UKIP is based on the idea that the educated and intelligent, who have a certain set of views, should kowtow to the brute and unexamined opinions of the uneducated by sheer dint of the latter’s numbers. “The liberal metropolitan elite” don’t know how to respond because they’ve delivered a society since the war that has prioritised butter over guns to a greater degree than any in history. And yet now the uneducated are having the political equivalent of a hissy-fit by voting UKIP at the first sign of a couple of years’ falling living standards.
Having delivered the ill-educated all the material possessions they could want in the decades since the war, these people actually want listening to as well! Actually listening to the stupid is the real decadence of the west. Actually believing the poor are better than the rich, or somehow more “authentic”, taking our stylistic, and cultural norms from those who’ve utterly failed is the suicide note of our society.
The right to be listened to has to be earned, and UKIPpers in any decent society would be told to go do their homework again. Ultimately, the beliefs that underpin UKIPpery are all entirely wrong or based on flawed premises, and they need to be told, loudly, repeatedly and often.
1) Immigration is not a bad thing.
The economic benefits of immigration are obvious, and overwhelming for those prepared to look. However uneducated people tend to draw their venn diagram of “them” and “us” a little tighter than the educated. The belief that the uneducated alone suffer from immigration is also demonstrably false. Immigration brings as much work as it takes. They aren’t taking “your” jobs, you just don’t like “them” but know just enough to express your prejudice in economic terms. UKIPpers are mainly uneducated, old, and though most UKIPpers try to hide it, xenophobic.
Because the UK’s immigration policy isn’t “go away you dirty foreigner”, UKIPpers aren’t listening.
2) The EU…
Almost everything UKIPpers fervently believe about the EU is wrong. The EU doesn’t write “most of our law”. Depending on how broad to view it, between 7% and 50% originates in Brussels, most of it high volume, low impact trade regulation. Most important stuff comes from Westminster. The EU is not taking our sovereignty. The EU isn’t getting in the way of international trade (quite the opposite, thanks largely to the UK’s influence, the EU is the most ardent supporter of free trade in world bodies) and the UK isn’t utterly powerless. Enlargement for example is a huge British triumph. The EU has cemented democracy in South Eastern Europe pretty effectively. Of course there are problems, bureaucracy, the CAP, the Fisheries policy and so forth. But the UK has been pretty effective in achieving its goals.
UKIPpers only goal is to leave the EU, and any goal that isn’t that, will be ignored. They’ve entirely stopped listening.
3) Russia isn’t a very nice place.
UKIPpers firmly believe the UK is utterly impotent in world affairs, and admire the freedom of action of a Dictator, mistaking Putin’s megalomania for strength. This is because stupid, ignorant people read the Sun, not ‘Foreign Affairs’ and ‘the economist’, so they’re entirely unaware of what’s going on, why and what we’re doing about it. The UK has the 4-6th (depending on who’s counting) largest defence budget on earth, is one of the 3 countries (the other two are both Allies and one of them is France) who can deploy and sustain forces on expeditionary operations. The UK’s membership of the EU, NATO, G7, UNSC and so forth means the UK can protect its interests better than almost any member of the EU.
UKIPpers have actually persuaded themselves that Ukrainians are mostly thanking Putin for saving them from the EU. This is insane.
But as UK foreign policy cannot be tweeted as “fuck the EU”, and Ukraine actually has little to do with the EU, UKIPpers aren’t listening.
The Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservative party are all led by white men in suits, whereas UKIP is led by a white man in yellow chords and a loud tweed sports coat. That doesn’t make UKIP different, or the others all the same. The reason UKIPpers think they’re all the same is because study of politics is hard, and the ship of state takes a long time to turn round. The levers our leaders pull are inexact and our constitution is deliberately designed to prevent rash action and impose checks and balances. Of course you don’t notice a change immediately a new Government takes power. “LibLabCon” is simply an expression of wilful ignorance of this simple fact. Stupid people can’t be bothered to find out about other parties policies. They just notice UKIP is stroking their stupid prejudices and that the others aren’t. The difference is UKIPs policies will never be implemented and so can be as un-realistic as the pie-in-the-sky crap that Nigel Farage pulls out of his arse on BBCQT every week.
I could go on. UKIPpers views on crime and punishment, law and order, education, the welfare state and so forth are distinctly red-top, and entirely uninformed by any study, research or theory. Mostly they’re just hankering after an imagined better yesterday. It’s just a grouping of the prejudices of people born around WW2, unleavened by any coherent philosophy or evidence.
And these stupid, unformed, ignorant opinions are being given the respect they do not deserve by those who should know better.
The reason is simple. Our political leaders have stopped demanding deference and respect, and instead genuflect before Daytime TV presenters, grovel to members of the public, and so are not being given any platform to explain themselves. A desire to be liked has replaced Maggie’s oderint dum metuant attitude. I long for a politician to tell John Humphries to shut up and listen. I long for someone to ram Paxman’s smug aggression down his disrespectful throat. I long for Politicians to say “not my fucking problem” to whining constituents bitching about something trivial. Westminster isn’t about blocked drains or benefits complaints, it’s about scrutinising legislation and protecting freedoms.
When politicians stop trying to meddle in the minutiae of people’s lives and do their job protecting our freedom, they may get the respect they (should actually, really) deserve.
The mainstream parties need to sing the praises of immigration, and try to inform the electorate, rather than run scared by pretending one thing and doing another. They need to explain how cutting job protection increases jobs available. They need to explain the supply-side advantages of benefit cuts. And they need to tell journalists asking stupid questions, that quite often, (how much people smoke for eg) it’s none of politics’ business rather than rolling over for every pressure group that gets its propaganda dressed as research under their nose. Politicians need to stop campaigning on “issues” and start saying “no”.
A bit of self-confidence from the political class: leadership, rather than pandering to UKIP’s ignorant bastards. Be PROUD you know more than Steve, 54, an unemployed bricklayer from Basildon who will “definitely be voting UKIP” mainly because he doesn’t like the Latvians.