Ride the Rise of Nasty Nige : The Potential Positives Of The UKIP Victory
Boom! shake-shake-shake the room.
Boom! shake-shake-shake the room.
– Will Smith
May the 26th saw the supposed UKIP political earthquake come to pass as the party gained an historic win in the European elections. For the first time in over a hundred years a party, other than Labour or Conservative, has managed to win a national election. And while the majority of the country’s population are seemingly annoyed at this prospect and are showing such anger in the form of a bazillion comic memes post result, instead of doing the smart thing and going to vote pre result, there is one huge advantage to this outcome. One that may change the face of politics forever.
By kicking the usual two-almost-three-party political system that has plagued the country for a century hard in the crotch Nigel Farage has blasted open the doors and allowed potential for other political parties to brush of the dust of obscurity and climb the political ladder to the summit of acknowledgement. No longer will voters have to spew the statement – “I think all [Labour, Tories, and Lib Dem] are shit. But I’d rather have A than B, and no gives a fuck about C” because the UKIP win, if other parties pick up on the momentum of the whole thing, could signal and does signal a country looking outside of the proverbial box on a grand scale for their political fix.
But how did UKIP manage such a feat? It seems that by dangling their nationalist rod into the fish pond of dissuaded Conservatives Farage’s barrage managed to hook a few guppies who were happy to push the right wingers into the public eye by means of political influence and heavy funding. So why can’t another party do the same thing on the left hand side of the spectrum? I personally can’t see why not. The Green Party (a personal favourite of mine) could no doubt easily snag a plethora of big political fishes from both the Labour and Lib Dem back bench, especially the latter due to the recent ousting of Nick Clegg as an even greater charlatan than when he signed in blood with Satan by joining a Conservative coalition.
Labour have always at least pretended to want to end what the Guardian once called “The Great Pay Robbery” by looking towards a higher top tier wage tax and giving a somewhat hushed lip service to the idea of a maximum wage cap. Though the article, written by George Monbiot, does claim that the parties “recommendations are, to be frank, pathetic” (taken from theguardian.com). And the Lib Dem’s online manifesto has a strong sense of the eco-friendly swimming through its pages (though how much can be taken as gospel these days is no doubt very little). So the idea of the Green Party coming in to net the voices of political dissent within those two parties isn’t that insane an idea. The only main difference between that and UKIP’s rise being that the angry Tories that swam over to Farage probably have a bit more money than any pissed off Lefty.
The main issue is that the political pond (I’ll stop with the fish metaphors soon, I promise) is full of sharks, and the Green Party just don’t seem to have that killer instinct in them. Which is probably one of the reasons people like them, and without a doubt the main reason they’ll never push past the status of being a fringe party, but their inability to switch from hunted to hunter doesn’t mean that the party should disband or that people shouldn’t vote for them. There seems to be a strange disbelief in the country that you shouldn’t vote for a party like the Green Party because “they won’t get in anyway”. But whether the party wins or not is almost irrelevant. The more votes a party gets, the more seats they get. The more seats they get, the larger a voice they have in the house. So the idea that voting for a party that “isn’t going to win anyway” isn’t much of an idea and really just a load of gibberish. In fact “the Green party leads Brighton council already, are they are now the official opposition in Liverpool, Norwich and Solihull. They also have the only non-Labour councillor in both Islington and Lewisham” (taken from anotherangryvoice.blogspot) which is, an admittedly small, progress in establishing themselves as an ever increasing voice in UK politics.
And by looking at the local elections in this way it becomes clear that the position taken by mainstream media of a “UKIP Earthquake” isn’t as powerful as it sounds. As in reality they won far fewer seats than even the politically toxic Liberal Democrats managed. They did manage to pick up over 160 new council seats, but they were scattered far and wide across the country, meaning that they gained control of precisely zero councils. The only way any of the UKIP councillors will get any taste of political power is if they form coalitions with the Tories in some of the Tory dominated No Overall Control councils. And even then, they’ll be the minor player in any coalition, meaning experienced Tory councillors are likely to use these new UKIP councillors as convenient human shit deflectors just as the Westminster Tories have used the hapless Liberal Democrats for the last four years (also taken from anotherangryvoice.blogspot).
But the “UKIP earthquake” has still registered massively on the Richter scale, even if this is more a symbolic thing than an actual mould breaking victory. By doing so the party have, at least in the public perception through mainstream media, began to tear apart the fabric of conventional voting habits which, in my opinion, is a pretty ground shattering feat. UKIP have planted a seed into the mind of a country bored with the usual suspects that, if nurtured, will grow into a giant fucking daffodil that yearns for the sunlight of a fresh political day. It’s just a damn shame it had to start with such a crummy bunch of racist wankers.
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.