Wrong again: Starmer’s insistence that Labour is anti-Semitic has created a huge backlash, with 70 per cent of members saying there is no major problem.
You have to laugh. In the week after the Jerusalem Declaration that provides a new definition of anti-Semitism to stop it being confused with criticism of the hard right-wing Israeli government, the Likud-supporting Jewish Chronicle accuses Labour Party members of delusion.
It is reporting that a YouGov survey has found 70 per cent of current Labour members – that’s the people who are left after Keir Starmer and David Evans’s purges – don’t believe the party has a major problem with anti-Semitism.
There’s a good reason for that: the Labour Party does not – and never did have – a major problem with anti-Semitism. That attitude has been found within the party – but on a smaller scale than among the UK’s population generally and a much smaller scale than in right-wing parties like the Conservatives.
Hacks like the JC‘s Lee Harpin keep carping on about it because they have an anti-left wing political agenda of their own, it seems.
Consider the language Harpin uses in his story:
An exclusive poll for the JC reveals a party that remains in denial about the scale of the crisis, with large numbers still in thrall to Jeremy Corbyn.
There’s no evidence in the poll itself of any kind of denial at all, and agreement with Jeremy Corbyn’s opinion is not blind servitude to him.
The story goes on to say that, “in echoes of Mr Corbyn’s claim that the issue had been ‘dramatically overstated’, almost half (46 per cent) thought the scale of the allegations were ‘exaggerated’, while 24 per cent said the party did not have a serious problem.
Harpin editorialises (which is highly unprofessional among reporters who claim to be writing the news rather than opinion pieces):
Significant support for the toxic former leader remains, with a striking 72 per cent of members insisting that he should not be expelled from the party.
No evidence is put forward to explain why Corbyn should be considered toxic – unless it is his accurate point that anti-Semitism claims had been “dramatically overstated” and “exaggerated”.
Almost a third of those polled, 29 per cent, thought that Sir Keir was doing a worse job than Mr Corbyn, who quit in 2020 after leading Labour to its worst general election defeat since 1935.
There’s a debatable claim! Corbyn lost a lot of seats but still won more votes than Tony Blair in 2005, Gordon Brown in 2010 and Ed Miliband in 2015. And that’s (allegedly) fighting the huge drag factor of Labour Party officers working to ensure that the Conservatives won.
The poll also disclosed that hostility towards Israel remains rampant amongst Labour’s rank-and-file, with almost half of respondents (49%) agreeing with the suggestion that Israel is an “apartheid state” .
It is. Palestinians are treated as an underclass by law – a law passed by the Likud government under Benjamin Netanyahu. Of course, this doesn’t mean Labour members think Israel will always be an apartheid state. South Africa used to be and isn’t any more so there’s always hope. It isn’t an anti-Semitic attitude to oppose the bigotry of that nation’s current government.
The revelations highlight the scale of the challenge that still faces Sir Keir, who pledged on his first day as leader to tear antisemitism out by the roots and restore trust with the Jewish community.
More accurately, they show that, rather than restore trust with the Jewish community (that was lost when Labour started paying attentions to the rantings of its pro-Likud Israel critics), Starmer has lost the trust of Labour Party members.
He will never regain it.
Starmer nailed his colours to the mast when he made his grovelling apology for anti-Semitism in Labour on his first day in office. He has spent his time since then pursuing, suspending and expelling party members under the pretext of anti-Semitism, when their real crime – as far as he is concerned – is Socialism.
But Labour is a Socialist party. It’s right there on the membership card. If Starmer disagrees with that, he should not be a member, let alone a leader. Nor should any of his cronies who take his side.
He will lose many seats in the local government elections next month because he simply can’t understand that anybody who supports the policies he likes will vote for the party that originally put them forward – the Tories.
His reliance on watered-down Conservatism, and his insistence on pursing a crusade against an enemy that doesn’t exist in any meaningful form will kill Labour as a political movement.
