UKIP’s ‘bonkers’ policy on Europe is not why it is still here and prospering…

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So, we have to talk about UKIP. First up, their policy on Europe is bonkers. (If you want local proof of why just listen back to the BBCNI Spotlight debate and the poor way Jim Allister answered the question of what would happen to CAP payments to small farmers after a Brixit).

Yet policy is not the point of UKIP. Or at least it’s not why it’s still here and prospering. There are many contributing factors to its rise and rise, not least the overindulgence of the mainstream press of a party based on such bonkers notions.

But more directly they are speaking in very direct and understandable English to ordinary working class people. It was clear from the coverage from Portsmouth Council last that they were eating into the base of all three parties, much to the distress of them all.

And it is clear that from local to national none of them have a clue what to do about. Jacob Rees Mogg’s suggestion of a coupon election (where Tories would stand down in favour of UKIP candidates to let them in) has all the hallmarks of backbencher moral panic.

Labour will have its best EP showing on Sunday for a very long time. But that may be simply the equivalent of a man stepping out of a hole rather than starting to climb a hill. They became a clear pro EU choice merely by refusing to talk about it.

They are going to get discounted too (which is why Cameron won’t be panicking as much as his own bank-benchers just yet). Think Gordon Brown’s dismissal of ‘that bigoted woman‘ in Rochdale.

It all comes back to the Political Trilemma

…“the political trilemma of the world economy”: economic globalization, political democracy, and the nation-state are mutually irreconcilable. We can have at most two at one time. Democracy is compatible with national sovereignty only if we restrict globalization.

If we push for globalization while retaining the nation-state, we must jettison democracy. And if we want democracy along with globalization, we must shove the nation-state aside and strive for greater international governance.

It’s not problem easily resolved, and it’s not as simple as calling individuals racist or even calling their policies bonkers. They may have difficulties appealing to “the cultured the educated and the young”, but that won’t get the mainstream of the hook they’ve impailed themselves on…

Jean-Claude Juncker

“We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.”

  • iluvni

    “So, we have to talk about UKIP. First up, their policy on Europe is bonkers. (If you want local proof of why just listen back to the BBCNI Spotlight debate and the poor way Jim Allister answered the question of what would happen to CAP payments to small farmers after a Brixit).”

    So, to damn UKIP you refer to the reply from the TUV candidate?

  • Mick Fealty

    No, despite the headline, I’m not damning UKIP.

    I am saying that that argument of getting out of Europe is bonkers (because of its general economic effects), but I perfectly see why it resonates. And I most certainly do not believe that people who back it are stupid..

    The gap lies in the divergent values of many hard working independent ‘poor’ and the current political elite.

  • Mick Fealty

    Why else do you think SF have taken to “putting on the poor mouth…” They saw this stuff coming much earlier than anyone else locally…

  • Jagdip

    UKIP “earthquake” in Britain – up 86 seats at present (still just 96 seats out of 1,400 declared but a dramatic springboard for GE2015.)

    How come the Brits have already declared over one third of their seats. What were our lot doing since 10pm last night?

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    In NI farmers a bit more important than in England. Was part of some research about 15 years ago finding ‘rural’ constituencies in England/Wales. Even then, only 10 had 25% non-urban and only one, Monmouthshire, at 40%. And Urban is description of built environment, and does not include commuters, second homes etc. ‘Farming’ in England/Wales marginal.

    CAP is a political issue, not an economic or production one. NZ ended all subsidies and we still have NZ lamb etc. There is no practical reason why we need farming subsidies.

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    On the wider economic argument ref Europe, have heard lots of counter claims, but nothing convincing in or out. Probably a bigger problem for the ‘in’ argument because without an answer all UKIP has to do is bring doubt, which seems to have been a fairly successful tactic.

  • DogInTheStreet

    I voted UKIP and I tell you why.

    I see the LibLabCon Party (three wings of the one party in my opinion) as completely out of touch with the hopes and fears of ordinary people. Their MP’s and frontbenchers are now a de facto ruling cadre, an impregnable ruling class comprised of millionaires, Oxbridge types, Public School types,Politics, Philosophy and Economics graduates who have never lived from pay cheque to pay cheque who have had gilded lives working as political researchers and not having any experience of what life is like for the plebs like me.

