Searchlight on UKIP and IEA Think Tank Recommendations to Cut Welfare Even Further

Jess has also posted this comment, reporting Searchlight’s coverage of UKIP’s party conference, at which the leader of the Institute of Economic Affairs, recommended further attacks on state welfare spending:

‘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:”

Searchlight is the anti-Fascist magazine that exposes the activities of the Far Right in Britain. The article reports UKIP’s declared policy of banning former BNP members from joining the party, as well as their condemnations of racism, sectarianism and other forms of bigotry. However, the magazine also lists various members and speakers at the conference, who were members of the extreme-Right Bruges Group. It also notes that Neil Hamilton, the disgraced former Tory MP, who is now one of the leaders of the party, during his political career was also a member of the anti-immigration Monday Club, and spoke to the Italian Social Movement in the 1970s. The Italian Social Movement, or Missimmi, was the Italian Neo-Fascist organisation, found by former members of Mussolini’s armed forces.

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25 Responses to “Searchlight on UKIP and IEA Think Tank Recommendations to Cut Welfare Even Further”

  1. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  3. hayfords Says:

    The Bruges Group is not an extreme right group. It is mainly a forum to study ways of having a less centralised and federal relationship with Europe.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Hayfords, if you read the article they do give the reason they class the Bruges Group as extreme Right, based on its stance on immigration.

      • hayfords Says:

        Its stance on immigration does not make it extreme right either. If ever there was a fascis it is the Labour party with its obsession with state control of most aspects of our lives.

      • beastrabban Says:

        I agree – the Bruges’ group stance on immigration alone does not make it an extreme Right-wing organisation. However, it is viewed as one in the Searchlight article because it included members of the Far Right at its meeting in 2013, and various members have personal connections to the BNP and other Far Right groups. Read the article, Hayfords.

        ‘If ever there was a fascist it is the Labour party with its obsession with state control of most aspects of our lives.’

        Rubbish. The argument that less state interference equals more personal freedom ignores the reasons why such legislation was introduced. In the case of Socialism, this was to give more freedom to those at the bottom of society, who were denied the opportunities laissez faire economics restricts to the rich and privileged. And the current Neoliberal economic and social programmes pursued by the Coalition are doing just that.

  4. Barry Davies Says:

    The institute of economic affairs is a think tank it has produced a balanced view on what Brexit really means and as such gives a balanced view no attacks on anyone It does mention how much is being spent, and I don’t think anyone in the country who understands that with the minimum wage being held below the living wage by the level of unemployment, big business’ are benefitting from the top ups their workers are getting, to the living wage, so the majority is going to employed people. One has to wonder why searchlight would be even mentioning UKIP if it is interested in fascist and far right parties. It is fully correct that UKIP is the only party which has a policy that ex BNP members can not join, not being as right wing as the tories this is hardly surprising, only 30% of UKIP members are ex tories despite the anti ukip media’s claims. UKIP are against racism, inclusive of the racism created by the brussells lead bloc, which has created a mainly white area that opposes entry to people from the nations outside. UKIP has become the party best known for throwing out people who do not meet its standards on discrimination, and other criminal activities unlike the three old parties in particular. It is rather bigoted to mention the Bruges group without mentioning all the tory members who are members of that group or the groups which the right wing veering lib dems and labour were members of. Neil Hamilton isn’t a leader but his experience in running campaigns is being employed, surely everyone is entitled to work, and this is where his experience lies. UKIP is not anti immigration it is pro controlled immigration just like the majority of nations throughout the world, although it would allow more of the people being denied entry such as Indian Doctors and Phillipino nurses who would bring something to the country other than increasing unemployment figures.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Yes, the Institute of Economic Affairs is a think tank. It is not, however, in my opinion fair and balanced. It’s a Right-wing organisation in that it demands Right-wing, free market solutions and the fact that it is demanding cuts to welfare spending should be a cause of concern. As for big business benefiting from the state topping up the worker’s salaries, which are below minimum wage – I agree that is a problem. However, the solution should be that the minimum wage is raised, and those employment devices that allow companies to circumvent them, such as zero hours contracts, should be outlawed. Simply cutting welfare spending on its own will merely throw more people into poverty.

  5. Barry Davies Says:

    I agree but the best way of cutting welfare spending is to cut the number of claimants, and the current methodology of doing that is totally unacceptable, sanctions and time expiring esa for example slew the numbers and the tax payer should not be responsible for ensuring that people in full time work get a decent income. Until the current fascist approach to the needy, as imposed by the conlablibdum party, is ended only the comfortably well off will benefit from what is claimed as being an upturn in the economy.

