It seems that many column inches have been devoted to the Liberal Democratic cause in the past couple of days, a significant amount of which has been provided by the Murdoch empire in the form of the Times newspaper, especially with regard to the Lib Dems upcoming battle in the media with UKIP. As part of the same campaign one is led to believe that tomorrow (Monday 10th March 2014) the same newspaper will publish an exclusive expose', purportedly provided by the Lib Dem Party, in which UKIP will be accused of breaching European rules over expenses and funding of political parties in direct contravention of EU rules on the matter. Now, obviously the Times are producing the article on the basis of it being an important public interest story, although given its timing and the source of the allegations themselves, other commentators might see it for what it really is, a desperate smear campaign dressed up as public interest journalism, probably explaining in part why the Times finds itself in the financial state that it is. After all, does anybody need another tittle-tattle rag, when so many already exist within the British mainstream media; and a broadsheet version one at that?
As part of the same anti-UKIP agenda, at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference in York this week, Nick Clegg told his fellow delegates that a tide of extremism was sweeping across Europe, spreading waves of bile and anger that could endanger the entire EU project that he and his party so assiduously support. He also proclaimed that the forces of chauvinism, protectionism and xenophobia had been emboldened and that the fight was now on for the future of the continent. These groups, which presumably include UKIP, although the party wasn't mentioned by name, are said to be backward looking, ungenerous and seek to place the blame for their national problems elsewhere, which one would assume to be coded language for immigrants, although he didn't state that directly. Mr Clegg also reiterated that he loved Britain, how we look beyond our shores; and called his own party the guardians of a modern, open and tolerant Britain.
Of course it's easy to understand why the prospect of extremism, personal bile and radical anger are so foreign and strange to Mr Clegg as an individual, simply because he is a well educated, wealthy man in his own right; and is even more so having benefited from the generosity of the British taxpayers generosity over the course of the past four years. Never having held what most people would regard as a proper job, in the sense of having had to labour physically for his money, instead he is symptomatic of everything that is wrong with our modern day political elite, not just in Britain, but throughout Europe as a whole. Just what gives Nick Clegg, David Cameron, Ed Miliband or any of them the right to counsel other citizens about their feelings, rights, opinions, or their values, when not a single one of them has walked in a working man's shoes.
Perhaps Mr Clegg and his colleagues would like to explain to a British, Greek, Spanish, Irish Cypriot, Portuguese, French, Belgian worker, why they cannot find meaningful employment, when their national governments still insist on allowing hundreds of thousands of strangers to come into their countries to compete for what few jobs there are. Perhaps too, they would like to explain why these same workers have no real recourse to their own national governments whose control over national borders, employment, welfare, health, etc. have all been usurped by an unaccountable parliament in Brussels. Is it any wonder that Greek workers who have been forced to endure excruciating pay cuts are angry, or that those who have had to abandon their children to the state are full of irrational bile towards the foreign powers who insist that their national governments enforce severe austerity measures on the populace. Is anyone really surprised that British workers get irrational when billions of pounds of taxpayers money is frittered away abroad, when charitable food banks are caring for our own poorest and neediest citizens here in the UK.
If the likes of the Front Nationale in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, or even UKIP in the UK are increasing their memberships; and therefore their influence over the national electorates, then surely most competent politicians would by asking the obvious question, why? Is it because everyday French citizens, Greeks or Brits have suddenly become unmanageable extremists, for no other reason that they feel like it, or that they've suddenly taken a complete dislike to Black people, or those who are different, those who speak a different language, or maybe even been afflicted by a completely unforeseen continental madness that has somehow gripped millions of disparate people throughout Western Europe? Or is perhaps that politicians the length and breadth of Western Europe are just not listening to their national electorates; and as a result people are left with little choice but to look elsewhere for an alternative voice, whether that be the Front Nationale, Golden Dawn, or the even more moderate parties like UKIP.
Despite what David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband may choose to believe, ultimately they are the architects of much of UKIP's electoral success to date, though not because of their own successes, but because of their abject failure of national leadership. For far too long the Westminster elite in Britain, including Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, have chosen to deliberately disregard the electorates views on the subjects of both immigration and Europe, knowing full well that the British public would never accept unlimited mass migration, or the transfer of sovereign power to a foreign parliament, so rather than put the question to the people, they simply didn't ask and did it anyway.
This is not a unique situation to the UK, as across most of Western Europe national governments have simply acquiesced in a similar fashion, with or without the explicit consent of their native populations; and then Nick Clegg wonders why the continent is beset by waves of extremism and why millions of normally law-abiding citizens suddenly find themselves driven to action by an overpowering personal anger. Mr Clegg and his like are indeed fortunate that the British people are far more restrained in their anger and their bile than some of our more emotional continental cousins, otherwise who knows what lengths people might have gone to in seeking some form of redress from the political classes who have let them down so badly thus far.
Any hopes that people might have that Mr Clegg and his Liberal Democrat cohort will change their views on immigration and Europe are entirely wasted of course. Completely oblivious to the concerns that normal people have over such matters, only today the Liberal Democrat MP, Ed Davey, suggested that not only should we open the borders to any willing immigrant, but that the invitation should also include their extended family as well. Bearing in mind that the latest ONS figures showed an increase of 212,000 foreign migrants coming to the UK, in the past 12 months, if you assume that each one of them brought with them an average of six other people, two children and various parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, etc. then rather than 212,000 migrants per year, the figure would probably be closer to 1.5 million migrants per year, all of whom have to be housed, employed, cared for by health services, educated, administered, transported, etc. In the event that the Liberal Democrats were ever able to implement such a policy, I wonder whether Mr Clegg and his colleagues would expect the British people to be happy about it, or would they possibly be filled with more bile and anger than they are at present? Hmm, let me think about that one?