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Politicians are playing the race card against UKIP

NATIONAL TREASURE: Lenny Henry was targeted by some UKIP members

WE ALL know the (alleged) routine: you run out of credit (credibility?), you’re unjustly – or justly – staring down the barrel of ruin, disgrace and/or unemployment (etc). What do you do? Accept calamity or, Ali-G forbid, reach for the good ol’ African American Express: the race card?

Most of us are now acclimatised to accepting the dark fate awaiting us, because to label your opponent (oppressor?) racist would be totally unacceptable and intellectually lazy, right? In this ‘post-racial’ age of Obama, it’s all about your attitude – racism doesn’t exist, right? Based on all this, no self-respecting person or body of people would play the race card in 2014, right?

Wrong. The race card is being used on perhaps the grandest scale of all time: it's being brandished by the political establishment against the political anti-establishment.

The British political elite, one of the most powerful collectives of people on earth, is blatantly playing the race card against UKIP in order to try to save their bacon in the upcoming European elections and possibly beyond. According to The Guardian, the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are uniting to portray UKIP as a racist party.

We are being used.

HYPOCRISY

The hypocrisy here is absolutely breathtaking. I’m spoilt for choice as to which angle to start from. Over the last few weeks, stories have appeared in the press highlighting racist and unsavoury comments by UKIP candidates about Muslims, black people (national treasure Lenny Henry in particular), immigrants and pretty much any other minority group vulnerable to being insulted. It’s undeniable: there are racists in UKIP. This is disappointing, as you’d have thought UKIP would have their act together by now vetting-wise.

With that said if you take a deep dive review of the social media pages of candidates and members of all of the major parties you will quickly find a spattering of what could be considered to be racist comments. In fact, some establishment political standard bearers (such as the incumbent Mayor of London) have developed lucrative side careers out of making racially dubious remarks. We all know this. Yet a tremendous amount of hay is being made out of racist remarks in UKIP’s ranks while at the same time it is largely ignored in other parties. On a side note, is it not bizarre that the BBC is running story after story on racism in UKIP whilst one of their key flag bearers, Jeremy Clarkson, a serial offender, is slapped on the wrist for using the N-word? Readers: how do you feel about paying the salary of an n-word user? I digress.

DISCRIMINATION

Context: it was not UKIP that rolled out the racist vans driving around ethnically diverse areas of London urging people to ‘go home’. It wasn’t a UKIP council that resigned en masse citing racial discrimination in the party. It was not UKIP that stationed border police at train stations in ethnically diverse areas. Phil Woolas was not a UKIP MP.


SCAPEGOAT: UKIP leader Nigel Farage with deputy PM Nick Clegg in a live debate

Neither was Patrick Mercer. UKIP is not on the verge of apportioning multiple safe-seats to the sons of the party’s yesterday-men to such an extent that the party in question may soon have more ‘hereditary MPs’ than they will black MPs. Politics of fear? UKIP were not the party of ’45 minutes’ and the ‘dodgy dossier’. All of the above can be attributed to Labour, the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats.

And where are these parties when it matters? Where were the political classes’ screams of bloody racism when, for example, black youth unemployment hit 50 per cent? Ironically, Nigel Farage is the only politician I have heard to ever point this statistic out on prominent national TV.

Are there racists in UKIP? Absolutely. Without a shadow of a doubt.

Are there racists in the Tory party, Labour and the Liberal Democrats? Demonstrably so, whether they know it or not. Pretty much all of the racism, structural, symbolic and shambolic that the core audience of this publication are subjected to, is and has been presided over by all of the parties other than UKIP.

Are any of these parties, Lib, Lab, Con, UKIP, racist parties a la the BNP? Wholeheartedly not.
However, all of them demonstrably have racist members and even tendencies. A few racists, as undesirable as they may be, do not make a racist party. There are also ethnic minorities in each of these parties; ethnic minorities who are proud to be part of their respective political tribe – including UKIP.

THREAT

So why are the three major parties uniting to label UKIP a racist party then? The answer’s not hard: UKIP poses a threat to their electoral hegemony. Simple. The same people portraying UKIP as racist today have themselves not been adverse to a little immigration hysteria here and a little Islamophobia there to drum up support. So what do you do when you discover that you can't out-UKIP UKIP? You tender the race card.

Stop using us for your own means. On racism like much of British society all of the parties are both morally bankrupt and complicit. And as such their race card is hereby declined.

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