In perhaps the most unsurprising ‘reveal’ in human history, a UKIP MEP was filmed using racist language to court votes. Serial offender Godfrey Bloom, in a criticism of foreign aid (which deserves criticism but for wholly opposite reasons to those expressed by Bloom) referred to states receiving such aid, presumably on the African continent as ‘bongo bongo land’. Bloom has defended himself claiming he doesn’t ‘do political correctness’. Unfortunately, he and his party don’t do human decency either. In short, we have more to worry about with UKIP than bongo-bongo land.
Breaking Ranks on all the Wrong Issues
Bloom and UKIP brand themselves as an alternative to the mainstream political parties. However, instead of distinguishing themselves with a searing critique of the economic policy, exciting new ideas about localism, or in fact any distinctive and fresh ideas – they make themselves distinct by being plainly spoken and unrepentant about their prejudices. This may well occur as a breath of fresh air for people with bigoted views, a chance to feel that they a free in this company to say the unsayable; but the fact that you can be openly racist will come as small comfort while you are still entirely shafted socially, politically and economically. UKIP are ‘breaking ranks’ on all the wrong issues. They are not an alternative, they are a side show.
Farage is Not Your Friend
The first alarm bell that should go off for anyone even considering voting UKIP on the ‘alternative’ ticket should be the party leader, Nigel Farage.
Farage styles himself as a man of the people, but the fact he drinks pints and chain smokes says little of the real man. Farage is anything but just ‘some bloke down the pub’.
Farage is a millionaire banker, from millionaire banking lineage – his father Guy Oscar Justus Farage was a stockbroker.
Farage didn’t work his way up from the bottom. He was educated at £10,000 a term private school Dulwich College. On leaving college he used his father’s contacts to become a commodities trader in the City. He is one of those suited, champagne quaffing, morally bankrupt traders that helped bring our economy to its knees. A vote for UKIP, is a vote to install another wealthy heir into Number 10.
Farage poses as the bloke next door, allowing wine soaked punters to cry on his shoulder about their concerns at the local pubs of the land. He then takes those concerns and uses them to pit the working classes against each other – the working poor against the non-working poor, the natives against the immigrants. Farage and his party take legitimate rage about bogus austerity, indistinguishable politicians, and a disenchantment with a system which seems to offer little to the average Brit – and he points it away from the source of the problem.
Farage is a con artist and a stooge and you’d have to be stupid, ignorant or truly desperate to waste your vote for him.
A closer look at the policies of his party reveal that many who have cast a vote for UKIP not only know little of the leader, but of the party either.
UKIP Have no New Ideas
UKIP describes itself as a libertarian party. UKIP, like the Tea Party in the US, seems to fundamentally misunderstand Libertarianism. Libertarianism is about the smallest possible amount of government, with a focus on personal liberty and devolved power. Both UKIP and the Tea Party, with their socially conservative attitudes, believe personal liberty extends only to people like them.
Immigration: UKIP would cap net immigration at 50,000 a year, this number would exclude work permits and students. Students (282,833) and work permits (147,385) made up 430,218 of the immigration numbers last year. That leaves only 78,190. So UKIP are actually talking about reducing immigration by 28,000 people a year. Hardly revolutionary.
Gay Marriage: UKIP don’t have a published policy on Education, but they have one on Gay Marriage. UKIP oppose Gay Marriage as “There is, apart from a small but noisy minority within the gay community, no strong demand for this”.
Defence: The UKIP defence policy sounds very much like a conversation down the pub, with about the same level of consideration and evidence base.
UKIP would disestablish the Ministry of Defence and put decisions of war and peace in the hands of the armed forces. That is the definition of a military state. Who’s for a coup?
UKIP rail against the poor terms and conditions of serving and retired members of the armed forces, and Britain’s declining military power. They make a vast range of promises around replacing Trident with “a new advanced stealthy cruise type missile”, priority healthcare for forces personnel, and all sorts of new kit, perks and housing, all on the 2010 military budget.
The UKIP policy platform is a messy series of un-evidenced, often contradictory sound bites – all sound and fury, signifying nothing.
UKIP are Omniphobic
It would be futile to highlight UKIP as homophobic, transphobic or xenophobic – they are omniphobic. They are appalled and terrified about pretty much everything which doesn’t look and sound like them. They appeal to the darker angels of our nature which seek out and magnify superficial differences, whilst overlooking the vastness of our common humanity.
In 2010, the party suspended its Chairman for London, Paul Wiffen, after he made the following racist rant on an internet forum.
“You Left-wing scum are all the same, wanting to hand our birth right to Romanian gypsies who beat their wives and children into begging and stealing money they can gamble with, Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us all under medieval Sharia law, the same Africans who sold their Afro-Caribbean brothers into a slavery that Britain was the first to abolish.”
More recently UKIP candidates were found to be posting pictures of themselves making Nazi salutes, and one candidate created the above picture of himself as one of Hitler’s henchmen using photoshop (picture above).
There is also significant crossover in both candidates and supporters, from the British National Party (BNP) to UKIP. UKIP are the polite face of the same old ‘loathe thy neighbour’ politics of hate and envy.
Recent discussions on the UKIP online member’s forum on homosexuality and gay marriage were particularly enlightening.
Former parliamentary candidate and branch chairman for Oxford, Dr Julia Gasper claimed “As for the links between homosexuality and paedophilia, there is so much evidence that even a full-length book could hardly do justice to the subject.”
UKIP member Jan Zolyniak posted: “The evidence is quite clear that the percentage of homosexuals who molest children is very high and cannot be dismissed.”
Douglas Denny from the Bognor Regis branch in West Sussex wrote: “What irritates me is they (sic) way they and their leftie, neo-Commie followers seem to want to force the rest of us to consider them as normal.”
Vote UKIP, Get Tory
A vote for UKIP, is a vote for a party of scared, angry, hateful people. Worse, rather than being an alternative to the neoliberal mainstream, it actually permits them to push through their policies even more quickly by creating the culture of suspicion, envy and prejudice required. Each vote wasted on UKIP serves as an endorsement to the most hard-edged neoliberals that the public will accept immigrant bashing, poor bashing, welfare cuts and tax cuts on the wealthiest people and corporations.
The Racist Van trolling London’s poor, mixed ethnicity areas telling immigrants to go home or face arrest, the UK Border Agency stopping people of colour at commuter hubs and illegally demanding proof of citizenship, the constant reference to an immigration problem which does not exist – this is what UKIP open the door to. Meanwhile, the real issues that have us poor, unemployed, underemployed and our public services being eviscerated remain untouched. UKIP is largely sponsored by the same people as the Tory party and prominent Tory’s and UKIPers are already touting the idea of a future coalition– which would deliver the country into the hands of a hard right government in 2015. These people are not revolutionaries, they are reactionaries.
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