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Uniforms for taxi drivers
January 23, 2014 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Whose Policy: UKIP Or Monster Raving Loony Party? - Nigel Farage doesn't realise how terrible his own party's policies are
posted by fearfulsymmetry (18 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
UKIP is the UK Independence Party, for those wondering, since both of those links assume you know the acronym. And how does he feel about banning the import of foreign root vegetable into the United Kingdom?
posted by dortmunder at 10:07 AM on January 23


And Monster Raving Loony Party is a satirical political party, not a UK-specific merging of the annual US Monster Massive rave mega-event and German the Raving Loony Records label.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:14 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


Wait. Is UKIP actually gaining traction?

Some of the party's planks mentioned in TFA are approaching time-cube levels of craziness.

That manifesto reads like they sat down next to Grandpa Simpson, and wrote down everything that he said. There's fascism, but this isn't even coherent.
posted by schmod at 10:18 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Wait. Is UKIP actually gaining traction?

There's a good chance they will finish second in the European elections in May, ahead of the Tories
posted by dmt at 10:43 AM on January 23


Yep, UKIP gets massive coverage from the media. Most famously, Farage is by some way the most frequent guest on the "left-wing" BBC's flagship political panel program, Question Time.
posted by ambrosen at 10:48 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Interesting, and frightening. But unless they start shifting their message, they'll fade into obscurity as their voting base dies out. According to the second link, 71 percent of their demographic is older than 50, and only 15 percent is younger than 40.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on January 23


There's also the BNP Manifesto (link to BBC summary). On some issues, the BNP's policies were more coherent than UKIP's.

UKIP is a classic loony fringe/protest party: uniting malcontents, single issue hardliners and the politically ignorant under a large umbrella.

Nigel Farage is a classic loony fringe/protest party leader: charismatic, maverick, and with all the consistency and political coherence of last week's blancmange.

UKIP appeals to older voters on the lunatic right, the ones who have ceased caring what is going on and want the darkies_out_but_I'm_not_a_racist, the youth of today to buckle up, and the wets in government to run the country properly and stop taking orders from Johnny Foreigner. Which is why its manifesto has such odd things in it. These are like the pork barrel appopriations in spending bills.

UKIP will never make it into power. Which is why it could afford to publish a budget with a £120bn spending gap - roughly the size of New Zealand's GDP in 2010.

They're a funny bunch. Ha, ha. Their power doesn't come from the European seats they'll win. European seats are the home of protest voters precisely because they don't matter. Their power comes from splitting the fragile Tory vote in marginal seats as they did in the Eastleigh by-election last year, when they knocked the Tories into 3rd place.

So for all they're objects of ridicule, crashing their campaign plane, spouting off about Bongo Bongo Land, dodging eggs as they sup pints of ale and disowning their own manifesto they do something quite important: they drag what could have been quite a centrist government, especially as a lib-con coalition, rightwards. For all that Cameron is cast as the heir to Thatcher I think this is a mistake - he is primarily a child of Major and Blair - a social liberal and economic centre-rightist. The hardline Tories hold few seats at the table.

In that respect UKIP are the useful idiots of hardline Tory MPs representing older, primarily suburban/rural constituencies. These are the same bedwetters that like to think they speak for business even as they propose moving away from Europe against the advice of every major business lobbying organisation.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:03 AM on January 23 [14 favorites]


they drag what could have been quite a centrist government, especially as a lib-con coalition, rightwards

Is it also possible that it could move the Tories slightly left? If your party is straddling a widening gap between two voter groups, you may be able to gain more centrist votes than you lose hardliners by shifting away from the fringe. Sometimes you let the extremists go be extreme by themselves for a while and see if they come back on their own.

I'm not familiar enough with UK politics to say if this would work, but across the pond it's basically how the Democrats treat the left.
posted by echo target at 11:36 AM on January 23


No, it's not dragging the Tories left. Even before UKIP, Cameron faced the perpetual Tory battle of social liberals v social conservatives, Atlanticists v pro Europeans etc. UKIP accentuates this, but without the pressure from the whips for party unity from Cameron.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:42 AM on January 23


Monster Raving Loony Party is a satirical political party

They're no Jam Wrestling Party. Ginger Crab 4eva!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:56 AM on January 23


There's a good chance they will finish second in the European elections in May, ahead of the Tories

Yeah, but the kippers, like other protest parties, always do well in European elections due to a combination of sensible people staying home and nobody taking these elections serious. Much harder for them to do well in a proper election.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:09 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Some of UKIP's shelved policies. Includes the old favourites, like bringing back the cane in schools and abolishing cultural-Marxist intrusions like sex education and “European studies”, an inquiry into discrimination against white people at the BBC, fewer mosques and windfarms, and more oaths of allegiance to the Queen. Oh, and formal dress in the theatre and repainting trains (with vintage Pullman carriages) in heritage colours.

I'm surprised they're so misty-eyedly fond of railways (as long as they smell faintly of steam and stewed tea). I thought they'd be Clarksonites wanting to rip the whole lot up and use the land for building motorways and car parks, because individual freedom.
posted by acb at 12:19 PM on January 23


Haven't watched any of it yet, but am surprised people find uniforms for taxi drivers "loony" when a lot of places actually have this. Not like uniforms you'd find in the army, or on say the Police, but brand taxis have comfortably cut jackets and correctly colored slacks for their drivers in most of Scandinavia. You know, so you don't wrinkle up your own pants or wear horribly uncomfortable jacket all day. In the UK Taxis have very specific cars instead.
posted by dabitch at 12:57 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


If I was across the pond, I'd gladly pony up and join the MRLP formally. I've been tempted to do it anyway. Their hearts are in the right places and they're the right kind of sand in the political vaseline.
posted by delfin at 1:42 PM on January 23


Monster Raving Loony Party is a satirical political party

I'm pleased to see that the Canadian Parti Rhinocéros has succeeded in reviving itself after having been knocked off the ballot for a few years due to changes in Canadian electoral law. Apparently the Rhinos ran candidates in more than a dozen ridings in 2011. Good for them.

The Rhinoceros Party promises not to keep any of its promises if elected.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:42 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Haven't watched any of it yet, but am surprised people find uniforms for taxi drivers "loony" when a lot of places actually have this.

It's an odd hill for a federal-level political party to die on.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:16 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


The Rhinoceros Party promises not to keep any of its promises if elected.

They're politicians. I expect them to break that pledge once elected.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:13 PM on January 23


If I was across the pond, I'd gladly pony up and join the MRLP formally

Many years ago, not long after Screaming Lord Sutch had died, I remember Jon Ronson doing an article in the Guardian about the Loonies and it seemed they had gone from being basically Sutch's fan club to bunch of little Englanders. So it's probably not that surprising it's hard to tell them apart for UKIP
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:47 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


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