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Blackshirts and blazers: the rise of the kipper

The BNP are down and out. They’ve lost the three seats they were trying to defend and Burnley is a nazi-free zone again for the first time since 2002.

farage

Right fright delight

After three years of bitter infighting and incompetence their vote across the country has dried up. It says something of the degeneration of a party that once sent ice cold shivers down the spine of anti-fascists that their election night message to supporters was, frankly, off the wall, telling people to “engage in making babies”.

Well, if they want people to go fuck themselves they should just say so. No one likes a sore loser Nick.

Those BNP members who have not already defected to the kippers were probably grinding their teeth at the success of their rival right-wing populist party, even as Farage put the electoral pillow over their faces. As Nigel has correctly pointed out few people have done as much as he has to destroy the BNP, Nick Griffin aside.

UAF should make him an honourary member.

While the success of Ukip shows that the polluted waters of bigotry are still with us some on the left and the national press do seem to think that they herald a street army of brown shirts ready to erect statues of Mussolini all over the country. This is unlikely.

Ukip is part of a decade and a bit long trend of anti-establishment, anti-politician parties getting a foothold in mainstream politics. Some of this is expressed from the left and at other times from the right. The old political loyalties to Labour and Tories have fragmented the closer the two came over matters of policy, which has been as much of a problem for the right as it has been for those of us on the left.

The three largest parties have dealt with the recent resurgence of Ukip in the most bizarre way possible doing cartwheels in front of Farage in the hope of attracting his support, thereby legitimising and strengthening that support. Even Clegg got in on the act going on about immigration and there is literally nothing in it for him to do so.

Argh!

Argh!

I imagine Ed Miliband has apologised for Labour’s “record” on immigration so often now that every morning he wakes up, turns to his wife and, with well practiced sincerity, says “I’m sorry we let in so many foreigners”.

Edward. This is not helping.

This may be a radical idea but we have to take on the anti-immigration rhetoric not co-opt it, as well as developing a stronger, more digestible, position on Europe. There is a strong current of racism and xenophobia in this country that we have to take on, but it was not created by Ukip or the BNP, they simply capitalise on it.

Most of all we should take a step back and realise that the rise of Ukip is not our number one priority. It’s the other parties, the ones with power, that we have to tackle over privatisation, war, inequality, the attack on benefits, the sidelining of environmental issues and all the rest of it. And, I think, we need to couple that with a positive vision for an alternative society.

We cannot confine ourselves to repeating the cuts are bad. People know they are bad, what they don’t sense is that there is a viable alternative to cuts. If they did Labour would be arguing for it. They don’t because the political terrain on economics has shifted so far to the right – that’s not Ukip’s fault in the slightest.

If we (the left in its broadest sense) allow ourselves to be distracted by the purple blazers we are letting our politics be dictated by the press agenda. We will be doomed to always opposing bad things as they come up when we can and should be advocating the building of something better.

If they ever make a film called “The Spirit of ’13” I’d like it to be vaguely inspirational rather than a set of frightened whimpers in the shadow of a clown.

7 Responses to Blackshirts and blazers: the rise of the kipper

  1. Rangjan says:

    “we have to take on the anti-immigration rhetoric not co-opt it” –
    Part of taking it on needs to address the rise in unemployment and how wages have been driven down by immigration. The neo-liberals have openly stated this as an objective. In other words we need to tackle the concerns underlying fears of immigration (low wage economy, lack of service provision, lack of affordable housing). So most importantly, we need to frame the debate correctly, while “taking it on”.

  2. Tryweryn says:

    So your saying anyone who is ant-imigration is a racist. You are the new fascists!

  3. Tryweryn,

    Does the author of the article seek to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that promotes the mass mobilization of the national community,relying on a vanguard party to initiate a revolution to organize the nation on fascist principles? No? Then he/she is not a fascist. They simply exercising their right to free speech in denouncing what they consider the ugly xenophobia that motivates many in Ukip and the rest of far-right.

  4. My own view of the election results, comparing the UK with Greece – http://bit.ly/10AmEvh

    • Jim Jepps says:

      Interesting, thank you Andrew. Do you have more info you can share about your local by-election? ie when is it, who’s the candidate, how to get in touch, etc. Ta!

      • Tessa Warrington is standing in Leicester Abbey Ward for TUSC – the by-election is on 9th May. We are opposing all Labour cuts in Leicester. For example, the council (with 52 Labour councillors and just 1 Tory) is closing old people’s homes, cutting two homeless shelters, implementing the bedroom tax, and cutting council tax benefit.

        Tessa’s election leaflet can be viewed here – http://www.electionleaflets.org/leaflets/7525/

        If anyone can help with the campaign, contact her agent Steve Score on 07737978057.

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