Neither the article nor Ms. Hodge come out and say it, but the vast majority of immigrants to Britain are from Muslim countries. We might assume that the "black and ethnic minorit[ies]" discussed here are Muslim immigrants.
Ms. Hodge fears that this key Labour demographic will vote "eight out of 10" for the British National Party, a group characterized as "far right" in the article. She goes on to say:
When I knock on doors I say to people, 'are you tempted to vote BNP?' and many, many, many - eight out of 10 of the white families - say 'yes'. That's something we have never seen before, in all my years. Even when people voted BNP, they used to be ashamed to vote BNP. Now they are not.But this next quote is most revealing, and shows who's really to blame for Labour's problems in this area:
The Labour Party hasn't talked to these people. This is a traditional Labour area but they are not used to engaging with us because all we do is put leaflets through doors. Part of the reason they switch to the BNP is they feel no one else is listening to them.
It's an incredibly serious issue. It's the big issue. We need very much stronger leadership nationally to promote the benefits of the multi-cultural society. [emphasis added --ed.] We have got to do it, the Labour leadership have got to do it. All the political parties have got to do it.Ms. Hodge and the rest of the parties need to realize that forced multi-culturalism is the problem when the immigrant groups not only refuse to integrate and assimilate, but actively preach a doctrine of hatred and attempt to destroy the host society. As long as opposition to unhindered immigration is framed as right-wing extremism, Britain will continue to have disillusioned "white, working class" voters.
The BNP does sound a bit unsavory, as evidenced by this Telegraph article from yesterday. But Labour isn't giving their constituents much of an alternative.
Ms. Hodge complains that nobody but the BNP is listening to their constituents. She's right -- and she's not listening, either. Instead, she's trying to force an unwanted position - her own - down their throats.
Update: at 0945EDT - An editor at The Telegraph seems to agree.