Internationalist lefty Andy Burnham has UKIP in his sights this morning, vowing to “fight nationalism wherever I find it“:
“Across Europe, we have seen the rise of nationalist parties… And established parties have begun to follow suit. Here in this country, the governing party spent an election playing to English nationalism… As Labour leader, I will fight nationalism – an ugly brand of politics that seeks to divide people one from another – wherever I find it. It is a dead-end towards division, separation and conflict… Labour has been too weak in standing up to nationalism.”
Yet, after Labour lost in May, patriotic ‘purple’ Andy Burnham claimed “every single place that I went to” was concerned about immigrants. “Standing up to nationalism” meant he invited local ‘kippers to a meeting to try and win them over, saying they are “not xenophobic or racist“. His speeches echoed Farage’s “divisive” rhetoric on the train, sympathetically recounting the concerns of one anti-foreigner voter:
“When you’re at work and you have a tea break, you go into the tea room and have a chat with people. When I’m at work I have my tea break on my own because I’m the only one who speaks English”
What was that about “an ugly brand of politics”?
Burnham “raided” UKIP’s manifesto for his leadership pitch. He copied UKIP’s lines and said that “MPs all live in posher areas, don’t see what they go through and hence don’t help them“. He lifted Farage’s “metropolitan elite” buzzword. “Labour has been too weak in standing up to nationalism…”