UKIP is a populist party. It’s anti ‘other’: Immigrants,
‘Liberal Metropolitan Elites’, Foreigners, cyclists. It attracts golf-club
bores, and over-confident pub ranters, whose ideas bounce off a leadership
intent on stroking their prejudices. The idiocy resonates in the echo-chamber
and builds into a great crescendo of cant. The Green Party is a populist party
for environmentalist and left-wing extremists. Their policy formation is
identical to UKIPs, but starts with a different set of stupid ideas, but the
idiocy and cant are the same. As for Green and UKIP, so too Respect, SWP, SSP
and all the other minor parties in the system.
These parties, and the collapse of the main parties, is a
symptom, not of the Failure of the democratic system, but it’s success. The
main parties have presided over a stunning prosperity over the past two or three
centuries. The forms, if not yet the reality, of democracy are near-universal.
The richest, happiest and most powerful nations are the ones, still, who have
been democracies longest. The citizens of these countries are the richest,
freest, safest, longest lived, healthiest and most productive people who have
ever lived. The options open to the poorest Briton dwarf those of all but a
tiny proportion of Congolese. The people of Britain have now, thanks to democracy, moved so far up
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, they expect to be listened to too.
If there’s one idea behind the rise of UKIP in
particular, it’s that the country has “gone to the dogs”. It hasn’t.
Nor is it “run by Europe”. The
Tory party is not “the same as the Labour party”, and there isn’t a
grand conspiracy to do down the little guy by the “Liberal Metropolitan
Elite”. The conspiracy theories of all the other minor parties about big
business, or the oil industry are likewise, bunkum. They’re the result of
pandering to the prejudices of self-entitled people who lack the
self-discipline to accept that you cannot in reality expect to agree with
everything concerning the government of seventy-million people. They don’t like
some aspect of Labour or Tory policy and claim to want “A Party that
reflects my views”.
The fact is the rise of minor parties reflects a
self-centred ‘me-me-me’ culture, where people feel their ideas are valid,
however un-thought-out or spontaneous. Looking at a major party of Government
and thinking it insufficiently extreme, betrays a misunderstanding of what
democracy is FOR. It is not to impose one group’s ideal. It is not to conduct
accurate head-counts. It’s not even to do what ‘the people’ want. It’s to
temper the excesses of those who would seek to govern us, and vote the rotters
out if necessary. The British have
traditionally preferred their coalitions WITHIN parties not between them. To
imagine you could ever agree with the entire manifesto of such a party, is just
In order to get a radical change of policy enacted you
must first persuade a major party of Government, which involves persuading a
fairly conservative machine. Then you must persuade a sizeable chunk of the
activists of that party, each wedded to his or her own personal idiocies. Then
you must get supporters elected to offices of the party, selected for
safe-seats, and then win an election. Then the policy must be rammed through by
enthusiastic politicians against a conservative Whitehall machine. An idea has
to pass a pretty big set of hurdles before it becomes enacted policy of the
state. The length of time MPs can sit means ideas which were being implemented
in the 60s still have adherents in the commons to this day. Change is HARD to
effect. Only Atlee’s coming in after the war, and Thatcher’s managed to
significantly alter the direction of travel.
This is no bad thing.
Democracy, and the two-party duopoly will get shaken up
from time to time, but the Tory, Whig, Liberal, Labour stranglehold on power
which they’ve enjoyed for three hundred years isn’t all bad. Pick one. Try to
persuade it. Attempt to drag the centre ground of politics your way. Because
setting up a new party always ends up a vanity project for the likes of Nigel
Farage or the Dictator-toadying George-Galloway, and makes everyone involved
look like an twat. It also serves to ensure the splitting of your side of the
see-saw, ensuring the centre-ground of policy moves farther away from you.
Because we are all idiots in our own way, our enthusiasms
need tempering. Only the major parties have sufficiently high hurdles for ideas
to prevent most of the most idiotic ideas becoming official policy. Joining
UKIP or the Green Party rather than the Tories or Labour, is the action of an
idiot, without the self-awareness to realise he is one. It’s a reflection of
the egotism of our society. And it’s futile.
http://bracken.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/logo-2.png00Malcolm Brackenhttp://bracken.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/logo-2.pngMalcolm Bracken2013-06-03 11:30:002017-07-21 01:43:20"A Party That Reflects My Views"