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YouGov research for the Sunday Times has put UKIP in the lead in the European election contest, with support from 31 per cent of those who were surveyed.
This put the Eurosceptic party three points ahead of Labour (28 per cent) and a massive 12 points ahead of the Conservatives (just 19 per cent).
But does this really mean the Party with its Foot in its Mouth has the people’s confidence? Take a look at these comments from the Vox Political Facebook page and form your own conclusions. I hasten to add that this is an unscientific survey, composed of comments from those who had the most to say.
We’ll start with those who support the party.
Most vocal is Denise Cottham. She writes: “Mr Farage has the guts to actually ‘SAY’ what many other people just ‘THINK!’ We respect him for this. He speaks the TRUTH & is not out to deceive the public like the major parties have done all these years, while growing fatter & richer at the country’s expense! And exactly where does the Green party stand regarding the EU? They make appealing promises, but will be unable to keep them without ASKING permission from the EU!!! UKIP priorities make sense, staying in the EU does not.”
Denise Morris adds: “I’ll be voting UKIP and so will many, many other concerned with EU policies that mean we can’t kick out radical hate preachers, without it costing the taxpayer millions and not only that we’ll pay their benefits, get them a nice big house and all while our human rights lawyers try to prevent their deportation, thanks to the EU. It’s no wonder people are looking for other alternatives. Currently our only serious hope is UKIP. We all know where the Cons, Lab and Libs stand, so voting for either of these parties won’t solve anything.
“They are the only party that can take on the other major parties and are gaining popularity. People are fed up with broken promises, lies, the open door policy. I don’t like all of UKIP’s policies, but I don’t like all the Cons’ or Lab either. Labour betrayed the working classes and the Cons have tackled the economy, but at a cost to who? The poor, the vulnerable, so I am totally with you on that one. I have to vote for what I think is best for the future of this country and my children and grandchildren and as I see it, that’s UKIP at the moment. If Labour gave us a referendum and promised to save the NHS, restrict immigration, tackled the economy, then I would seriously consider voting labour but that isn’t going to happen sadly. It’s like being between a rock and a hard place and we need a serious shake up of politics in this country. Something has to change and for the better and maybe the challenge from UKIP will do just that.”
She seems to have confused the European Union with the European Court of Human Rights… “The fact is the British people were conned big time on the EU. We thought we were entering a common market and now most of our laws are made in Europe. Their judges take precedence over our own judges. We were never given the referendum we should have got and UKIP are the only party guaranteeing one. If that happens then MPs can start voting with their conscience again, instead of voting for party policies.”
Regarding the controversial poster in which a foreign actor (from Ireland) was used to represent a British worker whose job had been taken away by evil immigrants, Craig Burnside writes: “UKIP arent against immigration, they just want to control it like countries like Australia and the USA do and outsource jobs.”
On the other side we have the following messages.
From Neil Wilson: “I honestly thought nobody could run a worse PR campaign than Bitter Together in Scotland re: the Independence Referendum, But I have to say UKIP are managing to do so in only a week. My particular favourite is the fact you can send their leaflets back to the Freepost address and they get charged for each one. So, they come to your border (door/letterbox) and you send them packing and make them pay for it. After all it’s what they would have wanted don’t you think? very apt. Although the Boarders typo is running a close second. I would vote for somebody to protect me from boarders, particularily old Etonians. But … best just to keep quiet and enjoy watching them make a monumental cock-up of a campaign all by themselves.”
From Kim Burns: “It’s the irony that’s amusing us. Of course we’re not going to vote UKIP! They don’t like women going out to work, they want to reduce maternity leave to 4 weeks, they want to reduce taxes for the rich and increase them for the poor! Read their manifesto, people!”
We would if we could find it! How about this, from John Elwyn Kimber: “Those who wish to register a Eurosceptic vote without empowering the odious UKIP might be lucky enough to have a candidate representing the late Bob Crow’s ‘No to EU, Yes to Democracy’ campaign – as in the Eastern counties. Or vote Green.”
