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Ukip Don't 'Love Britain', They Hate It

04/03/2014 17:14 GMT | Updated 04/05/2014 10:59 BST

In the history of political slogans, there cannot be another more contradictory than Ukip's catchy new phrase, purloined with extraordinary naivety from the British National Party. 'Love Britain, Vote Ukip.'

It is perfect except for one thing. The omission of a single word. Don't. And a question mark. 'Don't Love Britain? Vote Ukip.' For that is the party's essence. It doesn't love Britain, it hates it - or at least it hates what Britain is.

It hates that my daughter's best friend can walk to school in a hijab. It hates that my daughter doesn't even notice. It hates that there are colourful pockets of town centres that echo to the sounds of bhangra or klezma or tambura drums. It hates that women abandon their children to Polish nannies while they go off and flex their muscles in male-dominated boardrooms.

It hates that people can have different sexual tastes and don't pretend to love the opposite sex to satisfy society's mores, destroying lives in the process. It hates that families preserve their heritage by speaking native languages amongst each other, in much the same way as my grandmother insisted on conversing in Yiddish.

Its love of Britain derives from an ideal that, in truth, has never existed. We are an island of immigrants, a nation that is as vibrant a melting pot as New York, a society more tolerant and multi-cultural and colour-blind than any on Earth. Ukip voters don't 'love' that, they hate it and it is a hate borne of fear as much as disgust. Fear of the outsider, that he or she might taint a once-perfect (mythical?) idyll.

I once had a series of conversations with an extremely high-profile Ukip supporter and I could see that his casual racism, golf club sexism and bigoted view of the world derived from his fear and ignorance of the outsider. 'Grant, why are Jews so good at looking after their money?' he joked once. I say joked because he considered that funny, not anti-semitic. 'What's wrong with wanting to live just amongst white people?' he used to plead, 'at least you know where you are with them.'

I'm sure there are a great many people who vote for and sympathise with Ukip who aren't as racist as that man - but they are similarly fuelled by hate. Hatred of the EU, hatred of pygmy politicians, hatred of a liberalised society. That's fine, there's plenty of room for that kind of hatred.

But hatred fuelled by fear of minorities is different. Nigel Farage's beer-swilling, fag-smoking bonhomie is a mask for something far more sinister - a charming ploy to appear as if he stands for something, whereas in fact he stands against many things. In the same way that the British National Party or English Defence League or even Oswald Mosely's Blackshirts stood not for but against.

I don't think Nigel is racist but he's happy to appeal to those who are. Nigel hates the system, many of his followers hate the people who benefit from that system. Love doesn't enter into it.

So if you love Britain, vote for anyone except Ukip.