Fighting for Independence from an Anti-Democratic Oligarchy

The elections for the European Parliament are coming up in a few short weeks, and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is currently surging in the opinion polls. Our British correspondent JP sends a couple of samples of commentary on UKIP and the EU, and includes this note:

Here’s evidence of the UKIP surge in action — see the following best-placed comment for depth of passion, particularly the closing paragraph.

From the comments on Charles Moore: “I’ve been a Eurosceptic for 30 years but my vote will be up for grabs” in The Daily Telegraph, Commentator Dogzzz on 28 March 2014:

So you asking if you want to give away what is left of our sovereignty, our independence, our Birthright to be a confident, self ruling nation, trading confidently and prosperously with the 4.5 billion consumers outside the EU as well as much more competitively with the 0.5 billion in the EU in order to hide, supine and cowardly in the most anti-democratic institution, having unelected foreigners change our laws to benefit other nations, and plunder our wealth to pay for it?

Or do we want to be the confident, friendly, prosperous independent self-governing global traders and friends to all, choosing and implementing our own laws, for the good of our own people, democratic, free and self reliant?

I cannot abide giving away our birthright to a profoundly anti-democratic entity which has just refused to recognise 3 popular referendums in the last three weeks alone. An entity which can now over-rule OUR elected representatives in OUR national Parliament and does so without regard for the needs, or concerns of the British people, at all.

I am unashamedly, proudly and patriotically going to fight FOR our nation, FOR our people and FOR our birthright. A birthright our forefathers fought in two world wars to defend. Democracy, prosperity, the English rule of law, common sense human rights, from the English bill of rights onwards, which we exported all over the world, for the Commonwealth and our historical global trading links with the whole world.

I support UKIP and I support OUR independence from anti-democratic oligarchy.

See also Janet Daley’s article:

The people feel ignored — and they are angry

Not one leader of a major party has a true connection with ordinary folk. This is dangerous

There will really be only two contestants in the next general election: the political class and the people. And by the “political class”, I mean the entire operation that runs, manipulates and communicates the activities of government. That conglomeration of politicians and their special interest lobbies, media followers and professional handlers is now more self-referring, inbred and profoundly detached from the reality of most people’s lives than at any time in a generation.

This fact was brought home very sharply by the grotesquely embarrassing fault line that appeared in the brief lapse of time between the ending of the Farage-Clegg debate — during which a vast army of esteemed press commentators declared Nick Clegg the winner — and the release of the YouGov poll, showing that a large majority of the ordinary public believed Nigel Farage had won. Most alarmingly, there was a remarkable media consensus: it was not just wishful-thinking Europhiles who thought Clegg had walked it.

In the mortifying aftermath, which saw pundits scrambling to amend — or explain away — the bizarre discrepancy between their initial judgment and that of the wider world, an awful truth began to emerge. It was, indeed, as if the Westminster media and actual voters in the country had been listening to an entirely different event — as, for all intents and purposes, they were. And strangely enough, the preconceptions of the two camps were almost exactly the opposite of what might be expected.

It was the pundits, not the public, who were obsessed with personality quirks and presentational cool, where the public were much more attracted to convictions and basic values. The press commentary focused on Farage’s sweaty anger and contrasted it with Clegg’s calm smoothness: political success had to be all about clever presentation and professional delivery. But real people clearly saw Farage’s anger as genuine and appropriate, and reacted against Clegg’s glib patter, which they presumably perceived as untrustworthy.

So maybe all those post-Blair assumptions about politicians needing to be sold like products with the slickest possible advertising techniques need to be re-examined. When the electorate feels that its own concerns are being ignored or marginalised, it will embrace a spokesman who looks as if he genuinely shares their strong beliefs, even if he is amateurish or unpolished in his delivery. It is the Westminster club that is addicted to image-led politics, not the country.

This disconnection between the governing class and the public may be the key to understanding another rather startling development. The pensions revolution that George Osborne announced in the Budget was — goodness knows — a splendid move. But by all the logic of electoral prediction, it should have had a great impact on only one tranche of the population: a significant minority, but one that would most likely be Conservative-voting already.

In fact, the effect that it had on the opinion polls was far greater and more demographically widespread than should have been expected. I suggest this was because that reform seemed to be addressed to the actual needs and anxieties of ordinary people. It was one of those vanishingly rare moments when the political club made real contact with the world most voters inhabit — and it was electrifying. For once, the Chancellor did not seem to be obsessed with Westminster gamesmanship, with scoring points off the Opposition front bench, or showing off his ostentatiously clever Whitehall machinations. He announced something that would have an immediate and dramatic impact on people’s lives — and the people rewarded him.

