England Prevails-The sad story of UKIP’s ‘earthquake’

It’s the day when results for the European Elections across the EU and far right parties like the National Front in France have won a number of seats. Here in the UK, our far right party of the day is UKIP who have, sadly, won themselves a number of MEP’s, including one in Scotland which is depressing to say the least. Nigel Farage is now saying UKIP are the ‘third force’ in a four party system.

Problem is for UKIP, reality says another thing. As I write this, Scotland still has to declare but this is the percentages of the parties as I write this.

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UKIP are indeed top of the pile. The first party that ins’t Tory or Labour to win a British national election since the Second World War.There are however things to note and let’s start by pointing out where The Greens are. They’re fourth on with an addition MEP on a slightly reduced share of the vote. Imagine if those parts of the media that alleges itself to be ‘progressive’ like say, The Guardian, had pushed for the Greens instead of telling their readers that UKIP were racists in a stream of articles which according to Private Eye, have been fed to them by the Tories.

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If true, then that’s simply extraordinary. It’s also something which if found to be true should make Alan Rusbridger resign as they had a chance to present an alternative vision, but instead jumped to help out the Tories. Think about the implications of that for a minute and when you’ve picked up your jaw realise that there is an establishment that was working against UKIP but instead of The Guardian telling the Tories to fuck off, they allegedly jumped into bed with them. So much for ‘progressive’ politics, or offering any sort of genuine left wing alternative.

As for the BBC’s cheerleading for Farage and UKIP thanks mainly to the odious Nick Robinson. Well, that’s also creating a media-led narrative which paints UKIP as ‘outsiders’ (they’re not) against the establishment. It makes good, tabloid telly and it’s a narrative much of the media lapped up. It’s entirely wrong of course but it doesn’t stop it being repeated across a media mainly based in London.

Now I admit to having voted Green as I outlined here, but with reservations but they seem to be a good protest vote against the establishment that isn’t a bunch of xenophobic fascists and racists. Had say, The Guardian fell behind them, or presented the other options instead of shilling for the Tories or preaching to the converted, then things may possibly be different. We’ll never know. We do know they put out this extraordinary piece with the headline ”Ukip results reveal divide between London and rest of England” on Friday which pushed the line that smart, educated, cosmopolitan London were too clever for UKIP. The facts however are that virtually every major English city, so Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Blackburn, Manchester, Wigan, Sunderland, Newcastle and many others have no UKIP Councillors. Here in Bristol where UKIP spent what must be tens of thousands of pounds judging by the amount of billboards across the city, they only walked away with one seat.

UKIP’s ‘earthquake’ actually wasn’t anything of the kind on Friday, and although the European Elections have been a victory for them, there are reasons for this. Go back up and look at the graphic of what party got what percentages of votes. Look at how the BNP vote has collapsed. It doesn’t take a genius to work out where that vote has probably went to, especially when you note the amount of EDL supporters who are very vocal UKIP supporters on social media. For example:

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A wee shufty through Twitter will find hundreds, if not thousands, more like this. UKIP may not be openly racist, or saying they openly court racism but they and it’s getting them support. It’s worked but it’s too easy to suggest it’s only just EDL and former BNP voters voting UKIP, it’s not. There’s people who want to simply give the establishment a bloody nose and if UKIP are racist, well, it’s not the point. It’s about using the system to voice dissent. UKIP have been smart enough (either by design or accident) to take advantage of this so that Farage sets himself up outside of the establishment and is giving Westminster a bloody nose. The truth is that Farage is as much part of the establishment as Cameron, Milliband and Clegg, and doesn’t stand for free speech, and in fact has tried to actively suppress free speech in this election. This doesn’t matter though to UKIP voters as they see UKIP standing for something which is a vision of Britain, and more specifically, England standing dominant over all, including the other countries of the United Kingdom. For them England Prevails and they see Farage’s vision so they vote for it. It’s smoke and mirrors but people voted for it. UKIP are for something, even if the smarter among us know it’s a lie.

