Less is More

Some brief comments on the ‘single issue’ issue

The common reposte issued against those who support UKIP is to suggest, derisively, that they are a single issue party concerned with Europe alone. In response (and given the EU’s current uninhabitable climes) one should say ‘and you should be glad of it!’ – after all, what an issue it has become. UKIP are the only credible, powerful voice of the eurosceptic movement at a time when New Labour, Blue Labour and the school bully’s cowardly friend, the LibDems, are selling the UK’s sovereignty down the river. That UKIP has been a single issue party is a badge of honour now, if ever it was.

Before the fallacy of the ‘single issue’ accusation is laid to rest (so far as this website is concerned), it is worth remembering that all political parties germinate from the seed of a single issue. That issue may involve many people, it may only represent a few, but it is on single issues that political movements get started. In fact, the electorate is beginning to realise that the party’s they formerly thought represented them have fattened themselves on an even more destructive political diet, the kind that tries to be all things to all people. Labour, the Conservatives and the LibDems have gorged on what Dwight Macdonald termed ‘mass culture’:

Mass Culture is a dynamic, revolutionary force, breaking down the old barriers of class, tradition, taste, and dissolving all cultural distinctions. It mixes and scrambles everything together, producing what might be called homogenized culture […]. It thus destroys all values, since value judgments imply discrimination. Mass Culture is very, very democratic: it absolutely refuses to discriminate against, or between, anything or anybody. All is grist to its mill, and all comes out finely ground indeed. [1]

To continue the rather ropey dietary metaphor, UKIP have skipped this unpalatable course. By sticking with their eurosceptic stance, they have carved out a place in UK politics vital to the national interest, namely, meaningful, credible, organized opposition in the face of the absence of all these.

Does UKIP risk becoming defunct after the EU question is resolved? Certainly not. The work then begins on dismantling big government, on returning common sense to politics, responsibility to individuals and accountability in public office. In short, UKIP would enact the policies the other parties have long since evaded.

UKIP’s supporters know the party is not a single issue party at all – indeed, the three main parties know this too. In recent weeks, all of them have cribbed policies and initiatives that seem remarkably like UKIP’s own, be it on Europe, education or the economy. At grass-roots level, UKIP’s presence continues to flourish in local elections. At a national level, the media seems generally concerned with hearing UKIP’s anti-EU policies, which is fair enough, but the party must somehow find the opportunity to present its domestic policies with the same profile and consistency.

© voteukip, 2012

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