Saturday, 4 April 2015
Nobody likes a loser
I have to admit, the polls had me concerned for a while, but whenever polls talk up Farage and Ukip one is always a little suspicious. Voting intention is such a vague metric. That said, personal approval ratings are not so vague and Farage is not popular with the country and never really has been so it comes as no major surprise to learn that Farage is now looking weak in Thanet. The poll was supposed to have been published last week, but Ukip took it to High Court in an attempt to block it. I can see why.
We can see from the televised debate what the Ukip strategy now is. Hold the line. Farage was blowing all the dogwhistles at once - sparking much debate over the weekend as to whether Farage was right about health tourism. As councillor Gareth Anderson put it "factual accuracy on cost doesn't excuse the deliberate "filthy (foreign) gays" subtext". This blog would not disagree. That's the essential message here same as the bleating about Multiculturalism is a lash out at Muslims. The BNP would come out and say it straight, but the new right has a political correctness all of its own.
You could make an honest case with honest data but it's the motive we have to examine and the underlying message and who it is directed at. Certainly there was no attempt to expand Ukip's appeal nor was there any attempt to change the message to something more positive. It is now speaking only to a niche of its own cultural constituency and it will fail. It didn't work for the BNP and it won't work for Ukip. I will be hugely surprised if Farage now wins in Thanet.
This of course makes Ukip press officer, Matthew Goodwin, look all the more absurd in predicting a big future for Ukip. It was never going to be. I can pick the precise date when it happened and it was last April. The ingredients for success were never there. Far from being a success, Nigel Farage has been a disaster for Ukip. He's turned it from a movement with growing potential to a dismal nativist cult and a busted flush. All that's left to come is failure and bitter recriminations.
Kippers will be keen to point the finger at everyone but themselves. The blame will be mine, yours, Richard North's, and of course the "biased liberal media". Their own conduct and amaterisim will never come into question. Hugh Muir of The Guardian has it that Farage has to take some of the blame. He is wrong. Farage must take all of it. As for me, I only have one question left. What am I going to do with this shipping container full of "I told you so's"? I simply haven't got the space.