By Paula Wright
Post Brexit, this is the question on everyone’s lips: Is racism on the rise in UK?
Certainly, people will be more aware of it and are eagerly looking for any evidence to support their fears. Extremists play on fear. They weaponize it. Which is why we should not allow any far right cynical agitation, to actually agitate us.
Ukip and Farage did not win Brexit. Boris Johnson, Gisela Stuart and Andrea Leadsom did. With Brexit, we can we fight rising Euro Neo-fascism head on.
The far right has been in the ascendant in the European Union for many years. It has been facilitated by EU open boarders and compounded by the refugee crisis. A vote to Remain would not have stopped this. Brexit, however, just might. It makes Farage and Ukip redundant.
Many liberals however do not see this opportunity, they are having too much fun indulging their hysteria. They consistently dismiss Brexit voters as ignorant peasants. It’s precisely this attitude which has been their undoing.
The danger in their refusal to listen to the issues of grass roots, working class voters is the danger that when people see themselves being labelled racist and xenophobic (when they aren’t) is that they then believe the racists and the xenophobes are the only ones who will listen to them. And very often, for political ends, they are.
Slander and shame are highly volatile political strategies, liable to backfire.
17 million racists did not vote for Brexit. The working classes are pragmatists – as long as they have a means to work and fulfill their responsibilities to their families – they will respect other peoples right to do the same. But it’s a two-way street.
Migration is good for any country and Brexit is not anti-immigration. But immigration under EU terms needed to be debated and renegotiated.
This is the crucial nuance – too nuanced for many educated liberals it seems who are too busy indulging their hysteria; it’s not immigration per se that is the issue, but uncontrolled and rising immigration from failing and crisis ridden EU states. Why? Because no state, not matter how seemingly thriving, has infinite resources.
The Brexit debate benefits migrants already in the UK. As the EU and the Euro continues to fail across the continent, people in these struggling states naturally gravitate to wherever appears most stable. The UK appears to be one such place. Here is the fatal flaw of open EU boarders – chaos simply moves from one country to another until that country itself buckles under the strain. It’s the fallacy of socialism.
Make no mistake, racists do exist and they want to turn Brexit to their advantage. We beat them by not allowing them to set the terms while we run around like headless chickens. We defeat them by being open and tolerant to one another – Brexit voters and Remain voters – by occupying the common middle ground. We all want stability and prosperity. The recriminations and name calling between moderates needs to stop. We hand the extremists a free pass if we don’t get a grip and work together.