Stand Up to UKIP with #TUSC

8th December 2014

Stand up to UKIP by opposing their politics of division and despair with TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) and a fight against cuts and austerity. This was the message that Swansea and West Wales Socialist Party members took along with the Swansea TUSC banner, to the counter-protest at UKIP’s conference in Margam Park on Saturday (6 December).

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There were over a hundred people on the counter protest and Scabby Rat, UNITE’s inflatable veteran of many anti-blacklisting demos, also put in an appearance. All the real rats though were in Margam Orangery. There was little sign of the so-called people’s army at this event as a slow trickle of Chelsea tractors and smart saloons ferried suited ‘delegates’ (although this was billed as a conference, places were still being advertised for sale on the day of the event) in the obligatory UKIP ties through police lines.

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A long line up of trade union officials and political representatives spoke at the Stand Up to UKIP rally, pointing out the extreme racism of many of UKIP’s local and national public figures. The UKIP candidate for Swansea West recently put out a leaflet blaming multiculturalism for terrorism and child abuse – too much even for his own party who were forced to state publicly that it was “inappropriate” although they refused to take disciplinary action.

Unfortunately mainstream parties have helped to legitimise a number of UKIP’s positions. Speaking as a prospective parliamentary candidate for TUSC, I explained that anti-migrant worker sentiment is being fuelled by mainstream parties engaging in a competition to see who can deny migrant workers the most rights. I agreed with Swansea West Labour MP, Geraint Davies, when he said that racism breeds off poverty and misery but pointed out that Labour was committed to continuing Tory cuts. This I said, is why TUSC is needed, to provide an alternative to austerity – the best way of opposing UKIP in the long run – and called on those opposing UKIP and austerity to help us build TUSC’s historic no-cuts challenge in May.

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