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The Reform Party and the UK’s lurch towards fascism

I posted an earlier version of this a while back - inspired to do update following THAT discussion about all things ULEZ. 

The “manifesto”, in terms of transport, only mentions stopping HS2, but there’s plenty on the usual right-wing obsessions: Brexit, immigration, veterans and climate change.  I had another look because I worry about the ongoing decline of the two main political parties. 

If the Cons stay wedded to Brexit, then we will go into the next GE with all the widespread impoverishment Brexit has ushered in - not helped by Covid, Putin, etc. People generally vote according to their pockets.  I don’t get Labour’s current position on Europe either, but let’s see how that evolves, and even the Cons may also evolve, or even pivot, but time is already running out for them.

Several roads now lead to the horrors of a further lurch to the right in this country.  Let’s hope Labour get the GE landslide the polls are predicting - but we’re still at least a year out from the real campaigning beginning. 

A cycling angle? With the Reform Party and its ilk, Facebook Steve and Nextdoor Dave attain real political influence. It’s not spelt out in the manifesto, but you can see where this is probably heading and what it is likely to mean for cycling.  You can bet that this lot are very much "on the side of hard working drivers" etc. 

As you all know, Dave’s going to “sort the traffic” and no doubt show them lazy planners how it’s done: Steve thinks the Council are corrupt, the police blinkered and is, if he can fit it in to his busy schedule he’s going to “teach them Lycra’s a thing or two.” It won’t concern him that his Mondeo is 3 months out of MoT or that Mrs Steve sometimes drives the kids in it uninsured. 

As vulnerable road users, vulnerable people, we rely a great deal on the rule of law for protection. The rule of law means that we understand what the laws are, they are in general fair, and how they are applied and to whom is even-handed and consistent. 

The fascist position is broadly the opposite - it’s all off-the-cuff to support today’s particular agenda - that’s why the Iain Duncan-Smith “happy to see ULEZ infra vandalised” comment is, as an example, so very worrying.  In the Conservatives, here is a party happy to send signals to enable the mob to attack RNLI stations, beat up immigrants, shout at teachers, doctors etc. 

This right-wing stuff works by allowing/enabling significant privileged groups to to think of themselves as the downtrodden underdog and here is a way to fight back.  The pro Brexit campaign played on people’s ignorance, fears and prejudices exactly as this does. 

It’s all about freedom, innit, less regulation, less tax burden, and damn the climate.  There’s more polar bears now, so it’s fine.  Let’s have open-cast coal mining, lithium mining and fracking. The section on climate change stumbles around like a Friday night drunk, trying to explain he wasn't being racist to the barman - a denier position emerges, unsurprisingly.

In places, the mask really slips: “We must keep divisive woke ideologies such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender ideology out of the classroom.” - to be honest, I don’t even know what those two are.

The standard enemies are put up - the civil service, the BBC.  Amid all the thrust and parry, there’s nothing  about making a better, more inclusive and cohesive world to live in; arts, sports and culture don’t feature in this barstool view of the world: a dullard’s grim vision.

Don’t be a member of the wrong sort of minority would be my advice, should any of this come to pass. 
 

https://www.reformparty.uk/reformisessential

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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144 comments

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hawkinspeter | 3 days ago
5 likes

I'll just leave this here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cjmmrwexv4ko

Quote:

A Reform UK candidate claimed the country would be "far better" if it had "taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality" instead of fighting the Nazis in World War Two.

Ian Gribbin, the party's candidate in Bexhill and Battle, also wrote online that women were the "sponging gender" and should be "deprived of health care".

In posts from 2022 on the Unherd magazine website, seen by the BBC, he said Winston Churchill was "abysmal" and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Reform spokesman said the comments were not "endorsements" but "written with an eye to inconvenient perspectives and truths", while his remarks about women were "tongue in cheek".

Mr Gribbin declined to comment.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 3 days ago
2 likes

Just bantz.  It was all taken out of context anyway (the Daily Stormer).