  6. beastrabban Says:

    I completely agree with you, Barry. But what concerns me is that the IEA has not recommended raising the minimum wage, nor outlawing the various other tricks employers use for circumventing it. If you simply cut welfare spending, you will end up simply creating more poverty. That’s my point, and the rich will still end up much richer.

  7. Barry Davies Says:

    Well the iea is independent of any political party as far as I know although as with any form of think tank the actual members can not be wholly divorced from their personal beliefs, but it does give a more balanced view than the scaremongers do.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I disagree, Barry. It may be formally independent of any political party, but it still shows a strong Right-wing bias in its policies. If it’s against state intervention, and against welfare support for the poor, then by definition it’s right-wing, whatever it may claim.

  8. Barry Davies Says:

    Maybe you are looking at a different site than I am because I found no references to show it is against state intervention or is anti welfare other than it would not allow people to come to the country willy nilly and gain access to heath and benefits the day they arrive. It is against the freedom of movement, and it is against a lot of the over regulation of industry and possibly the work time directive is implied in that area, which most people of what is euphemistically designated the working class would welcome as their incomes have been severely curtailed by its imposition.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Barry – they’ve appeared several times in the ‘In the Back’ section of Private Eye because of their Right-wing polices. Now let’s go through what you’ve just mentioned.

      They stand for removing benefits from immigrants. Again, that’s a classic right-wing policy. The purpose – to stop or deter immigration, is irrelevant as far as the political classification of the policy is concerned. It’s aimed at denying people the right to welfare support, therefore it’s right-wing.

      Deregulation of industry – again, another Right-wing policy. This is part of the general ideological demand for less state intervention. So again, it’s a Right-wing policy. As for this being welcomed by the workers, you’re probably right. But whether it benefits the workers is a completely different matter. As much government regulation of industry is designed to protect their workers and support welfare contributions, through N.I. contributions and health and safety legislation, minimum wage requirements and so on the result would be to make workers worse off.

      • jess Says:

        It is utter nonsense to suggest that the IEA is in any way independent.

        It was founded at the instigation of the Hayekian Mont Pelerin Society in 1957, Amongst its earlier publications are such ‘independent’ titles as; ‘All Capitalists Now, [Hutton, 1960], Health Through Choice [Lees]; ‘What Right to Strike’ [Shenfield, 1986]

        Early funding is thought by some commentators to have come via the Rand Corporation. George Monbiot has recently pointed out the IEA’s links to the U.S.tobacco industry .

        It is more than happy to draw views from ‘Management Consultants’ but rarely bothers with Trades Unions ….

        It was also very close to the Thatcher Cabinet, through the offices of Keith Joseph.. It is belived to have links with the U.S. Cato Institute, funded by the Koch Brothers.

        The line peddled by the IEA, since its inception, is free-market capitalism. They never even consider that ‘free markets’ are a fantasy, and have never existed.

  9. jess Says:

    ” I found no references to show it is against state intervention or is anti welfare”

    Then you did not look very hard;

    “Green, David, Benefit Dependency: How Welfare Undermines Independence, IEA, 1998
    Green, David, An End to Welfare Rights: The Rediscovery of Independence, IEA, 1999
    Green, David and Casper, Laura, Delay, Denial and Dilution, IEA, 1999
    Green, David, Stakeholder Health Insurance, Civitas, 2000
    Green, David, ‘The Neo-Liberal Perspective’ in The Student’s Companion to Social Policy (2nd ed, Blackwell, 2003).
    Green, David, Grove, Emma and Martin, Nadia, Crime and Civil Society: Can we become a more law-abiding people?, Civitas, 2005
    Green, David, We’re (Nearly) all Victims Now: how political correctness is undermining our liberal culture, Civitas, 2006
    Green, David, Individualists Who Co-operate: Education and welfare reform befitting a free people, Civitas, 2009
    Green, David, Prosperity With Principles: Some Policies For Economic Growth, Civitas, 2010”

    [Sorry about the list beast]

    Or John A Lincoln “The Restrictive Society’, IEA , 1967

  10. jess Says:

    Just out of interest hers is the last (depressingly familiar) IEA policy document on Social Security (c 2010)

    Key (summarised) parts are a p.5
    “Introducing a ‘workfare’ system
    The minimum number of working hours required to qualify for in-work benefits should be raised, but this must not be pursued in isolation. If so, it would only push many tax credit recipients from part-time employment into worklessness. A necessary companion reform is the attachment of work requirements to the receipt of out-of-work benefits, following the model tested in the US state of Wisconsin. Under this ‘workfare’ system, the daily life of benefit recipients is not that different from the daily life of their working peers, which would both remove the stigma from recipients, and encourage them to look for full-time employment in the regular labour market straight away.

