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The real victories of last night’s by-elections belonged to UKIP. But what might this signal and how will  Mr Cameron, Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg translate the messages?

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

 – ‘The Second Coming,’ W.B. Yeats

After last night’s by-elections, the only party that has cause to celebrate is UKIP. Coming second place in both Rotherham and Middlesbrough, and third in Croydon, is no small achievement for a party that has worked tirelessly along the tributaries of British politics into the mainstream in only a matter of years.

That Labour won in all three seats is no surprise, but as Daniel Hannan has remarked with regards to Rotherham in particuar, ‘I don’t want to hear any Rotherham Labour voters moaning about the arrogance of the political class’, since it was under the governance of that party that Denis MacShane resigned after criminally obtaining public money by deceit, and it was also the party that saw inactivity over child grooming cases and the removal of foster children from UKIP-voting parents [1]. Tribal voting is the stuff of primitive thinking, so of the 9,866 voters in Rotherham who voted Labour, it is probably fair to claim that some did so with only half their wits.

It is also no surprise that the Conservatives should made no progress in these areas. That the Liberal Democrats lost their deposits in Rotherham and Croydon proves beyond doubt that they are the party of insignificance and that they can no longer be used to amplify the voices of discontented voters. Expect them to be annihilated at the next General Election.

What of this? In a previous article, this blog suggested that UKIP’s ascent in Corby was not the result of a mid-term blues protest suggested by the Conservatives, it was the result of long-term disenchantment with useless politicians and their discredited parties. UKIP’s showing in Rotherham and elsewhere would seem to underscore this notion.

Mr Miliband need not break the habit of his leadership; he need do nothing, nor come up with credible policies – the coalition are perfectly adept at blustering incoherence and unravelling without the aid of parliament’s odious Chief Scout. Heaven help the UK when Prime Minister Miliband has to actually make the ‘tough decisions’ he bleats on about. Yet what the Rotherham vote has shown is that UKIP are not just a party of and for the right, they are increasingly a party of and for all political colours. If they can succeed in Labour ‘safe’ seats at the same level as they have in Rotherham, Corby and Middlesbrough, then Mr Miliband may actually have to call an inquiry into thinking about the direction in which he is heading.

And what of Mr Cameron? He is the best publicist of his own stupidity. He continues to alienate the sort of Conservative voters his party has haemorrhaged to UKIP under his leadership, not only because of his dogged determination to make social democrats out of the Tories, but also by refusing to  retract his typically immature remarks that UKIP members are mostly ‘closet racists’. The truth is that ‘centre ground’ politics is not only unpopular, it is inherently damaging to democracy. Yet it is clear that Mr Cameron is just a less uncomfortable looking version of the unhinged Gordon Brown: he is intractably stubborn, to the extent that an easy victory in the 2015 General Election will not be his for the taking. He will sooner listen to the likes of Matthew D’Ancona, who wrote in a wildly inaccurate and faintly bizarre recent article:

…the very worst thing Cameron could do now is to rip up his centre-ground strategy and hurtle off to the Right in search of these voters. Not many of them would come back. And many more centrist waverers would be lost in the process. [2]

Though this is precisely what Mr Cameron would want to hear – and certainly the only advice he is likely to listen to – it is at the cost of his own party and democracy. So Mr Cameron’s likeness to Mr Brown is evidenced once again: when a person (let alone a politician) cannot be seen to fight for their own survival, then it rings as defective. By heading off in the right direction, Mr Cameron could outflank UKIP’s ever growing number and bring under his wing the working class vote that UKIP appeals to: immigration, crime, withdrawal from the EU. Since the moribund Lib Dems have had their life support terminated, what consideration need Mr Cameron give to them? Yet he persists in targeting none of these matters, which appeal to all voters. The consequence is a further disenfranchised electorate and the collapse of his vote. As Yeats wrote:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

UKIP may yet have to win parliamentary seats, but it signals the direction in which any successful party or thinking person should be heading: a politics of consent, of decisiveness, of the nation state. Under their current leaders, Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are interested in ideology, not practicality. Ideology is cheap and easy, since it exists in the mind. Practicality and workable policies are much more credible victories, but intellectually beyond the reach of those on parliament’s front benches today.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes

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The news that a married couple fostering children of an ethnic background had the children in their charge removed from their care by Rotherham Children’s Services on the basis of their support for UKIP is an alarming but, frighteningly, not a surprising story given Labour’s record. 

