[Earlier, by Sean Gabb: Nigel Farage and UKIP: A Step in the Right Direction and British Local Elections: Immigration Patriot UKIP Party Breaking Through?]
Even the BBC is admitting that the result is “an earthquake”: [Eurosceptic 'earthquake' rocks EU elections, May 28, 2014] No one is now able, without lying, to claim there is any consensus in Europe for “ever-closer union”—the mantra of the European Union functionaries and their political puppets—or for continued mass immigration.
Background: The European Union has 28 member states and four central institutions: the Commission, the permanent bureaucracy; the Council of Ministers, a variable committee of elected officials from each member state; the Court of Justice, which rules on the meaning of the European treaties; and the Parliament of 766 members elected directly every five years. The Parliament has the least effective power. Its members are notorious for their idleness and pliability. If it were shut down, the EU would continue much as before. Shut down any of the other institutions—not that these are any more honest or competent—and the EU would stop functioning.
But it is undeniably devastating that the Europe-wide result of this election is a big increase in numbers for parties which are hostile to “ever closer union,” and even to the existence of the EU in its present form or in any form at all. [Farage: UKIP has 'momentum' and is targeting more victories, BBC, May 28, 2014.]
In Holland, the Party for Freedom, led by Geert Wilders, came second. In France, the National Front, led by Marine le Pen, came first. The Danish People’s Party also came first, as did the Flemish separatist party in Belgium. In Hungary, the conservative party, Fidesz, came first, followed by Jobbik, which is described as a national socialist party. In Greece, the leftist coalition Syriza (Euro-sceptic) came first, and the much-persecuted nationalist party Golden Dawn still came a solid third. In Finland and in Austria, Euro-skeptic parties did well, as they also did in Germany.
But it is the British news that most interests me. The clear winner of the elections was the UK Independence Party, led by Nigel Farage. Here are the results so far (7 am EST) declared:
UKIP topped the poll, winning 27.5 per cent of the vote. The Conservatives, who are currently in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, came third—though this is largely because of a strong Labour performance in London, where native British are now a minority.[ Labour doubles its MEPs in London, BBC, May 28, 2014]. Significantly, the Liberal Democrats, the most pro-European of the main parties, were almost wiped out, losing all but one of their seats in the European Parliament.
UKIP must now be regarded as one of Britain’s major parties. This a huge achievement—and a useful reminder to depressed American patriots that new parties can succeed.
UKIP’s key policies: to leave the European Union, to end mass immigration, and to strip Political Correctness out of law and administration.
For at least the past generation, the British political and media classes have treated dissent on these issues with contempt—where they have not simply ignored it. For the past year, UKIP has been treated to something like full-spectrum denigration. Every untoward utterance or possibly improper action by its people has been given full and hostile coverage. The universal cry has gone up that UKIP is a party of racists, sexists and homophobes.
This cry may have had some depressing effect on the UKIP vote—though arguably it encouraged many people to vote UKIP in the hope that the charges were true. But the campaign has failed. The people have spoken, and the Ruling Class and its various client groups must now take account of what was said.
The Roman Catholic Church, for example, ought to feel some embarrassment. Its hierarchy is solidly pro-European. It also believes in Open Borders and in Amnesty for illegal immigrants. (Sound familiar?) In these elections, its advice to the faithful was not to vote UKIP. (The Church of England has long believed in a united Europe, and is generally more interested in preaching Political Correctness than the Gospels.)
The BBC, which is supposed to report the news, tried throughout the elections to influence the outcome. Jasmine Lawrence, one of its senior news executives, showed her contempt for Euro-skepticism in a Tweet, saying: “#WhyImVotingUkip – to stand up for white, middle class, middle aged men w sexist/racist views, totally under represented in politics today.”
No doubt all these people will continue thinking and speaking much as before. But they can no longer claim that they are voicing the consensus
It is good fun to look at the shocked faces of all the usual suspects. They are plainly upset, and whatever upsets them cannot all be bad. But of course UKIP has a long way to go.
It got just over a quarter of the votes in an election where only 36 per cent of the UK population. (To be sure, even fewer voted for the other parties.) It has won just 27 European Parliament seats in a total of 766. And Farage currently refuses to ally with the biggest Euro-skeptic parties, like France’s National Front, apparently out of fear of smear by association.
