IT SEEMS apt that Ukip’s failure to gain its first member of parliament (Newark by-election) occurred on the 70th anniversary of D-Day when we consider the historical roots of the European Union.
It was the determination of Europeans to prevent any future repeat of the slaughter and destruction of the Second World War that gave birth to a mutual co-operation, which has endured for seven decades. Current dissatisfaction with the EU may have put a severe strain on that co-operation, but we must never forget why this mutuality of interest remains so important.
That is why the triumph of far-right parties in the European Parliament elections is greatly concerning. The politics of scapegoating and intolerance have just received the endorsement of hundreds of thousands of voters throughout Europe, including Scotland, many of whom have no idea what they’re unleashing. I’m afraid that anyone who believes that a vote for Ukip is merely a morally neutral vote for freedom from the influence of Europe is sadly mistaken.
Ukip proclaims itself to be “non-racist”, which begs the question: what other UK party feels the need to make such a pronouncement?
Conscious of the controversial nature of many of Ukip’s views, Nigel Farage has disowned all of its 2010 manifesto policies, but a disclaimer that used to appear on the Ukip website declared that, though manifestos from previous elections “should not be regarded as statements of current policy”, they do “show our broad principles”. We should take heed of his words.
Broughty Ferry, Dundee