If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Friday, 5 November 2010

UKIP if you want to ...

I see than the grinning Nigel Farage has been re-elected as UKIP leader. In a way, I don't trust Farage. He reminds me of the hail-fellow-well-met type you meet at social functions who clap you on the back and say things like "so tell me, Richard, what's your poison old boy, eh?" He is definitely of the blazer-wearing tendency, and I bet he secretly hankers after a Jaguar if he doesn't already own one. And drives it in a car coat and string-back gloves.

However, accidents and near-misses have a habit of endearing people to you, despite your reservations. I can never see Norman Tebbit without remembering the awful image of him being lifted out of the rubble of the Grand Hotel, Brighton in his pyjamas, caked in dust and with a look of anguish on his face. He was never Vlad the Impaler after that. And Farage's plane crash on election day has had the same effect. I feel rather fond of the old boy.

This comes at rather a good time. I had the strong feeling that the country I grew up in and loved had gone in a different and very wrong direction, and away from me, in the last 13 years of Labour. I had high hopes for the coalition, after their promises to roll back the database state and have a bonfire of unnecessary laws. And of course there was the 'cast-iron' guarantee of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Heh.

I do not have unrealistic expectations about what can be achieved and how quickly. I don't expect the coalition to bring back the Golden Age in the first 12 months of office. But there are depressing signs that things are perhaps not going to be done quite as I had hoped. A lot of quangos are to be axed, but an awful lot will be spared too. There is no sign of the Government tackling the spiteful bias of the BBC's news and current affairs output. Nothing was done before the announcement of the Spending Review, which allowed the BBC to colour the whole affair as 'the terrible cuts', and any action taken now won't repair the damage that the coverage did to the public's view of the events. Maybe they won't do anything. Call Me Dave seems to have kowtowed to the EU just as much as Blair and Brown, although with less visible enthusiasm.

I have always voted for the party that stands a realistic chance of effecting the kind of politics that I want, which is why I haven't ever voted for minority parties. Last May, the Conservatives seemed to be the party that was offering something close to what I wanted, and they had a good chance of forming a government and being able actually to do something. I'm not writing them off yet - for all their faults, they are a million miles better then the last lot of hucksters and criminals - but I am starting to feel a lot of disappointment at their lack of activity on certain things that I regard as vitally important, specifically
  • cutting the BBC down to size and making it politically neutral once more
  • standing up for British interests abroad, and especially with the EU
  • starting to reform the law in favour of the law-abiding majority and not the terrorist and the criminal
  • "That government is best which governs least".
Of course, many of the reforms that I would like to see are impossible while we are full members of the EU. So tackling that relationship - and being brave enough to take some bold and far-reaching steps - has to come at the top of the list. And I no longer have much confidence that Cameron is about to do anything remotely radical about it. He's looking more and more like Blair in a blue tie.

Farage talks a good talk, and isn't afraid to say what ordinary people are thinking, without the self-censorship that most politicians indulge in. I still hold out hope that the coalition will do some good things, and maybe even start working towards a Britain that I will recognise as my own. But their time is running out for me, and if they lose my confidence and support, UKIP is likely to be the beneficiary.

It's easy to look at small, single-issue parties and see the lack of proportion and paucity of talent. You may agree with everything the BNP says, for example, but would you want them in charge of the economy? Really? Of all the minor parties, UKIP seem the most coherent and competent. And, if Cameron can't or won't deliver what the country needs, how much worse would they be? At least we know what they stand for.

I haven't changed my voting intentions yet, but I can now see a time when I might.


  1. Hunt has done almost nothing about the bbc though Cameron has shown he would like to make their safe little beeboid world more hostile.
    He needs to attack the 5th column of editors and presenters on TV and radio 4 - a few forced P45's would be in order and swell the Gruniard, Independent and loonly left think tank ranks.
    Does he have the bottle? Don't hold your breath.
    Yesterday as even the Independent tweeted was a day of sweetness and light with the lack of the Toady Programme and bbc doom and gloom. Though of course they dragged in their lefty favourite "Professor" Mary Beard who stated she wanted the Toady Programme on Sunday and not those dreadfull church services - personally I will help pay for her to live in Russia for the rest of her life.

  2. "he would like to make their safe little beeboid world more hostile" - and there's the problem. 'More hostile' is not radical action, it's tinkering.


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