A Remarkable Political Result
It’s perhaps hard to overstate the significance of the recent elections in England and Wales, and in the European Union (EU) of which of course the UK is a member. For the first time in British history a political party, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), with no Members of Parliament, has won a national election. It’s over 100 years since a political party other than the Conservatives or Labour has won a national election. UKIP has won seats in every region of England, and in Wales and Scotland. This is a remarkable political result.
The mainstream political parties across the UK would appear to have misjudged badly the national mood, or at least the mood of a very significant minority of the British population. It’s testament to our democracy and our society generally that the people of the UK can set the cat amongst the political pigeons peaceably. It’s also worth noting perhaps that in France, the National Front stormed to victory whilst in the UK the British National Party was, gratifyingly, wiped out.
UKIP, the Scottish National Party and Scotland’s Independence
UKIP’s not everyone’s cup of tea, far from it. However, there’s no doubting that UKIP and the other disruptive political parties across Europe and, indeed, further afield are doing democracy a great favour these days. Goodness knows where this will end up, but it’s likely to be a better place than a democracy-free European superstate.
In this context, it’s interesting too that the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) campaign for Scotland’s independence is, ironically, a campaign for dependence. The SNP would wish to disengage Scotland from the democracy that patently exists within the UK, only immediately to place the nation firmly in to the lap of the autocracy – or at best the pseudo-democracy – that is the EU. After all, the thousands of ‘directives’ and ‘regulations’ that rule so much of our lives these days emanate not from the European Parliament, but from the unelected, unaccountable European Commission (EC).
No amount of voting is ever going to remove the 23,000 EC bureaucrats who have so much power and influence over the nature and shape of our economy, society and culture here in the UK. Indeed, it will only now be through the actions of anti-EU parties like UKIP over the coming months and years that we shall stand any chance at all of extracting ourselves from the yoke of the Lisbon Treaty. Meantime, and ironically, the SNP cherishes the thought of lashing Scotland to what is, to all intents and purposes, a tyrants’ charter.
As one commentator observed this week, UKIP isn’t perfect; it’s rough around the edges; it requires, and will get, finesse. However, UKIP is fundamentally democratic: it is of the people and for the people, and it is quintessentially and classically liberal, and British, in its character. Compare this to the SNP’s sharp practice at Holyrood where the party of government massages (to put it politely) the committee system to pursue its own ends.
For example, take a look at ‘The European and External Relations Committee Report on the Scottish Government’s Proposals for an Independent Scotland: Membership of the European Union’. Note how the SNP proposed a change supportive of Mr Salmond’s pro-EU stance; the opposition disagreed; the SNP used its majority to win the vote and alter the report, whilst stonewalling a move to reveal the original document. So, the SNP used its committee majority to bolster Mr Salmond’s case for independence.
Holyrood’s committee system is supposed to hold the Scottish Government to account by scrutinising legislation. However, the SNP’s 2011 election victory handed it control of all Holyrood’s committees, meaning any criticism can be theoretically overruled. It’s precisely this type of undermining and usurping of the democratic process that has so fuelled the rise of anti-Establishment parties like UKIP.
The politics of the UK and Europe have changed forever this week, and that’s no bad thing. One can only hope that the established political parties understand what’s really going on here. For if they don’t, an awful lot of mainstream party politicians could find themselves out of a job in the next few years. Meantime, it’s a moot point whether voting ‘Yes’ to Scotland’s independence would in fact be a vote for independence at all.
En Route to a European Superstate
If UKIP achieves its objective of securing a foothold in Parliament, British politics – and with it our society – would be transformed in the subsequent years. Perhaps above all else the UK would almost certainly leave the European Union and, as a result, revert to the natural, 1,000-year trend of our country’s history of sovereignty, common law, democracy, liberty, global trade and border security. All these national characteristics are destined to be crushed should we remain signatories to the Lisbon Treaty. The UK would become, ultimately and by design, a vassal community of a European superstate. Nobody should be under any illusion that this is not the express intention of the European politico-bureaucratic elites.
On the Migration of Peoples
It’s worth bearing in mind that UKIP is not only a party resolved to extracting the UK from the EU, it’s also a political party that dares to raise the subject of immigration. On this particular matter Migration Watch’s paper ‘A Summary History of Immigration to Britain’ (link below) is worth reading. Its concluding paragraph states, “Britain has experienced many relatively small episodes of immigration over the centuries. For nearly a thousand years migration was on a very small scale compared to the size of the population. In the decades between the Second World War and the late 1990s, foreign immigration grew steadily at a relatively modest rate before declining in the late 1960s and becoming fairly stable between 1971 and 1981. The massive increase in the level of migration since the late 1990s is utterly unprecedented in the country’s history, dwarfing the scale of anything that went before.”
So what? Well, for me the issue is not one of racism or xenophobia, as you would expect. I’m concerned that the extraordinary levels of immigration to the UK over the past 10 – 20 years have been acts of political collusion and deceit and, by definition, undemocratic. It’s the principle – or the breach of it – that irritates me. The consequences for our economy have been deteriorating wealth (measured in GDP per capita). The consequences for our society have been to place unprecedented pressures on public services: education, health, social, policing, military, as we struggle to fund a society that, in reality, we can’t afford … and that’s before we grow artificially our society every decade at the rate of 10 cities the size of Southampton – to no economic advantage.
Goodbye or Good Riddance to the European Union?
Finally, we can do absolutely nothing about this state of affairs for as long as the UK remains a signatory to the Lisbon Treaty, that is for as long as we retain our membership of the EU. Much as I love my neighbours – within and outwith these shores – of all genders, sexual orientation and ethnic origin, both common sense and hard socio-economic evidence suggest that we can’t really go on like this. Or can we? And if so, how does it work in practice?
As far as the 3 main political parties are concerned (if the Liberals can still be considered a “main political party”), even to desire a discussion of this profoundly significant issue is, by and large, considered to be a racist or xenophobic distraction … usually inciting ad hominem attacks on those who raise the subject. I’m not sure if this approach to public discourse is in the best interests of our society.
Economically, socially and, of late, politically we live in truly interesting times – and very pleasing it is too if, like me, for the past two decades you’ve felt disenfranchised. Nigel Farage and others of that ilk have much to be proud of lately, to the chagrin of the mainstream political class. Small wonder Nick Clegg is looking out of sorts.
A Summary History of Immigration to Britain: http://tinyurl.com/nd4kaws