People have started to believe that this has always been his intention.
So, ultimately, Harpin’s hack-piece has the issue arse-backwards (as usual).
Starmer’s challenge isn’t ridding the Labour Party of anti-Semitism; Labour’s challenge is ridding itself of Starmer.
“Blatantly Backing Conservatives”: but is the BBC irredeemable or could it be restored to its role as the greatest impartial news provider in the world – if the Tories don’t privatise it first?
Did you enjoy a lot of TV over Christmas? Did Worzel Gummidge tickle you? Or was Dracula more to your taste? How about that classic-with-a-new-face, Doctor Who?
BBC output – and not just drama – appears to have won the Christmas ratings war, but the corporation itself is in danger of being destroyed by politicians.
Boris Johnson said in the run-up to the general election that he thought the BBC in its current format – as a public service broadcaster supported by a licence fee paid by all television users – has had its day.
This Writer finds that a strange way to repay the organisation that has done more to re-elect the Conservatives than any other. Around 70 per cent of the UK gets its news from the BBC and a high proportion of those people let its newscasters tell them what to think.
The BBC’s election coverage was hugely controversial; there is a large body of opinion that the Corporation went far too easy on Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, despite policy positions that are, frankly, completely whacko.
In contrast, BBC presenters were almost feral in their reaction to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, whose policies – should they ever be discussed – were actually far more in tune with the thoughts of the nation.
There are many possible reasons for this behaviour by a broadcaster that should have been impartial – especially considering the fact that it relies on our money for its existence.
But I don’t think that’s why YouGov has just released a poll saying most people want to scrap the licence fee.
YouGov is the Tory polling organisation. It was set up by Nadhim Zahawi and another prominent Tory, and has always existed in the shadow of its founders’ political ambitions.
So, following up on Mr Johnson’s comments, it seems likely to This Writer that YouGov has polled the people most likely to support the end of the licence fee, in order to produce these results.
Remember: polls are published in order to tell you what to think, not to tell you what other people think.
The Tory plan would be to turn the BBC into a subscription-only or advertising-funded service, making it far less capable of providing the services it currently offers.
Then private, billionaire-owned companies could rush in to fill the gap – especially in news programming – with pro-Tory propaganda.
And the BBC itself could be taken over by privateers, leaving the logo only to mislead us into thinking that it’s the same as it ever was.
You know – like the Tories are doing with the NHS.
Labour offered reform of the BBC to eliminate political interference but you (or your fellow voters) didn’t want that.
If you lose the best broadcaster in the world because of the election result, I hope you know where to place the blame.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Keir Starmer: does anybody really think Labour would benefit from a Centrist/Blairite leader like he would be?
‘Centrist’ Keir Starmer, who has taken much of the blame for Brexit policies that are thought to have lost Labour the general election, is now the top candidate to become the party’s new leader, according to a poll that should not be trusted at all.
Why shouldn’t it be trusted, you ask? Because it was produced by YouGov, the polling organisation co-founded by current Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi.
Who would have an interest in getting public support behind a leader likely to alienate Labour’s more left-wing supporters? I’d suggest that a Tory-run polling organisation would.
And it is grossly misleading as the election won’t happen for several months and not all candidates have thrown their hats into the ring.
The poll has been picked up by the Tory media (obviously) – and even a few left-wing outlets have mentioned it.
But the reaction generally seems resoundingly negative:
Sir Starmer is the anointed one. You gov has spoken. Riding to the rescue on his charger the goodly knight will save the Labour party from those nasty lefties then proceed to ride off into oblivion and the black hole of centrism where parties go to die
The left haven't really got behind anyone yet and sadly some seem to have wrongly analysed our GE defeat. Others have had enough of the fight and want what they perceive to be the safest, dullest leader in history. That's why Starmer is probably leading. Hopefully it will change.
