Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Infernal Coalition: UKIP - what fatal flaw?

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Alex broke off from reading the evening newspaper and passed it over to Susie, holding it open at the seventh page. 

“Looks like competition.”

The article was headed ‘Former Tory Councillor to contest East Worcs for UKIP’. Alex and Susie both knew of the individual concerned, Fred Donnington, who had briefly been one of their own local councillors shortly after they had moved into the constituency, before he retired. Donnington had served in the RAF before setting up a small engineering business, specialising in agricultural machinery, and after many years’ dedicated service as a councillor he was now devoting his remaining energies to the British Legion. And now, evidently, to the United Kingdom Independence Party.

“I wonder why UKIP picked him?”

“This might explain it.” Alex retrieved the paper and read an extract from the article beneath Donnington’s prominent photograph. “‘I cannot tolerate the thought of such a distinguished figure as Sir Walter Hough being succeeded by a man like his heir apparent….. It should be significant to everyone in East Worcestershire, in marked contrast, that unlike this man I openly repudiated my former political allegiance a number of months ago, and that my candidacy will provide a clear opportunity to protest against the In Europe But Not Run By Europe mantra that so foolishly sums up the modernised Conservative Party of the present day.’”

He put the paper down. “UKIP obviously wanted an ex-Tory. They’ve got one. That’s pretty strong stuff, what he’s said there, but it still doesn’t get over the fatal flaw.”

“What’s that?” Susie asked……

Well, who knows what that fatal flaw was, in the eyes of two fictional conservatives* thinking about the forthcoming General Election three years ago in 2010, at a time when the mainstream party most identified with traditional British values was riding high in the polls against a Prime Minister who displayed the charisma of a speak your weight machine and the economic acumen of a bull in a china shop, many weeks before the phrase “I agree with Nick” entered the English language.

But if a week is a long time in politics, what to make of three years, during which time barely a dent has been made in the size of the state; fuel and energy bills have rocketed; and the UK finds itself impotent in the face of foreign courts prohibiting the deportation of undesirable aliens? To say nothing of how the destructive might of the EU has escalated – just ask a PIGSIC nation trapped in Euroland – when the PM kicks the can down the road by reluctantly offering a referendum at some point in the next Parliament?

Maybe those fictional conservatives* contemplating this week’s elections would by now have concluded that there was no fatal flaw in what UKIP were standing for after all…..

*Deliberate avoidance of the capital C. From the back cover of Infernal Coalition: “Nor was Alex Harris’ wife Susie any more disposed to a quiet life after her new found political ambitions were treacherously derailed. Shaking off her own disappointment, she calmly struck back at the party machine that had once seemed so eager to welcome her…..”

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