Tuesday, 27 May 2014

UKIP: NO FRIEND OF WORKERS!

The election of 24 UKIP MEPs; the fact they topped the poll in England; their massively increased share of the vote (up 11 points since 2009 to 27.5%); and the open calls of some Tories for a pact or coalition with them for Westminster governments, should be a loud, frightening wake-up call to workers in Scotland who are pondering what to do on 18 September.


UKIP's racism and xenophobic anti-Europeanism is reasonably well known by many people in Scotland. 
Hardly known at all - largely buried from view by the sycophantic media that has consciously built them up as a means to siphon off the growing disgust with the mainstream parties that might otherwise be attracted to voices on the left - is their rank hypocrisy and their viciously anti-working class agenda.


Ruin and right-wing populism


UKIP appeals to people ruined by the crisis in capitalism. The likes of small business people and the self-employed who are crushed between the bankers and multinational corporate giants, and sections of workers facing destitution and desperation due to the chronic shortage of decent jobs and housing.
Untrammeled capitalism, deregulated under successive Tory and Labour governments, has meant a cataclysmic shock to people's systems, their sense of stability, so some grab at UKIP's easy-sounding explanations: their scapegoating of immigrants, their denunciation of EU bureaucracy, their demonization of the allegedly 'work-shy', and their railing against the corruption of the three big pro-capitalist parties in Britain.
The hypocrisy and inconsistency of UKIP on these issues is nauseating - but rarely if ever exposed by a media which has hoisted them to prominence as a means to drag disgruntled voters to 'the BNP in blazers' rather than risk the anger of ruined workers finding a voice on the socialist left.

UKIP corruption
Whilst thundering against corruption and 'foreigners', UKIP's election strategist was Neil Hamilton, former Tory MP, expelled from Westminster for taking cash in brown envelopes off Mohamed al Fayed.
In the same vein, Farage claimed £2million in expenses as an MEP up to the year 2009 - and chose his German wife from amongst 400 (British) applicants for the job of his parliamentary secretary.
Two of the twelve UKIP MEPs elected in 2004 were expelled for money laundering and false accounts.
Farage was recently rumbled for his secret tax account - a tax dodge - in the Isle of Man, but the mainstream media let it drop as an issue after a few days, in stark contrast to their hounding of so-called benefit cheats, day and daily, for years.
So much for UKIP's anti-corruption ticket - a potent weapon of appeal amongst a population heartily sick of the corruption of British politics, which has accelerated exponentially since the ideological convergence of Labour and Tory.

Racist lies
UKIP's brutal anti-immigrant propaganda has not and can not be countered by any of the big parties in Westminster, for the simple reason they first created the platform for UKIP to pour out their bile, and because the Tory and Labour leadership to some extent or another share their scapegoating of 'foreigners' for the plague of unemployment and poor housing blighting capitalist Britain.
Not a whisper from Tory or Labour politicians about the lies and nonsense about a flood of Romanians and Bulgarians into Britain since new EU regulations took effect in January; in fact the numbers of people from these countries entering the UK this year has taken a nose-dive!
Not a word from the British establishment that contrary to the xenophobic rants of UKIP, the NHS depends on 40% of its nursing staff and 30% of its doctors coming from abroad, and that it would collapse without immigration.
Not a single headline to highlight the Manchester University report that last year alone, immigrants to the UK contributed (in taxes) over £8.8billion more than they took back in any form of benefit.
One incident sums up the fact that UKIP is dragging the other major parties to the right, rather than Labour countering their rightwing British nationalist claptrap: UKIP pounded the Tories into declaring a ban on all access to benefits and the NHS to immigrants for their first two years of residence. Labour rightly denounced this as terrible...and then said they would only do it for the first ONE year!!

Jobs, housing  - and socialism
It's impossible to counter UKIP on jobs, wages, housing and immigration without advocating a socialist solution to the problems causing havoc to millions facing the consequences of capitalism and the bankers' profiteering.
We need masses of work done, for instance, to tackle homelessness, slum housing, overcrowding and fuel poverty. If the government funded councils and local housing associations to build, renovate and insulate hundreds of thousands of houses in Scotland in the lifespan of the first independent parliament, that would create jobs and apprenticeships, as well as cutting poverty. And the jobs could be well paid, with a decent living minimum wage, which would counter the 'race to the bottom' favoured by capitalist employers and successive Westminster governments, who currently dip into a large pool of skilled and desperate 'reserve army of labour' to drive down wages.
And if some of those doing the work came from abroad, most people wouldn't care, so long as there were plenty of jobs for all.
Add to that the potential Klondike available from green energy in Scotland, where hundreds of thousands could be employed to develop, build and operate clean energy supplies, not for private profit but for public need.
In turn these and other job-creating measures would require funding from progressive taxation of the obscenely rich - including the ten richest Scots who between them own wealth of £12billion  - plus democratic public ownership of energy, construction, banking and transport.
And that's a million miles from what UKIP offers working class people.