I can still hear the plummy voice of the Putney man that opened the door to me when I was on the #labourdoorstep and said: “I couldn’t possibly vote for Corbyn or that Marxist maniac McDonnell. But get Keir Starmer in the leadership and I’ll vote Labour again.”
And while I agree that some sort of united front with general progressive forces will be needed on national level, conceding on the ideological direction of the party after all these years’ work would be a travesty!
He appeals to me because he, at least, knows where to find Boris Johnson:
In the gutter with the other vermin.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Shortly after YouGov – often labelled a Tory puppet pollster – claimed Labour was fourth-placed in the opinion polls, even though it was only six points behind the Conservatives, the party came on top of a new poll by our most accurate polling firm.
Survation put Labour’s support at 29 per cent – a whopping 11 per cent above its placing in the YouGov poll. The Conservatives were languishing on 23 per cent, a point below where YouGov put them.
NEW: General Election voting intention in England, Scotland and Wales, 10th – 11th July 2019:
“Today’s 18, 19 and 20-year-olds were not allowed to vote in 2016. 84 per cent of them want to remain in the EU,” tweeted Labour’s David Lammy.
“To ignore these young voices, who have the most to lose from Brexit, would be nothing less than a betrayal,” he added – and This Writer agrees.
Theresa May [has been] warned that Brexit will “betray an entire generation of young people” as a new poll showed teenagers who have now gained the vote back staying in the EU by more than five to one.
The YouGov survey found that 84 per cent of 18, 19 and 20-year-olds — too young to take part in the June 2016 referendum — support remaining in the European Union, with just 16 per cent opting for Leave.
People aged 20 to 24 who were able to take part in the Brexit referendum voted by three to one to Remain.
The analysis suggested the Leave majority of 2016 would be wiped out in January 2019, two months before the UK is due to quit the EU. The calculations were also based on elderly people, who mostly voted for Leave, dying.
A new poll published by YouGov make[s] grim reading for May.
Fewer people think she is competent:
In June, 53% of people said they thought she was competent. That is now down 11 points to 42%. The number of people who think she is incompetent is up from 32% to 41%. That includes 15% of Tory supporters and 26% of Leave voters.
A majority of voters think she is indecisive:
The number of people who think she is indecisive has risen from 50% to 52%. Among Tory voters, a huge 39% have that view.
People are losing their trust in her:
In June, a majority (52%) of voters said May was trustworthy, while just 31% said she was untrustworthy. There has been a huge reversal in this measure over the last 3 months and now 44% find her untrustworthy, compared 35% who trust her.
There is a big age gap on this measure, with people under 50 most likely not to trust her.
Most voters think she is weak:
After disproving her own “strong and stable” slogan during the general election, 52% of voters now view her as weak compared to just 28% who see her as strong. That compares to 46% and 33% respectively in June.
Despite the hard Brexit line she has adopted, more Leave voters see her as strong than week – by 40% to 39%.
Fewer people like her:
There has been a marked 8 point swing in the wrong direction for her in terms of likability since June. 46% of people dislike her now compared with 40% then and 30% like her compared with 32% then.
A huge 71% of 18-24 year olds dislike her. Only among the over 65s does she have a positive rating on this measure.
Jeremy Corbyn attracted thousands of people to hear him speak on the doorstep of the Conservative Party conference, while ‘moderates’ in his own party were briefing against him in the Tory press.
YouGov has published the results of a poll carried out among what it calls “members of the Labour selectorate” to gauge current feelings about Labour, its policies and leaders – but This Writer is wondering whether the media are being selectIVE about the figures they’re quoting.
YouGov polled 1443 members of the Labour “selectorate” – party members, registered supporters and affilated supporters able to vote in the leadership contest, and people coming back to Labour who didn’t support the party in the general election – and the tables break the results down by various categories, as well as comparing what the “selectorate” thinks with the views of Labour voters and GB adults generally.
