Despite continuous exposure in the mainstream media, none more so than the BBC, UKIP’s self-proclaimed “earthquake” in the elections on May 23rd measured as a out-of-tune fart on the Richter scale. A fraction over 6% of the registered voters chose to vote for UKIP in the contested council wards, the party took control of no councils and it acquired only a handful of council seats in the large cities; 11% of registered voters chose UKIP in European elections, though many such votes were more anti-EU than pro-UKIP. However, the aforesaid media, led enthusiastically again by the BBC, is ejaculating over the “success” of UKIP, like an observer of Hans Christian Andersen’s emperor who sees fine clothes and not flaccid nudity. The absurdity of the misinterpretation of UKIP’s results in the elections isn’t only shoddy journalism and a relentless desire to dumb-down political analysis; there is a clear objective.
In order to continue to fuel the unlimited appetite of capitalism’s grotesques via the ongoing assault on public services including access to education and the privatisation of the NHS, and the accompanying and necessary removal of rights of opposition including union rights and access to legal aid, any future government requires some assistance from perceived public opinion, particularly in a coalition government. A convenient perception of public opinion is fed by many entities: media, spurious “think-tanks”, sock puppet charities, etc. It is useful that UKIP is presented as having had considerable success in the elections in order to feed the view that the public support further unshackling of capitalist force.
UKIP’s contribution to the nourishment of this convenient public opinion is enhanced by a simple con trick. Alongside genuine support for anti-immigration, anti-Islam, anti-gay, anti-trades’ union, denial of workers’ rights, privatisation of NHS, huge increase in workfare, tax cuts for wealthy, there are many votes for UKIP from people who have (too easily) allowed themselves to be conned by the depiction of the party as an alternative to the Westminster elite. Many of the latter group of voters have not switched their vote from another party – they are infrequent voters. Thus, UKIP isn’t only a vehicle for the promotion of rancid prejudices, it presents its aims as distinct from those of the main political parties. Capitalism’s enablers in the Tory and Labour parties, in the media and elsewhere are very happy to pretend to believe in this false distinction because casting UKIP apart from a Westminster elite means the latter can claim that their decisions and policies are in part driven by populist desires. A simple con trick whereby the criminal cites the convenient public opinion as permission to commit further crimes.
A raggedy esoteric clump of disaffected Tories, be-suited racists, people-haters and the living dead, Borg-like clowns with soulless smirks, Farage’s mob’s role is that simple con trick: Combine an unashamed assault on social progress and present it as an alternative. UKIP is capitalism’s gimp.