If Farage’s ‘Breaking Point’ poster was intended to instil fear, it was a resounding success. The poster, for those rare few who missed it, looks like this.
This was swiftly compared with a Nazi propaganda film, intended to stoke fear about the Jewish population.
Conservative, Labour, the SNP and Lib Dems were unanimous in their condemnation of these echoes of fascism. However, it is arguable that Farage felt comfortable with such a poster considering the political context in which it was created. It should be remembered that our Prime Minister once felt that referring to migrants,fleeing war, as a “swarm” was perfectly acceptable, and denied allegations that it was dehumanising. Compassion for the suffering of a multitude of people living in dire conditions , was dismissed by Cameron as something to be feared, stoking the flames of anti-migrant sentiment when he, once again dehumanised them, calling them “a bunch of migrants” to whom the Labour leadership ‘said…could all come to Britain’. Similarly, the Conservatives felt no compunction regarding telling immigrants to “Go Home” on the side of the so-called ‘racist van’
Goldsmith’s campaign for London Mayor received a large amount of criticism for its reliance on Islamophobia, involving repeated insinuations that Khan had multiple links with extremist Muslims. The campaign was censured by Goldsmith’s own sister
, and rent-a-Tory Baroness Warsi
, but was supported by Cameron who played his own part in furthering the campaign’s key Islamophobic message, accusing an innocent Imam
of supporting ISIS . Furthermore, Cameron has accused Muslim women of creating social divisions
, and repeatedly demanded that every Muslim be responsible
for the actions of every extremist, though, up to this time, has never demanded that every Catholic be responsible for the sexual abuse of children at the hands of priests, nor did the Tories declare that every Irishman should be responsible for the actions of the IRA. And, it was 289 Tory MPs who blocked proposals for the UK to accept 3,000 unaccompanied children
fleeing war, leaving them in a situation most of us will never have to consider our own children being in.
Labour too are not without criticism. From engaging in a war on the basis of Iraq possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDS), though with evidence now showing that Blair had been informed that the country possessed a “trivial”
amount. That war led to the deaths of some 461,000 people, most of whom were Muslims and has been criticised as leading to the rise of the so-called Islamic State
, most of whose victims are also Muslim. They were the same party who introduced identity cards
, which also had shades of Nazi Germany, not forgetting that this was the also the context of ‘stop and search’ leading to harmful and discriminatory profiling
of BAME people .
UKIP’s poster is petrifying. It’s petrifying because eighteen per cent of poll respondents say they would vote for UKIP
if a general election were called tomorrow. It’s petrifying because the political hate group Britain First have received over 1.4 million ‘Likes’ on Facebook. But the most petrifying thing of all is that this behaviour is not limited to the fringes of British politics. It is ironic when the Conservatives and, to a smaller extent at present, Labour, condemn this poster, because they were among the architects of the context in which such posters could be conceived.