Monday 23 February 2015

Ukip's countdown to extinction

Ukip AGM, Margate

As Simon Cooke pointed out some time ago, the main wage of blogging is saying "I told you so". Well, I told you so. Turns out I was right a year ago, three months ago and still continue to call it right.

Kippers will be feeling awfully sore this evening as they learn that Ashcroft polling saw UKIP drop five points, and now ComRes has UKIP falling four and YouGov at a mere 13%. A rare convergence. What a pity. Such a shame. And those polls were done before the train crash that was Meet the Kippers where Ukip MEP and make-up slathered horsebeast, Janice Atkinson, is depicted dismissing a lady as a "ting-tong from somewhere", along with a fairly typical Kipper with an aversion to "negroids".

Kippers will be squealing about liberal media bias, but failing to note that the First 100 days of Ukip was the least watched thing on television that night. The only people kicking up a storm about it are kippers and po-faced hacks. As we have noted, Ukip is getting exactly what it deserves.

Course this is all standard fare for this blog to say as much, which was becoming something of a chore, but now comes the payoff in spades. I never intended to develop a Ukip monomania on this blog and have on several occasions attempted to depart from Ukip commentary but now it's just too funny to ignore.

But those who think this blog is an anti-Ukip blog and obsessed with Ukip haven't really understood it. If anything it is as much a commentary on the media who have been caught up like a rabbit in headlines in the comedic narrative of "the rise of Ukip". It has also been a fascinating journey into the psyche of party tribalists. For sure, the same dynamic exists in all activists, but with Ukip being a leader cult there's a pathology all of its own.

For all the expert insider punditry we have seen, very few have come close to identifying what Ukip really is. And that's why so much commentary has been so hilariously and blisteringly wrong, even from people who should know better. And is it because I am a great sage that I have been so consistently right? Is it because I am an expert psephologist with a doctorate in polling? Am I a wise elder? Nope, nope and nope. It's simple.

Political parties strategise. They have policies. They talk about ideas and when they settle on ideas they advance those ideas with campaigns. Less so from established parties because they rest on their foundations and their reputations. But Ukip under Farage has never done any of those things. He has effortlessly glided from one interview to the next and stroked the prejudices of pensioners up and down the country, and has been told he is marvelous by ambitious young things who will stroke his ego because they have zero hope of getting in on the real action in Westminster. That is pretty much sewn up.

He has launched the careers of a dozen young politicos and hacks and given plenty of people a vehicle from which to make a living. It then becomes a tightly policed circle where the influence of the outsider is unwelcome. Consequently, it is vicious when cornered and furious when criticised. Livelihoods depend on it.

The MEPs have a special status as those close to the leader and are afforded prestige and gravitas by the membership, when really, these people are in positions of influence purely down to accidents of numbers in a peculiar proportional representation system. But more specifically, they were handpicked by Farage to ensure there were no internal threats to him. This is classic cult behaviour and will behave in every way like a cult. The fact it has no substance matters not. The word of the leader and the belief in him shall be sufficient.

When you view it for what is actually is and not what it pretends to be, it all becomes clear. Throw in the lamentably predictable and dimwitted behaviour of the media and the script predictably unfolds: Volumes of hyperventilation, outrage, incomprehension, scrutiny and finally, boredom. As much as anything, the media has made entertainment for itself in talking up a scare to sell newspapers. We are now at a nexus where it is all out there for the public to see what Ukip is, the media have worked it out, has found their weak spot, and Kippers are rising to every bit of bait dangled in front of them. It would be a tragedy were Ukip not so deserving.

Of course, this blog has also been a thought exercise in matter of policy. A good deal of effort has gone into deconstructing Ukip's terrible attempts at what they would call policy, and it has left me pondering many times what a competent Ukip would say and do. For those with the wit to look deeper, there is in fact a coded list of instructions of what it should have done to shape up and avoid their imminent demise. But I never expected to be listened to. They decided they were right and that was that.

My own agenda was initially two pronged. To help save Ukip if it could be saved, but destroy it if it could not. As one has studied it in great detail one soon learns that all failures lead back to the choices and decisions of just one man. Nigel Farage. Out of blind loyalty any criticisms from any quarters were ignored and so his position has been cemented for some time. Over the last year Farage has ensured the damage he has done cannot be undone. I've had many heated exchanges with kippers over the last year and I think it was this moment when I really gave up any hope and concluded Ukip must be destroyed.

Ukip has seriously damaged the anti-EU cause and any sensible arguments are now tainted by association. If the Tories win at the general election there will be a hard fight the exit camp could lose. That will be Ukip's doing. Consequently I don't now mind especially if the Tories lose because that gives eurosceptics time to build something from the ruins. Certainly a Labour government won't be pretty but it might be worth taking the hit. By the same token, I won't be disappointed if the Tories win. But really I now have no dog in the fight. All that matters is that Ukip loses, and loses badly.

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