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What are we going to do about UKIP?

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What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Ivan on Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:57 pm

First topic message reminder :

Cameron tried calling it names and then pandering to its demands, giving it credibility. Labour tried ignoring it. Unfortunately, the BBC has gone out of its way to give it the oxygen of publicity. UKIP can no longer be laughed at or ignored, but in order to challenge it, it’s necessary to analyse what makes it attractive to so many people.

I would suggest that people vote for UKIP for one or more of the following reasons:-

1. Alienation
There are plenty of exceptions of course, but the typical UKIP supporters are white, male, elderly and of lower than average intelligence who parrot tripe such as “Farage will give us our country back” (whatever that means). They hold socially conservative views and find ideas such as equal marriage abhorrent. They see themselves as ignored, unfulfilled, not represented by anyone, especially since Old Labour became New Labour for the sake of political expediency. They look for scapegoats to blame for what are often their own inadequacies, and the tabloid papers, whose owners are frightened of being regulated from Brussels, have happily drip-fed them lies and half-truths about immigrants which can’t be resolved without withdrawal from the EU. Hitler blamed the League of Nations when he wanted some of his country back, and Jews when he needed a scapegoat for all of Germany’s ills; UKIP offers the EU and immigrants as its primary scapegoats.

2. A protest vote
Ever since Orpington in 1962, it has been commonplace for voters to use by-elections to give the government a kicking, and until recently it’s usually been the Liberal Democrats (and their predecessors in title, the Liberals and the SDP) who have mopped up this protest vote. Once the so-called ‘coalition’ was formed in 2010, the Liberal Democrats have ceased to be the party of protest and that left an opening for UKIP. (Interestingly though, it was George Galloway who took a seat off Labour in 2012, not something which UKIP has yet achieved.)

3. A charismatic leader
I can’t see it myself, but Nigel Farage is up there with Boris Johnson (and followed by Alex Salmond) as the most popular politicians around. Serious politicians are held in such low esteem these days that a pub bore is seen as preferable.

4. Anger with the established parties
Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats have all been in power in recent years. We had the expenses scandal which hasn’t gone away, MPs are still milking the system with outrageous claims. (Of course UKIP is doing the same in the EU Parliament, and often not even bothering to turn up for work.) While the Labour Party was spending four months electing a new leader, the Tories were successfully spreading one of the biggest ever lies in UK politics, namely that Labour was responsible for the global credit crunch of 2008-9. The Liberal Democrats betrayed all those voters who thought they were a left-of-centre party. Meanwhile, the Tories have been out of touch, cruel and corrupt, yet for some of their followers they haven’t been right-wing enough.

5. Publicity
It’s a scandal that should be investigated: why has the BBC given so much airtime to UKIP, and to Farage in particular (26 appearances on ‘Question Time’ for a start), when it won only 3.2% of the votes in the last general election? Until a recycled Tory MP won the Clacton by-election, UKIP had no MPs. Why, for example, has it been given so much more coverage than the Green Party (one MP) and the Respect Party (one MP)?

6. Xenophobia
The distrust and fear of strangers or foreigners is nothing new, it’s probably existed since man first set foot on this planet. Like most fears, it’s irrational, but it can be easily milked by a right-wing populist party like UKIP. Yes, there is also a fear of the religions which these foreigners may bring to the country, especially with regard to Muslims, in view of the atrocities which have been committed in the name of Islam. The vast majority of Muslims in the UK are simply peace-loving people who want to get on with their lives just like the rest of us. However, to stop, or at least seriously curtail, immigration is a vote-winner on the right. In times of insecurity and anxiety, there will always be a niche for the kind of narrow, fear-driven politics of Farage.

So we know why people vote for UKIP, but the much harder question is how to respond? The UKIP supporters who I’ve tried to engage with on Twitter are oblivious to historical analogies or to any evidence that UKIP is just a right-wing extension of the Tory Party; they show an almost religious conviction that they are right and nothing will change their views. They don’t care if Farage complains about ‘the corrupt Westminster elite’ but then claims £2 million in EU expenses over ten years just to donate it to his party. They don’t care if UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall wrote in favour of NHS privatisation and then deleted the offending article – but not before many of us had copied it. They don’t care if Farage has said that employers should be able to hire and fire at will and pay whatever they like, meaning that UKIP would scrap the minimum wage. They are, to use a well-worn expression, turkeys voting for an early Christmas.

I don’t think anything can be done to stop the UKIP advance before the general election. Labour is powerless to act and the Tories are frightened to offend UKIP in case doing so results in more defections. However, it’s likely that Labour will head either a majority or minority administration after 7 May next year. That Labour government must, in my opinion, do a number of things to tackle both UKIP and also the causes of UKIP:-

1. Bring in a living wage
Those tempted to support UKIP can hardly complain that immigrants are forcing down their wages if the law sets a much higher minimum rate of pay.

2. A massive house building programme
This has already been promised by Labour and would start to rectify the slow house build under the last Labour government and begin to offset the devastating effect on our housing stock resulting from ‘Right To Buy’. An adequate housing stock would prevent UKIP sympathisers from whingeing about immigrants - rather than Tory policies - preventing them from getting a home of their own.

3. Promote the EU
Stand firmly against a wasteful and unnecessary referendum on our membership of the EU, which would only cause business uncertainty. Our participation in the biggest single market the world has ever seen has numerous advantages, but Labour politicians in particular seem coy to state them. To his credit, Nick Clegg tried to do that before the EU elections in May, but maybe he is too toxic a figure to gain people's attention.

