Trump shows the far-right is on the rise – but they don’t own the future

'Don't mourn - organise!' says Hope not Hate's Nick Lowles

Farage Trump

 

I switched off yesterday. I had had no sleep the night before and I was tired, but really I just couldn’t bear to watch or read about Trump’s victory in the United States.

I just shut it out of my mind, hoping it was just a bad nightmare from which I would wake. Sadly – and frighteningly – it is reality.

Today I have set off to work with a spring in my step, determined to do what I can to fight back.

We are living in deeply worrying times. Trump’s victory, following so soon after our own Brexit vote which unleashed a wave of racism and intolerance, is encouraging the far right to be bolder and more aggressive.

We are likely to see a further increase in racist violence and bullying as the haters feel more confident and legitimised.

We are also likely to see growing support for far-right parties across Europe and with forthcoming elections in Austria, France, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands – to list just a few – we could also see far-right parties/politicians increase their representation and even enter government.

More worryingly, has been the adoption of far-right ideas into the political mainstream, so that even if the parties fail to win power their ideas will.

We can shut ourselves away and get depressed. We can huddle together in our little progressive circles and social media echo chambers and moan about why people can’t see the truth – or we can get organised and do something about it. And that is what I intend to do.

But the very fact that far-right ideas are appealing and gaining traction should make us rethink our own approach. The fact that they are winning and we are not should make us accept that we are doing something wrong. Our ideas and tactics are clearly not resonating.

We must reassess how we do politics. We need to figure out how we can have a modern economic system that doesn’t throw whole communities on the scrap heap.

But the Left also needs to rethink how it engages with white working class communities so as to express genuine empathy and understanding. We need to understand the need of communities to their tradition and culture, and not appear to be meddling outsiders sneering and insulting their way of life.

Opposition to immigration and multiculturalism might be the prism through which people are increasingly expressing their discontent, but accepting that should not get us to ignore genuine grievances and anxieties.

We cannot condemn everyone who raises concerns about immigration as a racist. Some clearly are, but others have genuine concerns.

Our Fear and Hope report shows that the numbers of people with strident anti-immigrant views are declining. Many more though have concerns about the pace of change and the pressures on public services and society’s infrastructure.

Whether we agree with these concerns or not, it is vital we don’t dismiss them without a second thought and write off these people as racists.

I – like most other people – celebrate Britain’s multicultural society. But let us not kid ourselves that everything is perfect, because it is clearly not.

Our cities might not have the planned segregation of the US and racism might not be as open and acceptable as in some European countries, but too many communities live parallel lives.

There is too little interaction, understanding and empathy between communities. Rather, there is suspicion, fear and distrust. And this is not just the fault of government, public policy or racists, but accepted and encouraged by communities themselves.

I say all this because if we are to really defeat the forces of hate we have to address real problems and concerns. We need to engage with people where they are and not where we would like them to be and we have to do more to bring people of different cultures and views together to discuss and resolve the difficult issues.

And yes, that means involving people who have sharply different views to our own and finding common ground where everyone has to give a bit.

Hope not Hate will start this process by calling a weekend of action on 3 and 4 December. We will go into communities across the UK to begin a process of engagement. And we will keep going back into these communities, building links and establish trust.

Over time we will seek to address local issues and bring divided communities together. It might not provide the instant self-gratification of going on a demo or or denouncing the right on our social media echo chambers but it is far more important work.

In fact, it is the only work that is going to make any real difference in the long run.

We face a really difficult and painful few years but if we get organised, develop better policies and engage people in a more mature and non-lecturing way then we ensure that hope wins out over hate.

If we fail to do this then we have only ourselves to blame.

The far right are on the ascendency but they do not own the future.

Nick Lowles is chief executive of Hope not Hate. He Tweets @lowles_nick

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14 Responses to “Trump shows the far-right is on the rise – but they don’t own the future”

  1. Mick

    The Left doesn’t own the future either. That’s how Trump got in and the Republicans dominate the Supreme Court and Congress. Though what that has to do with communities in England, only the Left can fathom.

    Ah yes, it’s because we chose Brexit and a Tory majority last year. It’s because we buy interesting newspapers, voted UKIP to the European Parliament and don’t look likely to vote Labour in 2020.. now the Hamas-lover-in-chief runs and divides it.

    There are disenfranchised and hopeless people out there. But lefties often seem to project their view of what a victim is onto voting habits as well as domestic circumstances. We’ve often seen the wailing at how people were so ‘stupid’ as to vote Brexit. That was people already doing something about it.

    Lefties don’t resonate because they are MAD. Had PC politicians stuck to what they were invented for – sticking up for the workers – then they may still be kings on earth to this day. But they have baggage, with the latest example being Russell Brand saying he’ll bring up his child as a non gender-specific. Or in Hull, Labour wants to send its citizens to Recycling Gulag, for not washing their plastic properly before putting it out.

