Sluts, Gay Weather And Fruitcake: The Rise Of UKIP In Photos
DAVID Cameron (Tory) once dismissed UKIP as a bunch of “fruitcakes and loonies”. Does depicting your opponents as mad help? Well, ideally it means you don’t have to engage them in debate. But that billing of being mentally ill did UKIP no harm in positioning the UK Independence Party (launched 1993) as being something other than the modern Conservative Party.
UKIP could advertise their credentials as outsiders and free thinkers who had been noticed by the mainstream.
But does free thinking have its limits? Yes. The party has been a gift of gaffes. UKIP councillor David Silvester said the torrential rains of winter 2013-2014 were a sign of God’s anger at gay marriage; MEP Godfrey Bloom called recipients of British aide “bongo-bongo land” and (jokingly) called female UKIP members “sluts”.
UKIP are good for headlines. The urbanites love to spot them and hold them as the epitome of parochial backwardness. But is the Party a simple act of rebellion that will die on the vine? It’s pretty clear they’ve gotten under the skin of the mainstream. But now what?
In “what we stand for”, UKIP tells voters:
These are anxious and troubled times. As crisis has followed crisis, our politicians are doing nothing in the face of the dangers rearing up all around us…
Violent crime erupts in our cities. Jobs are lost and our vital NHS and state school places are straining under a tide of immigration. Another tide of migration comes from the EU as controls on Bulgaria and Romania expire. Yet the political class tells us the EU is good for the UK. A gulf has opened between the ruling elite and the public. Each of the establishment main parties are now so similar they offer voters no real choice. Only outside the EU can we start to solve the problems our country faces.
(In this gallery captions are below the photos. You might need to scroll down a little.)