Well, to my UKIP friends, as expected y’all had a great week last week. You won the European elections with 27% of the vote (to the Liebours 25% and the Tories 24%) and even were able to garner a pretty impressive local election performance winning 17% of the vote and gaining 163 Councillors (although control of a council still eludes UKIP). Will UKIP do this well in the GE? Probably not. Only about half of UKIP voters planned to vote for the party at the GE, and the turnout was much lower than a GE, where voters are more likely to choose between the two parties who have a chance at winning the election: the Conservatives or Labour. But most likely UKIP isn’t going away, and may cause havoc next May, possibly denying the Conservatives a majority. Polls show the General Election to be a virtual dead heat between the Conservatives and Labour. But in this blog, this Tory supporting Texan will point out what I see as three positives from the result and three negatives. I of course welcome all of your thoughts as well.
1. The souless EU bureaucracy got a good Kicking.
Boris Johnson had a great article recently about why this result was like a “peasants revolt” and he meant it in a positive way. The EU is an inherently undemocratic institution and the continental “Christian Democrats” (Europe’s sham pretenders posing as “conservatives”) and Socialists have governed together to keep creating a European superstate that ignores the wishes of the people. They are largely monolithic in their support of a European superstate. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande both love the European superstate for example, and have shown virtually no regard for what ordinary Europeans signed up for: a free trade zone. Bureaucrats and judges legislate on high and in the quasi-European parliament they have rubberstamped the eroding of national sovereignty. What is good about this election is it gives reformers like David Cameron more leverage to get a reversal of the current EU dystopia and show that a UK exit is a real possibility. It has even awoken others, like formerly europhile Nicolas Sarkosy, that maybe the EU isn’t the grand utopia he and others like him had thought it would be. Hopefully now they will listen to the UK and others in the EU who have been adamant that the current EU must change or die.
2. The UK Metropolitan Elite have been awakened that they can’t merely silence those who disagree with them with political correctness anymore.
While I think the belief in a “LibConLab” is utter nonsense and lazy conspiratorial thinking, I think there is truth that there is a type of London mentality that is completely out of touch with the rest of the nation. This weekend I read a great article in the Daily Mail which elaborated on this mentality. It talked about how, for instance, most London elites have a zeal for immigration because it allows them to have cheap labour to work as maids or nannies or construction workers. They have had a zeal for being “eco-warriors” because they don’t have to budget for petrol prices to get into work every morning because they are either so rich it doesn’t matter or because they can rely on public transportation. Furthermore, they can love wind turbines because London is not blighted with them like is the countryside. This was a good wakeup call.
Luckily, the Conservative elite, whether because of local constituency pressure, UKIP, or most likely a combination of both, now have listened to ordinary people’s concerns. Cameron is pushing for restrictions on immigration, petrol prices have been frozen and further wind turbine expansion is being abandoned as part of a bigger push to “cut the green crap.” Labour on the other hand will not change. The main area where they made strong gains was in London, and it is becoming ever more clear the key to Labour’s success will be doing well in London in 2015. Miliband even said today under Labour the UK will never leave the EU. They need immigration to grow as a party because new immigrants are less likely to remember the damage inflicted on the country under Labour governments. Nevertheless, the message of last week burst the PC consensus of the nauseating New Labour years. The smears, while they sometimes had truth, did not work because they were an exercise in censorship. This dynamic of urban v. suburban and rural is beginning to look eerily like how the United States is now, at least in England.
3. The Demise of the Political Chameleons known as the Liberal Democrats.
In both local and European elections, the Liberal Democrats got wiped out. Why did they get wiped out? Because I think voters know that the party has no principles and there should be no place for politicians whose only basis for existence is power. The Liberal Democrats were centrists in the 80s, ran to the left of Labour when Labour occupied the centre in the Blair years, and now govern (thankfully but out of necessity for them) centre-right largely giving the Conservatives what they want with selfish exceptions such as boundary reform and an EU referendum. I am so glad the British people punished the “party of in” (a party which in the run up to the 2010 GE promised an EU referendum) for being the willful and wanton liars that they are. Just last year Nick Clegg boasted of permanent governance for his party with the Conservatives and Labour unlikely to secure a majority in the next election and elections to come. Hopefully, they will be out of government after the next election. The old saying goes “if you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything.” I think that expression was made for the Lib Dems and hopefully they fall into nothing at the next election.
