Saturday, 28 November 2009

Fine Line between UKIP and the BNP!

We of the left have always known that there is a very fine line between UKIP and BNP, which is the reason why we describe UKIP as 'BNP lite.' It is therefore pleasing to see the new leader of UKIP, the expelled ex Tory peer, Lord Pearson, confirm that fine line distinction between the two parties in an interview with the Politics Show last Sunday:
Pearson: “Immigration is probably the biggest issue outside the south east of England, and the people have been treated incredibly badly by their political class.”

Interviewer: “So is there a danger that you could be confused – UKIP and the BNP?”

Pearson: “We’ve got to be very careful, erm, especially in this area of immigration, erm, that we cannot be confused with the.. the BNP – I… I accept that. There’s a fine line to be drawn here, erm… But I would also want to bring up…”

Interviewer: “I’m sorry, but are you saying that there’s a fine line between UKIP and the BNP?”

Pearson: “Well, I don’t actually know, erm, the intimate detail of… of the BNP policy. What we would be aiming for is zero net increase, erm, in immigration. So obviously we’re… we welcom asylum seekers, we welcome people of all colours and everything, and in that we’re completely different, erm… t-to the BNP. But we think the prospect of the population moving towards 70 million, erm… you know, within 20 years or so is very worrying. Sharia Law, erm… Islamic law is running in this country in fact, erm, in many areas, which is completely unacceptable if it becomes superior to British law.”

The Lord Pearson is not exactly well known for his tolerance and understanding of other cultures, he was after all responsible for inviting the ultra right wing anti Islamic Dutch politician Geert Wilders into the UK to show his racist film in the House Lords. It was so controversial that even the Uk Government refused to allow Wilders entry into the country.

It very much looks like Lord Pearson's election is likely to split UKIP as these comments from Councillor Alan Wood, a leadership challenger testify:
Interviewer: “Do you respect Lord Pearson?”

Wood: “No I don’t. I think he’s totally off the wall with his remarks about Muslims and Sharia Law, and for that I can’t respect him”

Inteviewer
: “Are you saying that if he’s elected people will think that you’re too close to the BNP?”

Wood: “Yes, yes. People already think we are the BNP. Erm… It’s tragic. It’s tragic that we’ve been painted into this corner.”

Interviewer: “And so if he’s elected, you’re leaving, you’re off?”

Wood: “I cannot stay with Lord Pearson, with those views, and I don’t think he’s the right man.”

Source and Acknowledgement: Nosemonkey's Eutopia

Any bets on the future of UKIP?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a superb comment to describe a leader of UKIP, 'I think he's totally off the wall.'

Anonymous said...

So.....is he wrong to question the levels of immigration into the UK or would you also like to see the population reach 70 million. Are you sure you aren't Wrexham NuLabour? Nest you'll be calling everybody who questions immigration 'racists'!

Pelagius said...

Agreed. Just to bang my old drum: they are all British nationalists. This is not confined to these two parties. It infects Labour and Tory too (but probably less so the Lib-Dems).

I'm not impressed by Bob Crow's ignorant anti-Europeanism on TV last night, either. Dangerous stuff. In the absence of global governance, which I support passionately, the default position is the same.

Pelagius said...

Thinks. I see a campaign to return all the Brits from all other parts of Europe. Retired or working. Bring 'um back, I say! However many millions there are.

And what about the Empire? Especially those who stole land from the locals. Repatriate them, without compensation, back to dear old Blighty.

Why stop there? From what date do these Brit Nats think migration is a bad thing?

Then, don't get me started: what about controls on our border with England?

Just goes to prove the point. It's prejudice not rationality.

Proper Tidy said...

Bob Crow's position is one shared by much of the so-called 'far left' (which is of course internationalist) and perhaps best exemplified by Joe Higgins, the Irish socialist MEP. It is quite apparent that this position, whilst opposed to the Lisbon Treaty, is entirely different from the euro-sceptic position of UKIP and the right.

It is a position primarily based on and informed by workers' rights, specifically the enshrinement of the rights of business, and for that matter government, to practice social dumping, which pits worker against worker to drive down wages. For examples of this in practice, you could refer to the Laval dispute and subsequent legal battle, or Waterford Crystal in Ireland, or for that matter Lindsey Oil Refinery and the wildcat strikes.