It’s also worth paying attention to a VP commenter who wrote today (November 24): “My experience is that YouGov carefully choose who they will ask. This means one is not invited to take part in some polls as YouGov are pretty sure of your answer, and they don’t want a rusult that will upset their sponsor.” The sponsor in this case is the Tory-supporting Times newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch.
The Graun focused on the figures for Labour members “for simplicity’s sake”. That’s all very well, but isn’t the effect on the wider public also interesting? Surely it is more important at a time when opponents of the Corbyn leadership are briefing against him in the right-wing press, in an attempt to turn public opinion against a leader who was elected with an overwhelming mandate?
So, for example, while the number of Labour members who think Corbyn is doing well totals 66 per cent, isn’t it more interesting that 74 per cent of those polled, who didn’t vote Labour in the general election, also think he is doing well?
Corbyn is unlikely to become prime minister, according to half of Labour members – but that opinion is reflected by only 40 per cent of people who didn’t vote Labour in the election. Does this indicate that “floating” voters are floating in Corbyn’s direction? Remember, it’s early days yet.
And the answer to the very next question is fascinating. If Corbyn remains Labour leader, only 41 per cent of Labour members think Labour won’t win the election. It’s basically the same question as the last – Corbyn would still become prime minister – but nine per cent fewer people thought Labour would lose. What does that tell us? Almost 2/3 of people who voted for Corbyn – 64 per cent – said Labour would win, along with 57 per cent of people who didn’t vote Labour in the general election – another shift towards Corbyn.
The Graun points out that, among those who voted for non-Corbyn candidates in the leadership contest, 79 per cent think Corbyn is unlikely ever to become prime minister. Isn’t that to be expected? Isn’t that why Labour intolerants – sorry, sorry, ‘moderates’ – are briefing against him in the press, rather than taking concerns through the proper channels – to increase this likelihood?
Should Corbyn lead Labour into the next election? 56 per cent of Labour members said yes, alongside a whopping 76 per cent of those who didn’t vote Labour at the last election.
Asked who should replace Corbyn if he did step down, it is significant that more Labour members said they didn’t know (16 per cent) than supported anybody except Andy Burnham. His lead, with 19 per cent, disappears when the votes of those who aren’t full members is considered (19 per cent of them didn’t know either), and is annihilated when the votes of those who didn’t support Labour at the election are taken into account (24 per cent of them didn’t know).
On policy, the ‘moderates’ take a hammering. These are the people who have repeatedly claimed that Labour must put forward policies that are designed to win elections, no matter whether they correspond with their own principles or those of the party as a whole. Only 32 per cent – less than a third – of everybody polled agreed with them. 56 per cent said it is better for a major political party to put forward policies it really believes in – rising to 67 per cent of those who didn’t vote Labour in May.
To This Writer, such a result indicates that a party that believes in the policies it puts forward won’t lose elections – as suggested by the question. People prefer politicians they can trust not to tell lies.
The response to the next question also wipes out the Corbyn-haters. Asked if he had moderated his personal opinions since he became leader – against a background of media critics and Labour ‘moderates’ claiming he has u-turned left, right and centre – a clear majority said he had not done so, in all polled groups.
So the propaganda war against Corbyn is a total failure – and is in fact increasing his support base, rather than encouraging people to desert him.
However, a clear majority also believes the Shadow Cabinet is divided – 79 per cent. Considering the level of support for Corbyn, this can only indicate disapproval of the Labour MPs who have been briefing against him in the media – and, sure enough, 55 per cent of members blame MPs opposed to Corbyn for the division, rising to 69 per cent of those who didn’t support Labour in the general election (the people Labour needs to recapture).
The next question referred to the reselection issue. Some Corbyn supporters have been criticised over their demands for his critics to be deselected, due to what they see as clear betrayals of the Labour leader and the party as a whole (the argument is that any public display of dissent encourages people to think Labour is split and is not capable of forming a strong government). Should MPs be made to seek re-selection before every election, or should this happen only if they haven’t done “a reasonable job”?
