My point was, that the Bosnian Muslims are Europeans, and racially indistinct from their fellow yugoslavs (south Slavs). So siding with one side rather than the other in the Bosnian and wider Yugoslav conflicts had nothing to do with race. My point was that they are not particularly different from us, not all Muslims have dark skin, funny mustaches or tea towels on their heads (as if it mattered).
You could say Slavs are distinct from northern Europeans, western European or southern Europeans, but that is besides the point and ethnicity is at best highly complex and at worst a load of bollocks.
You’re right that Thatcher did lobby for western intervention.
Back to the main point. You are right, the places the BNP are challenging are traditional Labour white, working class areas that feel disenfranchised by New Labour and threatened by immigration. The Tories aim to pick up these disenchanted voters, and showing black candidates would not help them do this, so they hide them away, pandering to the racists.
They should proudly state to all that they are a one nation conservative party, inclusive of all Britons who share their ideas - and if you don’t like blacks, go vote for a party that shares your ideas. It’s rather like Taiwanese language schools saying they’re not racist but only a white teacher will do because the parents think only white people are real native speakers of proper English. It’s not us, we have no choice if we want to make money/win votes.
So they were wrong to avoid advertising the fact that they had a black candidate.
Trying to cover their arses by creating a fake photo just appears shabby, half-arsed and amateurish. I think it is in line with some of their other populist policies. Shallow and not very convincing.
I’m no fan of New Labour and I don’t believe any government going on too long is a good thing. But a Labour government would have to be very bad (which this government isn’t anyway) for me to prefer the Tories. They’ve done plenty of good things. Just not as many as they could have done. And they pandered to the neo-liberal economic consensus when there was a genuine opportunity for real systemic change. They are tired, but that can change.
I’d go for a Labour/Lib Dem coalition, probably needing a new PM to make it a credible new government.
Howard Dean summed it up nicely. The British are desperate for change. But they don’t want the Tories.