Here’s the problem with many of us on the left. We’ve been against so many things for so long, we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be for something so it’s easy to complain about the Daily Mail, or Tweet about ‘Bullingdon Boys’, but presenting a decent, alternative to right wing politics that people of all classes can look at and consider something to vote for?

Nah.

So when Russell Brand says that voting is a waste of time vast chunks of people on the left, especially young people, think this is a great idea. Selling a vision of apathy or that voting changes nothing looks pretty fucking hollow today as UKIP sail into seats across the UK, including one in Scotland. it doesn’t look like voting is a ‘waste of time’ today. I think Nigel Farage is quite grateful of people like Brand ensuring younger voters don’t turn out as they buy into Brand’s sixth form political rhetoric. It allows the media to shape the idea that it’s only London that votes against UKIP, or that in the words of Nick Robinson, UKIP are causing an ‘earthquake’ when the reality of the night is that, well, UKIP won on a 34% turnout.

34%.

That’s 66% who didn’t vote. They couldn’t even muster up the energy to spoil a ballot paper. I don’t blame UKIP voters for this. They’re wankers but they’re wankers who voted for something, even if it’s xenophobia and racism. You lot who didn’t vote did nothing to help, especially in the European elections which uses PR and your vote actually means something. You could have voted Green, or No2Eu, or SNP, or Plaid Cymru, or any of the leftish alternatives. Fuck, you could even have voted for one of the three main parties but no, you didn’t do anything so you’re now going to sit back an complain about how the EU does things, or Nigel Farage/Ed Milliband/Alex Salmond. David Cameron/whomever, or how your city is run but you didn’t do that one thing that people have died to get, which is vote.

Well done, you’re as culpable for this as someone who put an X by UKIP on the ballot paper.

So what now? Well Nick Robinson on the BBC is still wittering on about how so very important Nigel Farage is, and Labour and the Tories are trying to work out how much more like UKIP they can become, while the Lib Dems are going to tear themselves apart. The post mortem in Scotland is going to be an interesting one but it speaks volumes that the UKIP MEP for Scotland has a home address in London.  Will UKIP even win a seat in the general election next year? Possibly, but now they have over 20 MEP’s that’s over twenty opportunities for the sort of enormous fuck ups of the type we’re used to from UKIP.

Like the BNP before them, UKIP have to prove they walk the talk. They won’t, or at least, the majority won’t as there’s rattling skeletons (there’s already rumours all their new MEP’s are donating 10#% of their salary to be paid into UKIP’s coffers, something not permitted by law) still to be exposed with UKIP’s new MEP’s and fantastic groups like Hope not Hate, and the odd journalist here and there will expose. However without something for people to vote for, UKIP aren’t going away.

Democracy is hard. That’s the point. Sitting on you arse apathetically complaining leads to this. People now have just under a year to wake up and work out what they’re going to do.

So just what is it that you want to do?

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35 thoughts on “England Prevails-The sad story of UKIP’s ‘earthquake’

  1. Ukip have one major factor to thank for their success and that is their opposition. Ukip fought their election by talking about Europe and giving their case for how they see our place in it. What was everybody else doing?

    Labour were mud slinging and talking about nothing besides the cost of living with no reference at all to the EU. The Tories were too busy saying “we love Europe but hate Europe and will hold a referendum but campaign to stay in, ukip are crap and we have the answers and they don’t”. The lib dems, with no credibility left whatsoever, picked the side most unpopular with the electorate, loosing all but one of their meps and bringing their party to its knees with internal argument. The greens are a bit of a disorganized joke and little more than a protest vote for hippies, but saying that, I’d never rule out voting for them. They behaved in a civil manner and made their case well and it payed off cos they got the lib dem seat in the south west.

    All of the above combined succeeded in nothing other than forcing ukip into the spotlight by trying to spin minor politically incorrect incidences that the general public don’t give a fuck about into national controversy. All this has done is make ukip the underdog and give them the airtime to present their message.

