THE BLOG

The Poisonous Rise of Nationalism

20/01/2015 13:40 GMT | Updated 17/03/2015 09:59 GMT

I've always thought that a nationalist in politics is about as much use as a religionist in a science debate, their judgement is both clouded by fear and hatred as opposed to logic and reason. It's a line of thinking that is pushing the human race back into the dark ages, instead of finding new ways for our species to continue to achieve great things. Although society is by far becoming more liberal and integrated, nationalism in England does alarmingly seem to be on a rise.

Currently riding a toxic wave of racial tension in U.K politics is the undeniable popularity of UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party), a Eurosceptic, right wing party which has many known links to several nationalist organisations. Ask anyone in the street what their policies are and I'm betting the first the thing that will be mentioned are immigrants. In fact, they blame everything on them, their party leader Nigel Farage recently blamed them for making him late for an appearance on BBC's Sunday's Politics Wales show due to traffic, smugly saying "the population is going through the roof".

Although it's hard not find some of the things that UKIP members say hilarious, more and more people are subscribing to it, no matter how ridiculous it may sound. Maybe it's easier for people to attack minorities and be oblivious to greater problems like crooked bankers, tax avoiding corporations, fraudulent MP expenses, government corruption, social injustice or economic inequality. Nationalist bullying is making people blissfully ignorant to a system that simply rewards psychopaths, the rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to get poorer.

Nationalism is nothing new in the U.K, these ideologies have been around since at least the 1930's with various organisations such as The National Front (NF), The British Nation Party (BNP) and most recently Britain First, who have even gone as far as to shamelessly hijack the poppy to capitalise on their own branded merchandise (forgetting that our Grandparents were fighting a war against fascist values, not for it).

Aside from that, Britain First's other main pastimes include flooding social media with ridiculous fear ridden propaganda about Muslims, accusing immigrants of either taking all our jobs or claiming all our out of work benefits (make your minds up, which is it?) and worst of all, turning the St George's Cross into an uncomfortable emblem of racism. They are exactly the same (although a polar opposite) as other extremist groups like ISIS (which unlike Britain First would have you believe, are a very small minority and don't represent every Muslim in the world) by using terror as a weapon to radicalise, recruit and push their far-right agenda.

The thing I really don't understand with nationalists logic is, how many of them know someone who has worked abroad? A friend, a family member or maybe even themselves? Why is it ok for them to move and work somewhere else in the world but not for anyone to come to here? That's all an immigrant really is, someone that has moved around the planet to settle in another country like people have been doing since the beginning of time. If you lived in a country where you had no job prospects so you couldn't feed yourself or your family, wouldn't you want to leave? If you lived in a war torn violent country where you fear for your life on a daily basis, wouldn't you want to leave? If you lived in a country where government corruption meant living in an unfair and unjust society, wouldn't you want to leave? Where's the basic human feeling of empathy?

At the time in writing this article, there have been several despicable and cowardly acts of terrorism on the streets of Paris carried out by Al-Qaeda and lone wolf extremists. With the U.K also now braced on high alert for similar attacks, already my Facebook news feed (I generally block any of my 'friends' who 'like' any of it though) is being clogged with mindless Islamophobic and far-right rants. They seem to miss the obvious point that as nationalists, they are also as poisonous as extremists to society. Combating racial tension by creating even more racial tension is simply not the solution, it's just fuelling the fires of hatred on both ends of the spectrum, distracting us from real issues. If the human race really wants to survive, we need to learn to coexist and show as much enthusiasm for the planet as we do to for our made up flags.