Saturday, 4 May 2013

They Still Don’t Get It, Do They?

Party LeadersWHO CANNOT ADMIT to being mesmerized by their TV and computer screens, yesterday afternoon, as the English local election results were hesitantly declared to bemused establishment representatives – by an equally bemused and astonished media?

Forget, for one moment, that the huge surge in support for the UKIP party more than tripled the most optimistic forecasts for them to gain 40 seats, the fact is that there has never been an occasion when all parties have registered less than 30% of the total vote.

Never!

Of the total votes cast in the local elections: Labour received 29%, Conservatives 25%, UKIP 23%, and Lib Dems 14%. However, we should also remember that UKIP only fought some 75% of the available seats – had it fought all, its percentage share would have been even higher.

UKIP’s best result was in Ramsey, where it achieved 65%; but its average showing in the divisions that it fought was 25% – suggesting it is level-pegging the Conservative party overall, and is only 4 points behind Labour.

It is a truly remarkable result; but, actually, no more than final confirmation of what many of us have suspected for some time. Equally, it also confirms that the opinion of those regularly contributing to online newspaper columns are far more reflective of facts than the attempts by many political journalists to present them.

Despite UKIP’s resounding success, and the clear mathematics resulting from the democratic vote, LibLabCon have been quick to label voter actions as a ‘protest.’ Publicly, no MP is prepared to admit that UKIP now pose a serious threat to all three main parties in the 2015 general election, and that there is now a clear choice facing the British public: to continue voting LibLabCon for further institutional decline – or to vote UKIP for fundamental change. Those in power, of course, will never admit it; but the fact is that the coalition was defeated on May 2nd and is now a dead man walking.

Cameron cannot increase his party’s share of the vote by moving to the right because he has fundamentally changed his election strategy to appeal to the middle ground. Moving right will simply alienate those in the middle and encourage them to vote LibDem or Labour.

Similarly, Miliband cannot move his party to the left, because Labour too is occupying the centre ground. Moving left will simply haemorrhage his right of centre support to the LibDems and endanger the slim chance of his party achieving a parliamentary majority.

Clegg has no option but to remain firm and hope that moves in the other two parties create enough dissatisfaction in their supporters to cast a protest vote for his party – and hence improve its disastrous performance in Thursday’s polls.

The main party leaders appear to be blind to the fact that a right-wing vote, by simple definition, is not a protest. True, yesterday, the LibDems’ poor performance was because their traditional protest vote disappeared in the face of UKIP; but it did not go to Farage. It divided itself between Conservative and Labour in an effort to defeat the right-wing invader.

Politics is a tribal beast, and it is disingenuous of the three main parties to suggest that voting patterns and election success depend merely upon middle ground nuances. That is only true when there are only middle-ground parties and voters are encouraged to vote for what will benefit them as individuals (rather than what is best for the country).

In effect, middle ground politics denies every citizen their right to influence the future direction of their society.

There are two things going on here. The first point to note is that yesterday saw English elections, and that the Anglo-Saxon English have been ignored by all main parties. Scotland and Wales both have their own national assemblies and have been granted devolved powers; but the English have not.

The second thing to remember is that Britain is traditionally right-wing, conservative (with a small ‘c’) – and very patriotic, as the last two world wars bear witness. However, that patriotism is centred in right-wing England’s Bull that has the power to unite the Scottish SNP Eagle and the Welsh Plaid Cymru Crab to give birth to the British Lion.

The Spirit of England is contained in the Druid Bull, and it is now finding its expression through UKIP…

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