Gribbin - that's close to "Griffin"? - anyway, any excuse for this old chestnut.

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wtjs replied to hawkinspeter | 3 days ago
5 likes

A Reform spokesman said the comments were not "endorsements" but "written with an eye to inconvenient perspectives and truths", while his remarks about women were "tongue in cheek"

That's what people like the haggard Telegraph fashion journo always say, after they have declared that they would like to kill all cyclists. Hilarious wit, isn't it?

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Hirsute | 3 days ago
4 likes

Looking into someone's published online comments and material is now

“Offence archaeology”

"or as it’s more commonly known, a background check."

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Wingguy replied to Hirsute | 3 days ago
5 likes

Hirsute wrote:

Looking into someone's published online comments and material is now

“Offence archaeology”

Well look - they did go back a whole (checks notes) two years. That's three Prime Ministers ago! I wouldn't expect a young whippersnapper like you to understand the sea change in British cultural attitudes in the couple of seasons since BoJo last quaffed a bit of wine in the Downing Street gardens but it's hard to overstate how common it was to suggest being on the side of the holocaust back in those olden days.

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David9694 | 4 days ago
4 likes

The document I linked in the OP has grown into a 32 page "contract." Know your place, everyone, there's zero in here about making a better, nicer world or community.  This is all about sorting out them others, them over there. 

As predicted, we now have:

"Stop the War on Motorists. Legislate to ban all ULEZ and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. We will scrap bans on selling petrol and diesel cars and scrap legal requirements for manufacturers to sell electric cars."

Otherwise, its a curious mix of bar room talk e.g. "There are too many shirkers and skivers while many with disabilities work hard and pay tax." or "Tackle Youth Crime. Reopen High Intensity Training Camps for young offenders to teach basic education, teamwork and values. Military veterans can provide role models. This model worked at Thorn Cross in the 1990s." 

and several pledges to solve long-standing problems e.g.:  "More Bobbies on the Beat. Ensure that police return to the beat and use better technology to stop wasting time on paperwork."

The obsession with military figures to sort everything out continues.  

on Brexit, "An out-of-touch political elite is still obstructing the biggest democratic mandate in our history." (If you're interest in out-of-touch elites, see also: "Integrate Mental Health Services with Job Seeking Pathways. Britain's young people are in the grip of a mental health crisis. Work is a cure not a cause.") and

"Slash Business Red Tape. The Brexit Bonus. Scrap thousands of laws that hold back British business and damage productivity, including employment laws that make it riskier to hire people."

That sounds a lot like scaling back on protection from unfair dismissal to me.  

The fact-free confusion around climate breakdown as great as ever:

"We are better to adapt to warming, rather than pretend we can stop it. Up to 10 times more people die of cold than warmth. In Roman Britain some 2,000 years ago, it was 2 degrees warmer than now. Grapes for wine were grown in Yorkshire.  CO2 is essential for photosynthesis to enable plant growth."

Critical Race Theory in schools is still there (thanks for the earlier help on that).  That's one of several non-problems addressed in the "contract."

Oh look, tax relief for private education and private healthcare.

Silent still on arts and culture - as I said before, a dullard's grim vision. 

https://assets.nationbuilder.com/reformuk/pages/253/attachments/original...

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chrisonabike replied to David9694 | 4 days ago
1 like

A Churchill at home and a Chamberlain abroad... (isn't he rather a fan of Mr. Putin, or at least his style)?

At this point - life imitating comedy - they seem to be just straight-up copying Al Murray's pub landlord.  Except of course Murray couldn't help making his character a bit likeable and reasonable to his target audience (those on the other side to Farage et al).

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mdavidford replied to David9694 | 4 days ago
1 like

Couldn't we just argue that their contract is unenforceable, due to misrepresentation and unconscionability?

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 4 days ago
1 like

They're flirting (?) with the far out, so let them have a bending-the-logic fight about "contracts" and "sovereignty" with the even-further-out Freemen-type folks.

