"A win for UKIP will not only remind Scots that England remains in thrall to very right wing politics tinged with racism. It will also make plain to Scots that the only way to be sure to stay in the EU is to be part of an independent Scotland..
"A massively greater risk is the crazed Little Englanders dragging the UK into leaving the EU. UKIP are rampant. The Tories are terrified of them, and have a risible position that after the next election they will renegotiate Britain’s membership, then have an in-out referendum. In fact there really is no chance that all the other member states will unanimously agree to Cameron’s demand for changes in treaties that were excruciatingly difficult to gain unanimity for in the first place. In several instances EU states would be unable to agree without a referendum, a can of worms nobody wants to open. Cameron’s renegotiated settlement can never happen, so the Tories’ European figleaf only has a couple more years to go before expiry date. Then the English will want to leave. A majority of English voters already do want to leave."
Granted, UKIP has its Looneytune element, but it's not alone and as I said in an earlier post*, outsiders who have little in common will group together simply because they are excluded; it's one of the challenges for a fringe party trying to become mainstream.
In the meantime, I don't care to be tarred with Mr Murray's carelessly-swung brush, so I say:
"Little Englander" - if readers would kindly look up the origin of this phrase, there would be more LEs, since it was used to label those who opposed empire-building and colonialism.
I am not a racist. Besides, there are and have been racists in the Labour and Conservative parties also; as to Liberals, I don't know, though they have to contend with other historic shames, as we now see.
Nor would I describe myself as remotely "right wing".
I am in favour of an EU referendum on democratic grounds. So were Margaret Thatcher, Douglas Jay, Tony Benn and Lord Blake; so was Lord Rees-Mogg, who challenged the legality of Maastricht in the courts. Ask Dennis Skinner what he thinks of the EU, though with his heart condition it would be better not to.
A little nuancing in your thoughts re UKIP would be most welcome. If Prof Alan Sked's New Deal Party gathered momentum I'd certainly be prepared to consider; until then, when the three largest parties in the UK have agreed a stitch-up on EU membership, which appears to be more in the interests of big business, bureaucracy and careerist politicians like Tony Blair who want to sell their contact book for millions after public office, don't be surprised by the popularity of an underfunded and heavily top-directed newbie like UKIP. Among the ruins of democracy in Britain, si monumentum requiris, circumspice.
* See the section headed "The madness of minorities" in "Stretching the Rainbow" (April 23rd)
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