From Bette Rogerson: “Why would you vote for a party that says it hates Europe, but at the same time takes lots and lots of money from the European parliament? Why vote for a party whose members advocate policies like less tax for the wealthiest, cutting of maternity leave and forcible sterilisation of the disabled? Why vote for a party who wants to take the vote away from the unemployed? Is your job really that secure? Lastly but not least, why vote for a party which claims it wants British jobs for the British and then hires an Irish actor to model as a poor Briton whose job has been taken away by a foreigner?”
Of course, I have also weighed into these discussions. Here’s my response to Denise C: “The facts are against you. Why is Farage now trying to block an inquiry into his MEP expenses? What does he have to hide? Why, if he’s so keen on preventing foreigners from taking British jobs, did his party hire an Irish actor to pretend to be a British worker in a poster? Why did he hire a German to be his PA (and, come to that, what about the nepotism inherent in the fact that this person is his wife)? Why did the UKIP poster showing an ‘ordinary’ British woman who was going to vote UKIP actually show a party member responsible for public relations? Put all these things together and it seems UKIP and the truth are a huge distance apart.
“Look at UKIP members and the appalling things they have been saying. Farage moves to shut them up and kick them out whenever they do, but a point has to be reached soon when he – and the rest of us – realises that this is the natural mindset of his party and, as such, it is unelectable.”
To Denise Morris’s comments about European judges, I pointed out: “The European Court is different from the European Union, Denise. If Britain withdrew from the EU, it would still be a part of the court. Also, UKIP is very clearly not the only party guaranteeing [a referendum] – it’s not even the only right-wing, reactionary and repressive party offering such a guarantee.”
I added: “The Cons have not tackled the economy. If you believe that, you’re not paying attention. I’m glad you agree that the poor and vulnerable have suffered in any case. Labour has promised to save the NHS and tackle the economy (in a more meaningful way than the Tories). Labour’s attitude to a referendum may seem less than wholehearted but my impression is that they think it would get a knee-jerk reaction that would show what people do not understand about our participation in the European Union, rather than what they do – your mistake about the European Court is an indication that they might have a point.
“Regarding immigration, my personal belief is that the EU – including the UK – made a big mistake in allowing free movement between countries including new member states whose economies were not yet up to par with the better-established industrial nation states. All they have done is de-stabilise both the states from which people are emigrating and those into which they immigrate… so I would like a tighter policy on this, not just here but in the Union as a whole.
“And those who complain that we voted ourselves into an economic community, not a political union, are correct too. All of these things can be remedied from inside the EU, and if we were to withdraw rather than try to tackle them as a member state, the result would be worse for all of Europe in the long run. UKIP does not see that and the Conservatives cannot see past their own greed and corruption – look at who funds them (bankers and private health firms) and you’ll see that this is the case. The Tory Democrats have sold their souls but Labour is just beginning to find its own soul again. That’s why I think Labour is the best hope for Britain next year.”
Responding to former Labour voter Brian Taylor, who said he wasn’t enthused with UKIP but they would get his vote until a viable alternative came along, I wrote: “Do you really want a flat-rate of 31 per cent income tax, that hugely benefits the extremely rich and enormously harms the poor? That’s UKIP policy.
“If not, you probably want the Green Party, which would also hold a referendum on Europe but is far less Tory in its outlook. I can’t imagine a former Labour voter would honestly want to vote for a party that was further on the right of the political spectrum than the Conservatives.”
So what’s the conclusion?
Well, from this snapshot we can see that, as Denise Cottham and Brian Taylor claimed, people think all three major parties have deceived the public and will do so again. Labour in particular is seen as having betrayed its core constituency – the working classes – in favour of Daily Mail readers and bankers who simply won’t vote for any party more left-wing than the Conservatives. Worse still, for Labour, is people’s belief that the party has been told – time and time again – what it needs to do, but has continually ignored this good advice. UKIP’s problem is that its new advertising campaign also deceives the public, and leader Nigel Farage’s eagerness to block an inquiry into his MEP expenses suggests further jiggery-pokery.
People in general also seem to be genuinely disgruntled with the EU’s ‘free movement’ policy which allows people from any member state to take up residence in any other member state. There is evidence to show that it was a mistake to allow less-developed countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, to take advantage of this policy as many of their citizens have immigrated into the more prosperous regions – leaving their own countries struggling to build their economies, and threatening the stability of the destination countries, whose infrastructure is left struggling to cope with the influx.
