Reform UK, lead by Nigel Farage, has seen a rapid rise in the polls (Photo: flickr/Gage Skidmore)

It’s time to sound the alarm louder—the growth of the far right and Nigel Farage’s Reform UK threatens to become a seismic shift.

And in response, sections of the trade union and “left” movement are making compromises with the devil. Anti-racists need to react urgently.

Several opinion polls have now shown Farage’s party level with or ahead of the Tories nationally. And they confidently predict Farage will win in Clacton, Essex, where he’s running to be MP. We can’t know if the polls are reflecting reality or whether at least some of them are simply expressing the wishes of those who want to boost Reform UK.

Because of Britain’s electoral system, that doesn’t mean Reform UK will necessarily surpass the Tories’ number of MPs. But it does mean the poison that Farage pumps out will be injected even deeper into political debate.

The far right, and the fascists who cluster around them, could be on the verge of a breakthrough.

Years of state racism and Islamophobia from the Tories, unchallenged by Labour, is the crucial background to Farage’s growth. And the Tories, in an ever more desperate situation, have reached even deeper into the racist cesspit.

On Thursday they unveiled an advert purporting to believe that Labour would roll out the red carpet to “illegal immigrants” and write “welcome” in the sand on British beaches to attract them. And Labour began its election campaign with Keir Starmer’s declaration, “Read my lips—I will bring immigration numbers down. I will control our borders and make sure British businesses are helped to hire Brits first.”

Farage is taking that further with calls for “freezing non-essential immigration”, and parts of what passes for the left are following his politics eagerly.

After his manifesto launch this week, George Galloway of the Workers Party of Britain was asked about migrants and refugees coming across the Channel. Instead of kicking back against racism and pointing out that many were fleeing the devastation caused by Western imperialism, Galloway demanded more vicious measures that the Tories have dared to propose.

“Where were the ships?” he said. “The ships were in the Red Sea, in the Black Sea, in the South China Sea. The Royal Navy’s principal purpose and duty is to defend the shores of His Majesty’s realm, but they’re not doing so.

“They’re in every sea except our own sea. They are not involved in turning back illegal departures from France,” he said.

“Illegal arrivals in England, which then cost £80 a night per person, and potentially forever to the British taxpayer. We’ve got all these Royal Navy assets—the problem is they’re deployed everywhere except defending our own shores.”

Galloway claimed the French authorities are “watching migrants leave their shores”. He added, “We certainly wouldn’t allow them to leave unmolested from the beaches of France.”

He is disgustingly echoing Farage’s filth—and the language of the fascists in France.

RMT union leader Mick Lynch told an election event, “There’s a problem on the left. If working class people say there’s a problem in my town, we haven’t got enough resources to deal with an influx of people, you’ve got to deal with that. You can’t say that’s not true.”

He argued that there must be “a left response” to “the migration issue”. “If that upsets some people or is anti-woke, I don’t care.”

Organised workers and trade unions have been and must again be central to the anti-racist response we need. We need clear class politics.

How about an answer that doesn’t pander to the idea that migrants are the problem and instead targets the class enemy—the rich and the corporations. Let’s rage against the chief executives who live in obscene luxury and the billionaire class that is looting society.

A working class divided by racism will never fight effectively against the bosses and the ruling class. That means we must confront racism.

Our sisters and brothers are workers from anywhere in the world, however they come to Britain. And our enemies are those who sit at the top of society, living off the work of the rest of us.

There’s plenty of money for housing, the NHS and everything else we need if we tear down the system of profit.

These are urgent times. We need mass resistance to racism and revolutionary socialist politics at the heart of that fightback.

Join Stand Up To Racism’s campaigns, and make sure there is a mass turnout on Saturday 27 July when the fascist Tommy Robinson seeks to profit from the growth of racism during the election. And build a principled socialist opposition for now and after the election. As racism rises, no section of Labour—left or right—will be enough to deal with it.

Blame the rich, not migrants

The richest 52 families in Britain have more wealth than the poorest half of the British population—33 million people. The 52’s combined wealth is £795 billion—roughly the equivalent of giving every family in Britain £41,000.

It’s more than all the goods and services produced each year in Poland, a country with a population of almost 37 million people. Over the last 35 years, the wealth of the 200 richest families has grown from £42 billion to £711 billion, a 15 percent annual increase in real terms.

There are now 165 billionaires in the UK—there were 11 in 1989.

For Stand Up To Racism campaign materials and details of the days of action on 22 and 29 June and the demonstration on 27 July go to standuptoracism.org.uk

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