I loved The The when I was younger, and I’ve been finding myself listening to a lot of Matt Johnson’s songs again recently because a lot of them are still astonishingly relevant today. In particular the song Heartland could have easily been written today, and in particular about the rise of UKIP.
After UKIP’s by-elections successes the media are all over UKIP like a drunk is over a bridesmaid at a wedding, while Labour are talking about going even further to the right which would leave people in the centre and of the left in a bit of a lurch. This is not especially going to matter in Scotland where people can vote for the likes of the SNP, but across the rest of the UK the Greens are the only option left.
Sadly UKIP are very successful on providing an avenue for disaffected voters and/or racists to vent and protest. They’ve also gamified politics so it’s not about politics, ethics or even what they believe in, rather than obtaining power at all costs and then clinging onto it. There’s not a shred of social conscience in UKIP but they don’t care about the working classes or those who have been forgotten about as they’re just a means to an end, and that end is to get into power and drag the UK down to it’s level. They effectively want to rip up the last 70 years and start again while making the UK a backward looking country.
This is course is fuel for the fire of campaigners of Scottish Independence who did predict this before the referendum, and it does offer another possible opportunity for another referendum as soon as 2017 if the rest of the UK votes to leave the EU and Scotland decides to stay in the EU. If the rest of the drags itself into UKIP’s snakepit and falls into the grasp of UKIP’s far-right policies which drags us further into austerity then there’s going to be a backlash at some point.See, the one thing UKIP haven’t actually thought about is what to do when they have power, or can influence power. They’ve ran on ‘being different’ even though they aren’t but it has worked. However if they do enter a coalition with the Tories next year and are the party of power as the Lib Dems are, then they don’t have anywhere left to hide. When they fail (and they will fail) then the backlash against them will be enormous.
Until then though UKIP stand to cause a lot of damage with their scorched earth policies. Until then people have to protest against UKIP because UKIP aren’t for anything as this wonderful exchange on LBC shows the thought process of a UKIP supporter. UKIP are easily burst but it involves taking them on, not deciding to outdo them and that isn’t happening with Labour.
Sadly I think we’re in for the dark times predicted in Heartland but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, though this looks to be a very, very long tunnel.