What UKIP Won’t Tell the Voters: The Fascistic Illiberalism at the Heart of the Party

NigelFarage

Nigel Farage, Fuhrer of UKIP, whose policies allegedly include the removal of the vote from the unemployed and the sterilisation of the disabled.

I’ve reblogged another of Mike’s pieces from over at Vox Political, Does UKIP’s Euro election poll lead really reflect the People’s view? In it, Mike analyses some of the comments about UKIP posted on the Vox Political Facebook page. He concludes that UKIP’s electoral lead in the Euro elections is driven by disillusionment with the existing parties, rather than an outright endorsement of UKIP in itself. It’s a protest vote, caused by fears over mass immigration from eastern Europe. The article’s well worth reading for a glimpse into how people really feel about UKIP in their own words, rather than what UKIP’s own publicists and mainstream media commentators tell you.

I’ve remarked on how it is extremely suspicious and highly sinister that UKIP does not mention its domestic policies, preferring to concentrate instead exclusively on the issue of the EU and immigration. When you do find out about them, they’re horrifying. They have been described as ‘Tories on steroids’ because they advocate the complete destruction of the welfare state and privatisation of the NHS. One of their policies, for example, is the removal of the worker’s right to paid annual leave.

But if one of the commenters on Mike’s Facebook page is to be believed, that’s the very least of it. The party has other policies that verge dangerously close to the Far Right. Bette Rogerson posted the following about them:

“Why would you vote for a party that says it hates Europe, but at the same time takes lots and lots of money from the European parliament? Why vote for a party whose members advocate policies like less tax for the wealthiest, cutting of maternity leave and forcible sterilisation of the disabled? Why vote for a party who wants to take the vote away from the unemployed? Is your job really that secure? Lastly but not least, why vote for a party which claims it wants British jobs for the British and then hires an Irish actor to model as a poor Briton whose job has been taken away by a foreigner?”

Various Conservative politicians and mouthpieces, like the Daily Mail, have also attacked maternity leave on the grounds that its an expensive burden for business. At times this has verged into attacks on women working, as the requirement to supply paid leave for women to have children and raise a family, according to the Tory Right, makes employing women prohibitively expensive. Thus it sometimes forms part of an attack on feminism and just about every attempt to give women access to jobs outside the home since the Equal Opportunities campaigns of the 1970s.

The really frightening stuff, however, if Bette Rogerson is correct, are the demands to sterilise the disabled and deny the vote to the unemployed. The sterilisation of the disabled was a major part of the eugenics campaign in Britain and America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was based on fears that the ‘dysgenic’ – the mentally and physically handicapped – would outbreed the sane, intelligent and able-bodied, and place an unbearable burden on the rest of society. By the 1920s, about 22 American states had passed legislation providing for the sterilisation of the ‘unfit’. It became a central part of the Nazi programme when they took power, with the Nazis themselves boasting that they had introduced nothing new in this regard. In propaganda films like I Don’t Want To Be Born the Nazis promoted the abortion of disabled children. Their eugenics programme finally culminated in the organised murder by the SS of mentally handicapped individuals taken from Reich mental asylums under the direction of Hitler’s doctor.

As for the removal of the vote from the unemployed, this seems to be another throwback to the 19th century. The extension of the franchise enacted by Disraeli in the 1870s gave most working men the vote. But not all. The franchise was still connected to property and the payment of rates. Martin Pugh in his book, British Fascism between the Wars, points out that the idea of universal suffrage based on the rights of the individual, was rejected as ‘too abstract’ and French in origin. He makes the point that the undemocratic nature of the franchise, which also excluded women until 1918, was partly one of the factors that turned the Conservative Right towards Fascism. Large sections of the establishment were afraid and disliked the extension of the vote to all of the great unwashed, particularly groups connected with the Raj and the colonial bureaucracy. That makes sense. The British government of India was a European elite of official and bureaucrats ruling a vast sub-continent without any kind of democratic accountability to the millions they governed. They clearly took the same attitude towards their Indian subjects back with them to their fellow countrymen in the British working class.

More recently, Right-wing politicians and polemicists have also criticised the extension of the liability for jury duty beyond the traditional restrictions based on property qualifications. According to them, Roy Jenkins’ removal of the property qualification in the 1960s was one of the causes of the rising crime rate in the 1970s. Those with a proper investment in bricks and mortar were more socially responsible, according to these Right-wingers, and more aware of criminals as a threat to society than those without such property, who were consequently much more irresponsible regarding the proper punishment crims deserved. This was the point made by one such Tory writer, whose book was reviewed in the Financial Times in the 1990s. UKIP’s supposed policy to exclude the unemployed from the franchise does sound similar to this complaint.

Workfare: It’s almost Nazi forced labour under the Tories. Under UKIP, it would be the real thing.

