Written by Martin Ralph
Thursday, 07 August 2014 23:45
The UKIP success in the local elections and European elections sent a shockwave through trade unions, left organisations and many workers.
People from a range of backgrounds voted for UKIP. Some were fascist, right wing bigots and Euro sceptics but the greatest number of votes came from the frustration and anger felt by the working class and middle class over economic problems: declining pay and conditions, increasing zero hour contracts, and increasing anxiety over the future coupled with a general disgust at the sleaze and hypocrisy of traditional parties.
However, UKIP are not different.
London lowers their votes
Euro elections results were: UKIP 27.5%, Labour 25% and Tories 24% (34.17% of the electorate voted).
Local elections: in 2013 UKIP received a national average of 23 per cent of the vote, which in 2014 went down to 17 per cent because of the London vote.
In London UKIP polled 7 per cent. The majority of London’s population is now Black and Ethnic Minority and more than 40 per cent of Londoners were born overseas. It seems the more cosmopolitan a population the less inclined to vote for UKIP.
UKIP aim to divide workers
UKIP claim to be a people’s party, but populist issues are highlighted to conceal the party’s hostility to public sector jobs, public ownership and workers’ rights.
UKIP policies are aimed at dividing workers by deepening the attack on the democratic rights of minorities, in particular EU migrants, immigrants, women and the LGTB communities.
While UKIP use patriotic sound bites their policies give support for de-regulation of finance and big business, and curb the rights of workers.
“UKIP would put an end to most legislation regarding matters such as weekly working hours, holidays and holiday, overtime, redundancy or sick pay etc. and provide a statutory, standard, very short employment contract template”. (Small Business Manifesto, 2013). This manifesto is no longer available from the UKIP web site, but it can be found at bit.ly/1qiC06S.
Also their 2010 manifesto promised to, “Encourage County Health Boards to put out to tender key NHS services ranging from Long Term Care to local hospitals and GP surgeries”.
UKIP’s anti-immigrant propaganda draws on the anti-Jewish, anti-Irish and anti-Black propaganda that has increased racism and divided workers since the 1930s.
They argue that immigration is to blame for economic and social problems, but the reality is that banks and speculators have driven the financial crisis we all face today, as happened in the past.
Cameron’s austerity package has reinforced anti-immigrant feelings. Labour are also responsible as they do not oppose austerity and they court the anti-immigrant rhetoric.
The real Nigel Farage – a privileged life with very wealthy backing
Farage was educated at Dulwich College private school and was active in the Tory Party from his school days.
In 1982, he worked in the City of London, trading commodities at the London Metal Exchange. He moved to Credit Lyonnais Rouse in 1986, Refco in 1994, and Natexis Metals in 2003.
Farage left the Tories in 1992 and UKIP was formed in 1993.
The main donor was Paul Sykes a property developer whose wealth was estimated at £650 million.http://bit.ly/U37jI8.
Sykes donated almost £1,500,000 towards UKIP’s advertising campaigns for the 2004 European Parliamentary elections, making him their primary source of funding.
Then in November 2013, Sykes stated that he would do “whatever it takes” to help make UKIP successful in the 2014 European Parliamentary elections.
They want to deregulate the banks
UKIP defends the dominance of the banks and calls for de-regulation. Farage told the Independent in January 2014, “I know it might still be trendy to ‘bash the bankers’ but this crash was entirely predictable. It was Gordon Brown handing over regulation of the banking industry from the Bank of England who, since 1694 has done a pretty good job, and handed it over to the tick-box bureaucrats in Canary Wharf”.
He has a direct link with the City of London, big capital, private equity and financiers. These are the very institutions that created the 2008 financial crash which is the real reason behind the current austerity attacks hitting the working class.
Open door to fracking
UKIP published early this year an energy policy pamphlet, where they vowed to “end wasteful EU and UK subsidies to ‘renewable energy scams’, such as wind turbines and solar farms.”
According to the new Statesmen, “Most strikingly of all, it recommends ‘a re-think’ to allow the UK to exploit its remaining coal reserves, claiming that the local impacts of mining can be avoided by ‘emerging technologies enabling energy to be recovered from coal by underground combustion’.” http://bit.ly/1ppXjEg.
Media helps UKIP
UKIP received a high level of media coverage during and after the elections. This led to an unprecedented 1190 complaints to the BBC about giving too much time or bias to UKIP.
Others follow UKIP racism
The UKIP success will inevitably push other parties further to the right, in particular to mount attacks on all immigrants.
The Labour Party and Miliband have repeatedly apologised for Labour’s lenient approach to immigration in the past, which in reality has never been lenient.
The success and populist rhetoric of UKIP has also given confidence to fascist groups and thugs to attack and harass racial minority communities and individuals.
For a free socialist European Federation
UKIP utilise popular anti-European Union and anti-EU migration to the UK to support what would be brutal policies. They want Parliament and EU deregulation for big business to allow for unrestricted policies that will attack workers’ interests.
The EU can only be removed by workers’ struggles across Europe fighting the bosses and their institutions which are destroying southern Europe today.
Our aim is to build a Free Socialist European Federation to unite all European workers by defeating and establishing a workers Europe and power against European capitalism. Because the EU cannot be reformed into such a body, it will have to be built by the struggle of European workers.