While arguments begin over how well the Tories have done in yesterday’s round of local and Mayoral elections, how badly Labour have fared, and whether the Lib Dems really are going to mount a fightback, there is one party whose performance has been beyond argument - except from its staunchest supporters - and that is the motley convocation of saloon bar propper-uppers at UKIP.
I pulled the f***in' trigger again, and this time it worked
As the Kippers no longer have any MPs, following the resignation of Douglas “Kamikaze” Carswell, and Britain’s vote to leave the EU will mean they will soon have no gravy-train milking MEPs either, their focus had to be on keeping a foothold in local Government, and perhaps even improving on that. So after the polls closed last night, the focus was on the party’s comedy leader Paul Nuttall and his pals.
And the comedy turn delivered exactly as expected - well, as everyone except the “Bad Bootle Meff” and his diehard backers expected - losing every last seat they were defending. So far, UKIP has defended 44 local Government seats, and lost every one. The party is being wiped out. It had nine Councillors in Essex, and 13 in Lincolnshire. It has lost every last one of them. But Nuttall is not downcast; this is a mere scratch.
Even losing both UKIP seats in Great Yarmouth did not faze him, as he proclaimed “If the price of Britain leaving the EU is a Tory advance after taking up this patriotic cause then it is a price UKIP is prepared to pay”. Yes, he’s cool with having his party wiped out if it means the Tories - the party of the establishment - takes over and subsequently ignores what Kippers want, if and when it suits it to do so.
The real winner from the UKIP meltdown
But he wasn’t finished: “Our members will know that politics is a long game and that as well as keeping up the pressure for Brexit, UKIP is now laying down its big agendas for the future; including taking a muscular approach on social integration, campaigning to bring down immigration and arguing for a switch of resources away from foreign aid and into the NHS and other public services”. Muscular bigotry, more like.
As I pointed out recently, UKIP wants to harness the racist and Islamophobic vote and make part of the population into second class citizens. Nuttall’s conclusion was, once more, to echo the refrain of the right: “We are the victims of our own success and now we pick ourselves up and go on to further success in the future”. The Kippers are, as ever, the victims in all of this. Forward, fellow victims, to oblivion!
There is, of course, one fly in this particular ointment, as SNP stalwart Alex Salmond pointed out: “One very interesting trend when you see the disappearance of UKIP from English politics, and Welsh politics for that matter, is the extent to which the Conservative party have become UKIP … They have eliminated UKIP by becoming UKIP. And the sort of extreme language that Theresa May used in Downing Street the other day - I mean that could have come from Nigel Farage”. Dead right it could.
UKIP is being wiped out. But its rotting corpse has terminally infected the Tory Party - as well as much of the media.