Monday, 28 April 2014
Nuts in May
Wow. Who would be a politician, these days? Never anybody’s favourite ‘profession’ outright loathing of the political classes now exceeds that for used car salesmen, estate agents and even Satan himself. There may be a few stalwarts clinging to a belief that their MP is in politics through a desire to make things better – and almost all of them really are, or were, at heart – but the majority opinion is that all MPs are in some form of conspiracy to ride the gravy train to Fat Cat Central.
So, onto this UKIP ‘racism’ business: I support one single aim of UKIP – exit from the EU federal project and that’s it. Over the years I have watched developments with great interest. At every point in the European ‘journey’ the people who have benefitted were those best placed to grasp opportunities and run with them; the entrepreneurs, the employers, the lobbyists and policy advisors - all of whom would have prospered, honestly or otherwise, under almost any regime; they are people who need no help. Those who have lost out are the workers, the employed and dependent on others to create work for them. Or as I like to call them, the majority.
Nobody in full time work should need state assistance, but wage suppression, fuelled by an oversupply of labour has made it normal for working families to be propped up by benefits. This is crazy, but any dissent has been met with blatant lies about the economics of uncontrolled, low-skilled immigration and accusations of racism. It may be racist to purposefully treat ‘others’ as second-class citizens but it is absolutely not racist to harbour a belief that foreign migrants are preferred employees when you are told you can’t even get a job interview unless you speak Polish, or that local jobs are only advertised abroad.
Framing any discussion about immigration as racist and dismissing as bigots those who have genuine fears is cynical in the extreme but the media, good little poodles all, have thoroughly bought into it. Perfect, except the voters that have been abandoned by all parties are not the sensitive, soft, liberal elites of ‘that London’ (which is as foreign to them as any far off land) but the displaced, frustrated and unheard inhabitants of Britain’s former working heartlands. Now that Labour is as detached from them as the Tories, is it any wonder they gravitate towards a party which appears to speak their language and echo their concerns?
One definition of madness is said to be repeatedly carrying out an action which always delivers a negative outcome, such as banging your head against a wall. Unfortunately, some people seem unable to stop themselves. The comprehensive, cross-party, mainstream media attack on UKIP in the last week has concentrated entirely on the charge of racism, but even where this is substantiated it is not having the desired effect. In desperation they seek not to alter their approach but to blame it on darker forces – the wall isn’t crumbling but they can’t bring themselves to believe they are using the wrong tool for the job.
It’s the only explanation I can think of for the extraordinary accusation by Nick Cohen that the media has gone soft on UKIP. I urge you to read it because what Nick thinks has happened is patently absurd unless you inhabit his rarefied world. Nigel Farage is the brick wall against which the opponents of UKIP are smashing their skulls to bits. He is the wrong target, as polling seems to demonstrate, with every attack on him being perceived as an attack on ordinary working people and driving still more of them away from the two main parties.
It’s also no good saying a vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour. In fact, pursuing the racist line is far more likely to draw in more former Labour supporters - parochial working folk are naturally xenophobic - but what I find amusing is this persistence with a losing strategy. This is the most exciting election build up I’ve seen in a long while. Of course ultimately it is but a two-horse race but while neither Labour nor Conservatives have much to offer those most disadvantaged by The European Question, is it any wonder that Farage’s Army – no matter how flimsy you judge what they offer – is a tempting alternative for the disgruntled?
Hitting the wrong target.
The political classes and the metropolitan commentators SAY they get this but they demonstrate by their repeated failed smear tactics that they just don’t. One thing is for sure – whoever gets in there will be both winners and losers; Labour isn’t good for all Labour voters, the Conservatives are not universally good for Tory voters but few people vote based on what is good for them. Right now, traditional politics is in the ring and I for one hope UKIP gives it a bloody nose in May.