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Quick photoblog: UKIP posters

by Sassafras Thu Apr 1st, 2010 at 09:48:52 AM EST

I live in Peterborough, England, though officially a city, effectively a medium sized provincial town.

An urban centre surrounded by agricultural land, we've seen a sufficiently large influx of immigration from central Europe to have become the national shorthand for the issue.

Inevitably, anti-immigration campaigners are trying to capitalise on this.  But somebody is fighting back.


UKIP has been running a local poster campaign.

I posted here my disgust the first time I saw the posters, and the fact that a non-white colleague was racially abused the same day.

Here's the poster in its original form:

On a different site, somebody has some blunt words:

Around the corner:

I wasn't quite sure why the overwriting was in different colours, but a local asked me why I was taking photographs, and then told me the whole story.  The poster was first overwritten with "hysteria", but that part of the poster was then torn down, presumably by a UKIP supporter.  Then the original?? overwriter returned to repair it.  Just not in the same colour paint  ;).

It's all rather entertaining, but the back and forth of the defacement speaks of real tensions in the community-tensions UKIP is willing to create in order to exploit.

Display:
Im waiting for the election to be declared so I can formally complain to the electoral commission about those posters

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 1st, 2010 at 09:51:56 AM EST
I remember being told that, during election season, there is a truce declared by the parties about defacing each others' posters.

I wonder if that applies to UKIP.

Posters are ceasing to be useful messages these days, too prone to internet mickey-taking and graffiti improvements.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 1st, 2010 at 11:14:14 AM EST
I wonder, though, who would deface a UKIP campaign poster?

This is a marginal seat, currently held by Swimming Pool Stu, that is, the Conservative Stuart Jackson MP, who feels entitled to categorise his outraged constituents as "whingers and moaners".

Heck, I should be out campaigning for UKIP in order to split the Tory vote...

by Sassafras on Thu Apr 1st, 2010 at 11:48:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the prospects of the UKIP seriously splitting the Tory vote and effecting the general election outcome?  I haven't seen any decent opinion poll data and their likely impact at constituency level.  Are they seen as an acceptable alternative to the BNP by people concerned about immigration?  Are they seen as a viable alternative to the Tories by right-wingers who don't like Tory toffs?  Where will the right wing working class vote go?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 07:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They wouldn't have to split the Tory vote by much in this constituency.  The (current, Conservative) MP's majority is less than 3000, and he wouldn't have his seat but for a personal vote against the previous, deeply unpopular, Labour MP.

As ever, in the UK, a lot is about class.  The BNP is working class, and even unpleasant rags like the Daily Mail therefore feel obliged to rail against them. UKIP is a more Daily Mail demographic, the "acceptable" face of racism. But, yes, I'd say they're more a threat (in terms of vote transference) to the Tories than to Labour.

by Sassafras on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 07:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UKIP is usually only successful in European Parliament elections where it takes a chunk of the most rabidly Eurosceptic Tory vote. Unless Euroscepticism becomes a campaign issue I don't see the UKIP becoming an effective spoiler against the Tories.

The BNP is a different beast, polling consistently across elections.

I'd say there's also a class-based distinction with the BNP appealing to a "lower" class than the UKIP. The latter is more nationalistic and less openly racist.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 09:40:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UKIP have stated that they will not contest seats with euro-skeptic conservative MPs. But even if they do contest them, you have to remember that most seats in a general election the total vote of all other parties combined does not equal the winning candidate's. The incumbent party will win in that seat nearly every time, some seats have remained politically static for centuries.

Only 100 - 150 seats are really in play with perhaps half that number changing hands, and in such circumstances people like their vote to count and so will not vote for marginal parties.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 10:24:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So is there any analysis anywhere of the 100 seats in play and the likely players, swing factors, local issues, strong candidates and any opinion polling data?  It seems quite difficult to get hard data or real local analysis on UK politics other than the bland national polls and dodgy conversions into likely seat numbers.  How do people decide who are the real players at local level and ths avoid wasting their vote?  Is tactical voting really all that prevalent and isn't the relative abstention rate the most likely swing factor in many instances?.