Crow is a TU leader; naturally he is going to be concerned by a treaty which enforces previous rulings that allow companies to cut collective wage agreements - such as Laval, where Latvian workers in Sweden were paid a wage two thirds lower than the Swedish collectively agreed wage. Regardless of where a worker is from, he/she should be paid the wage of the country they are working/living in, surely?

There is no doubt that the charter of fundamental rights etc are progressive and positive, but that doesn't make the institutionalisation of the race to the bottom any easier to take. You wrap a turd in fig leaves, it is still a turd.

Crow's position remains class-based and internationalist, and favours European integration, but opposes the neo-liberal agenda of the treaty; Crow perhaps takes a harder anti-Lisbon line than much of the left, but nonetheless the neo-liberal agenda is recognised throughout the anti-capitalist left, if not the liberal left.

It is the extremely aggressive tactics of business throughout Europe, who are using the liberalisation of the European labour market to pit workers against workers and drive down pay and conditions (hence the 'race to the bottom'), that is feeding the growth in the far right throughout Europe. Bigotry is always at its fiercest when competition is at its fiercest, and the racist and ultra-nationalist rhetoric of the far right offers a ready scapegoat in the foreign worker, when the reality is that the only section of society that benefits from the ultra-competitiveness of an integrated European labour market with the ability to ride roughshod over wage agreements & terms and conditions is the capitalist class.

It is the European worker who is being made to pay for the crisis in capitalism; it is the European worker who will pay the state deficit through cuts to public services and the welfare state; and it is the European worker who will pay the state deficit through wage cuts and wage stagnation whilst the cost of living continues to rise.

European integration should be an opportunity to raise everybody's living and working conditions up to the standard of the highest, not to drive down conditions to the bottom. Think of it like a continental version of the recent industrial dispute in Leeds; whereby, under the cover of promoting gender equality, the local authority proposed to cut the wages of male workers down to the rate of female workers, rather than to bring wages for female workers up to the level of male workers.

Gender equality, and wage equality within Europe, is something we should strive for, but not by attacking pay and conditions. The only people who gain from this are big business and the bosses.

Then there are the concerns about the militarisation of the EU of course...

There is, I'm sure, a debate to be had on an increasingly hardening stance amongst the anti-capitalist Left but to chuck in this position with the euro-sceptic, frequently racist & always inward looking Right is a bit rum.

Proper Tidy said...

Edit - I of course meant:

"It is the European worker who is being made to pay for the crisis in capitalism; it is the European worker who will pay the state deficit through cuts to public services and the welfare state; and it is the European worker who will pay the *corporate* deficit through wage cuts and wage stagnation whilst the cost of living continues to rise".

little red rooster said...

In fairness, Bob Crow on HIGNFY was on a hiding to nothing. Smug commuter audience booed him - not even Tories get booed on that programme! Hislop, the smuggest public schoolboy, took his cue and decided to have a go. Crow tried to meet it with a few slogans rather than a coherent answer. Not Crow's finest hour.

Proper Tidy said...

Very true. Hislop really is an awful One Nation Tory as well, and always goes for the throat of lefties. I think he accused Mark Steel of being an apologiser for Stalin last time he was on.

One good quip aside ("no I don't live there") it was a bit of a trouncing.

Rayatcov said...

What a load of rubbish. If this is the best you can do, heaven help you.

Anonymous said...

"So.....is he wrong to question the levels of immigration into the UK or would you also like to see the population reach 70 million. Are you sure you aren't Wrexham NuLabour? Nest you'll be calling everybody who questions immigration 'racists'!"

You never did responde to what I said above.....?

Proper Tidy said...

Trying to work to a monetary immigration 'limit' is like trying to control air. The whole population of the world has trebled; the UK has remained comparatively stable.

And yes, I would say that those who continually question immigration are generally pursuing a racist agenda. What of the mass migration of UK born people to Spain, the US, and oh yes the Arab world? What of our aging population and the need to fund the increasing burden of the state pension deficit?

If you want to alleviate pressure on housing stock, then scrap right to buy and replace lost stock with new social housing.

If you want to alleviate pressure on jobs, then question the dogma of the free market which dictates that competition between workers drives down wages and increases productivity. Revert to a time when full employment was an aspiration and not an insult.

If you want to alleviate poverty and wage inequality then seek a more equitable distribution of the vast wealth evident in society.

But none of these things have anything to do with immigration.

But then I'm not in Plaid, so I can't answer for them.