There is a disease spreading across Europe. This epidemic killed millions in Europe 70 years ago yet was combated and forced to go underground. However, this disease has mutated and is now infecting many more people. The second wave of this disease has been released; this is not a physical disease, but a disease of the mind, the disease of Fascism!
In Britain we have seen the rise of the ‘United Kingdom Independence Party’ – (UKIP), a party to the right of the Conservatives, who are becoming the main threat to the big three in a time when the Great British public have had enough of the opportunist, careerist greedy politicians that have plagued politics for so long.
So what do UKIP believe? BARAC (Black Activists Rising Against Cuts) co- founder Lee Jasper once gave me the perfect definition with which to describe UKIP: “The Posh BNP”. The Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) called them: “The ‘acceptable’ face of Islamophobia” and Tommy Robinson, formerly of the English Defence League, has even said: “UKIP believe the same as us”. Even David Cameron has called UKIP: “Closet Racists”
I know what you’re thinking; it’s not fair to judge a party without having heard from them. So let’s get a few quotes from UKIP themselves.
Winston McKenzie, who has stood as a parliamentary candidate for UKIP in both Tottenham and Croydon, was quoted as saying: “To say to a child ‘I am having you adopted by two men who kiss regularly but don’t worry about it’ that is abuse”. Winston McKenzie has not been expelled from UKIP.
UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom speaking about foreign aid quipped: “How can we possibly be giving a billion pounds a month, when we are in this kind of debt, to bongo bongo land is completely beyond me”. Godfrey Bloom was not expelled from the party for these comments. However when speaking to female activists at a meeting he stated: “This place is full of sluts,” which made UKIP decide he was becoming too embarrassing and which led to them suspending him.
Tom Bursnell, a UKIP councillor in Windsor and Maidenhead Council, asked: “Should poor people be allowed to vote?” He then went on to say: “It would be terribly ‘unfair’ of you to give equal representation rights to the chap who contributes 50 times more than the next person”. Tom Bursnell has not been expelled from UKIP.
UKIP Party Peer Lord Pearson said: “The Muslims are breeding ten times faster than us” while then going on to say: “I don’t know at what point they reach such a number we are no longer able to resist the rest of their demands. We must be looking at somewhere between 10 or 20 years. If we don’t do something in the next year or two we have in effect lost”. Lord Pearson has not been expelled from UKIP.
UKIP Redcar’s secretary Pam Preedy said, whilst speaking about Stephen Lawrence: “I’m sure his mother still grieves for him, but it’s time she did it privately without setting him up as some kind of media icon. She risks . . . boring us all to tears.” Then UKIP local election candidate Keith Woods added: “As for St Stephen of Racism, I feel sorry for the parents of many white youths that have been murdered . . . no one seems to give a toss . . . your son gets murdered, you become an expert on race relations it seems . . . but only if you are a particular colour”. Pam Preedy and Keith Woods have not been expelled from UKIP.
These statements alone clearly highlight the homophobic, racist, Islamophobic, anti-poor and undemocratic ideology that is being promoted by UKIP. Since Tommy Robinson promotes himself as an almost champion like figure of gay rights, UKIP can be seen as even more bigoted than the EDL; and the fact that many on the left seem more fixated on fighting the EDL, but less on UKIP is worrying. There has been a lot of connections made between UKIP and the EDL, including Chairman of Hillingdon UKIP, Cliff Dixon stating on his blog: “joined my friends from March for England to tag along on the EDL Tower Hamlets demonstration.” The picture above is of Dixon posing with EDL leader Kevin Carol as well as members of both the EDL and the BNP.
Those in defence of UKIP say that although they believe the party to be racist, they do not believe them to be fascist, but capitalist. They argue that UKIP promotes democracy in Europe and UKIP’s logo suggests that they are capitalist as well, being a pound sign. However UKIP rhetoric appears to point towards a belief in the rich having more say in elections than the poor and that certain minorities having less rights, significantly the Muslim and Eastern European populations. Nigel Farage, the parties leader, appears himself to be a racist capitalist, even more Tory than the Tories, however it is clear that his party has many fascist members, who see it as a more acceptable BNP.
