PhilJourdan May 3, 7:12 pm @ suyts, asked me; So talk to us about UKIP. I have read some, but would like your take on their recent victories.
Ah, where to begin?
First, you have to bear in mind that I’m approaching my 70th Birthday. The brain is still active even though the body isn’t quite the athletically toned temple it once was. The reason I’ve started off with this piece of totally irrelevant information is to put whatever follows into some sort of context.
A UKIP-supporter’s profile, as seen by the MSM (LSM) and sundry lefties, would fit me to a tee; a middle-aged, white, middle-class, reactionary old git who likes to hark back to the days of Empire and Victorian values. Close, but no banana. I am, actually, working class from a long line of working class folk.
I’m a small-c conservative, who loves the progress that mankind has made over the last 50-60 years. There is no way I would wish to return even back as far as the ’80s (most of the music was crap, anyway) but there has been a more invidious attack on the sorts of values I do subscribe to.
I believe in capitalism and a true free-market economy. Only by rewarding invention, risk and personal endeavour will mankind make the beneficial improvements that enable the state (via taxes) to provide for the truly needy. The state is intrinsically incapable of picking prospective winners in the game of life because without the fear of failure, to focus the mind, true innovation is stifled. If you know that someone else is picking up the tab, why on earth would you ensure your product/service is fit for purpose? You would simply end up designing stuff to please civil servants who are totally incapable of the rational, selective thinking required for a free market culture. Top-heavy state machinery stifles innovation by creating rules designed to satisfy political agendas.
Where we have given ammunition to the commies and the useful idiots of the Occupy-type movements is in the failure to allow a true free-market economy to do its stuff. We ended up bailing out, and worse, rewarding, the very corporatists who are mistakenly seen as the epitome of capitalism. A couple of banks were allowed to fall, to placate the masses, but then $billions were pumped into the rest of them. All the various governments have done is delay the inevitable whilst ensuring the increasing wealth of the least deserving. A few token low-order employees got a nominal punishment but the big boys wandered off into the sunset, pensions tucked snugly in their back pockets.
Most of the above is, to be fair, not considered by your average man-in-the-street in quite the depth I have written. But he knows, instinctively, that something is rotten in the State of Denmark and, whilst not fully grasping the subtleties, has decided the Government and the big Corporations are getting too cosy. And he is starting to suspect that this cosiness is not working in his best interest.
Some other things are easier to define; the European Union has never been a love of the working and middle classes but, apart from the occasional piece of nonsense such as Brussels requiring bananas to be straight, the MSM has kept the worst of EU hindrance out of the public gaze. Few people realise how the British State machinery tends to double-down on various bits of regulation that Brussels sends out to members. Few realise that many other EU members have a far more selective approach to these rules; France is notorious for cherry-picking the bits it wants to implement and ignoring the bits it doesn’t like. This is one of the reasons the Westminster cabal have avoided the Referendum debate for so long; once the population gets even a hint of what’s going on they will vote OUT before the ink is dry on the ballot paper.
I suspect that two key things, in recent years, have made the man in the street take a deeper interest in the goings on in Europe. First, we have the shameful scandal of the ongoing Abu Qatada farce. The government (this one and the previous one) has been trying to get rid of this evil man for something like ten years and the extradition to Jordan keeps being over-ruled by the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights). This mob isn’t strictly part of the Brussels merry-go-round but, in a lot of peoples’ minds, it’s just part of the same setup. A little background here; note the comment towards the end of the piece about how the rest of the signatories seem to find a way around this problem.
The other key factor is the EU’s open border policy. Sold to the masses as allowing job seekers freedom of movement around the member states to find work wherever they wanted, again we see that this is another thing that doesn’t quite work as smoothly as we are told. Try getting a job in France with even high quality UK qualifications and these recognised skills are deemed not satisfactory over there. Like most EU ideas, the Law of Unintended Consequences, bit the UK hardest of all. When the Eastern European countries eventually joined, the last Labour Government managed to welcome, with open arms, several hundred thousand of these so-called workers into the country. Many came to work, it’s true, but a very large number came for the social security benefits, and other handouts, that we didn’t set qualification limitations for. Now the Labour Party is sort of, not quite, almost apologising for the unrestricted immigration they failed to control during their watch and local communities are paying the price.
Inner-city schools have high percentages of non-native pupils, many of them speaking no English, which puts the whole education system under stress. Local housing has tended to give priority to immigrants and ‘asylum seekers’ again to the detriment of local people trying to find accommodation.
Local healthcare systems are struggling with similar problems of language, high birth rates and constant pressure to meet targets.
People are realising that ‘outsiders’ have taken jobs that may have been there for themselves, or their children, and they feel aggrieved. The fact that many of these foreign workers are taking jobs that the locals probably wouldn’t have applied for is neither here nor there. It’s the perception that counts and the perception is that Europe is to blame.
This is but a short introduction on why UKIP’s time may have arrived. The anti-European Union sentiment has always had a simmering base but while the times were good, people bit the bullet and let it wash over them. But the times aren’t good and the spotlight is about to be switched on. I doubt the pro-EU people are looking forward to it.
At a more general level, I sense that people are getting fed up with your average, dissembling, patronising, rent-seeking, expenses-troughing MP who, almost without exception, has proven him/herself more than happy to line their own pockets whilst ignoring the suffering of constituents. There are exceptions, no doubt, and those who do work hard for their local communities will, unfortunately, get tarred with the same dirty brush as the bad ones. Shame but they could always vote their conscience in Parliament; so, no sympathy.
The mainstream parties used to like to force an impression of UKIP as a far-right, racist party and the ‘race’ card worked well until people had to face the day-to-day consequences of uncontrolled immigration and all of a sudden that card has started to be withdrawn but the people remember and won’t forgive those who opened the doors and added to the nation’s troubles.
At a personal level, I have no problem with purposeful immigration or granting asylum to those in need. Britain has a fine history of holding out a helping hand but we don’t like having the mickey taken.
UKIP has been drawing support from all shades of the political spectrum and this will be the biggest worry for the Whitehall mob; the old accusation that only disaffected old Tories switched to UKIP just doesn’t hold water anymore.
James Delingpole has a great series of blogs on the recent UKIP upsurge. In the comments you will see all manner of reasons why different folk want to see a change in Britain.
One final thought from me;
A curse on all their houses (except UKIP).