Stand up to UKIP
The European election results have created a situation of deep volatility across Europe. The right have made significant advances with swings across Europe towards populist parties like UKIP, and more worryingly, the fascist FN in France. In Denmark and Austria the right captured something like 20% of the vote and even in Greece, alongside the resounding victory by the radical left party Syriza , Golden Dawn, the fascist party could win 9.5% of the vote. In Scotland, for the first time ever, a UKIP MEP has been elected with 10.4% of the vote on a turnout of 33%. The North East of Scotland had the highest percentage of UKIP voters in Scotland.
The two countries which had the strongest showing for left parties, Greece and Spain, significantly, are also the two countries which have experienced the highest grassroots resistance to austerity. In Britain we saw Nick Griffin of the BNP and his fellow fascist Andrew Brons defeated. This was largely due to the activity of anti-fascists in their former constituencies.
The rise of UKIP in Britain and more particularly in Scotland is worrying for RIC. UKIP, while not a fascist party, is a deeply racist party as highlighted by its immigration policy. It also poses as an outsider, alternative party which is challenging the establishment parties. It is nothing of the kind. Farage in a previous life was stockbroker and had failed on a number of occasions to be selected as a Tory candidate. It is a party which would blame workers from other countries for what is essentially a crisis brought about by the inner contradictions of the capitalist system and the madness of the financial markets. Its racist policy only puts worker against worker and the winners are always the bosses.
Since the European elections we have seen an intensifying of state actions against immigrants such as the attack on the camp in Calais, the scaremongering stories of desperate people coming up through Libya. The Condem coalition government’s rhetoric is being pulled to the right as are their actions, as highlighted by the recently revealed Operation Centurion which is a government planned crackdown on immigrants without papers across hundreds of workplaces in Britain. The Labour party is also moving to the right on the issue of immigration with the shadow chancellor Ed Balls calling for the Labour party to speak “more loudly and clearly” on immigration. In addition seven Labour MPs have written an open letter to Ed Milliband to take a tougher stance on immigration.
It is vitally important that RIC separates itself from the position of the mainstream parties. Controls on immigration are effectively a racist position. By controlling immigration we are saying workers from other countries coming here to work are the problem. We have to refute that totally and point the real finger of blame for the lack of jobs at where the real problem lies, i.e. in the nature of capitalism. It is the capitalist system which is responsible for the accumulation of wealth in fewer and fewer hands by the madness of market competition.
Workers should be free to move across borders just as the capitalists can if they choose to move capital across the world. More specifically, as many people as possible need to sign up to the STAND UP TO UKIP statement which has already has signatures from a number of Trade Unionists and politicians. A clear message needs to be sent to UKIP at their national conference on the 27th September in Doncaster. Their racist, homophobic, sexist politics are not welcome. Visit the Stand up to UKIP website for more details (link).