To entirely accept any policy of the National Union of Students is a dangerous move to say the least; but when one of the latest policies involves condemning the atrociously radical UK Independence Party, it is definitely worth paying attention to.
UKIP is renowned for its drastic policies on immigration that have been conveyed to the British public via a variety of unappealing and somewhat racially discriminating propaganda. These include flyers that have been forced through the letterboxes of unknowing citizens.
In the 21st century such racist views – evidenced in the case in which a UKIP councilor stated that comedian Lenny Henry should live in a “black country” – have been condemned both locally and internationally. However it seems that UKIP thrives on what is quintessentially a recipe for disaster that could see British politics reverting back to the dark ages, something tried by the equally radical BNP. Perhaps UKIP and the BNP are not too dissimilar.
It is worth noting that although UKIP is not a fascist party per se, it is the largest party in the Europe of Freedom and Democracy, a coalition of 11 notoriously rightwing and Eurosceptic parties in the EU Parliament.
This is in stark contrast to the NUS who are not only appreciative and welcoming of immigrants through international students but protective of them as well, as was clear in the case of the Mauritius-born A Level student Yashika Bageerathi.
Despite the fact that UKIP is surging ahead in the preliminary voting polls, the nation has retaliated. On Twitter a campaign has been triggered, whereby people are sending bricks or other rubbish to the Freepost UKIP address. As outlined by the Royal Mail all Freepost recipients (in this instance UKIP) are liable to pay the postage costs for any item sent their way.
A key issue with UKIP’s campaign serves as a microcosm for the actions of Nigel Farage – their party and leader show no commitment to accepting fault but rather identifying a scapegoat, diminishing their own responsibility. Blaming the immigrants is not a proactive way of causing change.
The scapegoating approach, which has proved useful for UKIP, is exactly the way that Farage deals with allegations that there are racist members in his party. Instead of confirming the validity of such claims, he believes that those racist members in his party are just a few bad apples: ludicrous nonsense if you ask me.
For example a billboard campaign by the party focuses on how thousands of Brits are unemployed, and in a perfectly rational response UKIP finds it acceptable to blame this on immigrants. In the billboard poster there sits a British man on the floor fitted with a high-vis jacket begging for small change, while the text reads “British workers are hit hard by unlimited cheap labour”.
Vandalism of this poster, which has surfaced online, demonstrates the correct response to unemployment issues. The brilliant vandal replies to the campaign by stating that those who are worried about low pay and lack of job security should simply join a trade union. Nudging them onto another cannot solve dealing with our own problems.
News of UKIP billboards being abused and vandalised to the point of destruction are welcome, but it is the party itself and their policies that are more in need of destroying.
The line “Regain your country” found on many campaign posters pays no attention to the eerily accurate words of Samuel Johnson, when he claimed, “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. In Farage’s case, a scoundrel he truly is.
For a contrasting perspective read Harry Cunningham’s article here.