Supposedly unemployed British builder used in UKIP poster is an Irish actor

There have been a number of incidents like this in the past, when politicians promoting a policy have been caught doing the exact opposite. For example, in one election it turned out that the manifesto the Tories issued in Scotland, claiming that they would protect jobs north of the Border, was found to have been actually printed in England. This is more of the same, from UKIP, who are largely the product of the Europhobic Tory Right.

The actual poster itself, however, shows how far back politics has gone in this country, and how far back to the Victorian or Edwardian era UKIP will take us. One of the books I had when studying history at College contained a Tory election poster from the first decade or so of the 20th century. It showed how the Tories were trying to play on working-class fears about emigration. It depicted an employer opening his doors to a compatriot, just arrived in Britain from the Continent, saying something like ‘Welcome, Mein Freund’, while a British workers is thrown out the back. He has been sacked to provide a job for his foreign employer’s fellow countryman. And so the racial fears that marred the first half of the twentieth century have returned in the 21st.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UKIP!)

Oh dear.

Turns out the supposedly unemployed British builder used in one of UKIP’s election posters isn’t British at all:

ukip_poster_1

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And he’s not unemployed either. Or even a builder.

He’s an Irish actor called Dave O’Rourke. Here he is in a film called ‘Mordere‘:

UKIP actor

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Oops!

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Please feel free to comment.

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6 Responses to “Supposedly unemployed British builder used in UKIP poster is an Irish actor”

  1. jess Says:

    The poster you refer to was probably part of the tory campaign to introduce the Aliens Bills of 1904-5

    Bill Fishman has an interesting chapter on this in his ‘East End … Radicals’

    “1887 was the year of opportunity both for political demagogues flying the anti-alien kite and the new social reformer. The East End borough of Tower Hamlets provided a focus…On 19 April 1887 the first recorded public meeting was held for the ratepayers of Mile End to petition for the exclusion of destitute aliens. It took the form of a debate with the motion put by Conservative MPs Captain Colomb, Howard Vincent and Lords Charles Beresford and Brabazon..The chairman was … Arnold White. The result was a compromise……But …White would not let go. On 14 July, writing eneroute for South Africa…he directed (under the ..title ‘England for the English!’) a second broadside through The Times: ‘Will you permit me to fire a parting shot at the pauper foreigner…..'”
    Fishman p.71

    Arnold White was a notorious racist and militarist, whose writings helped form the basis of British fascism in the 1930’s. We hear their echoes in the rantings of ukip today, unfortunately.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks, Jess, I’m glad I’m not the only one, for whom the Tories poster from 110 years ago still rings mental bells. I didn’t know about the Tories’ Aliens Bills of 1904-5, but this makes sense as the political background to it, along with the debates and polemic against ‘pauper aliens’ in the late 1880s. UKIP is very much a throwback to the populist racism of Arnold White, as you said.

      It looks to me that UKIP are very much following the old Tory tactic of appealing to working class voters by playing on the fear of competition from Johnny Foreigner, while doing everything in the power to make sure the working class stay poor and powerless. It’s significant that UKIP make absolutely no mention of their domestic policies, which have been described by one of the other bloggers – I think it was probably Another Angry Voice – as Tories on steroids.

  2. jess Says:

    Again, let me crave your indulgence, beast.

    It is quite surreal that the clearest exposition of ukip and tory migration ‘policy’ I have yet found is not in the diatribes of Arnold White, but in a letter to the Times from Lord Brabazon, an hereditary liberal peer, who described himself as being of the ‘old [ie free-market] liberals’. What he also meant was that he was opposed to Irish and Scottish ‘Home Rule’

    PAUPER IMMIGRATION,
    TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
    Sir,—Mr. Arnold White has the courage of his convictions.The suggestions contained in his letter which you published in your issue of Saturday, March 26, are so contrary to the principles of action which have found favour in this country for some time past that they are sure to meet with severe criticism, and it is only right, therefore, that those who have some knowledge of the condition of the working classes in our large towns and who share his views should speak out.

    I have for some time been of opinion that the wholesale immigration into this country of more or less destitute foreigners should, in justice to our own working classes, be placed under some kind of control. The low wages which are paid for many kinds of labour are in no small degree due to the competition of these hordes of foreigners who, to escape military service in their own country and believing that the streets of London are paved with gold, flock to our shores. Not a few manufactures which used to employ a large number of persons in the East-end are now almost entirely in the hands of Germans and Jews.

    Foreigners would not come to London unless they thought that by doing so they could in some way better their condition, or, in other words, they desire to share in some real or fancied advantages which they consider England possesses over other countries.

    So surely these advantages may be very justly considered by Great Britain as property bearing a money value. Most of them, such as free and stable government, civil and religions liberty, immunity from wars and social and political disturbances, vast manufactures, extended commerce, the practical monopoly of the carrying trade of the world, have been won by the energy, enterprise, inventive power, unconquerable determination, and blood and treasure of Englishmen. In private business a man who desires to be admitted into partnership is always required to pay for the advantages which he seeks to enjoy. Advantages enjoyed by the aggregate of individuals composing a nation may surely be considered as much a property, bearing a money value, as the advantages possessed by individuals and companies which are every day bought and sold in the public market.

