I asked some collegues, mainly conservative (small ‘c’) what they wanted. These are wealthy people who’ve been hit hard by the tax-rises of the coalition. They’re thinking of voting UKIP. This is exactly the same rhetoric you get from the benefits recipient, like my Twitter correspondent Kaliya who tweets at @bendygirl and blogs at Benefit Scrounging Scum People, from the top 50%/45% payers to the benefits recipients, are simply fed up of paying the bills for others’ failure.
The who the “others” who’ve “failed” are varies of course. But the fact is we all failed. We all got used to spending money we didn’t have on houses that were too expensive. We all enjoyed benefits we’d not paid for, Government, the people, all thought the living standards we’d got used to in 2008 were real. Bankers bet that house-prices would keep going up, and regulators let ’em, because they believed it too. Egging all this on, were politicians, keen to spend the taxes of the Bankers’ profits, and ride the goodwill an asset price-bubble created. We are now suffering the hangover from the party. Everyone’s realised the party was on a ‘school night’, and they’re scowling on the way to work.
Every class of people is having its living standards squeezed, apart from the super-rich who face no significant constraints even if there are fewer ‘0’s at the end of the pay-cheque. Unfortunately for Cameron, he is super-rich. But other than them, we are “all in this together”. The entire country is tightening its belt and grumbling, looking for someone to blame.
Which brings us to protest votes. Liberal Democrats are generally good at the Council stuff. They run a good ground campaign, follow up complaints well and therefore they’re good at getting a local following. As a result they’re harder to shift than herpes. Their main attraction outside the hyper-local is the ability their voters enjoyed to say “don’t blame me, I voted Liberal Democrat” at dinner parties. Going into coalition meant these people need to vote for someone else.
Conservatives, as the natural party of Government struggle to win when people are pissed off. The Tories are in Government so when the economy’s flat-lining it’s always going to be a difficult sell. Furthermore, Tories in 2009, the last time these seats were up for grabs, swept the board. It’s nearly mathematically impossible for them to go anywhere but down from then. With that in mind, the kicking the Tories got yesterday was natural, expected and nothing to panic about.
Labour barely did better than when they were in Government, during the biggest crash in history, while they were led by Jonah Gordon Fuckwit Brown McDoom. Ed Miliband is a hopeless liability. If the party was a horse, it would have a black curtain round it now and a vet would be striding towards it with a grim expression and a long-cased object.
Which brings us to UKIP. The fact that the protest votes are going to a party which, when it thinks about grown-up things like deficits seems to be in favour of “further and faster” cuts, and Tax-Cuts now should embolden Tories. The British People are sending a message. “We’re pissed off. But we also know austerity’s necessary” They are sending a message that they’d really rather no Romanians emigrate here. But mainly that they’re pissed off.
The Tories can do one of two things. Panic and Guarantee a loss at the next election. Or knuckle down and still stand a chance of winning if, (and of course it remains a big ‘if’) the economy recovers in time. 8% behind in the polls, when most of the votes lost since the election have gone to a protest party which mainly aggrees with you is not so bad. There’s no message the Conservatives should send that they aren’t already doing.
Apart from Gay Marriage (which is UKIP’s biggest driver of support), there’s nothing the Tories aren’t doing that UKIP want. There’s a referendum promise on the EU, and possibly legislation this parliament. Immigration’s being cut, Benefits are being capped, the public-sector’s being cut, and markets are being introduced in the NHS and Education. This UKIP talk of “abandoning Conservative values” is nonsense. Unless you weight Gay Marriage very, very highly. And that’s the thing. UKIP had a chance to be “libertarian” and they blew it by preferring (rightly, as it turned out) to hoover up angry, bigoted, gay-hating conservatives of whom there’s a surprising number.
It’s Gay Marriage (and it seems Gay Marriage alone) which broke Cameron from Tory England. Every other pro-gay measure from legalising homosexuality to legalising homosexuals serving in the military, to Civil Partnerships has faced red-faced harrumphing from the shires. They just didn’t have a party back then. This will pass, as it always has. The UKIPasm will fade, probably starting from their high-water mark at next-years Euro elections. The red-faced saloon bar bore will start to drift back to the Conservative party, as the prospect of Miliband as prime-minister becomes closer.
UKIP want Conservatism but MORE! and FASTER! (But with FEWER GAYS). It’s Labour who need to panic, not the Conservatives. They’ve lost the country.
http://bracken.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/logo-2.png00Malcolm Brackenhttp://bracken.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/logo-2.pngMalcolm Bracken2013-05-03 14:24:002017-07-21 01:43:21"I Just Want to Feel Like Someone's On My Side"