Ever since last Friday’s county council election results tumbled in, the Kippers have been crowing. Emboldened, too, by the BBC’s rather one-sided coverage their party, UKIP supporters have taken to social media in their droves to spout their anti-intellectual bullshit and hurl abuse at anyone who doesn’t share their belief that Nigel Farage is Britain’s political messiah. The BBC ought to know better: UKIP doesn’t have a single Westminster MP, while The Green Party not only has an MP, it also has a large number of local councillors and members on the Greater London Assembly (The Green have 2 AMs and UKIP has none). It also has representation in the Scottish Parliament (The Greens have 2 MSPs and UKIP has none), whereas UKIP have found it difficult to win a seat in both parliaments. But the Greens got no mention, while Farage and his mates Paul Nuttall and Godfrey Bloom have been interviewed and given free passes.
Right-wing parties hate ideas and they despise anyone who possesses critical faculties, whom they erroneously refer to as “elitists”. The use of the word in this context owes a great deal to the American Right who employed the word to describe intellectuals, academics, city-dwellers, the disabled, gays, lesbians, Blacks, Asians and anyone who didn’t share their reactionary point of view. Anti-intellectualism is a dominant feature of far-right politics – especially fascism and Nazism. Franco’s regime wasn’t textbook fascist but it came close. In Spain, the Falange held ideological sway and like other far-right variants it was notable for its anti-intellectualism. In a right-wing world, you question nothing and accept everything that you’re told by the leadership – who form the elite group of their party (as it is with other authoritarian forms of government, including Stalinism). A Kipper will lazily join a few dots rather than produce anything that borders on a coherent argument. Just look at the way they dismiss climate change science out of hand without producing an epistemologically-sound counter-argument of their own.
Speaking of which, here’s a video of UKIP’s Christopher Monckton railing against climate change.
Monckton once claimed to have been Thatcher’s science adviser… which is odd, because he has no science qualifications. John Selwyn Gummer, the former Environment Secretary, poured cold water on Monckton’s claims, saying that he was “a bag carrier in Mrs Thatcher’s office. And the idea that he advised her on climate change is laughable”. Brilliant, eh? I’ve seen some figures that give us an interesting profile of the typical UKIP voter. 51% are over 50 years old and around the same number hold nothing more than a GCSE. In other words, these are largely under-educated old reactionaries who take their opinions directly from the mouths of UKIP’s elite and the Telegraph’s bloggers who play them and their paranoid emotions like fiddles.
The discursive tricks used by UKIP supporters are redolent of those methods used by the Tea Party in the United States. This is manifested in their inability to discuss anything without hurling abuse or breaking Godwin’s Law. I had several of them rock up on Twitter and spout the most unbelievable rubbish at me. One tried to proselytize and when he resorted to flattery, I cheekily told him that “flattery would get him nowhere” and that I was on the Left of British politics, this gave him the excuse to chuck “Hitler” at me by way of reply. “Nice riposte” I thought, so I blocked him. I can’t be bothered with trolls. The leadership of UKIP describes the party as “libertarian” but as I’ve pointed out elsewhere on this blog, their brand of libertarianism is both a means to deny their true authoritarian core beliefs and rationalize their social Darwinism and imperialism (the latter is perhaps the highest ideal in the mind of the New Right). For example, how can a self-described libertarian party claim to stand for freedom and then say that they’re against equal marriage while keeping a straight face? Well, Kippers can and do. Thus far I have only been able to identify a single example of their libertarianism: the freedom to kill oneself by smoking 100 cigarettes a day. Farage admits to being a chain-smoker. That says a lot about the party’s ‘libertarianism’: it’s pretty selective. Some UKIP supporters believe that those of us who work to expose them as a party of hypocrites and liars are simply scared of them. Well, if criticizing them and shining a light into the dark recesses of their discourses is “scared”, then baby, I’m shit scared; too frightened to come from behind the sofa scared. The only people who are really scared of UKIP is the Conservative Party’s high command. Other Tories, like Daniel Hannan, have even argued for a merger or, in this case, a coalition with UKIP. Yes, you read that correctly: a coalition with a party that doesn’t have a single Westminster MP.
Let’s have a look at what the Lyin’ King’s saying.
The prospect of a Tory-Ukip coalition is no longer theoretical. A blue-purple pact – which I think this blog may have been the first to propose – is now at least a mathematical possibility in Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire. Whether or not such pacts happen will, of course, be decided county by county, and rightly so. No truly localist party would want to tell its councillors whom to sit with. Still, my guess is that most of the Conservatives in question would rather deal with Ukip than with the Lib Dems.
The Cat thinks Hannan is getting a little ahead of himself here. We’re two years away from a general election and already, the one of the party’s biggest headbangers is calling for a coalition. Of course Hannan is trying to cover his arse by suggesting that the two parties co-operate on a local level to shaft the voters with their authoritarian-libertarian mush. But, make no mistake, a man like Hannan would love to see a Tory/UKIP coalition in government with Bozza as PM and Farage as Deputy PM. Sort of makes you want to vomit. No? Towards the end of his piece, he tells us:
Six months ago, I mournfully predicted that the two parties would fail to get their act together, because of all the petty considerations that held up Canada’s Unite the Right movement for a decade:
“Unite the Right”? Good luck with that, Danny. In my mind, there’s no chance of a unified right-wing electoral arrangement either now or in the immediate future. Indeed, Farage has demanded the immediate removal of Cameron as a precondition for any kind of marriage. We must remember that Hannan was previously involved in the formation of a British (read English) Tea Party. The project, it would seem, has not taken off in the way that he or The Freedom Association would have liked. I guess there is little demand for this kind of Americanized right-wing astro-turfing here in the UK, and as much as men like Hannan enthuse about such things, the more I am likely to think they’re deluding themselves.
The fighting between UKIP and the Conservatives has exposed the barely-concealed fault-lines over the EU within the Tory party that have existed since the time of John Major’s government and his “bastards” comment. On that occasion, the divisions in the party over Europe contributed to the Tories battering at the ballot box in 1997. It now looks like history is repeating itself for the Tories, only this time they face external pressures from the upstart Kippers. Some Tories may be tempted to run off and join Farage’s motley band of late League of Empire Loyalists and chain-smoking free-marketeers, while others like Hannan will continue to make conciliatory noises without making any effort to join the party. Shouldn’t he be putting his money where is mouth is?
Finally, here’s something for you to dance to.