Apres moi, Le Farage

Experience has proved one thing beyond peradventure. If your idea of politics is to slag-off the opposition by insult and muck-raking, the electorate will punish you for it. UKIP thus wins every time the old political parties and media show their true and fading colours

Laughing all the way to the new politics
Robin Mitchinson
On 14 October 2014 08:36

Politics has burst into life at last. UKIP is no longer a fringe protest group. It is a serious political contender that is certain to shake up the old order. It shows that the public is utterly fed-up with condescending MPs of all parties, where there is no clear blue water between the parties, and the public is treated with disdain.

The Westminster village has been located somewhere to the south of alpha centauri. It has had its day of elitist self-interest and needs to join the real world if it is to survive.

The outcome of the recent by-elections must have come as a shock to UKIP itself, and as a disastrous drubbing to both main parties, such was the drama of Carswell getting a bigger majority on a smaller turn-out than when he was elected as Tory MP back in 2010. And narrowly missing taking a safe Labour seat when all they needed was about another 300 votes to cause an upset of Biblical proportions.

A silly piece in the Sunday Times compared UKIP to the Tea Party, supposedly a bunch of red-necks with no coherent policies dominated by oldies who are against big government and high spending except when it comes to their own benefits.

UKIP is more akin to the Conservative Party as it existed before Ted Heath invented conservatism-lite through an addled ‘One Nation’ stance. Which really means ‘if you don’t like my principles I have others’. Maggie soon hand-bagged that notion and went on to three election victories.

Experience has proved one thing beyond peradventure. If your idea of politics is to slag-off the opposition by insult and muck-raking, the electorate will punish you for it. It is abundantly obvious that the media of both right and left imposed blanket censorship on UKIP. Months could go by with no mention at all even though Farage is notable for producing the mot juste whenever Grub Street wants a quotable line.

Then it tried to project him as the saloon-bar bore, forever with a pint in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Then it tried scandal-mongering with scant material to go on. Then it blanked the UKIP Conference (Sky News gave it a few second just before the sports report and weather forecast. By contrast it gave wall-to-wall coverage of the Lib-Dem Conference; to say that this would attract only a minority audience would be an exaggeration.)

Now they are at it again. Some people are slow learners.

It never occurred to these exotic metropolitans that Nigel was seen as ‘one of us’, who spoke like an ordinary human being and voiced the feelings of millions of people who see themselves as alienated and marginalised and feel the disappearance of Old England.

Inevitably we go from a bear to a bull market with the cognoscenti predicting that UKIP could win 25 seats next May and hold the balance of power. Unless there is a landslide of the like not seen since Labour’s conquest in 1945, this is just not going to happen.

At best UKIP will get five more seats, but that could be enough to break mold and herald a new era in British politics. Cameron vs. Miliband will be Major vs. Kinnock all over again.

And, like Dracula, Gordon Brown will rise again.

Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, living in the Isle of Man, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world


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