Friday 27 April 2012

How naïve can you get?

This week I encountered a grizzled old class warrior, a red book waving, card-carrying Marxist firebrand, who regaled me with stories of the most extraordinary deviousness and back-room dealings, secret pacts and international plots to supress the aspirations of the working man. This swivel-eyed mentalist had dates and names going back to the glory days of the seventies, charting how the wicked capitalists had systematically emasculated the unions to bring us to the current state of affairs.

Well, I’ve met, you know, “people” and I have yet to see any evidence that mankind possesses the wit or intelligence to pull off any such prolonged and above all, coordinated, scheme. More often than not, as Rab said, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an' men gang aft agley.”

BBC Question Time last night – always a rich seam of unintentional humour – presented the usual rag bag of apologists for Socialism, apologists for the present administration and the cattle-prod herded, demented loons of the audience. As per expectations, at times it descended into the familiar tit-for-tat squabbling about whose fault everything is.

The only panellist who stood out, who presented clear, unbiased-sounding arguments, who actually voiced the opinions of a good many viewers, whatever their socio-political allegiance, was Nigel Farage of UKIP. Farage consistently performs well in Brussels, he’s not afraid of a fight and he seems to be one of the few politicians with a genuine love of this country and the balls to question orthodoxy.

Subsequent Twitter-chatter revolved around the fact that neither of the two main parties really have a clue and nobody in their right minds would trust the perpetually confused Libdems, so er, what about giving UKIP a go? The main argument against was UKIP’s inexperience in government. As compared to the vast experience and impeccable credentials of the current mob of career politi-children on both sides of the house, you mean?

When Tim Martin was at school, a teacher named J D Wetherspoon told him he would never make it in business. When he started the pub chain that now bears his old teacher’s name he knew nothing about running a pub. Tim’s also a renowned Eurosceptic, on record as saying he believes the euro will collapse. I’m inclined to believe him far more readily than I am to trust the opinion of any one of the ‘experts’ who failed to prevent the global financial crisis and are currently pouring €billions into shoring up the hated Euro-fiasco.
Europe in pictures

 Conventional political wisdom says, effectively, do nothing, tinker at the margins and keep your fingers crossed that a global upswing will save us. Farage says, to hell with Europe, let’s get out and take our chances. Naïve, some say and I agree. But isn’t now exactly the right time for some naive politics? Time to disregard the complex myths of entrenched political dogma, throw away the rule book and do what feels right.

History is liberally peppered with self-made heroes who had absolutely no business going and getting successful, but did it anyway. So why not, next Thursday, give the tired old parties a bloody nose and give UKIP a chance to step up? How hard can it be, after all and what's the worst that could happen?


  1. Problem for UKIP is that on every issue other than Europe they are completely split. Put forward a view on any one issue in a UKIP meeting and you will have a raging row on your hands. Believe me, I was a member for nearly 10 years.

    Oh, and Farage isn't all he's cracked up to be. He sold out years ago.

    1. And there's the trouble with democracy.

      Plan B: Tomorrow we march on Brussels. Everybody grab a pitchfork.