Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Iain Martin in the Torygraph makes the valid point that there are many Ukippers who, heady with the success of last week, will become insufferable. Cameron, in his foolish contempt for Ukip when it was polling in the low single figures, was quite correct to say that amongst its supporters were to be found loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists. But no more loony than Nadine Dorries, no fruitier than Greg Barker, no more closet racist than, for instance, my friend the local Tory councillor down here who unwisely started racially stereotyping various Asian nationalities as a form of protest (yes, really) against the proposed imposition of an inner-city weekly boarding school in our parish. The Chinese will rise to the top, he suggested; the Indians will work hard; the Pakistanis will populate the E and F sets and bring up the rear. He didn't mention Afro Caribbeans, who would make up about 75% of the students, presumably because he thought it might sound a bit, well, you know, racist. Sorry, John, that boat sailed a while ago, with you on the quarterdeck. It is this kind of low level, thoughtless old-fashioned shire Tory racist guff that Cameron had in mind for his Ukip put-down. In truth, it is as likely to be heard from a member of any of the (four) main parties, with the possible exception of the LibDems, so terrified are they to have an opinion on this kind of topic.
Ukip, short of cash and long of hopeful candidates, have clearly not done a lot of vetting. Loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists will get through. Given a more willing audience from the local media, they will be interviewed and filmed and will say all sorts of things that intelligent and thoughtful people would not. Trouble is, they are not media-trained, and every faux-pas will be jumped upon. It is hard to know what Farage can do about this.
But to go back to Martin's point, a lot of smug crowing and bullish talk of a home-run in next year's European election may be fine for those who are already supporters, but will not endear the party to those who might yet join, but are wary of the taking the oath. Ukip's goal, surely, is to gradually entice them, by sounding reasoned, cheerful, optimistic and full of common sense. The greatest success they can possibly envisage is a re-integration with a demonstrably centre-right Tory party, from which all Cameroons, Clarkes, Grieves have been purged. This centre-right Tory party is the one Idle wishes to support.
The only Ukip froth should be that upon Nigel Farage's pint of London Pride. Take it easy, lads.
création d' idle at 8:37 pm