Should Ukip embrace its Tea Party tag?

The UK mainstream media uses similar negative terms to describe both Ukip and the Tea Party; Ukip might as well grab some of the positives too

by Andrew Ian Dodge on 11 March 2013 11:38

Upon his re-election as leader of Ukip, the New Statesman said the following of Nigel Farage:

Speaking on Sky News, he said that his party shared the feeling of being ‘overtaxed, over-governed, not being listened to’”.

He could not have been unaware that those words echo the feelings of the Tea Party movement in the US. And it was clever for him to make the positive comparison between the two. After all, the UK mainstream media uses similar terms to describe both groups; Ukip might as well grab some of the positives too.

Terms like racist, xenophobe, and nutcase are used frequently for both groups by lazy journalists who neither care nor want to admit what the respective movements are really about. .

Other observers are making similar positive comparisons between the two. One blog had this to say after the Eastleigh result last week:

“Just like the US Tea party UKIP are showing just how many of the people are angry with the mainstream parties and that means they may be a new power in UK politics.”

And, of course, the reaction of the mainstream right to the rise of these popular movements has been similar on both sides of the pond:

“Now the reason that this is interesting and significant is that for years David Cameron's new, principle-free, policy-lite Conservatives-In-Name-Only have tried to mock and marginalize UKIP in much the way the mainstream GOP has tried to distance itself from the Tea Party.”

Whether it is Karl Rove or David Cameron, the sneering of the “leaders” of the right is the same.

The likes of the BBC and the Guardian will not change their rhetoric about either Ukip or the Tea Party movement. But wouldn’t it be a good idea for Ukip to fully embrace the “UK Tea Party” tag?

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