UKIP: Nothing but the Same Old Story

 UKIP : Nothing but the Same Old Story

The media are in a frenzy over the electoral rise of UKIP. But why are people surprised at all about the emergence and performance of UKIP?

It falls to the left to help explain that the rise of UKIP is extremely predictable.

After weeks of canvassing you find that you need a simple doorstep response to those people who say they’re thinking of voting UKIP. We must put this explanation into readily understandable terms so people have a very straightforward narrative to support and repeat.

It goes like this.

In every period of recession opportunist politicians from the right have emerged to seize upon the hardships people face to exploit them for their own ends. They always have to find a scapegoat to distract people from the real causes of the recession.

In this recession it is UKIP. In the past it’s been Mosley’s fascists in the 1930s and the National Front in the 1980s. The scapegoats were the Jews and later blacks and Asians. UKIP are publicly seizing upon European migrants as the scapegoat and privately many of their spokespeople are targeting all migrants. The Tories are targeting people on welfare benefits, especially people with disabilities.

It’s the same old story. Our response is to address the hardships people are facing, explain the real causes and  offer real solutions.

The hardships UKIP has focused on are homes and jobs. The shortage of housing had been caused by successive governments not investing in council housing. House prices have soared because of the housing shortages and rents have increased massively because rent controls were scrapped. There are also 600,000 homes standing empty.

The solution is not rocket science. We should launch a large scale building programme, compulsorily purchase empty homes and sites for construction and introduce cheap mortgages with no deposit requirements and bring back rent controls.

The competition for jobs is caused by a still sluggish economy only slowly recovering from the recession caused by the bankers. The government is failing to invest in creating the jobs we need. The solution is a public investment programme not only in housing but in sectors like alternative energy and insulation, as set out in the Green New Deal, to provide one million new sustainable jobs.

The reason people feel so insecure at work is because this Coalition government is trying to introduce a new form of feudalism. Under the new feudal system the Lords at the top are replaced by super rich oligarchs and corporations. Their aim is that the rest of us become treated as the new serfs, working on zero-hours contracts, for as little as possible with no rights at work and no ability to fight back through our trade unions. Under the government’s workfare system people on benefits are forced to work for nothing or face sanctions and destitution with complete loss of income. It’s the new modern form of slavery.

Of course employers will try to use migrants and the unemployed to cut wages and employment conditions. They always do. The enemy is not the migrant and unemployed person who is just desperate for work but the companies and bosses that try to divide and rule us. The answer as it has always been is to organise together to protect and improve wages and conditions. The best way of doing this is to join a union and fight back.

The migrants who have come here, like every other wave of migrants to this country, are making a major contribution to our society, and with an ageing population these young migrants are ensuring that we have an economy that can pay for the services needed by the elderly.

If we can explain the rise of UKIP in this straightforward way we also need to explain why the Labour Party has not been able to benefit from people’s discontent. The reasons are also straightforward. Labour was not only [unfairly] implicated in causing the economic crisis but also has failed to put across a simple message of how it would give people hope that their needs and concerns would be addressed by a Labour government.

Just a few simple policies of hope will do it. Under Labour everyone will have a home. Everyone will have a job, and a living wage in work or a citizen’s income out of work. Everyone will have free travel, healthcare, childcare, care for the elderly and education throughout life. We will have a programme of building council homes, cheap mortgages, rent controls, public investment in jobs, a fair tax system, public ownership of rail, ending privatisation in the NHS and scrapping tuition fees.

That should see off UKIP and the Coalition.

John McDonnell is MP for Hayes and Harlington and Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs and of the Labour Representation Committee.

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Thanks to Robert Livingstone for the image

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5 thoughts on “UKIP: Nothing but the Same Old Story

  1. Yes, absolutely right, of course. That’s the most part of the Green Party manifesto covered by the way :). The trouble is persuading those in the leadership to stop dithering about in fear and accept that such a bold move would be an outright winner.

    They would also have to sign up to making the honouring manifesto promises mandatory – In that the elected government would have to demonstrate before an open review board that such promises were being genuinely worked towards being met. People understand when things that are difficult take time, but can see through the BS when there is no real attempt being made!

    The other thing that would be encouraging would be if MP’s had to declare any outside interests in any debate they take part in – and not vote on any motion where there could be seen to be a conflict of interest – as in they make it plain and clear.

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    1. “The trouble is persuading those in the leadership to stop dithering about in fear and accept that such a bold move would be an outright winner.”

      Ain’t that the truth! Perhaps, if they can’t be persuaded, a leadership challenge would focus their minds.. With so many people hit by so-called ‘austerity measures’ it seems the majority of the country are screaming out for Labour to ditch it’s long held centre right free-market neoliberal position, in favour of the Keynesian solution outlined by John McDonnell above.