    THAT rubbish won’t fill bellies. THAT rubbish alienates! Abolish PC, you guys, and just WATCH the masses flock!!!

  2. GodfreyR

    Immigration, and its impact on jobs, wages, housing, NHS & local services, is the main issue for most working people. If Labour gets that right they will get back into power.

  3. Mick

    They won’t. Nick Lowles talks about coming together, talking and everybody giving a little. But as we’ve seen before, it’s still all on left wing terms.

    Whenever Labour politicians even pay lip service to the concept of immigration control or being less PC, the rest of the Left slam them for ‘pandering to racism’, etc.

    And also, when you hear moderating language eminate from the hard Left, it’s when they want something. It’s when their comfort zones are threatened and when favourite politicians begin to lose. When they’re on safer ground, like beating the BNP (which is never a hard job), they go back to acting like they set all the agenda.

  4. Michael WALKER

    Hope not Hate will start this process by calling a weekend of action on 3 and 4 December. We will go into communities across the UK to begin a process of engagement. And we will keep going back into these communities, building links and establish trust.

    I hope you are successful.

  5. Mick

    Well they will, as long as people in those communities say what they like to hear.

  6. GodfreyR

    The metropolitan establishment simply don’t like democracy.

  7. Cole

    Metropolitan establishment? Do you mean Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Michael Gove et al. They’re the establishment, along with the likes of Dacre and Murdoch.

    It’s worth reminding ourselves that Hillary Clinton actually won more votes than Trump and that the Brexit vote was incredibly close. Progressives are hardly down and out.

  8. Chester Draws

    Trump isn’t remotely far right. He’s actually been Democrat most his life.

    He’s radical. He’s populist. I would even say he’s an egotistical buffoon. But that’s not the same thing as being far right.

    The person he is most similar to is Silvio Berlusconi. Hardly the epitome of fascism. Like Le Pen (fille), he mixes economic policies that the left have often supported (protection of local industry) with isolationism (rather than straight up right wing nationalism) and anti-immigration.

    Much of the Left has decided that anyone who is strongly anti-immigration is by definition right wing, but that’s not how the world actually works. Trying to fight Trumpkins on the basis that he is far right is therefore wasting time and energy — his voters don’t perceive themselves as far right at all, so arguments directed against the far right are going to be ignored by them.

  9. Mick

    “Progressives are hardly down and out.”

    They’ve certainly lost ground and becoming ever more hysterical and prejudiced as they do.

    New Labour came to power with a LANDSLIDE majority and maintained TWO more. But then they crashed and burned. It wasn’t ‘corporate fascism’ which did for them but sheer incompetence, EU lunacy and surrender, haywire PC mania and a total disregard for the public who put faith in them.

    Make no mistake, people know that Labour and PC go together. But, among the other things, when we realised that PC was no mere well-meaning and lovable eccentricity, tomorrow’s fresh dream went sour.

  10. Mick

    ” Do you mean Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Michael Gove et al. They’re the establishment, along with the likes of Dacre and Murdoch.”

    They didn’t fall into line and say ‘Yes, master.’ Nor did Trump. We mere ‘bigoted women’, as Labour and lefties say, are too small to do that. We’re laughed at, scoffed at, ignored and even risk jail. (That guy on Twitter was put in the cells for a while and had a breakdown, just because he said he was sceptical of a Muslim woman. That enraged the Left.)

    See what I’m saying? Someone maybe to big to fall – at least for a while – gets our support.

  11. GodfreyR

    ” Brexit vote was incredibly close.”

    A majority to Leave of over 1.28 million votes was not close.

  12. Michael WALKER

    “It’s worth reminding ourselves that Hillary Clinton actually won more votes than Trump and that the Brexit vote was incredibly close. Progressives are hardly down and out.”

    Hilary Clinton managed to poll nearly 6 million fewer votes than Obama did in 2012.
    Trump managed to poll around 1.5 million fewer votes than Romney did in 2012.

    I wonder which Party is doing better?

  13. Raddiy

    ” or we can get organised and do something about it. And that is what I intend to do.”

    What are you going to do, supercharge ‘Hate not Hope’?
    Surely there are only a limited number of strange people available to wander around the country like a bunch of travelling street fools with a violent edge, and I would have thought with 32 you already have the best of the barmy available.

    You are not going to do anything Nick, because you are irrelevant to the debate, isn’t it about time you cashed in your vouchers, after all you must have done your campaigning on pointless causes apprenticeship by now, and you must be due a safe Labour seat to secure your pension.

  14. Mick

    Yes, violent these groups! I remember the EDL’s heyday, when Weyman Bennett was arrested in Bolton for orchestrating violence. Lots of little bits of intimidation and street chaos, which BNP people would have been roasted for doing a lot less.

    Lefties of this stripe love riot and defend rioters. Riots when Tories or Trump win elections, backing riots by far-left thugs at the head of miners or protesters.

    Then they claim to be doves of peace.

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