Ukip is a state of mind

I thought this had it about right:

The truth is that the motivations of Ukip voters exist in the blind spot of modern politics.  No easy portrait of an average ‘Kipper’ can be drawn.  It is the ability of the current mood to unite seemingly disparate groups in support of Ukip that has the established political class perplexed.  No matter how many graphs, tables and polls are produced by policy wonks, no empirically verifiable link or connection will become apparent.  No amount of ‘evidence-led policy’ will tell you what brings a retired lieutenant colonel in Wiltshire into the same political tent as a white, unemployed, single mother in Clacton.  Without such a diagnosis, formulating a strategy to stop Nigel Farage is virtually impossible.

The professional political class’s blind spot is a methodological one.  Since the mid-nineties, Westminster has refused to acknowledge the existence of any trend or occurrence that cannot be quantified or viewed through the quasi-scientific lens of professional politics.  The result is a perspective as sterile and empty as the philosophical position that denies there is truth to be found in Shakespeare because such truth is not susceptible to objective measurement. Deploying this methodology in frontline politics produces a damaging reductionism.  If a policy wonk is confronted with the fact that people are reporting their home town “no longer feels like home” or “feels like a foreign country”, these responses are immediately misread and pigeon-holed as concerns about ‘immigration’.  Condemnation of such perceived attitudes usually follows.

What is missed is that such remarks often have very little to do with immigration or racism.  To get this, we must accept that most people, most of the time, are good and decent.  Ukip cannot run on xenophobia alone.  Instead, such comments are better understood as a lament for a lost sense of belonging.  It is this that unites the retired colonel with Clacton woman.  Both come from social groups that began the 20thCentury with the clearest sense of identity and standing in the social order.  Both have now lost this.  In these groups, community identity and social standards were unambiguous.  Members of both groups could take pride in what they did and who they were; they were frequently the most engaged and active members of our nation and society.

‘A lost sense of belonging’ is certainly what I have. It dates from the introduction of the pub smoking ban on 1 July 2007. Britain has never felt like ‘my country’ since that day. It’s become an alien, forbidding place. And nothing else matters quite as much as this.

And UKIP is the only party that has promised to do anything about it. So they’ll get my vote.

Simple really.


About Frank Davis

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22 Responses to Ukip is a state of mind

  1. annabellc says:

    This afternoon I landed at Gatwick, having flown from Spain where I’ve spent the past few months. On my arrival, as a smoker, I looked for the nearest exit so I could have a cigarette before catching the train to London. As I dived outside I noticed there were ‘No Smoking’ signs all around me except for one sign saying ‘smoking area’ that pointed across the road. After crossing the road I noticed all along the side of the road were fences, again displaying the ‘no smoking’ signs. However, there was a small square fenced off area displaying the smoking area sign, which I obediently went into. I can only describe it as an animal pen, which was quite full with smokers. As I stood smoking my cigarette I felt extremely angry. Not with myself but because I felt as if I, and my fellow smokers, were being treated like animals, unclean animals. What also made me angry was some people looking at us as if we were animals. I felt so degraded.

    You are right, there used to be a social order that is no longer there. Maybe, it’s because it’s no longer there that some people have to feel as if they are superior to others. The non smokers feel superior to the smokers. Smokers, so we are told, belong to the unintelligent, less well educated, lower order. Non smokers are made to think they are more intelligent because they don’t smoke. It doesn’t matter if the smoker has a university degree, and the non smoker didn’t get beyond secondary education. By not smoking they feel more superior because the even more superior classes; i.e. Governments tell them they are.

    And it’s the media, as well as government, who help to perpetuate this myth. It’s not just smokers and non smokers. It’s all elements of society. Pupils from Eaton look down on pupils who attend a less ‘superior’ public school. Pupils from public school look down on grammar school kids, who look down on secondary school kids. People in secure employment look down on those who are in insecure employment such as zero hours contracts. People who do not have to claim tax credits to supplement their income look down on those who do, even though it’s the employers fault for paying such abysmal wages.