Answer: Full party members, “not full members”, Corbyn supporters and those who didn’t support Labour in the election demanded re-selection procedures; supporters of the other candidates in the leadership contest disagreed. What does that tell you about Corbyn’s critics? Doesn’t it say they want to avoid the democratic judgement of their constituency parties?
Asked to define attributes they associate with Mr Corbyn, the majority of all those polled said he was principled, honest, courageous and shared their political outlook. Labels such as “deluded”, “indecisive”, “weak” or “untrustworthy” were comprehensively rejected.
But it is true that few were willing to commit when asked whether he would lead Labour to victory or defeat, with only around 30 per cent supporting either suggestion.
What we’re seeing, in a nutshell, is a Labour leader who has the support of the majority of Labour members – and is winning over those who did not vote Labour at the last election.
This group is by far the most enthusiastic about Mr Corbyn’s leadership, indicating a huge influx of new or returning Labour voters who have been energised by the Corbyn leadership.
Contrast this with what YouGov’s Peter Kellner said about the poll: “Mr Corbyn’s supporters seem to know that they they are out of touch with the wider public, but don’t mind.”
Not true. The more the public knows about Corbyn, the more the public supports him.
That is what Kellner’s own poll suggests – and a weak attempt at spin can’t erase it.
Oh. My word. Vox Political readers won’t make the mistakes recounted here, being far too well-read for that. However, it is bad enough that other people are thinking these things. Alex Little explains:
Here’s an interesting poll finding from Yougov this week. They asked people the question “How well would you say you understand what people mean when they talk about the government’s deficit?” In answer, 69% said they had a very clear or fairly clear understanding. Not bad then. It’s talked about every day by politicians, so it’s good people understand what it means.
Not so fast though. Yougov followed up by asking “Which of the following do you think best describes the government’s deficit?” The majority (51%) thought “The total amount of money the government has borrowed” rather than the more correct description (“The amount of extra money that the government borrows each year”), which was only picked by 31%.
Deception? – The controversial UKIP advert using an Irish actor, who plays a British worker replaced by cheap Labour from Europe.
YouGov research for the Sunday Times has put UKIP in the lead in the European election contest, with support from 31 per cent of those who were surveyed.
This put the Eurosceptic party three points ahead of Labour (28 per cent) and a massive 12 points ahead of the Conservatives (just 19 per cent).
But does this really mean the Party with its Foot in its Mouth has the people’s confidence? Take a look at these comments from the Vox Political Facebook page and form your own conclusions. I hasten to add that this is an unscientific survey, composed of comments from those who had the most to say.
We’ll start with those who support the party.
Most vocal is Denise Cottham. She writes: “Mr Farage has the guts to actually ‘SAY’ what many other people just ‘THINK!’ We respect him for this. He speaks the TRUTH & is not out to deceive the public like the major parties have done all these years, while growing fatter & richer at the country’s expense! And exactly where does the Green party stand regarding the EU? They make appealing promises, but will be unable to keep them without ASKING permission from the EU!!! UKIP priorities make sense, staying in the EU does not.”
Denise Morris adds: “I’ll be voting UKIP and so will many, many other concerned with EU policies that mean we can’t kick out radical hate preachers, without it costing the taxpayer millions and not only that we’ll pay their benefits, get them a nice big house and all while our human rights lawyers try to prevent their deportation, thanks to the EU. It’s no wonder people are looking for other alternatives. Currently our only serious hope is UKIP. We all know where the Cons, Lab and Libs stand, so voting for either of these parties won’t solve anything.
