UKIP FOUGHT THE 2015 General Election on the powerful and effective slogan, “I want my country back.” But ask the question – who do they want it back from? – and the dishonesty of the slogan becomes obvious.
The Tories have sold off Britain’s vital national assets to foreign multinational corporations with no concern for national revenue or consumer interests. A third of British gas and electricity is now owned by French companies, more than a quarter by German companies and 7% by a Spanish company.
The Tories sold off Thames Water to German company RWE who sold it on for an appreciable profit to Macquarie, an Australian company. A number of other water companies have been sold off to French giant Veolia. Part of the railways are state controlled – but it is the German, not the British, state.
On all of this UKIP were silent. And they were silent when:
» three of Britain’s leading building societies - Abbey National, Alliance and Leicester and Bradford and Bingley – were taken over by Spanish conglomerate Santander;
» Cadbury’s, Britain’s oldest chocolate manufacturer, was taken over by an American multinational;
» Boots was taken over by Stefano Pessina, who moved the headquarters to Switzerland to avoid £80m a year in tax;
» the Qatari Royal Family acquired a 26% share in Sainsburys;
» P&O was sold off to a company owned by oil sheiks based in the UAE, when the construction arm of BNFL was sold off to Toshiba of Japan and when David Cameron recently gave a major stake in Britain’s nuclear industry to the government of China;
» vast swathes of property across London are bought by Russian oligarchs, Saudi oil sheiks and Hong Kong and New York bankers, often before they are built, while working people are denied social housing.
The greatest threat to national sovereignty comes from TTIP, which gives enormous powers to multinational companies to impose their will on national governments. Yet for their talk of sovereignty, UKIP devoted only six very short paragraphs to TTIP in their 2015 election manifesto of over 70 pages.
The slogan “ I want my country back” is dishonest. The appeal of UKIP is to bigotry and prejudice, on anti-immigrant and anti-refugee propaganda and fear-mongering. They sow division in the working class, whose enemies are not immigrants or refugees but the Tories carrying out viciously anti-working class policies like the Housing Bill. In all their attacks they have the support of UKIP, who are hard-line Thatcherites and every bit as opposed to the interests of the working class as the Tory government.