In response Denis MacShane, the left wing Labour MP, uses the old classic tactic of smearing to counter opinions he doesn't agree with:
Farage on Q Time and Griffin at the Palace. MEP extremists running the showEd West in the Telegraph has a great response here:
Ed West concludes:
He’s referring to the fact that the BNP leader was supposed to be at Buckingham Palace for a tea party today, while UKIP’s most well-known politician, Nigel Farage, will speak on BBC Question Time tonight.
Griffin, certainly, is extreme in some of his views, not just on race but also on economics, his party advocating – among many socialist plans – greater tariffs (just like the Greens, whose economic policies are almost identical).
But Farage? UKIP’s policies are available here, but I imagine MacShane is referring either to their policies on Europe or immigration.
· End uncontrolled mass immigration . Introduce an immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement
· Regain control of Britain’s borders to stop foreign criminals from entering our country
· End abuse of the UK asylum system and expel Islamic extremists
· Introduce a strict new points-based visa system and time-limited work permits
· Triple the number of UK Borders Agency staff engaged in controlling immigration (to 30,000)
And on international affairs:
· Leave the EU and continue in free trade with the other European countries. No jobs will be lost
· Establish a Commonwealth Free Trade Area with the other member countries
· Regain Britain’s currently dormant seat at the World Trade Organisation
· Promote democracy, genuine human rights and free determination around the world
Are these ideas extreme?
Wikipedia describes extremism as “a term used to describe the actions or ideologies of individuals or groups outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards”.
So what this senior Member of Parliament is saying is that anyone who advocates withdrawal from the EU is beyond the pale of common moral standards, and so their opinion must be worthless.
And yet survey after survey has shown a majority or large minority sharing the UKIP view of national independence. In a Channel 4 poll last June 39 per cent agree with the statement “The UK should withdraw completely from the European Union”, compared to 38 percent who disagreed, and 16 percent who said they neither agreed nor disagreed. Twenty two per cent agreed strongly. Most polls give a similar figure.
MacShane’s not the first, of course; David Miliband said last year that the Tories were flirting with “Euro-extremism” just by advocating joining the more sceptical European Conservatives and Reformists.
But what’s different is that MacShane is a supporter of the neocon Henry Jackson Society, which aims to promote liberal democracy around the world. How can someone hold two such conflicting ideas simultaneously? The very idea of liberal democracy is dependent on the nation-state, and that it arose in England, an independent, unified kingdom since 927, is no coincidence. No nation-state, no liberal democracy.
As Roger Scruton wrote: “Democracy involves the ability to grant a share in government to people with whom you profoundly disagree, including people of another faith. This is possible only where government is secular, and where nevertheless people revere the process of government as the expression of a shared national identity.”
And yet a small group of intellectuals following the ideas of French politician Jean Monnet and Russian philosopher Alexandre Kojève have managed to make what was once universally accepted “extremist”.
If opposing this new empire in Europe makes one an extremist, then count me in.