In the summer, the odious Edward Miliband graciously gave the British public permission to talk candidly about their anxieties concerning immigration: ‘Worrying about immigration, talking about immigration, thinking about immigration, does not make them bigots. Not in any way. They’re anxious about the future.’ [1] It was quite a u-turn, given that his party – a party in which he held seniority during the tenures of the illiterate Mr Blair and the unstable Mr Brown – actively sought to stifle debate about the reckless policy of open-door immigration by smearing not just those who opposed it, but even dared raise doubts over it.

In light of the Rotherham scandal, one might say ‘old habits die hard’, but this might suppose there was ever really an effort to change this gravely cynical policy. No, such cynicism is policy, with Mr Miliband only making such remarks in an attempt to steal the initiative from Mr Cameron (not difficult) and to reach out to the voters his party marginalized by deliberately creating an ‘underclass’ voter base. Old habits are alive and well, never more so than in South Yorkshire, it would seem.

The action of Rotherham’s degenerate Labour council – which was recently exposed for covering up  systematic child abuse and whose MP was the discredited criminal Denis MacShane – was overseen by Joyce Thacker, the council’s strategic director of children and young people’s services, who claimed: “I have legal advice I have to follow for the placement of children and I was criticised before for not making sure their cultural and ethnic needs were met. If the party mantra is, for example, ending the active promotion of multiculturalism I have to think about that… I have to think of their longer-term needs.”

Ms Thacker seems to have consulted hearsay and opinion from the left, whose stock phrases of ‘racism’ and ‘xenophobia’ are the emotive attacks they mount when encountering UKIP. She may have done worse than consult the party’s website, which quite clearly reveals a colour blind party motivated by a practical response to the pressing concerns of immigration and multiculturalism.

Thinking of any kind seems to elude Ms Thacker; her hopeless obfuscations cannot mask the inadequacy of her competence, nor do they conceal the latent, insidious traces of Labour’s ‘old school’ smear tactics. Labour cannot and will not understand why perfectly intelligent people would vote for UKIP because they cannot and will not understand (let alone tolerate) free individual thinking. Not really a surprise given the socialist rabble that makes up their parliamentary party alone.

The effect of Ms Thacker and Rotherham council’s actions has, however, gone a long way to vindicate UKIP, despite, even, the gag reflex of the BBC who cannot mention ‘UKIP’ without alluding to the BNP in the same sentence. Today, for the first time, UKIP has been publicly acknowledged as a mainstream party with legitimate concerns supported by a great many of the electorate; Mr Gove, the Education Secretary, is probably the most high profile figure to have suggested as much. Even village idiot Edward Milliband decreed through gritted teeth that it was ‘okay’ to be a foster parent and support UKIP.

But whilst UKIP continues to prosper, the stink of state controlled thinking, political correctness and anti-Britishness lingers around the Labour party. Despite the cynical efforts of their Chief Scout, they remain the party of intolerance and aggressive single-mindedness.

‘One nation party’? They’re not kidding.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes

1. ‘Ed Miliband Immigration Speech in Full.’ Politics.co.uk. 22 June 2012.

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When it comes to the EU, one should trust Mr Cameron as they would adders fang’d…

Does any serious person think that EU reform will see them include ceding powers or the acceptance of a decrease in funding?

In spite of overwhelming historical and contemporary evidence to the contrary, Mr Cameron seems to think so, as do Messrs Miliband and Clegg. Having returned from irresolute discussions in Brussels, Mr Cameron is walking tall after not capitulating to the EU Commission’s unreasonable demands for a substantial increase to their budget. Bravo Mr Cameron – except, that is, for your track record on Europe.

His policy of ‘Practical Euroscepticism’ has time and again proven to be neither practical nor Eurosceptic. His modus operandi observes the following pattern:

  • Express exasperation and concern about EU policy
  • Adopt a ‘no nonsense approach’ to look strong
  • Capitulate and beg for mercy from his EU master

It follows, therefore, that having appeared strong on Europe at these recent talks, that at the next round of negotiations he will not hesitate to genuflect to the Commission, then claim to the British public that a satisfactory deal has been reached on their behalf. But who is he trying to fool?

At no point has Mr Cameron called for cuts to the EU budget, and his ‘real terms freeze’ will still see the UK debited for even more than the £53 million a day it currently pays. Worse still, Mr Cameron and friends are still willing to sign the UK up to a political ideology that has not had its accounts signed off by auditors for some fifteen years. The EU is a one-armed bandit against which the UK will only lose.

