Saturday, 26 April 2014

UKIP - the 'acceptable' face of neo-nazism in the UK

 This is not one of the UKIP posters that has appeared on billboards across the country over the past week. This is a thought experiment. What if the billboards looked like this?

If the billboard had any vestige of truth, it would be minorities who would suffer from it. New unqualified immigrants would compete in the same job markets and industries as previous immigrants, and naturalized citizens. It would be their jobs under threat, not the white male demographic. In fact, women would suffer more as there are more women in the domestic and service industries.

 Yet these are not the images used. Why?

Not only is the premise of the poster based on a lie, it is something that we have seen before. The message is purely designed to incite fear of 'the foreigner'. It uses a message, and even iconography that has been used over and again by fascists ever since the 1940's.

I think that the danger posed by UKIP cannot be overstated. Their vagueness on policy makes them appear a single-issue party, but what I fear is that they will gain popular support from people almost entirely ignorant of the party policy or the interests they represent.

Germany between the wars was in a state of economic collapse, misgoverned without doubt, the economy destroyed by reparations and sanctions on industry and trade. Unemployment and deprivation were rife. National Socialism stood up for the 'true, historic Deutsche Volk', the 'ordinary hard working man in the street'. They were being held in a yoke by the rest of Europe, and the money and jobs seemed to be being taken by immigrants and Jews. Unite behind a common flag, for true patriotism, against a common enemy.

The parallels to the rise of  UKIP are there for all to see. The views of some of their EU candidates seem to differ very slightly if at all from their historic forebears; their appeal and tactics, and as we have seen, their propaganda, is precisely the same.

One ethnic group / nationality has been made a specific target - Romanians. The manifesto gives fake statistics about the number of Romanians imprisoned for serious crimes and there is the oft-quoted favourite lie of Farage that the entire Romanian population was going to invade. Romanians were the only nationality mentioned in their party political broadcast. And when Farage chose to launch his poster campaign, he did it in Sheffield - was it a coincidence that there had been recent media reports of tension with Romanian immigrants in the city?

At the top of the pile is the leader, the one person identified with the party. Who can name a single other senior UKIP member? And this is carried forward into all their election publicity, in a way not seen with any of the major political parties.

What people often forget is that Hitler was not dependent on the Brownshirts or Stormtroopers to win the election that opened the doorway to his seizing total power. There was a lot of support within the general public, naive though most of them probably were. Same again, those UKIP members and candidates I've debated with on Twitter show a shocking ignorance of what the EU is or does, or even of the policies of their own party. They instead are focussing on the hysteria, the myth of mass immigration, and more frightening perhaps, what they call 'patriotism'.

When the 'builder' in one of the election posters turned out to be an EU immigrant, one candidate challenged on it claimed that citizens of the Republic of Ireland were not 'foreign' as this is stipulated in the 1949 act (which concerned recognition of the Republic, no longer as a domain or part of the Commonwealth etc.) and so argued that all the Irish are in fact UK citizens! When I fact-checked the manifesto and asked other members to substantiate any of it, some denied that there was a manifesto and I must have made it up (I sent them the link - it's on their website!).

The belief in the party and their leader is fanatical for some. Any reasonable question or challenge over the actual facts is met with anger, insults, threats and hate. It's true that it seems most of Farage's support seems to come from retired middle-class and disillusioned right-wing Tories. His attempts at rooting out former NF and BNP members from the party (forced after previous revelations of his candidates' beliefs) has rankled some in the far right - but there are still those who have recognised a common cause and so will support UKIP as its popularity rises.

What we must absolutely not do is to see UKIP as some kind of farce, as a joke. The threat is very real and we have to take it seriously, to stop history repeating itself. The key to this is information - getting people past the propaganda to the truth, about the EU, immigration and what UKIP policies really are.


  1. And that is the end of the Party Political Broadcast by the Conservatives.

  2. Whilst having a lot of time for what you say - UKIP are definitely a dangerous right-wing entity - it's my belief that the entire immigration debate has been turned upside down.

    Wholesale immigration from the EU provides a cheap labour source for the UK who are prepared to work for less in worse conditions and live in places no Brit could find sustainable. In other words it tallies with the right-wing business interests of the Tory Party.

    To my left-wing mind those on the left should oppose this increasing trend towards slave labour and oppose unlimited European immigration.

    This is not a racist position, though has been used as such by scum like UKIP/the BNP who are happy to use political double-speak to gain power.

  3. I don't know how old you are, Jerry, or how knowledgeable you are about recent history, but going back to the 1940's/50's it was Labour voters and the working class in general who voiced most concern about immigration. OK, perhaps conservatives (with a large and a small "c") were also concerned too, at least those who weren't employers, but to them immigration wasn't seen as a personal threat, more of an ideological no-no. The workers correctly identified the direct threat to their and their families well being, slave labour wages, as the eventual outcome, hence their often more passionate stance.

