With the flood of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants that the United Kingdom Indepence Party (Ukip) predicted failing to materialise, bigots have found another scapegoats for the actual floods that hit Britain recently.
According to David Silvester, a Ukip councillor in Oxfordshire, the floods were a punishment from God for the government’s support for same-sex marriage. He claims he even wrote to David Cameron to warn him of impending disaster.
Ukip initially refused to condemn him, saying: “if the media are expecting Ukip to either condemn or condone someone’s personal religious views they will get absolutely no response.”
Silvester has now been suspended by his party, but rather than explicitly condemning him, Ukip leader Nigel Farage has focused his response on claiming that the whole episode is exaggerated and played up by the media to undermine his party.
In fact, the media is increasingly allowing Ukip to define and dominate the debate on Europe and immigration. Their ideas on those things are just as bigoted as Silvester’s homophobia.
The task of the left and the labour movement is to challenge those ideas and expose Ukip’s racism for what it is.