Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 May 2015

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Mask slips in Ukip's Euro bid

UKIP's David McNarry pictured with party leader Nigel Farage
UKIP's David McNarry pictured with party leader Nigel Farage

The comments made by Ukip's leader in Northern Ireland, David McNarry, in support of racist posters which appeared in east Belfast last week, were aimed at boosting his party's popularity by scapegoating minorities.

Mr McNarry's allegations – that 500 jobs at Harland and Wolff were given to foreign nationals – proved to be wrong. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster clarified that 200 jobs were taken by local workers, but, due to a skilled labour shortage, 200 jobs were taken by English and Scottish workers and 200 were taken by Europeans.

Harland and Wolff issued a statement clarifying that, out of its current workforce of 424, only 26 are non-UK nationals.

If Ukip was really concerned about jobs for local people, it would have had something substantial to say about it in its May election manifesto.

But it makes no mention of realistic plans for creating jobs, nor does it have any mention of regulating the banks that caused the recession.

Ukip wants to take the UK out of the EU. Their policy on flags would ensure a repeat of the 2012 riots that caused serious damage to our economy.

It also wants to disband the Housing Executive and repeal the Environment Act, but has nothing to say from a middle-class party about helping working-class Protestant boys improve their school results.

Ukip across the water is no better. A Ukip councillor blamed the floods on gay marriage. Its MEP, Godfrey Bloom, said that "no self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age". He called his party's female audience "sluts".

Another Ukip MEP, Gerard Batten, authored a paper entitled 'Confidential Draft – Dismantling Multiculturalism', which is a piece of Islamophobia.

Ukip was always labelled a single-issue party (ie Europhobia). Now it has proven it is also a party of homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, racism and sectarianism.

Mohammed Samaana is a freelance journalist based in Belfast

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