Far-right rise is testament to the left’s failure….

The headline-grabbing Searchlight poll should certainly be cause for concern. However, caveats should be added straight away. The poll found that 48% of people *would consider* supporting a a far-right party, if they gave up violence. Considering doing something is a completely different kettle of fish to the actual doing of something. In fact, it is an old truism of opinion pollsters that you can make people say pretty much anything but you can’t make them do anything.

It seems this question formed part of a set around issues like immigration and national identity. Answering sympathetically to those questions logically leads to the consideration of supporting the far-right. So, in that sense the headline figure is hardly surprising. In conclusion, the report wrongly cites the English Defence League as potentially the main beneficiary of its findings. A much more obvious candidate exists in UKIP to capture this mood since UKIP is without the baggage that would haunt the EDL no matter how much it tried to escape from its ‘boot-boy’ image.

The main findings of the poll show us how far things have fallen. The finding, for example, that;

A new politics of identity, culture, and nation has grown out of the politics of race and immigration, and is increasingly the opinion driver in modern British politics

is a direct reflection of the collapse of working class identity. Of course, part of this process has been the implosion of the left and the collapse of socialism in most peoples minds as offering a viable vision of an alternative society. The destruction of class identity has played a key role in the rise of the far-right and Labour, specifically New Labour, has played a large part in this process, something that even the New Statesman is forced to acknowledge:

Under Tony Blair, Labour exorcised the spectre of class from mainstream politics. This has inadvertently given racist and anti immigrant propaganda (whether from the BNP, or from more “respectable” sources) greater traction, because people no longer have a progressive framework through which to address their discontent.

While identifying economic concerns as being the primer for the rise of the far-right I think the conclusion that therefore all we need to do is better address these is disingenuous. Even if these things underpin the responses given, the fact is that expressing these fears and concerns through the creation of a cultural identity shows the need for a more sophisticated response. The left routinely raises economic demands but since it has detached itself from a living and breathing consistently democratic programme this does nothing to address a feeling of oppression and alienation couched in cultural terms. Nor does it do much to create a positive identity based around class as opposed to culture or race. Put simply, the left addresses people in the language of the lowest common denominator, ie as economic units, and does nothing to raise peoples horizons. Being brutal, the left as it currently is constituted, treats people no better than capitalism and therefore has little hope of destroying it. By contrast, the far-right offers a strong and reasonably coherent (at least superficially) group narrative and group identity which does offer the illusion of a better society.

Repairing the shattered marriage between socialism and democracy is the first step to fighting the rise of the far-right. If that is not done then this current capitalist crisis, far from causing an upswing in left-wing support, could easily lead to the reverse and to very dark places indeed.

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About darrellgoodliffe

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25 responses to “Far-right rise is testament to the left’s failure….”

  1. Gillig says :

    You ignore the fact that Liblabcon immigration policy is blatantly racist. Discriminating against the whole world except for The European Union.

    Like

  2. jim jepps says :

    I think this poll is rubbish to b honest. There is a problem with widespread racism but being far right is more than being a racist and the evidence that 48% of people would consider voting for a far right party ignors that the way people vote at present would fundammentally change, and most non-voters and on the right, and almost half the population are relaxed abot fasciism.

    i think this is nonesense

    Like

  3. James Doran says :

    As Ha-Joon Chang points out, by way of illustrating the fallacy of “free” markets, were it not for immigration controls the wages of workers in the “developed” capitalist countries would be greatly reduced by increased competition in labour markets. Hence the antipathy towards the deregulation of labour markets within the EU…

    Like

  4. darrellgoodliffe says :

    @Gillig,

    We have covered this elsewhere I believe :).

    @Jim,

    Your right it is, it involves the group identity which this report shows these people as having. People by and large don’t identify as working class, they identify as ‘white working class’ and that is a different kettle of fish entirely. I agree with you I think it over dramatises a real issue, key to remember here its origins since Searchlight has an interest in hyping things like this up, but equally I think its wrong to dismiss it out of hand.

    @James

    No, I totally disagree there. Immigration’s effect on wages is conditioned by the lack of legal status of many immigrants. Were they to be under the protection of a legal framework which, for example, guaranteed a minimum or even a living wage the effects of increased labour supply would be minimised.

    Like

  5. Gillig says :

    You are avoiding having to admit you are racist.
    If you support racist policy, you are racist.
    You don’t like the answer so you avioid the question.

    Like

  6. darrellgoodliffe says :

    @Gillig,

    No I am not. I welcome the EU policy as an objective step forward to a world without borders. You on the other hand don’t so that makes your charge of ‘racism’ highly opportunistic.

    Like

  7. Gillig says :

    Opportunistic and true. So you don’t like the question.
    You can’t deny your are racist and support racist policy, without being a hypocritical racist.
    Answer the question!
    Zenophobic “Little European” sentiments don’t excuse discriminating against the world population.

    Like

  8. darrellgoodliffe says :

    @Gillig,

    No it isnt. Your position is opportunist because your accusing somebody of racism merely to score political points. On this issue, your politics are well to the right of mine so if I am a ‘racist’ then your a fascist.

    As I have said, I welcome the EU’s open borders as a stepping stone towards open borders the world over, I acknowledge they are restrictive and criticise them for that but see them as a step in the right direction.

