Farage says the other parties are afraid of UKIP. He's right

Sorry everyone. Here are three times Farage is totally right, says Robyn Vinter

Nigel Farage has been pleasingly absent from the headlines for a few weeks. I say pleasingly, because UKIP supporters will be glad to see a month or so without a scandal, while everyone else is just relieved to have some peace and quiet.

But the UKIP leader has just resurfaced after writing a column in the Telegraph saying the other parties “fear” UKIP.

Fear

Farage is right.

The Conservatives have been tearing themselves in two trying to offer an EU referendum to appease the more right-leaning voters to stop them defecting, while Labour has been promising tighter immigration rules – something the party previously said it wouldn’t do.

Farage has said he wouldn’t even consider a coalition with another party unless they agreed to an immediate EU referendum.

Dull campaigns

The UKIP leader said campaigning so far from the main parties has been pretty boring.

He wrote: “This election campaign has been incredibly dull so far. Labour is trying to claim our National Health Service, as if they own it. The Tories are trying to grab at the economy, as if they haven’t presided over a doubling of the national debt in just five years, and failing to erase the deficit. Pretty predictable stuff.”

He’s right about that, too.

The two largest parties have been whipped to an unrecognisable state so far on the campaign trail. No MPs, including the party leaders, seem to dare speak out for fear of tarnishing their reputation.

This has manifested itself in two strange ways.

Labour politicians, and in particular Ed Miliband, seem to have been given a bland, robotic makeover, speaking only in soundbites.

And the Tories seem to have developed an unwillingness to speak out at all, with David Cameron making up all kinds of excuses not to appear on the TV leaders’ debates.

Forgetting the country

Farage then moves on to talking about a forgotten Britain.

“[The] two parties – the legacy parties – have forgotten that there is a country out there,” he writes.

“There’s a country beyond Westminster, crying out for attention, respect, and assistance at a time when politicians are trying to convince them that everything is absolutely fine.”

Right again.

It seems never in my lifetime, and perhaps before, have we had a time where people in this country were so quietly unhappy.

The peaceful protests and organised petitions seem almost ignored, while the idea there’s a senior MP who is really genuinely in touch with the people is laughable.

Voters from the main two parties have scattered in every direction, providing the huge boost to minor parties we’ve seen of late.

UKIP is placing third in the polls, although it’s worth noting that the Greens have overtaken UKIP (and the Lib Dems) in party membership.

Whether or not you distrust Farage as much as I do, you can’t deny that his points are salient and powerful - which is no doubt why his party’s (and the other smaller parties’) popularity has been growing at such pace.

After all, back in 2010, there was such clear public apathy and disillusionment with the two-party system that there were more people who didn’t vote at the last election than voted for Labour and the Tories combined.

What will be interesting to see now is whether today’s seemingly more politically engaged electorate will make their feelings felt in May - whether by voting for a smaller party, or spoiling their ballots en masse.

 


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Readers' comments (4)

  • Actually if political campaigns are without passion and interest - then strangely that's a good sign that nothing is too amiss in the country or least nothing that people are overly concerned about.

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  • UKIP have let the lion out and the other partys are running for their lives who will be then furst to fall victum?

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  • I can't see why you Robyn distrust Nigel Farage. He's the closest we are going to get to a Churchill and by goodness do we nned one. This election will the the UK's last chance before it becomes further down the road to ruin.

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  • Labour have reverted to their class envy mode, and Conservatives have striven too hard to over come the 'nasty party' label with which Theresa May shot them in the foot, alienating their natural supporters with ring-fencing overseas aid to corrupt countries, cutting the armed forces, gay marriage,failure to control immigration, PC attitude to the growing threat of Islamic fundamentalism in UK, failure to deport criminals under the Human Rights Act, subservience to the ECHR, EAW, and so on. They deserve the indifference they are getting. The only worse thing will be a Labour government allied with the even more left-wing SNP a predictable financial disastter.

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