Following on from last night’s post. about how bad laws like the proposed smoking ban in cars sends voters in droves to UKIP, I’ve been wondering why the government carries on doing stupid things like this. It’s very strange. Do they want to be kicked out of office?
For we seem to be facing something like a complete melt-down of the political establishment. The Lib-Dem vote has collapsed. The Labour vote in Scotland has evaporated, and people are calling for Ed Miliband’s head. And when Mark Reckless wins Rochester and Strood for UKIP in a week or so, there’ll be calls for David Cameron’s head as well. And meanwhile UKIP rises higher and higher in the opinion polls.
At this rate, it seems entirely plausible to imagine that next year UKIP will win not just 6 seats in the General Election, but 60 seats.
You’d think that, in these circumstances, one of the party leaders would take a leaf out of Nigel Farage’s playbook, and start having publicity shots with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. If he can do it, why can’t they?
It’s not going to happen, of course. None of them seems capable of changing their mind about anything. So they’re all going to sleepwalk in lockstep together into next year’s election slaughter.
One possible explanation, that I was toying with last night, is that government isn’t capable of change because it isn’t actually the government. And instead the EU is the real government of Britain, thanks to all the various treaties – Maastricht Lisbon, etc – that the UK has signed. After all UKIP keeps saying that 70% of our legislation is made in Brussels. If 70% is plausible, why not 100%?
What if the British government has effectively ceased to exist, and is only maintained in existence in order to maintain a semblance of normal self-government? What if the first thing David Cameron does every morning is phone up Brussels and ask what new piece of legislation needs to be enacted by our vestigial parliament. Gay marriage? Car smoking bans? Shariah law? Hallal meat? More windmills?
And then, once he’s got his orders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg (and maybe Ed Miliband too) spend the rest of the day playing Monopoly or Bridge around the Cabinet table – because there’s really nothing else for them to do.
If so, then even if UKIP win with 600 seats next year, and Nigel Farage becomes Prime Minister (Channel 4 are making a spoof drama doc about this), then when he enters Number 10, the first thing he’ll find is that as Britain’s Prime Minister he has no power at all to do anything. And what if Nigel Farage’s very first speech on the steps of Number 10 is one in which he informs the British people that he’d just found out that, as Prime Minister, he had no power to do anything, and the real government of Britain is in Brussels, and has been for years, with the British Government only retained as a front organisation to conceal the fact. Nigel Farage might even apologise, and say, ‘I’m afraid it’s been a hollow victory, both for me, and for the British people who elected me.’
Maybe that’s what Channel 4’s spoof documentary will be all about.
It would certainly explain the peculiar stasis of the LibLabCon political class, and their lack of imagination, and the arbitrary laws they enact, often without any consultation at all. And above all why they never listen to anyone.
It’s a possibility. No doubt some people will say that it’s already the reality, and has been for years.
Whatever the explanation, there seems to be a profound sense of unreality about Britain these days. That things are not what they seem. And that it’s anyone’s guess (and my turn to guess today) what the reality might be. And that we’re likely to find out, in some shock denouement (like Farage’s imagined speech on the steps of Number 10) some day soon.
For me, I suppose this sense of unreality started with the smoking ban in 2007. Or maybe when parliament voted for it in 2006 (that was unreal too). Things stopped making sense back then. Politicians no longer represented the people, but dictated to them. Something had gone horribly wrong. And that’s still how it seems.