Whenever the Brexit Party, latest electoral vehicle for Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his pals, is accused of being racist, or at least using racism to advance its agenda, we are immediately told that the party has a candidates list that is ethnically diverse, and a slate of MEPs likewise. That response is backed up by the likes of mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott jumping into Twitter arguments to demand claims of racism are backed up.
This is all well and good, but although the Brexit Party may be able to demonstrate that it does not harbour racist intent, there is the small matter of its supporters, and more widely, those whose votes it is attracting - and their views.
Squeaky not at all racist but supported by rather a lot of them finger up the bum time
All of which brings us to the reality for the Brexit Party, in the shape of a Tweeter who identifies as “BREXIT PARTY NORTH WEST VOTER”, and asserts “I am not a racist but [and clearly this is a big but] I am a realist. I dont [sic] want my country flooded with migrants no matter where they come from. Its [sic] not about the migrants themselves its [sic] about the mass numbers and especially when majority of brits want less immigration. That my view and im [sic] sticking with it”. There was more.
“What you europhile lefties dont [sic] seem to understand is there are many 2nd generation migrants who also dont [sic] want mass immigration, are they racist too? … these left wing pro mass immigration wallers [?] will be calling ppl like me racist in 30 years time when uk sinks in the Atlantic ocean with the weight of people”.
Would Sir care to introduce a few more racist tropes? “My god how did we ever survive for a thousand years without mass immigration? Why do you think there is a housing shortage doctor appointment waiting lists, school places shortages, traffic congestion etc let me think ohh yeah the size of Sheffield imported into uk every year”.
The UK has had what this person calls “mass immigration” for hundreds of years. It’s how Farage’s ancestors arrived here from France. Any shortage of housing, health services and school places is down to inadequate provision. As is traffic congestion. But the racist always sees the hand of “others” at work. Because “others” are easy to blame.
And looking at this Brexit Party supporter’s rants, it needs to be easy to understand: “I dont [sic] care what other people and countries do that’s [sic] there [sic] business, I would imagine of those said countries [?] are bigger than this tiny island, the 4th most populated country in Europe”. Doesn’t want to enter into any kind of intellectual process, just wants out of the EU. And isn’t a racist. Because they say so.
Once more, Oliver Kamm, who so incensed Ms Oakeshott when he called the Brexit Party racist, has summed up what this tells us. Replying to Brexit Party MEP Lucy Harris, he mused “You & your colleagues may well be affable & decent people. I’ve debated several times with Claire Fox over the years, and she meets that description. My objection is to what the Brexit Party stands for, not what’s in your heart (which I can’t judge). And it is a racist cause”. The party may not be racist. But many of its voters are.
That will be true, no matter how diverse the candidate list becomes. Sad but true.
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