UKIP supporters are primarily interested in having an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union, but – as Denise Morris demonstrates – do not seem to understand clearly the issues on which they will be voting. Denise’s concern about the laws preventing us from deporting foreign-born ‘hate preachers’ would not be addressed by leaving the European Union as it comes under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
Their grasp of other UKIP policies seems catastrophically poor, though – policies including restricting work opportunities for women and cutting maternity leave, reducing taxes for the rich and raising them for the poor (to a flat rate of 31 per cent), sterilisation of the disabled (if Bette Rogerson’s research is correct), and ending universal suffrage by stopping the unemployed from voting.
They also seem to have a weak grasp of other parties’ policies regarding the EU – the Green Party wants a referendum but Denise C thinks they don’t.
My overall impression is that UKIP is still gaining support as a party of protest, rather than because people have any belief in its policies. The person on the street – whatever their belief – feels “utterly powerless… hopeless and increasingly disinterested”, a sentiment expressed by Karlie Marvel on the Facebook page today.
That’s why UKIP is ahead today.
It isn’t a good enough reason and the other party leaders can now see what they need to do about it – especially Labour.
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Jeffrey Davies said:
ah but if farage does get us out of Europe then hes out of a job
Barry Davies said:
Yes he says he would be overjoyed to be out of a job
Reblogged this on sdbast.
I wouldn’t vote Ukip if my life depended on it. They are tories, pure and simple, and if we end up with a tory/ukip coalition then we are doomed.
Put them in at the European elections, get labour and the greens scared enough to start actually doing something instead of just carrying on with tory policies.
Do all that, but don’t vote for them at the General Election as it would be the end of voting for the majority of us.
Me, I’m hoping that we get independence here in Scotland as that way, we don’t have to be worried about getting a tory or ukip government, and it might shake Scottish labour up as well for the 2016 election!
Barry Davies said:
Well jaypot as UKIP has stated it won’t be in a coalition with the tories there is no point in your conjecture, as for the end of voting for the majority of us where do you get these plainly ridiculous ideas from why on earth would voting for the party that wants more democracy have the opposite effect?
Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
What are you going to do?
Nigs Cradoc said:
Superb piece, Mike.
Mike Sivier said:
Most kind. Thank you.
Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
Mike analyses some of the comments about UKIP on the Vox Political Facebook page, and concludes that from that, ad hoc, sample, nearly all voters believe they have been deceived by the parties. UKIP in his view is a protest vote, driven by fears about mass immigration from eastern Europe. Where UKIP are really sinister is in their domestic policies, which apparently include the sterilisation of the disabled and the removal of the vote from the unemployed.
Barry Davies said:
Except that they are not domestic policies at all, and in line with every other party only the manifesto for the eussr elections has been released. Reallky beast I thought you were better than that.
Mike Sivier said:
You and I have already been down this path, Barry – don’t try to drag the Beast down it as well! Suffice it to say, we all know the truth that UKIP has been trying to hide, no matter what you and other apologists have to say.
Jonathan Wilson said:
Personally at the euro elections I’m unsure of who to vote for, ukip or Labour.
UKIP to give Labour a kick up the backside to returning to its roots and be “for the people” and drop its “nastier than the tories” attitude to try and win over tory voters, which it never will.
Labour, to give UKIP and the rest a kicking for being a bunch of misogynistic racist poor/sick/disabled hating scumbags.
At the last GE I voted Cons, because I felt that Brown and B’lier et. al. had been in long enough and a change was needed (long term parliaments get complacent and start thinking they can do anything they want, short term ones tend to tread gently for the first term). I regret that decision very strongly, the cons seemed to have come in intent on destroying the NHS/Social security/Post office/every fecking thing in the shortest possible time and with a maximum amount of fall out in every sector of society except the richest people who are “just like them.”
I am fed up of lies such as “1 million jobs created” when every 5 mins there is news coverage of yet another business gone to the wall/brought out and off-shored… or the fact that if 1,000 people work for government directly and are sacked and end up working for a private company doing the same damn job/tasks it does not mean the state has shrunk and private jobs created, it means someone is creaming profits and getting rich by milking the corporate benefits system… truely the biggest scroungers in this country, and the bastards lie/cheat/steal (ie charging for tagging people they didn’t (g$s/crapiter/et.al); getting “punters” to sign they have a job when they didn’t (A4$)) and no one is locked up or fined… well apart from some low level minions, never the people at the top.
