No Extremists Please – We’re British!

BBC Radio 4

As austerity measures begin to bite, extremist parties across Europe have made significant electoral gains. In Greece, Golden Dawn, which advocates the forced repatriation of immigrants, won 18 seats in parliament; the anti-islamist PVV is the third largest party in the Netherlands while in France the Front National under the leadership of Marine Le Pen has established itself as a major political force. Yet here in the UK the most prominent extremist party, the BNP, had a disastrous result in May’s local elections.

In No Extremists Please- We’re British! Trevor Phillips, the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, conducts a personal investigation into why extremist parties have never gained a significant electoral foothold in Britain; he asks whether there’s something inherent in the mindset of the white working class voter that makes us as a nation immune to the appeal of extremist politics; or is it just a question of time before what’s happening in Europe happens here?

In the course of his investigation he talks to politicians, academics and voters, here and in Europe – including a face-to-face interview with Marine Le Pen.

Producer: Will Yates

A Juniper Connect production for BBC Radio 4.