Ukip’s friends and enemies

Enoch Powell, claims the Ukip MP Douglas Carswell, “misjudged Britain’s ability to become a multi-ethnic society at ease with itself”.

That was the lead-in paragraph of an otherwise sensible article Enoch Powell Was Wrong About Immigration, arguing that, while a successful nation shouldn’t stop foreigners from coming, it must reserve the right to choose those it allows to come.

Why kick a political thinker long since dead, one would wonder, but only a political virgin would wonder for real. You see, Ukip’s emergence has scared our political spivs (regardless of party affiliation) so much that they’ve ordered their journalistic groupies to unleash a torrent of lies about Ukip, accompanied by hysterical invective.

The mendacious Channel 4 documentary is only one example – of thousands. Now, if you don’t think mass propaganda works, download some YouTube footage of a Nuremberg rally to see how wrong you are.

The anti-Ukip propaganda, for all its intellectual and factual dishonesty, seems to be working too, after a fashion. For example, I’ve seen some perfectly sensible people lower their voice and half-whisper that Ukip intends to nail Britain’s borders shut – in both directions.

“Do you realise,” asked a writer friend of mine, “that a Ukip government would make it impossible for you to go to your house in France?” Now politics isn’t my friend’s forte, but you can see the kind of damage the spiv agitprop is doing.

Mr Carswell isn’t a thinker in search of truth but a politician in pursuit of votes. That’s why, while arguing in favour of a reasonable immigration policy based on an Australian-type point system, he feels called upon to attack Enoch Powell posthumously.

That’s his doomed attempt to establish his own, and his party’s, PC bona fides, and also to counter some of the nonsense spread around about Ukip. Indirectly this serves to remind us that Ukip politicians are still politicians, of the modern variety.

Hence their commitment to truth is less passionate than their commitment to electoral success. And they know that in our political climate the two never go together.

If Mr Carswell suddenly decided to retrain for a different career, of course he’d admit that Powell was absolutely right, specifically in his Aeneid speech, which, according to Mr Carswell “made it difficult to even mention immigration in Westminster… Yet in his pessimism, Powell was wrong… [because he] underestimated the ability of a free society to adapt.”

One can’t expect even a generally benign politician to spot self-refutation in his own arguments. Still, one has to wonder how free our society is if, by Mr Carswell’s own admission, it’s “difficult even to mention immigration in Westminster”.

Immigration, continues Mr Carswell, “has been, overwhelmingly, a story of success.”

No doubt working-class Englishmen who walk the streets of their neighbourhoods without ever hearing an English word, other than ‘Social’, will agree – as will the denizens of our better boroughs inundated by Eastern European muggers, beggars and car thieves.

And does Mr Carswell really believe that the arrival of a million Muslims in the last 10 years, on top of about two million in the country already, has been “a story of success”?

I like couscous as much as any other man, but I’m prepared to forego this delicacy to be also spared the sight of Muslims dancing in the streets of Bradford in celebration of terrorist acts on London public transport.

I’m also slightly worried, to the point of doubting the overwhelming success of immigration, when reading that 25 per cent of British Muslims feel sympathy for jihadist murderers.

And how successfully has our ‘free society’ integrated 115,000 Somalis? Not very, unless Mr Carswell is prepared to welcome their enhancing our education on such worthy multi-cultural practices as female genital mutilation.

Enoch Powell, Mr Carswell, was absolutely right, and even his political enemy Edward Heath admitted as much three years after sacking Powell.

Powell’s Aeneid speech, which the spivs insist on calling ‘Rivers of Blood’, gave an intellectually sound shape to the people’s concerns, which is why 74 per cent of the population applauded it.

Unlike Ukip’s enemies and also, evidently, some of its members, Powell realised almost 50 years ago that mass immigration was sooner or later bound to reach a critical mass beyond which England would no longer be England.

Rather than waffling on this issue, Mr Carswell, and the rest of his party, ought to stick to their guns and continue to speak the truth. Alas, if they could do that they wouldn’t be modern politicians.

With friends like that, Ukip doesn’t really need Tim Montgomerie, yet he is the bad penny that keeps turning up – in The Times, where else.

To Mr Montgomerie’s credit he doesn’t pretend to be objective. He is a career Tory apparatchik and a fully paid-up member of the Tory beagle pack of trained journalists. Ukip baiting is thus his job requirement, and he is never derelict of his duties.

In today’s paper he predicts the demise of Ukip as a political force of any kind. That very well may be, but why does Mr Montgomerie think so?

Oh well, you see, neither Ukip membership nor its leadership is uniform in its opinions. The party, he says, “is hopelessly divided on many issues”.

This is yet another example of a factually accurate lie. The inference the reader is supposed to draw is that other parties, especially the one of the blue rosette fame, are solid monoliths of ideas and aspirations.

Yet Tim’s beloved Tory party was perfectly able to accommodate Heath and Powell in the past and, in more recent times, Clark and Tebbit. If these aren’t two pairs of political antipodes, I don’t know who would be.

And, if we assume that the Tory ideology is demarcated by Ken at one end and Norman at the other, one can find just about every political hue in between.

Surely Mr Mongomerie is familiar with dozens of Tory MPs who routinely vote against the government on Europe? Of course he is. Some of those rebels are even his friends.

“While its immigration and European policies are pretty well known,” continues Montgomerie, “I doubt one in 20 voters could name another Ukip policy.”

Possibly. But what proportion of voters would be able to pinpoint any policy of any other party, including the Tories? In the absence of such comparative data, Montgomeries’s statement is nothing but shrill propaganda.

In any case, he belongs in the select five per cent of those who know some other Ukip policies as well. “Ukip voters… want to spend more on defence, less on welfare…” Montgomerie helpfully informs.

That’s not too shabby, considering that all other parties’ preferences are the other way around. So it’s not just immigration and Europe then?

I do hope Ukip can discipline its friends and humiliate its enemies. The party may not be better than others, but at least it’s still different.

Looking at the Dave-Ed-Nick show, all I can say is vive la différence.





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