In NI I wasn't able to find a single poll in advance of the Europeans on which to base informed comment!

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 10:41:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure that information is available to the parties and any other interested party who can stump up the cash for the private polling info.

Also I'm pretty sure the media know exactly which seats are in play during an election. But everybody in the game wants to maintain the fiction that every vote counts and so you'll never see anyone discuss the fact that 450 - 500 seats will return the same party as currently holds them, the same party that has held them for several parliaments.

So, the only way to know is to trawl through websites such as the BBC and, wherever there's a majority of less than 5,000 for the current govt, make an assumption that it's in play. Any seat with a majority of less than 2,000 is definitely gonna move over.

I don't know about tactical voting, I know I have tried hard to talk to people about the necessity of voting against what you hate, but many prefer to vote for the party they like believing that democracy is compromised if they think too hard about being effective.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 03:44:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberal Conspiracy » Not-racists and the `England Is Full' meme

I've blogged before on tactics that opponents of immigration use to portray themselves as motivated by factors other than racism, including faux concern for the working man (but only the British-born working man) and lies about pressure on public services.

Another popular one is "we'd love to take more people, but we're full".

An obvious retort to the definitely-not-racist [*] person raising this point is "err, the UK has the 51st highest population density in the world at 255 people/square km, behind Belgium, India, the Netherlands and the Philippines, and barely any higher than Germany or Italy". This can be suffixed with ", you dolt" if required.

This is unlikely to convince most not-racist types.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 1st, 2010 at 01:05:00 PM EST
As I've noted previously, half the population of the UK live within 100 miles of London. So, for that portion of the population, there is an overwhelming impression of the country being crowded, because the south east really is. The rest of the country is correspondingly empty.

One can moan forever that a proper government would be doing something about this, but our politicians decided against bothering with proper government decades ago. Mostly opting for military wastage and cashing in personally.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 1st, 2010 at 03:17:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
campaign slogan.

It worked in the Netherlands, notably in the able hands of Pim Fortuyn. Immitation being the highest form of flattery.

We can call people dolts, but then, that doesn't much address their concerns, which unless we are prepared to, makes us dolts as well.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 03:06:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The PP in Spain has begun making noises about Spain being "full", too.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 09:49:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From an employment perspective, any country that has adopted the unemployment policy of of mainstream foolishness can always be claimed to be full.

As long as there is unemployment that is proof that there is not enough jobs. If unemployment sinks to much, central bank raises rents until economic activity slows down. So there is always unemployment, thus never enough jobs, thus "we're full".

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 02:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
instinctively an issue for mainstream left parties to shy away from.

The fact of the matter is, if you are working class, you are far more likely to be threatened, and this includes the quality of earnings of your livelihood, by unfettered imigration than other classes tend to be, though of course the middle-classes are not entirely immune. (The wealthy and the professional classes, on the other hand, are often sheltered, albeit for different reasons...and perhaps slightly less so in English-speaking countries)

This isn't particularly complicated...and some mainstream left parties, notably the Socialist Party in the Netherlands, which had a positively break-through election in NL's last parliamentary elections (not speaking for the last), have caught on and are tuning in to the working class voters they purport to wish to represent.

Perhaps it is that in other countries, the mainstream left parties have been captured by the professional classes who have been largely sheltered from the effects of immigration? Small wonder, in a country like the UK, with no proper outlet for working class voters (they are given short shrift by all parties, really) that a UKIP comes in to fill the void.

That the void exists is not an indictment of those who would waste a vote on UKIP. It is an indictment of the lack of representation of working class voters for over a generation in that country.  

