“What is the attraction of UKIP?” – Discussion at John Storer House, Friday 16th May, 7:30pm

Political discussion introduced by Loughborough Left Unity on Friday 16th May, 7:30pm, at John Storer House, Loughborough, LE11 3HA. Join the discussion – bring your friends!

There have been many cases in which UKIP councillors and members have blurted out views which many of us would find obnoxious in the extreme – from calling ordinary women “sluts” to “Bongo-bongo land” to telling Lenny Henry to “emigrate to a black country” to “Islam is organised crime under a religious camouflage” and “like the Third Reich”.

In spite of this, or even perhaps, to some extent, because of this, UKIP continues to drain support from all of the “traditional” parties. The Guardian of Saturday 26th April carried two articles on this theme:

  • A leader comment said, “UKIP and its appeal are two different things. The Party itself is distinguishable from the feelings it channels. No Tory, LibDem or Labour leader would be allowed to get away with the UKIP leader’s remark (that he was just about within the rules on European expenses). If the established parties told a fib as brazen as UKIP’s suggestion that all 26 million unemployed people in the EU are after British people’s jobs, they would be hung out to dry – maybe even prosecuted.”
  • And a review of a book, “Revolt on the Right: Explaining support for the radical right in Britain”, points to “social and economic changes which have reduced the political power of the working class … it is this group – older, white, impoverished males, rather than the red-faced bar bores of cartoonists’ imaginations, who have brought about a transformation of UKIP’s fortunes,” so that “UKIP is as big, if not a bigger threat to Labour (than to the Conservatives)”.

The Left needs to get to grips with the reason why “older, white, impoverished males” often instinctively identify with the far right – perhaps it is because, firstly, their traditional home – the Labour Party – has deserted them; and, secondly, that there is, as yet, no left party with a high enough profile.

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