Scottish Green Party MSP said on his Facebook page that he was boycotting the big Europe Debate covered live on SKY News and BBC News Channel. Can’t remember if he said he was washing his hair, but he definitely wasn’t watching the Farage Clegg gubbins.
Now, I don’t blame Patrick Harvie for taking a day off: https://www.facebook.com/patrickharvie/posts/10152345171508638?stream_ref=1. If any politician of the left deserves a break, it’s him. That said, progressives cannot afford to bury our heads in the sand. Anyone who considers themselves part of the left has got to get up to speed with exactly what happened last night, and the previous debate. It is genuinely important. The attempt by Ed Miliband’s team (headed last night by Emily Thornberry) to downplay the importance of these debates fools no one.
Nigel Farage, as I predicted, had no problem tapping into the alienation of Britain’s electorate, entirely justified alienation. Nick Clegg, as I predicted, proved an absolute gift to the UKIP leader. Our Depute Prime Minister is after all the very personification of everything that is rotten in the state of Britain. Cleggy is the proverbial cherry on the top of the compost heap that Broken Britain, or Alarm Clock Britain as Cleggy prefers to call it.
Even when he managed to say the right thing (which he didn’t do very often), the fact that what he said was wrapped up inside a Liberal Democratic blanket means no one believes a word he says, including – according to the polls – thirty percent of his own Lib Dem voters, or to be more precise what is left of his voters.
Nick Clegg is toxic. He chose to crawl into bed with UKIP’s Nigel Farage to secure for himself the oxygen of publicity, in the mistaken hope that all publicity is good publicity. How desperate can you get? It didn’t pay off for him. No one who has their finger on the pulse of the British voter today could have expected anything different.
For the Liberal Democrats, progressives are the big loser in this debate. They are cool with that. We matter nothing to these bastards. We are deemed expendable collateral damage in a disasterous Nick Clegg damage limitation exercise, one that blew him out of the water spectacularly. Lib Dem President Tim Farron can insist all he likes that Nick Clegg losing by no less than 40% in a two horse race constitutes an heroic victory. No one listens to Farron any more than we do his boss.
Actually, that’s not quite true. On Politics Sunday last week, the Financial Times’s Janan Ganesh dismissed the twenty percent lead of Nigel Farage in last week’s debate. He said the political pundits were correct. The plebs are nothing more than viewers. We’re just voters. Who gives a fuck about us? So long as the self-satisfied political elite call it for Nick Clegg, that’s all that matters. Now that Farage has successfully doubled his lead over Clegg to 40%, will Janan continue with his kamikaze political strategy?
The contempt of these anti-socialist commentators merely drive more and more voters ever further out of their orbit and into that of the none-of-the-above group. This invisible dark matter planetoid will exert a powerful gravitational influence. Voters are destined to seize upon UKIP as the most visible receptacle for the protest vote. That is an inevitable consequence of the broadcast media wiping the rest of us off the political radar.
Rupert Murdoch’s SKY News and Chris Patten’s BBC point blank refuse to allow genuinely progressive alternatives to Tory cuts, to NATO, to the Royal Family, to anti-union bosses. The handful of exceptions to this rule (Owen Jones token appearances) are nothing more than a fig leaf camouflaging naked capitalist butchery.
So, exactly how much of a problem is the rise of UKIP for the radical left?
UKIP is a double-edged sword for Britain’s Tory Establishment. These ultra-Thatcherite xenophobes had been promoted for years. They were used as a bargaining chip to spice up their debates. This helped Andrew Neil and co to shift the center of political gravity ever rightwards. However, as the general election creeps up upon them, UKIP are now recognized as posing a genuine threat. We are after all dealing with that most reactionary electoral system: first-past-the-post.
Nigel Farage has it within his power to split the right-wing vote. BBC and SKY News have woken up to the fact that they have created a Frankenstein Monster, one that threatens them as much as it does the good guys.
Nigel Farage’s UKIP is a double edged sword for the enemies of progressives. In other words, there is a silver lining to these rampaging clowns.
Not only does it seem inevitable now that Nigel Farage is going to hamper the prospects of a majority Tory government; additionally, on a handful of issues, Nigel Farage has adopted a set of maverick positions that cannot but damage Britain’s Tory Establishment.
Libertarians on both sides of the Atlantic tend to want to curtail wasteful expenditure on wars. They know there is a massive constituency for those who defy the reactionary consensus within Britain’s broadcast and print media, as well as all the main political parties. Certainly, all parties whose leaders are posed as voters only alternative for Prime Minister, the only leaders whose potential to form a government matters.
So, Nigel Farage knows he can pile on the votes by exposing the lies of NATO when it comes to Ukraine. Is that a bad thing from the point of the view of the left? No, it most certainly is not.