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brooksby | 1 week ago
8 likes

I haven't read down the 131 comments so please forgive me if this has been raised before.

"Reform UK" is a private limited company.  Farage is not it's leader so much as it's director and owner - business occupation "Leader Of A Political Party".

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/11694875

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Tom_77 | 1 week ago
5 likes

Do I want to spend every Friday for the next five years in Clacton?

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ktache replied to Tom_77 | 1 week ago
9 likes

Lactose for the intolerant.

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Rendel Harris replied to ktache | 1 week ago
3 likes

ktache wrote:

Lactose for the intolerant.

Chapeau. Or chaplait.

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Hirsute | 1 week ago
7 likes

Colin from Portsmouth is on the line

https://x.com/Exploding_Heads/status/1797953342892863607

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Manchestercyclist | 1 week ago
3 likes

It's easy to be dismissive of oversupply of labour when you're not the one losing out. Perhaps people should consider for a moment those without the protection of a higher education (degree for instance). Wages are largely determined by supply and demand just like prices, the UK has seen an unprescedented  surge in supply of labour in the last 20/25 years, the only reason wages didn't drop further is the artificial construct of a minimum wage. 

I work in an industry that requires a degree and a post graduate qualifacation so I've gained from cheap labour in other industries, many of you will be in a similar situation. Now spare a thought for those who are still on minimum wage and can not withdraw their labour to demand higher wages or better conditions because they can be easily replaced. It's no coincidence that wages rose in recent years when the supply has been restricted. 

On a separate note my mother/father-in-law both came to the UK in their fifties, they worked low ages jobs and contributed virtually no tax whatsoever, then  used the NHS extensively, one of them was in hospital with high needs for months. They took out more from the system in those few months than they contributed in decades. One of their parents came to the UK at 65, got a free flat in Ealing and never worked a day in her life (she had enormous amounts of land and property abroad).

I have never voted for UKIP or the like but I can understand why some people do. It's a form of snobbishness to sugest anyone who wants better wages is a fool.

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Simon E replied to Manchestercyclist | 1 week ago
7 likes

Manchestercyclist wrote:

It's easy to be dismissive of oversupply of labour when you're not the one losing out. Perhaps people should consider for a moment those without the protection of a higher education (degree for instance).

Lots of people with Honours degrees don't end up in well paid jobs. I'm one, I have always been low paid/underpaid and my qualifications have never insulated me from competition. I have relatives, friends and colleagues who will say the same. Nowadays a degree is such a common thing that I don't see how they can confer any real advantage in the wider job market.

People think immigration is a problem because it's constantly in the media (compare and contrast with road crime). However, my employer has been trying to recruit office staff and it seems that at the moment, in Shropshire at least, there is a dire shortage of people who are literate, competent and willing to do straighforward office admin work. The few people who applied or were forwarded by an agency were shockingly bad.

Manchestercyclist wrote:

Wages are largely determined by supply and demand just like prices

For a very large number of people in the UK wages are determined by the National Minimum/Living Wage (which was opposed by the Tories, of course). We have seen the difficulty that the RMT have had fighting for low-paid railway network workers while Royal Mail staff were not striking because they are highly educated or overpaid but because the senior management are willing to resort to extreme measures to make the business 'profitable'. There are plenty more examples.

As for "taking more out of the system than they put in", that applies to a very large proportion of the population, not only the ones who move here from poor countries. People with long term chronic health conditions and those who have life-changing accidents requiring massive amounts of rehab and adapted/supported living, for example. I know people younger than me that can't speak, can't walk etc and require lots of support (both due to car crashes in their early 20s) and one who had a stroke in his 30s and is almost bed-bound. He never even got a good enough salary to start paying off his student loan.

