The 2014 European Elections mark a watershed in British politics. UKIP is a right wing, racist, populist party which won over 27 percent of the vote; a staggering 4,352,051 people voted for them and they beat the three mainstream parties.
Ukip presents itself as an anti-establishment party and its leader, Nigel Farage, claims to be “a man of the people”. This is a lie. Ukip wants to introduce a flat rate of income tax of 31 per cent that means those on the starting and basic rate, will face huge tax increases. Ukip’s deputy leader called for the privatisation of the NHS.
It has built up its electoral base by both presenting itself as a party opposed to the European Union, but more importantly by spreading poisonous lies and hatred towards migrants and Muslims.
We believe UKIP is a racist party. This may be something Farage and the party’s leadership is quick to deny. But in the run up to the European elections Ukip’s mask slipped. Ukip presents the anti-racist movement with a major problem—dragging British politics to the right.
Ukip is also a party of bigots, sexists, Islamophobes and homophobes.
The rise of Ukip has parallels with other far right and fascist parties, which are growing across Europe. In France the fascist Front National gained the biggest overall vote in the French European Elections. The PVV in the Netherlands, another racist populist party, came third and in Hungary the fascist Jobbik party came second.
Ukip received disproportionate media coverage prior to the elections and any party that received this level of coverage would have benefited at the polls. Although UKIP received a high vote, 65 percent of the population did not vote. The mainstream political parties must do more to engage these people and not chase the Ukip vote to avoid the danger of racism being normalised in British society.
Now is the time to make a stand against Ukip.
The lesson of history is that we need unity against the far right and racism. Stand up to Ukip is an umbrella organisation which believes women, trade unions, anti-racists, black, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, other faith communities, LBGT, young people, students and all good people, must unite and stand up to Ukip, racism and bigotry.