Monday, 7 April 2014

The Threat of Nigel Farage!

THE British political class are having a bad time what with Maria Miller accused of fiddling her expenses by renting a house; the forthcoming referendum on Scotland's membership of the UK; and the possibility of a plebiscite on Europe in 2017.  It is a good time for campaigning politicians, and an editorial in last Saturday's Financial Times (FT) argues that 'the two most able practitioners of this particular art are Mr (Nigel) Farage the leader of UKIP) and Alex Salmond, the Scottish National Party leader.'  
David Cameron has been reluctant to take on Alex Salmond in a broadcast contest between the British Prime Minister and the Scottish First Minister.  But with the European elections approaching next month it will be Mr Farage who presents the more immediate problem.  The FT editors writes:  'Ukip will probably do well in May's European elections and could well top the poll.'   

Because of politicians like Maria Miller as the FT editorial says:  'Public respect for mainstream politicians is at an all time low.'  This low opinion among the general public is not likely to improve in the near future. The cynical anti-establishment position adopted by Farage pays off with most people, and it goes down well especially with the white working-class.  The left and the Labour Party has been losing its links with the white working-class.   

Farage is a great tactician who has moved Ukip from a narrow focus on the EU to a broader agenda; such as meshing Euroscepticism with the general public hostility to immigration.   Ukip represents a far more respectable face of the right than the BNP.  In this regard it will be more difficult to combat, and the FT leader writer believes the mainstream parties at present lack both the imagination and creativity to deal with Ukip.   
The weaknesses of Ukip is that it is undisciplined as a party, and that even though it has doubled its membership in the last years it is still heavily dependent on the personality of its leader. 

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