Ukip: pretty straight racist guys

Two days ago, all 16 Ukip councillors in Lincoln refused to reaffirm an anti-racism pledge, originally put forward by Labour six years ago, which asserts that Lincolnshire County Council will serve all people in the county equally.

Why wouldn’t they sign it?   Because Chris Pain, the leader of the county council’s Ukip group says that leader of the county council’s Ukip group said he could not sign a document that  ‘pushes forward the chance of multiculturalism, one of the fundamental things that’s wrong with our society’.

Pain insisted that this position is ‘not racist’ and that ‘ Our stance is on space and space alone.’  Why, he’s also told the Huffington Post ‘ I have friends of all creeds and colours, there is no way you can describe this [abstention] as a racist.’

This is the same Chris Pain who,  according to a Sunday Mirror investigation yesterday, left the following comment on his Facebook page:

‘Have you noticed that if you ­rearrange the letters in ‘illegal ­immigrants’, and add just a few more letters, it spells, ‘Go home you free-loading, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, baby-making, non-English-speaking ********* and take those other hairy-faced, sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-********, raghead ******** with you.’

Yes, we see.    Pain says his account was hacked, to which one can only reply, well he would,  wouldn’t he?  But then the Huffington Post found this piece of ‘satire’, which Pain doesn’t deny, that went up on his Facebook page last year:

‘Today’s program features another chance to take part in our exciting competition: HIJACK AN AIRLINER and win A COUNCIL HOUSE!”

Anyone can play, provided they don’t already hold a valid British Passport, and you only need one word of English:
‘ASYLUM’

Prizes include all-expenses-paid accommodation, cash benefits starting at £180 a week and a chance to earn thousands more begging, mugging, burgling and accosting drivers at traffic lights.

This competition is open to everyone buying a ticket or stowing away on one of our partner airlines, ferry companies or Eurostar.’

Let no one say that Ukippers don’t have a sense of humour.  These guys are a laugh a minute.   Take the Ukip councillor from Manchester in the Mirror investigation who described Barack Obama as a Muslim and suggested he might be a potential suicide bomber.  You don’t think that’s funny?   Oh come on.

And the Mirror story also shows that they are posing important, penetrating questions that the ‘politically correct’ establishment doesn’t dare ask, such as the Ukip councillor who laments the fact that a mosque is being built in ‘quintessentially English’ Cambridge, and exclaims ‘Is nowhere sacred for the Brits in Britain any more?’

Probably not.   I mean, just look around you almost anywhere and you’ll see that the 51,745,135 people defined as ‘white British’ (81.9% of the UK total population) are becoming an endangered minority in their native land.    That might be why David Abbott, a member of Ukip’s national executive committee,  once gave money to American Friends of  BNP,   and hung out with Nick Griffin at a conference of white supremacists in the States.

And as if it wasn’t bad enough that the immigrants are destroying our way of life, the politically correct multiculturalist scum in Brussels, Westminster, the BBC, etc.,etc. are promoting homosexuality, which according to prominent Ukippers in another Mirror investigation earlier this year,   is closely linked to paedophilia and bestiality.

All this is worth remembering the next time you read some of the explanations for the rise of Ukip that have been floated in the media the last few weeks; how Ukip represents a general disenchantment with mainstream politics;  how Nigel Farage is just a down-to-earth straight guy who likes a pint and, unusually for politicians,  sounds like a human being rather than a robot; how Ukip appeals to ‘anxieties’ about national identity and multiculturalism and public ‘concerns’  about immigration; how its pathological loathing for the European Union has gained ground because the British are worried about jobs, pensions etc and fear becoming like Spain or Greece.

Because the statements of Pain & Co suggest that behind the ‘anxieties’ and ‘concerns’ and ‘euroscepticism’ and Farage’s grin, lies a toxic cesspool of bigotry and racism that appeals to the most primitive xenophobic nationalistic instincts of the British people, while simultaneously seeking to give these sentiments a veneer of political iconoclasm and respectability.

Ukip’s leadership will continue to deny all this, of course, and it may occasionally be forced to sack members who voice such views too openly and too loudly ( something that has yet to happen with Pain, but we’ll see).

But these are the people who are flocking to join the party.

And the rest of us ought to wonder why that is, and consider the possibility that Nigel and his fun-loving crew may not be very funny – and not very nice – at all.

 

 

Four days with the ‘perfect Knight’

After the last four days, many people will probably have had about as much as they can stomach of Anders Behring Breivik.   Even the sight of him is disturbing.  Seen close up on television, he has the grotesque physical presence of a horror film villain or a Hollywood serial killer, with his narrow black eyes, his neat little beard and shark-like smile, his old-world formality and his puffed-up sense of his own importance.

Yesterday Breivik told the court that it was ‘contrary to human nature’ to do what he did, and that it was necessary to ‘hammer away at your emotions’ to come up with the desired product.  Watching him is indeed like watching  a simulacrum of a human being rather than a real person,  who uses words and makes recognizably human gestures, but in whom it is impossible to detect any trace of empathy, compassion or any of the meaningful bonds that connect human beings to each other.

The more he talks, the more disgusting he reveals himself to be, and the more glaring the discrepancy between his grandiose ’cause’ and the obscenity of his actions and ideas.  Believing himself to be heroic and noble, he comes over as vain, deluded, and self-pitying.

One minute he is bragging to the court about having carried out ‘ the most spectacular operation conducted by a militant nationalist this century’.  Then he is weeping, not for the lives that he snuffed out so brutally, but because he is ‘moved’ by the sight of his own propaganda video.

