Brian Taylor of BBC Scotland said last night he picked up at Holyrood that the other unionist parties were pleased that UKIP had won the former Lib Dem seat in Scotland and stopped the SNP getting a third. That was the most revealing moment of last night for me – it showed the vicious irresponsibility of the Better Together campaign, and exposed the lie that UKIP are outsiders.
The other moment worth watching was Alex Salmond confronting Dimbleby that the BBC had given UKIP four times as much coverage time in Scotland during the campaign as the SNP. Dimbleby tamely responded that his complaint should be directed to BBC Scotland. The BBC’s promotion of UKIP again explodes the myth of UKIP as outsiders.
The Unionist camp’s pathetic attempt to claim that UKIP’s 10% and fourth place in Scotland, squeaking one seat, shows Scotland is the same politically as England where UKIP got 29% and came first, is desperate politics. That in order to make that point they were happy for a racist party to marginally represent Scotland in Europe, is a sign of the total moral bankruptcy of the Better Together neo-con British Nationalist programme.
New Labour are completely screwed. To only beat the Tories by 1%, when there is a huge UKIP voteof which a significant slice will go back to the Tories, shows there is no chance whatsoever that New Labour will win the UK general election.
The people of Scotland have a very simple choice in September. Independence, or another Tory government which will probably pull the UK out of the EU, and might very well be in coalition with UKIP.
New Labour won almost nowhere except London. It is the party of London., with a leader who has never in his life lived outside London. But it is a fascinating fact that of all the class, educational, geographical and other statistics you can correlate with New Labour success, the factor with the strongest correlation of all with the New Labour share of the vote is the prevalence of postal voting. New Labour can win only where the system is open widest to abuse through massive scale electoral fraud.
Some of this is straight fraud – postal ballots being given to ghost voters, non-existent people on the register. That is very much more prevalent than you probably imagine. But mostly it operates through the deprivation of the privacy of the polling booth. In a polling station nobody is supposed to be allowed to look over your shoulder (although there were disgraceful scenes in places in Tower Hamlets, Wood Green and Newham). But if you receive your ballot paper in your home, you are extremely vulnerable if you live in a situation where others are able to enter your home and demand to check that you have voted the right way before you post your ballot. That is beyond doubt the situation both of many family members, particularly affecting women, and of certain highly hierarchical and patriarchal communities. Postal ballot distortion is an absolutely disgraceful blot on British political culture. It is also fundamental to New Labour’s ability to salvage something from a disastrous electoral performance.
There is indeed a very nasty undercurrent of racism in England at the moment. I live in one of UKIP’s strongest areas and this racism cannot be wished away. In fact I do not believe that Farage is personally racist, and I believe he is genuine not tactical in his abhorrence of the French National Front. But I do believe Farage has pandered to and encouraged people who are racists, and that there are a great many racists within UKIP. These people must not be allowed to become a ‘respectable’ part of politics and must be confronted wherever they appear.
I have argued for years that the UK is not a democracy in that no real choice is offered between the main political parties. Their policies are all the same. If the range of possible policies on any one issue were enumerated from 1 to 100, New Labour, Lib Dem and Tories offer you choices in the range 81 to 86. The electorate has noticed, and people are sick of it. People have noticed all over Europe too. The politics of neo-con consensus and its lackey media is happily dead. This is a change that will not stop. Once we imprison enough neo-cons who ripped off the public and the taxpayer, perhaps they might concede that it turns out history had not ended after all.
It is true that UKIP’s support does represent an upsurge of dissatisfaction with the political elite, and that also is part of an unarticulated rage at the astonishing growth of inequality of wealth in society and the vast shift of resources to the billionaire middlemen in the financial sector who do extremely little for it. It is good that rage is building, and Syriza show in Greece that it can be constructively channelled. But it is much more often and with much more success diverted in order to awake volcanoes of atavism, and rage that should be directed at plutocrats is instead turned on foreigners. The danger is letting that analysis divert you from the fact of how very, very real and very, very nasty that atavism is in the dispossessed classes. We are in a dangerous place. The neo-con establishment is fanning racist flames.
At school, we were taught about the years of revolution in Europe of 1830-32 and 1848-9. Those revolutionary years coincided with Asian Cholera pandemics, which undoubtedly played a part in driving people beyond endurance. You can of course argue that poverty and famine assisted the spread of the pandemics.
This current year of European change has also been sparked by economic distress, and seen an increase in poverty marker diseases, some of which we had hoped had effectively vanished. But plague has been a cause. Europe has suffered the most devastating plague of bankers in history.
The disillusioned should not blame immigrants. Immigrants are victims too. Turn your wrath on the bankers, the billionaires and the neo-con parties who do their bidding. Another world is possible.
Let’s start by ending the UK and setting Scotland free. It is not illegitimate to judge an idea in part by the quality and motives of those who oppose it. The full range of the neo-con establishment prefer racist isolation for a neo-con UK to a free Scotland. Just look at them. Then kick them where it really hurts.