The coverage of UKIP’s performance last Thursday was more than a touch hyperbolic. It would appear we are in the presence of the second coming according to some slavering commentators.
First some facts.
The turnout for the council elections was 36%. In other words just over a third of the electorate were arsed enough to walk down to their nearest polling station and make their mark.
Of that 36% UKIP polled 25% in their best areas and less than 7% in their weakest. A quarter of 36% is 9%. Barely one in ten voted for them in areas where they did well and barely one in thirty in some other regions - particularly London.
The overwhelming statistic are the 64% who did not vote. This is a number that is increasing with occasional surges such as the fiasco of the Police Commissioner vote where the turnout struggled to reach 15% and of those who did bother 3% spoilt their ballots. Just how legitimate are elections when the turnout gets so low?
The European election turnout was down to 42% last time. It will be interesting to see what the turnout figures are for the current election.
The vast majority who did not vote should be the focus of attention, not a rightwing chanced pretending to be something other than what he is - an ex-financier from a public school who holds some very right wing views. He does have the gift of talking ‘normal’ unlike so many of the political class who talk a strange mixture of robotic ‘on message’ guff mingled with killer phrases such as ‘hardworking families’ which are so overused they become targets for justifiable scorn. The airwaves have been full of them ‘getting their message across’ and ‘learning lessons.’
So why are people not voting?
The young are a serious concern. There is some truth in the statement that should a voter vote as soon as they are entitled to, they will continue to vote on a fairly regular basis. The opposite applies too. Should they ignore the opportunity at the first occasion, it is likely they will not bother in the future too. Hence the political parties concentration on the elderly - who as a generation, are used to voting.
There is also a massive disconnect between the citizens of our country (and in many other other western societies too) and our rulers. The political class serve themselves, the wealthy, whether oligarch or corporate, and the powerful. All three main political parties in the UK sing from a similar hymn sheet. NewLabour were ‘relaxed’ about the very wealthy. The Tories and LibDems positively fawn on them. Anyone wishing to contradict this observation should bear in mind the following:
At a time when austerity is the watchword, shooting estates across the country had their subsidies increased from £30 a hectare to £56 a hectare. The 1% of the 1% who are among the wealthiest in the world had their income almost doubled. The news of this obscene hike in subsidy (call it ‘benefits’ and see how that feels) was slipped out very quietly. We did not read this in the Daily Wail, home of frequent vitriolic attacks on scroungers and benefits cheats.
It could not have anything to do with the fact that Daily Wail Editor Paul Dacre owns a shooting estate could it?
And where were the howls of outrage from Labour? All we heard was a deafening silence.
Voting UKIP is one way of giving these self-serving bastards a good kicking. There must be better and more effective ways of reforming our rotten system than electing rightwing fanatics with their blame the foreigner policies.