Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The ever-resistable allure of a Farage à trois

The UK Independence Party confuse me, and I strongly suspect they confuse themselves.  According to the BBC report of their campaign launch, they want to scrap direct elections to Holyrood and instead have a Scottish Parliament comprised of double-jobbing Westminster MPs - all in the name of greater "democracy".  This would imply a very traditionalist Tory view of British democracy, and yet UKIP are supposedly strongly in favour of proportional representation.  Indeed, they are backing a Yes vote in the AV referendum, in line with the vast majority of PR supporters in the mainstream parties.  Why on earth, then, do they want to scrap PR for the Scottish Parliament and replace it with an in-built, overwhelming, near-permanent Labour majority?

It's plainly a double-edged sword that Nigel Farage spearheaded the launch - on the one hand he is the party's only remotely recognisable figure, but on the other hand it simply emphasises that they are basically an English party going through the motions of fighting a Scottish campaign.  One very silly blunder is Farage's repeated and patronising use of the word "our" in relation to Scottish institutions, which brings to mind Mrs Thatcher's infamous gaffes of the "we in Scotland" variety.  It's testament to the extent to which the Tory party of those days simply didn't 'get' Scotland that by all accounts she was explicitly advised to adopt such a condescending tone.  Apparently at one point it was even suggested she should put on a Scottish accent when venturing north - a comedy spectacle of truly epic proportions that in the end we were cruelly denied from witnessing.


  1. I'd have to disagree with you about Farage being the only recognisable UKIP person. There's this other bloke whose name escapes me for the moment, but who is instantly recognisable, indeed one might say he stands out... When I say recognisable, I admit that he is occasionaly mistaken for a Belisha Beacon... but otherwise....

    More seriously, they are a bit of a joke (if that's not some sort of mixed oxymoron) with their daft non policies. Do they really know where Scotland is, and indeed what it is? Could they explain why they think it would be a good idea to have people sit in Edinburgh for a part of the time and then move, lock, stock and barrel to London? Now where have I heard of that kind of nonsense before?

    Oh yes...