    They are a metropolitan ‘liberal’ elite but nothing about them is liberal. Express a concern about uncontrolled immigration and they call you a racist. Want to leave the EU and you’re a nutcase.

    I’ve no issue with immigration per se when it to fill skilled jobs where there is a shortage of skills in the country. I have an issue with immigration when it fills unskilled positions that could be filled by unemployed people (of whatever race) who already live in the country. This depresses wages and in many cases makes it hard for those already here to find work. Through no fault of the immigrants (who I don’t blame), they move into low-cost low-rent areas amongst a population who aren’t used or aren’t prepared to live with foreign neighbours.

    It’s ok for the likes of us who I’d say went to university and have worked abroad as I have and have mixed with and befriended many people from many nationalities and walks of life who have no problem with this but we are a minority.

    Most people in this country are not that educated, don’t have gilded careers nor have had the opportunity to move around. They are quite ordinary, unsophisticated even and may not be the kind of people one would invite to a dinner party as their conversation may be a little ripe, trite and dull.

    But they are people and they do have feelings and their own world view and for the past 40 years, they have been increasingly ignored, patronized, ridiculed, lampooned, castigated and belittled.

    And they have had enough.

    I grew up in the 60′s and 70′s and I remember when the voices of the old, the not so pretty, the not so trendy and the working classes were common place on radio, TV and in the press.

    Not anymore. The demographics I have listed are nowhere to be seen or heard anymore. No-one cares for the middle aged, the old, the poor anymore. They don’t drink frothy drinks in Starbucks and probably haven’t used iPhones. The media scorn their opinions and their needs and today, we have a Westminster which only serves the interests and needs of a gilded few.

    Only some years ago did we hear a Labour politican say ‘we are all middle class now.’ Hazel Blears I think it was. In her world, everyone lived in a big house, had children named Rachel, Matthew and Simon who all went to Oxford of course, had a nanny, went on holidays and money in the bank. She and her ilk never lived amongst or as a working person with daily struggles. Of course in Planet Middle Class, ordinary people are aliens with strange uncouth ways so why bother with them?

    The rot started when Labour stopped being a party of the poor, weak, voiceless and vulnerable and old and sick and became a party of intellectual minority driven agendas. Tories slowly but surely joined the bandwagon.

    We live in a country where all I hear every day is gay marriage this and gay marriage that as if its the last problem the country has to solve. To a single parent who chooses between putting the lights on or feeding her child a can of beans, gay marriage means nothing. To the married couple who can’t afford their mortgage payments without skipping meals, gay marriage means nothing. To the middle aged who see their pensions vanish before their eyes, gay marriage means nothing.

    It is these people who have enough and yesterday they voted accordingly and more of them will see now that real change is possible.

    That’s why I voted UKIP and will do so again.

  • DogInTheStreet

    I’ve nothing against gay marriage I hasten to add but considering the state the country is in, it’s like spending the day discussing what colour to paint the bathroom when there’s no money to fill the fridge or cupboards. The priorities of the elite are not those off the ordinary people.

  • DC

    It’s as much about a crisis of democratic capitalism as about control and the ability to control things democratically.

    UKIP is a symptom of this disease, this loss of control, the loss of relevance in politics – the inability of local, regional and national democracy to control things of importance to a majority of people.

    EU complicates the economic globalization debate somewhat as it restricts control over other issues – social policy, immigration and labour market, environmental regulation.

    Elephant in the room financial capitalism and the way it operates and western economies just about functioning by living off debt and the debt servicing ability of its financial institutions, its bailed out banks.

    Re voter turnout – I believe one of the reasons why working class voter turnout is low is that those voters know the democracy thing i.e. turning up to vote and have your say, is already so rule bound and in line with middle class liberal elite values that such voters believe there is no hope in breaking free of those restrictions. Incidentally perhaps it is a bit like the public sector and civil service where I bet 9 times out of 10 people are disciplined or pulled up over behavioural issues than actual competence to do the job effectively, which might require a bit of rudeness, crudeness, direct talking and perhaps head banging to get things done right. Where is the working class in the civil service these days? I tell you where – they’ve largely all been outsourced.

  • Greenflag

    @ Dog in the Street ,

    Well said and for the very same reasons I will vote SF -first time ever -in the Republic .

