Hello again, readers, yes that’s right it is that time of year once more – exams. I’m quite sure I’ve moaned about this previously, but I’m meant to be studying, so this seemed as good a way to avoid that as any. It’s not too bad, I suppose, the hardest ones are done and out of the way, barring quantum mechanics though, that little gem is still to come. Rather unfortunately, these exams do actually matter; the overall mark from this year’s exams will contribute to 50% of my final honours grade, which is a bit of pressure one could really have done without, but hey ho.
So, while I continue to lose my hair over these exams and desperately await the grades from course work to be published, another stress has presented itself to me, and indeed the rest of the UK. I talk, naturally, of the upcoming Elections to the European Parliament and, more specifically, the number of crazy right-wing sects that seem to pop out from the wood work at this time; things like Britain First, the BNP (haven’t seen them in a wee while) and, of course, UKIP.
UKIP, which started off on the outskirts of sensible politics, popping up to shout at the EU every so often, has recently become a party more associated with mainstream politics than with the lunatic fringe (where it, in my opinion, rightfully belongs). This is partly due to the wonderfully fucked up state our (equally wonderfully fucked up) political system is in, the fact that our two-and-a-bit party system has drifted towards the centre-right with a complete inability to do anything meaningful other than shutting everything down that looks too shiny or expensive. Even our third party, which served mostly as a protest vote for so many years, has demonstrated that it can’t even do that right; when presented with a choice of maintain its principles or jump into bed with the party everyone hates (the one thing this country’s politicians seems to agree on), it chose the latter. The result was a lot of very pissed off Lib-Dem voters and the Liberals now expected to lose every single one of their European seats in twelve day’s time.
Even the Tory voters are pissed off with the Tories because of David Cameron’s complete inability to do anything right, on time, all the way, and without fucking up and popping a U-turn part way through. Even his Blair moment, the vote for military intervention in Syria, went tits up for him. And now the EU, with so many of his MPs and voters wanting an in-out referendum on Europe (but guys, aren’t we Better Together?), Cameron refuses to pledge a referendum any earlier than 2017. Sufficed to say that Cameron’s leaking support from every orifice and from some he didn’t even know he had.
What about Labour? Well, they’re probably reasonably safe just now; Labour have a very strong core of voters who will, just about every time, vote Labour. Not to mention the fact that Ed Miliband actually appears to be making some real Labour shaped promises; halting and reversing privatisation of the NHS, nationalising the rail network, freezing energy prices (not old people), etc. It’s taken him a while, but he seems to actually be growing a pair so we’ll have to wait and see what happens there.
However, with the Lib-Dems and the Tories losing support and Euro-scepticism at an all time high in Britain there is one party that is, rather unfortunately getting a little more support. UKIP. Yes the disenfranchised centre-right and right wing voters are slowly trickling over to the far-right lunatic group, and that really is worrying. Yes, the Tories are bad enough as it is, but at least they’re not overtly racist, they don’t (officially) want to ban same sex marriage, they don’t want to see devolution completely scrapped. UKIP stand for quite a lot of things that most ordinary people would not dream of supporting, but because the current system has fucked up so spectacularly they don’t feel they have a choice.
Most people see UKIP as a means to get Britain out of Europe which, they are told, is the big, evil, German run empire to which we are all slaves. People see UKIP as a means to get rid of the truly dreadful government that we didn’t vote for. Essentially people will vote UKIP for two reasons; get us out of Europe, and as a protest vote against the Con-Dem coalition.
I cannot stress how absolutely, stupidly dangerous that is. It’s essentially saying, “I don’t like the stain on the carpet, but look, there’s some petrol and a box of matches, that’ll do the trick!” Yes, the petrol and the matches will remove the stain from your carpet, but they will also burn your house down – just for reference, that’s not a good thing! UKIP are much the same; you want EU reform (maybe you even want out altogether, fine), you want rid of the Tories, fine – UKIP will do this, but by voting them into positions of power you given them a mandate to chuck the rest of their half-baked policies at you. Here’s a few for you; speeding up NHS privatisation, scrapping all planned house building, scrapping banking regulations, scrapping human rights laws, scrapping paid maternity leave, abandoning all action on climate change, the list goes on and on.
Yes, they say they want to give the power to the people, but all they really want it is a nationalist, isolationist Britain. They are a lunatic, far right party with a charismatic leader with superb oratory skills, a lust for power and a desire to pin the blame for all of our woes on immigrants, non-Britons and foreign countries. Where have we heard that before?
I’ll leave you with a quote. Nigel Farage was, once again, on the BBC’s Question Time programme during which an audience member had this to say:
“Nigel, just let me finish please, I’m old enough to have read about McCarthyism and I’m old enough to have read the Rivers of Blood speech.”
“I’m also aware of what happens in elections where a climate of fear is caused amongst the electorate by the charismatic, the bombastic and, to me, the very dangerous. This has driven Europe to war in the past.”
“I have no time for you, sir!”
Thanks once again for reading. Have a good weekend, folks. And try not to vote UKIP.