Friday, September 21, 2012

UKIP Launch The Pantomime Season

The panto season seems to come around quicker each year, perhaps it's my age. Today sees the start of the 2012 UKIP panto in Birmingham. You'll know UKIP, their leader Nigel Farage has a comedy routine that goes something like this:

Farage: "UKIP is Britain's third political party!"

Electorate: "Oh no you're not!"

But once people reach a certain age they believe in Farage's UKIP about as much as they believe in Aladdin or Cinderella.

The problem for the Eurosceptics in this country is that they have failed to realise that the electorate, although increasingly Eurosceptic, vote in UK elections on a whole range of issues and will not ignore health, education, law and order etc by voting for a single issue party such as UKIP.

Thus a single issue party will pick up votes in elections that aren't seen as important, the European Parliament elections, where they can make an impact as people protest vote for a party they wouldn't normally vote for. Couple that with a high level of abstinence and proportional representation system and hey presto, you win a few seats, which has given UKIP a fig leaf of electoral respectability.

But if you look at it logically we all know what is behind the fig leaf. In UK elections UKIP continue to fail dismally with Nigel Farage losing in Buckingham in the general election of 2010 coming in behind an independent, Europhile, former Tory MEP. I've said it before and I'll say it again that most of UKIP's councillors are co-opted town/parish councillors or defectors from other parties who rarely retain their seats when they defend them.

We all know that MEPs are a waste of time with no power or serious responsibility. Most people in the UK couldn't even name one of their MEPs and many don't even know that there are only around 76 MEPs for the UK with as many as 9 representing a region rather than a traditional single representative for a one man constituency.

Sadly the Eurosceptic movement in the UK has been seduced by the very organisation it claims to want to leave. Eurosceptic MEPs receive huge salaries and allowances, are surrounded by highly paid assistants and enjoy living the life of a politico without the responsibility. Once they have tasted that lifestyle most of them look at the real world and don't want to return to it.

It is quite apt therefore, that the political panto season should be launched by UKIP.


Edward Spalton said...

I was active in UKIP from 1994 to 2000.
Going through some old papers recently, I came across the election manifesto of 1997. It was far from single issue and had many sensible, well thought out, moderate policies. Of course the party was tiny at the time and could not make its voice heard.

UKIP was destabilised in 1999/2000 and it is a reasonable inference from the circumstances and from a thorough investigations by "Notes from the Borderland" that HM Spooks and their little helpers were involved. Lord Tebbit said as much at the time and that the Referendum party had been infiltrated too.

Since then, the leadership has failed to develop and project a credible positive vision, frequently making significant policy changes on the hoof without consulting the members.

There are many more ex members of UKIP than members, who share the aim expressed in the party's title.

Even Peter Kellner of YouGov (Mr. Catherine Ashton) said today that UKIP will probably come first in the next EU election. Westminster is the only place that really counts and it remains to be seen whether it can get its act together sufficiently for enough people to make a positive vote for UKIP there rather than a protest vote in the EU election.

Gregg said...

Thank you for that. I joined, after being in the Anti Federalist league in the 1990s, in 2000 but walked away in 2008 finally resigning my membership in 2009.

Part of the problem is that the membership cannot agree on a chesive set of policies as hatred of the EU is all that unites them. If Farage explained to the average member what real libertarianism is then most of them would be in uproar, which is why he keeps it at the basic level of opposing the smoking ban and pub closures.

Sadly Farage is a great part of UKIP's problem. But they have nobody to replace him.

Gregg said...

Apologies for the typos etc above. I shouldn't respond to comments when I'm in a rush!