Until recently, I didn’t pay much attention to the UK’s anti-fascist groups. I knew little more about them than that they opposed the racialist British National Party.
The BNP’s success in 2009 (where they gained two members of the European Parliament) seems to have been their undoing – the party has fractured and been rocked by in-fighting ever since.
Former BNP MEP Andrew Brons was reported in the Telegraph as saying that “80 or 90 per cent of the party’s members, activists and former officials had left it”
According to Wikipedia, The BNP can now only boast one MEP and two councillors. Their membership teeters on the brink at 4200. I predict they will lose their remaining MEP in 2014.
British ‘antifascists’ then surely have two choices – congratulate themselves on a job well done and retire from their activities or go after the National Front, a party that has seen a massive resurgence of late.
The resurgence of the National Front was stimulated by the BNP’s 2010 decision to start accepting non-white members. It was also flooded with BNP defectors dismayed by constant infighting. The party has been holding dozens of street stalls across the nation in 2013 in locations as diverse as Wigan and Swansea.
Recently however, anti-fascists seem to have taken the bizarre decision to target the moderate UK Independence Party or UKIP instead.
Nick Lowles, director of Hope Not Hate said in a Huffington post article : “Ukip is not a far right party, or even intrinsically racist.” Former Labour MEP Glyn Ford, now the UAF’s Europe officer has said “Ukip are not a fascist party”.
On a Channel Four news discussion in May 2013, the well-known Anti-fascist campaigner Matthew Collins said: “They [UKIP] are not a fascist organisation…they are very different to the BNP in a lot of ways” Diane Abbot MP said at the United Against Fascism conference “UKIP is obviously not a Fascist party”.
So why target UKIP?
So if we are not a fascist or far right party, why target UKIP? I believe the answer is simple – many of these anti-fascist groups are linked to the extreme left and militant elements within the Labour party. While UKIP concentrated on taking donors, votes and councillors from The Conservative party these groups said nothing.
When we started gaining support in the North of England, much of which is traditionally Labour controlled, suddenly there were hastily-arranged meetings held by these groups in which the main topic of conversation was the increase in UKIP support. These actions are not motivated by anti-fascist ideology at all. Anti-fascists are being cynically used by extreme left politicians for no other reason than they like their jobs and want to continue drawing in their huge salaries.
Some facts about UKIP
Unlike the BNP, UKIP have never had a whites only member policy. Our membership rules prevent ex-BNP and National Front members from being members of UKIP. We have black and ethnic minority candidates and seek to rebuild links with the commonwealth. While we do want to reduce immigration, we don’t want a closed door or forced repatriation.
In summary then, UKIP are being targeted unfairly for purely party political reasons – and I would urge all genuine anti-fascists to do their own homework on these issues instead of relying on wealthy Labour and communist apparatchiks to tell you who to oppose.