    As you say the rot started in the UK when the Labour Party gave up being the party of the voiceless and instead became just another front for the established corporate financial interest that rules the UK . London as Financialstan doesn’t need the rest of England much less the rest of the UK to prosper .

    Ditto in the Republic Irish Labour have abandoned their working class support and have become a copy of the UK Labour Party – FF have lost all credibility and may never recover their former glory and FG have reverted if not to corporate fascism then heading in that direction .

    And it’s not just the UK or Ireland that we see this trend ,

    Our so called elected leaders have abandoned democracy in favour of plutocrcy .That has been their answer to what Mick refers to above as the political trilemma that effects all developed and developing democracies .

    While neither UKIP nor SF have provided ‘answers ‘ to the trilemma at this stage it hardly matters . What will now be perceived as a ‘protest vote ‘ may end up as something much more radical if the established politicians continue to ignore the unheard half of their populations .

    1917 & 1930′s come again ?

    ‘The priorities of the elite are not those off the ordinary people.’

    They never were historically anyway . What is different today is that former national elites have become ‘international ‘ elites and instead of going to jail for criminal offences they get fined and /or community service – The ordinary people go to jail .

    Neither Westminster nor the Dail nor Brussels nor Washington DC seem bothered by the rising tide of discontent . Why should they .Every member of the US Congress is a millionaire and every incumbent is almost assured re-election given gerrymandered constituencies . Rotten boroughs come again :(

  • Greenflag

    @ DC ,

    “Elephant in the room financial capitalism and the way it operates and western economies just about functioning by living off debt and the debt servicing ability of its financial institutions, its bailed out banks.”

    Good post above DC . A couplel of years ago the Eurozone was ready to implode .The Greeks were to be expelled from the zone . Italian , Poruguese and Spanish government bonds were junk rated .

    Irish Governent Bond rates were junk rated .KInd of strange that today Irish bond rates are almost as low (lower in some cases than British bond rates ) .

    Now how did that happen ?

    Ask Wall St or the City of London . They know what your politicians regardless of their party or nationality won’t ever tell you .

  • DogInTheStreet

    Greenflag

    I don’t want the old parties to start ‘listening’ as they are structurally and demographically incapable. I don’t want them to buy me flowers like a bad husband to fob me off only to see them revert to bad behaviour again next week.

    I want them to be defeated. Utterly. I want UKIP to take actually power and give this country shock therapy.

    As for SF in Eire, well I see your point but I have issues with SF in that they seem to be anti EU in one breath but want open borders in the next. Their equality agenda will be the petard upon which they will be hoisted. It originated as equality for Catholics but they have been shamed into extending this to everything else into agendas that ordinary Irish people don’t care for.

    I don’t think Sean Dub wants his wages depressed by immigration anymore than Johnny Cockney or Herbert Hull does.

    But I suppose SF r the only anti establishment movement there is in Eire and I don’t blame people for voting for them

  • Taoiseach

    The answer to questions about CAP after EU withdrawal is to point to New Zealand, a major agricultural country with no CAP funding and which is able to compete in world markets.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    DitS, variously

    * you suggest UKIP are in touch with ordinary people’s fears: in reality they exaggerate fears by scaremongering immigrants and other foreigners, instead of addressing,say, why governments have deliberately not built social houses since Thatcher’s day

    * wages are depressed not by immigrants, but by exploitative employers and lack of political regulation

    * why mention gay marriage if you aren’t bothered by it? Those who are aren’t disadvantaged as a result, they’re prejudiced

  • DogInTheStreet

    Floreat

    Exploitative employers take full advantage of immigration and its economic ‘benefits’ or should I say race to the pay cheque bottom.

    You’re right on social housing. UKIP will need to address this

    Gay marriage – I mention this as ordinary people are sick and tired of having this issue as #1. Most people are not gay and don’t care. Sure metropolitan trendies enjoy pride parades and the like but ordinary people see this as alien and a slap in the face to their unfashionable mores.

    Bluntly put, poor people don’t care about anyone but themselves because they don’t have the luxury to afford to care when their own cupboards are bare. Why should they want more immigrants when their lives would be improved without them?

