UKIP is not a racist party, but

I am tempted to paraphrase the dearly departed Tony Benn, who once said: The Labour party has never been a socialist party, although there have always been socialists in it.

I am tempted to say that UKIP is not a racist party, but it does have racists in it. Ah, some UKIP supporters would say, but all parties attract the occasional racist. Alas, it is true. However, whilst we do not see a flood of racist comments coming from UKIP, the steady trickle cannot be described as ‘occasional’.

Once upon a time UKIP really were a one-trick pony. All they had was a deep-seated objection to the European Union. Fair enough, a reasonable position albeit contrary to my views. This did leave them with a credibility gap – how could a one-issue party be elected into power? Objection solely to the EU left all sorts of questions unanswered about the whole gamut of policies that filled the manifestos of other parties.

They then began to fill this gap. It started to look like their inspiration was the editorials from the Daily Express and Daily Mail. This year they took the decision to fight the May elections on the subject of immigration.

Broadly speaking UKIP sit to the right of the Conservative Party. When they decided to major on immigration the inevitable happened – they attracted support and members whose views on immigration can only be described as unattractive.

UKIP are worried about entryism, so much so that their rules proscribe former members of far-right parties. This is not necessary for the other mainstream parties. It is also noticeable that there exists agreements (admittedly unwritten) between UKIP and the far-right about not splitting the right-wing vote.

Beyond the pale comments have got quite a few of UKIP’s candidates and elected representatives into hot water. John Rees-Evans, UKIP’s candidate in Cardiff South and Penarth, is quoted in the Guardian as saying: “We will occasionally get into trouble but we would prefer to have that kind of libertarian ethos in the party that allows you to say whatever you think.” The problem is that this unearths the real thinking behind policies that look like they want to pull up the drawbridge, shut out the world, and send ’em back anyone who cannot claim to be indigenous.

Whilst there are those who champion opposition to political correctness, the reality is that being non-PC amounts to being very rude. Sexuality, gender, as well as ethnicity, are targets for some awful comments. Independence of thought is to be admired, but comments that challenge notions of fairness, dignity, and respect do not.

Like it or not, this is a multi-cultural Britain, interfacing with a global village. If you think that we can survive in isolation, then vote for a party for whom offence is a regular staple.

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4 Responses to UKIP is not a racist party, but

  1. James Moyies says:

    Julian
    I agree with 90% of what you say in this piece and will stand up against any member of UKIP that I believe to be racist.

    However, where did this come from…

    “The problem is that this unearths the real thinking behind policies that look like they want to pull up the drawbridge, shut out the world, and send ‘em back anyone who cannot claim to be indigenous.”

    This is you trying to win a debate by misleading the observer by putting an incorrect view of your opposition’s argument. It seems you have started with this proposition and tried to build an argument around it. You fail to do so.

    As leader of the UKIP Group on Southend Council I can state that immigration will be the solution to many of the UK’s problems for decades to come. Immigration is not a problem in its own right.

    People who emigrate to the UK legally must also be welcomed and there has never been a proposal to repatriate individuals who are here legally.

    The position of UKIP is that to solve the need we have for immigration, and to allow the UK and local Government to plan for the future; the levels of immigration must be controlled and the people we accept must meet certain criteria.

    I would be happy to meet you on any platform and defend this position versus the position of the Labour Party which is to have uncontrolled immigration in terms of numbers and type.

    Most of your readers will be happy to read a view they wish to be true, but any who repeat your claims after reading this are no longer doing so from a position of ignorance.

  2. … position of the Labour Party which is to have uncontrolled immigration in terms of numbers and type” – this has never been true. Labour in Government never abandoned rules, and we wanted ID cards which would have helped identify who was here legitimately.

  3. John Rees-Evans, UKIP’s candidate in Cardiff South and Penarth, is quoted in the Guardian as saying: “We will occasionally get into trouble but we would prefer to have that kind of libertarian ethos in the party that allows you to say whatever you think.” The problem is that this unearths the real thinking behind policies that look like they want to pull up the drawbridge, shut out the world, and send ‘em back anyone who cannot claim to be indigenous. (my emboldening)

    Why is it a problem if loose talk unearths the real thinking behind policies? I wish all parties could let the “party line” veil slip so that we could see and understand what they really mean.

    I seem to remember that the Tories had problems with a certain associate of Cameron who in 2001 let loose the real thinking behind some of their economic policies and consequently was “put in hiding”. I would have far preferred it if the Tories had “that kind of libertarian ethos in the party that allows you to say whatever you think”.

    I suspect that Labour also have people who are inclined to loose talk but – apart from a shadow minister for public health – the party machine has been very good at maintaining the veneer that covers over the chip-board coalition that is the Labour party (and other parties).

    If I vote this year, I would prefer to vote on the “real thinking” rather than the “veneer”. Let us see what is behind the intra-party coalitions.

  4. It is a problem for UKIP as it allows the rest of us to see what they are really like (which is the general thrust of this post).

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