The Establishment’s Attacks on UKIP Are Doomed to Backfire

By “the Establishment” I don’t, of course, mean the toffee-nosed, elitist right-wing conspiracy which exists largely in the perfervid imaginations of Russell Brand and Owen Jones.

I mean the new progressive Establishment which has dominated the cultural and political argument since at least the Blair era: the quangos, the seats of academe, the politically correct corporatists, the Eurocrats, the congenitally bien-pensant luvvies, the liberal media from the Guardian to the BBC, the charities, the identikit politicos in the Westminster bubble. They want to destroy UKIP not out of high principle but simply because it represents such a threat to the communitarian status quo. Here are some examples.

The Electoral Commission

In Standpoint Nigel Vinson tells the full, shocking story of how the Electoral Commission deprived UKIP of two MEP seats in the European elections in May – essentially by rigging the ballot paper.

A hitherto unknown party calling itself An Independence From Europe was allowed by the Electoral Commission onto the top of the ballot paper – and went on to claim nearly a quarter of a million votes from confused people who had almost certainly meant to vote UKIP.

The seats went to Green MEPs instead. At the time UKIP didn’t make a big deal of this, presumably because it didn’t want to sound petulant at a moment when it needed to sound exultant. But what happened here was the most extraordinary miscarriage of justice, perpetrated by a supposedly neutral, independent regulatory body which is clearly riddled with bias and is unfit for purpose.

Stand-up comics (aka The Wankocracy)

In the old days, on the Eighties alternative comedy circuit, all someone like Ben Elton would have to do was mention the words “Margaret Thatcher” – or even just “Thatch!” – for their audience to dissolve in smug, consensual, righteously scornful laughter.

Now this role as the butt of every second-rate lefty comic’s crap jokes has been taken over by UKIP. “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally it means they have not a single political argument left,” Baroness Thatcher once said. As her most plausible current heir, Nigel Farage should find this heartening.

The European Parliament

Last week in Strasbourg, the European parliament’s arch-federalist political establishment rigged the rules and gamed the system in a dirty tricks measure which could almost have destroyed UKIP. Christopher Booker tells the story here:

Ever since Ukip last May won 24 seats, the Parliament’s Euro-elite – led by its German president Martin Schulz, the arch-federalist once famously compared by Silvio Berlusconi to a Nazi concentration camp commandant – has been longing to cut Mr Farage down to size. Last week Mr Schulz thought his moment had come. When an obscure Latvian MEP was persuaded to defect from Farage’s group, it meant that it no longer included representatives of seven countries, the minimum qualification to be recognised as an official parliamentary group.

Mr Schulz triumphantly announced that the group was thus disbanded, which would have been for Mr Farage and his colleagues an utter disaster.

Under new rules introduced by Mr Schulz, not only would they instantly have to vacate their plush offices, losing the services of some 40 administrative staff and £13 million in cash and kind, Mr Farage would also have to retire to the back benches, no longer able to make those speeches at the front of the Parliament that have earned him millions of hits on YouTube, such as that in which he told Herman Van Rompuy that he had “the charisma of a damp rag”.

Scarcely had Mr Schulz exulted at his triumph over the hated Eurosceptics, however, than the group recruited a Polish MEP to make up the numbers again. Despite attempts to discredit this man as a “Holocaust denier”, because his party leader back in Poland once questioned whether Hitler knew about Auschwitz (Farage’s new colleague merely described Hitler as “an evil man”), Mr Schulz soon found himself having to call Farage back to the rostrum as if nothing had happened.

What’s almost as interesting as Schulz’s plot – and how close it came to succeeding – has been the way the story has been reported across the media. Had these dirty tricks been applied to any other mainstream party, the stink would have been enormous.

Instead, even in supposedly conservative newspapers, reports focused not on the monstrousness of Schulz’s wicked, blatantly anti-democratic scheming but on the essentially trivial views of some Polish nobody from a party with whom it was perfectly clear Farage had got into bed out of pure pragmatism rather than deep ideological kinship.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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What did our grandchildren do to deserve the Prince of Wales?

Toward a worse world.

"One day, son, all this will be wind farms and solar panels!"

“One day, son, all this will be wind farms and solar panels!”

Today, in that bastion of liberty and open markets the European Parliament, the Prince of Wales argued fervently for the inalienable right of our children and grandchildren to enjoy a worse standard of living than their parents.