Social care is the biggest cost for every council but many of the people whose care they pay for won't have worked for many years; some will have disabilities or mental health issues that mean they could not ever work. Should we treat them the same as some want to treat immigrants? My wife worked as a mental health support worker for a number of years earning ~50p more than the minimum wage (shifts including weekends, bank holidays etc for no extra) doing a job that the vast majority of people, including clever-dicks like you and me with degrees etc, could not do.

It's a similar story in the NHS, we pay our doctors and nurses poorly so many of them leave while people who trained overseas (sometimes to higher standards than in UK colleges) come here to work. And pay taxes. Just search online about the cost to the NHS of agency and bank staff due to shortages.

Smokers never pay enough tax to pay for smoking-related diseases while fuel duty, VED and other taxes levied on motor vehicles etc won't cancel out the damage they cause.

Manchestercyclist wrote:

I have never voted for UKIP or the like but I can understand why some people do.

UKIP / Reform has no intention of delivering or even influencing a larger party to provide better wages. Their sole aim is to find scapegoats and divide people, not to offer solutions.

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Manchestercyclist replied to Simon E | 1 week ago
1 like

Immigration is not the issue but the 'quality' of immigration, even Farage didn't suggest no immigration (but net zero). A points system is the most effective way of getting young/well educated people who contribute the most and engage with society. Perhaps the situation you descibe also brings up the problem of segregation whereby people come to Britain but to specific areas, Shropshire is beautiful (I often holiday there) but it's not demographically diverse for the most part (Telford is the exception and recent news will give some idea about how well that's gone). It probably wouldn't matter is another million people arrived in Britain tomorrow and lot of them are not going to leave the areas that are populated by their 'kin'. 

There is also the issue of social cohesion that is negatively impacted by the rate of immigration and the mindset of those coming to britain. Sectarianism is largely regarded as a negative thing, but I'd argue that there are new social groups in Britain desire such a situation, my own mother-in-law was against any mixed race relationships and only knew people of the same ethnicity after several decades (she would frequently say dreadful things about other ethnic groups). If you need any evidence of this then a visit to Oldham/Rochdale/Leicester will be enlightening. 

You suggest that lots of people take out more than they put in, this is of course correct, but that's no reason to increase that, better surely to recruit the best and data is easily avaliable for a govenment to increase the odds of getting those people.

 https://www.reddit.com/r/ScienceUncensored/comments/1565sti/average_net_....

UK plc needs to remain profitable and like any company it needs employees who get on with their colleagues, turn up for work and share the 'ethos'. 

 

I don't want this to get acrimonius so if you reply I will leave it there, the whole topic is so horrid these days I'd rather move on, but thank you for your well thought out and polite reply.

 

 

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Simon E replied to Manchestercyclist | 4 days ago
6 likes

If you are willing to believe and quote the utterings of racist & xenophobe Nigel Farage and his cohort then there isn't really anything I can say to help you.

Shropshire may not resemble Rochdale but it is probably not the harmonious, happy place you might imagine.

Social cohesion and the threat of immigrants to it is a bit of a myth. Successive governments since 1979 have deliberately chipped away at what we might call social cohesion because it's much better for them to have the 'little people' blaming each other instead of seeing the common enemy they have in the rich, who exploit them all at every opportunity.

If you wish to blame immigrants for this country's ills then I suspect you, like many, have swallowed the venomous stuff printed and spoken by much the British MSM for many decades, even centuries, and will likely remain bitter and angry at the wrong people for the rest of your life; even though those people work just as hard and contribute to the economy and cultural life of the UK as anyone else.

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Rendel Harris replied to Manchestercyclist | 4 days ago
7 likes

Manchestercyclist wrote:

Immigration is not the issue but the 'quality' of immigration, even Farage didn't suggest no immigration (but net zero).

Translation of what Farage means by "quality" of immigration: rich white folks seeking a safe shelter for frequently ill-gotten gains good, poor black folks seeking a safe shelter from war, torture and oppression bad.

