Tuesday, April 29, 2014

UKIP Don't Hate Elephants, They Hate People

UKIP have got a freepost address so, if you want to send their leaflets back at their expense, it's easily done. It's been noted that, as they pay by weight received, adding a few extra items helps them spend the millions of pounds they've fiddled from the EU. Handful of gravel from your path? Out of date jar of gherkins? Every little helps. But few things are as heavy and handily sized as the household brick, which UKIP will surely have good use for.

It's easy to cast them as a party who hate foreigners - not least because it's true - but it misses the point and also misses a lot of the people on their hate list.


On 12 September 2013, the European Parliament voted on equal pay for male and female workers. It was carried with an overwhelming 546 votes in favour. Among the 50 abstentions were UKIP MEPs John Bufton and William, Earl of Dartmouth. For the same party, John Agnew and Roger Helmer were two of the 34 (that also included several Tories) who voted against.

This is, of course, the same UKIP who have a major funder called Demetri Marchessini, author of a whole book called Women In Trousers explaining that such people are deliberately making themselves unattractive to men and that public trouser-wearing by women is 'hostile behaviour'.


If being on the wrong side of gender discrimination is unpopular, UKIP went further. A month ago there was a European Parliament vote on transparency in clinical trials that was carried by an even greater margin than the equal pay vote. Fully 95%, some 594 MEPS, were in favour. Who were amidst the rump of 17 who opposed it? Stand up once again William, Earl of Dartmouth and his colleagues Roger Helmer and John Agnew, alongside fellow UKIPper Gerard Batten.


Nigel Farage was absent from both those votes, presumably because he was on Question Time yet a-fucking-gain. However he was present on 15 January this year for a vote to combat wildlife crime, including the illegal ivory trade. This vote managed to be even more overwhelming. 647 MEPs - 96% - voted in favour. Six of the 14 who voted against came from one party. Once again William, Earl of Dartmouth took his place alongside John Agnew and Gerard Batten, along with Paul Nuttall, Derek Clark and their overseer Farage.

This one caught a big wave of meme-inspired public attention in the last couple of weeks. Why in God's name did Ukip vote against fighting the illegal ivory trade? asked an anti-EU rightwinger on the Telegraph's blog feed. It's a fair enough question in the face of what seem like baffling political positions.


However, our befuddlement is the product of our own failure to understand what we see. We imagine UKIP MEPs as political representatives. If instead we see UKIP as a corporatist sect masquerading as a political party then it all becomes clear. They despise anything that hinders profit, which includes many fundamental human needs. Now look again at everything they do. It all fits.

Their current billboard campaign shows a British builder* begging on the street because his job was undercut by unlimited cheap labour.

In their new election broadcast video, a British builder** says

Since the lads from Eastern Europe are prepared to work for a lot less than anybody else, I’ve found it a real struggle. It’s getting hard to provide for my family.

If this were really their concern, why do UKIP oppose the minimum wage? Why do they support the ultimate undercut of workfare, where waged workers are sacked to make way for the unpaid forced labour of unemployed people?

UKIP want the end of the Working Time Directive which gives us paid holiday, paid breaks, rest of at least 11 hours in 24 and the right to work no more than 48 hours a week. Those out of work would suffer under UKIP too, with benefits being further slashed and abolished.

These are the people for whom this most full-throttle Tory government doesn't go far or fast enough. Farage - who, like so many of the Tories he pits himself against, is a public school millionaire who had a City career before becoming an expenses fiddling politician - is using racism as a smokescreen for his party's drive for full corporatocracy.

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*The British builder in the poster, David O' Rourke, is actually an immigrant from Ireland. He's not a builder, but an actor. Last Wednesday Farage told the Telegraph's political editor that UKIP was the only party not to use actors in its advertising. Two days later UKIP said using actors was 'totally standard practice'.

**The British builder in the video, Andre Lampitt, is actually an immigrant from Zimbabwe, or Rhodesia as he prefers to call it. He is a UKIP member and a serious racist.


Jim Bliss said...

Yeah, but didn't you hear what Farage said last week? The Irish don't count as immigrants 'cos apparently we're "kith and kin".

Though this does slightly undercut his claim that the anti-immigration thing isn't a race issue. If you're happy to allow immigration from one sovereign nation because "they're just like us really", then what's the real reason for not allowing immigration from other sovereign nations?


He pops up on the political shows on this side of the Irish Sea from time to time. In fact his active campaigning in Ireland for a "No" vote on the various European Treaty referenda was enough to make me momentarily question my own anti-Lisbon position.

Anyway Farage reminds me of a loan shark (appropriate, what with him being a former banker) which to me says it all.

wonkotsane said...

Farage has never been a banker, he used to trade metals.

Jim Bliss said...

Thanks for the correction, Stuart. Pretty sure Merrick's piece isn't the only place I've seen that claim though - it's definitely doing the rounds on the net.

Farage still has the look of a loan shark about him to me though.

merrick said...

Stuart, thanks for the correction, he was indeed a commodities trader. I have amended the phrasing to reflect that (which means to the new reader your comment won't make sense until they read as far as this one).