The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sour Grapes?

This sounds bad. I don't feel particularly British today. I actually feel a little like how a Muslim must feel if he accidentally walks into the middle of an EDL rally. I'm down on life in general, but I'm appalled at my fellow Brits and I'm appalled at the state of British politics when (not even thinly-disguised) racists get 139+ councillors elected and send a message out to the country that despite what some of us thought, we're actually becoming polarised to the extreme. There is a percentage of people who seem to care about the plight of the poor and disenfranchised and a percentage who care about the environment; but, it appears the rest of us, in the wake of Thatcher's death, have embraced the 'fuck you' culture again or, as I believe is more the case, has highlighted the fact that an awful lot of the population are selfish, self-serving, ignorant buffoons.

As if to highlight this, a UKIP candidate for the county elections branded the Labour Party as a bunch of Nazis, which, to be fair, had it been said in a very public forum rather than just a UKIP Facebook page might have got some reaction from the press, but this person, standing as a councillor either has no idea what Nazism is or is just fucking stupid (or both). He didn't win, but he got 3rd in his ward (out of 6). 800+ people voted for him...

One of the newly elected UKIP councillors in Basildon finished last with 46 votes in 2005 as a BNP candidate. While former MP Tony Clarke was campaigning for the Green Party during the run-up to Thursday's voting debacle met people who were torn between voting labour and voting UKIP. What? Shall I vote for a traditionally leftish party or shall I vote for Nigel 'Hitler' Farage's party? The two parties couldn't be much farther apart in terms of ideology, yet the ignorant buffoons of the voting world have grown so disillusioned with party politics that they no longer know what they want or how they want it; they will vote for the person who ticks enough of their own small-minded and probably bigoted beliefs.

Take for instance this campaign by UKIP based on national issues, which they can have little or no control over, specifically about immigrants. Apparently we have far too many in our country and they're stealing the jobs, benefits and housing of real deserving British people. What amazes me is that none of the major parties has even addressed this spurious and frankly wrong fact (is it because the playground gossip has made this a FACT now and the parties are scared of not being believed by an increasing percentage of society? Say a lie for long enough and you start to believe it) and nor has the press - well the Guardian has - but only 800,000 people read that paper (we really are a tiny minority). It doesn't serve the interests of the right wing press to 'explain' anything; they'd rather the people remained ignorant of the facts so they can manipulate them the way they always have. Independent research and collation of figures puts the immigrant population in this country at much less than 1million people; a tiny percentage of these people are claiming whatever benefits they are allowed - mainly child benefits - and the percentage of people claiming child benefit for a child that doesn't live here is actually ZERO, despite what the Daily Mail and UKIP will have you believe.

Of course, there's 'evidence' and there's anecdotal evidence. I have tonnes of anecdotal evidence, such as when I worked in Corby and was told by the unemployed kids that they can't get jobs because the Poles have them all; but when jobs became available in factories or around Corby - the jobs they accused the Eastern Europeans of stealing - none of them wanted to work at these low paid, demeaning jobs. "I'm nay putting my hand down someone's toilet for that kind of money," said one 18-year-old who probably will never get a job, even if he's forced to do one. Plus, all of these neo-racists who are calling for a cull on immigrants should be looking at the employers first and foremost, because they will employ Eastern Europeans because they work harder, earn less, want less rights and in some cases they can be abused whereas Brits can't.

You'd have a pint with him,
but would you really want him running the country?
Take for instance the Lincolnshire farmer who lambasted the new UKIP councillors in his local elections for promising to drive out migrant workers to ensure the jobs are there for English people. "We employ foreign workers because they will be paid less and work longer hours. No local people want these jobs, we've advertised for years; for British people it screws up their benefits and frankly they just don't want to do it. You can't force them to do a job like this." Or look at some of their 'policies', such as banning maternity leave, allowing smoking in public places, cutting the tax for the highest earners, implementing a 20p in the pound tax rate, with no allowances for the poor. The problem is UKIP and Farage appeal to the working class man and yet his party's position is one of right wing - Tory boy - politics dressed up in 1970s styled bonhomme. There are also UKIP's other 'policies', ones that will appeal to the (bigoted) working class bloke - the banning of gay marriage, the revoking of certain human rights and as was discussed on a number of UKIP forums on social media the removal from the country of any foreign national who is not skilled in his trade or whose job can be done by a British worker.

Plus there are the lies or prefabrication of the truth. Already UKIP have fallen foul of some watchdogs because of claims with no basis in reality; or the party's claim that the UK government pays Europe £53million a day to, as they say, subsidise policies to stymie UK growth. The real figure is still a staggering £19million a day, but naturally UKIP doesn't tell you what that £19m a day 'buys' us in terms of better debt repayment rates etc. UKIP talks like the UK is mired in the EU, being dragged down by it, but the truth is the opposite; we are already on the margins of a united Europe - Cameron prefers it that way - so we're not stymied at all by it, we kind of still do our own thing regardless of Merkel, Hollande and co and we actually benefit from it more than it bothers us. Plus our retail prices are much lower than they would be if we weren't in it.

UKIP benefited from the fact that at least a quarter of the country is fed up with politics and the 3 main parties. The Tories probably think if they can get the UKIP voters they can win an election, but UKIP voters are not just right wingers; I'd hazard a guess and say that a lot of them are just ignorant (like the UKIP candidate who claimed Labour were a bunch of Nazis) and it seems that someone, somewhere isn't taking advantage of this the way they could have and allowed a bunch of amateurs to steal a political march.

The sad truth about politics at the moment is no one has any real faith in Cameron and co; people are frightened of Ed Milliband (for a variety of reasons) or think he's just not statesman enough and the Libdems are finished for a generation - they were the ones who have suffered at Mervyn King's forecast of political pariahs the most and Tories must be grateful for idiots like Clegg and Danny Alexander because they're not finished like many thought they would be.

The Tories need to stabilise the economy, even if they have to spend money; so that isn't going to happen. Labour needs to seriously think about the Milliband effect and that is he is as much a liability as Neil Kinnock was. Replacing him in the next couple of months would be the wisest decision and then getting Yvette Cooper in to replace him would be the most forward thinking the party has been for years. Clegg will I reckon walk across the floor - he'll go Tory, but not until he loses his Sheffield Hallam seat and is staring at the political abyss with just a safe Tory seat being offered. And the rest? They might get re-elected and might possibly serve on some form of coalition because if you transfer Thursday's result into a general election, we'd have a massive hung parliament with UKIP possibly holding the balance of power.

There is only one thing I can think of that's worse than death - a Tory/UKIP coalition - there really would be nothing left...