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brooksby | 1 week ago
2 likes

I think that the problem is not Reform UK / Brexit Party / UKIP per se (they only ever seem to get MPs by Conservatives crossing the floor), but the problem is how they have dragged the whole British political discourse further and further right.  The Conservatives aren't exactly conservative any more - they are pretty radical, but right wing radical.  Labour has followed them rightwards because they think that being right (ish) wing is the only way to get into power (maybe it is) and they seem to be working on purging anyone left of centre.

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David9694 | 1 week ago
2 likes

Well, here we are with a month to go to a GE. Labour are riding high in the polls, Conservatives are going to struggle to get more than 100 MPs and Farage is standing in Clacton. The battle for the soul (???) to the right continues.

immigration continues to be a focus, whether driven by good old racism or xenophobia, "they're taking all our jobs" or concern about over-population. I don't think the first two are the universal vote-winners the far right think they are. 

Overpopulation interests me - that feeling of oppression one gets in a busy "people everywhere" environment. I'm not a fan of crowds myself.  Anyway, here's my formula for why it's an issue:

concern about over population = feeling of oppression by constantly 'busy' environment = too many cars

Yep, it's cars making you feel this way. 

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Hirsute replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
1 like

Local rag is full of Clacton stories.

"We need a putin" has been posted by 2 people. Brains addled by drugs I assume.

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chrisonabike replied to Hirsute | 1 week ago
4 likes

Hirsute wrote:

Local rag is full of Clacton stories.

"We need a putin" has been posted by 2 people. Brains addled by drugs I assume.

According to the Russian polls he's very popular...

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mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 1 week ago
2 likes

chrisonabike wrote:

Hirsute wrote:

Local rag is full of Clacton stories.

"We need a putin" has been posted by 2 people. Brains addled by drugs I assume.

According to the Russian polls he's very popular...

According to the Poles, though, not so much.

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wycombewheeler replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
1 like

David9694 wrote:

concern about over population = feeling of oppression by constantly 'busy' environment = too many cars

Yep, it's cars making you feel this way. 

Overpopulation isn't only about being in crowded areas, we could easily build enough to meet the population needs without becoming more crowded. 

Residential is either 1.3% or 6.2% depending on whether you include gardens, so an extra 20% of housing could easily be accomdated in the land. (easily if you ignore all the nimbys opposing any new houses where they live) although of course we haven't been building housing and house prices and rents have outstripped inflation/wages for decades. This more than anything else probably drives the objection to immigration. People who are already struggling to pay their rent will not want more demand on housing.

But we don't grow enough food for the current population, never mind more people. We also import energy both in the form of gas an electricity. Certain areas of the country are also designated as being under water resources stress. More people exacerbates all these issues

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David9694 | 9 months ago
2 likes

Death, sex, religion and helmets politics - how many people, beholden to 1950s books on good manners are still being oh so British about these topics? When these issue do eventually force their way to the surface, it often gets out of hand because as a people are out of practice in handling them.  It's like when we're called on as a nation to dance and sing. 

We get the politics and government that we invest in. I can hear my old Gran saying things like "there's people starving in Africa" and "worse things have happened at sea" -  funny to think that the current defence of 10 years of Tory government draws largely on her collection of stoic sayings.

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mattw | 9 months ago
1 like

"I think we're about to be taken over by Reform UK at the next Election".

"They are down there ... let me help"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3GJycgu-cs

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perce | 9 months ago
2 likes

''In the year of Darkness (what happened to them?) 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the future by changing the past''. Only six years to go then.

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chrisonabike replied to perce | 9 months ago
1 like
perce wrote:

''In the year of Darkness (what happened to them?) 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the future by changing the past''. Only six years to go then.

It's not over until the bells end?

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mark1a replied to perce | 9 months ago
2 likes

perce wrote:

''In the year of Darkness (what happened to them?) 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the future by changing the past''. Only six years to go then.

Nah, that timeline is now way out, 2029 is based on the fact that Skynet became self-aware in 1997.

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