    It’s top down. Governments treat their electorate like idiots. The media treat their readers like idiots. Those who don’t claim benefits treat those who do as scroungers. Non smokers treat smokers as animals.

    I really don’t like the UK any more. This country has lost its tolerance, understanding and compassion for others. This stems from the top.

    Would UKIP change things? I don’t know. But I do no, I’m willing to give them a go. After all, they cannot be any worse, or more self centred, than previous governments.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I felt as if I, and my fellow smokers, were being treated like animals, unclean animals.

      You are indeed being treated like an animal – by people who gain self-esteem by esteeming other people less..

      But think how wonderful it must be for them, as they look around them at almost everybody else with perfect contempt, and feel a warm glow of pride that they themselves are so much better people than these unfortunates.

  2. Tony says:

    “Britain has never felt like ‘my country’ since that day. It’s become an alien, forbidding place.”
    Too true.

    So to Frank and all his esteemed commentators I say: “don’t just talk the talk or even vote the vote but actually join the party and get active.”

    Come on in. The water’s warm:

    Perhaps I should apologise for such a bare-faced plugging of a political party here. I’ve never done so before. But I think it has to be done. So I won’t apologise.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      No need to apologize when it concerns UKIP here……..If I was a Brit Id be voting UKIP at every turn in multiples like a democrat does in America………lol

    • Frank Davis says:

      Come on in. The water’s warm

      I have something of an aversion to joining organisations, I’m afraid. As soon as I join anything, it begins to feel like a prison. It’s probably the reason why I never married.

      The last organisation that I joined, some 40 years ago, was the Richmond and Twickenham Chess Club. I joined it because I quite like playing chess now and then. But fairly soon I was induced to play for the chess team, which travelled all over London in the evenings. This was quite fun, initially (I won one of my matches, drew one, and lost one to a small boy called Shakespeare). But it soon started to feel like having an unpaid evening job. One night, having come home exhausted from a hard day at the office, and faced with the prospect of a long trek to the other side of London, I phoned the club manager to call it off. And he exploded with rage, and shouted at me over the phone.

      I never set foot in the Richmond and Twickenham chess club again. But I still play chess from time to time. I never saw that chess and chess games were anything for anyone to get angry about. For me they’re simply not that important. But politics is important. And I can only imagine that the shouting matches inside UKIP are ferocious. So I prefer to stand outside, and vote for them now and then, just like I play chess now and then..

      • Tony says:

        I also have something of an aversion to joining organisations. But I think the key is to assist when and how you choose rather than making long term commitments.

        Inevitably, rows can be pretty fierce at times but you don’t need to take sides or join in at all.

    • prog says:

      UKIP seem to have gone a bit quiet re quangos/fake charities. Most of which, it seems, were set up and funded to promote socialist agenda. Rein them in and real change might ensue. What normal person wouldn’t eventually get totally pissed of with the constant nagging about what they should/not say or consume? It’s like fecking Chinese water torture – with no end in sight? Why do lefties welcome this relentless shit? Do they imagine they’re immune?

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Prog as in Australia you will see the slow or fast strangulation of funding to these wacked out groups until they ultimately just shutdown………….Its already happening in America and the progressives are looking for money anywhere they can steal it even………They pretty much know the funding will be cut next year and earmarked for other purposes instead of socialist causes like anti-smoking measures and anti-fat propaganda besides all the rest of the horse shit like climate fraud etc etc……

      • Tony says:

        UKIPs policies tend to be sharply at odds with the quangos/fake charities so I can’t see the party funding them.

  3. When Cameron begs Labour, LibDem and Green supporters in Rochester and Strood to vote Tory to stop UKIP, you know the Establishment are fighting for their lives now and that the LibLabCon truly is one party.

    Maybe it’s an old joke, but somebody commented,

    Desperate Dave reduced to begging for LibLabGreen votes to “stop UKIP”. Somebody should break the news to him that Eton Mess is supposed to be a dessert and not a state of mind!

