Life in the UK seems a great deal less safe this morning than it did a day ago. The mindless violence on the streets of Woolwich has cast a light over extreme and volatile elements bubbling below the surface of Britain.
These sickening acts, described as an “Islamist terror attack”, left one dead and two wounded. What was clear to witnesses was the that the perpetrators wanted to be caught – one of them making a political statement.
There is only one thing in the world that is worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. Not so long ago UKIP were not even on the radar when it came to local elections, but that has all changed and whether it be positive or negative, the press and the people cannot stop talking about us.
It has been a roller coaster couple of weeks for UKIP since taking most pundits and the public by surprise and particularly for our UKIP group of County Councillors in Norfolk who now make up the 15 strong official opposition group at the authority.
The response of the media to UKIP’s phenomenal performance in South Shields and the local elections has been varied. A good proportion of it has been positive, but some of the more influential entities such as the BBC and Sky have irked me with their blunt ignorance.
The arrogant consensus seems to be, “Ha, why the hysteria, this is only a protest vote”. One should not really be surprised, UKIP certainly do not fit the criteria for a party that either would support.
No sooner has the party had spectacular gains nationwide in the County Council elections as we gained another seat in Kent. Last night UKIP took 41% of the vote in a by-election for Thanet District Council, with Rozanne Duncan taking the seat.
It is clear that the momentum between now and next year could well carry UKIP to a number of important by-election wins. Hopefully, sooner or later, one of them will be for a seat in Westminster.
My word what a week or so it has been for our ever growing party. The crest of the wave continues, just where it will take us is anyone’s guess but what we do know is that it shows no sign of abating. No matter what words are uttered from the political class in London, the UKIP surge continues.
Some would like to hold a genuine conversation with us over policy and our nation’s direction, others want to introduce policy to try to head us off, whilst others wish to simply deride us.
WELL, I was expecting it and I dare say you were expecting it, but the Westminster political class really wasn’t expecting the spectacular UKIP advance in the local elections.
A few commentators had predicted modest gains – perhaps 40 council seats. Many others had cast doubt on the ability of Nigel Farage’s “ragbag army” to fight a nationwide set of elections. Yet more thought that once the negative campaigning techniques of the bigger parties and their sympathetic pressure groups were unleashed that the vast majority of voters could be deterred from even considering UKIP.
Despite not contesting South Shields in 2010, UKIP secured over 24% of the vote there yesterday, coming second. This is an important showing as it confirms one thing: UKIP is not just a party of ex-Tories who are waiting to clamour back into the blue fold.
It is hard to imagine that many of the 6,000 UKIP voters were ex-Tories and this points to a sea change in the North of England. The Tories are despised in vast areas, the LibDems are bust like everywhere else and it is UKIP emerging as the main challenger to Labour for the working class, blue collar vote.
Anybody who’s opened a newspaper or turned on the television in the last week cannot have avoided the vivid purple and yellow of UKIP. It is vivid both literally and metaphorically as the stories swing from talk of battles with the Tories, insults, massive polling boosts, HS2 and all sorts of other things. The most interesting local elections in living memory are only interesting because of the upstart group of amateur but deadly serious dreamers that are UKIP.