Socialist Worker

Humiliating election defeat for Nazi Tommy Robinson

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2656

Campaigning took place all across the North West

Campaigning took place all across the North West (Pic: Stand Up To Racism Manchester)


Anti-racists are celebrating after Nazi Tommy Robinson and the racist Ukip party were humiliated in the European elections last week.

Robinson, who stood as an independent in the North West, won just 2.2 percent of the vote. And Ukip lost all of its seats in the European parliament—with just 3.3 percent of the vote across Britain.

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite Against Fascism led the fight against Robinson in the North West.

Paul Jenkins, SUTR North West organiser, said, “We are absolutely delighted that the fascist Tommy Robinson has been stopped.

“We launched our campaign to stop Robinson the same night that he announced he was standing as an MEP candidate.

“We have continuously campaigned, with mass leafleting, stalls, rallies, protests and other activities across the whole region.”

Intimidation

They stood up to intimidation from Robinson’s thuggish campaign, including assaults on anti-racists in Warrington and Salford. Robinson faced the humiliation of having milkshakes thrown at him.

And in Oldham supporters of the Muslim Defence League threw ­whatever came to hand at his crew. On the night of the result, Robinson snuck out before counting had finished at the Manchester Central Hall, knowing that he had lost.

He was quick to blame being banned from social media platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube for his failure. But he also complained that voters had asked him, “Aren’t you a Nazi”.

Robinson, a middle class businessman, tried to present himself as a working class person standing up for those left behind by the Westminster elite. He targeted council estates in poorer towns.

While Robinson did hold some hundreds-strong rallies on estates, he failed to make the breakthrough he wanted.

One of Robinson’s more ­successful rallies was in Heywood, Rochdale. But he only won 4 percent of votes in that area. Anti-racists made sure that they went to Heywood, Middleton, Eccles, Bury, Carlisle, Crewe and other areas where he was hoping to pick up votes.

Paul said, “His defeat was not inevitable—he only needed around 8 percent of the vote to win a seat.

“By mobilising the ­anti?racist majority against this fascist, we have been able to stop him.”

Casualties

One of the far right’s other causalities was Ukip leader Gerard Batten, who lost his seat in London.

He has been behind the party’s shift to openly working with the far right, and appointed Robinson as his personal adviser.

Deputy leader Mike Hookem resigned last week to run for the leadership, signalling further decline and infighting.

One of Ukip’s alt right stars was Carl Benjamin—also known by his YouTube personality “Sargon of Akkad”. Ukip only gained 3.24 percent of the vote in the South West constituency.

The far right has taken a beating, but it will try to ­regroup. Anti-racists must be ready to oppose them.


Stopping the far right

Activists will discuss where next for the fight against the far right in London on Saturday.

The Stand Up To Racism meeting comes after the European elections and ahead of Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain. Speakers include journalist Grace Blakeley, NEU general secretary Kevin Courtney and others.

International speakers include Italian anti?fascist Alfio Bernabei and David Karvala from the Spanish state.

How can we stop the far right? Sat 1 June, 1pm National Education Union, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, WC1H 9BD

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