Nazi Nick Griffin has confirmed he’s backing Ukip in next year’s general election.
The former British National Party leader tweeted his endorsement last weekend. Griffin’s backing makes Ukip’s claim to be a non-racist party sound even more hollow.
It came at the end of a bad week for Ukip. The Daily Mirror revealed that Ukip worker Arthur Thackeray bragged about marching with the racist English Defence League and Scottish Defence League on Facebook.
In 2011 he wrote, “I personally support the aims and objectives of the Defence Leagues. Ukip has no official party line on this issue.”
Other Ukip members branched out from racism to be homophobic instead. Former Ukip deputy leader, Lord Christopher Monckton, said last week that Aids was “at root a ‘gay’ disease” and the “wages of promiscuity”.
According to Monckton this meant gay people have “short, miserable lives”. Ukip leader Nigel Farage was forced to condemn the comments.
But Farage’s real view is that “tolerance” means making space for bigoted views. Ukip is making gains as the mainstream parties continually whip up racist panics over immigration.
It tries to pose as anti-establishment to attract people who are rightly disillusioned with the main parties.
This helped it win a councillor in a Bridlington by-election last week. But many people are also disgusted that a racist, bigoted party is making gains—and are organising against it.
Activists get organised against Ukip
Around 50 people attended a Stand Up to Ukip activists’ meeting in London last Sunday. Campaigners came from across Britain. They included trade unionists from the CWU, trades council reps and a Unison health chair.
Trade unionists included Steve Hart, Unite union officer and chair of Unite Against Fascism.
There were also Labour councillors and representatives from the North Staffordshire Campaign Against Racism and Fascism and the Exposing Ukip website.
Margaret Woods of the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees spoke about the need to focus onUkip’s racism.
Amal Azzudin, one of the Glasgow Girls who successfully campaigned against a classmate’s deportation, was elected onto the temporary steering committee.
She said, “I thought today’s meeting was really good. It’s about time as well, because we need to do something about what’s happening.”
Anti-Ukip protest in Penarth
The Daily Mirror newspaper ran a divisive front page last week blaming migrants for unemployment.
It’s headline, “What About British Workers?” complained that seasonal minimum wage jobs at Next’s warehouse in South Elmsall, Yorkshire, were being advertised in Poland before they are seen locally.
The Mirror sets “home grown workers” against Poles, as if Polish workers are the problem rather than the money grubbing company.
Next argues that they have been advertised locally too. It has trouble recruiting locally as its wages are so low, with under 21s not even paid the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.
On Monday of this week the Mirror carried seven letters attacking the migrants, the lead one blaming trade unions that “have done little to stop these dubious practices”.
The GMB union has rightly campaigned for Next to pay the living wage of £7.85 to its all its workers.
This included leafleting Polish workers to join the union and the fight for better pay.
But the Mirror’s attacks show that it’s not only the Tories and Ukip that are scapegoating migrants.