“Left” and “right” are arbitrary labels. British politics has moved on from such binary terms, it is more nuanced now. But for the want of a better word, those on the “left”, including David Cameron, find themselves on the wrong side of every argument in British politics today. Their ever bigger government, politicians know best, keep the people in the dark, ideology is now as unaffordable and unsustainable as it is undesirable.
All too often devised to deliver a favourable headline rather than real change, their policies are more often than not plagued with unintended consequences. The only way forward, the only way, is smaller, better government more directly accountable to the people. This will happen, it’s just a question of how long the left can delay it. One glance at UKIP’s policies shows that we are on the right side of this argument. Those on the left find themselves defending the indefensible; that we should be governed by a remote, unelected superstate; that MPs rather than the people, should decide when an MP may be recalled.
It is regrettable, but perhaps not to be wondered at, that those on the wrong side of the argument choose in their desperation to attack their opponents rather than their opponent’s policies. If they’re not smearing their opponent, they are attacking straw-man misrepresentations of UKIP policy. There are more straw men floating around a Question Time panel than at a Worzel Gummidge convention.
Those of us on the right often shy away from taking the fight to the left with equal vigour. Often we believe that, despite their horrendous outcomes, those on the left are basically well meaning. Sadly many people see words such as “fairness”, “liberal”, “progressive” and continue to believe the left are well intentioned. We know that these words and a raft of others have been corrupted and co-opted to give a veneer of respectability to increasingly oppressive, undemocratic and authoritarian intentions. As they become increasingly hysterical and divorced from reality, Leftists no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt. We have always seen their policies as toxic, divisive and damaging. Now I believe their motives to be equally sinister.
I had dared to hope that as UKIP’s actual policies became known, the ridiculous pantomime from the left designed to paint UKIP as bigoted, racist, little Englander, backward looking, would become increasingly difficult to sustain. Indeed, after years of abuse, Tory and Labour politicians have lined up in recent weeks to endorse UKIP policy. Perhaps we could now have some serious discussion of the major issues facing our country. Sadly I underestimated our opponents’ capacity for bloody minded, barefaced lies.
UKIP’s opponents are simply projecting their own flaws onto UKIP. Their plan is to create havoc and claim the high ground by accusing their opponent of whatever it is they are doing themselves. So in a world where successive governments have handed British sovereignty to the unelected EU, Chuka Umunna , Clegg and others say UKIP are “un-British”. Those that want the UK locked in a 19th century customs union, rather than trade freely with the world, say that UKIP are backward looking. Those that have divided our communities in a wrong-headed pursuit of multiculturalism accuse UKIP of being divisive. Those that want to end the current immigration policy, where a Doctor from Germany is given preferential treatment to a Doctor from India, are racist xenophobes.
We are not dealing with rational, well intentioned people who have, perhaps understandably, formed a mistaken impression of UKIP from the media. They are not interested in the facts about UKIP policy. To waste our limited time and energy is their goal, to muddy the waters and poison genuine debate, while distracting attention from their own, not inconsiderable, flaws.
Their abuse of UKIP usually comes with some casual personal abuse. To call someone a racist is one of the worst accusations you can make. These people throw such abuse around like confetti, with no basis in fact, and never, ever apologise when they are taken to task. This gentleman is a good example:
What can you say to that? Not a lot. Just sign the petition demanding his resignation and move on. Let his hatred and evil intentions speak for themselves. Note to Chris Grayling: the answer is not to suppress free speech and criminalise those we do not agree with, however insulting and hateful they are.
All of this, as is no doubt the intention, distracts UKIP from communicating its optimistic message and positive policies. It’s time we just stopped engaging with the UKIP haters. We must let their bile-filled rants stand alone as a testament to their hate and stupidity. Rise above it all. You can never win a rational argument with the irrational, so instead just concentrate on talking above their heads to the wider public. They are perfectly capable of comparing UKIP’s policies with the deliberate misrepresentations peddled by UKIP opponents, and can vote accordingly.
Photo by Mark Klotz