Sunday, 28 April 2013
Send in the Clowns
Well, the UKIP hate campaign has sprung into action over the weekend with newspapers and social media all lending their shoulder to the hamster wheel of rage to dish the dirt on this happy band of fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists. To be fair, the primary sources of the criticisms fairly deserve it and it’s been a bit of an open goal on UKIP’s part, but it has also been instructive to watch the big party apparatchiks wheel out the guns of ridicule.
Support for UKIP’s home spun ideas is high. Who wouldn’t, disillusioned by the polished professional politicians marching in step to the party whip, be drawn to ordinary people expressing ordinary views that chime more honestly with the will of the electorate? So what that some of them have questionable beliefs; the official church has some downright wacky stories about sky-pixies and the afterlife yet such views are not only tolerated but venerated by many. And to criticise a religion whose beliefs are even more medieval and whose avowed intent is to convert or exterminate the infidel is tantamount to racism.
So, on balance, rooting out a few embarrassing oddballs is a small price to pay for a refreshing breath of sanity in British Politics. Ken Clarke can say what he likes about clowns but he’s often been just a pratfall away from needing a squirty flower of his own during his long, limp-wristed career. For my part, unlike Ken, I want us out of the failed and always-doomed-to-fail Socialist experiment, the European Union, not least because then our leaders would be unable to hide behind their faux helplessness in the face of Brussels diktat. And on the outside we would be free to revitalise our own economy without having to endure the raggle-taggle band of gypsies, tramps and thieves coming soon to a soviet Europe near you.
It must be a relief for the Tories and Labour to be able to poke fun at the amateurish antics of UKIP instead of, A) Trying to get the country out of the shit Labour put us in without being seen as nasty. Or, B) Coming up with a policy, any policy, that isn’t straight out of Coco’s Bumper Book of Circus Economics. Or, C) If you’re a Limp Dem, trying to work out what, if anything, you stand for at all.
“But a vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour!” cry the Tories, desperate because UKIP is looking dangerously like splitting the political centre-ground vote. Labour, too will lose votes to UKIP but not in sufficient numbers to upset their stronghold constituencies, so it’s really all for the Tories to play for and all the Eds have to do is shut the fuck up and let the others slug it out to electoral defeat. Labour’s best electoral hope is that in the ensuing entertaining melee voters will forget what a fine mess they got us into. They can rest on their Laurels and rely on their die-Hardy tribal cross-scrawlers.
“But David Cameron WILL give us an in/out referendum!” cry the Tories, knowing full well that such an undertaking is not within his gift unless the Conservatives win an outright majority and DC’s avowed and stated intention to campaign to remain firmly in the EU camp offers voters very little confidence that he would actually keep any such referendum promise. I am fifty-five years old and I am still waiting to be consulted on this issue which I believe is central to our ability to thrive in the world.
Nigel Farage has said that Ken Clarke’s comments display contempt for UK voters and if the Conservative Party wants to understand the mood in the country they would do well to heed that view. Because that is exactly how a significant proportion of the electorate feel towards all the main parties. While the Bilderbergers like Ken plot to keep the country communist, ordinary people want to know in whose name they are being sold down the river.
So, a Scotsman, a Paki and a Jew walk into a bar...
Of course it is right that UKIP should have vetted candidates more thoroughly and of course it is natural that the oddballs be outed but while all that is going on the current administration and opposition should be asking themselves just why it is that a potentially election-swinging number of ordinary voters might actually prefer a clown to a ringmaster.