5 May 2014

There is no such thing as bad publicity…

In the run up to the MEP elections the nation has gone UKIP-mad. The UK Independence Party, or perhaps more appropriately, the Nigel Farage party, are the headlining act on social media, television, and in the papers. Be it racist comments, attacks on the Islamic faith or claiming there to be no such thing as rape in marriage UKIP have exhibited their superb capacity to cause a rampant stir.

Yet we are witnessing UKIP approval ratings rising with the party looking set to win an impressive majority in the European elections. Indeed it seems the more upset they cause, the deeper we fall into our UKIP fixation. How is the bigoted, racist and homophobic voice of British politics also the political voice most harmonious with the British public?

UKIP have engaged the nation, and not just any nation, a nation sick and tired of the monotonous squabbling of our disengaged politicians. Cameron, Miliband and the gang seem unfamiliar to the concept of providing an answer to a question. They feed us with false promises and are caught up in the blame-game. Farage looks like the most level-headed of the lot. When a UKIP member steps out of line, Farage condemns them. If we contrast this to Cameron’s dillydallying last month UKIP’s transparency is simply mind-boggling.

So Farage claims to offer an alternative. And although his expenses claims tell us otherwise, we buy it. Having never had any power Farage has a get out of jail free card when it comes to the blame-game. He has never broken his word. So, setting his mistresses and tax returns to one side, we have no reason to doubt his sincerity. We know that UKIP’s stance on Europe is anti-establishment. As for the rest of UKIP policy, well, what policy?

For many, the European elections do not matter. Farage has made things interesting. If we can thank him for anything, it is making the uninterested interested and the assured, well, slightly less assured. Essentially, the European elections give the public an opportunity to vote against the alien species that is today’s politician on a stage that many deem pointless.

But whilst we know what we are not voting for (Cameron, Miliband and their merry men), what are we voting for? A party that attracts racists, homophobes and sexists. A party who show up to the European Parliament once in a blue moon, only to vote against any progress or discussion. A party who’s leader boasts of his £2 million expenses claims.

My guess is this is not the revolution Russell Brand envisaged in his infamous encounter with Paxman. Maybe in this instance we’d be better to stick with the Sex Pistols or Banksy.

Credit goes to Farage for his opportunist mind-set. UKIP will be successful in a few weeks time. And as for the future of the Faragists, we’ll stay tuned. One thing is for certain, whether we rejoice in UKIP approval or UKIP make our blood curdle, we are hooked.

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