The only person aside from Mr Cameron who feels that the Conservatives will win the next election is Conservative Home’s Tim Montgomerie. Both characters have devised elaborate strategies to see the Tories regain power, peppered with newspeak and initiatives to ‘re-connect’ with voters – but they all choose to miss the essential point: that if Mr Cameron were to offer an EU referendum, with a positive vision of how the UK would manage (quite easily) without the EU, he would secure a second term and a majority.

This will not be done, however, because Mr Cameron is no more a Eurosceptic than the recently discredited Labour criminal Denis MacShane. In terms of difference and monetary returns, expect no change.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

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The result of the Corby by-election has wider implications beyond the borders of this disputed constituency…

That the Conservatives lost their Corby seat in today’s by-election came as a surprise to no one, least of all the Conservatives. Their majority was always precarious, but not unmanageable. Their mistake was to ever think that the lobotomized Louise Mensch was ever a credible MP, let alone one strong enough to hold on to such a narrow margin, especially when the potent forces of her own ego would always come before public service.

Whilst the odious Edward Miliband paraded the victory of his candidate, the Liberal Democrats were not only beaten into fourth place by UKIP, they lost their deposit after receiving a woeful 1,770 votes.  The Conservatives only beat UKIP by a mere 4368 votes, a statistic that should have them very afraid, especially in a seat seen as a litmus paper for the views of middle England.

At this point one might suggest that Mr Cameron has some thinking to do – he could lurch to the right and cast off his social democrat colours in favour for radical Tory reform – but as has been implied, this would mean Mr Cameron has to not only think, but think strategically and perform acts of self-evaluation and intellect that he is woefully incapable of commanding.

Instead, what do Mr Cameron and his cronies say? They spin the result as simply the mid-term blues that all incumbent governments undergo as voters register their discontent with the direction of the ruling party.

It is a line that typifies the disconcertingly patronising tone of politicians from all the main parties. It suggests that to them it is almost a badge of honour, a virtuous failure, to be mauled by the electorate halfway through a parliament, as if governing in the interests of the electorate and securing or sustaining a popular mandate are laughable impossibilities. They chose to ignore what is in front of them – whether it is the striking election results by UKIP or by the success of independent candidates as Police Commissioners – this is not a mid-term blues protest: it is the result of long-term disenchantment with the useless politicians and the discredited parties they serve.

By voting Labour, Conservative or Lib Dem, the electorate are merely changing the guard, all of whom protect the same thing: their interests, which are dependent upon their mutual survival as political parties. Today’s results are a victory for independent candidates away from Westminster, and it is a story of success for UKIP, whose ascent is damaging the three party system, and above all, Mr Cameron, who had better watch his back from his own party members before anyone else.

Mid-term blues? Hardly! Things have rarely looked better…

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

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Some notes on matters that have arisen over the last week

Europhile Denis MacShane is a criminal – no, I am sorry, he’s not a criminal – he made a ‘mistake’ and because of some technicality cannot be prosecuted for defrauding the taxpayer with their own money and using it to further his own political and financial ends.

Mr MacShane attempted to blame the BNP and other members of the political right for his actions, doing nothing to disprove that those on the left are incapable of applying personal responsibility for their actions. Indeed, in an effort to make it sound like he was doing the taxpayer a favour, he alluded to his efforts to tackle anti-Semitism – did he hope this would somehow justify his criminality to an already squeezed taxpayer?

One thing is for certain – as both a Europhile and a criminal, Mr MacShane is perfectly qualified to obtain a position on the European Commission.

*

I cannot have been the only one nauseated by the expressions of uninhibited delight that greeted Mr Obama’s re-election as US President, especially in the UK. The suspension of critical faculties was total, so in awe of the image of Mr Obama were those expressing adulation. No one seemed to mention the way in which Mr Obama is saddling future generations of Americans (and, let’s face it, the world) with trillions of dollars in debt, nor was his flaky attitude towards the Middle East situation probed with any purpose.

So star-struck were the Media Politburo of the Labour Party (the BBC), that they interviewed an actor who had played the part of a communications director, who worked for a fictional president, during an imagined Democratic presidency. Could his opinions be any less important? I hope that on matters of national security they will consult Daniel Craig, or else on matters of scientific revelation, they will grill Dr Who.

