The Tories can’t see it, but a Victory for UKIP tomorrow will be a Greater Victory for Them

There are two reasons for this, the first, and most obvious is that failure to win mid-term elections convincingly is damaging for the official opposition. If people won’t vote for Labour in the relatively risk free environment of Local and European Elections and seek instead another party, then voters aren’t going to bet their future on them come the General Election.

However, the second reason is far more significant and far less obvious. In order to explain it I’m going to have to take a brief detour into Marxist theory and history. Writing in the 19th century Marx claimed that the proletarian revolution was both imminent and immanent within capitalism. Unfortunately for Marxist theory, by the 1930s the revolution seemed further away than ever in advanced capitalist societies, and where capitalism struggled national socialism, as opposed to the international socialism of Marx, had triumphed.

No Marxist could ever admit that Marx was wrong so various thinkers looked for explanations. The one who came up with apparently the most plausible was an Italian called Antonio Gramsci. He claimed that the revolution had not occurred because capitalism held a cultural hegemony over industrial societies that prevented the working class realising that their objective interests lay not with national loyalties, but with their loyalty to the international industrial working class. The way forward for Marxists was to create a cultural hegemony that would allow the workers to understand their objective interests and reject the false consciousness of national loyalties.

To do that, the left set out to dominate the developing mass media. Useful idiots in government helped them by allowing the establishment of a plethora of university degrees to promote these aims such as media studies, cultural studies and creative writing. They then spread into teaching and assisted in the creation of a left-wing anti-British, anti-capitalist history curriculum. The products of these degrees were soon in positions of influence within the media and began spreading their cancer throughout society. Now, people rightly challenge the left-wing bias of BBC News and C4 News as well as the obviously slanted Question Time audiences, but far more insidious than the obvious bias in broadcast news and journalism is the assumption of left-wing norms throughout drama and comedy entertainment programmes. When was the last time you saw a right wing comedian? Unfunny foul-mouthed scum like Dom Joly and Russell Brand dominate comedy schedules and before that it was the likes of Ben Elton and Rik Mayall.

Drama is even worse; if you watched the Crimson Field you would have thought that the vast majority of First World War British Officers were cowardly sadists and the Germans misunderstood underdogs. The programme conveniently ignored that Britain only went to war after Germany had violated Belgian neutrality and committed mass murders against civilian Belgian and French populations. (For a thorough analysis of these atrocities I can recommend German Atrocities 1914: A History of Denial by John Horne and Alan Kramer. If you also want to have the various left-wing myths about the First World War punctured then you could do much worse than read The Last Great War: British Society and the First World War by Adrian Gregory.) Gramsci’s theory was if the left managed to destroy the capitalist/nationalist cultural hegemony then capitalism and with it the allegiance the working class had to the nation state would collapse. So the left came to dominate the mass media. The mass media controls what people think and the left will go on to establish their own cultural hegemony.

Well no, the left have never controlled the print media and papers like the Mail and the Telegraph have done sterling work keeping the right-wing flag flying, that is why the Mail, in particular, is so hated by socialists of all persuasions. But that should mean when the print and broadcast media combine on a particular campaign the victim of that campaign should be blasted out of the water by the big guns of the print and broadcast media.

That was certainly my opinion but it hasn’t happened. The victim of the print and broadcast campaign media has been UKIP. They have had every allegation known to man thrown at them but depending on which poll you read they are either comfortably in the lead or neck and neck with Labour. There are two possible reasons for this, first that Gramsci was wrong about cultural hegemony and despite everything people feel a natural loyalty to their country, or “Imagined Community” as Benedict Anderson described it. The second is that, in the age of the internet, there can be no cultural hegemony. The elite makes a claim – say that Nigel Farage has a car crash interview with James O’Brien – and people who have heard the interview rush to their keyboards to refute it. This undermines any faith they may have had that the media is actually telling the truth and actually stiffens the resolve of any people who might have been tempted to waver in their intention to vote UKIP.

In short, if the idea of cultural hegemony ever did have any validity it now doesn’t. The internet and social media have killed the theory stone dead and this is VERY good news for the Conservative Party. It can and should stop appealing to the centre left vote. It should have the courage of its convictions once more. It should do a deal with UKIP prior to the next election. It should give UKIP a free run in seats like Grimsby where they have a chance of unseating Labour and in Eastleigh where they have a chance of unseating the Lib Dems. In return UKIP should agree not to oppose sitting Eurosceptic Tory MPs and not to oppose Tories in key marginals. At the very least the Conservative Party should encourage Toby Young’s vote swapping scheme.

I have no doubt if this happened the left would return to their yell of “racist” but that too has become meaningless. It is a label the left use when they want to close down a debate and the failure of the hysterical campaign to label UKIP as such has demonstrated that most people are now wise to the fact. UKIP have shown that you can bang on about Europe and immigration and win. That has to be good for both the Conservatives and the country. If UKIP win on Thursday they will have have done the Tories one hell of a favour.

The Rise of UKIP: A Case Study in Political Ineptitude

On the 7th March Rob Halfon MP made a statement saying UKIP had cleansed the Conservative Party of sinister racist elements. A YouGov poll for the Times taken around that time had the voting intentions for Europe at CON 24%, LAB 32%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 23%, GRN 5%. I thought at the time that it was both a nonsensical thing to say and, even if correct, appallingly bad political tactics to say so. I made the same point to our local Conservative MP at a Tory fund-raiser shortly afterwards.