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 03:01:09 AM EST
The fact of the matter is, if you are working class, you are far more likely to be threatened, and this includes the quality of earnings of your livelihood, by unfettered imigration

What exactly do you mean?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 03:43:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your wages are depressed, your employment made more precarious, your bouts of unemployment more persistent, just speaking to livelihood. Add to this the future livelihood of your children, themselves impacted by the quality of education they get and which tends to deteriorate in inverse proportion to the time schoolmasters need to focus on integration-related tasks.

This all being the existential underpinnings of the angst which tends to manifest itself on the surface as complaints about "differentness" (smells, different personal dress, personal insecurity, overcrowded housing in the apartment next door, et c.)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 05:19:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
an issue for mainstream left parties to shy away from.

yes, that is a thorny one.

i guess a simple 'who's going to do the shitwork and feed in taxes to pay for your retirement' just ain't gonna fly...

or even 'they're people, and they deserve the same breaks' either.

stumped for words about that little issue, while stumping away anyway.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 04:35:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
really called shit work.

Pay a worker a decent wage, and there is no such thing as shit work.

Of course, if the elite class has determined an employ to be shit work and refuses to pay the prevailing, living wage (and therefore imports workers to fill the jobs at lower levels of pay they determine the work to be worth), then all of a sudden, there is such a thing as a shit job.

The Paris metro, in the dark of the middle of the night, is being entirely refurbished, at sub-standard wages, and in scandalous conditions, by illegal immigrants.

I for one am not so glad the Socialist (and unabashedly Liberal) mayor of Paris is looking out for the interests of his (mostly wealthy) taxpayers by exploiting illegal workers to make his underground as pretty as the floral show on the Champs-Elysées for Christmas, and thereby both screwing the illegal workers laboring dangerously for peanuts, and undermining the rights of legal workers everywhere in Ile-de-France...

This reality is as it is because we accept it, not because it needs to be.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 05:28:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
c'est un scaaandale!!

paris getting globalised, innit?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 3rd, 2010 at 08:04:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The BNP fills the void you speak of in the UK. The UKIP is mostly an extra-rabidly eurosceptic splinter of the Tories.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 09:43:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you see jobs as a limited pool, then immigration increases competition for them. If you see a certain unemployment as a policy choice upheld by the central bank, those with a weak position should consider if it would not be good to get someone weaker then them in the mix. Finland also has unemployment, but lacking proper immigrants (except a few somalis) most of them are palest white. But soc-dems can not say that, it would break the illusion that they will bring jobs after the election.

Otherwise you can view labor as a resource, consider the capitalist economic system as an enemy and want the workers of the world to unite. But that is so 20th century.

All in all, I would say that the soc-dems lack of politics on immigration is due to a general lack of economic vision. I think they should start to fight the BNPs and FNs by actually challenging them, building organization in those strongholds that are situated within worker neighborhoods, but then they would need some vision, some narrative, some ideas (other then "we are less bad then the conservative/christ-dem").

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 04:09:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
If you see jobs as a limited pool, then immigration increases competition for them.

An argument ive always seen as dubious at best.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 07:41:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SocDems have a general economic vision, have had one for the past generation. It's called "Third Way," and it's basically neo-liberalism with sheep's clothing, usually hiding out in mainstream left parties, often times dominating them until they are run into the ground (I note in passing the Social Dems in both Germany and the Netherlands are at or near record lows in the polls, unsurprisingly as they have turned their backs on the people they are supposed to represent).

They are run into the ground because they have an economic vision, one which has little or nothing to offer to working class people, unless you mean stagnating wages, higher precarity of employment in exchange for more "flexibility" (ie work harder for lower pay) and lower levels of social insurance (diminished unemployment insurance, shrinking pensions, delayed retirement dates, wage concessions and so forth).

It is against this backdrop that you expect your SocDems, liberals in the main, to speak to working class people about their fears of...what? Unemployment, inability to provide for their families, the feeling of worthlessness coming from long-term joblessness, the attendant ills (alcoholism, anti-social behavior, criminality) which come from being excluded. And, when excluded in one's own country, all the while waves of immigration, into one's own working class neighborhoods no less, people with different customs sometimes hostile to their own, well, I think you know what comes next...and I really don't think, after the past generation of SocDem dithering and abandonment of the working class, that your lot have much to offer to this particular class.