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist in a sexist shirt to explain the reasons for UKIP’s success. Like you, Frank, once a Liberal and me, once a Labour voter (how I winced typing that), we discovered that we are actually not “progressive” or statist because we value freedom more.

    From your quote,

    “No easy portrait of an average ‘Kipper’ can be drawn. It is the ability of the current mood to unite seemingly disparate groups in support of Ukip that has the established political class perplexed.”

    From ‘Animal Farm’,

    Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

    The LibLabCon party doesn’t ‘do’ logic or truth. They are “perplexed” because they have been fooling the people for so long that they have addled their own brains. If some publicly-funded ‘charity’ tells them that two plus two equals 124 then they’ll accept it and demand that we all accept it too or we have arithmophobia (the fear of numbers) and must be re-educated. Schools must teach that “2 + 2 = 124”. Bakers must decorate cakes with “2 + 2 = 124” or appear in court. We must all celebrate this new arithmetic because the scientists have reached a consensus, like passive smoking is dangerous and climate change will kill us unless we start living like eighth century peasants.

    That said, the ones at the top will always know that 2 + 2 =4 just like they know that climate change is largely natural, that SHS is of no consequence, that ‘gay marriage’ is a ridiculous concept, etc.

    So, here we have David “Vote UKIP, get Labour” Cameron begging all the other voters, who can’t stand him or his party, to vote for his candidate in this safe Tory seat because the last thing any of the mainstream want to do is risk stopping the cycle of social destruction that, for example, Annabelle describes, above.

    It is telling that UKIP’s support is disproportionately from people over forty: those who can remember when this country was a better place to live in, friendlier, more free, more easy-going with fewer regulations and the feel of home, not as part of a grand social re-engineering experiment by demented professors in blood-stained lab coats.

    Unfortunately, the younger generations cannot make that comparison from experience, having been mollycoddled from birth, both by overprotective parents and the State. And brainwashed by the media and in schools that everything which carries the ‘equality’, ‘diversity’ or ‘human rights’ label must be virtuous and those who oppose them are dinosaurs, out of touch with reality and plain nasty. They are probably more likely to favour the EU and global government over the nation state because they think it will banish wars and protect the environment. They believe that the sort of people who hold a conference – only to then kick out the public and press – to discuss a global tax which would hugely increase tobacco prices, can be trusted to treat them fairly.

    Ironically, we seemed to be a more tolerant country decades ago, before the ‘equality’ brigade started stirring the melting pot. Hardly surprising, as their intention was division. dehumanisation and demoralisation to force our society to collapse under the pressure.

    I probably voted tactically in half the elections before turning to UKIP. When I lived in Tory Harrow, for example, I used to vote Lib Dem to try to oust the Tories, to no avail. If I was still a Labour voter and living in Rochester and Strood, I think I would be voting for UKIP to help give the Tories a good drubbing.

    But desperate times call for desperate measures and Desperate Dan Dave is making his pathetic plea to try to save the illusions of ‘democracy’ and ‘equality’ and to realise his treasonous dream of a united Europe and a top job therein.

    Presumably, as long as our freedoms continue to fly out the window and our country disappears from under us, UKIP will keep on growing and growing and that includes the young, who aren’t as controlled as the government would have liked. The British Youth Parliament rejected campaigning for same-sex marriage, after it came bottom in a vote of priorities for 2013.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Obama just offered up 2 trillion dollars to the world economy to keep the climate change BS alive at the g20………….Then he was caught in a bold face lie on a man who was the builder of obamacare and the man stated he had met with Obama several times exolaining how it would work and was on the staff and made right at 2 million dollars for his services and then the man went on to say the American people were stupid for voting obamacare theu and even called us all racists………..Obama gets questioned in Australia about and comes right out and says ”I DONT KNOW WHO THIS MAN IS HE WAS NOT ON OUR STAFF” !

