labour Party. It will take a considerable amount of courage to realign welfare with the collective values that are crucial to underpinning strong and sustainable communities. Moreover, altruism is sustainable in the longer run only if it is buttressed by a widespread sense of fairness.
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