4. Have a sensible debate about immigration
After the enlargement of the EU in 2004, some places in Britain (I believe Southampton was one of them) were suddenly overwhelmed with large numbers of immigrants, which put a strain on services such as schools, GP surgeries, hospitals and social housing. That’s just the sort of situation which inflames xenophobia and lessons must be learned from it. At the same time, the benefits to this country from immigrants, not just in the caring services but to the economy (overall they are net contributors), should be explained and repeated again and again.

5. Restore honesty and integrity in politics
We’ve come a long way since John Profumo had to resign from the government in 1963 for lying to Parliament. Cameron does it all the time, while Jeremy Hunt should have been kicked out long ago, and so should Iain Duncan Smith. Ed Miliband is a decent and honourable man who must demand the same standards from those who form his first cabinet in May next year. If trust can be restored in Westminster politicians, the need for swivel-eyed, right-wing politicians in parties such as UKIP might start to dissipate.
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Ivan on Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:11 pm

UKIP is likely to be asked to repay tens of thousands of euros by European Parliament finance chiefs who have accused the party of misspending EU funds on party workers and Nigel Farage’s failed bid to win a seat in Westminster:-

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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Ivan on Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:14 pm

Congratulations to Paul Nuttall on being elected the leader of UKIP for this week.......

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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by boatlady on Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:40 am

You think he's just holding the post open in case Farage doesn't get sent to USA as our ambassador?
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Ivan on Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:48 pm

THE GOBSHITE SHOW - The Fascist Comedy Extravaganza!

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"Scarily farcical" - 'The Sun'
"You'll laugh your rights away" - 'The Daily Mail'
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Ivan on Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:11 pm

According to Fox News, Nigel Farage is absolutely massive in the UK. Here he is addressing a rally of several hundred thousand...

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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by sickchip on Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:59 pm

It's easy to laugh and mock Farage and UKIP, isn't it?

3,881,129 people voted UKIP at the last General Election. It can also be safely assumed they voted for Brexit. They have therefore influenced and swayed the biggest political / economical / societal decision the UK has made in decades.

- by the way the Labour party only received 2.5 times the votes of UKIP at the last election....9,347,326.

Doesn't seem so funny now does it?
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by boatlady on Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:33 pm

Never seemed that funny to me - the whole right-wing-swing thing has me terrified
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:04 pm

UKIP? Don't make me laugh !!

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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Ivan on Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:58 pm

It looks as if Nigel has been associating with 'low-grade' people again....  No

Nigel Farage aide faces 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud

George Cottrell was arrested in July as he and Mr Farage disembarked from a plane at Chicago O'Hare airport and was extradited to Arizona, where he has been held behind bars ever since for masterminding a scam to extort money from drug dealers. Cottrell previously ran Farage's private office and was part of UKIP's media team.

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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:58 am

Couldn't happen to a better person
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:14 pm

Well, perhaps just ONE?
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:17 pm

Now you mention it, I can actually think of several I would like to see in a nice old fashioned USA penitentiary (thinking Shawshank here)
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:23 pm

It would surely be easier to name those we didn't wish to see behind bars...
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:24 pm

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall REFUSES to rule out standing in Stoke-on-Trent by-election.

I bet he does stand!
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:07 pm

Perhaps risky, in what UKIP apparently considers a winnable seat.

If Labour were to hold on, what impact might that have upon his credibility and authority with UKIP members as the successor to what they see as the greatest politician ever to draw breath.

And -talking of credibility - what effect might a UKIP success have upon the Labour leader...?
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Ivan on Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:53 am

Freudian slip, or deliberate mistake? Laughing

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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by Phil Hornby on Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:58 am

It may be 'Fox News' which is the real typo... Shocked
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by boatlady on Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:18 pm

anal cyst
lol! rofl
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

Post by boatlady on Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:34 pm

The beast is not dead - in my town some new and worrying developments

1) A shop, in the town centre, called 'Refreshingly Different' - sells cheap groceries, second hand stuff, advertises a 'food bank parcel re-assignation service' (basically swaps unwanted food bank goods for more desirable items). They can afford central location, plenty of staff (not sure if they're paid)
2) A voluntary organisation, emerging from nowhere (and I would know if it had any roots locally) called 'Tribal Trust' - providing a soup kitchen for the homeless in the town centre, right next to MacDonalds and KFC - they get a lot of 'bovver' from the youngsters who hang out at KFC late in the evening - and place themselves very prominently in view of such
3) Local UKIP councillor - who has never had any involvement with local advice services and as far as I know has had no training - offering Universal Credit advice in a local pub.

This all sounds lovely - until you realise that we are in a very depressed area where voluntary organisations struggle to get even basic resources, whereas all the above initiatives are extremely well resourced. The charity I currently volunteer with operates out of the back room at a local café - we have no landline, only occasional broadband connectivity and our main office is en route to the community gym operating from an even further back room.

So, what we have, is some 'worthy' community initiatives being provided by UKIP for the benefit of the 'indigenous' (i.e. not black, not Asiatic, not EEA) population - these services are extremely well resourced - Tribal Trust for example runs a weekly draw for 'deserving' individuals to receive a hamper of meat, veg, tinned and dried goods - and was able to provide a party night for volunteers at a local pub.

Far from being a spent force, my impression is that UKIP is focussing down on local 'indigenous' populations, duplicating services that are offered elsewhere in a more inclusive way but that they can finance to a much better standard at least temporarily. I'm seeing some parallels here that make me feel uncomfortable - this seems like UKIP seeking to develop a dominant narrative.

I think the divisions in the Labour party have created a vacuum into which has rushed UKIP - this can't end well
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Re: What are we going to do about UKIP?

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