    Ok fewer nice cute French and Italian barristas in Starbucks of course. You will have to make do with a local scally instead serving you your latté but you know, the world doesn’t begin and end in Stranmillis or other areas like it.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    PS I was a Green Party candidate in yesterday’s local elections (in England, so against both UKIP, Tory and the winning Labour). On the doorstep people are interested in the first two issues above, nobody mentioned the third.

  • DogInTheStreet

    Floreat

    My point entirely but you should talk to ordinary people when not on the hustings as they do grumble about it.

    Green Party eh? Another establishment metropolitan party whose members are nice middle class types who are against fracking this condemning us to Russian energy dependency not to mention ignoring its economic benefits. We all don’t live in houses with big gardens to plant food or afford solar panels.

  • watermelon

    @ Dog

    “I see the LibLabCon Party (three wings of the one party in my opinion) as completely out of touch with the hopes and fears of ordinary people. Their MP’s and frontbenchers are now a de facto ruling cadre, an impregnable ruling class comprised of millionaires, Oxbridge types, Public School types……”

    As are the top brass in UKIP. They don’t offer a change from what we have now.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    DitS- Those employers- large and small- who exploit immigrants and other low-income workers are often UKIP supporters. So they are blatantly hypocritical, don’t ye think?

    How do you suggest they address housing shortages?

    Equally bluntly, either people don’t care about gay marriage and the like, or it’s a slap in the face? Can’t really be both, surely?

    How would having fewer Lithuanians or Roma help poor people for whom you’re a self-appointed spokesman? There would still be bad employers and an economy fuelled largely by house prices (ie, not building the new houses).

    Leave Stran out of this by the way. I grew up around the corner ;)

  • thethoughtfulone

    “I am saying that that argument of getting out of Europe is bonkers (because of its general economic effects), but I perfectly see why it resonates. And I most certainly do not believe that people who back it are stupid..”

    That’s a very contradictory statement. I would like out of Europe (and I’m a “small” farmer!) simply because I’ve some reasons why I think it would be a good idea and haven’t heard anyone yet, either here or mainland UK, say anything at all to prove to me otherwise. I watched the Clegg/Farage interviews with great interest to see if the great debater Clegg could actually give me some reason to at least question my position, but no,nothing other than accept that we’d be better in Europe pretty much just because he says so.

    DogInTheStreet, well at least now if UKIP get two first preference votes over here I’ll know who the other one is, and going by your excellent posts, from what I gather I done the same as you for pretty much the same reasons.

  • DogInTheStreet

    Floreat

    Why do we allow people to immigrate only to live on benefits? Regardless of their nationality, can you explain to me the logic of this?

  • DogInTheStreet

    Thanks thoughtofualone

    Perhaps UKIP is the new ‘ourselves alone’ ;-)

    Floreat – tragedy in Stranmillis. News just breaking: organic gluten free yoghurt stocks have depleted. 4x4s are gridlocked. Nannies have been fired. :-)

  • Floreat Ultonia

    PPS I canvassed year round, not just in May. So maybe I might actually be able to watch your knowledge of people’s concerns..

    Fracking in Britan wouldn’t replace Russian oil, even if the former wasn’t a depletion of finite resource, potentially damaging to the water table and a blot on the landscape. Incidentally did you notice that one day last week Germany generated 70% of its energy use from renewable sources?

    BTW neither I nor many Green voters live in Stranmillis or similar any longer. I’ve just congratulated a mate who won 52% of the vote in one of Birmingham’s poorest suburbs.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    “Why do we allow people to immigrate only to live on benefits?
    Regardless of their nationality, can you explain to me the logic of this?”

    Got any stats for that? If not, get your dog to whistle them out of Farage’s arse ;)

    Alternatively, let me help. Most immigrants work and pay taxes; most recent arrivals tend to be young and less likely to use social services; housing benefit isn’t free money to the lazy poor, but a subsidy to often slum landlords.

    PS keep the organic muesli gags coming, my sides are splitting here…

  • Greenflag

    @ Dogin the street,

    The problem is not immigrants . The problem is the lack of control over financial institutions and the latters ability to ignore so called national governments with impunity and threaten them with financial ‘isolation ‘ if they refuse to lickspittle :(

  • Reader

    Floreat Ultonia: Incidentally did you notice that one day last week Germany generated 70% of its energy use from renewable sources?
    Since Germany imports 60% of its energy your claim that it generated 70% of its energy use from renewable sources is mathematically impossible. What was your source for that claim?