I was also drawn in by Camorons lies and spiel on everything from “NHS safe in our hands, no top down re-org, etc, etc, ectbloodycettera.”
I was duped! I want my vote back! I want to slap Camoron, Dunked in Sh’te, Fraud, et. al. with a slice of lemon… wrapped round a gold brick.
Mike Sivier said:
I would have approved this comment just for the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference at the end.
Jeffrey Davies said:
its like that road sweeper asked who he voted for magret t he sais why he was asked because she allowed me to buy my councils house with this I cried idiot
One trick pony….Mr.UKIP…..who in this country would vote for right wing facists?
Barry Davies said:
Anyone who votes for the conlablibdum and green parties apparently, and if you think UKIP is a one trick pony you haven’t been paying attention.
Mike Sivier said:
UKIP is a one-trick pony. The trick is getting people to believe that its only major policy is getting Britain out of Europe when it has many more malign plans for the British people.
I detest UKIP, for being disableist, racist and loony, but I also detest the Conservatives and Lib Dems, and distrust Labour and the EU.
Barry Davies said:
Strange that UKIP has a disabled person running its disabled policy unit then, or is this just another anti ukip made up claim?
Graham Hughes said:
UKIP supporters posting on internet political discussion is almost enough to make one question the wisdom of universal suffrage. I see my two favourites both make it into your post. ‘Blaming’ the EU for the European Court of Human Rights. An institution which operates under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The UK were founder members long before the EU was even thought of and were the instigators of its formation. None other than Winston Churchill is credited with the idea. As for “their” judges taking precedence over our own most of the senior judges in the EHCR are British. If any individual country can lay claim, in some way, to the EHCR as being “ours” it has to be the UK.
My top favourite though is the one about Australia’s immigration policy. You can guarantee someone will pop up with that one, saying we need an immigration system like Australia’s. They are clearly unaware that the UK’s points-based immigration system, introduced by the last Labour government is modelled directly on the Australian system. But, they will say, it is the way the Australians control immigration numbers that we want to replicate. The proportion of people living in the UK born overseas is around 8%. The 2011 Australian census showed more than a quarter of people in Australia were born elsewhere and more than half had one or both parents born abroad. If UKIP really are planning to increase the levels of immigration to the UK to Australian levels I think they should come clean with the electorate. It is indicative of the insular attitude that provokes support for UKIP that because it is no longer so easy for people from the UK to emigrate to Australia their supporters assume they have cut down on all inward migration.
It is interesting though that for all the supposed opposition to EU membership the one party that is directly opposed to being in the EU is regarded as doing well for polling at 31% while the three other UK parties, who are all officially (although the picture is somewhat ambivalent with the tories) in favour, poll more than two-thirds of the vote.
Barry Davies said:
Letting europhiles loose to comment on the eussr is like asking a 4 year old about father christmas.
Graham Hughes said:
Thank you for reinforcing my point about UKIP voters and universal suffrage so eloquently. You even got “EUSSR” in there too.
Hi Mike, You should be flattered by the lack of response to this posting . I did myself await to see and read the responses before replying. Maybe this can tell us both something about the credibility of the EC & the European Commission on Human Rights & certain protestations on being ” European”
I should I believe describe myself by my living through these momentous cerebral confusions & convolutions as being born as WW11 child, now a mere 73 years old. My father served in bomber command as an Engineer . He signed up in 1939 before the start of the war & was hospitalized during the war attended to & discharged with a small pension .One of my uncles served with Montgomery in El Alamein & was insular in his conversation. Another of my uncles was parachuted into Tunisia with the Red Beret’s & captured by the Nazis & held in an Italian prison camp for 3 years. He told me once on his return that on top of all his sufferings & torture no one suffered more in his camp than the Russian POW,s . What I never understood then & still find hard to understand today is that he spent years at Maudsley Hospital in South London receiving (help & rehabilitation ) All of these (young) men were given medals after the war and then were invited to various celebrations & refused to attend or ever wear or display their medals.
