The ironies of UKIP are delicious, and a boon for Labour

 The ironies around UKIP are endless.   First, it is the Tory tabloids that fanned the public fury about immigration, welfare and Europe, and thus the UKIP surge which has so successfully split the Tory party between the modernising, hug a hoodie, Arctic sleigh, wind turbine on your house, gay marriage detoxifiers of Teresa May’s Nasty Party on the one hand and on the other the hard-line Tory Right Little Englanders.   The Mail, Sun, Telegraph and Express have created the devouring UKIP monster, and are now having the consequences visited upon them.   That split now puts Cameron in an almost impossible position.   Either he moves Right to seek to placate the Farage hordes, in which case they will only try to pull him yet further Right and he has then lost any claim to leadership and will anyway alienate the majority centrist vote, or he rebuffs Farage as a temporary blip and ploughs on, in which case he swells the UKIP numbers and risks seriously damaging his chances at the 2015 election.

Second, whilst profound prejudice against immigration, welfare and Europe as scapegoats has certainly been whipped by the Tory press who are now hoist on their own petard, the real depth of malaise which UKIP is now fronting isn’t primarily about specifics like that at all.   It goes much deeper to the whole disastrous experience of the last decade or two – the insecurity of mass unemployment, the anger at bankers unpunished for crashing the economy, the greed over bankers’ bonuses and the sky-high millions self-rewarded by the filthy rich, the worsening decline in living standards, the endless austerity, the disgrace that has successively shamed MPs, the media and the police, etc.   This is not going to be put right just tightening immigrant restrictions, cracking down even further on benefit recipients, or promising a referendum on Europe.   For these are the symptoms of the malaise, not the cause.   What is clearly called for is a systemic change since the real causes are all consequences of a free markets no-holds-barred capitalism which has unambiguously failed and now clearly has to be replaced.   That neither the Cameroons nor the Tory hardliners will even contemplate.   If only Ed Miliband has the courage of his convictions to speak out, this is Labour’s best hope for a fundamental breakthrough.

There is a third, intensely ironic result of this UKIP election.   It is is widely accepted that the only reason Labour held on at South Shields is that it had a good local candiate who was respected and liked in the area, not s metropolitan daftee parachuted in from London.   Blair and Brown secured their hegemony by breaking all the rules in the Labour Party handbook to fix elections for their favoured parliamentary candidates so that, by colonising the PLP in their own image, they knew they could do whatever they liked without fear of being dethroned.   That corrupt system is now dead – thanks to UKIP!   In future it has to be Labour candidates who are genuinely acceptable to their own local parties and chosen by them, not by some rigged NEC panel.   If that lesson is finally learnt, the South Shields by-election will not have been in vain.

10 thoughts on “The ironies of UKIP are delicious, and a boon for Labour

  1. And the strong but diffused anger, insecurity, sense of injustice and the belief that corruption and self-serving are endemic in the establishment not only drives the UKIP vote, but also the London riots. I note that Theresa May has authorised the purchase of water cannon and their use on the mainland for the first time, probably because intelligence is giving her the same message.

    The right-wing press will likely (or ‘of course’) start lining up behind the Tories as the election approaches and also start attacking Ed M. Many of those voting UKIP this time will also return to the Conservatives as their best, or only, chance of keeping Labour out. So yes, the ironies are delicious and the UKIP is good for Labour – but the election will still be close (IMHO), and the UK desperately needs Labour to win.

  2. This isn’t capitalism. In capitalism, all and any companies come and go according to their strengths or weaknesses. When they’re found out, they fail and this is regarded rightly as a natural consequence. what we have now is an entirely artificial system where one sector is never allowed to fail no matter how badly it actually fares. That’s not capitalism at all and it shouldn’t be spoken of as such.

  3. Unfortunately, the Labour Party under Milliband is not a feasible alternative to the Tories because it appears to still be New Labour. New Labour is just a lesser Tory Party. Please someone, somewhere bring back the true Socialism of Clem Atlee’s government to our benighted country.

  4. I’m sure that the Tory Party could head Ukip off at the pass simply by electing a new leader asap. People are fed up with a number of things. They want action and progress, but we seem forever to be stuck; going no where. So bring this strange, desperate period to a dramatic conclusion and bring about a psychological new start. Dump this disappointing coalition’s performance on Cameron. Focus will shift away from Ukip. Dump Osborne if needs be…all the more to celebrate…until the economy gets back on line and the real good news returns. Understanding the nation’s current psyche is the key to dealing with Ukip. Nothing else is going to change in time to stop huge ramifications.

  5. I have met many of the new labour imports, who will work on building sites for £40 a day, because that’s far more than they’d get in a week back home.

    But these new labour recruits are driving down wages among the traditional Old Labour demographic.

    That’s why people are turning to UKIP.

    Farage has been described as racist. So has everyone else, from Gillian Duffy to Reginald D Hunter. None of them are racist, and neither are most people who are thinking about joining UKIP.

    If you don’t understand that, you’re less in touch than I imagined.

    You might find the irony that working people have been let down by their party ‘delicious’.

    Not many people share your tastes. It’s a very rich, acquired taste though.

  6. We know all this. Where is the hard evidence that the electorate who have just protested against the Tories by voting for an even more Right wing bunch, will vote for a left wing Labour party.
    Before we go left
    Maybe Ed should gather some real hard evidence of what votes we would loose and what we could gain

  7. A good deal of success in politics is about timing, letting your antennas feel the vibrations in the air, then acting decisively with your remedies. Your views as stated here regarding the misjudgement of the right are correct, the time to act is now. But we do need to build the right framework to capture the wave that will come if hope is offered as an alternative to yet more doom and gloom.

    Have a word with Ed about that silly compulsion with the new deal on work, because it is a line that can not be crossed for those poor souls that will have to endure it. Not sure why the party is sticking to this line so rigidly, almost feels like success even in an election is just a Faustian deal. If you can achieve that last barrier to acceptance, then think you will be surprised by the rush of support.

  8. I would urge that Labour members in council areas where UKIP have made huge successes should closely monitor the activities of the UKIP councillors. What do they support, in practice? How do they vote, and do they support policies that genuinely improve the quality of life for the people in their wards?
    Build up a file of UKIP failures and you can ensure their defeat at a general election (and also that of the Tories) – their failures point the way to our success.

  9. The comments here make more sense than the original post. Just goes to show Politicians are out of touch idiots (you’re one of the better ones by the way).

    Why should we be dictated to by a non-democratic European Union? 70% of our Laws written by grossly overpaid “UN-ELECTED” EU Councillors & Commissioners! What’s wrong with you politicians, why can’t you smell a rat when you see one? Norway and Switzerland are doing very well outside of the rapidly failing, national sovereignty grabbing EU. We could build a new hospital every week with the money we waste on our EU membership, and before any one chimes in, we only get back about half what we give from the EU.

    All our mainstream parties are useless. Tony Blair’s a psychopathic war criminal (what happened to those WMD’s), Gorgon Brown sold our gold at the bottom of the market and kept inserting ‘New World Order’ in his later speeches. Cameron is basically a toffy nosed arms dealer and him and Cleg are both son’s of bankers and still working for the bankers.

    Almost no-one in mainstream politics understands that our recession is driven by allowing privately owned banks to control our money and who will only ever issue new money as debt, a mathematical impossibility to ever repay, and stealth tax on all of us.

    So while the mainstream parties are repeatedly led by traitors and willing idiots no wonder people are looking else where. Basically big government is a dead end and should scale right back and leave us to get on with our own lives.

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