New Politics for Britain?

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There are signs of a major shift in the British political structure. The desperate reaction of the three old failed Parties to the UK Independence Party indicates that they are finally waking up to the new realities. The real question is – where is the new competitor for Ukip?

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When Ukip was founded, it was a simple and not well-supported single issue lobbyist or protest group. As the real nature of the EUSSR project started to become clear, most Britons were not sure how to react. The three old failed Parties had seen their mission as the management of the decline of Britain from 1945. They had been so successful in advancing decline that Britain was forced to join with a group of other European nations. Initially, Britain joined with those countries that were not already members of the European Economic Community. Their association was a straight forward trading partnership and many assumed, through lack of study, that the EEC was a similar body. However, the EEC made no secret of its intention to create a new super state that could humble the hated United States. Germany had not forgiven the US and the USSR for becoming the winners of the second World War. Those Germans who were not highly embarrassed by the massive genocide program conducted by the Nazis, smoldered. They had believed that they were superior to all other nations and that their mission in life was to rule the world, eliminating what they saw as problems, such as the Jews. Many Germans also deeply resented that their country had been broken up into occupation zones and that the ambitions of the USSR had seen the Russian zone become a separate and competitive Germany. A significant number of Germans hated France as much as the US and saw the need to make it a subordinate country. France had its own ambitions to rule Europe, but feared Germany, with very good reason.

From 1945 to the ending of the Cold War, Europe had enjoyed peace because the US and Britain had been prepared to spend valuable resources on establishing and maintaining NATO and progressively easing the system of occupation zones in western Germany, allowing the Germans to develop a democracy and self determination, rebuilding their shattered economy. France was always deeply suspicious of NATO because the dominant Anglo American funding placed them in dominant positions within NATO. France needed the protection that NATO provided but wanted someone else to pay the price of NATO. The result was that France withdrew from NATO but expected to continue to receive the benefits until an anti-American super state could be formed and was able to develop its own military forces. The French plan was to exploit NATO and then progressively take over control.

The end result was that a Franco German political elite was formed and began to develop the EEC into a federal super state. Until the end of the Cold War, French ambitions were being satisfied with Germany providing economic muscle but with French bureaucrats exercising the political power. When British politicians made the mistake of lying to the British electorate and joining the EEC, France simply had an additional source of money and began dipping ever more deeply into British pockets. There was no attempt to consider any interests other than French interests and no attempt to get to grips with the monumental corruption that marked the EEC and made it impossible for the auditors to sign off the annual accounts. Southern Europe developed a sense of entitlement to continue with corrupt and inefficient government at the expense of northern Europe.

As the Eurocrats grip on Britain strengthened, the three old failed Parties continued to claim that membership of what was becoming the EU, on route to becoming the EUSSR, had no political implication and was just a trading club. Membership costs continued to escalate and progressively less British legislation was initiated in Britain. By the time of the Lisbon Treaty, which was imposed by deception and against the express wishes of Irish, French and Dutch votes, more than 75% of British legislation was dictated by unelected Eurocrats in Brussels. Some will argue that the figure is higher than 80% but the remaining percentage of British legislation is largely trivial and ineffective laws passed to placate public opinion. In all essential aspects of legislation, the British Parliament in Westminster is no more than a rubber stamp on the dictates of Eurocrats. There has been a fatalistic attitude amongst the three old failed Parties who have concentrated on creating their own over paid political elite of unaccountable career politicians.

It would be easy to think in terms of British problems being a result of the EU and to be uniquely British. However, this is not so. Across Europe, in all the developed economies, good or bad, there is significant dislike of the Eurocrats. The UK Independence Party has long cease to be a unique opposition to the corrupt and anti-democratic Eurocrats and their political ambitions. Opposition to the Euro currency and a host of other areas of EU core policy are opposed by a majority of Europeans. The exceptions are in those former Communist countries that are joining or applying to join. They have suffered a 70 year period without democracy and they see the EU as a simple way of pulling funding into their under developed economies. They are mostly small countries that suffer great poverty and believe that EU membership will rapidly enrich them. That also increases opposition in northern Europe where most of the funds come from.

During the last two years, a further set of risks has been introduced. Germany has digested East Germany and now expects to dominate Europe. The French have become second class citizens and are regarded in Berlin as another weakness to be erradicated. Germany has dictated the terms of bail out in the EuroZone and folowed policies that Hitler would have been proud of. That creates a set of tensions that are potentially very dangerous. The bright hope is that the German ruling elite will face their own anti-EUSSR Party that calls for withdrawal of Germany from the EuroZone.

