Friday, 28 February 2014

Labour must not underestimate Ukip

Even accepting the fact that there will be the inevitable, embarrassing gaffes by Ukip delegates between now and the Euro elections, Farage`s prediction that his party has a good "chance of topping the national poll in those elections" needs to be taken seriously. Few will argue with his claim that the Lib Dems "could face a total wipeout", so with the Tories including so many Eurosceptics amongst their ranks, the real question is whether Miliband has done enough to prevent both disenchanted Labour voters and Lib Dem absconders from voting Ukip. Whilst not denying that some of his policies sound encouraging, there is little evidence to suggest that a future Labour government would provide enough  fundamental change to attract new support. Political commentators tell us how close to City corporations some of the Labour front-benchers are, whilst the coalition`s outrageous education reforms face little challenge from a privately educated spokesperson seemingly determined to out-gove Gove! Some of the most cruel innovations of the government, like the bedroom tax, seem thankfully destined for the proverbial dustbin, but the lack of passion and  anger emanating from the oppostion leadership intimates little other than piecemeal change. Nationalisation and tax increases, apart from the obvious one, are never mentioned, support for legitimate and worthy strikes is shunned, whilst Trident renewal, like payment for HS2, seems about to receive approval.
      A huge protest vote for Ukip is on the cards, with the inevitable admissions by the mainstream parties of it again being "a wake-up call". The sleepwalking Clegg will probably face a leadership challenge, and, possibly, so could Cameron, leaving Miliband embarrassingly having to introduce more radicalism into his policies. A far more sensible approach would be to do so now, before a Farage landslide on 22nd May, and before voting for Ukip becomes dangerously contagious.
     Whilst not wanting to be accused of alarmism, history insists that unpretentious leaders of right-wing parties, with populist and catch-all policies, must not be underestimated, especially after years of poverty, unemployment, deprivation, and political corruption. It does not require a vast imagination to draw some parallels with the German people`s feelings endemic at the end of Weimar Germany and those of the disenchanted in Britain today. Up Hitler`s sleeve was the racist card, and as long as Farage keeps playing his, and hides his private education and City background in the pack, and as long as the Labour leader refuses to ask himself the LBJ question (see previous blogs) a Ukip surge in the polls is probable, with worrying consequences.

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