And lastly, apart from the threat to democracy posed by the denial of the vote to the unemployed, simply for being without a job, it also turns the unemployed themselves into helots – state slaves – under the Work programme. I’ve criticised the government’s welfare to work programme, along with Johnny Void and many others, for constituting a form of slavery. At the moment one of the major factors stopping it from being real slavery is that those on the Work Programme still possess the franchise. They are, in theory, still electorally free. This would deny them that freedom, and so make them virtual serfs of the government and the private industries, to whom they would be rented out under the Welfare to Work rules. And needless to say, it would also provide a strong incentive for government and big business to shed more paid jobs, in order to create an army of state serfs denied the franchise and forced to work for a pittance in Jobseekers’ Allowance, rather than a living wage.

This is how the free citizens of the Roman Empire became the feudal serfs, labouring on the estates of the nobility in the Middle Ages, folks. See the relevant chapter on the decline of the Roman empire in R.H.C. Davies, Europe in the Middle Ages.

If this is all correct, and these are UKIP’s domestic policies, then Farage and his stormtroopers are dragging us back to the worst and most exploitative aspects of 19th century capitalism. It’s not quite Fascism, but very close. Oswald Mosley, the Fuhrer of the British Union of Fascists, in his autobiography, My Life, sneered at the concept of freedom under liberal democracy. For him, such freedom meant only the freedom for the poor and unemployed to sleep on a park bench. Mosley himself was a terrible man – a vicious racist and anti-Semite, who fancied himself as the British Mussolini or Hitler. But If this is correct about UKIP, then under Farage you wouldn’t even have the freedom to do that.

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13 Responses to “What UKIP Won’t Tell the Voters: The Fascistic Illiberalism at the Heart of the Party”

  1. jess Says:

    “The abolition of the pauper vote, the universal raising of the age at which a vote may be claimed to twenty-five, the Commons as the expression of, and safety valve for, public opinion, but not the complete controller of all government, the reformed Upper House, the creation of whose new members rests in the hands of the most politically experienced person in the realm…the King– in short, the revival of government by the King, Lords and Commons”
    Dorothy Crisp, The Rebirth of Conservatism, 1931 cited G.C. Weber; ‘The Ideology of The British Right’ p.104

    • beastrabban Says:

      This makes very grim sense. In other words, UKIP are a throwback to 1930s Die-Hard Toryism. I haven’t yet noted a demand from UKIP for a re-invigorated monarchy, though I’ve no doubt that they love Prince Philip for his ‘gaffes’ about foreigners. But the fundamental Right-wing attitude of contempt for democracy and the defence of property against the poor and the proles is certainly there.

      • jess Says:

        I think ukip are an amalgam of many things on the right. That is why they can be so hard to pin down

        One of the more telling insights to them is the way that the NF/BNP saw them initially as direct rivals. For a while Farage received as much vitriol as other neo-nazi hate figures. They though he was after their members (he was, in a way and got quite a few, too)

        Clearly they carry in their ranks elements of White/ Brabazon fascism, alongside many thatcherites ‘disillusioned’ by the downfall of their heroine, and who were subsequently sidelined by the Cameron/ Osborne cabal at Westminster.

        But along with that they carry elements of the tory hard right of the 1930’s who saw Moseley as a corrective to lax tory thinking.. They also carry a large number of people for whom the cold war never ended.

        They are agreed on one thing that ‘Europe’, in all its guises is something they do not like. And that is what draws ther funding from the businessmen who pay the bills.

        Were you to put Farage in a corner, I reckon you would find that he thinks of himself as an urbane Cobbett figure challenging the European ‘thing’ Not the ‘reforming’ Cobbett of Cole and the Fabians, but semi-fascistic Cobbett of G.K. Chesterton, raging against the ‘European Thing’

        This is why they are sometimes so difficult to get to grips with. It is well-known that the party is racist to its core. Yet nail them on it, and there is someone able to slither round the point. Take this from over on Tom Pride’s comments

        “Well UKIP never claimed to be racist, UKIP never said all immigration should stop, only that it should be controlled, and that anyone who brings skills to the nation should be welcomed with open arms, not allowing everybody and anybody into the country is not racist, it’s common sense.”

        No place for bongo land there. Until the next racist or homophobe speaks up, is held to account then the party as a whole slithers round the point, yet again.

        But there is weakness in the party too.. Farage is personally unpopular with parts of his membership, who see him as too ‘european’ in outlook. Witness the internal outcry about his expenses and the extreme care the faragistas had to take during negotiations with the Front Nationale and company.

        So, having claimed your time, and (blogspace), yet again. Thanks

      • beastrabban Says:

        Thanks for the info, Jess. It’s been very useful indeed. I really don’t know much about UKIP myself, by I did see on the shelves of Waterstone’s a book on them, ‘Understanding the Far Right’, which actually deals with UKIP and Farage, rather than the stormtroopers of the BNP/NF.

        Your analysis of UKIP’s membership, and the way it officially denies and renounces racism, while including very many with extremely racist views, sounds about right. And it’s the same tactic the English Defence League has employed. They have also claimed not to be a ‘racist’ organisation, and their leadership has made moves to maintain this image, such as wearing a Sikh turban during one demonstration and stressing the participation of Jewish and non-Muslim organisations in EDF rallies. Again, the rank and file membership are nevertheless very much Nazi.