    Like

  9. Gillig says :

    Like it or not, you can’t deny being racist and support racist policy, without being a hypocritical racist.
    There is nothing right wing of facist about what I am saying.
    It is plain truth that you try to ignore.
    A racist policy is a step in the wrong direction.
    If you chose to support it, it is racism.
    If you pretend you have a higher purpose it is hypocritical racism.

    Like

  10. James Doran says :

    Darrell, the danger is that such a policy, if enacted, would see above-living wages pushed downwards because of the increased supply resulting from open borders.

    Like

  11. darrellgoodliffe says :

    @Gillig,

    I can do as I please, up to you to prove I am wrong.

    Ok, lets play your game. Do you support open borders?

    @James,

    If a wage provided adequately to live then I see the depression of wages in this way as less of a problem to be honest. A living wage would naturally be pegged to inflation so would reflect any changes in prices.

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  12. Gillig says :

    No.
    I want controlled immigration, non racist and non sectarian; with political asylum and humanitarian priorities. I want a democratic country where hypocritical racist politicians can’t refuse the majority a referendum about who rules them, and instead gives them a vote on how their votes are counted.

    Like

  13. Gillig says :

    @James Doran
    Labours racist open borders policy to Europe is proof positive that you are right. The gap between rich and poor is wider now than when labour first started to abuse our economy.

    Like

  14. James Doran says :

    @Gillig
    The policy wasn’t Labour’s – the UK’s entry into what was the Common Market and what became after 1992 the Single European Market was a policy of the Tory leadership, who have naturally always favoured the deregulation of capital and labour markets. Now, Labour’s leadership came to accept European integration, largely after it was embedded into the British state and economy. But the EU remains decidedly unpopular because people know who is benefitting from integration – big business.

    Like

    • Gillig says :

      @James Doran
      Thank you.
      Liblabcon’s racist open borders policy to Europe is proof positive that you are right. The gap between rich and poor is wider now than when labour first started to abuse our economy.

      Like

      • James Doran says :

        “The gap between rich and poor is wider now”

        Sure, and a lot of that has to do with the growing fortunes of those at the top. But compare the periods of economic expansion under the Tories and that transfer payments were not as great.

        Like

  15. Gillig says :

    @James Doran
    Sorry James, I am not the right person to discuss economic statistics with.
    Liblabcon and the EU are not getting it right. The Euro is doomed and the only way out is to vote UKIP. Oh and yes UKIP do have sound economic policies.

    Like

  16. James Doran says :

    Yes, but not economic policies to benefit wage-earners…

    Like

  17. Gillig says :

    I think I am about to get educated.
    Please explain.
    Its late for me, back tomorrow.

    Like

  18. James Doran says :

    From their constitution: “On withdrawal from the EU, the Party will seek free trade agreements with the EU and other countries (and /or trade blocs.)”

    In other words, it’s just back to the Common Market / EEC. So, what’s the big deal? Well, they want further and faster spending cuts than the coalition to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy (that’s who would benefit from the flat-rate of income tax they propose).

    Like

    • Gillig says :

      A couple of late additions;
      The flat rate pension proposed by Condem today, blatantly nicked from UKIP’s manifesto.
      Also don’t forget the flat rate tax ends National Insurance deductions, another tax Condem are putting up in April.

      Like

  19. Gillig says :

    With a starting position for Britain of free and fair trade with the rest of the planet; We see groups like the EU, countries like Canada and a looser grouping of less organised countries,( we could call them a commonwealth.) As for the EU, our balance of trade gives us the advantage in any trade agreement, and we would be free of their straight bananas bent bureaucracy.
    The size of the cuts is simple maths.
    The speed is opinion, mine is; the faster the better if the cuts are made in the right areas.
    Cut the EU.
    Reduce the civil service.
    Reduce the upper house and parliament.
    Reduce councils, currently: – Parish, town, borough, district, city and county. (And the other one everyone forgets).
    Reduce foreign aid.
    Double defence spending and adjust your spreadsheet.
    Next infrastructure. No more windmills, self sufficiency through nuclear power.
    Last and only if necessary, cuts to public services.
    “Tax cuts for the wealthy.” The wealthy can and do avoid tax, it can cost more to catch them than you get back, but isn’t it great when one gets banged up.
    40% flat rate is a significant tax increase for the average wage earner. Raising the tax threshold to the minimum wage is plain common sense.
    Beware of propaganda. Big business including media is run by accountants and tax experts. A lot of them would become redundant with a simpler system. Alistair Darlings expenses included a claim for tax advice.

    Like

  20. Gillig says :

    Like it or not, you can’t deny being racist and support racist policy, without being a hypocritical racist.
    There is nothing right wing of facist about what I am saying.
    It is plain truth that you try to ignore.
    A racist policy is a step in the wrong direction.
    If you chose to support it, it is racism.
    If you pretend you have a higher purpose it is hypocritical racism.
    You are avoiding having to admit you are racist.
    You don’t like the answer so you avioid the question.

    Like

  21. darrellgoodliffe says :

    @Gillig,

    *Rolls eyes* and so it goes on in ever decreaseing circles….how can a supporter of open borders, the democratic right of free movement for *all* people be racist? A supporter of a policy of freezing immigration for five years on the other hand….

    Like

  22. Gillig says :

    If you want to stop I will accept in writing your admission that you support a racist immigration policy.
    UKIP’s policy is not racist and not the question.
    Stop avioding the question.
    Answer the question.

    Like

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