Regarding Barry A. Ward’s June 4 letter, “Discontent among Europeans“: Ward seems to have a hazy knowledge of history. If brutal dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini hadn’t enjoyed popular support from an ill-informed electorate, they would never have come to power. Hitler was able to wreak havoc precisely because his values reflected the sadism and xenophobia of the German lower middle class.

There is a big difference between UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and Adolf Hitler, just as there is a difference between flu and cancer. But to blame all of Britain’s problems irrationally on immigration is certainly “anti-immigrant,” whether one likes the label or not.

I fail to see the connection between immigration and the loss of green spaces, especially when Britain’s cities are hardly overcrowded by global standards.

There is much that is wrong with the European Union, but it needs to be reformed rather than destroyed. The populist stance of the UKIP has a great deal in common with U.S. right-wing libertarianism. Both appeal to ordinary people, yet their politicians really care only about the corporate elite.

If Britain pulled out of the EU, the minimum wage could be lowered and trade unions further marginalized. The standard of living would continue to fall for most people, while Farage and his champagne-swilling trans-Atlantic super-rich buddies would charge their glasses and raise a toast to a 51st state that knows how to keep workers and immigrants in their place.

jim makin

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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