UKIP is not a racist party, but
January 2, 2015 4 Comments
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.