1. The Division of the Right
I keep saying this because I firmly believe it to be true: a strong UKIP performance in the general election will usher in a Labour government. Yes, UKIP did take from Labour in some places, the biggest example being Roterham. But they take the biggest bite into the Conservatives. Hopefully, this in not permanent and is a message aimed at keeping the Conservatives “honest”. In that regard, I sympathise with many UKIP voters. But I still wonder why ukipers couldn’t have acted like the Tea Party in the US and pushed for change within the Conservative party. There are many Conservative MPs ukipers should like, among them Jacob Rees-Mogg who has called for a pact with UKIP. I personally agree with Paul Goodman of Conservative Home that a pact is not plausible or possible, so talking about that probably isn’t worth wasting your breath about. However, I do think local agreements are worth considering, such as in LibDem-Tory marginals, Lab-Tory marginals or even in possible UKIP-Lab marginals in the north in places like Roterham. Dividing the right will usher in Miliband which will reverse the great strides made on the economy and welfare reform among others, and permanently deny the British people a chance to vote on an EU referendum.
2. Hurt on the Local Level
Many good Conservative Councillors and Councils were thrown out because of the UKIP division of the right. This will mean many councils will now have to deal with worse council rule under Labour with higher taxes and further mismanagement that comes with Labour rule. At least on the local level, voting UKIP, (which was less than on the European elections) was a lot of “cutting your nose to spite your face.”
3. Uncertainty in Brussels
I understand why one would want to vote for UKIP in the European elections. Ideally, they would bring the greatest zeal to fighting the EU in Brussels of any of the parties. That is why, even when they were a minor party, they punched significantly above their weight in European elections. However, the facts don’t add up to support the “UKIP being the greatest advocates for the UK” paradigm. UKIP in fact rarely vote in Europe, and the significant accomplishments made at the European level, such as cutting EU red tape for the first time, have been made by Conservative MEPs, by great people such as Daniel Hannan (who was thankfully returned). Having the Conservatives with 7 less European MEPs might actually backfire on Britain’s ability to get legislation through beneficial to the UK unless UKIP changes their behaviour in Brussels. Further concerning is who UKIP would ally with in Brussels. While I don’t believe UKIP is a racist or wacko party (although they absolutely have some BNP-like backwards thinking in their party) who would ally with? Much of the radical parties who won seats on the continent are quite unsavoury to say the least, whether it is the far-right Front National party of Marie Le Pen who topped the polls in France, or the left-wing Syriza party who topped the polls in Greece among other examples. I hope UKIP will act as a zealous advocate for Britain in Brussels, but with their lack of attention to policy detail, I worry they will merely protest against and not work in Brussels or worse work with European nationalist parties who share no similar values to Britain besides a dislike of the EU.
Overall, I remain hopeful that this result will not mean the permanent dissolution of the right to benefit that fool Ed Miliband. Recent polls make my hopeful. Of those who voted UKIP and say they will not being voting UKIP at the GE, the Conservatives have the largest group of their support, the so-called “cukips“. Furthermore, if ukipers are asked whether they would prefer a Conservative majority led by Cameron or a Labour government led by Miliband, these voters prefer the Cameron option 2 to 1. I hope they take this into account next May. Furthermore, as Paul Goodman, points out the Conservatives are united behind their leader. Labour is jittery because they know Miliband is a liability and because the more the economy keeps improving the less chance they have of winning next year. Ironically, if UKIP voters turn to Conservatives in the South but stay voting UKIP in the north they have the possibility of making a greater dent into Labour than the Conservatives. Furthermore, with the demise of the Lib Dems, I see a strong opportunity for the Conservatives to make a lot of gains in the Southwest. But all this depends on many UKIPers seeing the bigger picture next year. If Farage truly wants the destruction of the Conservative Party, and most of his supporters join in that goal, what they will only achieve is the further erosion of UK sovereignty to the EU.