Monday, 23 March 2015
Boxed in on all sides
I am now confident Ukip will poll less than 10%. The economy is improving and household debt is going up because of improved confidence, where only one in ten according to a new PwC report is in fear of losing their job. And so gearing the Ukip message to the "dispossessed" has proven a pretty poor strategy. Ukip's base is shrinking, making it a party of losers. The boats anchored down so heavily with rage that a rising tide sinks them.
By sending out dog-whistles to that shrinking demographic it distances Ukip from everybody else - and now it is cornered into making stupid comments on the spot because it has failed to put its intellectual arguments in place.
So now it comes over as an ever so slightly thick, angry nativist party lead by an opportunist - and all the while Ukip branches are playing host to mainland EU MEPs known for their far right activities, while Farage himself prates on about "multiculturalism" (which most normal people perceive as something else entirely), describing Islamists as a fifth column. Listen to the song their rhetoric sings. All the Left have to do is keep pushing at all the sore spots and Ukip walks into the trap time after time.
The net effect of this is that Ukip cannot present any winning arguments and taints good ideas by association thus is actively damaging the very cause it was set up to fight, ie leaving the EU. That is all entirely the doing of Nigel Farage, and it was inevitable this latest nonsense would be the product. It was predictable, it was predicted.
Sticking the knife in further today we have Matts Persson, director of Open Europe, saying "Mr Farage faces some "very difficult political decisions". He said: "You have some questions to answer about exactly what you want to see. Is it a free trading, Hong Kong Britain with very Liberal politics including on migration - or is it what probably most of your [Ukip] voters want, to shut the borders and shut the world out which would mean a loss in terms of Britain's GDP and economic competitiveness?"
But Ukip has now boxed itself in on that question by going up the "take back our borders" cul-de-sac, (and in case you were wondering, this is what it looks like), when even Alan Sked knew this was a dead end. This is why, up until Farage, Ukip was smart enough to go around the subject rather than meeting it head on. Ukip cannot now present a viable case for leaving the EU without making a u-turn on everything it has campaigned on while it has been in the public eye. There is a totally realistic way of achieving Brexit according to Persson's vision, but Ukip have categorically ruled that out. So too has Open Europe by the looks but that's a whole other story.
Now the Brexit camp looks like it's going to have to fight against the perception it is seeking Ukip's empty, backward vision for Britain as well as countering the disingenuous spin of europhiles. And if you were wondering why I detest Nigel Farage... that's why.