Archive: Direction of Travel/UKIP

Posted on 2nd April, 2020

The European Parliament elections have shown up the truly frightening direction of travel which some people are trying to impose on British politics and everyday life.


One of Ukip's list of candidates for the South West and Gibraltar is Carl Benjamin. He has made repeated comments about raping Labour MP Jess Phillips and has refused to apologise, describing it as a joke.  He received hostile receptions in Totnes last Sunday with hundreds of people showing their distaste. A typical banner read "Totnes Together Against Hate". 


Usually, I would think that it is best to let such people speak because by doing so they make fools of themselves and so destroy their own cases. However, in this instance it is not as simple as that. The MEP candidates were on the lists of the various political parties and so were approved by them. So this was not an individual speaking but a political party, and that is much more serious.  Ukip lost most of their seats in the recent Council elections and so it would be easy to make the mistake of dismissing them as a spent force. Many of their members, like Nigel Farage, have migrated to other parties, taking their poisonous ideas with them.


What we are seeing is a concerted drive to make the unacceptable normal. Intimidation, including death threats, has now become commonplace. Particular targets are women and minority groups.


It is all too easy to see the murder of MP Jo Cox for her views as a one-off event. After all, we might think, the direction in which the likes of Carl Benjamin want to take us is so un-British that it could never happen - it is just not the way we do things in this country.


Actually it nearly did happen in the 1930s. The similarity between the rise of the fascist leader Oswald Mosley with his blackshirt supporters, and what is happening in present day Britain is chilling. The same extends to relationships outside Britain. Mosley was a supporter of Hitler; Farage has links with populist and far right wing leaders elsewhere, and of course with Donald Trump.


One of the slogans of those campaigning to leave the EU is that this will make Britain great again. Exactly the opposite is true. Every vote for the parties advocating it is a threat to the very fabric of our society. Please do not sell us out to the likes of Carl Benjamin.


Roger Porkess

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