Socialist Worker

Don't let Ukip set the tune for political debate

Issue No. 2352

 The Tories are promising a new onslaught against working class people. And politicians are using Ukip’s recent electoral success as an excuse to scapegoat immigrants.

They want to divert the blame for cuts and austerity away from the Tories and bosses. The election results were a warning. 

We need to stand up against every attempt to demonise people who have come to Britain to try and build a life. 

If we allow Ukip to set the political agenda then the racists will have a free hand. Yet where are the voices among the Labour opposition to confront this threat?  

Instead of standing firm to denounce the Tories’ accommodation to Ukip’s political agenda, Labour is rushing to do the same. 

There is no sense that these ideas can be challenged. The only response seems to be how fast can Labour move to imitate them. 

This is cloaked in talk about “engaging” with people’s “concerns”. But this is cover for pandering to rotten ideas.

One Labour MP, John Mann, has written that in response to Ukip Labour should state that “in the name of social justice” priority for social housing should be for those “who have lived in social housing as children”. 

He also wants Labour to commit to “no benefits for anyone until they have paid National Insurance for two years”.

But you don’t undermine racist ideas by copying them. 

And it’s not just the Labour right that is aping Ukip’s policies rather than opposing them.  

Even Labour left commentator Owen Jones has called for Labour to support a referendum on the European Union. 

Ukip’s ideology benefits the bosses. It divides workers and makes us blame each other for the crisis. 

If Ukip comes to your town or neighbourhood you should get organised and protest against it.  

Ukip wants to be treated like the party of the mainstream commonsense. 

We need to expose its members as an anti-working class, racist rabble. This argument has an audience among workers and activists. 

The union leaders’ retreat from a fight leaves room for demoralisation. If millions of workers were fighting, resistance would be setting the agenda. 

But the lack of a mass fight at the moment doesn’t mean bitterness against the Tories’ attacks has gone away. 

Postal workers are preparing to oppose privatisation of the post office. Unison, Unite and GMB unions are meeting to discuss their fight for a pay rise for local government workers after rejecting the paltry 1 percent offered by the government.

We need to fan every spark of resistance to point to the action and solidarity that can beat back the Tory attacks and defeat the racists.


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.