Remember the good old days of 2014, when Nigel Farage pretended UKIP wasn’t a racist party and insisted everyone should pretend along with him? Those days are over, per this very exhaustive column by an anti-discrimination campaigner, charting the slide over the past two years from running on British “sovereignty” (whatever that means) toward openly racist political campaigns:
When asked by a Channel 4 documentary if there should be a law against discrimination on the grounds of race or colour in a ‘Ukip Britain’, the Ukip leader replied emphatically: “No.” Despite some attempts at backtracking, he has maintained he would axe many of our race discrimination laws.
Then it just devolves from there.
I’d also observe however that Farage’s positions highlighted in the piece — anti-immigrant, race-baiting, opposing discrimination protection laws — are actually the same as those of mainstream Republican leadership thought here in the United States.
And UKIP, which this time around still aren’t expected to capture more than a handful of seats, is having a similar effect on the Conservative Party in Britain as the embedded Republican far-right has in the United States: dragging even the theoretically sane and non-bigoted people toward oblivion in an effort to stave off electoral demise and irrelevancy. It’s simply more noticeable in countries like the United Kingdom or the rest of the European Union when it’s a separate party articulating everything openly and proudly … and winning significant vote share and even seats.
I’m honestly not sure whether it’s more dangerous to have the crazy faction hiding inside the mainstream party or out in the open as a separate party in the legislative body. It’s actually probably easier to sideline and dismiss them when they operate as a separate party than when they’re skulking around the major center-right party’s inner workings.