Sunday, 22 March 2009

UKIP will be the premier eurosceptic choice on June 4th.

Politics is a funny old game sometimes. While among many students and academics that I discuss UKIP with at University, the party is wrongly percieved as a small scale fringe party, when one looks at the eurosceptic wing of British politics with objectivity, the party is a giant and by far the premier choice for eurosceptics who are not blindly devoted to the Conservative or Labour parties.

Please, do not even try and sell me the notion of the Tory party being truly eurosceptic when it has David Cameron as leader. I've already discussed many times on this blog while I believe that to be an utter fallacy. So with that out the way let me explain why those who are eurosceptic really only have one sensible professional, realistic choice by giving you a taster of the alternatives.

The BNP seem to fancy themselves as the potential new anti-EU outfit and Nick Griffin is busy telling its supporters that he believes they will secure a number of MEPs in June. The BNP's politics of hate and bile musn't be allowed to prosper and it will not. Such extremist fringe organisations only have appeal limited to those who let their anger and desire to register a protest vote override the fact that they are voting for a party that puts emphasis on race, something that is simply not acceptable to the vast majority of decent Brits in a twenty-first century Britain. Many of the BNP's Councillors have shown to be completely incompetent which should come as no surprise. The average BNP official, when put in front of a camera, comes across as about as intellectual and informed as your average raving Jihadist. Ironic, I know. Eurosceptics with an ounce of sense will of course realise that the EU is a political insitution and that that is where out anger is directed, not towards our fellow Europeans who are - shock horror - ordinary people like you and I. That is a totally alien concept to this bunch of numb skulls who are just about organised enough to be a dangerous group of people, hence while I will hopefully be able to enjoy their hopes being crushed in June as they crash and burn as they did in the 2004 elections.

From Britain's far-right to the far-left as Bob Crow has just set up a group called No2EU which intends to have its name on the ballot of the Euro Elections in June too. Their introduction video puts across the groups left wing agenda, mainly objecting to the EU's support for capitalism. The group strangely doesn't intend to carry on as a party post June nor take up any seats it wins. Even more strangely, though entitled No2EU, it never actually talks about being pro-withdrawal, instead opting for the Tory-esque soft choice of criticising, criticising and criticising some more, and then following it up with no alternative way plan. As someone with a bit of a lefty background I do have a soft spot for Crow and his ilk. Unfortunately, this merry coalition of socialists and commies are all about ideological purism rather than forward measureable progression in taking down the EU project. Christ, if you think the right wing of fringe politics is fragmented, then the left is ten times worse. Lack of Respect I reckon. Suffice to say this lot, launched to zero media attention outside of the BBC, won't come anywhere near winning a single seat.

The last of the terrible anti-EU parties who will be totally outflanked by UKIP in June are the UK First Party, set up by former UKIP Chairman Petrina Holdsworth and Peter Cole, a staffer of disgraced former UKIP MEP Tom Wise. This lot are as nutty as a fruitcake and truly represent this year's Veritas: a bunch of wannabe Chiefs whose limited ability makes them far better left as Indians. Their lack of profile and momentum will probably be worth a chuckle or two as they contest two regions in the EU elections, though they will fail miserably. Even Robin Page and his ego haven't thrown their lot in with this group which tells you all you need to know about its chances.

So there you have it. Whatever accusations UKIP gets thrown at it, it is certainly not racist, has a decent group of professional people running it and is serious about getting Britain out of the EU rather than swanning around as a doomed vanity project. This makes it by far the best choice for those not ignorant enough to believe that the Tories or Libertas will help Britain resist being swallowed up whole by EU nationalism. UKIP is not perfect, but under Nigel Farage it has, and is getting, a hell of a lot better. As much crap as this determined anti-EU party has had thrown at it over the years, one only has to look at the alternative options above to realise why UKIP is such a positive, necessary force in British politics.


Jonny Wright said...

You're right that UKIP are by far the most credible and professional of the Eurosceptic parties. But that's not a great accolade really. That's like saying you're the best car manufacturer in Luxembourg.

I'm sure UKIP will get a sizeable vote share in the coming elections, but I believe that the lion's share of seats will go to parties that recognise that the EU is a benefit to Britain, and that we're better off in than out. For reference, last time round in 2004, the three main pro-EU membership parties (Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem) managed 64.2% of the vote between them.

I'm not going to claim that the EU is perfect; it's far from it, and the more I learn about its legal system, in the course of my studies, the more I feel it's in dire need of reform. But that's the thing I've never quite understood about Eurosceptics: why are you so vehemently opposed to the Lisbon Treaty? Fair enough, you want to withdraw, but given we're a Member State for the time being, surely it's better to ratif Lisbon and simplify the Union, make it more transparent, accountable and effective?

Michael Heaver said...

Being the most credible and professional eurosceptic party is a great accolade when you consider a recent BBC poll showed that 55% of British people back leaving the EU and mainttaining a simple trade deal with our European neighbours. It shows tremendous potential for growth for the party, even during a time when economic scaremongering is seeing the political class insist on closer EU integration, with some Blairites pushing for the euro behind the scenes.

Sorry, but many, many Tory voters in that election will have been anti-EU Tories who are just too brainwashed by the idea of voting for the blue rosette to vote for anyone else. I know of such people. Similarly, many Old Labour voters are eurosceptic but equally tribal (my family, for example). Let us not forget that turnout was 38.2% for the election - I imagine the vast, vast majority of those who didn't vote are people who have zero interest in playing part in the EU political process at all and see the whole process as unnecessary and irrelevant. Typical anti-EU voters then, should there ever be a referendum on membership.

The Lisbon Treaty is the EU Consitution, under a new guise after the Constitution got rejected by the French and the Dutch in their referendums. The Labour government promised people a vote on the Constitution, and then didn't give one after it was repackaged as a Treaty. That is because they would have lost, heavily. If the Treaty couldn't pass in Ireland, it would have been embarassingly defeated in the UK.

The simple fact is that I don't care about the EU being more transparent, accountable and effective, because the basic question still has not been answered: do we want to be members of the European Union which makes us poorer and less democratic? My motivation and UKIP's aim is to continually highlight that strand of thinking. Nobody else does, but it greatly represents public opinion as consistantly demonstrated in polls.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, interesting topic.