Monday, 27 October 2014

In which the left remind us they hold the electorate in contempt (if they vote the wrong way)

I've no time for UKIP at all. Not only are their policies confused, swaying from gung ho libertarianism to proposing frightening degrees of state control, but the Party's strategy is entirely defined by Nigel Farage's desire to damage the Conservative Party. I find UKIP's approach almost as opportunistic as the old Liberal Democrats - chap down the pub complains about the smoking ban and UKIP want to scrap it. And when he moves on to not liking gay people getting hitched UKIP bounce onto that bandwagon.

But it's not the bloke in the pub's fault that UKIP act as an echo chamber for his prejudices, he's just doing what he has always done - sounding off about the ills of the world. And some of what he says is right - the smoking ban killed thousands of pubs along with the jobs of people who worked in those pubs, the EU is an undemocratic and unaccountable nightmare we'd be better off without and there are too many jobsworths at the Council.

But disagreeing with that bloke isn't a justification for being rude about him, for treating him with contempt. Yet this - and the poster above reminds us - is exactly how the left think we should campaign against UKIP. By calling the people who vote for that party "thick". Now I know this is the default view that the typical Guardian reader has of the working class or lower middle class voter, perhaps it reflects a deep disappointment that some of those voters no longer dutifully vote Labour as they're supposed to do (this may reflect the fact that the Labour candidate they're given - middle class, university educated, full of fancy words - doesn't hold or respect those voters' values). But it displays an utterly appalling arrogance.

If the left really want to respond to UKIP (rather than hope enough damage is done to the Conservatives that Ed Miliband gets to be PM on the votes of a third of the electorate) then they need to start listening to what the bloke in the pub is saying. Responding to his concerns about immigration, trying to understand why he's bothered about gay marriage and discussing what's wrong with the EU. Calling him thick is to guarantee that he'll carry right on voting UKIP. Why on earth should he vote for someone who thinks he's an idiot and isn't prepared to listen to what he's saying?

These are ordinary voters who are worried about things they see around them. They aren't stupid, they're not thick and they deserve our respect. If the left can't do that it deserves to be wiped out.


1 comment:

Jackart said...

Because UKIP voters are, if not thick, then certainly ignorant. Ridicule and contempt is an entirely appropriate response to the Party's nonsense.