Well what do you think about the rise of £ UKIP – formerly known as the United Kingdom Independence Party – and their recent electoral successes? Is it a bad or a good development?
People in the Westminster/Whitehall bubble are disparaging of UKIP supporters, who are not considered to be representative of the general electorate. They once classed them as being on a par with Daily Mail readers, who they equally like to disparage, or the supporters of the Coalition for Marriage with their “outdated ideas”. The Metropolitan media and political elite demonstrate an arrogance that is beyond belief. In their egocentric world, cosseted within the M25, they are in denial. Their world view is right and those who disagree with them are ignoramuses. Even when these PPE graduates are parachuted into safe working class constituencies in the north or rural constituencies to the east or west, they still do not get it. They are elected, buy a relatively posh house in the constituency, but never see the neighbours. Only listen at election time but are deaf.
UKIP was formed twenty years ago and is no overnight success. Labelled as little Englanders and/or only appealing to middle England, the Party has demonstrated an ability to attract a much broader cross-section of support. It has listened to the concerns of the common people and tapped into their growing disenchantment with the parties of government and resentment of those politicians who ignore the common view. UKIP is also proving to be an option for the baby boomers who will switch their votes without any qualms. Equally they will be unforgiving if UKIP betrays them.
The Metro elite are now less dismissive of the UKIP hordes, but their reaction is most interesting and indicative of their real attitude. The rise of UKIP is being described as an insurrection. Their answer to this threat is to talk about how they might go about halting the advance of the UKIP hordes. In their minds they must equate UKIP with the expansion of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Can we expect the M25 to be fortified and air strikes called down on the advancing horde?
UKIP represents a popular movement in the same way that the SNP in Scotland is seen as more representative of the Scottish population and draws support from a wide cross-section. Both parties are a phenomenon of their times. Expect increasing support for the SNP, but when it has achieved its objective you will also see it split in two. Likewise with UKIP, when it has achieved its objective it will splinter. They will both break the mould and at the same time leave the way open for others.