Friday, 17 May 2013
Thursday, 16 May 2013
Sunday, 12 May 2013
Saturday, 11 May 2013
Friday, 10 May 2013
Thursday, 9 May 2013
|To avoid losing each other, UKIP counting agents now wear hi-vis jackets to election counts|
With this in mind, I would like to explain why I think that last week's election results are not all bad and why they should give us hope for the future. And before anyone misinterprets anything I will write in the next few paragraphs, let me make it clear at the outset that I am not suggesting for one second that anyone reading this should ever vote for UKIP. I have never voted for UKIP myself. I would vote for Labour before I voted for UKIP (and you know I would never do that!)
If you go down to the polling station and discover that there is 'only' UKIP to vote for then you might want to spoil your ballot by writing on it words to the effect that 'I am so sorry for not standing as an English Democrats candidate in this election but I promise to do so next time to give local people the chance to vote for a party that cares about England'.
I hope my stance on voting UKIP is clear enough?
So with that caveat out of the way, here are 3 reasons to be positive about last week's results:
1) The increase in support for this aspiring 'fourth party' in British politics has the potential to further destabilise the post-war electoral routine consisting of the spectacle of Labour or the Tories running the country for a term or two, then being replaced by the other one. Two or three terms later we are back with the first one, and the cycle continues indefinitely (I will leave aside discussion of the 2010 coalition for now). It doesn't matter how much damage the Tories or Labour do to our country during their time in office, the only 'punishment' they receive from the electorate is having to sit in opposition for a term or two before they are enthusiastically voted back into power.
Clearly, for politically-minded people, such a routine is farcical and anything which serves to erode the stranglehold of the main three parties upon our nation and prompts people to actually think about whom to vote for rather than simply voting for a party because it has been out of office for a while or because it is now in power so the 'done thing' is to vote for the 'other' party in the local elections is to be welcomed. The success achieved by the Greens last week might be viewed as another small nudge in this direction.
2) Although UKIP undoubtedly has a number of rather unpleasant members, it is equally clear that many of them, which is likely to include some members who were elected as councillors last week, will be thoroughly decent individuals who are just trying to do their best for their country and simply find themselves in what we regard as the wrong party. The bigger UKIP gets in terms of members and elected councillors, the greater chance there is that the English Democrats will benefit indirectly by winning over some of their members once they realise that, whilst UKIP might appear to share some of our policy goals, when it comes to looking after the interests of England (as opposed to maintaining the Union) UKIP have nothing of interest to offer whatsoever.
There is a perceived overlap between the English Democrats and UKIP and we are viewed by the electorate in a similar light. This means that members and voters often feel quite comfortable switching between our two parties. Clearly this poses a danger for us in that if UKIP are performing better than us at any given time then we might haemorrhage support to UKIP. But on the other hand, by increasing the size of their organisation and by making gains in the local elections on a scale which no nationalist organisation has ever managed in this country, UKIP have increased the size of the pond in which we English nationalists swim.
As long as we build on the progress we have made in the last couple of years and improve our game across the board then we have the potential to gain valuable recruits from this increased pool of politically-active patriots which UKIP has helped to create.
One thing we have in our favour which UKIP will find hard to hijack is the fact that unlike them, we are a party which speaks up loud and clear for England. For people who care as much or more about this than, say, getting the UK out of the European Union, we are therefore a more attractive choice than UKIP, or, at least, we will be once we have sufficiently upped our game politically.
3) Linked in with the above point, we need to acknowledge that to the vast majority of people in England, the English electorate has just taken a significant 'right turn' politically (I don't like using the outdated left-wing/right-wing dichotomy but I do so here as this is how UKIP are often portrayed in the media) and voted for a party which is associated, rightly or wrongly, with opposing mass immigration, getting Britain out of the EU, and opposing the political correctness of the Lib-Lab-Con cartel. Whilst we might disapprove of UKIP as a party, we must surely take heart from the fact that a significant proportion of the electorate have voted in this way.
Let's imagine for a moment that UKIP did appallingly last Thursday (hooray!) and the big victors were not the English Democrats or any other nationalist organisation but instead were a party of the extreme left. We do not have to invent such a party for the purposes of this thought-experiment: let us imagine that the big victors last week were Respect. Imagine that they had campaigned hard on a pro-mass immigration theme and that this had struck a chord with the English electorate, who subsequently voted for Respect in large numbers.
It might be a thoroughly Schadenfreude-inducing experience for some nationalists to see rival patriotic parties take a beating but would this really be a better outcome than what actually transpired last week? What sort of future would such an outcome promise for our children and their children?
The fact that large numbers of people went out and voted for what a recent IPPR poll revealed was regarded as a patriotic pro-English party underlines the fact that there is great potential for our party.
The only question is whether we improve our game and realise that potential, or whether we sit back and let UKIP take advantage of it instead. What last week's results show is that there is everything to play for and potentially very significant progress to be made if we choose to put in the hard work and make it happen. I for one intend to do everything in my power to ensure that we do just that.