Saturday, 18 May 2013

UKIP: Friend or Foe of Black Britain? - Interesting article from the Voice

UKIP: Friend Or Foe Of Black Britain?

NO CLOWN: UKIP famous black member, Winston (left) and UKIP leader Nigel Farage
DURING THE 2010 general election I stumbled across a leaflet for the UKIP parliamentary candidate for Tottenham, Winston McKenzie.
‘A Jamaican-born black immigrant in UKIP?’ I thought. This should be interesting. I rang him and asked for an interview. He initially refused. Then he called me back and said “You know what Nels, let’s do this.”
He requested that I interview him at his church after the service ended. After sitting through a three-hour church service I hadn’t bargained for (due to the incorrect usage of the words ‘starts’ and ‘ends’) the interview commenced. It quickly became clear to me that I had underestimated Winston and bought into the UKIP stereotype perpetuated by David Cameron. Winston was no loony, clown or fruitcake and I somehow doubt he was a closet racist. He was sharp, articulate, convincing and UKIP to the core. He truly believed what he was saying.
At the time of the interview UKIP were nobodies on the national, non-EU related, political scene. Half-jokingly I mentioned in a 2012 wrap-up article that UKIP did not need to win a single seat in Parliament in order to be treated like a party that has just been asked by her Majesty to form a government. My words were true enough then to be credibly stated in jest. Now they are looking practically gospel. UKIP is boldly dictating government policy on our relationship with the EU, immigration and other major issues without a single voice in the House of Commons. As leader Nigel Farage stated on The Telegraph’s excellent weekly podcast, UKIP has gone from speaking about who runs the country to how the country is run.
It cannot be credibly denied that this is truly people power. But does that include black people? What does the target audience of this publication stand to gain or lose by the rise and rise of a party to the right of the Conservative Party? What do the children, the fruit of generations of immigrants that have given much to this country, stand to benefit from the emergence of a committed, well-funded, likeable and certainly electable anti-immigration party? Let’s take a look.
UKIP purports to be a non-racist party. Which, of course, should not be mistaken for an anti-racist party (I’m happy to be corrected on this). However their flagrant anti-immigration (anti-foreigner?) stance renders their ‘non-racist’ selling point less than credible. But in reality, as all of the major parties fight to appear tough on immigration it is difficult to determine how UKIP is discernibly more racist than, say, the parties that bought us John Cherry or Phil Woolas or the Iraq war.
If we want to know how one set of minorities will be treated by UKIP a few clues might be found in how they treat another set. UKIP formed the backbone of the opposition to the movement for equal marriage. They performed a similar role in the campaign to ban the hijab and the niqab. In fact UKIP has played a front line role in most recent populist movements against oppressed minorities and social groups. With that said, as far as I am aware they have been remarkably silent on the black community. But the treatment of Muslims and homosexuals cannot help but cause alarm.
UKIP proudly claims to be anti-political correctness. This negates the fact that one person’s political correctness is another’s bullying and discrimination.
Political incorrectness at a national political level has very real and negative consequences for ordinary people, especially minorities.
UKIP’s position on tax, a 31 per cent flat rate, would serve me very well. But even in my most selfish fat cat moments I do not for a second believe that the concept of fairness is consistent with the idea that a person on minimum wage should pay the same rate of tax as a percentage of their earnings as a person on a large salary.
UKIP’s signature policy is a total and immediate withdrawal from the EU. The UKIP stock response to the question of how Britain would compete with the likes of China, US, and the EU if we withdrew from the EU is that we would trade with the Commonwealth. To a community with roots, family and interests in the Commonwealth this is appealing.
Choice breeds enhancement. The more political parties are forced to compete for our votes the better. Some of UKIP’s policies could certainly have appeal in the black community. Our community is not the uncomplicated block vote many consider it to be and as such is open to competition. This is where the interests of black Britain and UKIP converge. The problem is that UKIP has not set out its stall as far as black Britain is concerned. We don’t know what they stand for or where they stand. Which in turn begs the question: are UKIP friends or foes of black Britain?
It would be very nice to hear Mr Farage’s answer.