      If Labour do make this their manifesto I’ll not only vote for them, I’ll join them, as I’m sure many others will too!

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  2. Yes yes so agree!! Oh that Labour would be brave enough to really change the terrible course of distruction and misery for the ‘working class’ of this great Nation.
    The time for tinkering and small changes is long over, we need real, radical major changes.
    We’ve been ‘sleepwalking’ into a blindness of the real problems and culprits, allowing the disastous banking mistakes, big business exploitation and corruption in many quarters of the hierarchy to rule, propaganda and media have joined together to shift the blame to ‘soft targets’ who are least able to defend themselves.

    The real enemy of the economy and hardship normal average British people are experiencing, is not immigrants or the EU (although reforms may be needed)
    The real ‘ badies’ are the greedy super rich corporate company’s who don’t pay their fair taxes, those who exploit immigrants but paying them under the minimum wage and so undercutting legal requirements for local workers, the Coalition Government for distortion of the truth and making scapegoats of the disabled, the unemployed and any other vulnerable group they can shift the blame onto!

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  3. Cannot agree about this…. UKIP have got it right in that successive governments dating back to the 1950s have been encouraging cheap foreign labour. The problem is as true today as it was then and the politicians in power at any given time think only of their own brief period in office to temporarily appear to balance the books.

    The problem is this: immigrant labour is cut price at the time of recruiting so employers pay less and make more profit, it also has the appearance of a side benefit of making native workforce more likely to take less wages than if these immigrants didn’t take the jobs.
    For the migrant worker…illegal or legal the motive is clear… back home they would be on in money terms a fraction of what they would make here.
    So to take Bulgaria as an example the average wage there is said to be 80p per hour (not minimum but average) whereas UK average wage is £13 per hour. Some 16 times what they would get there.
    A UK citizen would have to get then £52 an hour to get a relative minimum wage and £104 per hour average.
    Not to mention of course child benefit payments etc.

    All well and good for the ruling class at present however they ignore the real impact which happens sometime in the future….

    A quick example …. Pakistani workers came in the 1960s to prop up the ailing textile factories in primarily the north of England. Which had been in decline since foreign based factories started using the machines and patterns we’d sold them. However despite the new supply of cheap labour they still could not compete and virtually all these satanic mills are closed today. However we have nigh on entire towns filled with trainee terrorists and sham marriage companies or dicky curry houses cooking curries from your missing pets and children as a toxic legacy and also could they come with a religion that’s more cuckoo than Christianity YES these maniacs have managed it and apart causing a laugh when they bow down to a fallen star meteorite it seriously isn’t a joke when the powers that be tolerate this crackpot nonsense and expect us to do the same (don’t me started the “war on terror” – all for a few UK slave labour factories back in the 60s)…. That in a nutshell is where today’s cost are…. And it’s repeated amongst various ethnic communities in one form or another throughout the country… I could go on and on and on but for now

    I’ll leave to you to digest why voting UKIP is the only choice we have ….. the other 3 dork parties nod in agreement with each other and guess what …? are still following Harold Mc fucking Millans philosophy of cheap import labour for the rich now not the future.

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    1. How typically ignorant and fear-mongering. Not to mention bigoted. Not that I have any problem with migration, so your response is meaningless griping, to me. Farage prefers to blame a minority group for the countries’ problems rather than face the fact that right wing policies are the problem, and that exploitation and the drive for profits are because of government legislation and a culture of blaming the victims. Farage does nothing to address the mess we are in, being a wealthy tory, with offshore tax havens, he protects the real perpetrators of the shit we are in, by pointing a finger at migrants, and other minority groups. Pratts like you fall for oppressing the oppressed tactic every time, because you are nasty, bitter, prejudiced, bigoted morons.

      Labour introduced the equality act, which makes it illegal to pay migrants less than nationals. So there’s your pet theory out the window. The tories exploit EVERYONE, regardless of where they are from. And ukip, being a far right party, will do exactly the same. Wake up ffs.

      The problem isn’t migration, it’s exploitative employers, ukip haven’t got anything right at all. But then Farage, as a Thatcherite, pro-business stockbroker, with public school background, and tory credentials will simply move on to continuing exploiting ‘British’ workers. And stupid people like you fall for his horseshit.

      Your claims about migrants cooking our pets and children are outrageous, unproven and stereotypically, hysterically racist. Your commentary about religion is a testament of your own ignorance and savage bigotry. If this is standard form of a ukip voter, I say get them all out of my country, before they spread toxic and contagious dumb and bigotry to other unfortunates. Talk about dumbing the country down, lowest common denominator, race to the bottom. Get gone if you don’t like it here.

      I’m voting labour, because Miliband has promised to legislate against exploitative employers, not just those who employ migrants: ALL of the greedy bastards who exploit everyone. Savvy?

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