    Now, regardless of who and what euro skeptic parties like ukip are or might be, there is a wider issue afoot. The majority of the British people do NOT want to be in the EU and they are not being given a say on the matter as we kiss good bye to being a sovereign nation and are forced into an undemocratic federal union. It might be in the best interests of big business and capitalism to do this but it is not in our best interests at all. Projects like this end badly and if it continues, much worse things than ukip will gather momentum here and across the continent.

    Oh and I wouldn’t be so sure that those that didn’t vote would vote your way. The most likely scenario is that the non votes would make for an even spread. I’ve met a lot of people who simply neither know not care enough and don’t wish to make an uninformed vote and I completely understand.

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  2. UKIP gave no details. Nothing. It ran upon two talking points and tapped into dissent against the Westminster parties. It however failed at a local level to make the impact they were expecting, which may have something to do with not wanting a bunch of amateurs.

    Also, the majority of the UK do want to stay in the EU if polls are anything to go by and it’s worth noting the majority of votes cast were for parties who support this position. UKIP’s idea that a ‘majority’ want out is bollocks. Most people want reform, but most people know the impact upon them personally if we withdraw from the EU.

    Also, UKIP support big buisness, and considering they don’t actually bother turning up to debate crucial things (though they did vote against action against the ivory trade) in the European Parliament.

    UKIP now have to be throw out detail. Putting out a full manifesto after an election is dishonest but now they’ll be under serious scrutiny.

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  3. Yes, most people want reform but what they don’t realise is that this will never happen. The EU is going full steam towards federalisation and they make no secret of this. Most people are not aware of anything regarding the EU and will readily believe the bullshit our politicians come out with, saying its just a trade union and somehow the sixth largest economy on the planet would fold if we left. Europe needs cashcow britain a million times than we need it. Ukip might not be the answer but the EU is poisonous, anti democratic and far from achieving peace, will turn europe in on its self. A united states of europe can not and will never work! If the scots don’t want to be part of a united kingdom I can’t imagine why they would prefer to be a region than a country

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  4. Reform of the EU won’t happen from MEP’s who won’t turn up and screw the taxpayer as UKIP will. The fact they’ve sacked one of their number already gives away the problem with UKIP’s lack of professionalism.

    There needs to be an informed debate on the EU but that won’t happen while morons like Farage muddy the water with his populist lies.

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  5. I think you need to do some research on how the EU actually works. Meps can’t do shit, they can only yes or no bills that are put through dozens at a time in a session. Legislative power is in the hands of the unelected commission. The whole thing stinks and I like most people want a directly accountable elected government. The idea that we need to be in a political union with europe to access the common market which we voted for in the 70s is stupid. Maybe ukip are not the answer, but they highjlight what a inward looking heap of shit the eu is.

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  6. Yes, MEP’s can do things. They vote upon legislation and help negotiations, but they’re only effective if they turn up. UKIP don’t turn up so they spread the myth MEP’s don’t do anything to make it seem they’re just joining an ineffective parliament.

    However UKIP also say the EU parliament and MEP’s form ‘70%’ of British law (it doesn’t) so what is it then? Is it somewhere nothing happens or something happens?

    And we do elect MEP’s. The point is they need to be effective when they’re there. Judging by Louise van der Bours performance last night on Question TIme, they won’t be.

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  7. Ukip voters do not elect ukip meps to rearrange deck chairs on the titanic, they elect them as a wholesale rejection of the EU political system. Again, it’s trade that we want, not political union. Ukip wants the uk out of that but in the common market with the same sort of deal that Norway or Switzerland have. The EU commissioners have already said before that they would rather that for unwilling participants than to compromise their vision for an ever closer union.

    Also, your point that most people voted for pro EU parties? It may come as no surprise that it is mostly old people who vote and they do this via postal vote. Old people temd to also dislike change and will vote for the same party that they always have. Ed miliband could go on live tv and eat a baby and labour would still get votes

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  8. Except UKIP are quite happy taking MY money to fund their party-something not exactly legal under EU law.People vote for MP’s or MEP’s top work for them and represent them. If UKIP have no intention of this then they’re blatantly lying to their voters.

    UKIP count their support among those less informed. Once people know what UKIP plan, or stand for, then they bleed votes.

    Hence why they don’t want to engage any serious discussion.

