I'm sure, at the time, that Brown thought it was a coded way of drawing support back from the BNP, but his "British Jobs For British Workers" slogan might backfire. So far, there are hundreds of workers, at 13 locations up and down the country, who have walked out, due to Total giving a £200 million contract, at a Lincolnshire oil refinery, to an Italian firm.
Of course, Total gave the contact, since British workers weren't willing to accept inferior terms and conditions, but that's not the spin the media coverage (and the union slogans and placards) are giving it. It's being portrayed as nationalism, rather than a class issue.
80% of new jobs (from 1997 to 2007) went to immigrants, both EU and non-EU. This, combined with answers to Tory written questions on youth who are not in education, employment or training, paints a picture of an entire generation who didn't benefit from the economic "boom". That generation will now pay a high price during a steep economic downturn ... and will be rather susceptible to this kind of nationalistic sloganeering.