I'm sure that now the initial shock of UKIP's resounding local election results have finally sunk in, the leadership's of all of our three mainstream political parties have begun to reassure themselves that it could have been so much worse; that people vote differently in a General Election anyway; or that with a little bit of fudging they'll be able to convince their traditional core voters that UKIP has nothing new to offer by way of making their lives better. As Grant Shapps was keen to point out for the Conservatives, they heard what voters were saying, they got the message; and they were confident that the British people simply wanted more of the same old failed policies, but at a faster rate. Nick Clegg simply took the view that anyone who voted anything other than Lib Dem was just plain wrong, but that his party was largely untouchable in their traditional homelands anyway, whilst "One Nation" Labour thought they'd done rather well, even though as the main opposition party they should have done so much better.
If the mark of political success is an increasing amount of public scrutiny, then clearly UKIP has been a clear winner over the past few days, with hundreds of thousands of words being written about its leader, its members, its candidates and of course its still evolving policies. Ironically, it's quite normal for any mainstream opposition party to have few finished policies when they're two years away from a General Election, often because politics and events are fluid; and what may be the case now, might not necessarily be the case in two years time. Just ask the Labour Party! They're supposed to be the official opposition, yet they have few if any real fixed policies to offer the British electorate, so why would UKIP be any different. As Nigel Farage pointed out to Chris Grayling MP, Ed Davey MP and their Labour counterpart when pressed about how many teacher's jobs UKIP's policies would create, he reminded them that they're supposed to be the "professionals", the ones who get paid to run the country and who are supposed to know what they're doing, yet look at what had happened under their various administrations. Speaking personally, the fact that UKIP are prepared to adapt and evolve their policies in line with ever changing circumstances is reassuring, as a failure to do so implies a dogmatic and inflexible approach is being taken, as is often the case with the three major parties, Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem, which I am far less comfortable with.
Although it's fair to say that I don't agree with all of UKIP's suggested policies, not being a libertarian supporter of low tax, small government and the "I'm alright Jack", "Not In My Back Yard" mentality, fundamentally there is much that I agree with. I like the idea of a strong and effective Armed Forces, the concept of local Health Boards, secure national borders and limited inward migration (as per the Australian model). I don't like the idea of wasting £34 billion on the proposed HS2 railway link, which I regard as a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem; and that in all probability will lead to job losses, not job creation. I believe that we should be able to reclaim our place on international bodies like the World Trade Organisation, so that our country can trade with anyone we like, be that Europe, Asia, the Americas, or Australasia. I believe that we should withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, until such time as that body can be de-politicised, to the extent that it becomes a true judicial body once again, concerning itself with the rights of the law-abiding, rather than those of the law-breaker. Perhaps in the meantime we should oversee the introduction of our own British Bill of Rights, which guarantees in law the basic human rights of every citizen, based on the same British legal system that has been copied by virtually all of the world's great democracies, yet seems to be absent in our own. But first and foremost, we must regain the inherent right to govern ourselves; and for that right alone I would consider voting for UKIP at each and every election. It is an absurdity that our now five yearly Parliamentary elections are in fact pointless, as the reality is that the 600 + representatives who sit in the House of Commons are now largely irrelevant to how we live our day to day lives. Virtually every aspect of British life, Health, Defence, Education, Commerce, Transport, Environment, Industry, and Government; and everything that they involve, is now influenced by Europe and its faux Parliament, which has its own self-fulfilling agendas, policies and objectives, none of which have ever been approved or voted on by the British people.
Call the UKIP phenomena what you like, a protest movement, party, vote, whatever, at the end of the day in excess of one million people voted for them last Thursday; and in the process elected an additional 140 new UKIP councillors to the party's ranks. Now bearing in mind that over one thousand council seats were up for grabs; and that UKIP only won around 10% of that number, then one might argue that the results aren't that impressive, until of course you begin to dig beneath these headline figures. On the Wednesday before the local elections, UKIP only had around 7 local councillors and were forecast to add a possible 40 more to their ranks, which in itself was expected to be a good result for the party. However, in defying all of these expectations the party more than tripled this figure, gained an average 23% of the entire council vote nationally, came an unexpected 2nd in the South Shields Parliamentary by-election (from a standing start); and pushed both Coalition parties into minor places, with the Lib Dem candidate even losing their deposit. Little wonder perhaps that the UK's mainstream media were incredulous at the outcome, and have spent much of the last week trying to figure out exactly what these results mean for British politics now and in the future.