“They are the only party that can take on the other major parties and are gaining popularity. People are fed up with broken promises, lies, the open door policy. I don’t like all of UKIP’s policies, but I don’t like all the Cons’ or Lab either. Labour betrayed the working classes and the Cons have tackled the economy, but at a cost to who? The poor, the vulnerable, so I am totally with you on that one. I have to vote for what I think is best for the future of this country and my children and grandchildren and as I see it, that’s UKIP at the moment. If Labour gave us a referendum and promised to save the NHS, restrict immigration, tackled the economy, then I would seriously consider voting labour but that isn’t going to happen sadly. It’s like being between a rock and a hard place and we need a serious shake up of politics in this country. Something has to change and for the better and maybe the challenge from UKIP will do just that.”
She seems to have confused the European Union with the European Court of Human Rights… “The fact is the British people were conned big time on the EU. We thought we were entering a common market and now most of our laws are made in Europe. Their judges take precedence over our own judges. We were never given the referendum we should have got and UKIP are the only party guaranteeing one. If that happens then MPs can start voting with their conscience again, instead of voting for party policies.”
Regarding the controversial poster in which a foreign actor (from Ireland) was used to represent a British worker whose job had been taken away by evil immigrants, Craig Burnside writes: “UKIP arent against immigration, they just want to control it like countries like Australia and the USA do and outsource jobs.”
On the other side we have the following messages.
From Neil Wilson: “I honestly thought nobody could run a worse PR campaign than Bitter Together in Scotland re: the Independence Referendum, But I have to say UKIP are managing to do so in only a week. My particular favourite is the fact you can send their leaflets back to the Freepost address and they get charged for each one. So, they come to your border (door/letterbox) and you send them packing and make them pay for it. After all it’s what they would have wanted don’t you think? very apt. Although the Boarders typo is running a close second. I would vote for somebody to protect me from boarders, particularily old Etonians. But … best just to keep quiet and enjoy watching them make a monumental cock-up of a campaign all by themselves.”
From Kim Burns: “It’s the irony that’s amusing us. Of course we’re not going to vote UKIP! They don’t like women going out to work, they want to reduce maternity leave to 4 weeks, they want to reduce taxes for the rich and increase them for the poor! Read their manifesto, people!”
We would if we could find it! How about this, from John Elwyn Kimber: “Those who wish to register a Eurosceptic vote without empowering the odious UKIP might be lucky enough to have a candidate representing the late Bob Crow’s ‘No to EU, Yes to Democracy’ campaign – as in the Eastern counties. Or vote Green.”
From Bette Rogerson: “Why would you vote for a party that says it hates Europe, but at the same time takes lots and lots of money from the European parliament? Why vote for a party whose members advocate policies like less tax for the wealthiest, cutting of maternity leave and forcible sterilisation of the disabled? Why vote for a party who wants to take the vote away from the unemployed? Is your job really that secure? Lastly but not least, why vote for a party which claims it wants British jobs for the British and then hires an Irish actor to model as a poor Briton whose job has been taken away by a foreigner?”
Of course, I have also weighed into these discussions. Here’s my response to Denise C: “The facts are against you. Why is Farage now trying to block an inquiry into his MEP expenses? What does he have to hide? Why, if he’s so keen on preventing foreigners from taking British jobs, did his party hire an Irish actor to pretend to be a British worker in a poster? Why did he hire a German to be his PA (and, come to that, what about the nepotism inherent in the fact that this person is his wife)? Why did the UKIP poster showing an ‘ordinary’ British woman who was going to vote UKIP actually show a party member responsible for public relations? Put all these things together and it seems UKIP and the truth are a huge distance apart.
“Look at UKIP members and the appalling things they have been saying. Farage moves to shut them up and kick them out whenever they do, but a point has to be reached soon when he – and the rest of us – realises that this is the natural mindset of his party and, as such, it is unelectable.”
To Denise Morris’s comments about European judges, I pointed out: “The European Court is different from the European Union, Denise. If Britain withdrew from the EU, it would still be a part of the court. Also, UKIP is very clearly not the only party guaranteeing [a referendum] – it’s not even the only right-wing, reactionary and repressive party offering such a guarantee.”
