I don't write about UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party) very much, partly because I don't like to give them the oxygen of publicity, but also because I am fairly relaxed about them. I know that their time will pass, as it generally does for cult-of-personality parties (those revolving around, and dominated by, their leader and that leader's personality) such as Robert Kilroy-Silk and his defunct Veritas party, and George Galloway and his vestigial Respect party.
Eventually people wake up to the fact that they have been duped by a clever 'sales pitch' – as has been happening (exactly as I predicted all along) with the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, and is happening with UKIP converts, such as James Delinpole. He was one of those I expected to wake up to the truth before too long: I gave him two years, but it actually took him less than a year to turn against his new political home, at least for a while.
Here, in Rochester and Strood, it has taken much less time than that for the rot to set in. Just days after being re-elected as MP, this time as a UKIP candidate, Mark Reckless started to learn one of the many truths about UKIP that some of us have known for years. The following was in regard to immigration...
Mark Reckless (Tuesday 18 November 2014)...
"In the near term we'd have to have a transitional period, and I think we should probably allow people who are currently here to have a work permit at least for a fixed period."
Nigel Farage (Wednesday 19 November 2014)...
"We believe that anyone who has come to Britain legally has the right to remain."
Mark Reckless (Saturday 22 November 2014)...
"Until Nigel changed it on Wednesday, the policy of the party was everyone can stay for the transitional period, no doubt about that, that there would then be a permanent arrangement which would be part of the EU negotiation. The policy changed on Wednesday and I'm a bit sore about how I came out of that."
Interesting: Nigel Farage's on-the-hoof statements are immediately accepted as the party's policy. Not that this is anything new: Farage is on TV station video stating that the party's previous general election manifesto was "complete drivel", once again demonstrating who serves whom in UKIP because of that one person's dominance. This is the way dictators come into being, as history illustrates all too often.
Inevitably, UKIP turns out, at its core, to be a largely left-wing party. (and was created by a left-winger, Alan Sked) though this is camouflaged to some extent by having oft-changing policies that – if they were at any moment to be plotted on the two-dimensional Political Compass diagram – would produce a 'scattergun' effect all over the chart.
The only party UKIP continually attack is the Conservative Party – only token (and rare) attacks are made on any other parties specifically. They are also especially nasty, particularly their 'agents' (supposedly ordinary party members, though I do wonder sometimes) on social media and comment threads at newspapers and the like. It is all very reminiscent of the paid 'trolls' that Labour employed to do the same thing – and probably still do, though I haven't seen the classic ones such as David Dee and Hazel Tree for a while now.
I have previously discussed how UKIP is essentially a party of 'posturers and deceivers' as I usually put it, giving it all the yakkety-yak but not interested in doing the work. One UKIP MEP has what I suspect is the lowest attendance record in the European Parliament of just nine percent, while even Nigel Farage – who uses it primarily as a personal platform – has just a 37% record. They are, however, very good at just one thing – and that is taking money from the public purse.
Fortunately, attendance and voting records (and UKIPpers, when they do bother to vote – which isn't all that often – tend to vote against Britain's interests) and their allowances/expenses claims are all on the public record, so can be easily checked.
So, why have UKIP been on the rise during the past two or three years? Are people really that gullible?
As history will show, it was the appointment of Ed[ward] Miliband as Labour party leader that indirectly produced UKIP's rise, because when the more influential anti-Conservative sources realised that it meant that Labour now had only a very small hope of winning the next General Election, they came at it from the opposite direction.
They tried to find someone who – with a lot of active promotion and generalised 'bigging up' – could deprive a number of Conservatives of their seats. I could name names here, those I have observed doing just that, completely disproportionately, trying almost desperately hard to create a self-fulfilling prophecy regarding UKIP. Well, they succeeded – for now. It cannot and will not last...
The basis/background of all of what I have written here has been known to me for years. Ever since UKIP came head-hunting me, and I thus had the opportunity to find out more about them than they have ever realised, I knew the truth. Being me, I naturally modelled all future paths I could imagine were feasible, depending upon the likely fortunes of UKIP in the mix, and found that they will converge at a point a number of years in the future.
UKIP's time will pass, and their long-term impact on the British political scene will turn out to have been of no real consequence.
Thus the reality is that old scenario of the two ways to learn a lesson: the easy (and usual much quicker) way, or the hard way. The UKIP by-election win in Rochester & Strood shows that, yet again, the voters have chosen the hard way – but the benefit of this is that, when they finally do wake up to reality, they will learn that lesson good and hard, and won't forget it in a hurry!