  • Floreat Ultonia

    Source: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/15/germany-reaches-nearly-75-renewable-power-use-sunday/

    Reader, you’ve lost me- why cant they import renewable energy from other countries?

  • ayeYerMa

    The basis of your “bonkers” argument is that the UK, when it leaves the EU, will be equivalent to Switzerland today. This is nonsense, as the UK is a much larger economy with greater global influence than Switzerland. The UK also has a massive trade deficit meaning that we buy more from the EU than sell to it — this means that we have an upper hand in bargaining and should be able to forge new trade agreements on our own terms (it would be economic suicide for our “rEU” trading partners not to accept any new deal). I also doubt that the UK would be the only country that will leave, and the UK could cooperate with other countries in the same position to increase our negotiating power with “rEU”.

  • ayeYerMa

    As for UKIP, I think it is merely the start of something much larger.

    Most of the so-called “liberal-left” (more accurately described as culturally Marxist) views which have come to completely and utterly dominate western politics, academia and media are a Cold War legacy. To believe such nonsense ethno/socio-masochistic views which invert all common sense traditional values (values which created our prosperous Western civilization in the first place) it requires a large degree of intellectual masturbation. The people who most vociferously express such “liberal” culturally Marxist views tend to be smug intellectual narcissists who like to prove to themselves how much better, more civilized, and more bloody clever they are than the plebs. The joke is on them, however, as these people just don’t understand how much they have been brainwashed. Brainwashed you say; surely not; surely such intellectuals are too smart and sophisticated for that? Well, no, exploiting such narcissistic thoughts on self-intelligence was exactly the tempting bait for these useful idiots. What was the main effort of the KGB during the Cold War?* Espionage? Assassinations? No. The main effort of the KGB was to infiltrate western universities, media, political parties and public bodies to spread neo-Marxist ideologies. However, the Machiavellian thing about this was not that the Soviets actually believed these nonsense views themselves, rather they understood how incredibly destructively SUBVERSIVE they are for weakening and destroying a nation from within. I’ve posted this excellent 1983 lecture from a KGB defector explaining this before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gnpCqsXE8g

    (and this is something which the Irish “Republican” leadership understands perfectly well after their use of Marxist-Leninist subversion tactics to escalate things according to plan here in Northern Ireland 60 years ago as they formed the NICRA).

    People are finally waking up and realising, as and anyone living under Communism did many decades ago, that utopian Marxist ideals just don’t work. You cannot invert nature and human instinct. The architects of Marxist-Leninist ideologies understood from the beginning that Marxist experiments in mass social engineering are only useful medium-term manipulation tools which exploit altruistic emotion to destroy an existing enemy host like a parasite from within (and in the last century warped inverted-nature Marxist ideologies resulted in millions of more murders than any other ideology in human history). The Berlin Wall may have fallen in 1989, and ideas of classical Communist economic Marxism may have collapsed with it, but the cultural neo-Marxist ideologies which infiltrated the West still have not been purged. The Greengrocer’s Daughter seemed to realise this, but none of the toffs that surrounded her in the now culturally Marxist Conservative Party had a clue. Until now, that is. The days of identity politics, social engineering and “left/right” are over. The purge begins…

    *of course, we know that it wasn’t only the KGB. The slow-but-steady Fabian method of perniciously implementing Marxist mass social engineering is used by the British Communist Party (more commonly known as the “Labour Party”, though I’m sure quite a few Labour politicians these days are also nothing other than useful idiots: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1225637/How-Kremlin-hijacked-Labour-Diary-Kremlin-insider-reveals-hold-Soviets-Labour-politicians.html )

  • Mick Fealty

    Jagdip,

    Two reasons. PR STV takes bloody ages. It always does, and people always complain and imagine it should take much less time. And I mean hard-core activists who should know better.

    Also this year clearly the electoral office did not plan for our sewage increase in turnout. They are now making very welcome noises about using electronic counting: not to be confused with electronic voting.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    Mick- isn’t there an overlap? Voter completes form in black as before, machine reads it, no need for Granny to buy a laptop or anything?