The flame of Thatcherism
"I'm the only politician keeping the flame of Thatcherism alive".
It wasn't Cameron or Clegg who said that, though it could be! Nor Ed Miliband, though in practice it would be true of New Labour's  devotion to the so-called 'free market' and capitalist inequality. It was the 'man of the people', the cheeky chap down the pub, UKIP's Nigel Farage.
UKIP has a totally contradictory clutch of policies, designed to fool different layers of small business people and ruined workers into voting for their right-wing populism.

Vicious UKIP assaults on workers
They openly support privatization of the NHS, to permit people to jump the queue by being able to pay for it.
They want to privatize big chunks of the education system, with vouchers for parents to buy places in private schools.
They generally want more 'free trade', 'deregulation' of business and rampant privatization - former City of London trader Farage is truly keeping the flame of Thatcherism alive.
UKIP want to abolish the statutory 5.6 weeks of paid annual holidays workers have won in this country through generations of trade union struggle.
They even want to end statutory redundancy pay - 'free trade' capitalism means total freedom to exploit workers.
As well as opposing women being on company boards on the grounds that UKIP think women are inferior players of poker, chess and bridge (!!), they want to slash maternity pay by 50 per cent to a miserly £64 a week!
UKIP favour even deeper cuts to jobs and public services than the ConDem coalition. Days after the TUC held its demo in London of over 250,000 in March 2011 against the Westminster Coalition's public sector cuts, UKIP held one - pathetically small - demanding MORE cuts!
In the face of obscene new levels of inequality - which fuels the anger and disillusionment of millions with the traditional political parties who help create these conditions, which in turn UKIP taps into with populist demagogy - they advocate a flat rate income tax. So under a UKIP (or Tory/UKIP) Westminster government, low paid workers and the middle class would pay proportionately far more of their incomes in tax than the bankers, mineral-exploiting capitalists, billionaires and landowners who dominate ownership of wealth.

Race to the top!
UKIP plays on real fears and insecurities in the face of a storm of capitalist assaults on working class conditions. But their policies would lay waste to all the concessions won by past generations of workers; divide the working class and therefore undermine our ability to fight back; and would mean an accelerated race to the bottom for working class people in the jungle of primitive capitalism UKIP favours.
Workers need Scottish independence to escape the prison of a Tory/UKIP government; unity in struggle against capitalist exploitation; and socialist change to ensure a 'race to the top' on jobs, wages, housing and democratic rights.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. The rise of the right is by no means by accident. The growth of right wing politics is down to two things. Firstly, alienation, the sense that there is no difference between the mainstream political parties, I.e. Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The public have grown angry and frustrated as the political class sound all the same and are the same. The political language does not match the people's language. The collapse of the economy created by the financial elite continue to be rewarded. The working class have been made to suffer through draconian social and welfare policies. The standard of living has risen so much that it outstrips people's wages. High unemployment, lack of opportunities and poverty has and is increasing.
      The second point of the rise of the right is disenfranchisement. The mainstream political parties have ignored the plight people are facing. People feel they are not been listened too and been discriminated against. A sense of extreme manifestation of despair is growing looking for a way out. The language of the right has and always be to associate blame on a secular members of society. In the 1930s, the rise of Fascism blamed the Communists and the Jews. In 2014, Islam and immigration are to blame through the right wing ideology. The rise of UKIP is growing as people are disenfranchised and are angry. The Right will play on people's fears and associate blame on someone else who is the cause of economic failure. The one question that the media are not asking, is, who is behind UKIP and other right wing parties in Europe? Also, who is to gain from it? The answer is the ruling elite. The need to establish authoritarian rule over the working classes by diversion. The diversion is created through appropriating blame on secular members of society. This creating distraction from placing the blame of the economic crash at the feet of the ruling class and their institutions.

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