Leavers are trying to scare people with immigration - and it's working
Somehow these complaints about a ‘Project Fear’ have become widespread while the Leave campaign is let off the hook for its own efforts to scare voters about immigration.
UKIP’s new EU campaign poster, unveiled today, is a handy symbol of the Leave campaign’s own ‘Project Fear’ – one that, unlike the Remain side’s economic projections, is essentially racist in character.
Depicting a seemingly endless line of swarthy migrants apparently marching towards Britain, (though the picture is actually migrants being marched into some god-awful holding pen on the continent). It reads:
BREAKING POINT: The EU has failed us all
We must break free of the EU and take back control of our borders.
‘Failed us all’ is of course a bit of built-in deniability, implying UKIP considers the super-scary hordes as fellow victims of the EU.
But as with the Leave camp’s crocodile tears for the unemployed in Greece, this is basically for show. The poster is quite plainly designed to frighten people about immigration – especially of the brown-skinned kind.
That the majority of immigrants to the UK are from outside the EU, that Britain is not part of the borderless Schengen Zone, that Turkey will not be joining the EU unless conditions it cannot (and will not) meet are met, will probably not sway voters impressed by this sort of appeal.
And we have the whole Leave campaign to thank for the promotion of this soft-xenophobia. Vote Leave and its Tory spokesmen have pushed the threat to public services from immigrants to every corner of the country and elevated it to become the main issue of this referendum.
This poster is simply an eloquent expression of their own fearful projections – and a symbol of the triumph of UKIPism over the British public sphere.
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.