This tacky combination of racial paranoia, half-baked intellectualism and historical references, anti-Muslim hatred, and sentimentality,  culminates in heroic sword wielding crusader imagery that might have been borrowed from a computer game or a Game of Thrones script.

For Breivik, the first-person shooter and self-styled ‘perfect Knight’ who spent 16 hours a day playing computer games and engaging in combat training by playing Modern Warfare: Call of Duty, fantasy and reality merged into a single heroic narrative with himself in the starring role as the exterminating avenger, slaughtering the sons and daughters of the party that he blamed for turning Norway into a ‘multicultural hell’.

Whether comparing his youthful victims to the Hitler Youth or revealing his plans to kill journalists or decapitate the former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland,  he comes over as a shockingly callous and ultimately hollow individual,  fatally corrupted by his hatreds and monomaniacal obsessions.

Despite his attempts to distance himself from Nazism, Breivik has also revealed himself to be an out-and-out racist, whether decrying Norway’s transformation into the ‘ dumping ground for the surplus births of the Third Worldor  telling the court  of his desire ‘ for racial purity and to change the direction of multi-cultural drift, to avoid greater confrontation and civil war. The only way I could protect the white native Norwegian was through violence.’

All this has been a disturbing and depressing spectacle,  and no doubt deeply painful for the relatives of his victims.  But the fears about Breivik being given a propaganda platform that would inspire others to follow his example would appear to have been misplaced.   Breivik is so obviously repellent, that only those who already think like him are likely to be inspired by his actions and engage in further acts of ‘resistance’.

But such forces do exist.   And the last four days have revealed a contradiction that has yet to be resolved.  The prosecution wants to prove that Breivik is insane, whereas he wants to prove the opposite – the better to glorify his acts of ‘resistance’.

Breivik frequently uses the first person plural, presenting himself as part of a Norwegian and European-wide resistance, and referring to obscure meetings with influential like-minded people who formed his ‘Knights Templar’ movement.

The prosecution argues that these claims are fantasies.  If Breivik wants to prove that these contacts with individuals and organizations were not invented,  then he may have to give names and dates.

To prove his sanity,  his defence lawyer may also be obliged to demonstrate how many of his delusions and obsessions about immigration, Islam and multiculturalism, were shared, by a very wide spectrum that spans anti-Muslim websites and bloggers, established far-right parties, the more recent counter-jihad movement and the various ‘defence leagues’.

This should not be difficult.  As Breivik’s Internet ‘manifesto’ makes clear, many of his ideas, references and sources of inspiration were drawn from an ongoing discourse about Muslims and Islam which can be found in any daily paper.

The next nine weeks will reveal how this contradiction is resolved.   But if this horrendous episode is to have any positive outcome, beyond the immediate aim of finding some kind of justice and closure for the relatives of his victims, we must hope that the court does not limit its focus to Breivik himself.

Because the paranoia, hatred and delusion that he has expressed during the past week are not unique to him.   Those who propagate conspiracy theories and fantasies of an Islamic take over of Europe shouldn’t be surprised when some people take their fantasies literally.

And unless Europeans can reject these dank and toxic politics, and face up to the bigotry and racism that so often underpins them, Breivik may not be the last of his kind.

 

 

 

Europe’s ‘multicultural problem’

Multiculturalism is a concept that is often criticized – and rarely defined – by both mainstream conservatives and the extreme right.    But definitions are  usually less important than the visceral condemnations of a corrupting liberal ‘ideology’ that is supposedly paving the way for the downfall of ‘our’ national and cultural identity and permeating Europe with alien – especially Muslim – cultural enclaves.

More often than not, multiculturalism functions as a code word for certain forms of cultural and ethnic diversity that the right has always found unacceptable.   Where Enoch Powell once argued that ‘the white man’ would become an endangered minority in ‘his’ own country, attacks on multiculturalism enable people with very similar views to talk about culture instead of race or ethnicity.

The more extremist voices, such as Umberto Bossi, Oriana Fallaci, Melanie Phillips et al,  depict national and cultural majorities – invariably imagined in the first person plural as some kind of unchanging historical essence –  reduced to besieged minorities by the immigrant hordes and the multicultural Trojan horse that has allowed them to take over the countries they occupy.  More mainstream politicians present multiculturalism as a threat to ‘social cohesion’ and even a cause of terrorism.

In Europe’s current age of ‘austerity’, attacks on multiculturalism provide a convenient diversionary scapegoat and a simplistic pseudo-explanation for cultural, social and  political questions that require more complicated and difficult answers.  So we can’t be surprised that  both David Cameron and Angela Merkel have joined in the chorus against ‘multi-kulti’ this year.

These developments are analysed in a lucid and very sensible article by John R. Bowen in the Boston Review.  Bowen’s central argument is that

 

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while it is hard to know what exactly the politicians of Europe mean when they talk about multiculturalism, one thing we do know is that the issues they raise—real or imagined—have complex historical roots that have little to do with ideologies of cultural difference. Blaming multiculturalism may be politically useful because of its populist appeal, but it is also politically dangerous because it attacks “an enemy within”: Islam and Muslims. Moreover, it misreads history. An intellectual corrective may help to diminish its malign impact.

 

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Too right.  At a time when the backlash against multiculturalism has become a pretext for a wider assault on Europe’s new-found cultural and ethnic diversity, Bowen provides his own ‘intellectual corrective’ in a superb comparative analysis of different European approaches to multiculturalism in various countries.   You can read the whole article here.