Tuesday, 22 April 2014

UKIP. Prejudiced? Yes. Illiberal? Certainly. Racist? No. Should you vote for them? Absolutely not.


UKIP launched some posters. As cynical political campaigning goes they are premier league. Indeed, they have achieved exactly what UKIP wanted - best captured by Dan Hodges, top grumpy, lefty cynic:

It would be wrong to call Ukip’s brand of racism subliminal. There’s nothing subliminal about giant billboards claiming 26 million “Europeans” are about to arrive on our shores in the hope of stealing the jobs of every honest, hard-working Brit.

Now I'm pretty sure there's a fair smattering of racists supporting UKIP. But then I met a couple of ex-BNP Labour supporters recently. They were pretty racist.

The reality here is that, just as has always been the case with effective political communications, there is no room for nuance or subtlety. We 'say it like it is' meaning that we strip out any qualification, remove any caveats and say that there are 26 million unemployed Europeans and they could come and get your job.

This is rubbish, has no evidence to support it, is prejudiced and reveals again that (like all our political parties these days) UKIP see illiberalism as the way to get votes. The posters are only 'racist' if you believe that wanting to reduce levels of immigration is 'racist'. I simply don't accept that argument and Hodges' secondary argument that we'd think it was racist is the posters said Asian or African is equally daft - the posters are for an election to the European Parliament so focusing on things that are, in part, a consequence of EU membership seems reasonable (even when what is said is utter twaddle).

UKIP is a prejudiced party - making sweeping judgement and generalisation about EU residents coming to work in the UK. I think they're wrong but I don't think their policy is racist.

UKIP is an illiberal party - for all the tabloid libertarianism of Farage's rhetoric, UKIP's immigration policy, response to same sex marriage and economic policies are deeply illiberal. But they are not racist.

I detest the EU. It is anti-democratic, controlling, interfering, unaccountable, lying and unjust. I will vote to leave with enthusiasm when I get the chance to do so. And I will argue the case against from an absolute belief in free trade, free speech and free enterprise. So I won't tack along with UKIP's prejudiced illiberalism. Indeed, if we want that referendum, that chance to leave, then the very last thing we should do is vote UKIP.



Anonymous said...

Give UKIP a point for a very successful campaign - at no cost to UKIP, their full range of election posters were featured and actively discussed on every peak-time, mainstream TV news broadcast, plus appearing as 'news' in almost all newspapers - you just can't buy that level of coverage.

Wasted on me - they've already got all my family's votes, and will keep them at every election, be that local, national or European, until we leave the crooked EU.

Anonymous said...

We won't get a chance to vote for leaving the EU. Cameron promised that before the last election and look what hapopened there. He's a lying bastard. Why do you still support him?

Anonymous said...

Here we have it, the expected 'Don't vote for UKIP' screed from a conservative party member. You're so predictable. Get some real conservative party policies and actually implement them then maybe people will start to vote for you. Until then UKIP all the way.....