  4. Pingback: Explaining UKIP’s Popularity | Real Street

  5. Joe Jackson says:

    I can really empathise with this post and all the comments – on a gut level – so true, that this is something politicians just don’t ‘get’. Yes, the UK feels like an oppressive, mean-spirited place these days. When I left England a week ago and arrived back in Berlin, I felt like I could relax and breathe freely again. But I don’t think it’s just a question of being over 40, I think a lot of it was always there: jobsworths, begrudgers, petty tyrants and passive apathetic people. Before the smoking ban, my pet peeve was the Licensing Laws. I never knew what was worse, being chucked out of the pub at 11, or the fact that no one else seemed to care much, or want to do anything about it.

    I guess the petty tyrants just have more power now. What depresses me about the smoking ban – again, on a gut level – is that pubs used to be a refuge from the awfulness of British life (at least until 11 pm). Now, it’s like the awfulness has come into the pub. Nanny has come into my refuge, wagging her finger at everyone, and swept out, leaving the doors open, and a cold draught . . .

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      And Joe in a metaphorical state of mind the pub owners bought garden heaters for their smoking customers only to see the nanny Nazis and the greenie weenies go ape shit over the environment and how it destroys the efforts of tobacco control by cow towing to the smoking base…………..

      Then about the same time the went about animal life being poisoned by Fag Butts then out of the Blue a mail box was found in London with a birds nest in it fully packed with fag butts for its nesting materials and the young growing healthy within……..

      Sorta like Our American spotted owl that could only breed and survive in old growth forests the greens said and then cut off large swaths of forest from timbering only to see a Mcdonalds golden arches with a spotted owl family nesting between the arches feeding its young………..

      And so the lies continue and the public keeps getting those magical fact based moments od truth while the Nazis keep being shown to be the INSANITY RIDDEN nuts they are………

    • lleweton says:

      ‘Nanny has come into my refuge.’ That was her aim. Next stop: cars and home.

    • Good point about there always being jobsworths. I remember “That’s Life” having a jobsworth spot, must be thirty years ago or more. I never really thought about chucking out time (during my pub years). It was what happened so I suppose it was “normal” and why nearly everyone accepted it without question. When I lived in Salisbury 20+ years ago, I found a pub whose landlord kept the back bar open for as long as he could stay awake, but I think that was due to there often being only four or five of us in there and he was desperate to make ends meet and I was keen not to go back to my tiny bedsit until as late as possible.

      According to Peter Kellner,

      Whereas 46% of all voters are over 50, and 38% under 40, the figures for UKIP are 71% and 15% respectively.

      As the screws tighten us further and quicker into this police state, the young should notice too and eventually we’ll hear a new version of the old story, “I’ve always voted UKIP, me dad votes UKIP and his father voted UKIP”.

      Of course, we just have to hope and pray that UKIP end up delivering the goods if and when the opportunity arises.

  6. lleweton says:

    ‘….a lost sense of belonging’: Exactly. I highlighted it as I read it and then I saw you had stressed it in your piece.

  7. carol2000 says:

    I read their “policies for people” page, and the two proposals of the most interest to smokers – allowing smoking areas in pubs and clubs, and no plain packaging for tobacco products – won’t be enough to put a stop to the anti-smokers. They should be purging the health research establishment of all the charlatans who falsely blame peoples’ lifestyles for diseases that are really caused by infection. This great purge is what’s really important.
    Also, under the “National Health Service, why do they insist that visitors and migrants “have NHS-approved private health insurance as a condition of entry to the UK?” Why doesn’t the NHS offer its own NHS-approved plan instead?

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Carol I think you will find the world is going into Isolationalism when it comes to immigration. Its a sad side effect of the times and historically its right on time to occur.

    • smokingscot says:


      I’ve been keeping an eye on UKIP since 2006 when one of theirs in Scotland stated their policy on the on the smoking ban.

      They have always been consistent on that issue, however I wholly agree their bit about “allowing smoking areas in pubs and clubs, and no plain packaging for tobacco products”
      is rather wishy-washy. I’d have liked to have seen at a bare minimum the exemption of tobacconists from all aspects, especially displays (windows excluded).

