Rise of right wing popularism in the UK

Yesterday I received, quite unexpectedly, a leaflet through my door from “The For Britain Movement” who up to then I had never heard of. I read their 10-point plan that covered matters like leaving the EU, reducing immigration, stopping political correctness, addressing the Islamist threat, encouraging world trade, increasing security and stopping school children from being politically indoctrinated. It even tackled areas seen more as the domain of the left, like enhancing animal welfare and protecting the NHS.

Also yesterday, a friend shared on his Facebook page a video of an ex counter terrorist police chief, raising concerns over the rise of an unnamed Far Right organisation and the threat it poses to Britain regarding its violent intentions. It all raised several questions in my mind and concerns as to what is happening in Britain, and it is difficult to know where to begin. It begged the questioned in my mind – what about the Far Left? While it may be true that unlike in the USA with its Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Southern Poverty Law Centre movements, all Soros backed organizations intent on shutting down conservative voices and sometimes violently or with malice, while we may not see the same violence from the left in the UK (although there is evidence of conservative them attacking conservative protestors), we do see a hateful backlash that goes under the mantra of being tolerant. I sense too a move toward more polarization in UK politics and a vacuum that like all vacuums is waiting to be filled, spurred on by the Brexit fiasco, Trump inspired nationalism and the rise of right leaning popularism in Europe, reacting against things like immigration and cultural disintegration.

I couldn’t help noticing with the police chief speech yet another use of the term “white supremacy”, used as is invariably the case in a pejorative sense with reference to right leaning activists. My take is this term is over used and often inaccurately, given their point is not about being superior to non whites but certain traditional values held dear, having little to do with race, are being eroded, partly due to immigration and liberal fascism. Part of the backlash is reverse racism where white people are increasingly being demonised. As for right versus left, I doubt it is that simple. There clearly is an ideological battle going on and sides are becoming entrenched. The battle could be couched in terms like: nationalist versus globalist, traditionalist versus progressive and new world order versus the resistance that has been woken up. It is difficult to predict how all this will end up, but sadly without the forces of moderation calling the shots and holding back more agenda led extreme elements it is difficult to see any outcome that is without tears.

I still don’t know much about this new party but have lived long enough to see new political parties, often labeled “far right”, come, gain support and go, to be replaced by a new party of similar ilk, mainly because the concerns the early party raised were not addressed. When it came to the 10-point plan, I would question how they would achieve this and balance this with other needs e.g. social justice, yet found myself not only agreeing in principle with the points but concurring that these are the very issues that our spineless and misguided politicians of Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem flavours are failing to address. It got me thinking of an incident some years ago when I was part of an interfaith group (that included Jews, Muslims and Christians) discussing holding a hustings ahead of the forthcoming General Election. It was generally felt we should not invite the far right party around at the time, the BNP, not wanting to give them a platform to expound what was considered to be a hateful agenda. We got round the dilemma by agreeing only to invite the main parties, which upset my UKIP friend because he rightly discerned that many of his values more closely aligned to the group than those that were held by the other candidates.

My point is the points raised by The For Britain Movement are those that concern many, are valid and need to be dealt with intelligently and not by shutting down debate due to name calling etc. Even as I look at the latest news of violence in London, Paris, Germany and Sweden, significantly by Muslim immigrants and Islamists, I realise these issues cannot be ignored or if we do it is at our peril. Speaking personally, I find it rather irksome to be shut out of the market place of reasonable discourse, just as some are trying to do with Boris Johnson of pillar box burka fame by organizations like Hope not Hate, by being accused of being a bigot, racist, Islamophobe, xenophobe etc. I also get it when those on the left feel put down by those on the right because of their concerns for social justice and equality etc. are ignored. The danger I see it is two entrenched camps that rather than addressing the issues, do more to sow distrust, bitterness and hatred. My own response is the words of Jesus “blessed are the peacemakers” and the prayer of St. Francis.

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One thought on “Rise of right wing popularism in the UK

  1. paul fox says:

    Any political party in this country that has British, or English, or even Scottish in its title, is a nationalist party, and I believe Nationalism can be dangerous. ie .”My country right or wrong”. (Not what St Francis would have said, nor the Pope)
    I have just read, Ben Elton’s book “The First Casualty” The story takes place at the time the First World War, Then known as the Great War, “The War to end all Wars”.He paints so well the hideous and atrocious killing in the trenches and battle field, the daily slaughter, over five years of over 10 million young men on all sides died, as did a million horses.All felt they were right, and had God on their side, but what came over so well is the absolute mind bending stupidity and craziness of the war. But they did not learn anything from this war. It only led on to the Second World, 21 years later. The reason for the wars was Nationalism. All counties were led to believe that they were right, and had to defend their land. After World War 2 many believe we had to cooperate with each other, and as Churchill said “Jaw, Jaw, not War War. So we have the United Nations. Despite the Cold War,and Northern Ireland, in this part or Europe we have peace, for 62 years. But Nationalism, is rearing its ugly head, here, again. Countries think they should go it alone, not cooperate, and many of our leaders and newspapers are now spinning this lie, as they did before and after the First World War. We have troubles enough with Climate Chance, polluting our planet, melting of the Arctic, flooding of many low lying countries, destruction of the Rain Forest, half the world hungry, and wanting a life like ours, so wanting to come here.So do we cooperate with each other, or do we all pull up the draw bridge, build walls, and try to kill each other?

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