In the US there are similar protests against an unaccountable political elite. As a result, political change in Britain is not unique to Britain and is not driven by racism or greed, but by a growing demand to return to full democracy, where government is no larger than it has to be to provide those services that cannot be provided better by any other agency.

So the obvious questions are – what is this democracy and is it really important?

The basis of the democratic concept is that every citizen has the right and duty to hold government to account at the ballot box. Society should elect representatives who will serve society. There is no need for Human Rights or Civil Rights because all rights are held by the citizens in a democracy and some of those rights may be voluntarily loaned to the people’s representatives and may be withdrawn at any election. In holding all rights, citizens have a responsibility to exercise control of those rights by voting at every election and ensuring that those representatives elected to form the government at local and national level are fully accountable, do serve the people and do listen carefully to what the people say. Fundamental to those principles is a political representation that is drawn from the citizens and is provided by people who have held real jobs and have a life away from politics. Where there is a justified career service is in a Civil Service that is under the control of the elected representatives, being accountable to Ministers, with a similar professional group in local government, accountable to Councillors. That contrasts with the reality in Britain and many other countries where politicians at Local and National level are careerists, interested primarily in how they can use their position to increase their personal wealth, consider voters to be a subject people of no account, and talk down to them, rushing populist alleged policies out only at election time, to promptly forget all announced policies as soon as the elections are over. As many Civil Servants see themselves as the real power and largely ignore elected representatives, it is hardly surprising that corruption has grown to alarming levels and neither politicians nor Civil Servants are ever held to account for their errors, excesses or incompetencies. Democracy is very important because it is the only guarantee that citizens will be free to spend their hard earned money as they wish and enjoy the freedom to think and to speak, free from secret trials and oppression. Although few regard taxation as anything other than an imposition, the payment of fair and proportional tax, and its wise and fair use, is a privilege because it underpins the delivery of fair, responsible and accountable government. It is a mark of how unfair and profligate taxation has become that it is not seen in that light.

In Britain the rapid rise of the UK Independence Party is a welcome change, but no panacea. It still has to build a structure that will enable it to place candidates in all contended seats at European, National and Local level. That requires an increased funding level, the employment of more paid officials and the selection of suitable candidates. Once suitable candidates and funding are in place, it is essential to build a constituency team for every seat that is able to promote the candidates and organize the meetings with the citizens to speak and listen. In an ideal world, there would be no advertising or television broadcasts beyond distribution of the information to encourage citizens to go to local meetings and be able to directly ask the candidates what they stand for and to acquaint them with the concerns and wishes of the citizens.

With more than 2,000 Local Government seats being contested on May 2nd 2013, the UK Independence Party has only some 1,700 candidates and some of them have come forward at the last minute and not been fully interviewed. That means that although Ukip is fielding a significant number of candidates, the Party will miss those votes that would come in constituencies where they have no candidate, but do have support expressed in opinion polls. It may be possible to draw voting trends from seats that Ukip does contest and estimate how many more votes they would have won had they stood in all seats. Certainly, these elections provide a trial run to help build the campaign in 2014 for the European Parliament Elections. Ukip will be able to see how well it has done, where it needs to refine its organization and how the citizens are shaping the Party. The three old failed Parties are desperate because they now realize that none of them enjoys enthusiastic support. There will be Ukip supporters who vote for a failed Party because there is no Ukip representative, but where they take their duties as citizens seriously and go to vote, selecting the least objectionable candidate from those standing. Ukip may find that these citizens make every effort to encourage Ukip to contest every seat at future elections and a strong showing by Ukip will increase its membership and attract new fund contributors, as has been happening during the last two years.

The numbers will be important. If Ukip wins a 100 local government seats in the May 2013 elections, it will be a huge success, a real revolution. If Ukip manages only a quarter of that number, it will have been an enormous advance for the Party. If the Clegg’s LibDems lose more than 50 seats, it will confirm the disastrous situation that treachery and inability has caused. If Cameron’s LibCons lose more than 250 seats, they will know that there can be no win at the 2015 General Election and that the estimated failure at the 2014 European Parliamentary elections will be confirmed. If Milliband’s National Socialists fail to win more than 450 seats, they will know that they are also in serious trouble. Currently, each of the three old failed Parties are hoping that they will succeed because the other two Parties are so dire and unattractive.

