|Ukip: The self-ridiculing party|
When told what was on the Ukip website, Mr Farage said: ‘When it comes to websites, I’m not the expert.’ "He also claimed not to know about a compulsory dress code for taxi drivers and proposal to repaint trains." says the Mail.
Let us just digest that for a moment. A party website is the closest thing in politics you can get to a shop window. As much as it is your portal to the public, it is also a primary resource for activists. If the party leader is not familiar with the content of his own website, what then can be said of his competence? Here we have a leader who doesn't even know what his own party stands for. Hardly surprising then that his followers don't either.
Moreover, Farage has effectively disowned his own party, because a great many Ukippers do actually think like this. Just read the Daily Telegraph comments on any given day should someone so much as whisper the words "European Union". Farage has also admitted he has no idea what he has been fighting for since 2010. All we have is the vague ambition of leaving the EU, without any notion of how, or what we will replace it with.
I wish not to dwell on the contents of the manifesto itself. Who has that kind of time to waste? But with a cursory inspection you can see it's an infantile wish-list of diktats and directives that lay waste to any claims that Ukip is a libertarian party. Strip away these juvenile, cringe-worthy ideas and what remains simply hasn't stood the test of time. It is a rag bag of parish-council suggestions box submissions, written with an Ikea pencil on a piece of torn up notepaper. I'm not surprised Farage wishes to disown the manifesto. I certainly would. But then how did this nonsense make it as far as the website in the first place? Somebody in the Ukip high command evidently thought they were credible ideas.
I have not made any friends by saying Farage is a lightweight who will crumble under scrutiny, but yet again, my predictions are coming true. As we approach the euro-elections, and the prospect of leaving the EU is openly talked about, eyes will fall upon Ukip as to how credible their alternative is. And it hasn't got one. Now Farage is in the position of abandoning the party manifesto, and so until such a time as they produce a new one (sometime in the next 18 months, we are told), Ukip is making it up as it goes along. Does this sound like a serious party to you?
Here is another prediction. The next Ukip manifesto will not be a set of principles or a blueprint for a new Britain based on a philosophy. It will be yet another rag-bag of updated suggestions box scribblings, cobbled together with a fact-free, fantasy-land exit plan. Just for once I would like to be wrong but I fear Ukip will implode before then. A house built on sand cannot stand.