|Mark Smith, the Bournemouth UKIP activist assaulted by|
5 men attempting to remove a UKIP sign from his garden
These things are not isolated incidents; in fact, they have been brewing for some time. In July 2013 we blogged of a UKIP candidate in Swansea who stood down after his wife's career was threatened by a UNISON rep if he dared to stand for the party. Throughout 2014 and the European elections, we saw a rising tide of vandalism directed against UKIPs poster campaign and against campaign shops and offices. Nigel Farage was assaulted on several occasions - always by people with
|UKIP MEP Gerard Batten's London home after it was|
attacked with bricks
This year, the violence and hate has been even greater. As of 2 weeks ago, over 30 UKIP shops and campaign offices had been attacked, some several times. Ramsgate, Blythe, Folkestone, Kidderminster, Southport, Herne Bay, Wrexham, Penarth - the list goes on, across the country from North to South and East to West.
It is not just UKIP premises which have been targeted. Householders in Lincoln who displayed 'Vote UKIP' banners found their windows put through. People unconnected with UKIP who signed UKIP nomination papers have been harassed and threatened. Potential candidates have been physically intimidated into not standing. A UKIP candidate was forced to withdraw from a local hustings after receiving death threats from Stand up to UKIP. Nigel Farage was harassed by Green Party and Labour activists while eating Sunday lunch in a pub with his family.
What has been the official response to this? Beyond local newspapers, it may as well not be happening. None of the national media has seen fit to report on this wave of political violence, while the police can barely stir themselves to take statements. There have been few if any arrests.
So what is the cause of this?
Hope not Hate and their allies in the equally union-funded, SWP-run 'Stand up to UKIP' campaign must take a significant share of the blame. Neither are 'grass-roots' organisations in the sense that UKIP is - the vast majority of Hope not Hate's funding comes from the big unions: Unison and Unite. They also were in receipt of a significant slice of public funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Hope not Hate claim they do not take part in violence. This may be technically true. But what we have seen on repeated occasions is Hope not Hate activists attending rallies by the far-right, and using their Twitter account to direct the hard-left thugs of UAF towards a confrontation by giving precise
|Weyman Bennett of Stand up to UKIP, having his collar|
felt once again, but not at an anti-UKIP event
We then move on to UAF and their Stand up to UKIP front campaign. Relying on the same funding sources as HnH - the large unions - much of the overt violence has been caused by them. The intolerance of activists such as Bunny La Roche in Thanet South (who now also works for Hope not Hate) has positively incited a core of hard-left activists drawn from an assortment of hard left groups ranging from the Greens to the SWP via International Socialists to take violent action against UKIP. Is there any condemnation from their organisation? From the Labour Party? None. That La Roche is a defender of a racist sexual practise is of no interest to the anti-UKIP brigade.
Thanet South is particularly interesting. After a spate of violent attacks against UKIP activists and properties, there were claims of UKIP activists attacking Labour campaigners while simultaneously claiming they were National Front. A more convenient state of affairs is difficult to imagine, ticking all the right boxes for them to claim victim status. A few blurry photographs and a couple of quotes from professional politician and Labour candidate, the 12 year old Will Scobie, was enough to send the Daily Mirror close to orgasm over 'UKIP violence' with no actual proof whatsoever.
This victimhood was continued in Grimsby, where a Hope not Hate day of action which had already been called into question over claims of 'treating' ended as a damp squib after a mere handful of HnH activists arrived. To cover their embarrassment, claims were made of assaults and intimidation by UKIP supporters to the local newspaper, who ran a story pointing out that despite these claims, Hope
|Thanet Green councillor & candidate Ian Driver being |
'non-violent' at an anti-UKIP demonstration
We should also mention the active participation of the Green Party in this. Those peace-loving bunny huggers have not found themselves averse to a bit of violence against UKIP, as we reported on a few months ago in Penarth where the Green-run 'Stand up to UKIP' campaign refused to take action against a member who threatened to burn down a UKIP shop.
But what responsibility do Labour bear for this? It is ironic that the only violence suffered by Labour has been at the hands of hard-left activists links to the SNP in Scotland, where they label Labour as 'Red Tories'. Across England and Wales, we have not found a single story of a vandalised Labour shop or vehicle. The same applies to the Green Party. The truth is that both parties are quite happy to tacitly condone this: after all, it is their activists who play a large part in it. It is not by accident that
|Labour MP Liam Byrne delivering Hope not Hate literature|
Labour and the hard-left are desperate to avoid some difficult questions, and not just for obvious reasons. Unlimited immigration has driven down wages - anyone who gets paid on an hourly basis can tell you that. The problem for Labour is that this has proved of limited benefit even for the migrants, who eventually end up relying on state assistance in some form just to get by. The only people it has proved good for are the large corporates who ultimately fund the Labour Party, and for the Unions, who see a pool of labour from which to draw more members (and who also fund Labour). The hypocrisy of their position on this is quite breath-taking: can anyone recall when the Labour Party and the Unions were supposed to support the British worker rather than consistently undermine him or her?
What is the answer? Some fair, balanced media coverage would be a start, exposing those who would subvert our democratic process in order to silence views they don't like. There appears little chance of that, with the BBC preferring to focus on UKIP trivia and the stupid comments of a handful of individuals rather than report on the 2 Labour candidates convicted of fraud last week.
It is difficult to know where it will end. Chaiman Mao said that 'political power grows from the barrel of a gun', and the hard left, lead by Hope not Hate, the SWP, Labour and the Greens, seem to have taken this to heart. Until they take responsibility for their actions and cease trying to howl down valid political arguments, there seems little chance of a retreat from the violence. None of them seem in any danger of choking on their own hypocrisy, from Bunny La Roche's race play sex to Labour's acceptance of former BNP councillors.
For the Tories, who seem eager to jump into bed with Hope not Hate in their desperation to retain
Thanet South, they should remember one thing: if the hard left succeed, you're next. Be careful what you wish for. MacKinlay's desperation to come first in anything other than a safe ward handed to him as a prize for defecting from UKIP should not blind the Tories to the dangers welling on the hard-left.