Labour certainly shouldn’t ‘tack UKIP’ – why discuss their nonsense instead of serious issues?

I could not agree more with this Skwawkbox article.

(Sources here and here. ‘A8 countries’ are Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia)

Anybody arguing an anti-immigrant position – with regard to Brexit or anything else – is misinformed.

Immigrants haven’t taken anybody’s jobs and services away – the Conservative Government did that.

And, in fact, the Conservatives have given far more of our resources to foreigners than immigrants could ever have taken – by privatising our national assets and allowing them to be bought by foreign concerns.

So weathervane-style triangulation of the kind suggested by Yvette Cooper (who is slowly turning into a political dinosaur and may find herself in danger of extinction soon) is exactly wrong.

Labour should stake out its own terms of engagement, scorn the UKIP arguments as the stuff and nonsense that they are and hammer into the Tory privatisers at the same time.

It is the only sensible response.

The message from the Labour right is that Sleaford – and Richmond Park before it – shows Labour is under threat from UKIP and needs to swing toward the ‘concerns’ of anti-immigrant voters.In other words, the weather-vane mode so beloved of the politically-bankrupt ‘triangulators’, rather than the ‘signpost’ of those who actually believe in something.

In fact, while I guarantee you won’t hear this in the news at all, the result in Sleaford shows the exact opposite. Far from meaning Labour should ‘tack UKIP’ to appeal to the anti-immigrant vote, it should do the opposite and accentuate its difference.

I can hear the screams of the Blairite/Progress/Labour First supporters (all 500 of them), but it’s true. Here’s why.

It’s not true

Simply put, the anti-immigrant position – at least as far as the EU is concerned – is based on lies. The UK is substantially better off because of EU immigrants.

Source: Why Sleaford means Labour should NOT ‘tack UKIP` | The SKWAWKBOX

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16 Thoughts to “Labour certainly shouldn’t ‘tack UKIP’ – why discuss their nonsense instead of serious issues?”

  1. So how can the message get past the right wing media and blue labourites and into the public domain? There was a film made called a day without a Mexican in reference to the great American boycott, I won’t bore you with the details, but if every Immigrant in this country downed tools for one day, no Indian restaurants Chinese etc shops, taxi drivers NHS staff, ok it won’t happen but it’s going to take some doing to drag people back from the Farage/BoJo/Gove Murdoch gutter, can it be done before an election? I can’t see how.

  2. Zippi

    “Brexit” is not a single issue thing and even those who are, for want of a better expression, “anti-immigrant,” are so for myriad reasons. There is nothing simple about why people voted to end our membership of the E.U. and people are beginning to fight back, because the media have tarnished all of those who voted “leave” as bigots, uneducated, stupid, not knowing what they voted for, anti-immigrant, racist, anti-refugee, xenophobic etc. The Casey report says much of what many of those who might be labelled anti-immigrant say, what I and others have been saying for years. I have just caught up with last week’s Question Time and the same things were said. The vast majority of people did not vote to “leave” because they don’t like, or want immigrants, or immigration but the policy, as it stands, is causing problems and our politicians, of all stripes, failed to recognise, or hear, or see, or chose to ignore what people were saying and what was happening.
    To say that people who argue from an anti-immigrant position are misinformed, is to assume that you know why people assume that position. We must get out of the habit of tarring all people with the same brush. Just because people arrive at the same conclusion, or destination, there is nothing to suggest that they all took the same route, or made the same journey, physically, or metaphorically.

    1. Mike Sivier

      You’re suggesting that some people who are anti-immigrant don’t think – wrongly, due to right-wing media manipulation – that Johnny Foreigner is coming here to take their jobs, school places, houses and NHS beds?
      You’re almost certainly right.
      Some of them will be run-of-the-mill racists.

      Can you list any other reasons that don’t fall into these categories?