    Fast forward to today, and even with both partners forced to work, typical working class families are in a downward spiral, suggesting that trade unionists and Labour voters 70 years ago weren't necessarily the racist biggots they would probably be branded today, but rather more prescient than we give them credit for.

    I agree with your last point. I think it's a shame to toss accusations of racism around in this debate, but not just at the indigenous poor, but at UKIP too. I suspect those that do are generally indulging in abuse, and attempting to close down debate, rather than making an honest point.

  4. The economic arguments for allowing work related immigration are considerable. We have two serious crises pending resulting from our aging population. One is the increasing cost of pensions as working life/life gets smaller; and the other is the increasing cost of elderly care resulting from the same cause. The only solutions are to increase the average working life, or increase the number of young people who are working and paying into the system. This is not about cheap labour displacing existing "hard working Brits"; it's about new jobs being created every day by people coming here for that purpose. We're living in a global economy where you can't actually exclude competition by closing off borders to people - you'd have to close them to everything.

    UKIP is a party which appeals directly to those who do not want to think. Years of lacklustre advocacy of the EU, years of newpapers cherry picking stories to support a narrow and verkrampte agenda; of using the inevitable cases at the edge to attack the Human Rightts framework, have created ideal conditions for the rise of a party which indeed has much in common with the fascist movements of the 1920s and 1930s.

    Then as now, rational people were no doubt thinking that "this could never happen here."

  5. The problem with advocacy of the EU is the more is known the harder it becomes to persuasively advocate: It is the totalitarian groupthink iron core around the fluffy bunny of a smokescreen puppet parliament. The EU being a "left" project (certainly a dream of extreme socialism) its opposition cannot fail to take on a "right" flavour. Except for the extreme tiny marxist minority (who to be fair make noise above their numbers) there is no left or centre position that stands up for representative democracy, self determination and national/personal sovereignty. After 40 years of keeping a lid on it and pretending such drives and aspirations do not exist, the mass abandonment of the professional political class is the result. People dont want to fund their pensions anymore, and all the parties that won't wean themselves off the EU teat are suffering as a result. I expect to see big movements in Labours position and possibly the co-alition forced to referendum on the same day as the GE next year. As for the Green Parties policies.... well its a shame the party was eviscerated of its non-conformists by the present leadership 15 years ago to gain "electability" because they all have their EU pensions now and don't care too much if they gain votes or not as long as they get to keep their seats and place at the table. As relevant as the Lib Dems.

  6. I don't suppose it occurs to you that the National Socialists were Statist Collectivists, just like all their other political brothers-in-arms of the collectivist "left wing" persuasion - Ukip is libertarian, and therefore anti-collectivist - Collectivism was the common denominator for the significant wars of the 20th Century

  7. UKIP are as far from fascism as it's possible to get. You want to see fascists? Try UAF.

  8. Can you provide the correct Statistics about Romanians arrested which you say are not accurate from UKIP.
    As for Hitler gaining power the reasons were simple . The treaty of Versailles bankrupted Germany & forced an annexe of Germany which Hitler took back from Poland leading to war with Britain. Hitler made Germany strong again & correct me if I am wrong he also made a deal with Isreal to send Jews from Germany to Isreal with anything including money they wanted to it was called the The Haavara Agreement. It is also our security services under Labour & now the coalition that have been spying on us all This is more like the Communists under Stalin who killed 20.000.000 of his own people & imprisoned millions in the Gulags.
    Labour & the Conservatives are the ones who really want to stifle free speech.

  9. As for the Green Party
    My Favourite couple of Paragraphs are Ms Summers has been expelled from the governing party’s benches (though not from the national party organisation, I understand); it’s almost as though she’s had the whip removed, though I believe the Greens don’t operate a whipping system. But whatever the terminology, Ms Summer is no longer allowed to attend Green meetings, or sit with her former colleagues.

    What was Ms Summers’s offence? Had she wondered aloud about the utility of wind farms? Objected to the Greens’ wish to ramp up the cost of allotments?
    Ms Summers didn’t support a motion in council that supported gay marriage, because of her Christian beliefs. The Green Party in Brighton denies that this was the reason for her expulsion; it’s hard to ignore that the expulsion followed hard on her refusal to vote for something in which she doesn’t believe.
    Maybe the Green Party could champion free speech, Freedom of thought or Belief & practice what you preech

  10. "correct me if I am wrong he also made a deal with Isreal to send Jews from Germany to Isreal with anything including money they wanted to it was called the The Haavara Agreement."

    You're wrong. Israel didn't exist before 1948. You're thinking of Palestine.

  11. I am Greek. I am a Pirate. I have a well paid job as a computer programmer. As you might know, such jobs are without borders. I can stay comfortably in my house in Athens and take anyones job I like (if I am better at it)!!! Please tell UKIP to think about that!!!