No Extremists Please - We're British!

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20120710

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, is facing political meltdown after 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 production for BBC Radio 4.