The real fight against Ukip

AS THE local and European elections approach the New Communist Party reiterates its policy that the elections to the European Union are sham. The European Parliament has very little power and the power in the EU resides in the EU Commission and the Council of Ministers, which are largely controlled in the interests of big business at the expense of the working class, throughout the continent and beyond. So we are calling for a boycott of the European election that is basically a diversion to give an illusion of democracy to the very undemocratic EU.

But we certainly do encourage participation in the local elections, which will be happening on the same day, 22nd May. And in the run-up to both elections the media have been obsessed with the advances being made by the extreme right-wing and xenophobic UK Independence Party. And those advances have mostly been the product of increased media attention. Most people are aware of Ukip’s stance against the EU and against immigration. But very few are aware that the party even has policies on any other issues like health, education, transport and so on. It does but it is not bothering to put them into a manifesto because that might put people off.

The rest of Ukip’s policies show they occupy the extreme right fringe of the neoliberal orthodoxy. They support massive tax cuts for corporations and the super-rich, the privatisation agenda, the destruction of what remains of the social safety net, the protection of the idle rentier class, the deregulation of firearms, the militarisation of the police, the construction of dozens of new privately operated jails as part of the prison-industrial complex, open discrimination against homosexuals, the scrapping of our human rights, the indoctrination of children with nationalist propaganda, anti-environmentalism, the expansion of Iain Duncan Smith’s forced labour schemes and an energy policy built on heavily subsidised nuclear power plants and fracking.

The coming elections are likely to be seen as an indicator of how next year’s general election might go. Ukip is unlikely to win this — it has been scoring between 13 and 15 per cent in opinion polls recently. But it could take enough votes from the Tories to deny them an outright victory and then negotiate to become a partner in a new coalition much further right-wing than the one we have now.

In other words Ukip is a political mechanism to move the Tory party to the right and make it possible for us to get an even more draconian and anti-working class government in Britain, even though that is the last thing most people want. That’s the way bourgeois democracy works.

The Liberal Democrat vote has collapsed after its record of being the Tory poodle in the current coalition and supporting the dismantling of the NHS and austerity measures that are lowering standards of living for most and utterly crushing the poorest, the unemployed and the disabled.

So that leaves Labour, which ought, next year to win a sweeping victory without any difficulty so long as it does nothing stupid. But the problem is that far from distancing itself from the neo-liberal and xenophobic policies of Ukip and the Tories it is, mostly, offering us the same policies in a calorie-lite version. Far from championing the seriously oppressed working class it is still aiming its appeal at the “squeezed middle”, leaving the working class with little motivation to bother voting.

Ed Miliband has made a few tentative steps in the left direction offering short-term controls on domestic fuel prices and capping of rents under certain circumstances. But they are weak measures weakly presented. Labour must come out of its corner fighting loud and clear for the class that created it and which funds it — or we face the prospect of something much worse than we have now.