When The British Ku Klux Klan Tore A Small Community Apart


Coming into the 1964 general election in the UK, against a backdrop of Beatlemania and the newly-sown seeds of a youth revolution, nobody could have predicted that the centre of attention would fall on a small town in the West Midlands called Smethwick.

However, it was here that a Conservative candidate picked up a seat – against the national trend in an election dominated by Labour – amid accusations of racist campaigning, vitriolic slogans and dangerous policies.

What followed was even worse, as race riots and even a British Ku Klux Klan threatened to tear the town apart. The story is told tonight on Channel 4, and will certainly be all the more fascinating to watch in the shadow of Nigel Farage's UKIP gearing up for the general election in May. How much has changed in 51 years?

Britain's Racist Election, Channel 4, 10pm

Written By

Aidan Coughlan