The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Sorry, Mr Cameron (and your media luvvies), UKIP is not going away….

Over the last fortnight or so those bastions of the right wing press, the Telegraph and Mail, have been feeding us the narrative that David Cameron has shot the UKIP fox by sounding tough on the EU and immigration, chatting to Tory backbenchers over a Downing Street BBQ and listening to elections guru Lynton Crosby – all on the basis of one poll (several others give a different picture)

Doubtless the bright young things at Tory HQ have been schmoozing the lobby correspondents and political hacks at the DT/DM who have responded accordingly. After all they inhabit the same Westminster political/media village and, let’s face it, that village is far away from Norfolk, South Shields, Somerset or even the London suburbs, not so much geographically as temperamentally.

This is why they find the rise of UKIP as incomprehensible – it simply does not fit within the confines of the political box that constrains their view. They can only interpret events in terms of Con/Lab/Lib because….well…that’s the way it’s always been, ennit….

What they have failed to grasp is the possibility that a bunch of outsiders, with little or no contact with media hacks, lobbyists, academics, civil servants and other members of the establishment elite should begin to insert themselves into the body politic by making inroads into the electorate.

UKIP might well dip in certain polling reports as the media files the party under B for Blip – but there are certain key points that the “experts” need to remember

UKIP now have a substantial presence on quite a few local councils, controlling one and either holding the balance of power or forming the opposition in several others – party members are getting the experience of local government.

Over the last few months tens of thousands of people have joined UKIP, getting the party closer to the first goal of overtaking the Lib Dems 42,000

The party is busily consolidating and professionalising itself, using the next few months to prepare for the EU and local elections next May.

Unlike Con/Lab/Lib these new members display a degree of energy and enthusiasm that has long since drained away from the established parties

Issues such as EU membership and Immigration have only begun to be part of public debate because for many years UKIP was the only party that consistently attempted to confront them.

Above all this, however, it is not just through “policies” that political parties begin to gain traction. It is when the rest of the electorate realise that a substantial number of their fellow voters are willing to nail their colours to the party’s mast.

There has long been a disconnect between ordinary folk and the political class, evidenced by lower voter turnouts and declining party memberships. Voters began politicians and the press and broadcast “journalists” who supposedly “hold them to account”   as performers in a carefully choreographed shadow play that demanded a submissive and silent audience which could only cheer or boo on cue….a bit like the BBC’s HIGNFY

But now UKIP has given the audience the opportunity not only to get up onto the stage but also the chance to send the old established “star performers” out of the stage door and onto the pavement…

….and, believe me, the old guard don’t like it – and they will play every dirty trick in the book to keep UKIP out of the loop and break it.

Fellow UKIP members – you have been warned!!!!!

posted by david in UK Politics and have Comments Off on Sorry, Mr Cameron (and your media luvvies), UKIP is not going away….

Farage & UKIP On A Roll?

As the FT has recently suggested UKIP and it’s leader Nigel Farage are riding an anti-politics wave. The latest poll puts the party’s support at 15%, almost double the numbers for Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats (8%)

Perhaps more people are beginning to agree with Nigel Farage when he says this…..I know I do……

“We just think it’s about time we started to put the interests of Britain and British people first.

“We’re run by a bunch of college kids, who have never had a proper job in their life.”

posted by david in UK Politics and have Comments Off on Farage & UKIP On A Roll?

UK Election 2012 – The Disconnect Between The Political Class And Us…

In a withering polemic against the political class Brendan O’Neill points out that 68% of voters did not exercise their franchise on a day when seats across the country were up for grabs in this year’s elections for local councils. As he points out 68% could easily be described as a “vast majority” if applied to a particular candidate – ergo one could say that the vast majority of UK electors decided to go NOTA and vote for None Of The Above.

What the political class (politicians, journalists and academics) might describe as “apathy” O’Neill perceives as a quite justifiable indifference

There’s nothing peculiar about the majority’s refusal to vote. It’s perfectly logical. At a time when the political class is fantastically disconnected from everyday people, when mainstream political debate has been almost wholly colonised by suits and PR people and media darlings, it makes sense for people to deduce: “This has nothing to do with me.”

But it is not only at the ballot box that ordinary folk are manifesting a distaste and disregard for political activity. The political parties, for many years the main engines of popular political engagement, have become professionalized and reconfigured beyond all recognition. Once thriving hubs of local grassroots activity swamping the streets during elections and raising cash between them, and always jealously guarding their own manor against the central party they have withered away into glorified branch offices of the London machine. The big money comes no longer from subscriptions, coffee mornings and jumble sales but from corporate or union donors meeting with party professionals in swish London offices.

The established parties have now become corporations whoring themselves out to special interests and dominated almost entirely by a tiny Oxbridge educated metropolitan elite who segue effortlessly from university to media/academia/political consultancy with little if any experience of real work in office, factory, shop or in any area where they actually have to make business decisions.

The result?

Britain is morphing into an oligarchy, with a gaping chasm emerging between the spin-doctored politicians and Twitterati who “do politics” and the man and woman in the street who do not.

But this disconnect cannot survive the dark hours that will certainly overwhelm us when we realise that the vapid word games and pretentious promises with which the political class seek to appease us will stand for nothing as the frightening truth about their financial ineptitude is finally confronted. As usual Mark Steyn points the way.

There’s a famous exchange in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Someone asks Mike Campbell, “How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways,” he replies. “Gradually, then suddenly.” We’ve been going through the gradual phase so long, we’re kinda used to it. But it’s coming to an end, and what happens next will be the second way: sudden, and very bad

posted by david in UK Politics and have Comment (1)

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