by Kevin Meagher
David Cameron famously described UKIP members as a collection of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”. But are they fascist too? This is the question being posed by campaign group Hope Not Hate.
It is asking its supporters whether their successful efforts at taking on the far right in the shape of the BNP and English Defence League since 2004 should now extend to UKIP ahead of next year’s European elections.
“Should we begin to oppose them or should we stick to extremist groups like the BNP?’ they ask on their website:
‘The case for opposing UKIP:
‘UKIP is increasingly taking an anti-immigrant tone and as anti-racists we cannot ignore that. They are whipping up fears over new immigration and as we approach next year’s European Elections this will even get worse.
“The growing support for UKIP is scaring the mainstream parties and it will push them to adopt more hard line policies on immigration and multiculturalism. We need to prevent this and offer a positive alternative to the politics of hate and division.
‘The case against opposing UKIP:
‘We might not like some of UKIP’s policies but they are not a fascist or far right party. They are embedded to the democratic system and have more in common with the right wing of the Conservative Party than the fascists of the BNP. And, despite their current anti-immigrant rhetoric, they are still basically a single issue party.”