I added: “The Cons have not tackled the economy. If you believe that, you’re not paying attention. I’m glad you agree that the poor and vulnerable have suffered in any case. Labour has promised to save the NHS and tackle the economy (in a more meaningful way than the Tories). Labour’s attitude to a referendum may seem less than wholehearted but my impression is that they think it would get a knee-jerk reaction that would show what people do not understand about our participation in the European Union, rather than what they do – your mistake about the European Court is an indication that they might have a point.
“Regarding immigration, my personal belief is that the EU – including the UK – made a big mistake in allowing free movement between countries including new member states whose economies were not yet up to par with the better-established industrial nation states. All they have done is de-stabilise both the states from which people are emigrating and those into which they immigrate… so I would like a tighter policy on this, not just here but in the Union as a whole.
“And those who complain that we voted ourselves into an economic community, not a political union, are correct too. All of these things can be remedied from inside the EU, and if we were to withdraw rather than try to tackle them as a member state, the result would be worse for all of Europe in the long run. UKIP does not see that and the Conservatives cannot see past their own greed and corruption – look at who funds them (bankers and private health firms) and you’ll see that this is the case. The Tory Democrats have sold their souls but Labour is just beginning to find its own soul again. That’s why I think Labour is the best hope for Britain next year.”
Responding to former Labour voter Brian Taylor, who said he wasn’t enthused with UKIP but they would get his vote until a viable alternative came along, I wrote: “Do you really want a flat-rate of 31 per cent income tax, that hugely benefits the extremely rich and enormously harms the poor? That’s UKIP policy.
“If not, you probably want the Green Party, which would also hold a referendum on Europe but is far less Tory in its outlook. I can’t imagine a former Labour voter would honestly want to vote for a party that was further on the right of the political spectrum than the Conservatives.”
So what’s the conclusion?
Well, from this snapshot we can see that, as Denise Cottham and Brian Taylor claimed, people think all three major parties have deceived the public and will do so again. Labour in particular is seen as having betrayed its core constituency – the working classes – in favour of Daily Mail readers and bankers who simply won’t vote for any party more left-wing than the Conservatives. Worse still, for Labour, is people’s belief that the party has been told – time and time again – what it needs to do, but has continually ignored this good advice. UKIP’s problem is that its new advertising campaign also deceives the public, and leader Nigel Farage’s eagerness to block an inquiry into his MEP expenses suggests further jiggery-pokery.
People in general also seem to be genuinely disgruntled with the EU’s ‘free movement’ policy which allows people from any member state to take up residence in any other member state. There is evidence to show that it was a mistake to allow less-developed countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, to take advantage of this policy as many of their citizens have immigrated into the more prosperous regions – leaving their own countries struggling to build their economies, and threatening the stability of the destination countries, whose infrastructure is left struggling to cope with the influx.
UKIP supporters are primarily interested in having an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union, but – as Denise Morris demonstrates – do not seem to understand clearly the issues on which they will be voting. Denise’s concern about the laws preventing us from deporting foreign-born ‘hate preachers’ would not be addressed by leaving the European Union as it comes under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
Their grasp of other UKIP policies seems catastrophically poor, though – policies including restricting work opportunities for women and cutting maternity leave, reducing taxes for the rich and raising them for the poor (to a flat rate of 31 per cent), sterilisation of the disabled (if Bette Rogerson’s research is correct), and ending universal suffrage by stopping the unemployed from voting.
They also seem to have a weak grasp of other parties’ policies regarding the EU – the Green Party wants a referendum but Denise C thinks they don’t.
My overall impression is that UKIP is still gaining support as a party of protest, rather than because people have any belief in its policies. The person on the street – whatever their belief – feels “utterly powerless… hopeless and increasingly disinterested”, a sentiment expressed by Karlie Marvel on the Facebook page today.
That’s why UKIP is ahead today.
It isn’t a good enough reason and the other party leaders can now see what they need to do about it – especially Labour.
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