Not, of course, that he put it quite so explicitly:

“There is, surely, no way round the fact that we have to move away from our conventional economic model of growth, based, as it is, on the production and consumption of high-carbon intensity goods.

“We need to meet the challenge of decoupling economic growth from increased consumption in such a way that both the well-being of Nature’s ecology and our own economic needs do not suffer.”

But which ever way you gloss it, the opposite of the “economic growth” is economic stagnation. That means a shrinking economy. That means – especially when you take into account population growth – a decreased GDP per capita. That means less disposable income, fewer creature comforts, fewer amenities, poorer healthcare, less travel and less leisure time for everyone. (Well, those whose kids aren’t heirs to the Duchy Originals fortune and who don’t own half of Cornwall, say) And apparently – so our future king thinks – we should accept all of this with joyful hearts because it’s for our own good.

Hard to believe that this is the son of a man who during the 1970s wrote learned papers on free market economics and is a patron of the classical liberal Mont Pelerin Society (founded by FA Hayek). Small wonder that the Prince Of Wales and his rather brighter father Prince Philip do not often see eye to eye.

It would be nice to dismiss all this – as Dan Hannan has done much more politely than I ever would – as the Neo-Malthusian drivel of a certified eco loon. The real worry, though, is not that the future King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland thinks this way, but that so too does our both our current administration and its Opposition.

Today in Westminster, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne has been hosting an inquiry into perhaps the most exciting energy revolution in our lifetime. Shale gas will not only provide the world with cheap energy for many years to come but also free us from the shackles of our reliance on energy from such unstable places as Russia and the Middle East.

You might have thought this would be good news all round. And so it is. Shale gas is little short of miraculous: cheap, abundant, and available right on our doorstep. It is, as this article puts it, a global game changer. (H/T Global Warming Policy Foundation)

The distribution of shale gas is so widespread that locally produced shale gas may become the standard fuel in many places. Traditional gas imports (by pipeline or as LNG) may become incremental sources.

The potential of shale gas implies a loss of political leverage for some sellers. For example, Russia has used threats of interruptions – and actual interruptions – like old-time gunboats, notably with Ukraine, but with other European countries too.

I recently attended a conference on shale gas in Poland on behalf of Mayer, Brown. The Poles share with other Europeans concerns about fracking, water recycling, and environmental issues. They have no tradition of American-style entrepreneurship. What they do have is reliance on Russia’s Gazprom in a power-constrained economy. They want to accelerate the development of their shale gas reserves. This story is repeated many places.

So whose advice is our Government is seeking on our energy future?

Well here, as Bishop Hill has noted, is a meeting which took place this morning in the House of Commons:

9 Energy and Climate Change

10.00 am Room 19 (private) 10.15 am (public)

Subject: Electricity Market Reform.

Witnesses: Riverstone, Citigroup Global Markets, Virgin Green Fund, and Climate Change Capital; RSPB, Greenpeace, WWF, and Friends of the Earth (at 11.15 am).

Hello. Excuse me. What on earth do environmental activist lobby groups have to do with Britain’s energy policy?

And here, as Bishop Hill has also noted, are some of the expert from this morning’s shale gas inquiry.

Who will give evidence?

At 9.45 am

  • Nigel Smith, Geologist, British Geological Survey, and
  • Professor Richard Selley, Petroleum Geologist, Imperial College London

At 10.45 am

  • Jenny Banks, Energy and Climate Change Policy Officer, WWF, and
  • Professor Kevin Anderson, Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester

Yep. A geologist and a petroleum geologist. Fair enough. But Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre – the deep green activist group which recently called for a “managed recession” in order to curb the economic growth which is supposedly harming our environment? And a woman from the World Worldlife Fund?

Huhne’s is the same department, let it not be forgotten, which has now committed British energy users to paying an annual £360 million every year (to be added on to their electricity bills) in order to subsidise the feed-in tariffs for the country’s entirely pointless solar energy programme.

Britain is in trouble. Big trouble. Its energy policy is a disaster and it seems no one in any position of power has the courage or knowledge to speak up and explain why it’s a disaster. So while Prince Charles may hold forth in his airy, ill-informed, irresponsible way about climate “sceptics”

I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they failed their future.

the poor deluded fellow is talking out of his hat. It’s people like him, David Cameron and Chris Huhne who pose the real threat to our grandchildren’s future. Not all those decent, principled sceptics who are merely trying to observe above the shrill screeching of the mob that the climate emperor is wearing no clothes.

Related posts:

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