I spent quite a bit of my working life mining the rich seams of Social Psychology. When I retired I thought I had left all that academic thought behind me, as I dug my vegetable plot and looked after my bees. Unfortunately I caught a whiff of politics and got hooked.
Now going back to my old skills, I have found it necessary to look into the motivation of UKIP. I am worried by what I see. On the surface, they seem like a lot of Turkeys voting for Christmas, assuming that Turkeys have the intellect to know what they are voting for. If the main raison d’etre of the party is to get Britain out of Europe and they succeed, then they have no further reason to exist. But what if the Turkey turns out to be a Trojan Horse? Then I think we are in really deep trouble.
This supposition is that what the UKIP leadership is really after is to build a platform from which to mount a campaign to become the Government in Westminster with a whole load of other right wing policies so far undisclosed.
Some people I have spoken to recently have a very hazy idea of how government works. It is not their fault, the drive to tick box education that has been rampant over the last thirty years has prevented the need to gain information just for the fun of finding out about things. So just to put everybody onto an even playing field, political parties construct a number of policies that they put to the electorate. A political party may become the Government if it has the greatest number of MPs elected, or it may need to join with another party in coalition to have an overall majority. Either way, the policies of the Government are then debated by Parliament and if carried, they become law.
Now being a “law” is not enough, it must be implemented by an executive With regard to Criminal Law, we are only too aware that this depends upon there being enough Policemen to enforce it, (for instance dropping litter). Secondly, unless we have a Police Force almost as big as the population, there has to be a degree of consent. The British have so far been reluctant to turn to riot or revolution.
So therefore, with regard to UKIP, there has to be some cogent policies. If there is not going to be absolute disaster, these policies need to have some chance of working. They must be backed up by data and academic scrutiny. If anything, the methodology of UKIP is the reverse. Their mantra has been what the bloke down the pub says, for example “All of the UK’s Laws are passed in Europe” – “They are building a Mosque on every street corner” – “The reason that I can’t get a job is because of the Eastern Europeans”.
None of these statements can be challenged because they do not come with any statistics or back ground calculations. I see no evidence that anybody has thought about the few policies that UKIP claim to have, or that the kind of people who are putting forward these ideas are capable of formulating any.
The very frightening thing about this is that the few “Celebrities” that UKIP have up front, are the kind of people who are “for rent”, they could put on an equally good rant standing for any other party. They are only interested in power.
So what if the worst comes to the worst and they achieve a majority in the House of Commons? This is where I see the disaster. In order for a Government to put its policies into law, it needs a big majority. Even if it gets this, it needs an executive – Civil Servants, Police, Boarder Agencies, HMRC, etc, to make it work. But hang on! Aren’t these exactly the same kinds of people that UKIP have been deriding in Europe because they are paid “massive salaries” and “sit around doing nothing”. I don’t exactly see Civil Servants and their Unions putting up with a tongue lashing from Farage and his mates.
The other problem area is that in order to get elected to Government a political party only needs about 20% of the electorate to vote for it. This is because about 40% of the electorate do not bother to vote and the other 40% are split between the other parties. Therefore the non-voters are a very significant dormant force. If something went seriously wrong, and social cohesion broke down then UKIP could not rely upon most of the population who voted for other parties, and a considerable number of the non-voters might wake up to the mistake they had made. The result would be anarchy, or a state of disorder resulting from failure of Government, non-recognition of authority and a break down in law and order.
Here again, the sound of Turkeys is on the breeze. What is the point in voting for a party that will bring about the collapse in the status quo, if it is within the structure of the status quo that you seek power?
It is a good job that I am a vegetarian, and not just at Christmas.