    The nation knows not how to feed its present population, increasing at the rate of 340,000 a year, over and above the large emigration which is continually taking place.

    The ship of State is fast becoming water-logged. It is good to work the pumps of emigration and colonization, but let us at the same time not forget to stop the leak of foreign immigration, which is filling the vessel as fast as we attempt to empty her.

    I see no reason why we should not, as the Americans do, refuse to receive foreign paupers, nor can I believe that any injustice would be perpetrated by requiring every foreigner, residing in Great Britain for more than six months, to take out a licence upon which a small tax should be paid, such licence to be renewed annually; the liability to take out the licence to cease after, say ten years, should the bearer in the meantime have become a naturalized British subject.

    I am, Sir, yours faithfully,

    [Lord] BRABAZON.: The Times Wednesday, Apr 13, 1887; p. 13;

    Lord Brabazon (of Meath), you will recall, sat on the platform of that 1887 ‘meeting’ chaired by White

    All of the ukip themes are here;
    “those who have some knowledge of the condition of the working classes in our large towns and who share his views should speak out”;

    “the wholesale immigration into this country of more or less destitute foreigners should, in justice to our own working classes, be placed under some kind of control”

    ” low wages which are paid for many kinds of labour are in no small degree due to the competition of these hordes of foreigners ”

    “The nation knows not how to feed its present population…”

    Apart, of course, from ‘The Thing’, Cobbetts meme for his own anti-semitism, and an entrenched ‘establishment’. That bit was supplied by the League of Empire Loyalists’ reference to the European Union as a ‘EUSSR’.

    How do they get away with this stuff, whilst pretending to be a ‘party’ of the 21st century?

    • beastrabban Says:

      That’s very interesting indeed, Jess. And you’re right – all the elements of UKIP’s anti-immigration campaign are there. As for foreigners coming to Britain to escape their military service, in the case of the Jews you really can’t blame them. They were conscripted into the Tsarist armies as part of a policy of forcible conversion, with considerable brutality inflicted on new recruits. The same culture of extremely brutal bullying, not just on Jews but on the junior squaddies in general, still exists in Russia. Under Soviet rule, Pentecostalist Christian conscripts in the Soviet armed forced were subject to similar bullying, and the beating was often so extreme that many were hospitalised.

      I didn’t realise that it was the League of Empire Loyalists who referred to the EU as the ‘EUSSR’. I first encountered that nickname for the EU on American Right-wing Republican and Libertarian blogs. I do wonder how it got out of the ghetto of the LEL and into respectable political discourse. Actually, I think I can guess – through Right-wing sympathisers in the Tory party.

  3. jess Says:

    The earliest reference I have (so far) seen to ‘EUSSR’ is a piece in ‘Candour’ by Mark Ewell ; Candour’s Clarion Call’, October 1983.

    A paragraph with the sub-heading ‘Stepping-stone to the United (Soviet) States of Europe’ Ewell comments on a report in The Times about the Soviet Union appealing “to the E.E.C.’s own Court of Justice over an anti-dumping action taken against it by the Commission…” [p.77]

    It did not strike an immediate chord with the ‘Loyalists’.

    Their favourite phrase, for a long time was to bang on along the lines
    “The plans of the Euro-fanatics to create a United States of Europe in an effort to destroy the nation-state…” [GR Kemp, ‘Chunnelling to our Doom; Candour Feb 1986]

    or

    “The pattern for the new U.S. of E. will be subtly different. Multi-party systems in the regions will continue to debate the issues, and send their elected representative, at vastly increased salaries and overheads, to prestigious assembles in the heartland of Europe, but in the end the really vital decisions will be taken by a politburo or committee’ (J. Wilkes sic], Democracy after Thatcher, Candour, March 1991)

    You will not need me to point out to you the echoes of the phrase; “elected representative, at vastly increased salaries and overheads” in the current ukip adverts.

    But you can see the LEL moving towards the language of Ewell, cited above, with the implied comparison of the European Parliament, and Commission with the Soviet system.

    I suspect that the final leap to ‘EUSSR’ was made a little after this, probably to avoid antagonising influential U.S. money.

    Later in 1991 Leslie Von Goetz penned a couple of paragraphs which are integral to ukip thinking.The second of these;

    “Those who would lead us blindfold into ‘Europe’ without even understanding the difference between a federation and a confederation risk having a lot of blood on their hands when the various peoples of Europe realise that in the name of free trade, which they could have had anyway, quite simply they have created a monster which is ruining domestic agriculture, depriving their own parliaments of the right to levy their own taxes and control their own immigration, and giving overwhelming powers to a small bureaucracy which cannot begin to police the gigantic frauds generated by its insane rules” [Candour, June/July, 1991]

    would appear to be as much part of the tory Europhobe’s discourse, as that of ukip.

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