Thursday, June 03, 2004

as mad as they look?

The speccie orders its army of loyal readers to stick with the Tories. A quick glance at the UKIP website gives reason for their concern. It looks like the manifesto of an emerging party of the radical right rather than just a home for mainly conservative protest votes.

Europe aside, the UKIP manifesto mostly reflects the middle class axis of complaint along the line encompassing fuel protests – Tony Martin – immigration (euphemized as “overcrowding”). Perhaps the ideal UKIP policy would be to legalize the drive-by shooting of asylum seekers, neatly wrapping up all these issues in a vote-winning combination. Naturally, the police would take an interest in these matters. But liberty for the upstanding Briton could be secured on production of an England Rugby shirt, or perhaps a recent receipt from B&Q.

I admit this is unfair. What’s more, I intend to remain unfair to a party of whiners led by a permatanned telly demagogue. And yet there’s quite an interesting flavour to some of UKIP’s output. Take this:

Governments no longer seek to serve the people. They now view the voters as production units in a company called Great Britain PLC and as such they expect us to do what they as directors want. They never now talk of freedom, and they have forgotten what democracy means:

They take a steadily increasing proportion of our money in taxes.

They are now attacking our basic legal rights such as Habeas Corpus, the Double Jeopardy rule, and Trial by Jury.

With identify cards, CCTV, and DNA testing government agencies will soon able to keep tabs on everybody.

and later

Establish the general principle that new technology must never be used for the routine observation of members of the public who are not under suspicion of having committed some crime.

Leftist? Liberal? Whatever. The important stuff about policies like this is that they potentially give UKIP amplitude, enabling it to escape from the anti-European ghetto and maybe set up shop in a more general way of political business if they succeed in hollowing out the Tories from within. They need a new name though. And “National’s” been taken.