        As for their membership consisting of White ‘Brabazon’-style Fascists, unreformed Thatcherites, Mosleyite ‘Die-Hard’ Tories and people for whom the Cold War never ended, that sounds extremely likely, and very much like the membership of other, extreme Right-wing organisations. If you read the literature on the Urban Legends that influenced and went round the membership of the Militia and Survivalist movements in the US, you find that’s exactly what the mindset of much of these organisations believed. They really couldn’t accept that Communism had fallen, and there were rumours and stories of the Russians having secret bases in Canada and Mexico, ready for the time when they would come out of hiding and roll into the US. And, of course, there’s all the nonsense on the Right about ‘cultural Marxists’ in the BBC and media following a Gramscian programme to destroy capitalism by destroying traditional capitalist culture. See Melanie Philips’ writing in the Daily Mail on that point, for example. A Lot of this all seems to come from the American extreme Right, for whom any kind of state intervention is ‘socialism’ and Barack Obama is a ‘Communist’.

        As for Farage seeing himself as Cobbett, that honestly wouldn’t surprise me one little bit. I remember back in the late 1980s or 1990s the Tories were reclaiming him as their hero for his book, ‘Rural Rides’. I’m sure he does see himself as standing up for traditional, Britain, Cobbett-style, against the threat of the European superstate.

  2. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  3. vicmart009 Says:

    Reblogged this on vicmart009 and commented:
    Now Mark , your targeting the upon the bulls, eyeballs ! 560! Top score a bulls eye !. Now go for it’s testicles it’s held in it’s brain.

  4. jess Says:

    I should have picked this up earlier, but will persist because I know it will be of general interest;

    It’s from a report in Searchlight on the 2014 ukip conference;

    “Mark Littlewood, director general of the free-market think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, complained that welfare including pensions in the UK would cost £220 billion in 2014. “We are in an overtaxing, overspending, over regulating state,” he said.
    “UKIP goes for victory in 2014:” http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/archive/ukip-goes-for-victory-in-2014

  5. bookmanwales Says:

    And all this makes UKIP different from the Tories in what way ?

    Eugenics up to the 1930’s was not merely an idea embraced by the USA and Germany but widely embraced by the rich/ intellectual / controlling elite of this country at the time. In fact it wasn’t until Hitler’s sins came to light that the idea become publicly toxic.even so forced sterilisation for “mentally impaired” continued in the USA until the 1970’s.
    The Tory ideology of today is no different and no more socially concerned than it was 100 years ago.
    The fact that they can run run roughshod over the human rights act with the courts blessings shows that those at the top “of whatever party” hold the same views on unemployment and disability as those ruling in the 1930’s. Workfare is slavery that is an undeniable fact, Forced labour is slavery, forced labour for an unliveable wage is slavery however you dress it up.

    The fact that our European allies have taken no action in the killing and starvation of 10’s of thousands of innocent disabled and unemployed people shows that this ideology is spreading far and wide. A few thousand killed in chemical attacks in Syria brings an international call for war, yet death on our own doorstep rates nary a mention.

    UKIP are a distraction, whilst everyone centres on their hard right leanings no one is actually seeing that these policies are what the Tories are actually carrying out. Legal aid cut, employment tribunal fees effectively kill workers rights, mass slavery, sanctions, disabled deaths, anti protest legislation, more police powers, welfare cuts, privatisation of the NHS, lowering of education standards, lower taxes for business, oh and vans telling immigrants to go home. Oh that’s right all the same policies that everyone is screaming at UKIP for pmsl.

    Meanwhile the Tories do all this stuff unchallenged and the ignorant devoutly follow the clown who has been put there to keep them blissfully unaware of what the puppet master is actually up to.

    Labour have been particularly quiet about all these issues,their stance on bedroom tax is for economic rather than ideological reasons. They embrace workfare in principal (it was their idea after all) and have never promised to scrap it merely put it in a different dress, the same for the WCA regime.Let us not not forget either it was Labour who allowed all the immigration and associated problems to balloon out of control.

    Whatever party wins you can be sure that the working class will be no better off, maybe, just maybe, a Tory / UKIP coalition will make people wake up to the s**t happening on their doorstep and bring about some positive action and changes .

  6. James Says:

    Written by an ex Labour councillor;
    http://cigpapers.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/why-do-labour-and-the-left-hate-the-british-working-class/

    • davespagnol Says:

      “James” has put a link to a Neo-Nazi site.

      • beastrabban Says:

        Thanks for pointing that out, Davespagnol. It’s very clear it’s Far Right, but I’d thought I’d tolerate it rather than get into a spat about censorship. However, if people want, I’ll remove the link.

  7. davespagnol Says:

    Well the fact that you’re directed there with the promise of the view of an ex Labour Councillor, but it’s pretty standard neo-Nazi fare to me.

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