My Mother who is blind still believes him to be a wonderful man & father. I seek not to spoil that image or dishonour him.
I have prattled on for more than I dare , however some of my thoughts are similar to yours I believe: Is this Europe today a world of peace & reconciliation that works for all nations within it ? I think not , I trust it not. Why? It has little or no connection with the common people it supposed to represent.
The deaths of all those in the WW1 & WW2 have been given little peace & prosperity to their children & grand children .
If I had I such a power, I would call them (all) back again to say why & how they died & in what they believed . It would not be King & Country & all that hero medal crap.
Yes, they were all heroes & shall remain heroes , misguided heroes perhaps ?
Today we fight a different battle ! A different silent hidden foe.
Damien Willey said:
I wouldn’t vote UKIP if my life depended on it (it possibly could if they ever saw power). The conclusion I draw from this is that when people feel let down by the big three, and so many do – 13 years of a tory-lite labour party followed by 5 years of sheer hell at the hands of the cons and libs, people feel betrayed.
They’ve reached out for what they perceive to be a viable alternative and UKIP gets all the press. Its also a sad indication of the level of political ignorance present in this country – if people read what else they support they might think twice!
I think politics seriously needs to be taught at school level to eradicate this public apathy. I support mandatory voting as well, but without any interest in who runs the country who would we end up with? How people can live in such ignorance astounds me, the thought scares me to death!
Barry Davies said:
Well Damian you are voting for a party that does not have your life in its policies at all, the conlablibdum parties are all hell bent on privatising the NHS UKIP policy is to get rid of the bodies set up with that aim in mind and spend the money saved on front line services instead.
Mike Sivier said:
UKIP policy is to privatise the NHS altogether and not waste time pretending to carry on with a national health service in the way the Tories are doing.
simon pettigrew said:
Well here’s the thing Mike. There is only one data point that matters, the election result. Everything else, polls, vox populi are kinda interesting but really irrelevant. You haven’t got long to wait, only till May 22 and then you can hear the public actually speak in a secret ballot. Can we resume the conversation then? I would love to talk to you when we actually have something substantive to discuss.
All I will say is that judging by your attempt to rationalise what is going on with a vox populi of a handful of people out of an electorate of millions, and coming up without the first clue as to what is actually going on, I think you are in for a shock.
We are witnessing the most exciting political movement since, well the SDP attempted to “break the mould.” They were led by four ex cabinet ministers, especially the estimable Roy Jenkins. UKIP has no political competence at all and is going to drive the three major political parties into second third and fourth place in a national election. It will be unprecedented. We won’t have seen its like in a hundred years. Actually we haven’t seen its like before.
But talk is cheap, let’s discuss at the apposite time.
Mike Sivier said:
No. I’ll say and do what I want, the same as usual.
I reckon, having been both an observer and a participant in the UKIP debate over the past few years (since before I started the blog), that my observations, based on that small sample, are pretty much spot-on. They’re not supposed to represent what will happen in the election – they’re supposed to represent what people are thinking in the run-up to it.
In trying to tie the article to the election result, you’ve misunderstood the point.
You always seem to say and do as you want Mike, you just aren’t willing to listen to the ordinary man, as I noticed in our earlier exchange.
All you listen to, is the few “yes men” who support your ideas (see the above posts).
Your arrogance is laughable!
I’m sure you’re looking at the European results coming through.
Like I said before..
You and the rest of the political elite in the UK, need to change!
Mike Sivier said:
I’m not a member of any political elite.
Yes, the European election results are indeed interesting. It seems UKIP has taken a leaf out of the Conservative Party’s book, in that Messrs Farage, Nuttall et al have hidden unpopular parts of their policies in order to get the maximum turnout in their favour.
I find it curious that you’re saying I do what I want in the comment column of an article in which I made observations on what ordinary people (men AND women) have been saying. I paid very close attention to them all, as the article attests, and the conclusions reflect that. My own views are not the same.
If you are talking about the direction of the blog, then of course I say and do what I want. It’s my blog and reflects what I consider to be the main concerns of the day. If you want to read a blog that more closely reflects your interests, why not start one?
They don’t like it up em in the in the Bullingdon Boys Club at Westminster do they Captain !