The 2015 general election is also a problem for UKIP. The workings of the British electoral system mean that the only choice many people have is between the party they hate and the party they fear. Consequently, minor parties have a history of doing well in minor elections, only to collapse at the general election. No one expects UKIP at best to get more than two or three Members of Parliament in 2015. (I note, however, that Simon Heffer, the biographer of Enoch Powell, suspects it may be different this time: For Essex man, the only way is Ukip, says SIMON HEFFER (who 25 years ago coined the phrase Essex Man), Daily Mail, May 23 2014).
UKIP is a party of dissent. It has not yet had to think too hard about what to do in government. What are the details of the UKIP plan to leave the European Union? Yes, it would hold a referendum (although bearing in mind the united pro-EU consensus within the ruling class, MSM and Big Business, and the divisions and poverty of the Euroskeptics, I would not risk one—and I have been a prominent Euro-skeptic for twenty years). Yes, if it did convincingly win a general election, it might be justified in skipping the referendum and going straight for repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 (as amended). But what then? What about the thousands of pages of EU law that currently apply in this country? What to do once we are out? NAFTA membership? A looser but continuing relationship with the EU? Unilateral free trade and gold money? A siege economy and competitive devaluation? Should we try to restore the Ancient Constitution? Or should we go for radical reforms that might include a republic?
Similarly, although even if no more immigrants were allowed into Britain, those already here now make up about a quarter of the population, and may become the majority within the next few generations. What does UKIP propose to do about this?
The Ruling Class has a policy: to keep the peace with the police state that it has deliberately made necessary. The radical nationalists have a policy: ethnic cleansing—though they have not, so far as I can tell, explained how this could be made to work.
UKIP is against both solutions. Beyond a few platitudes about “integration,” however, UKIP has said nothing about how a Balkanized population is to live in reasonable peace and freedom—an issue ultimately much more important than whether the UK stays in the European Union.
Talking of radical nationalists, the British National Party (also much-persecuted) got just over one per cent of the votes cast and lost both its MEPs, including its leader, Nick Griffin, elected in 2009. In Britain and America, many nationalists think well of the BNP and regard UKIP, with its Karl Rove-style pandering to minorities, as a decidedly inferior substitute. Radix’s Michael McGregor is scathing:
The formula for UKIP’s success is they actually believe the bulls**t they preach about wanting a normal liberal democracy with less immigrants living off welfare. That is not what we want and is incredibly foolish to demand that Identitarians stop promoting our own ideology and instead, advocate a non-racial political agenda that none of us actually believe in. [UKIP and the Sailer Strategy May 21, 2014]
And American Renaissance’s Brendan Rogers answers his own question Is UKIP the Answer? with a “no.”
This is understandable. Nigel Farage is a Thatcherite. He would have fitted seamlessly into Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet c.1981. The BNP’s Nick Griffin is a sort of white nationalist.
But Griffin and his colleagues’ problem (among others) is that they used to be national socialists. I am pretty tolerant of ideological shifts. I have written at length about the folly of British involvement in both World Wars. I acknowledge that the Labour Party is filled at every level with people who used to be Soviet fellow travelers—the father of its current leader was a pro-Soviet Marxist. But these people control the discourse. No one can rub their noses in the slime from the millions of corpses their idols piled up. In contrast, Griffin’s now-abandoned national socialism turned out to be insurmountable.
To borrow a concept from the Labour Party’s Marxist former friends: the question is not UKIP’s subjective failings, but its objective meaning. It, and the other Euro-skeptic parties, show that when a political Establishment systematically abuses its base, the base eventually bites back.
Nigel Farage and his party deserve the admiration and thanks of everyone who is not in love with the current order of things.
Dr. Sean Gabb [Email him] is a writer, academic, broadcaster and Director of the Libertarian Alliance in England. His monograph Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back and his novel The Churchill Memorandum and other works can be purchased through Amazon.co.uk. For his account of the Property and Freedom Society's 2008 conference in Bodrum, Turkey, click here. For his address to the 2009 PFS conference, “What is the Ruling Class?”, click here; for videos of the other presentations, click here.
Sean Gabb’s novel,The Break, comes out in e-book on the 2nd June 2014. You can read the first 20 per cent for free.