It may stop Labour ignoring its traditional working-class origins, now so comprehensively stomped over that they're migrating to other parties in droves. This is not an indictment of high immigration and multiculturalism, as no doubt some will call it, but of a centralised party ignoring local concerns. As Sarah Ditum points out, our media tell people every day that their crumbling infrastructure is the fault of those dastardly asylum seekers (rather than lack of investment, which might mean higher taxes). Immigration wouldn't be such a big issue if local councils presented information more quickly about population movements, so resources could be poured in or taken out in response, ensuring local public services didn't suffer. This is also a result of the lack of investment in social housing.
I agree with him that ultimately human social values will render fascism impotent:
Most people have enough contact with someone of an ethnic minority to know how stupid racism is. That personal knowledge will always override whatever the BNP says.
I also agree with Dan here that
Renewal is therefore the order of the day, and already last night the left was out in force – Nick Brown talking down the privatisation of Royal Mail, Michael Meacher talking up social housing, and, er, Polly Toynbee being Polly Toynbee... whatever the details of policy, going back to core values, back to the party’s roots in an electorate which has abandoned them (and yet who have not sided with the Tories in doing so), is what needs to happen.
And here's my instinct about yesterday. It feels to me like when your partner has made you very angry, and you eventually say something so hurtful and spiteful that you shock yourself, and you see how much it has hurt him/her, and then now that you have done the worst you can, you can begin a process of reconciliation. They needed to suffer really badly. But will that be enough now?