The Only Extremists In Mainstream Politics Are Progressive Liberals
by Ed Butt
31 March 2012
UKIP are not 'far Right' as the "progressive liberals" in Guardian Comment Is Free threads or on loony leftie blogs like Liberal Conspiracy would have you believe. There's nothing extremist about rejecting the 'benefits of diversity' and pointing out that multiculturalism has failed and left the once great modern experiment in cultural diversity, the United States of America, a bitterly divided nation, split so profoundly on political, religious and racial lines it is probably not just a broken society to borrow David Cameron's phrase, but completely FUBAR.
Imagine the outcry if someone tried to link issues of inequality and poverty to extreme Left-wing violence of the Baader-Meinhof and Red Brigade variety and that Labour voters shared some of the same concerns with supporters of the these so-far--Left-they're-right-of-Hitler organisations.
Picture this report being illustrated with a picture of a gun beside a red flag and jackboots, and pictures of Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman photoshopped into group shots of Sandanista or Khmer Rouge Left-wing extremists. If you support UK Uncut I am sure you’d consider it an unwarranted slur if your group was compared to terrorist bombers and murderers.
How then must members of the democratic and law abiding UK Independence Party feel about the Hope Not Hate report, a farrago of left wing hate literature mashed up by extreme lefties with section headings such as “Voting to violence? Far right extremism in Britain”, which lumps the UKIP in with the British National Party and English Defence League in a study of Right-wing extremists.
The report was produced in response to a Home Office committee ( a bunch of Cambridge educated, shirt lifting fellow travellers of the SWP) last year that declared that the risk of extreme Right-wing violence was underplayed and that there was a serious terror threat from these groups. The aim of this report, therefore, is to explore the intellectual source from which these Right-wing terrorists will emerge.
The report graphically highlights the central dominance of immigration and a fear of Islam to supporters of both the British National Party (BNP) and United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). This is despite the leadership of both organisations playing down their hardline views. In fact the BNP and UKIP supporters share a mutual hostility mistrust and hostility. While the BNP are openly hostile to immigrant groups, particularly Muslims, but otherwise much closer to the collectivist ideals of the Labour Party in the 1950s, redistribution of wealth through taxation and benefis, job creation by public spending, a tough line on law and order and the promotion of Btitish culture and values in schools, UKIP's wariness about immigration is linked to deep seated suspicion of the drive towards further sacrifice of sovereign power to the EU and a wider discontent with British democracy and distrust towards those who represent it.
The report is sloppy, more interested in advancing a political agenda than reporting the truth. Consider this line: "One of the most worrying aspects of this research is the attitude of BNP, UKIP and English Defence League (EDL) supporters to violence."
Why UKIP? While the BNP and EDL say they will meet violence with violence and then go out of their way to provoke their hysterical opponents in groups like The Anti Nazi League and Unite Against Fascism, UKIP do not hold marches, their suporter are mostly middle aged and middle class people who respect the law and democratic values.
Secondly the reports authors state, "We wanted to compare and contrast supporters of different movements to the Right of the centre-right Conservatives. Not all movements that occupy the far right-wing are the same: whereas some, such as the British National Party (BNP), are associated more strongly with ideological extremism, criminality and violence, other movements, such as the more moderate UK Independence Party (UKIP), advocate similar policies in many areas but would strongly reject any association with extremism and violence. Understanding whether, and if so how, their supporters differ may be an important step to understanding what pushes and pulls citizens further along the political spectrum."
There is a surreal detachment from facts in this point of view. UKIP and BNP supporters, the report argues, “are almost unanimous in their rejection of the notion that Britain is benefiting from diversity”.
And, implicitly one would have to be literally insane, a genocidal lunatic to hold such a view. The Daily Stirrer has often argued that the left are such zealots in promoting their quasi religious political doctrine religious political doctrine they cannot understand how any sane person could hold a different view.
Yet supporters of a report that defines “far Right” as someone who thinks that mass immigration is overall a bad thing has a big problem with reality themselves. Recently the Guardian reported that UKIP supporters had been included as a “control” group, but if that was the case, why not just compare these “far Right” views with those of the public in general? Because opinions defined as extremist in the report are, in fact, mainstream. An overwhelming majority of voters think mass immigration, unemployment and anti social behaviour among the young are very important issue while same sex marriage and equality issues, which don't register on the radar, are all the left wants to talk about
A survey carried out for Channel 4 television in 2009 for example, showed a majority of Conservative voters and a plurality of Labour and Liberal Democrats agreeing that “all further immigration to the UK should be halted”. A clear majority of Tory voters disagreed with the statement that Britain had benefited from the “arrival in recent decades of people from many countries and cultures”, expressing similar levels of concern as UKIP supporters. Some 53 per cent of Labour voters agreed, and 56 per cent of Liberal Democrats.