*

Every time there is a crisis at the BBC, commentators tend to remark that this blighted corporation needs to regain the trust of the British public, as if it were a long-term relationship were suddenly imperilled by indiscretion. But does any thinking person ever really trust  the BBC any more than any other company or media outlet? To do so would seem rather incautious, but I dare say there are those so slavishly devoted to the idiot box that nothing short of relationship counselling will help reconfigure their dependency.

*

There is a backlog of immigration cases in the UK equivalent to the population of Iceland – this blog has said more than once that if this was any other department, heads would role. But why don’t  they? Because the main political parties a) do not care and b) because, as Theresa May alluded to today, despite temporary curbs imposed on immigration from the EU in 2005 to protect the British labour market, these are set to expire and that it is not possible under EU law to extend them.

Miss May also suggested that the government was on target to cut immigration into the UK from people outside of the EU as a way of deflecting the point that it is largely people from within the EU, flooding the labour market and seeking benefits who are the most prominent strain on the country’s already overstretched resources.

*

I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! – a celebrity reality TV show – a televised equivalent of the stocks returns soon enough to offer vital life support to the ever swelling legions of the UK’s brain-dead populace. One does not even need close analysis of the title of this sub-genre to realise that neither celebrities nor reality are constituent ingredients in this soup of human indignity.

That Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has decided to participate in this year’s series of the programme has caused her to be suspended by her party. This is not an unreasonable course of action from the Conservatives, especially since she will continue to be paid her salary whilst being absent from her constituency and from parliament – rather like that moulding potato Gordon Brown.

Ms Dorries’ has claimed that with an audience of some 16 million viewers (what did I say about ‘the ever swelling legions of the UK’s brain-dead populace’?), she will be able to profile who she is and what she stands for to an audience who are probably generally concerned with neither. Of course, one can hardly imagine a better place for Ms Dorries to champion her campaign to lower the point during a pregnancy at which an abortion can be performed than from a jungle in Australia.

Speculation has arise over whether or not she will defect to UKIP, especially since she is to the right of the Conservatives and a welcome stone in Mr Cameron’s flip-flopping shoes. Some seem excited about this prospect, but one may also be inclined to think that a discredited Ms Dorries could undermine UKIP’s efforts to make its outfit more professional and a part of the celeb-chasing culture that characterized the New Labour years.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Gareth Shanks (Yorkshire Young Independence Regional Secretary) presents his take on the forthcoming Police Crime Commissioner Elections.

I’m no fan of how the Government is running the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections: high deposits which lock out smaller parties, an expensive not to mention at times wasteful campaign, and a projected turnout of just 18.5% – to put that into context, my local ward election attracted 29.05% turnout. This does not bode well for the Conservative Party which has traditionally been seen as ‘tough on crime’.

However, the idea of electing my Police Commissioner is an interesting one and a notion I support. Policing is a pressing issue in every community; regardless of how poorly organized the elections are, they present a chance for some unique changes in policing in the UK.

One of the benefits of the PCC elections is that one can pick which types of crimes are prioritised by their local force, no longer (I add a very generous ‘hopefully’ in here) will crime targets be dictated by Whitehall. The post also adds a slightly increased sense of localism: different areas, rural or urban, will have very different policing needs, so it is a chance to elect someone who understands one’s local area. Worried about anti-social behaviour? Vote for a candidate tough on anti-social behaviour – if you like to keep cannabis for personal use, vote for the ‘soft on drugs’ candidate.

It is likely only a small percentage of people are able to name who is in charge of their Local Education Authority, or their local NHS health board. The PCC elections present a public face to policing in your area, instead of being run by anonymous and arguably unaccountable police force chiefs.

With the advent of this election I believe it will bring more scrutiny to the top job.  Other parties and journalists looking to smear their opponents will hopefully allow for a more transparent police force, something I believe has been needed for a long time. The actions of a very small number of police officers  has led to a skewed perception of policeman as being needlessly aggressive against protesters, for instance (that the protesters normally throw bricks and abuse at the police first is often omitted). Nevertheless, anything that improves the transparency of the police force is surely a good thing.

The single most important matter heralded by these PCC elections is that elected PCCs are just that: elected. They are accountable to the electorate; if crime goes up, don’t re-elect them, if they backtrack on promises, don’t re-elect them, if they are found dressed in a Nazi uniform in a compromising position with some livestock, don’t re-elect them – although that may increase popularity in some areas.

Gareth Shanks

  • Young Independence Yorkshire Secretary
  • @garethshanks

Remember that The Panopticon is always happy to consider publishing articles written by its readers. Email: thepanopticonblog@gmail.com