The Case for UKIP
I have annoyed the UKIP partisans with my flippant comments in today’s Independent on Sunday. I may have called Nigel Farage a “separatist” and called his party “reactionary”.
I should clarify. I think Farage is a populist like Alex Salmond and George Galloway, offering sky pie and separation from reality. But I did not mean to sound so dismissive when I described the impulse behind the party as reactionary. Most of us would like to turn the clock back on some things (the latest versions of Twitter, for example, which take up more space per tweet on mobiles and won’t let you switch pictures off on desktop).
I do not agree with UKIP on gay marriage or grammar schools, although I understand the reasons why people think that grammar schools were good and why they are thought, mistakenly, to promote social mobility.
And, as I have argued before, I think the question of whether the UK should or should not continue as a member of the European Union is a finely balanced one. The present configuration of parties does not represent the debate well: a Definitely In Party (the Lib Dems), an In, Whatevs, Party (Labour), a Renegotiate And Stay In Party (Conservatives) and a Definitely Out Party.
On Europe, UKIP performs a valuable democratic service.
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