147 net gains for UKIP on Thursday was a political earthquake. The political class is scared. They do not like it up ‘em.
Like most folks I was first attracted to UKIP over the EU. It wants out of the Evil Empire and so do I. Does it have any other policies? Yes. Do I agree with all of them? No. But where we disagree on matters like immigration UKIP at least accepts that the current system (easy entry + free welfare) is a joke and unworkable. UKIP would make entry impossible & keep welfare, I would make it automatic but scrap the welfare.
My point is that UKIP is instinctively right in that it sees – as do – most folks in Britain – that there is a vast problem. In its DNA UKIP is on the right track. The established parties have – for years – made it clear that the immigration system needed minor adjustments. They have lied about the scale of immigration, tarred anyone who questioned the system as a racist and then occasionally made tiny changes which stop skilled workers coming here ( who we want) in order to win grubby votes and Daily Mail headlines.
And so when David Cameron or Ken Clarke or any of the other mainstream politicos of all three parties tarred UKIP as racist in the past they meant it. That is what they actually believed. When they now say they are “listening” and must “connect with the views of those who voted UKIP” it is just another big fat lie. It is a lie born out of desperation.
And that brings us to David Cameron. Instinctively Nigel Farage is what we might describe as a Tory in the Thatcher mould. He believes in a small state, is Eurosceptic, feels no need to piss billions away on aid to despots, tackling bogus global warming scares, etc. I do not always agree with his solution but the DNA of Farage and UKIP is to call it correctly or at least to boldly state that a problem exists.
Cameron on the other hand has lived a closeted existence (like most of the political elite). The same sort of schools, the same Universities, the same utter lack of real world job experience and thus the same total lack of understanding of how most folks actually live and think. So can he be instinctively right about anything? No. All he wants to do is win elections. He thought he could do that by protecting foreign aid and jumping on the global warming bandwagon to make the Tories “nice.” If he thought that winning power meant abolishing foreign aid altogether and stating that global warming was bogus he would do it. Does he actually believe in any of it? No.
And so now he says that he wants to ensure that we get a referendum on the EU in 2017 by passing legislation now. This is all Westminster Willy waving. If Thatcher were leading the Tories she would say “there will be a referendum NOW.”
And so when Cameron says that he will now “listen to the little people” you should ask “why the hell were you not listening before?” And then ask yourself will he act on what he hears? The answer is probably not a lot and if so only grudgingly. And if UKIP went up in smoke not at all.
If UKIP was in power it would attract folks from the political classes and elite and I would probably start to despise and mistrust it too. But right now it is not. And since there is no ideological difference of note between the three grubby parties of old (most of whose leading MPs had to hand back cash they stole from us via expenses) I can see no reason to abandon UKIP. The protest will go on and hopefully grow. And Cameron is a good reason (as are his fellow Oxbridge PPE, never had a proper job, pals Miliband and Clegg) for that growth to continue.