That brings us back to the Farage win, and what to make of it: the alienation of the public from professional politicians is central to this. What the voters know — and has clearly been underestimated by the Westminster fraternity as a factor in the Ukip phenomenon — is that the EU is the ultimate politicians’ club. It has actually institutionalised contempt for public opinion by making the democratic will irrelevant. And it is that view that Mr Farage represents so well. He may look and sound like the guy down the pub who never stops ranting, but that is, for the moment, more in tune with the public mood than all those identical, smart-talking little boys doing their debating society tricks.

I can’t recall any time in the last half century of British politics when not a single leader of a major party had what seemed like a true connection with ordinary people. Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, Neil Kinnock, even Tony Blair in his Islington middle-class way: there has always been at least one official party voice that reached into real life. (When Ed Miliband accuses David Cameron of being out of touch, it rings laughably hollow. Mr Miliband is the son of a Marxist academic whose upbringing and intellectual preoccupations would be incomprehensible to most voters.)

This situation is not just politically peculiar: it is positively dangerous. When the population feels that it is not being listened to, it will find ways of expressing its rage and frustration that must be heard. Right now, it has good reason to believe that its concerns are regarded with contempt by the elected conspiracy that seems to confuse “popular” with “populist”: any opinion that is too enthusiastically endorsed by the masses must be so vulgar and crass that it is unworthy of recognition.

This is quite strange, when you think of it. After all, one of the chief tenets of the current political consensus is that elitism is a social evil. The EU, of course, has convenient mechanisms for entirely disregarding the democratic will. Any frustrations that the populations of member states may have with its arrangements must be settled in the streets, which helps to account for the rise of neo-fascist movements in France, Greece and Italy. If there is no democratic outlet for popular opinion, it will be forced to find a non-democratic one.

There is a wonderfully gnomic aphorism from the Greek poet Archilochus, made famous by Isaiah Berlin, which goes: “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Polished professional politicians like Mr Clegg and Mr Osborne know many things. But the one big thing that Mr Farage knows may trump them all: the people feel that they are being ignored and they are angry about it. Anyone who speaks for them is permitted to get visibly annoyed on their behalf. Mercifully, all those poll respondents who believed Mr Farage had won the argument have a legitimate, non-violent outlet for their frustration. They can vote for him and teach the other parties a lesson.

23 thoughts on “Fighting for Independence from an Anti-Democratic Oligarchy

  1. The relationship between the UK and the EU is paved with the treachery of politicians. In 1975, we were warned by Enoch Powell that “ever closer Union” in the preamble to the treaty of Rome mean Political Union – and he was right, Ted Heath, the then Prime Minister told us it was a ‘trading’ Union.

    John Major signed away our sovereignty with the Maastricht treaty; this was the quid pro quo for the support of the Conservative ‘Wets’ in ousting Thatcher.

    Cameron was elected on a promise of a Referendum; he then reneged,

    Britain has one last hope; to leave the EU before it is too late. Once it has left the EU it can deal with its immigrant problems effectively.

    • Do you still consider yourself British?

      Honest question.

      Farage hit it for six as far as I am concerned on Ukraine.

      • I was born in Britain, Educated in Britain, serrved as an officer in the Royal Navy; I fled Britain for the safety of my family…..

        I still write for LibertyGB about British Culture

        You can take the Lad out of Britain, but you can’t take the Britain out of the lad.

        • Things are REALLY bad in Britain if you left there for Sderot. Yikes! and good luck to you and your family. I’d chose some place a little tamer, maybe Haifa over Sderot – but to each his own.

          • I am English. I left the UK for a village in Northern Thailand. I will not be back.

  2. Farage has my support.

    His clash with Clegg confirms his authenticity. He’s spot on with Russia and Ukraine. The EU is a bloody man.

  3. Ths is the video of the much-anticipated LBC (London local chat radio station) debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage which took place on 26th March: There will be another duel, this time organized by the BBC. The hour-long debate will be shown on BBC2 from 7pm on Wednesday, 2 April, and will be hosted by David Dimbleby.

  4. The confused thin line of “popular” and “populist”, with the barrage of propaganda it is sometimes hard to call what is true political opinion in the UK. A popular opinion spouted by a populist politician may not be the right way to informed political opinion or in the national interest.

    No fan of popular referendums they are a sign of the catastrophic structural collapse of a political system, politicians should do what they are supposed to do, have the courage of their convictions and face the applause or wrath of their constituents.

