The Eastleigh bye-election was another strong showing from Ukip, who now seem to have form in nearly winning seats in the House of Commons. They came second in Rotherham and Middlesbrough, as well as a good enough showing of third in Croyden North. This points to greater support for Ukip amongst working class voters, as well as a strong showing in the resolutely middle class Eastleigh. They have, however, persisted with the triumphalist rallying cry of ‘we are not a protest party!’ In my view this is misguided and factually incorrect. What we saw in Eastleigh was a deeply anti-political movement among the constituents. A Lib Dem had resigned and so people felt disillusioned, they then voted for Ukip: simple.
They take themselves sufficiently seriously to seek support from a parochial Canadian movement of similar origins; which managed to derail the political process to such a degree that the mainstream conservative opposition was unable to form a government. This is not an ambition for a Party which cares about issues. It demonstrates that all Ukip wants is recognition, not an effective government, or even one which agrees with them!
If Nigel Farage aspires to give Ed Miliband an easier road to government, the prize is his to take. His statement that Ukip gets votes from those ‘who haven’t voted for years’ only exacerbates their image of a fringe movement for those who ‘don’t like the way it’s all going at the moment’. They seem to be deriving a lot of support from working class voters; who are more conservative than the stuffy image of bohemian liberalism which supposedly dominates our middle class. While this essentially leads to them drawing some votes off Labour, it does still revolve around the petty dated issues; sometimes hidden under a cloak of racist hysteria, like immigration, or genuine but overstated fear, such as crime and paedophilia.
A Eurosceptic plurality now exists in the UK. The Prime Minister has paid his overdue respect to that view by half-heartedly pledging an EU referendum if he wins the next election. Ukip seem dead set on their current policy of stopping his ability to do what they all want. It is another serious shot in the foot for an immature political Party which seems to think that merely appearing to have some support will be enough to affect issues and the way it is all run. That is sorely mistaken, and only shows how inexperienced Ukip actually are in the machinations of governments.
But no wonder Ukip is now riding high in the polls, when the very thing they exist to fight against is mendaciously stealing money from savers and subjecting them to compulsory acceptance of bank shares. This is the first truly positive indication we have had that the EU is actually a corrupt cabal of Franco-German accountants. These people, bound to be called ‘shadowy’ – if they have not acquired that moniker already – merely serve the interests of the national leaders of what I’m dubbing the EU’s ‘Central Powers’.
And who can blame the citizens of Cyprus for getting angry. It is not just a squalid move borne out of petty thievery by obsequious money-men kow-towing to their foreign sugar daddy: it is also a self-defeating show of strength from a German Chancellor who knows that to win the upcoming elections; she has to demonstrate her ability to put Germany’s interests first. It is a shame that these interests are best served by mercilessly bullying smaller nations trapped in a prison of a currency which they would do well to flee.
The move is damaging as it will have two effects which are contrary to what it ostensibly sets out to do. If bank deposits are being raided, then people will withdraw their money from said banks, this will leave banks with less capital with which to lend, creating a climate of little risk and entrepreneurism to the backdrop of a slowly dying bank sector. This is to be further supplemented by the moronic idea to give people their money back in the form of shares in that bank. This will not work, as most people don’t want bank shares, or else they would have bought them of their own initiative. So likelihood is that these shares will swiftly be sold, causing a market collapse, and the essential meltdown of the Cyprus economy.
Ukip are not the first protest party against the EU to gain prominence after the recession: witness the far more extreme Golden Dawn in Greece. What they are in position to do, however, is more than to merely agitate and provide jokes for unimaginative comedians, like the BNP or English Defence League. They are the new king-makers of British politics, and ‘Cleggmania’ in 2015 will be Nigel-shaped. They will undoubtedly serve their favourite causes better by bowing out now, and not stopping David Cameron getting on and actually running the show.