Little did I realise that Halfon’s statement was the starting shot in a campaign by the combined forces of the British political and media elites that makes Elphinstone’s disastrous retreat from Kabul in the First Afghan War look as if it were managed by The Duke of Wellington himself. The sorry process continued with Nick Clegg’s risible challenge to Nigel Farage to televised debates. Clegg clearly never studied Political Campaigning 101 Lesson 1. Never give a weaker opponent publicity. Not only did Clegg not follow that basic rule he lost the debates, which breaks another basic rule of politics. Never ever challenge an opponent to any kind of competition unless you are 200% certain you can win. Clegg not only did not win, he was trounced. As UKIP said at the time, they were selling Nick Clegg mops, because you can wipe the floor with them. In fairness, Clegg achieved one of his aims he unquestionably secured the Euro-federalist vote. All 9% of it.

Since then things have gone from bad to far far worse. Depending on which poll you believe UKIP are now either neck and neck with Labour or leading by 10 points with the Conservatives trailing in third place. UKIP have made those gains because, instead of keeping quiet and hoping the furore over the debates would die down the MSM and the political class has accused UKIP of just about everything short of burning virgins in wicker cages, and at the rate they’re going it won’t be long before that allegation will be thrown at them too.

However, the accusations that the political and media elites are flinging hardest at UKIP are those of racism and homophobia. I have no doubt whatsoever that UKIP have racist and homophobic members. But so do the Conservatives, so do Labour and so do the Lib Dems. My dear kind old mother was notorious for saying of immigrants “send the buggers back.” She was a Labour Councillor for over 20 years and once nearly gave her (Labour) MP palpitations when, on a visit to the Commons tea room, she announced, in her less than dulcet tones, “I don’t like Pakistanis.”

Of course such ideas are wrong, but the point is we’ve all got a mam, a nan, a dad, or a grandad who hold them. Many of them spent six years of their lives fighting the most notorious racist homophobic tyranny of all. It’s hardly surprising then, that it doesn’t wash when a bunch of smart-arsed journalists and politicians in Westminster start yelling racist at people who hold views very similar to those of our nan who was bombed by racists in 1940. Moreover, they are precisely the same people who want to hand over the liberties our dad or grandad spent six years defending to a bunch of unelected commissioners and judges in Brussels. They also know that nan or grandad, whatever their views, are not going to march the owner of the local takeaway down to a newly built UKIP concentration camp.

Furthermore, despite what Labour Grandee Glyn Ford wrote about UKIP voters need for education here UKIP supporters aren’t stupid or uneducated. Incidentally, this is another Political Campaigning 101 fail. It is never a good idea to describe over 25% of the electorate as uneducated and stupid. As Patrick O’Flynn, UKIP’s communications director noted when he tweeted the link to the article. “Glyn Ford, can we play you every week?”

Voters know that if UKIP’s policies are racist so are those of all the main parties because they all seek managed migration. They know this because despite what Glyn Ford and his ilk think, they’re not daft. Voters are also well aware that the metropolitan elite use allegations of racism or homophobia to close down debates they don’t want to have. It is a truly Orwellian approach, but one that thanks to the rise of the internet is doomed to failure. In fact I find the idiocy of these tactics almost unbelievable. They accuse UKIP of being locked in a 50s utopia. That may be so, but the political and media elite seem to be locked in a pre-internet age when an Alistair Campbell could effectively control just about all media outlets.
Nevertheless, whenever I think the main parties and the MSM can’t get more stupid they invariably do. Two issues this week illustrate just how the establishment are playing into UKIP’s hands. The first came on Monday with the announcement in the Guardian that former Labour immigration minister Barbara Roche was going to lead an all party group to combat UKIP’s alleged racism. As someone who actually wants the Conservatives to do well, when I read this I had to go and lie down in darkened room. By joining together in this way the main parties are reinforcing exactly the narrative UKIP wants to promote. Anyone who has spent any time viewing tweets or comments from cyber-kippers know they want to lump all the three parties together. LibLabCon are all the same and we need a change. As a Conservative, I know that is nonsense. But by Conservatives, Liberals and Labour joining together to combat UKIP’s alleged racism they are actually promoting UKIP’s own desired narrative. Once again, something that is highlighted as ‘not a good idea’ in Political Campaigning 101.

The second issue, the straw that broke the camel’s back, and inspired this rant, was Michael Crick’s interview with the UKIP donor Demetri Marchessini on Channel 4 News on Wednesday night. Marchessini’s views are repellant but he seemed to be several sandwiches short of a picnic. I’m not an expert, but he struck me as having borderline Alzheimer’s. He certainly had some of the same conversational ticks as one of my elderly relatives, currently in a care home. Frankly, I don’t know what annoyed me more Crick exploiting what appeared to be a vulnerable 79 year old man for a story, or UKIP exploiting him for his cash.

I could go on, but in all my years watching politics I have never seen such inept political campaigning by the three main UK parties. Nigel Farage is a clever established politician, and probably no more honest or public spirited than any other, but LibLabCon, aided by the mainstream media have allowed Farage to paint himself as the reincarnation of Captain Mainwaring. A plucky Brit, standing up to the overwhelming force of establishment panzers armed with only his wits and a pitchfork. I have no doubt whatsoever that UKIP will do very well in the Euro-elections, and if it were not for the risk of losing excellent Conservative MEPs like Martin Callanan and Dan Hannan, I would be delighted to see them give the political establishment a very well deserved kick in the teeth.