    Why have an EU referendum when the general election is more immediate, membership of the EU will in any case probably dominate the next election why not have the will of the people tested at that moment.

    Are our politicians so incompetent and out of touch that they can not measure the political will of the people and act accordingly or are they all politicians of sloth.

    As for the Scots referendum that should be put to the courage and conviction of the Scottish Parliament should independence be carried then a declaration of independence should follow.

    Referendums are politically immature and in an instant can subvert the political will.

    • UKIP is the first UK political party with a clear negative stance on the EU; The Conservative party has always obfuscated, hence the ‘Referendum’ strategy to try and keep the conservative (small government) element in the fold.

      It is now obvious that the conservative element are fleeing to UKIP and the Conservative boat is sinking because it has abandoned its principles at the altar of Blairite (socialist) populism – the party has essentially ‘caught a crab’ because there are two cox each steering in a different direction.

      Both Cameron and Clegg sacrificed integrity for ‘power’ and got neither.

      Now we will see what they are made of….

  5. in the meantime;

    muslims that have infiltrated the UK continue its overthrow,
    Austrian becomes muslim majority and buy pro-muslim texts,
    Indigenous Swedes rally for ‘the poor immigrants.

    Why does western society even tolerate muslims? It is like letting a stranger into your house that is the brother of the guy who moved in next door and killed everybody there.

  6. I watched the LBC debate on Sky, and I knew that ordinary people would see through Clegg. He just came across as a smarmy professional politician throughout the whole thing.
    What people like him and the rest of the political and media elite don’t seem to realise is, that just because they keep telling everyone that immigration is wonderful and if we were outside the EU we’d be like Upper Volta five minutes later. It doesn’t mean that people will believe you. A lot more people see the reality now, and they don’t like it.
    Most people in the UK are now seeing the effects of mass EU and non-EU migration in their everyday lives and of their families. In the areas they live in, work in or drive through; at the hospital or surgery, in schools, in supermarkets, council offices and when they wait for prescriptions at the chemist etc.
    The visible effects on our society of this immigration are getting stronger and more visible all the time and Clegg and the rest of them can’t hide those effects with words.
    There are many people I meet and talk to, who are going to vote UKIP in May. Some of them are not political and some don’t normally vote at all, but a lot of people are fed up with how things are going in this country.

  7. If the referendum results in a majority in favour of leaving the EU, would it be legally binding, as in most countries, or could the UK government simply ignore the people’s decision?

    • I’ve no idea if it would be legally binding – but hell, go for it. Stand your ground – what is the EU going to do if you bail on them? Fight? Ha, Ha. I don’t think so. Just bail out of the EU, and become the shining city on a hill that you could be. Union with Europe was a disaster, so was socialism. Just turn your back on them and get to work. They will soon be envious, but that isn’t your problem.

      • Susan Benton,

        Actually I’m in Australia where referendums on the Constitution are legally binding on the Federal government. However, as far as I understand, the UK doesn’t have a written constitution, so my point was, could the country’s pro-EU political elites simply delay implementing a decision to exit until the people voted ‘correctly’. Governments have used similar tactics in other European nations.

        • In the old days when Bill Cash lead an anti-EU rump in the then Conservative party, some of these issues were looked at, Old backnumbers of the “European Journal” would be very useful here.

          As I remember, Referendums have about as much legal standing as a f**t in a force 10 (sorry ex-Royal Navy).

          The next problem is that there is no Exit strategy defined in any of the various treaties, so we are in the same position as 1861 USA.

          Thirdly, all the UK gold has been shipped to Frankfurt as I remember, so UK will have to default on debt repayments. This will have to be managed in such a way as to force the banksters to take the hit not the rank and file.

          It will not be easy….

          • MC,

            So, UK ‘referendums’ are more like public opinion surveys or limited plebiscites–it’s a misuse of the term.

            I’m not surprised the Swiss didn’t join the EU, they take referendums seriously.

  8. When pondering the UK’s relationship with the EU, recall that the Treaty of Lisbon defines the economic system of the EU, not as free market, but “social market economy”.

    What is social market economy you ask? It is a system where, from the bottom up, people are free to engage in any legal business they please, or work in any profession, but when a business or group of workers gets to be large enough, government demands a say in how it is run, or what conditions and wages it will support.

    Fascism is defined as when government allows private ownership of business, but where it takes the power to control business to its political ends. According to economist Ludwig von Mises, it is another form of socialism except in the later case, government also seizes ownership of the business as well.

    The UK, at least in theory, has a free market.

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