For Ukip, there is everything to play for and the high probability is that they will continue on a roll. The main disappointment will be that time and funds did not permit Ukip to stand a carefully selected candidate in every seat that could be contested. The three old failed Parties are now reconciled to the probability that the Ukip share of the vote will be very impressive and their only hope is that the first-past-the-post election system will rob Ukip of the numbers of seats their proportion of the vote deserves.

If the elections confirm the pollsters’ predictions, Ukip will take 17% of the total available vote cast and that may be double the percentage achieved by the LibDems. If that is confirmed by the voters it will be an amazing and impressive achievement. If the spread of votes is confirmed, it will be a major political event and a changed landscape.

Currently, forecasts suggest that the increase in the Ukip vote will be made up by defectors from all of the three old failed Parties. Approximately 30% will come from traditional Conservative voters, 30% from LibDem voters and 20% from Labour voters. As most LibDem and Labour seats come from areas where rotten boroughs require less than half the number of votes the Conservatives require in their traditional seats, Ukip is actually a much bigger threat to the LibDems and Labour than to the Conservatives. Even more significant is that 2% would be drawn from various small Parties and from those who have stood as Independents, and 18% from people who have not voted during the last twenty years because they could not support any of the three old failed Parties.

Only a real ballot will demonstrate how accurate polling predictions have been. All pollsters admit to a + or – error of 5% and an external view is that pollsters are rarely better than + or – 14% accurate.

We can be reasonably certain that every Party will claim success or excuse failure on mid-term blues.

So what does it all mean in Britain, and by implication in all those other countries where Parties broadly similar to Ukip are experiencing surging support?

The most significant lesson seems to be that this is a genuine revolution politically. Although in Britain the three old failed Parties have written Ukip off as a collection of clowns, fruitcakes and closet racists, it is very clear that Ukip has been drawing support across the old political spectrum. Currently, it is not clear how that support is drawn from the old failed Parties. It suggests that the new politics of Ukip support cannot be explained by the Left/Centre/Right descriptions that have been used for a hundred years. It may however simply be that the old descriptions were never accurate. Each of the three old failed Parties has a core of supporters that are rarely more than 10% and who buy the official political dogma of the Party.

As a result, Ukip is drawing support from the silent majority of reasonable citizens who have been horrified by the drift into corruption and oppression. There are people who have traditionally voted for a failed Party because their family voted that way, or the people they worked with voted that way and because Britain has been essentially a two Party system which used to be a Liberal-Conservative contest and then became a Labour-Conservative contest. Before the rise of the career politician, most politicians were honourable people who wanted to serve their communities. Labour and Conservative supporters might have felt permanently opposed and could never contemplate changing sides, but as individuals they could meet socially and accept their political differences with respect for each other.

What Ukip is now offering is a Party that is not dogmatically of the Left, the Right, or the Centre. As its support continues to grown it will evolve its policies on the basis of the mix of opinions of its supporters and the external influences of economics and other variable factors. It does have a unique opportunity to develop its policies on the basis of what Britain now needs to ensure prosperity and freedom for its people and where the primary ideology is of small government and small taxation. Many of its currently defined policies are innovative, reasonable and fair. Although Ukip may have taken the view that escape from the EUSSR is an essential early step, there are also policies such as the tax policy which is the first fair and proportional system in living memory. Taking all taxpayers earning less than £13,000 completely out of taxation and scrapping the National Insurance tax that has always been a fraudulent description of ordinary taxation is so logical, only a hardened ideologue or fraudster could object. Applying then a flat rate of tax on all other incomes is the only way of taxing income fairly. Someone who earns £20,000 of taxable income pays a straight percentage. Anyone who earns £40,000 pay twice as much tax. There is no point where a wage earner might say “its not worth working harder because the tax man will take more than the extra I earn”. Therefore the system is justified as fairness, but its real benefit would be on the significant cost reduction in running the system because it removes thousands of pages of complex tax rules that no one understands and where the rich may pay on paper far more than the low paid but in reality pay nothing because they hire accountants who use every loophole in an unnecessarily complex system.

The real challenge Ukip introduces is that it needs a new Party as its opposition. By introducing a political revolution, it creates an environment where the rumps of each of the three old failed Parties are unfit to combine in opposition. What is needed as soon as possible is a new Party that can offer an alternative to Ukip that is democratic, fair and honourable, but can present alternative policies that are realistic and produce grounds for open and fair debate.

 

Editor

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