David Calling

UKIP: A Timely Kick in Britain’s Backside

The two main political parties in Britain, the Conservatives and Labour, have in common the fact that they no longer represent the core vote that has given them their historic identity and raison d’être. The current David Cameron government (admittedly in coalition with Liberal Democrats, a spiteful but insistent minority), has completely alienated conservatives by paying little or no attention to the national interest, cutting defense spending to the point that is a threat to military and naval operations; failed to introduce an immigration policy that regains control of national borders; legalized gay marriage, has not resolved the looming black-outs from power shortages, and so on, giving rise to the new word, omni-shambles. The sole purpose of the Labour Party was to distribute the state’s wealth, and now that there is no wealth the voters can’t be bothered.

The journalist Auberon Waugh used to mock that the country was so badly governed that we had better hand it over to Belgian ticket inspectors. Except for a few dissenters, both political parties went along with this. Now we are discovering that the Belgian ticket inspectors superimpose another yet higher level of incompetence and self-seeking. To the British electorate, the European Union appears to be designed to do harm to Britain, to take its resources, to sever its ties with the Anglo-sphere, and to rein in its competitiveness, in short waging an underhand war.

The United Kingdom Independence Party, UKIP, steps into this bleak no-man’s-land. This party is the creation of Nigel Farage, who is a cheeky chap. UKIP stands for one thing and one thing only, and that is saying goodbye to the Belgian ticket inspectors. A few weeks ago, Douglas Carswell, a Tory Member of Parliament, defected to UKIP, resigned his seat, and was immediately re-elected. A second Tory MP, Mark Reckless, has just had the same success in his constituency. Taking votes from both main parties, UKIP cannot be categorized as right or left. Not exactly a protest either, it expresses the patriotism and sense of nationhood that the two main parties have long since suppressed. The main parties have no retort. Cameron was foolish enough to slang them off as fruitcakes. The BBC and the media pundits have so lost touch with patriotism that they write off UKIP and disparage Farage.

The two-party system works only when the parties represent genuine interests. Now that the two parties represent merely the personal ambitions of their leaders, UKIP might well be the equivalent of a timely kick in the backside.

David Pryce-Jones is a British author and commentator and a senior editor of National Review.

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More
Film & TV

Jesus Is Not the Joker

Actors love to think they can play anything, but the job of any half-decent filmmaker is to tell them when they’re not right for a part. If the Rock wants to play Kurt Cobain, try to talk him out of it. Adam Sandler as King Lear is not a great match. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. He’s playing Jesus ... Read More

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Redacted: Harm to Ongoing Matter), One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that ... Read More
White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More

Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census

Washington -- The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political and policy ... Read More