Sep 272014
 

by Andy Greene

‘Look into my eyes, deep into my eyes’ the Great Farago will mean no matter what he says to the Circus of Fools that is the UKIP Conference this weekend. As he tries to pull off his latest conjuring trick on the nation: ‘We are the alternative to the status quo’.

Honestly, Nigel, give it up man. We can see the strings. As we all know, magic works best when punters are distracted by the banter from seeing what’s really going on. In this case, the banter is offensive, divisive and harmful. The great feat Farago is trying to pull off is to get you and me to believe that UKIP are alternative to the failed political institutions and systems Westminster has to offer.

They aren’t any kind of alternative. Oh yes, they’ve improved the patter. Yes, Nigel has a pint. Yes, many of them talk about the issues facing working class people across the country in a way that resonates with working class people. But those are their greatest tricks. The ones they’ve been stood in front of the mirror practising for 2 decades. But, look up their sleeves.

Because a vote for UKIP is a vote for the status quo. And worse. Much, much worse. You see what Nigel is offering – himself – as an alternative to the public school educated, bankster loving, gravy-train riding establishment is – wait for it; a gravy-train riding, publicly school educated ex-bankster! Oh and if you think ‘well, that’s just one dude, not a whole party’; then think again. Today, the Mirror tells us that over 90% of UKIP funding comes from disillusioned ex-Tory funders. Their first MP is likely to come from the by-election in Clacton – brought about by the defection of former sitting Tory MP Douglas Carswell.

Hardly the ‘alternative to the same old tired parties’ they espouse on their various national and local party websites. More a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And what of UKIP’s position on disability issues? Many disabled people don’t feel the mainstream parties have anything positive to offer amidst ideas such as work camps for long-term unemployed and disabled jobseekers, assisted suicide bills, IDS laughing his way through disability debates if he can even be bothered to stay at all and Labour determined to be ‘tough on welfare’.

When disabled people are desperately searching for someone to represent their interests against the onslaught of attacks it is not surprising that some have turned to UKIP for an answer.

But UKIP aren’t anything but bad news for disabled people.

Without a credible policy to their name (don’t take my word for it, Nigel called UKIP 2010 election policies ‘rubbish’, and their Head of Policy described them as ‘junk’), we are left with examining what they say and do in public to know their what position is on the 11 million disabled people in the UK.

‘Disabled children are a burden on the state and should be aborted as a foetus’ said Geoffrey Clark. Yes, cuddly old Geoffrey was suspended eventually, and probably loves kittens – but the fact that he thought he was in an environment where this would be deemed acceptable speaks volumes.

‘Are you Richard III?’ perma-fuckup Godfrey Bloom asked a disabled debater (I say asked, he actually interrupted the debater mid-flow) to a disabled person who happened to have a different point of view to him. Presumably, Godfrey would’ve preferred them to be kept at home, keeping the ‘sluts’ company (his word, not mine).

‘Because you are registered disabled, you will not be able to stand as a full UKIP candidate’ went the response to someone who applied to stand on behalf of the party at a previous election.

Then there’s the chilling notion of ‘supporting congregate communities for people with learning disabilities’. ‘Congregate communities?’ What, like special homes? Maybe we would call them something exciting like, camps? Maybe they should wear a special badge, just so we can identify campers? I dunno, maybe something simple like a black triangle? What could possibly go wrong?

So not only do UKIP not offer an alternative to the status quo, the attitudes their representatives show towards disabled people are even worse than anything anyone other than the most out of touch Tory councillor would dare publicly express.

Of course they will be on their best behaviour in the run up to the election. And the media will behave like a kindly uncle at Christmas patting them on the head as if its the greatest trick they’ve ever seen.

So it’s important that those of us who can see past the smoke and mirrors shout loud and expose Farago for the trickster he is.

That’s why DPAC will be marching in Doncaster this weekend, to stand up to UKIP, stand up to racism, homophobia, sexism and disabilism, to say we won’t let our communities be divided by millionaires in disguise, we will stand united and fight for a real alternative, one that UKIP definitely doesn’t offer

UKIP Tories

See also from May https://dpac.uk.net/2013/05/why-the-rise-of-ukip-is-dangerous-for-disabled-people/

and yes we know labour now say they will abolish the bedroom tax, they hadnt at the time this was written

References

http://metro.co.uk/2012/12/19/all-disabled-babies-should-be-aborted-claims-ukip-candidate-3322519/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/18/ukip-geoffrey-clark-compulsory-disability-abortion-_n_2322798.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2250114/UKIP-candidate-sparks-outrage-calling-compulsory-abortion-foetus-Downs-syndrome-spina-bifida.html

http://blog.ukipwatch.org/2005/01/ukip-scandal.html

http://www.lewes.co.uk/forum/post/ContUKIP_got_em_on_the_run/140952

Feb 172014
 

Many disabled people feel that none of the main political parties represent us: while the Condems are inflicting an unprecedented level of attack on disabled people’s rights and entitlements, we remember that it was New Labour who introduced Atos and the Work Capability Assessment and, much as Labour now tries to distance itself from the Blair and Brown years,they are failing to take a strong stand in defence of the welfare state. 

As things become ever more desperate for disabled people pushed into poverty and destitution, with independent living under greater and greater threat, people are searching for a way to escape the onslaught. One thing that is certain in these uncertain times is that UKIP is not the answer.

UKIP have undeniably rattled and inflicted defeats on the government. They have also succeeded in capturing the imagination of substantial sections of the electorate, pulling support away from the Tories. They are however nothing but bad news for disabled people.

UKIP has clearly been linked to racist, homophobic and disabilist attitudes. In December 2013 a UKIP county council candidate was investigated for advocating compulsory abortion of foetuses with spina bifida and Down’s Syndrome. Examples of racist attitudes displayed by UKIP members are too widespread to be disregarded as anomalies. The rise of a party linked so clearly to anti-equalities and intolerance of diversity is not something disabled people can afford to celebrate even when it does weaken the Tories.  

There does appear to have been a concerted effort by UKIP to reach out to disabled people’s groups to offer support and thereby contribute to building its own base. This does not mean that UKIP supports the principles of disability equality and independent living. Its policies are reactive, opportunistic and bigoted. Its focus on immigration is divisive, having the effect of shifting all the main political parties to the right, while diverting attention from the real issues, from the dismantling of the welfare state, the privatisation of the NHS and the attack on workers’ rights. They might succeed in blocking votes for the Condems but they are also holding back the development of a wider political consciousness that would actively fight for disabled people’s rights.

After the raft of benefit changes and cuts brought in from 1st April 2013 we saw real media attention focusing on welfare and a growing awareness among members of the public not yet personally affected by the cuts about the impact on disabled people – in spite of the lies and misrepresentations from Iain Duncan Smith. The rise of UKIP and their success in the elections has distracted the focus away from government attacks on the poorest and disabled members of society. Increasingly the problems caused by austerity are being blamed on government being soft on immigration instead of holding all political parties to account for the consequences of neoliberalism. 

Reposted from May 2013

Please also see Unite against Fascism web http://uaf.org.uk/

Stand up to UKIP http://standuptoukip.org/

Unite against fascism 22nd March event across Europe http://uaf.org.uk/?attachment_id=3472

All of which DPAC fully support

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