For Britain

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For Britain is a UK far-right anti-Islam political party led by Anne Marie Waters (1977–).

History[edit]

UKIP's raison d'être (i.e. UK to leave the European Union) was achieved after the Brexit referendum result in 2016. This led the party to decline from securing nearly 4 million votes (12.6% vote share) at the 2015 General Election, to under 600,000 votes (1.8% vote share) at the 2017 General Election. In response, there was a UKIP leadership election, 2017Wikipedia's W.svg with several candidates standing to "save" the party by adopting a new political cause and direction. Anne Marie Waters stood as an anti-Islam candidate and wanted to change UKIP into a party like the Party For Freedom in the Netherlands to campaign against Muslim immigration and ban the Burqa; she came in second, with 21.3% of the vote share. After failing to win the leadership, she set up her own party, For Britain, taking with her a small, but sizable, amount of Islamophobic UKIP members.

Anne Marie Waters[edit]

Waters was born in Dublin, but later became a British citizen. Before her time in Ukip, she was a member of the Labour Party, standing as a councillor in 2010 and attempting to become a candidate for Parliament.[1] She then joined UKIP, campaigning against Muslim immigration, and coming second in the September 2017 leadership election with 21% of the vote to Henry Bolton's 30%.[2]

Fascist? Far-right?[edit]

Waters is a lesbian and is pro-LGBT; she is sympathetic to feminism and generally holds liberal political views, with the exception of Islam. In this sense, she is similar to Geert Wilders. Waters says that her being described as "fascist" or "far-right" is a smear. However, these are accurate descriptions in regard to her extremely intolerant and bigoted views about Islam that are not compatible with liberal democracy. For example, For Britain considers Islam incompatible with "British culture" and would deny immigrants who are practicing Muslims from entering UK, and it would ban the burqa while also implementing a policy to inform the British public "of the true teachings and practice of the Islamic religion".[3]

She has attempted to contrast Islam with Roman Catholicism, saying "We didn't import Catholicism from abroad", which is obviously untrue.[1] She claims that while the Christian Bible says many deeply unpleasant things, that doesn't matter because Christians can choose to ignore bits they don't like.[1] So not much difference between Islam and Catholicism then.

It claims to be campaigning for the votes of the working-class, and says it will rely on individual donations rather than Ukip's rich benefactors.[4] But aside from Islam its main political interest seems to be fervent support of the most extreme possible version of Brexit.[4]

White nationalism[edit]

While For Britain claims to not be about race, Waters has supported the It's Okay To Be White poster campaign and also tweeted controversial things about race, that seem to promote the white genocide conspiracy theory and are attracting white nationalists to support her party:

White culture is being erased in white majority countries.[5]
—Anne Marie Waters

Racist and white nationalist views of some For Britain members was exposed in March 2018 when Waters was interviewed on camera next to a member of the party named Anish Patel who is of ethnic minority background; when the video was uploaded to YouTube, Patel was insulted by other Britain First members in the comments as a "brown [skinned] low IQ immigrant", not realising he was a actually a party member.[6]

Supporters of For Britain on Twitter include white nationalists and neo-Nazis, including Michael Coombs.[7]

Its best-known celebrity supporter is singer-turned-crank Morrissey, who declared his support of the party in April 2018.[8] The party has received support from "Tommy Robinson", formerly of the English Defence League.[9]

Prospects[edit]

According to Hope not Hate:

The chances of For Britain developing into a legitimate electoral threat are slim. The extremeness of Waters’ beliefs, her history of engagement with far-right political projects and her association with notable far-right figures means her ability to attract any mainstream support is severely limited. Additionally, Farage’s maligning of Waters in the press has undercut some of her potential support within UKIP. For Britain seems destined to serve as little more than a vessel for the most extreme and disgruntled UKIP exiles and ex-BNP members.[10]

Nigel Farage has heavily criticized Waters, describing her as a racist.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 ‘We didn’t import Catholicism from abroad’: We meet Anne-Marie Waters, leader of For Britain, MK Citizen, 14 March 2018
  2. See the Wikipedia article on UK Independence Party leadership election, 2017.
  3. For Britain: Policy.
  4. 4.0 4.1 For Britain: The new political party launched by Ukip 'islamophobe' Anne-Marie Waters, Talk Radio (UK), Oct 12, 2017
  5. Twitter. 29 May 2017.
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4EqRaI_GwA
  7. Michael Coombs has retweeted his support for Waters and For Britain.
  8. Morrissey denounces halal meat as 'evil', and attacks May, Khan, Abbott and more, The Guardian, 17 April 2018
  9. Ukip reject Anne Marie Waters founds own far-right party, The Times, 10 October 2017
  10. Hope not Hate: Britain First
  11. Racists nearly killed Ukip this week, but we live to fight our most important battle.