Wednesday, 28 May 2014
Earthquakes, Local and Continental...
So, UKIP did better than the media luvvies would have liked in the elections last week. They did well despite a concerted slur campaign conducted by Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. They did well despite the misinformation spread by the gutter press - which nowadays includes the broadsheets. They did well despite the right-on metro twitterati tweeting furiously about how racist they all are.
Of course, in reality, they didn't do all that well. They captured 17% of the vote - which is to say, 17% of the 35% of the electorate that bothered to vote, bothered to vote for UKIP. Claims of an earthquake have been rather over-stated.
Amusing to me has been the reaction to UKIP's gains, though. The horror and outrage, the illiberal desires expressed that anyone who votes for any party other than those approved of by the chattering classes ought not to be allowed to vote. Democracy, it seems, is like free speech - it is precious. So precious that it should be rationed.
Anyway, I am not here to fly the flag for UKIP, or anyone else. I am here to express my amusement and bemusement.
You see, there can be no denying that the parties of left and right have become very similar over the last couple of decades. They are converging in their policies and outlook, as is bound to happen in a democracy, especially one with a 'first past the post' voting system. If the electorate are so short-sighted as to vote only for what will benefit them personally (rather than what is good for society as a whole), then the parties running in the elections will seek to offer them such sweeteners as will induce the public to vote for each party. And so they converge, bribing the voters with the voters' own money.
This has happened in the UK. The politicos inhabiting the Westminster bubble have long since stopped listening to the likes of you and I, and instead listen only to the lobbyists, the corporate sponsors and the single-issue campaigners. They listen to the eurocrats, most of all. And while they hand more and more of the executive and legislative powers to Brussels, they then seek more power to control what we eat and drink, how much we exercise, what we say, what we think and what we smoke.
This is not good. Whichever way you slice it, such control over our everyday lives can only ever have negative effects and is not desirable in any way, shape or form.
The government are supposedly the servants of the public, but they have long since forgotten this and have become our masters. Should any member of the public dare to give voice to what concerns them, they will be branded as bigoted.
So, surely it is time to shake things up a bit? Wouldn't it be good to make the bastards realise that we, the electorate, wish to be heard? That we are sick of being lied to? Why, yes, yes it would.
And this is why UKIP's gains have, for me at least, been a cause for celebration. UKIP haven't gained any real power and they certainly will not win the next general election, but they have managed to rattle the Westminster crowd out of their complacency somewhat.
And surely, whoever you vote for, this can only be a good thing.