October 03, 2004

Kilroy-Silk: Very Scary

There's something very scary about Robert Kilroy-Silk, the former Labour MP who is now the most prominent mouthpiece for UKIP. Kilroy is a pretty old fashioned racist, who dresses up his xenophobia in a very modern way. Much in the way that Jean-Marie Le Penn has in France, Kilroy is on the verge of taking his extremist party into the mainstream. Furthermore, it seems likely that the Tories, without any kind of strategic leadership at all, will attempt to counter the threat of UKIP by moving to the right themselves. Already Michael Howard has called for a renegotiation of the European Constitution and the Mastrict Treaty, and said that the Tories would implement immigration quotas. All these policies are a direct result of the emergence of UKIP. Kilroy is right that many of the new UKIP voters are not wealthy Tories, but working class traditional Labour voters. Yet, Kilroy is winning these votes not through a positive message, but through fear. His lies mirror those in the tabloid media who have kept up a barrage of quasi-racist nonsense about Europe and Asylum over the past 5 years. However, like all extremists, Kilroy must be fought off with the truth. It's time for Labour to start countering UKIP positively - with the truth about immigration, asylum and Europe.