|UKIP: The new electoral force in British politics.|
Two ladies sat near me at the cafe and began talking about 'tolerance' in the wake of one of them sparking up a cigarette. They were noting how 'intolerant' society had become towards some people, like, for example, smokers.
Of course, they blamed for this, Labour and Tony Blair in particular for creating a society that is more intolerant and more policed than ever they remember it. They ridiculed Blair for his great wealth since leaving office, for the Iraq war and for leaving the country in the dreadful state that it is in. They began discussing UKIP saying how they both hoped that the new force in British politics would wipe the floor with the lot of them. At the point of their discussing the Iraq war and how many protested against it, I piped up, as is my habit to do.
Expecting a robust rejection, I suggested to the two ladies that the same thing was now happening in France, with 1.4 million people having demonstrated, over a series of marches, against same-sex marriage. Indeed, expecting them to dismiss me as a bigot, I was surprised how receptive they were to what I was saying.
"Did you know," said one of the ladies, "I've got a lot of gay male friends and none, not one of them, supports this idea of same-sex marriage? All of my gay friends think marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. Even more than this, they also believe gay people shouldn't adopt children. They only wanted the civil partnership thing so they could get the legal stuff out of the way."
I must confess, and did so, that I had no idea that this was the feeling among gay men in Brighton. I had my suspicions that there was no call for SSM but at the same time, one would never get this impression when you read the British press.
One of the ladies interjected, "Well, marriage - it's God's law isn't it - its between a man and a woman?" I told her that I hoped that I have all the time in the world for God's law but that such language could see people getting the sack soon. Perhaps misunderstanding what I was saying, she said, "Well, okay then, nature's law. 'Same-sex marriage and adoption is against 'nature's law'..."
Neither of these women had anything against gay men or women. Indeed, one, if not both, had many homosexual friends. We continued talking.
"We're getting to the stage," said one of the women, "when it will be illegal to even talk as we are talking. It won't be tolerated. It will be considered hate speech or something."
Naturally, I agreed, but what I couldn't understand and shake from my thoughts was this: 'Hang on, am I in Brighton or not?' See, this is Brighton where 'everything goes' and where everything is 'tolerated', but these women, who were not Catholic, who did not identify as Christian and who had a 'live and let live' approach to life, were speaking out against the new intolerance of the liberal agenda. On today's politicians, one lady said:
"They all come out of the same schools and never have to actually work for a family, pay a mortgage. None of them understand what it is like living in the real world."
This seems to be a common statement among today's electorate.
David Cameron seems to think that holding a referendum on Europe will make the problem of UKIP go away, but he doesn't yet seem to understand the mess that he has got his own party into - a mess entirely of his own creation.
The mess is this: Even people who are 'socially liberal' do not like the direction in which Cameron is taking the country. He has continued where Labour left off in the creation of an intolerant State that opposes any view or opinion other than that which is held by its personnel. Sure, immigration may be an issue - people can tell that there is a lack of affordable housing and work already in the country, so why invite loads of people here? Sure, people are, to an extent, bemused and even angered as to why the Government insists on keeping with the EU dream even though its become a nightmare, but these two issues alone do not scratch the surface of the problem the mainstream parties have today.
More than all this though, I sense that people are waking up politically and can tell, as perhaps indicated today by Cameron's desire to drive ahead with press regulation, that something quite sinister and Orwellian is emanating from the heart of the British Establishment. People are cottoning on to the idea that the British people - of all ethnic groups - of all 'sexual orientations' are being stitched up, engineered. They are waking up to the fact that the British State is determined to socially re-engineer society so much that Brighton and Hove City Council are prepared to spend thousands (and it is thousands) of pounds modifying the public toilets to be 'gender neutral'. The ladies I was discussing British politics today brought up the issue of 'gender neutral toilets', not me. They see this as the imposition of an ideology - not the needless renovation of some toilets.
People are beginning to see that the Cameron manifesto, as well as the Clegg manifesto and the Miliband manifesto goes deeper than 'policies'. They recognise that there is an 'agenda' at work that is anti-human, that is intolerant of diversity of opinion - an agenda that is essentially totalitarian. One of the ladies actually used the word, 'totalitarian' in our discussions.
This, I believe - this is why people are flocking to UKIP. It is a risk - UKIP are an unknown quantity - but people smell a rat and the rat is David Cameron, the rat is Ed Miliband, the rat is Nick Clegg and Caroline Lucas. Parliament, is apparently, swarming with rats. People are beginning to smell the rat that is totalitarianism and State ideology imposing itself on the people from above, with no recourse to the feeling of the electorate. People want UKIP to deliver us from that. Will they? Can they?
In the local centre for the unemployed, people are talking about the Government's cuts to their benefits, noticing how Cameron and IDS are going for the poor and the vulnerable first. They can see that his priorities are skewed in favour of the powerful. They are already calling him and his henchmen 'Hitler' because it is obvious the Government has signed up to the 'survival of the fittest' ideology.
"So, who do you think you are kidding Mr Cameron? If you think old England's done."
Someone needs to tell Mr Cameron and tell him fast and plain that his arrogance in power is what is causing him electoral pain. It is not one single policy - it is a package of policies - it is an attitude, a brazen disregard for the natural feelings, beliefs and wishes of the people. It is the total gulf - the chasm - between the obsessions of the political elite and the real life of people on the ground. It is this that will cost him, perhaps, the next election - not Europe - not immigration - but his own bad judgment and the State's thirst for power over its own people.
Mr Cameron, Sir - you are so out of touch with your own people that two women in Brighton, I believe, who are social liberals - the kind you should really be reaching out to to 'detoxify the Tory brand' - found harmony and almost total agreement with a rabid Catholic blogger who is considered an extremist even by some of his own readers. You are so out of touch with the people you claim to represent, that if I, Brighton's very own Catholic loon, stood in a local election in Brighton alongside you, two social liberals would sooner vote for me than you!