Europe has an disturbing relationship with fascism. It’s first major appearance was in Mussolini’s Italy in the 1920’s, their symbol (the fasces) has its origin in ancient Rome, and for millions of unfortunate people across Europe, it would be forced upon them by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party during WWII with devastating, and everlasting results. But hold on a minute, didn’t this continent part ways with this ideology after 1945?
Last Sunday the results were in for the European Parliament, and if you watched the BBC, you would believe that the events between 1939-1945 had been forgotten, as people seem to think that hard line right wing politics can solve every issue faced by the working classes; because let’s not be under any illusion, the economic crisis of 2008 has not been felt by the 1%, it is the lowest paid that have had their wages and benefits cut. However, the British media has given an insane amount of coverage oh UKIP and Nigel Farage, so it seems that the only narrative that we have is that we must leave the EU as there are too many immigrants, and these immigrants are taking our jobs, schools, and hospital places. In reality, we have needed more schools, houses, and hospitals well before the relaxation of immigration in 2004. It came as no surprise that UKIP won the EU election, even-though tough voter turnout was around 34%, and the turnout in France (where the openly anti-semitic Nation Front) was roughly the same.
So we have sent the laziest, most racist, and the most anti-European people to represent this country in the European Parliament, but we can learn from this, and we can do a better job next time, especially in May’s General Election. We must also not forget that the Left did very well, with the left coalition Syriza wining the most seats in Greece, and Spain and Germany returning a good number of left-wing MEPs. We also need to remember that many of these left wing groups are also anti-EU, but not because of the freedom of movement (one of the great things about the EU), but because of the lack of democracy within the institution. If we can move forward with an anti-EU movement that is Left in its look, and criticises the EU for the correct reasons, because I love the fact that I can work in Europe if I want to, and I’m pretty sure that the 1 million Britons living in Spain enjoy that too.
We must of course keep scrutinising UKIP on their membership, and the many comments that their councillors and MEPs make (believe it or not, UKIP are not present in the House of Commons, regardless of what the media coverage may suggest), as it is not difficult to find a UKIP member say something ridiculous about gay rights, women, or people with a different skin colour. However, we also need to scrutinise the party on their actual policies. Whilst their manifesto is not put until September, we do know that they support the privatisation of our NHS, a fairer tax system for the richest, and a relaxation on gun laws, and I have faith that the British public will bin the UKIP manifesto, and their vote when this is made clear this Autumn.
One thing you always here is that “UKIP have common ground with the people” or “Nigel Farage is a man of the people”, and this is apparently why people vote for him. So for those that vote for UKIP because they feel they have something in common with its leader, let me point out that this is a man who’s father was a City stockbroker, who went to public school, and who has a vast amount of wealth. If this is what the common man and woman is these days, then I must be the poorest person in the world. That man, and that party have nothing in common with us, they are super Tory’s that disguise themselves by having a bit of a drink and a smoke. They are still a party funded by millionaires, and not one that is made up of ordinary people, but the media have failed to mention this, and when that is made clear, we may see a decrease in their vote.
Our job is to change the narrative, and make it in to one that shows the people that it is not the Romanian, the Bulgarian, or the Italian that has lowered your wages and cut your benefits, it is the Banker, the MP and the Stock Broker that caused the 2008 crisis which gave the incoming coalition a mandate to implement austerity, also known as Conservative economic policy.