    They’re fucked in the long term but in the short term they could seriously badly damage things.

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  9. As I said, ukip may or may not be the answer but that’s besides the point. That’s your view but I see things very differently, it does seem like you are echoing the words that you have read or heard somewhere else though. The media is full of shit and activist groups/ political parties have a vested interest in spinning and twisting bullshit against their opposition, especially when their own situation is pretty dire. You need to approach things with an open mind to fully understand them, which is something I found you lacked when you were making blog posts which claimed I was the co-mastermind behind bale and I was trying to get you to see that you had in fact played into bonehills hands by believing what he wanted you to believe. Really you should go to a ukip public meeting, speak to a few people and find out what they are about before writing them off as fascists.

    Changing gears, the whole reason I got involved with ukip is the EU. I couldn’t give a toss about immigration, or anything like that. My problem is that behind that flag lies the blueprints for something very ugly which needs to be stopped before it leads to something very ugly. Most europeans don’t want what the unelected bureaucrats have in store for us all and it can only end badly. Common market yes, political union NO! I want to live in a country where I can elect people to a government in the capital who are directly accountable and can be removed. The eu simply does not offer that. The office of mep is a joke, I had more legislative power when I was on the student council at college.

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  10. Ok, here’s a question then. Farage wants to get rid of NI. This leaves something like £120 billion out of government spending, but he also wants to reduce taxes.

    What goes? Is this how UKIP fully privatises the NHS and any other public owned body? This is the problem with UKIP, it’s not even a protest vote. It is as Stewart Lee said, shitting in your bed to complain about someone shitting in your bed.

    The EU needs reform. Serious reform, but we also need the EU. The UK simply isn’t going to survive without it, and this insane idea that we’d somehow be able to sort things out overnight, fuck Europe off, and start trading with the Americans and the Commonwealth so that replaces the billions lost from being part of the EU isn’t going to work.

    My job depends on being part of the EU. We pull put and my company which employs around 3k people in the UK goes elsewhere. There’s hundreds of companies not only from Europe, but around the world, who would review their presence in the UK.

    I don’t see pulling out as an option. Not when the UK is used as an entry point into Europe by some countries, and as a conduit to the US by European countries. The US doesn’t want the UK to pull out and have warned us not to consider it.

    UKIP have not once explained how a UK would exist without massive cuts to the state, and that UK may just be England, Wales and NI so there wouldn’t be the income coming in from Scotland.

    UKIP’s figures don’t add up.

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  11. Lets just wait and see what ukip put in their manifesto. Lets face it, this will be their first proper one as a serious party and not a pressure group. What I do know is that it has been worked on for a couple of years already and they do actually have experts for each policy area. You can bet it will be under the microscope when it comes out.

    I think you have missed my point and ukips intention. Leaving the EU does NOT mean leaving the common market. You do NOT need a political union to trade or do business. Do you seriously think that the EU would close off to us when we are their biggest export market? No, they wouldn’t. I work for a company owned by east Europeans and it would be business as usual if we left the EU in the political sense. Norway and Switzerland do just fine with the “in the common market but not in the political union”. That arrangement would best suit Britain, it would leave us to also trade with the rest of the world on our own terms. I remember just a few years ago people were saying if we didn’t join the euro we would be totally screwed… But we still have a strong currency that even salmond prefers to the euro

    Do you seriously want to belong to what will be reduced to a region within a federal union of states, which will end in utter disaster? You cannot have a loose political union so federalisation is the only reform that will happen.

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  12. They’ve been a ‘serious party’ allegedly for 20 years. Are we now going to have to swallow the line UKIP supporters are pushing that all the previous times Farage, etc were standing for Parliament that they weren’t ‘serious’?

    Pressure groups are fine, but if you want to be a party you need policies. UKIP clearly have them but they were playing it low key until building up a popular support. As said, that’s dishonest. Even the Monster Raving Looney Party published a full manifesto.

    So what exactly is UKIP’s line because some Kippers want out of Europe completely, some want to stay half in/half out. Also staying in the Common Market isn’t going to create, let alone save jobs.

