Above: the CPB, Morning Star and (to their shame) the Socialist Party support No2EU
The Morning Star – to all intents and purposes the paper of the Communist Party of Britain – has a problem with Ukip. In particular, it seems unable to make up its collective mind as to whether or not Ukip is racist. Whilst most on the left, including several Labour MPs, have no hesitation in denouncing the Farage rabble for racism, the Morning Star and the CPB front ‘No2EU’ seem not so sure.
Last month the Star ran an article headed No2EU: Ukip Will Win Unless We Tackle EU, that included the following:
But No2EU convener Brian Denny said simply calling Ukip racist would not stop it from success at the May 22 European elections.
“If Labour keeps ignoring the issue the only winners will be Ukip and worse,” he said.
“The free movement of capital and labour, a cornerstone of EU law, is creating chaos across Europe.
Now, the Star isn’t quite saying there that Ukip are not racist, but that “simply calling” it “racist” is insufficient – which is obviously true, as far as it goes.
But the Star‘s true position has been made clear in the present weekend edition May 3-4), which caries an article headed Don’t Be Fooled By Farage, written by John Haylett, who edited the paper from 1995 to 2009 and remains a prominent member of the Party. It includes the following:
The EU has never been hugely popular in Britain, viewed as a hulking continental power that interferes in too many decisions proper to Westminster level or devolved administrations.
And although race relations in Britain are generally good, this is no thanks to a political elite that characterises immigration as a problem.
With unemployment at an underestimated two million-plus level and nearly 900,000 16 to 24-year-olds on the scrapheap, scapegoating migrants provides fertile electoral ground for desperate politicians.
Labour apologises for not being tougher on immigration when in office while the conservative coalition pledges more stringent controls.
Ukip trumps them all by rejecting EU free movement, claiming that 26 million jobless people across the bloc have their eyes on British workers’ jobs
It’s nonsense. It’s scaremongering. It encourages fear of foreigners, but it’s not racist.
Farage has no difficulty knocking down this knee-jerk response, championing a level playing field for would-be migrants and criticising the negative effect of EU Fortress Europe on African and Asian workers seeking jobs in Britain.
The Ukip leader favours an immigration points system whereby employers could bring in staff from anywhere in the world.
I read that as Haylett saying that not only is Ukip not racist, but that he – Haylett – (and, therefore the Star and the CPB) in reality – once you cut through the bullshit – agree with them on immigration.
And if you think that’s me misreading Haylett’s piece for factional reasons, I submit the following, from an article on the same page of the same edition of the Star:
The free movement of labour policy of the EU superficially appears progressive and is seen as such by many on the left, but it is designed only to allow systematic exploitation of labour.
It’s another example of the post-modern myth of “freedom” and “choice.”
The European Court of Justice is also complicit in this with rulings such as the Laval, Viking, Ruffert and Luxembourg cases all defeating trade union moves to prevent migrant workers being used to displace unionised workforces.
One of the often ignored problems with mass migration is the displacement and disruption that its victims suffer.
Now, there’s a serious discussion to be had by trade unionists regarding the impact of immigration upon terms and conditions. But the likes of Denny, Haylett, the Morning Star and the CPB, are not contributing to that debate by parroting what amounts to Ukip propaganda.
And it also explains why they’re so keen to defend Ukip from the charge of racism.