Last year’s HOPE Not Hate report showed that 63 per cent of white Britons, and almost half of Asians, believed that immigration had been a bad thing for Britain; presumably then some 40 per cent of British Asians are potential white supremacists. The report stated that half of the British population would vote for a “far-Right” party that did not promote violence. In fact their description of “far Right” was not far-Right in any traditional sense, that is being totalitarian, violent, obsessed with race, and violently hostile to women's rights and gays; it was just one that rejected the “benefits of diversity” and wanted to restrict immigration. There is an unwitting humour to the logic here; the report's leftist authors are saying, we're politically correct, that makes us the centre, everyone who disagrees with us is an extremist.
Another problem with this latest report is the wording of the questions. It found that roughly a third of UKIP supporters agreed or strongly agreed that “immigrants should be sent back to their home country, whether or not they break the law.” That seems harsh, but do they mean all immigrants? If they had added this word then I imagine the numbers in favour would be pretty small; otherwise it’s an ambiguous question. Most would agree, for example, that extremist Muslim cleric Abu Qatada should be deported even though he has committed no crime here, but not popular actor Shobna Gultari who though not born here is thoroughly British. And what is the view of the public at large? The report only compares “extreme” views with the general population in one question.
Then the questions about violence, “Violence between different ethnic, racial or religious groups is largely inevitable” or “violence may be needed to protect my group from threats”; these are theoretical, existential questions. The former is also incredibly vague – do they mean Balkans-style perpetual war or low-level, everyday conflict that afflicts all diverse societies?
This report only proves that Hope Not Hate, like many of the other organisations dedicated to "fighting racism", have a rather skewed idea of what “Far-Right” and “extreme” is? Hope Not Hate might do good work in some areas, seems stuck in a very old fashioned view of anti-racism which confuses racial hatred with “localism”, that is the natural human feeling of being happier around people like ourselves, and not being at ease with diversity. This kind of "right wing extremism" is felt by the ethnic groups of the dark skinned races. One of the biggest mistakes the anti -racists make is the ridiculous over simplification of semi - educated American preacher - politicians. Martin Luther King lumped all people of the dark skinned races with the exception of Chinese as being linked by "black consciousness." In fact among the tribal societies of Africa there is no sense of such a bond and some neighbouring tribes have bee in conflict for hundreds of years. As a dark skinned Arab what they think of sub Saharan Africans and you will most likely be able to pick out a the word "kaffir" among a stream of curses. It is not a nice word.
Left wing Anti-racism, which has its roots in the Utopian ideology of far-Left intellectuals, holds that these universal feelings can be somehow be engineered out of human nature, just as the Soviets believed that our desire for financial self-interest could be eradicated or the Nazis believed that political dissent could be removed.
UKIP is something of a strange beast politically, a mixture of libertarians and social conservatives; aside from the Greens, it is the only party openly considering supporting the legalisation of cannabis. Economically it is the polar opposite of the BNP, but it’s true to say that like that party it draws much of its support from people alienated and repulsed by the new world order style of politics that appears to be moving us towards an oligarchic system of absolute rule by academic, technocratic and political elites. Social conservatives who overall feel happier with the values of pre-1968 Britain, whether patriotism, marriage, crime and punishment, or sexual mores; and libertarians who hate the way that the cultural revolution has brought a massively expanded state with an insatiable appetite for making new laws, regulating everything and imposing conformity to the extent that our lives are now micromanaged by the bureaucracy, New Labour’s era was a nadir for both wings of the party. UKIPpers have a bloody minded and typically British opposition to nanny state wagging her finger, telling them off for drinking, smoking, eating enjoyable food and having fun, while her multitudinous armies of tax eater are leeching their their money, whether it's in the name of "health inequality" or "promoting diversity" or any of the other mantras that the clergy of the statist left repeat ad nauseam.
The real irony of Hope Not Hate is that the report seeks to address peoples’ alienation from mainstream politics, but characterises them as extremists for supporting a mainstream party the authors do not like. Is it any wonder that people feel so disconnected?
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