Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Stand Up to Ukip formally launched .Sign the Statement!

by Simon Magorian.

In the wake of the general election results SUTU have launched a National campaign against Ukip.
It has been signed by leading trade unionists, MPs and campaigners including Len McCluskey, Diane Abbott, Sally Hunt and Manuel Cortes .

We will be urging local Trade Unionists, Community activists and local cultural figures to sign up to it.

Please copy it and help build the Statement against Ukip's politics of hate and division.

Link here.

In Portsmouth there was a magnificent 100 strong rally to oppose Nigel Farage when he came here.

However,there is no escaping the fact that Ukip did exceptionally well here.Obviously there were the factors of there being a backlash against the  Lib Dems and there has been a lengthy period of tabloid scrutiny over Mike Hancock's private life. Over 10,000 people voted for Ukip and there is no escaping the reality that we have our work cut out for us.

 The Elections now over,now is perhaps time for some reflections on how they went and some thoughts on how the campaign against the far right weathered and where we should be going in future.

When looking at the results for Ukip in the council elections as opposed to the European elections one thing was abundantly clear. The surge for Farage and co really happened last year and he has probably peaked.In 2013 Ukip managed to get 23% of the vote and this year they managed to get 16%. This does not mean there is nothing to worry about,it means that they have managed to consolidate their base and this is extremely worrying.The problem with Ukip is not just one of Europhobia ,but the emergence of a right wing populist movement ,vying to become a British version of the Tea Party movement in the States.
One of the most telling incidents during the campaign was having an argument with a Ukip supporter to be told: " Don't talk to me about facts, I'm angry !" Ukip is very much an angry white man's movement.
The reality is that most of Ukip's policies are basically very old fashioned conservative policies .
A you gov poll found that Europe was the third most important  issue for Ukip voters at 36%  with Asylum and immigration topping the poll at 83%.
It would be foolish to pretend that Ukip were not taking votes away from Labour they clearly are,however they are predominantly chipping away at the conservative base.In London Ukip barely made itinto double figures and their four Councillors in Barking were unseated.Labour gained Hammersmith and Fulham, Croydon and Amber Valley from the Tories.
Rotherham Council where Ukip did well had exceptional circumstances.It was one of the areas in Britain which is referred to as "Post Industrial," where the local industries were decimated by Tory policies and neglected by the Blair government.These were seen as target areas for the BNP.During the 2008 high point for the BNP they had two Councillors elected there.Rotherham was also the centre for one of the most notorious "grooming" cases.Which resulted in a court case where several British-Asian men received lengthy jail terms  for sexual abuse of children as young as 12. In the aftermath the  Home Affairs Select Committee criticized the South Yorkshire Police force and Rotherham Council for their handling of the abuse.They recently had a by-election when the local MP Denis Mcshane had to stand down after being charged over fiddling his expenses.He was subsequently jailed for six months.
The abuse scandal has been ruthlessly exploited by The English Defence League .In the last eighteen months the people of Rotherham have had to endure not one, not two, but three EDL protest marches in the city.Even with local opposition these events could not fail to have an effect. It is however important to point out that Labour still have 50 of the authority's 63 Councillors.


It is important that we get opposition to Ukip up and running.The launch of Stand Up to Ukip will be widely discussed at the forthcoming Unite Against Fascism  Conference.

 9.30 – 5pm
Saturday 14 June
Trade Union Congress
Congress House
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3LS

I would urge everyone to attend. Themes include: Challenging racist scapegoating of immigrants ● No to Islamophobia and Islamophobic attacks ● Celebrating diversity ● Busting the myths on immigration ● Responding to racism and fascism in Europe ● Stand up to UKIP.

You can book here. 

                                                       THE INVESTIGATION.

There will also be a public reading of an edited version of The Investigation on Thursday June 12th at the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth.
This is an extraordinary work about The Holocaust and I would ask everyone to support this. More details here.

Please note there will be A Love Music Hate Racism gig at The edge of the Wedge.

Tuesday 17th June.

Music from :
Rex Domino
 The midnight 23s
 and Megan Linford.
Admission £5 waged.£3 unwaged.
Right of admission reserved.
Bill may subject to alteration.

The edge of the wedge.   

More Details.

There will be the launch meeting of Portsmouth Stand Up to Ukip on Friday 20th June at 7.30 at Portsmouth Community Centre.

More details to follow.

Please download the sign up sheet to get things moving,and once again  please support these events.

Best Wishes.

Simon Magorian.



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