      1. Zippi

        I’m not suggesting that some people don’t, for we know that to be a fact, however, the article suggests that all people do. Many people are fed up with the lack of integration, ’caused by mass migration. I have said, many times, over many years, the reasons why I thought that the country was heading this way. Too many people coming in too short a space of time.
        Some people, who are anti-immigrant are actually anti the immigration policy but the issues have become conflated; immigrants, immigration and immigration policy.
        As a son of immigrants and being somebody who is easily identified as somebody not originally from these islands, I have experienced racism for most of my life but what is happening is not the same. Some people simply think, no more, until we can sort out our problems. Remember that many of the most vocal opponents of immigration, as it stands, are themselves immigrants. Are they racist?
        Personally I would like to see all immigrants, regardless of where they are from, treated the same but that it just me. There are many people who have different views on the same issue. They are not all racist, or bigoted, nor have they been manipulated; some are, of course but that has always been the case, in my experience.
        Remember, also, that E.U. immigration policy is only an open door to people from Europe. I do think that, for the majority of people, the issue is a social one, of community, rather than of jobs, schools and the N.H.S. although there has been a dramatic shift in the demographic in schools and pressure has been put on housing. Indeed, there has not been enough housing created for people who actually need it but with the speed and volume of immigration that we have seen, this was something that was always going to happen.
        It is my belief that most people who oppose the policy, or voted “leave” are not, in fact anti-immigrant but have been labelled so by the media.

      2. Mike Sivier

        So you’re saying some people aren’t opposed to immigration in itself; just with the speed and lack of integration? It’s possible, but it does feed into the issue of coming here and taking our services without giving anything back (which is a false argument as it isn’t true).
        As for your belief about most ‘Leave’ voters not being anti-immigrant – it’s hard to prove that. And the media are pushing the “anti-immigrant” button continuously.

      3. Zippi

        Is it not hard to prove either way? This is why I think that we have to be careful before labelling ALL people. It doesn’t necessarily lead to that particular issue but lack of integration in what is perceived to be large numbers can make people feel uncomfortable. A simple analogy is your local pub suddenly had a load of strangers descend upon it; they don’t socialise with anybody but themselves, they make their presence felt. They aren’t there to take away your beer, or monopolise the dart board, or snooker table but the fact that they don’t mix, creates ill feeling. It’s the us and them scenario. The media tap into this, with their constant pushing of the anti-immigrant button, stirring up ill feeling, even where none exists; it is all about perception, that is not to say that much of what people report, or find unacceptable is not real. Am I making sense?

      4. Mike Sivier

        I would say it’s very easy to prove anti-immigrant sentiment among ‘Leave’ supporters. Have a glance through This Blog’s comment columns and you’ll see a pattern – and This Blog’s readers are extremely well-balanced individuals in comparison with the supporters of certain mass-media publications! Harder to prove pro-immigrant feeling among them.
        Taking your pub analogy, are the regulars doing anything to make the new arrivals feel welcome, or are they just trying to ignore them in the hope they’ll go away again? I’ve been in the position of both regular and newcomer, and my experience is that new arrivals integrate easily enough if they are made welcome; not so much if they are given the cold shoulder.
        One argument that came up over the weekend has to do with cultural concerns – the Pakistani (I think) communities in which cousins have been marrying, making them more likely to have birth defects. Clearly, the custom is damaging and dangerous but those who hold it may argue that it is part of their traditions. How do we untangle that?