    As for UKIP’s ‘experts’ does that include the person who thinks climate change isn’t happening or the person who thinks women don’t get raped in marriage?

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  13. So far ukip are equipped only just to hold seats in europe and locally, they know this too. Some loonatic ideas have been voiced from some within the ukip ranks, but these are not representative of the whole party. In general a lot of the time it is something taken way out of context which the media then spin. Once again, I’m not going to say that ukip have all the answers because they don’t.

    I don’t think our membership of the eu creates or protects jobs either. Last year the eu paid ford to close down their transit factory in southampton and move it to fucking turkey! The rediculous blanket rules and regulations from brussels made by moronic bureaucrats who know nothing of our needs cost billions, and only last week the commission demanded 500million from us! Peace, stability, democracy and national soverignty are far more important than the scaremongering shit europhiles come up with. Norway and switzerland seem to be quite rich and yet they are in the common market with all the economic benefits without being in political union. That is the renegotiation we need.

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  14. ‘Some’ lunatic ideas? Paul Nuttall wants to privatise the NHS.Their ‘science’ based policies are tinhat material.

    Also, the EU didn’t pay Ford to move. Ford moved because it was cheaper for them to make Transits in Turkey and the EU gave them a grant to do it. That’s something needing investigation but what’s UKIP’s solution to all this?

    Pull out and renegotiate everything?

    Not going to work.

    If UKIP want to the UK to remain one of the world’s top economies then it needs to explain itself. Kicking policies down the road (except we know they do have policies, they just know they’re not going to be popular) is only delayiung the scrutiny that’s coming to it.

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  15. Again I don’t disagree with you on ukip and I don’t think just pulling out would be the answer. We need to renegotiate a position to where we take a step back as europe heads into federalisation and remain outside of political union but in the common market like norway and switzerland are. The eu giving a grant to ford to do that was insane though. The eu killed our fishing industry too. I don’t see any of the benefits of eu membership and any positives we could easily achieve on our own. We are the sixth largest economy, we are europes main export market. They need us a lot more than we need them and they would accept whatever conditions we demand. We need to decide whether we leave or remain in for federalisation. That is why a referendum is so important. Democracy is paramount

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  16. Democracy is important but pulling out isn’t going to help. We need to make sure we work from within the system because frankly the UK has fuck all leverage outside of the EU. It’s not 1950 any more.

    But EU membership gives us benefits. The Working Time Directive being one, but this is what UKIP really want to get rid of. They want low paid workers able to take any job and work in any conditions.

    A referendum will result in the UK staying, if polls are right, Frankly though, this isn’t a major issue for the majority of people, or even a majority of those who could be arsed to vote.

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  17. All I care about and the one thing that most ukippers care about is a referendum. If we vote to stay In and federalise with europe, then so be it. I would accept that as long as it was all properly democratic. We can’t pretend that federalisation is not on the agenda and that’s where we are heading.

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  18. Okay but regardless of opinions and positions, do you agree with me that there needs to be a referendum on our membership of the EU? I agree with the Scotish referendum even though I support the stance of keeping Great Britain together. I am British, not English.

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  19. Well I don’t think the other side is being at all truthful either. Enough of our politicians and media trying to cover it up, what the EU is and the direction they intend to take it needs to be laid out on the table. Enough of this ‘it’s all about trade’.

    I am curious though, as to why supposed socialists are so hugely in favor of the EU, always citing capitalist reasons to justify it. Is it simply because the ‘right’ hate it and the left just want to be opposed to them on everything? Or perhaps it is because a large number of member states are ex communist, some ex soviet and a lot ex Warsaw Pact? Is it because some of the EU representatives from these places are ex communists that thrived within those regimes? There are some worrying similarities between the EU and the USSR that cannot be denied!

    This might make you laugh; when I stood as a ukip candidate, one of my helpers from my local branch delivering my campaign leaflets was a Russian lady! The reason why she supported ukip was the same as me, she was opposed to the EU and she had the same concerns as I do. Only, she knew first hand what it was like living in the USSR and could see some striking resemblances! A Russian kipper though, I bet that kills stereotypes 😉

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  20. I find a lot of those saying that the EU is some great plot to be the same people saying 911 was an inside job and that Sandy Hook didn’t happen.