Unfortunately, with increased popularity comes increased antipathy as well; and in the past week or so, those who are politically and emotionally opposed to UKIP have used many of the articles featuring the party to expound their own visceral opinions of what UKIP and its supporters purport to stand for. Racists! Retards! Bigots! Fascists! Xenophobes! Nationalists! Little Englanders! Isolationists! Name your nasty descriptive, UKIP supporters have no doubt been called it, as members of the mainstream political parties attempt to bundle the million or so people who voted for the party, into one little unpleasant identifiable package - one that can then be sold on to the wider British electorate. Pointing to silly and ill-thought out comments and tweets that have been made by one or other prospective UKIP candidate, who have clearly been overcome by their own 15 minutes of fame, the rantings of the individual are then deemed to be evidence of wider party policy, much the same as David Cameron's "fruitcakes and closet racists" comments might easily be regarded as the generally held view of all Conservatives, which of course is a completely absurd notion.
One often wonders what would happen if 200-800,000 Britons were to suddenly "up sticks" and land within the national borders of Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, etc, bringing with them a automatic demand for housing, health and welfare benefits, undercutting the local workforce; or an insistence on speaking our own language; and occasionally some of the most disgusting and illegal habits that people can have. Do you imagine that the indigenous populations would be welcoming them with open arms, or would they be up in arms about the situation? And if they did complain, would they then be described as racists, fascists, bigots, etc? I rather suspect not, but rather as patriots, or valiant nationalists protecting their homes, their culture and their way of lives from a bunch of un-entitled migrants! Yet because we're British, we're not only supposed to grin and bear it, but welcome even more to our shores, assuming of course we continue to vote for the same old Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem parties.
Although there is little real evidence for and very few instances of UKIP or its supporters promoting any sort of racist bigotry, given that the party represents the most serious threat to mainstream politics since the Second World War, the supporters of both the Labour and Conservative parties seem to have been working overtime to try and damage the public image of what they regard as a completely unwanted political competitor. It now seems to be common knowledge that Tory Central Office employed significant numbers of staff to trawl through the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of prospective UKIP candidates in an attempt to discredit them in the eyes of the voting public, finding a handful out of the 1700 people who applied for candidacy. If all political parties are deemed to be a true reflection of the electorate that they represent, then the fact that so few UKIP candidates were found to have "questionable" opinions is to be applauded, given that one would have expected the number to be so much higher.
Over the past 24 hours the UKIP website was reported to have come under sustained attack from outside of the country, suggesting that the party's recent electoral success is beginning to threaten the political status quo so beloved by the European Union and its supporters. Is it just a coincidence that millions of Euros are being set aside by the EU to purposefully counter the rise of Euro-scepticism throughout the various previously independent sovereign states? With billions of Euros tied up in the clearly failing federal project, along with thousands of needless, highly expensive non-jobs, for the various commissions, departments and bureaus, it is little wonder that UKIP's increasing popularity in the UK is viewed with such spite and suspicion by those European "democrats" who infest the EU behemoth.
Fortunately though, the tide of public opinion seems to be turning UKIP's way, as the blinkers of Euro-federalism are inexorably torn away by the increasing levels of lunatic diktats from Brussels, the emasculation of our courts by the inequitable judgements of the ECHR; and the rising levels of impoverished migrants from Eastern Europe, who are fleeing their own nations to raid the coffers of their more successful western neighbours. Even that most Conservative and hardworking of European states, Germany, a founding architect of the experiment is beginning to experience some of the same "benefits" that the EU's open border policies bring, with the result that these same instances of occasional foreign blight are beginning to set on some of their own German towns and cities. It cannot be a coincidence that an entirely new political party, Alternative for Germany, is starting to find its own roots in this previously most welcoming country, perhaps as realisation finally dawns that the idea of complete European political, social and economic integration is no more than a dream, which rather than drawing the continent together will simply help to widen its existing national differences.
For some of us Thursday 2nd May 2013 was a day worth celebrating, if only because around one million of our fellow British citizens chose to make an affirmative, positive choice about who they chose to vote for, rather than just simply casting their votes for the same old tired Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem suspects, which was very encouraging for the future of our country. Hopefully, it will prove to be the first of many, towards the ultimate objective of reclaiming our country, our borders and our daily governance from the influence of foreign representatives, who we neither asked for, nor voted for.