    Abolishing winter fuel payments and free bus passes
    Special age-contingent benefits, cash and kind, should be merged into one single payment. The level of assistance payment is either sufficiently high to cover the cost of items like winter fuel, bus travel, eye tests etc, or it is not. If the former, top-up benefits for special purposes are unnecessary; if the latter, the most obvious solution is to raise the level of the assistance payment itself. In neither case is there a convincing rationale for adding layer upon layer of additional transfers

    Freeing labour and housing markets
    Welfare reform would be much more effective if accompanied by a liberalisation of the labour market and the land-use planning system. This would enable an increase in the demand for labour, and make housing easily affordable at every point of the income distribution.”

    Health Warning; Also an extremely right wing site

  11. Barry Davies Says:

    Sorry for having sent this blog off in a different direction getting back to the original post one has to wonder why searchlight considers UKIP to be fascist, although of course it was created by the pair of far left wing politicians Reg Freeson and Joan Lester, whose views probably would find new labour fascist. You have to wonder if they spew the same amount of bile on to SNP which is racist or Plaid Cymru which in its history burned down english peoples homes in Wales. Could it be just another smear campaign by a far left europhile group?

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thanks for the comment, Barry. Don’t worry about sending the blog off in a different direction. It’s good to get these issues aired.

      I think some of Searchlight’s attitude might be a doctrinaire suspicion of anything that smacks of racism, and a simplistic attitude that sees it as equivalent to anti-immigration. It’s a reaction to the way really racist parties on the Fascist fringe have mobilised campaigns against immigration. I’ve come across a number of people on the Left, who don’t like Searchlight as they feel it will libel anti-Fascist investigators of the Far Right as Fascists if they don’t follow their line.

      As for Freeson and Lester probably regarding New Labour as Fascist, I don’t know about them, but there are certainly others from the Left, who would. This is because of Blair’s pursuit of Neoliberal policies, his attack on the party’s traditional working class base and the way he allied himself with Berlusconi in Italy. Berlusconi’s Forza Italia was in a coalition with the Northern League, who are so extreme they regard southern Italians as foreigners, and sneer at the Mezzogiorno as ‘Egitto’ – Egypt, and the Tricolour Flame of Gianfranco Fini. This describes itself as a ‘post-Fascist’ party, but Fini went into raptures when Alessandra Mussolini joined them, describing how she had a name that thrilled him. In fact, il Duce at the end of his life, while president of Salo republic, mused about Fascism one day possibly becoming something much more liberal.

      As for Left-wing opposition to Europe, you can find it in Lobster, which is very critical of the secret trade treaties and the way the public was manipulated into accepting Britain’s entry into the Common Market. They are also very critical of the influence of corporate and American power and diplomacy in establishing and determining the policies of the European project.

      My guess, however, is that what arouses the suspicions of Fascism in UKIP is the massive influx of members and politicians from the Tory Eurosceptic Right, who mix their opposition to the European Union with a particular hatred of the Social Charter. Some of it is also due to the legacy of James Goldsmith, who launched the Referendum Party, and the way his successors wished to transform this into a pressure group within the Tories. UKIP’s reputation as ‘BNP-lite’ wasn’t helped by Farage being seen having lunch with Nick Griffin, as the Eye reported at the time. Farage wrote to them to deny he shared Griffin’s racism. The problem with this is that other extreme Free Market organisations, like the Freedom Association, will associate and ally themselves with members of the authoritarian Fascist Right.

      As for the difference between the SNP, the Welsh Nats and UKIP, some of this is simply over questions of national sovereignty and power. Scotland and Wales are part of the UK, but as nations also have the right to determine their national destiny. Salmond has got around accusations of racism by making Scots citizenship civil, not racial. Thus, if you live in Scotland and identify with the country and its traditions, you’re a Scot as far as the party goes, even if racially you’re Black or Asian. As for the Welsh Nationalists, my guess is that the same is probably true there, although one person writing into Private Eye from Wales did not like them because he viewed them as being racist. As for the razing of holiday homes owned by the English, there was actually very few instances of that. It was also driven much more by a concern with rural decline and the destruction of rural communities than by straightforward anti-English racism, or so I’ve heard.

  12. Barry Davies Says:

    Very good points except for one thing, on;y 30% of UKIPs membership are ex tories, so it isn’t a massive or even a third, although the old three parties try to say that is the case backed by the media who seem to have the idea all UKIP members will vote tory in the next election.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Yeah, I’m aware that most UKIP members are centre-Left. However, much of the policies and the leadership appear to come from the Conservatives, rather than the Left.

  13. oogenhand Says:

    Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    Again, guaranteed minimum income.

  14. visit Says:


    Searchlight on UKIP and IEA Think Tank Recommendations to Cut Welfare Even Further | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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