    It should be also pointed out the only Westminster party to have withdrawal of the EU as a core of their manifesto was Labour in 1983. There’s a strong socialist reasoning for withdrawal from the EU due to the lack of accountability, but I prefer to stay in and try to change it from the inside rather than withdraw.

    UKIP’s reasons for withdrawal are more to do with business than this false patriotism. Sitting around not doing anything and being strangely silent over trade agreements which give power to American companies is suspicious, especially when UKIP have links with Rand Paul and the Soros people.

    UKIP are not the people to make an anti-EU argument.

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  21. As I said, ukip may or may not be the answer, but the problem is the EU, ukip is just symptom of it. These problems cannot be solved from within because those that get to call the shots and are accountable only to themselves have made themselves quite clear that their course is set and nothing is going to change that. I keep hearing people say the word reform, with no explanation as to what kind of reform we are talking about.

    Those socialist groups were right to want out of the EU. It is ALL about destroying European democracy in the name of capitalism. I’m astonished that the left seem most in favor of something which the only reasons for are all about money and not about the people concerned. The bottom line is a referendum and the outcome of that I will accept.

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  22. The most simple ways of reform is to open up accountability. So all MEP’s have to declare exactly what money they’ve spent, and also, MEP’s cannot hold another position at any time during their time on Parliament.

    I’d even adopt what they do with the US president and freeze MEP’s bank accounts for the duration of their time so they really can’t make money from the position. This should also be adapted for Westminster.

    It’d be interesting to see who wants to be an MEP/MP when it’s very, very, very hard to make it just another career.

    As for the EU itself, more open democracy. More referendums for major decisions, including letting countries join.

    The 7% of the UK’s laws made in Brussels have on the whole been to the benefit of everyone, but more transparency should be there.

    Again, this should also apply to Westminster.

    If everything is open and clear, you won’t get, say Farage scamming the European taxpayer for millions to fund his lifestyle, or MP’s flipping houses to build a property portfolio.

    The only thing is the only way we’d have any leverage to reform anything is to be part of it.

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  23. I think you are confused, meps don’t have any legislative power. They only get to say yes or no on dozens of bills forced through in each session eith no proper opportunity to even look at what they are voting onand sit on pointless committees. If they vote no then the commission change the title and put it through again.

    All of this is irrelevant though because nobody has voted for it and rearranging deck chairs on the titanic does not make up for the fact that the European Union is heading towards turning the whole thing into one federal nation. Now is the time for a referendum, not pointless reform. That can come after we get to decide if we want it.

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  24. 7% or 75%, it doesn’t matter. Laws are still passed by an EU commission which effect my life but are not in any way accountable to me. The ONLY say I have ever been given on the EU is one vote for the party I dislike the least every five years, where’s the democracy in that? no amount of reform could make up for the fact that the European Union does NOT have the consent of the people it purports to govern over and you can know something is wrong if it is too scared to ask us for it! Until it gets that consent the whole thing remains and absolute farse and will continue to breed discontent amongst the people of Europe and this will continue to play into the hands of the genuine fascists of Europe like the French FN who have hijacked the euro skeptic argument to further their agenda. The only way to counter that is with an in out referendum and now. Not in a few years, not after reform, not after a time when certain articles come to effect which will give Brussels the power to supersede Westminster, thus rendering it incapable of legislating to withdraw. And yes, that’s happening. Why do you think David Cameron is kicking the can down the road? The only way this will go is revolution and it won’t be pretty.

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  25. MEP’s can help draft laws, they can also debate. So yes, they do have power, but it’s UKIP’s narrative that the MEP does nothing so it makes light of them essentially defrauding the taxpayer for doing nothing.

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  26. 7% and 75% do matter. It shows UKIP lie, and big horrible ones at that. Not to mention the majority of these laws are employment, environmental and health and safety related. All things UKIP have shown contempt for.