UKIP has come second in a few General By Elections and even won 147 seats, gaining 140, in the May 2013 County Council Elections. There is a very conceivable threat of UKIP getting real power in the future; just as only a decade prior to the rise of Nazi Germany the Nazi Party was considered a joke, similarly UKIP has risen in a short space of time to rival the traditional “Big Three”. They remind me of the ruling party in the movie “V for Vendetta” and the film seems to be a guideline of how things could go in Britain if we’re not careful.
We saw the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany during the 1930s. Now the new enemy is Muslims and whilst the idea of Muslim concentration camps may seem extreme, the possibility of the Islamophobic sentiment promoted by UKIP, the BNP, the EDL and atheist extremists such as Richard Dawkins, with comments like: “Haven’t read Koran so couldn’t quote chapter & verse like I can for bible. But often say Islam greatest force for evil today”, could lead to a suppression of rights for Muslims and even mass deportations. To think that people fought and died to ‘Defend England’ and to keep the ‘UK Independent’ free from the clutches Fascism, the names of these groups are insulting to their memory. Astonishingly, EDL members have even been caught on camera making Nazi salutes at the graves of World War II martyrs.
We have seen the rise of Fascism across Europe; however this rise has been countered by a bigger rise in terms of response from the left. Front de Gauche (France), Die Linke (Germany), Left Bloc (Portugal) and various parties across Scandinavia have all seen unexpected rises in votes, but the biggest example is in Greece.
Golden Dawn is a Fascist Party in Greece, and have openly praised the ‘Papadopoulos Junta’ of 1967-1974, from which my father fled in 1972. In 2012 Golden Dawn rose from having no seats in parliament in the 2009 elections, to securing 18 of the 300 seats that make up the Greek Parliament. However the Left Wing Coalition ‘SYRIZA’ got 72 Seats coming second, gaining only 2% less of the vote than the winning Nea Demokratia, the Greek Conservative Party, rising by 59 seats from 2009 when they came fourth and were considered still a small party. Nea Demokratia had to go into coalition with the former ruling party PASOK, the equivalent of Labour, in order to form a government. Golden Dawn has risen even higher to 11% in opinion polls in Greece, whereas a recent British poll showed UKIP to have 15% of the vote in Britain, more than Golden Dawn and also beating the Liberal Democrats.
So where is the Left’s contribution in Britain? As mentioned earlier, the British people are tired of the opportunist politics practised by the vast majority of MPs in all three main parties and are looking elsewhere. Just as in Greece, this has led to the rise of the far-right, here in the UK we’ve yet to see a strong unified response from the left. In Greece the austerity measures made the Conservative government so unpopular that the centre-left PASOK won the 2009 election easily, a factor I expect will be repeated in Britain. Following the outcome of the Greek elections in 2009 the continuation of the policies by PASOK brought about the rise of SYRIZA.
However, in Britain we are not seeing anything of this nature. In Greece the dissatisfaction made many voters turn to SYRIZA, yet in the UK many people have given up on voting altogether. We saw evidence of this in the Croydon North By Election over a year ago, where only 27% of the electorate voted. In one of the youngest constituencies in Britain this reflects the fact that politicians are simply out of touch with young people. Alexis Tsipras the leader of SYRIZA is 39 years old, which is very young for a party leader and he is very much in touch with young people in Greece. The British Left though have failed to make the same impact on the youth.
The left is in a state of division, fighting each other over the small issues rather than uniting over the larger issues they care about. There are currently dozens of Left-Wing parties in Britain, yet they only have two MPs between them. Respect’s George Galloway and the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas. The European Parliament has 35 seats belonging to EUL-NGL a coalition of Left Wing groups in Europe and is expected to make big gains in the next election – this shows how far behind we are in Britain. The British Left has become a victim of constant splits and accusations of “rival” groups as not being truly socialist. We need to stop all this childish bickering and create a united front against Capitalism and its brother Fascism.
Socialists of Britain Unite!