Thursday, 29 May 2014

The rise of UKIP

Forgive me for sounding like a political hipster, but I predicted or even assumed years ago that the UK Independence Party's effective populist operation would eventually result in its massive influx in popular support.  Many in the media and political class have attempted to continue the narrative that UKIP is a vent for hard right Tories frustrated with David Cameron's Conservative Party. Despite the fact that Cameron has imposed the most economically right-wing extremist programme since the Thatcher era, he may nevertheless may be considered as too cosmopolitan (his support for equal marriage being a primary example) and inadequately xenophobic for some. But given that UKIP is also significantly eating into the vote of traditional Labour voters, this notion is defunct. But why?

The overwhelming majority of the UK public are non-voters, entirely disillusioned or even outright repulsed by an entirely non-representative and rotten political order; support of former non-voters is from where a substantial proportion of UKIP's surge has arisen. The UKIP surge may may indeed be a so-called "protest vote". But what against? Living standards perpetually diminish while wealth inequality following the financial crisis and publicly-subsidised rescue of the economic elite deepens. Investment in social housing is scant while the parasite landlord and property developer classes profit from extorting wider society for the land and properties available. And migrants, who are overwhelmingly the victims of the same exploitation, are an easy scapegoat.

The Tories, as I mention, continue their tradition of maintaining and accelerating these inequalities and exploitation. The Lib Dems, needless to say, also facilitate it. Labour provides a weak opposition and consolidates to the ideological austerity narrative. Perhaps only the Green Party, whose media attention is minuscule compared to UKIP's, presents an alternative platform of substance. So no wonder UKIP, which claims to stand against the vested interests of elite corporatism as often as it rabble-rouses against the racially and ethno-religiously stereotyped Others, has collected so much support within the democratic vacuum's despondency and alienation.

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