    There will be no ‘revolution’. No matter how many Kippers think it’ll come.

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  27. Maybe not, but who cares? They would quickly become irrelevant if there was an in vote majority. You have stated that historically socialists have opposed the eu for the same reasons I oppose it. You keep drawing back to ukip and I am starting to wonder if your apparent support for ‘in’ is simply to oppose what you see as the ‘right in poltics’.

    For the reasons I have stated in earlier posts and being left leaning, surely you being a genuine europhile would be a huge contradiction and make you a bit of a hypocrite?

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  28. I’m glad you are ssleemingly in agreement with me on the need for an in/out referendum. That really is the main issue for me, the issues behind the arguments for in and out, the parties, groups and organizations involved in the debate and the final outcome are all things that matter much, much less to me.

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  29. Finally I have the chance to sit down and put my overall view properly!

    I really don’t believe there is actually anything particularly sinister about UKIP outside of the usual realms of “political viewpoint” VS “political viewpoint”, as you and the left would like to suggest. I know you can come up with countless examples to support that theory, however most are opinions rather than fact, or a perspective of a fact from a biased point of view. There is, of course, always more than one side to any particular story. I think the “problem” that UKIP has is that for 20 years, it was nothing more than a pressure group. They only really focused on European elections through which they intended on pushing their message. Now that their main agenda has been pushed to the front of the concerns of the British Electorate, they have seen a huge surge in support in the past two years.

    All of a sudden, scores of people have jumped on board and they have realised that they actually now can and need to be serious and offer the complete party package. Political parties need to be professional and accountable in order to be seen by the electorate as being electable. Otherwise, well, they get shot down pretty quickly! Pressure groups do not need to worry about that because they are only putting their agenda forward, not themselves and therefore do not come under the same scrutiny. Also, the sort of people that they consist of differs. UKIP has and is continuing to part ways with the quirky, embarrassing ‘Godfrey Bloom’ types and are now putting forward professional, electable individuals as candidates and spokesmen. Small parties and groups tend to have a ‘beggers can’t be choosers’ approach to who they pick, whereas larger ones have a much bigger pool to find talent.

    A lot of the ‘dodgy characters’ we hear about, when you delve deeper turn out to be either misunderstood or as was in my case, totally stitched up. The rest are mostly throwbacks to the old days but they are a minority. I think we also need to be careful with some of these individual cases because some of them are solely down to upbringing or religious beliefs and therefore you cannot exactly link that to hatred or malice as it is not exactly that persons fault for holding beliefs that they did not reach by conscious choice. We have freedom of speech and expression, as well as the freedom of religion in this country, so it is important to find the right balance when making an issue out of these things. I do think that we are starting to head towards a bit of an Orwellian ‘But you can’t say that!’ thought police sort of thing, which is worrying.

    I think that the next thing we will see from UKIP is their first ever proper GE manifesto, containing a set of solid, costed and sensible policies. They haven’t seriously contended in a general election so previously they have just got some bloke to jot it down on the back of a fag packet, which is why the 2010 one is utterly bonkers and has been binned by the party. I think this will help their case if they get it right because as you have said yourself, all we really have are two talking points and a few soundbites. The problem with that is it can be assumed that literally anything said by spokesmen or candidates is a reflection of policy, since we don’t have anything else to refer to. UKIP do have some way to go but if they get it right they do stand a chance. Otherwise, they face being pushed back to square one, or worse; consigned to the dustbin of political history.

    I think UKIP does have the ability to really come of age and join the rest and bring about some positive diversity to British politics, I would also like to see other parties such as the Green’s join that table as well. There is plenty of debate to have on their big subjects such as the EU and immigration, jobs and the economy and it needs to happen. These are very emotionally charged subjects and we all have our opinions. Most importantly though, UKIP’s opposition and critics need to back off and give them room to reach that end because I think all of this negative press does risk pushing them into victories which they may not yet be fully ready for and that could be disastrous. Taking them seriously as a force in British politics and treating them no differently to Lib, Lab and Con will ensure that they develop naturally and face proper, unbiased scrutiny.

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