We continue to see the saturated popularity of UKIP, led by the spurious and demagogic ‘man in the striped suit’, Nigel Farage; spurred on by a largely euro-sceptic media.
Unfortunately, few are challenging Fargae’s rhetoric vitriol, and consequently he is being allowed to set the political agenda.
The recent TV debate involving Farage and Nick Clegg did present the makings of a serious political debate involving our future in Europe had it involved someone other than and certainly more credible than Clegg who, let us not forget, is best remembered for his slavish devotion to this government; his vacuous pledge to scrap student tuition fees; his support for the top-down reorganisation of our NHS that no one wanted or voted for and his endorsement of the grossly unfair bedroom tax, hardly someone with the moral integrity to take the fight to UKIP.
Farage is portrayed as this emerging statesman who is challenging the political classes, the same class, incidentally, of which he is a product.
The fact however is that Farage and UKIP purposely distorts and simplifies the world perceiving a range of critical issues delivered in simple language of different ills and difficulties as all proceeding from three sources: foreigners, Europe and in Britain a ‘Metropolitan Liberal Elite’.
So what is it other than its anti-European, anti-immigrant oratory that defines their politics? To answer this it is incumbent on us to examine more closely as to what characterises UKIP.
When ordinary people are struggling on a daily basis be it as a result of hyper-inflated energy charges; increases in food prices, wage stagnation etc, we see what the real priorities of UKIP are. They would introduce a flat-rate of tax, raising taxes for the poorest tax-payers, while the rich would pay much less. UKIP would scrap the legal right to four weeks paid holiday. UKIP would hand the whole of our NHS to private companies. From ambulances to hospital wards, services would be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The NHS would become nothing more than a meaningless logo. UKIP would allow for the creation of more grammar school education. UKIP would cut the minimum maternity pay by more than half, to just £64 a week. That’s equivalent to fewer than ten hours’ work at the minimum wage.
UKIP will continue to foster working relationships with far-right groups within the European Union. UKIP would remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights which is still the only international human rights agreement providing such a high degree of individual safeguards to uphold certain minimum standards for human rights across an entire continent.
UKIP would end, what it calls, ‘Political Correctness’ as, in their view, it stifles free speech; by this I assume they mean the freedom to refer to women as Godfrey Bloom found to his cost as ‘sluts’.
And UKIP would continue to peddle its lies about the ‘white working class’ suffering the ill-effects of immigration, a choice of language that is taken from the lexicon of the far-right. Like for example, UKIP’s extremely divisive election leaflet they produced that depicts the forlorn image of an indigenous American Indian saying that, ‘He used to ignore immigration now he lives on a reservation’.
Moreover, we see UKIP’s opposition to the now universally-accepted and welcome legal right of gay people being able to marry.
UKIP’s growing popularity, thought of by many as somehow a rather quirky or eccentric affair, belies the fact that beneath its thin veneer dwells an inconvenient truth in that Farrage and UKIP in reality are a rather nasty, nationalist political entity that both exploits and appeals to a sceptical, down-trodden and disillusioned section of our society who, quite understandably, bitterly feel let-down by politicians of either colour, by cleverly exploiting the splits within the conservative party, the abject failings of neo-liberalism and its accommodation of racism with a political narrative that is based on division, despair, scapegoating and hate.
We have to challenge their vitriol and deceit and expose UKIP for what they really are: which is a rather unpleasant version of the US Republican linked right-wing Tea-Party.