In the electoral aftermath we see the established parties squirm as they struggle to come to terms with UKIP. They have been forced, finally, to acknowledge the political reality which, until recently, they made such efforts either to dismiss or to denigrate. Their reaction is to spout the usual ‘we’re listening’ tripe but it’s too late – the bankruptcy and hypocrisy of their cosy club have been exposed. Having treated the electorate with contempt for so long and cravenly suppressed or ignored major issues, they’ve only themselves to blame for their dilemma. At last the British people have a party that is distinct, fresh and tackles issues directly – a true alternative.
The smug, detached Conservative party, which treats power as a birthright, talks about winning back traditional supporters who, it says, deserted them. As a former life-long Tory voter I can say, no, it was the Conservatives who deserted me. Without need or justification, and in a pointless stunt of social engineering, it was prepared to waste Parliamentary time, and cause party and societal division, by changing the time-honoured and long understood meaning of marriage. What next – polygamy? Conversely, it showed no desire to bring in a much needed recall mechanism for MPs and is incapable of controlling immigration. The referendum promise is conditional and therefore, like so many others, a sham.
Take note David Cameron, Grant Shapps et al – my good opinion, now lost, is lost forever.
Labour – puerile, envious and financially incompetent – say they must try harder to get their message across, to which I say ‘please do’ because it is your message, your people and your miserable track record that is alienating voters. As for the vacuous Lib Dems…
There are those who find excuses why something can’t be done (the LibLabConspiracy) and those who see reasons why something can be done (UKIP). I sense a new belief arising within this nation of ours, one where the people are beginning to see that politics can matter and that there is a party which is in tune with their long stifled or ignored thoughts, fears and hopes; a party which dares. There are real alternatives, new courses and broader horizons for us, if only we can rediscover that strength, sense of purpose and courage which were once a part of our national DNA. For so long we have been told we can’t do anything unless it is in concert with others. In this modern, interlinked world that is, to some extent, true but it need not be an impediment. Do we want to skipper our own boat or be just one of 28 oarsmen?
We are regularly treated to the pronouncements of the EU exit doom mongers. Perhaps history should be our guide as to why we could flourish outside the straightjacket of Europe.
Predictions that the British Empire would not survive the loss of the American colonies proved false. Naturally there were alarms about the commercial consequences of a break between Britain and America but the new republic could not survive economically without the mother country. The volume of trade between the two actually increased after 1783 and its continuance and growth gave the lie to the old mercantilist justification of exclusive markets protected and controlled in the economic interests of a powerful centre.
The intellectual props which supported that contention were knocked away by Adam Smith. In 1776, he published “The Wealth of Nations”, which went through five editions before his death in 1790. His purpose in that and other economic tracts had been to measure human progress and employ his calculations to formulate natural laws that governed economic activity. The result was his concept of the Free Market, a product of natural human competition, which, if unfettered by official rules and unhindered by monopolies, provided the most efficient distribution of resources and the greatest benefits to the consumer.
In an attempt to defeat Britain by destroying its ability to trade, Napoleon invoked his Continental System. In 1806, he issued the Berlin Decree, which forbade his conquests and allies from trading with us, some of whom later broke ranks. Our trade suffered as did Europe’s but significantly, so did the southern ports of France from lack of business. Prices, particularly of staple foods, rose across the continent. The embargo, which brought out the best in us and had the effect of encouraging British merchants to seek out new markets, damaged France itself. Ship building, and its trades such as rope-making declined, as did many other activities that relied on overseas markets, e.g. linen. With few exports and a loss of profits, many French industries closed down.
But today, because of the EU, we have become lethargic, servile and timid. So far, countries have only joined the EU – ours could be the first nation to leave and the Eurocrats are petrified of the example it would set, particularly because, as I believe, we would make a success of it.
Trade is like water; it flows freely and finds its own level. Nobody in their right mind would suggest closing a highly productive and profitable car plant in Sunderland or that Airbus will suddenly look for an alternative supplier of wings for its aircraft or that Germany would stop selling us their Audi, Mercedes, VW and Porsche cars or that France would no longer supply wine, champagne and foodstuffs. We deal with some pretty unpleasant regimes, not because we like them but because it suits us to do so. The Chinese have a saying; there are no eternal friendships (with the possible exception of the Commonwealth in our case), just eternal interests.
A nation’s greatest asset is its people, particularly its young and educated. The EU causes harm to its poorer members by enabling their populace to leave the homeland and take their skills and energy west; yes, in the hope of improving themselves but, by default, they enrich the already wealthy countries while further impoverishing their own. The EU should be improving conditions in the east so that those able to emigrate choose instead to stay and create higher standards of living where they were born.
The failed experiment, multi-culturism, has led to multi-separatism, even voluntary apartheid, and now we have a fractured society of ever more disparate origins. Most worrying is a medieval and particularly virulent mindset that is ever ready to take any opportunity and exploit any weakness in the host to promote it views and exercise un-British practices. If we aren’t ruled from outside by the EU, we are dictated to by minority interests from within.
The next 12 months, culminating in the 2015 general election, will be the defining moment for UKIP and possibly momentous for our nation. As the current euphoria abates and the challenge beckons, UKIP must brace up and, with discipline, commitment and a common-sense vision, get our once great (and soon to be great again) nation back, standing proudly on its own two feet.