UKIP seem to be losing control of themselves at the moment. Their share of the vote is down at 12%. A recent Yougov survey has pointed to the uncomfortable fact that most people now see UKIP as an anomaly which will soon fade, rather than an electoral force which has potential to grow. If you’re Nigel Farage this is bad news. Not only are you in a tight race to win a seat, but your party which has always been incapable of being a professional outfit seems to be falling apart at the seams. Now voters think you’re not only a one trick pony as Lord Ashcroft’s polling points out, but that you’re not destined to be a mainstay in British Politics. The first nail is in the coffin.
'Meet the Ukippers' was the documentary Channel 4 should have done. Instead of an overzealous drama which had no real content (UKIP: The First 100 Days), they should have gone for a documentary on the real supporters of UKIP. Channel 4 decided to make a shambles in which the border agency act like Rambo, UKIP destroys the rule of law, and far-right protesters wave an Israeli flag in a bizarre attempt to show the future. In reality it showed more about Channel 4’s news coverage; being less respectable every day as bias creeps in. Even the Huffington Post mocked the drama, which is a difficult feat when you’re trying to knock down UKIP a peg or two.
The BBC decided to go to the grassroots of UKIP and see what they thought and how they thought. The results were rather shocking. The grass roots did not come across well, rather as odd people with odd views. One councillor decided to take us back to the 19th century, her views wouldn’t have looked out of place in the most racist societies on the planet. What concerned me more than even the overt racist remarks were the PR staff. They were strenuously reminding people to keep quiet when they had views and language which would offend; if you’re not a racist you don’t have to worry about saying racist things. There is now such a mounting of incidents that questions need to be asked of the party’s support. The BBC unlike Channel 4 didn’t think it was axiomatic that people wouldn’t vote UKIP they treated them as any other political party and this will be UKIP’s downfall.
In the past I have defended UKIP as a non-racist party. I have always argued that UKIP are not the BNP, and this can be seen by the fact they have kicked people out for abhorrent views. The top brass aren’t racist, and they have clear admission policies in place which even the major parties don’t have. However while the top brass may not be racist, it is becoming increasingly clear that the rhetoric used by UKIP attracts people who do discriminate. The rhetoric has no let-up, so much so that even today Nigel was talking about immigrants and the NHS.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that Nigel is facing an uphill battle. Not only is this with the electorate who are now increasingly sceptical, but also a battle within his party. The clearing of the weeds is not over but how many more can there possibly be? Nigel may well be thinking of the final verse of Tennyson’s Ulysses (“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”) as encouragement. He’ll certainly need plenty of those qualities if he is to succeed and pull UKIP along with him.