The danger of sounding Conservative
“When we believe something – we don’t go ‘are you thinking what we’re thinking’. We say it out loud.”
I like this line from Nigel Farage’s UKIP conference address. My Spectator colleague Fraser Nelson thinks the speech was a bit of a let down – which was maybe inevitable given that Farage has had to clip his own wings recently in order to pay more attention to party organisation and party discipline. But for me there was more than enough red meat in it to convince me that UKIP is staying truer to its brand than any of the three other mainstream parties are to theirs.
That paragraph about the Romanian crime wave, for example. You’d never hear Cameron, or Clegg or Miliband getting as near-the-knuckle as this, would you?
London is already experiencing a Romanian crime wave. There have been an astounding 27,500 arrests in the Metropolitan Police area in the last five years. 92 per cent of ATM crime is committed by Romanians. This gets to the heart of the immigration policy that UKIP wants, we should not welcome foreign criminal gangs and we must deport those who have committed offences.
“No,” the usual troll suspects will no doubt say. “But you’d hear it from Nick Griffin….”
And there’s your problem, in a nutshell. Since at least the beginning of the Blair era and probably well before, the left has very successfully managed to close down any argument of which it disapproves by crying “racist”, “elitist”, “homophobe”, “NIMBY”, “Little Englander”, “fascist”, or whatever. This has created within the Westminster bubble a culture of caution bordering on cowardice. Before a politician speaks he almost never asks himself: “Is this true?” Rather, he asks himself: “Will this get me into trouble with the BBC?” Which is why, of course, we get politicians like Rachel “Boring” Reeves.
As Fraser Nelson noted in this astute analysis, things have got so bad that even a Conservative prime minister currently doing well in the polls and with a fair economic wind behind him dare not say anything too conservative-sounding except in near-secret, among High Tories, at occasions like the Carlton Club dinner.
Farage, to his credit, isn’t having this. He recognises, for example, that the Westminster elite’s position on immigration – which boils down, basically, to “racism is bad m’kay?” – doesn’t actually reflect how most real people think.
Most real people these days are relaxed about issues like race, religion and ethnicity, but excedingly unrelaxed about issues like thieving gangs or expensive translation services for immigrants who won’t learn the language or having parts of their city turned into no-go areas by Islamist thugs. Does this make them racists or natural BNP voters? Nope. It just makes them entirely normal.
- Don’t expect the BBC to tell you, but Ukip is on the march
- ‘Politicians SHOULD be afraid of the people!’ says dangerous US radical politician
- In praise of patrons – particularly mine
- ‘Everything dead by tomorrow!’ warns Zoological Society of London