Ukip has apparently now moved up in the Great British public's esteems. Now Britain's 'third party' they provide a 'common sense' attitude to the economy, EU, crime and, if pushed, immigration.
When they talk about immigration of course, it is once again 'common sense' and they are in no way - IN NO WAY - to be taken to be mining any of the same strands of thought as the BNP, from whom they are completely different and 'moderate'.
But are they really so different?
Let's use the 2012 London Manifestos for comparison:
Ukip on immigration:
- Create more jobs for Londoners by saying 'No' to open-door immigration.
- Priority for Londoners - whatever their ethnic origin - for jobs and housing, over migrants and asylum seekers.
- Until the Government gets a grip on our borders, put a cap on the number of immigrants allowed to settle in London.
BNP on immigration:
- London is already overcrowded. We will NOT give amnesty to illegal immigrants.
- All the other political parties will let in more - we'll shut the door!
- While immigration policy is determined primarily by the EU (a key reason for our opposition to Britain's membership) and central government, we will take all measures within the Mayor's power to protect and advance the interests of indigenous Londoners and members of legally settled minorities who contribute to the common good.
Well, first, they both use the same door open/shut metaphor to refer to immigration. They both refer to prioritising Londoners (BNP emphasising that ethnic minorities who are legally settled will be included in this) although Ukip specifically refers to migrants and asylum seekers - while not referring to whether they are legal or not, nor the status of an asylum claim.
On the BNP's website they say they will:
Deport all the two million plus who are here illegally.
In the Ukip 2012 local manifesto they say they will:
Deport all illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers.
In a 2010 document called 'Restoring Britishness' Ukip refers to combating the Islamisation of Britain, also a key BNP concern. This remarkable text also reads:
Multiculturalism is another tenet of the politically correct class and has been just as
toxic to Britain. In simplified form, it is broadly the belief that people from different ethno-
religious and ethno-linguistic backgrounds can live together in the same society and that the
state is legally obliged to respect all of their cultural mores. The notion that there is, or that
there should be, a common unifying culture is denounced as 'exclusionary', and calls to
integrate are typically met with accusations that the state is issuing ultimatums to ethnic and
religious minorities. Ukip fundamentally disagrees.
Ukip will end multiculturalism and promote an all embracing uniculturalism, one which demands integration, assimilation and a commitment to British values for all UK citizens.
Ukip opposes multiculturalism and this would suggest they therefore oppose "the belief that people from different ethno-religious and ethno-linguistic backgrounds can live together in the same society." There are also constant references to creeping Marxist influence in British politics, particularly mentioning Ed and David Miliband's "Trotskyite" father Ralph as an example.
Now, of course, the BNP have their roots in far more extreme origins - through John Tyndall, the likes of the National Socialist Movement and League of Empire Loyalists were avowedly fascist or neo-nazis and were even involved in the creation of paramilitary units and involvement with Loyalist paramilitaries. And their members have been involved in far more extreme acts of outright violence such as the notorious nailbombs attacks by David Copeland.
But these are just a few comparisons and they need to be pointed out - Ukip advertises itself specifically as "non-racist" and constantly alludes to how it's cool with ethnics and all that. If you need to constantly refer to your own lack of racism in your campaign material (as the BNP does as well) then maybe you have something of a guilty conscience?
Maybe people need to think again about this 'moderate' party...