Socialist Worker

Tories’ lurch to the right only feeds Ukip

Issue No. 2426

David Camerons latest get racist quick scheme will feed Ukip

David Cameron's latest get racist quick scheme will feed Ukip (Pic: World Economic Forum)


What exactly the Tory party strategy is for the next election was laid out rather succinctly in the conservative Spectator magazine this week. 

It wrote, “It is a bold approach but, who knows, perhaps it is just crazy enough to work. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a strategy on immigration best summarised like this—UKIP ARE RIGHT. DON’T VOTE FOR THEM.” 

David Cameron’s latest get racist quick scheme is to plan to limit migration from the European Union (EU) by capping the number of national insurance numbers distributed to foreign nationals. 

Going into next year’s election the Tories will say limit immigration. Labour’s position is depressingly similar. 

But as various EU bosses and sections of the right wing press pointed out, the reality is unlikely to be a reduction in immigration. 

Indeed, Cameron is unlikely to succeed because membership of the EU is premised on free movement of labour inside it.  

But an increase in racism is a likely consequence. Various bits of the establishment are warning Cameron against going down this road.

It’s not because they are anti-racist, they are for exploiting all workers, wherever they are from. 

The Tories have a weak base and like all mainstream political parties it is getting weaker. 

The logic would be to look to new forces to win votes. Instead Cameron is more interested in covering his back. 

Smokescreen

A section of the Tories backed off from mounting a stalking horse challenge against Cameron last year. But now they use the Ukip threat as a smokescreen to drive the party as far to the right as they can.

They operate under a delusion that the reason Cameron couldn’t get a majority last time is because he wasn’t right wing enough. 

What is no less strange is that Cameron is worried about them. 

The 20th century was the Tory century, with the Conservatives remaining the natural party of government for most of it. But that is no longer the case. 

One consequence of decline meant a fragmenting of the British ruling class consensus over European integration. 

Part of the ruling class believed it had to concentrate on Europe, part looked more to the US. 

Ever since New Labour’s landslide victory in 1997 the mantra has been the need to mobilise the Tory “core” vote. 

They do so by highlighting the “dog-whistle” issues of Europe, immigration and taxes—what used be called the “Tebbit trinity”. 

Happily, despite their efforts, there are fewer bigots than they imagine. 

The problem with all this is it both encourages Ukip and moves politics as a whole to the right. 

And that is just another reason to get rid of the Tories.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

What We Think
Tue 21 Oct 2014, 16:43 BST
Issue No. 2426
Share this article


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