      5. Zippi

        We didn’t say that that there was no anti-immigrant sentiment among “£eave” voters but that it was my belief that most of those who voted that way were anti the policy, rather than actually anti-immigrant, which you said was hard to prove, to which I made the suggestion that it is hard to prove either way, meaning that it is hard to prove that it is not the case, too.
        I guess that, as humans, we feel intimidated by large groups; it is far easier to approach the person who is sitting by themselves than to approach a large group of people. Oddly, I work in theatre and have witnessed the same lack of willingness to integrate in members of my touring company. Rather than speak to the local staff and crew, they will keep to themselves, go out together and often, not even talk to the locals, who will be working on the show! This is less likely to happen with a smaller cast, because it becomes necessary to speak to the locals whereas, with a large cast, you can avoid speaking, or associating with anybody; this is the problem to which I was alluding. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how welcoming you are, if there is no incentive to integrate, it boils down to the personality of the individual.
        I agree that we could and should do more but the longer that the separatism continues, the harder it is to break down those walls. When my mother arrived here, she was the only person from her country in the town. As a consequence, most of my friends, peers and colleagues were “white” English and that has been the pattern throughout my life. There are now more of her countryfolk in the town and there is even a Society but it has taken decades to achieve that and the number is still relatively small.
        Culture is a big thing. It defines who you are; take the Jews, for example. Jewish culture is a HUGE part of Jewish identity. This is the point at which you will have heard that multi-culturalism doesn’t work. I guess that, if 2, or more cultures are incompatible then, it can’t work. A multi-ethinic society is not, necessarily, the same things as a multi-cultural one. I think that, perhaps, if people knew what British values were and what the British way of life is, it would be easier for incomers to see what was compatible and what was not. We hear, too often, about British values and Britishness, in the media but who actually knows what those things are? Aye, we are an accepting and inclusive nation but surely, this shouldn’t be to the detriment of our own [British] culture(s)? We have councils so eager not to offend the incomers that they end up offending the residents. People feel that they are not allowed to be British. To some degree, incomers have been made SO welcome that some want to change things to accommodate their cultures. Many residents are upset by this and perhaps this is where some of the anti-immigrant feeling comes from, too. It is, by and large, not the fault of the immigrants but there is cause and effect.

  3. NMac

    UKIP should be exposed as the racist and Nazi organisation it is. They have nothing positive at all to offer people.

    1. A, only bigots believe in the Nazi ideation of racism we are all one race the human race. b, UKIP clearly had a lot positive to offer people that is why the majority voted to leave, perhaps you should look at the lib dems for bigotry after all they believe we should have an open door policy for citizens of 27 mainly white skinned nations whilst preferring to make it difficult for the rest of the world nations citizens to migrate here.

      1. Mike Sivier

        You know what people mean by racism – it’s the accepted definition. Leave it.
        Your opinion of UKIP is well-known but people didn’t vote for UKIP in the referendum. Those who voted ‘Leave’ did so for their own reasons.
        There has never been an open-door immigration policy in the UK.
        And there has never been preferential treatment for EU citizens. Immigration from outside the EU outnumbers that from inside the EU: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/eu-immigration-uk-policy_uk_574ef754e4b096898c8dcb18
        This last point is particularly important as you keep peddling the lie, despite having been told the facts.
        Because of this, it seems clear there is no need to believe anything else you suggest.

  4. Tony Dean

    Mike the very big elephant in the room when it comes to immigration and benefits is sectors of 2nd and 3rd generation non-EU immigrants who have unemployment rates of up to 75% and also one group is on a very disproportionate level of disability benefits. (It is not racist to state it as the data is public domain.)

    https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/how-fair-britain/online-summary/key-areas-employment

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-23183102

    1. Signortbf

      Isn’t the whole point about those stats that they DON’T relate to immigrants-how can 2nd & 3rd generation non-EU immigrants be anything but born in the UK and therefore UK citizens?

      1. Tony Dean

        But those stats DO relate to immigrants, that are not on benefits when they arrive but one or two generations on they are on benefits to a higher degree than anyone else.
        (Those are facts as the references I provided show.)

  5. Tony Dean – the children of immigrants are not immigrants. Those stats might possibly show a sorry truth – that most people coming here to work already have a job to come to, or the qualifications need to succeed in getting one, but a generation or two down the line the institutional racism of our school and employment systems has diminished their children and grandchildren’s life and employment potential. I am not stating this as fact, merely a hypothesis that might account for the difference.

  6. Signortbf

    Look, mate, one or two generations on, the children & grand-children of immigrants can no longer be considered as immigrants. David & Ed Miliband are an example of first-generation immigrant children, by the way; do you consider them to be immigrants or British citizens?

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