What makes his different is his conclusion as to why people voted UKIP in such large proportions in both elections. You should visit his site and read most of the article for yourself, but here’s the part that seems most relevant:
“The blame game is an easy one to play – which is part of the reason for the success of UKIP. They play it better than almost anyone, convincing us sometimes that the EU is to blame for everything, sometimes that immigrants are to blame for everything, sometimes both. Sometimes they blame ‘LibLabCon’. It’s easy to do. And yet it misses the point.
“In the end, the problem isn’t with ‘someone else’. It’s us.
“That’s the scariest thing about yesterday’s election. Not that it’s somehow unrepresentative of how we are, but that it might [not] be. The things that UKIP uses as dog whistles, the racism, the homophobia, the xenophobia, the desire to blame people weaker than ourselves, only function as dog whistles because there’s a lot of racism, homophobia and xenophobia about. It taps into something about us. Of course it’s only part of UKIP’s appeal, because the other call to arms, the one against the self-serving Westminster Elite, hits another critical nerve. The Westminster elite are self-serving, disconnected and deserving primarily of contempt. Farage is quite right about that – though he conveniently fails to mention that he’s one of them in almost every way. The trouble is, it is us that have let them get that way. And we continue to do so – even by voting UKIP.
“I don’t have any answers. I don’t think there really are any answers. When we’re fighting against ourselves, it’s hard to find them. We really are our own worst enemies.”
It means people in Clacton actually like Douglas Carswell and Lord Ashcroft was right in his tweeted appraisal of him:
Of course, that’s not what David Cameron has been saying. His mantra is – as many of you will be aware: “Vote UKIP – get Labour.”
He’s wrong, of course. People aren’t thinking in those terms at all.
They’re thinking: “Vote UKIP – get rid of the Conservatives.”
It’s just a shame that they are also wrong; Carswell is still a Conservative – all he has done is swap a conservative party for another conservative party, that is more extreme than the one he just left.
The other notable factor in yesterday’s by-elections is the BBC’s continuing (if tacit) support for UKIP – which can be seen most clearly in its references to the Heywood and Middleton election.
“Labour held on to Heywood and Middleton but UKIP slashed its majority to 617,” states the BBC report, which merrily misses the fact that UKIP remains unable to take Parliamentary seats from Labour.
Labour supporters don’t want UKIP.
Labour supporters don’t need a political party that is more regressive than the Tories.
Labour supporters agree with Ed Miliband, that UKIP “do not represent the interests of working people”.
Read between the lines. Who was UKIP’s candidate in Heywood and Middleton? The BBC report doesn’t name this person until very far down its story.
If you read the mass media coverage, you’ll think UKIP was the only party in these by-elections. Don’t.
If we are to learn anything from the result, it is that the Conservative Party is in deep, deep trouble.
When even Tory Party peers are supporting UKIP against their own party – Cameron clearly has a BIG problem on his hands.
To be honest, the tweet in question doesn’t seem as rebellious as Tom is suggesting, although it is on the verge. More serious will be the problem facing him if Carswell wins, as it could sound the death knell for all Conservative hopes of ever having another majority government in the UK.
Scaremongering: Independence campaigners claimed Scotland would face Unionist retribution for daring to hold the referendum, if its people decided to stay in the UK. It seems this will prove untrue.
At long last, a democratic vote of the people has been won by Gordon Brown.
Nobody can say this was a victory for David Cameron. Even the Torygraph which, admittedly, has had problems with the Conservative leader of late, had little to say about his role other than to say that he had been humbled by one populist politician (Nigel Farage), and came close to being “permanently undone” by another (Alex Salmond).
If the thought of seeing David Cameron “permanently undone” makes you likely to lose your breakfast (especially if you have a vivid imagination), you probably won’t be consoled by the fact that the Torygraph editorial said the same about Ed Miliband.
It went on to say that Conservative spirits have slumped, and a UKIP win in Clacton could still finish off Cameron as a political force of any kind. Is that really likely, though?
Where the Torygraph comes well and truly unstuck is in its appraisal of Labour (quelle surprise). “We now know that Labour’s wafer-thin lead is good for nothing this far from the election,” it whimpers. Do we? Do we know that? We have just seen a campaign orchestrated by a former Labour Chancellor and boosted at the end by a former Labour Prime Minister save the United Kingdom from break-up. That seems more like a solid endorsement of the Labour Party.
“For all the cross-party sheen to Better Together, behind the scenes, it was a Labour operation from start to finish,” states the Torygraph editorial in self-contradictory overdrive. In that case, Labour’s “wafer-thin” poll lead is not only an accurate representation of British feeling; it undervalues Labour’s popularity.
“The question they must be asking themselves is this: what happens when the British public start paying attention in the last weeks of April 2015? And who do they have who can have the same stabilising effect that Gordon Brown had?”
Gordon Brown was the man who de-stabilised Labour’s campaign in 2010 when he was recorded describing Labour voter Gillian Duffy as a “bigoted woman”! Now the Torygraph wants you to believe he stabilised voters and voting intentions?
Perhaps it’s a sign of right-wing disarray. They don’t know whether they’re coming or going.
But let’s get back to the by-election in Clacton, which will be the next test for democracy in this still-united nation. The Telegraph (let’s dignify it with its proper title) wants you to believe that UKIP might win it, but doesn’t the referendum result indicate that the result must depend on turnout?
UKIP won its seats in the European election on an average turnout of around 34 per cent. Turnout for the referendum was 84.5 per cent. It seems clear that ‘populist’ politicians like Farage can only win if turnout is low and they mobilise all their supporters to come out and vote. It’s the same with any political organisation whose views are seen as (with apologies to Yes supporters) extremist; they rely on middle-of-the-road voters staying at home.
Lately, that has been exactly what has happened – and we have all seen what that gave us.
It seems the tide has turned.
Practical issues: David Cameron has made it clear that he plans to honour promises made by his Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats to devolve more powers to Scotland in the event of a ‘No’ vote. Many commenters on this blog and its associated Facebook page were determined to make the rest of us believe this was a lie; they should be eating their words around now, along with a little Humble Pie, perhaps.
The timetable is swift, with agreement on new powers over tax, spending and social security to come in November and the legislation in January.
Lastly, a note of caution:
David Cameron scuttled out of his hole after the result was decided, to deliver a speech about the future. He said: “We now have a chance – a great opportunity – to change the way the British people are governed, and change it for the better.”
Isn’t that exactly what he was supposed to have been doing for the last four years – and making a disastrous, hopeless mess of it?
He reckons his government is going to draw up new powers for Wales, Northern Ireland and England as well, and he has brought in William Hague to oversee the latter. So it’s going to be a self-serving disaster for democracy, then.
If there’s one thing we can trust Cameron and Hague to do, it is flushing our rights down history’s lavatory. For all we know, they don’t even understand the proper way to sit on one.
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