Friday, 18 December 2015
The best thing Ukip could do for us is to go away and die quietly
So today, as far as Kippers are concerned, has been all about the spat between Carswell and Farage. I can't tell you how little I care. What does it matter? The damage is done.
The last thing we needed was for the Brexit cause to be boxed in by the immigration issue. Having polluted the political sphere with nonsense about "Australian style points based systems" and blaming the asylum crisis on the EU, immigration has become a central issue that both Leave campaigns feel obliged to make an issue of. Precisely where we didn't want to be.
That is all down to Farage. It is too late for Ukip to "change direction" in that it is a terminally soiled brand and the damage cannot be undone. It should never have gone down the immigration path to begin with. It was always a loser. Ho hum!
What happens now is largely irrelevant. The accepted wisdom is that Farage still has the full backing of the party, but this rather neglects the point that there are as many lapsed and ex members of Ukip as there are current members. Carswell, still has enough political capital, albeit diminished, to cleanse the entity of the mouthbreathers and restore it to something resembling a political party.
But what good would that do? It would take a total purge of the Farage clan, it would take quite a long time - and by the time it happened the referendum will be upon us, if not actually over - by which time anyone's interest in that party will have collapsed.
Thus to wade into the argument is to intrude upon private grief. Those focussed on leaving the EU have no dog in this fight. This is a hangover debate that may have been relevant before the election but not now. This is bald men fighting over a comb.
The very real and serious battle is the fight for control of the Brexit message, which again is a pretty empty debate in that neither Leave.EU nor Vote Leave presents us with a credible strategy or a grown up message.
That this spat has gained any traction at all it is through the media's inability to contextualise and it's obsession with personal political dramas. But even then, this row has been eclipsed by the EU renegotiation theatre, which should be the full focus of Ukip's efforts were it anything like a competent entity.
Instead it is caught up in it's own navel gazing, oblivious to the fact it has ceased to be relevant. It is the dog that didn't bark. Or rather it is one of those rather annoying dogs that barks persistently and chases passing cars.
Rather than being a mission focussed campinging party it is a generic whinge at the world, representing those who are perpetually angry about everything but are not remotely interested in analysing the problems or proposing solutions. Why bother when you can simply blame the EU and foreigners?
The short of it is, for Ukip, the party's over. It had an opportunity, they blew it, and they are yesterday's news. It is not through any deliberate decision that I have not blogged on Ukip recently. It's just that they are not central to my concern - which is leaving the EU. They are not worth talking about. Who leads what remains of it is their concern - and only their concern. The rest of us have a referendum to fight. The best thing Ukip could do for us is to go away and die... quietly.