Now, you may view labor as something other than a resource, and consider the market as the be all and end all of how the worth of a man or a woman is established, and think that such a market, with your SocDem's guiding hand softening the blow, will be delivering jobs and prosperity to one and all, there will be no rising inequality, there will be a job and a pension for young and old. But, we both know this is a fantasy, as the record generally shows. A fantasy which is, yes indeed, so very 20th century.

A livelihood is a right, a worker able to respect himself or herself after a day's work, and provide for his or her family...that's a right too. When this right is recognized, you'll get somewhere with those who are supposed to be your core voters. But, those of us with families, those of us who indeed have gone through a fair bit of joblessness, know better than to trust your lot with our futures. It's a generation now and counting of sell-outs, broken promises, greater inequality, greater joblessness, less rights in the workplace, and lower wages. And, all across the continent, you are just as liable to see Social Democracy delivering this result as you are to see the Right.

And meanwhile, the immigration continues. Ostensibly to fill jobs that no European will take. Unless of course it paid at the prevailing, market wage which would have obtained were it not for the immigration. And, just as inexorably, an EU-based agro-alimentary multinational dumps low-cost food into Africa, undercutting local farmers who eventually sell out to...the same agro-alimentary concerns...and trek north for jobs, to feed the families they used to feed with income from their farms. And the wealthy get rich as they are coming, and the wealthy get rich as they are going, and working people on both continents are getting screwed. (And if you get this parable, that's what was meant, ultimately, by the "workers of the word unite" phrase you deride, I've just updated it for the new, inter-continental version of the phenomenon already in effect in the mid-19th century in continental Europe.)

Meanwhile, your guys are still trying to buy a clue, which is normal...in your tops-down party organizations, as a rule you are not working class, you do not know precarity, stagnating income reducing one's child's prospects is not a problem you deal with, housing and personal security are not concerns....

     

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Apr 3rd, 2010 at 04:37:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hungary will hold elections in one week, and a real hardcore far-right party (BNP's Hungarian ally Jobbik) looks set to receive double digits, so I had a knot in the stomach about what they will defile streets with. But so far, there was nothing racist or xenophobic on their posters (only threatening talk about the People's Fist and such towards the government).

In earlier elections, defiling others' posters has been a far-right speciality, unfortunately. Particularly bad were the 2002 elections, when practically all giant posters of the liberal party in Budapest were smeared with anti-semitic slogans in a timespan of days.

There is actually a law against defiling or removing other parties' posters, but the practice is common even among party activists. Just this past week, a Jobbik activist was captured in the act of removing a cardboard poster of another party, with half a dozen in the hold of his car already. (I note that Jobbik's own cardboard posters in my town, hanging on makeshift bars put on electric masts, appear to be illegal. But there was never much control of this, either.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 03:42:56 AM EST
a real hardcore far-right party (BNP's Hungarian ally Jobbik) looks set to receive double digits

As a rule of thumb, I'd say 1/6 of the vote going to xenophobic parties should be considered 'normal' in Europe. It's when they start polling above 20% and becoming the second largest party (or the first!) as in the Swiss SVP or Wilders in the Netherlands that one can talk about something anomalous going on.

Often this vote will be hidden in mainstream right-wing parties and the explicitly senophobic options remain marginal (as in Spain) but it doesn't mean that 1/6 of the voters aren't xenophobes.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 09:49:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Based on the polls, Jobbik has a decent chance of becoming the second party, and a slight chance of passing 20%. In addition, Jobbik's success is a failure of the main right-wing party to integrate the total right-wing spectrum that was not for lack of trying: they have anti-Gypsy and anti-semitic idiots on-board, too, so the circle is wider than Jobbik. But wait for my election diary next week for some more details.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 2nd, 2010 at 01:25:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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