Ukip, the British Tea Party that’s Reshaping British Politics

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17 Responses

  1. mark thompson says:

    It is nothing to do with the Euro and EVERYTHING to do with mass immigration.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Didn’t we fight a war that decided whether England could leave the EU?

    In any case, the advent of a “Fiscally Conservative/Socially Liberal” party in Europe is a breath of fresh air. I hope they can become a player.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Jaybird says:

      They don’t seem very socially liberal to me.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to NewDealer says:

        They support civil unions, they deliberately broke off from the racist anti-federalist league (they police their members pretty heavily for that sort of thing), and they’re not into policing such things as smoking or motorcycle-riding. Now, it’s not particularly socially *STATIST*… but, eh. Some people see that as “liberal” too.Report

    • JULES in reply to Jaybird says:

      UKIP is NOT a socially Liberal party at all. It’s the opposite. UKIP is very socially conservative, against gay marriage, strong on law and order, hardline immigration policies, advocating an EU referendum and immediate withdrawal from the European Court of Human Rights. The way to describe UKIP is the political wing of the Daily Mail newspaper. It’s the closest thing to Thatcherism on social issues since, well, Thatcher herself. This article failed to mention the main reason for UKIP support and that is immigration. Withdrawal from the EU is it’s raison d’etre, but it’s rising support is because of it’s populist anti-immigration policies.

      UKIP is different to the Tea Party in that it attracts votes from Labour’s (centre left UK party) large working class bedrock of support. In a recent study 4 out of ten UKIP voters said they were Tories the rest had defected from Labour, Lib Dem or previously did not vote. On economic issues Labour is a left wing party but it’s support from it’s traditional working class heartlands in the North of England, are actually conservative on social issues. That’s how Thatcher was able to attract support from these communities in her time in power.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to JULES says:

        When people in the US talk about “immigration”, they’re really talking about “Mexican Immigration”. You’ll find a handful of folks in IT who are talking about Southeast Asian Immigration, of course, but, for the most part, the conversation is *REALLY* about Mexicans.

        What is the conversation about in the UK?Report

        • NewDealer in reply to Jaybird says:

          Do you realize that the blatant anti-Latino racism of border security talk does not make it better?

          I think in the UK the concern is mainly over immigrants from Islamic countries but also South Asians and Eastern Europeans from the former Eastern Bloc states.

          Also, I’ve seen many an IT guy rant about how the field used to be great but now their companies care too much about hiring female and minority engineers and quality is going down. There are lots of bitter white men in engineering.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to NewDealer says:

            Actually, the anti-Latino racism has been subsumed, tamed, and made acceptable by talking about “Immigration”. You have to dig for a bit to find out that the person doesn’t particularly care about Germans moving into the Condos down the road.Report

        • Matty in reply to Jaybird says:

          I’d say it has varied over time. Up until the 90’s ‘immigrant’ nearly always meant people from the Indian subcontinent and Caribbean and opposition to immigration was closely tied to race even when the ‘immigrants’ weren’t immigrants (watch this from around 3:50 to 4:10 for the general idea).

          More recently though this old school racism has been overshadowed by fears about
          1. East Europeans taking advantage of EU rules on the free movement of labour to undercut British workers by accepting lower wages.
          2. Muslim communities isolating themselves from their neighbours and preserving practices like forced marriage.Report

  3. PaddyMcAndrew says:

    Well done UKIP.

    Now not a protest vote. I voted for them because of their energy, education, defence, EU and quango culling policies.

    Their energy policy is my main attraction. This happens to appeal to rural voters/ poor/ aged across the UK. Their immigration policies appeal to urban voters across the UK.

    I predict 15 MPs at the GE.Report

  4. NewDealer says:

    I read an article about UKIP in the Economist yesterday.

    They seem to be calling for a radical scaling back of the welfare state according to the Economist. I am not sure how well this is going to play in a Parliamentary election. Brits do love NHS.

    All the other parties you mentioned have been around for years. Everyone thought Le Pen would shake up the French election instead it went to the Socialists. The most definitive aspect of Gert Vilder’s party is their anti-immigration views and this has been known for years before the recession.

    I agree with Marc that the big issue does seem to be xenophobia.Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to NewDealer says:

      UKIP gets a confluence of reasons why they’re currently a flavor of the week.

      1) Political fatigue. Everyone’s just tired of how the government seems incapable of solving problems for people. Someone offering shiny new things can seem like a solution regardless.

      2) Media portrayal of immigration in the UK stresses the negatives. This is also true of EU market integration as a whole. There’s not a lot of talk about how say trade barrier reduction helps UK manufacturing (which was essentially dead pre-Maastricht) or makes the flow of goods and capital (the latter of which is still heavily based out of London).

      3) The implosion of the Liberal Democrats and their credibility of offering anything new or interesting after their coalition politics with the Tories. They’ve essentially sold out their souls and got nothing to show for it.Report

  5. Will Truman says:

    I really liked this post, Brian. I hope you write more like it.Report

  6. Damon says:

    There might be less of Ukip if the folks of Europe hadn’t got such a raw deal on the EU. Really, it’s a trading block, not a country, which is what the elites want. The common man sees too much loss of soverignity.Report

  7. Art Deco says:

    What would be most agreeable would be if the Conservative Party were electorally destroyed in the manner of Canada’s old Progressive Conservatives in 1993 and replaced with UKIP. A customs union or a military alliance or a co-operative program to police the borders would be beneficial, but wholesale transfer of sovereignty – including immigration policy – to Brussels is an affront to popular sovereignty. (In the States here the analogous tendency is the transfer of discretion to the lawfare mavens and the appellate judiciary). Supposed economic benefits from mass immigration are in their dimensions inconsequential and the corollaries injurious to domestic populations niched to low-level service employments (not that the people who traffic in nonsense phrases like ‘anti-Latino racism’ give a rip about low level service workers).Report