      No it won’t stop the anti’s, but that’s all they can realistically do under the rules of FCTC and I’m relieved they’ve done their homework, to know this.

      The trouble is we’re dealing with a phenomenon and I’m quite convinced UKIP has survived through some very difficult times simply because of word of mouth. It exploded following that debate between Clegg and Farage prior to the EU elections and that’s because they had to go to court to get the all important “equal time” as is allocated to the big three.

      Now they have one elected MP they no longer have to fight for access to the media, especially prior to the General Election. And – surprise – they’re gaining greater media attention because those in MSM are, by and large, pretty well set against some of their policies – separate smoking rooms included.

      What the media and politicians have not grasped is it’s not just smokers who want to see greater inclusion, less waste and greater accountability. The result is that every single time they attempt to put down UKIP, it only results in more people talking about them… positively. That’s the bit that tickles me!!

      But there’s much more to their “policies for people”. Scrapping HS2 gets the thumbs up from many (myself included). Reducing the BBC license fee is another positive as is equipping our service personnel properly and reducing our “donations” to overseas aid. Actually I’m in agreement with about 90% of what they plan to do if they get the chance.

      However the one thing UKIP has – and the reason they can put out this document – is they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. No track record whatsoever in national politics, which is why they sound credible.

      Others have stated they’re quite happy to give them a crack at the whip because they simply can’t be worse than the other lot. I agree. In fact some of Franks’ musings a while back – if memory serves – wished for a Parliament made up of ordinary people, untested but with their electorate at the forefront of their decision making. With UKIP that’s about as close as we’ll get.

      But let’s not forget their tie in with the Italian five star movement. It was they that insisted on the inclusion of the word “”DIRECT” democracy”. And the first glimpse we saw of that was their survey a couple of months back asking anyone for input into their policies.

      That exceeded their expectations several fold – and much of what we said is what went to make up “Policies for People”. So, to an extent, this is still a grass roots organisation, with one big difference, most of the people in UKIP are NOT career politicians.

      But do please bear with us “apathetic” Brits until the early hours of the 21st November when the results of the Rochester and Strood by-election are announced, if only to see how ingenious the “big three” are at spin.

      • Frank Davis says:

        In fact some of Franks’ musings a while back – if memory serves – wished for a Parliament made up of ordinary people, untested but with their electorate at the forefront of their decision making. With UKIP that’s about as close as we’ll get.

        That’s right. I wanted to get away from the kind of career political class we now have.

        their survey a couple of months back asking anyone for input into their policies.

        I keep being asked to do a survey by the Conservative party, in which they write:

        We want to hear your views on the economy, the next election and what matters most to you and your family. Please do take this opportunity to tell us what you think about the big issues facing our country by taking our quick survey today.

        But they don’t actually offer me any way of ‘telling’ them anything. Instead there’s just a lot of pre-set questions with checkboxes next to them. And of course none of the questions are about the smoking ban. So they’re never going to find out what matters to me.

        It goes back to the point in the piece above, which says; “Westminster has refused to acknowledge the existence of any trend or occurrence that cannot be quantified or viewed through the quasi-scientific lens of professional politics.” They’re going to take the results of their survey, and produce lots of quasi-scientific charts and tables giving the top brass in the Conservative party the current State of the Nation. Only it won’t be. It’ll be a delusion. Albeit an ‘evidence-based’ delusion.

        I’m beginning to think that they don’t actually really want to know what anyone thinks. They just like to be seen to go through the motions of appearing to ‘listen’ or ‘consult’.

        • Edgar says:

          “I’m beginning to think that they don’t actually really want to know what anyone thinks. They just like to be seen to go through the motions of appearing to ‘listen’ or ‘consult’.”

          Yes. All parties have an agenda. They do not consider they need our permission to follow this agenda: so, they don’t need to listen to us. However, we are continually whining to them ‘You don’t listen to us.’ Consequently, they pretend to do so but it doesn’t matter what they hear, their policies come before what the public may want. It is the natural state of ‘representative democracy’, i.e. ‘You voted us in to make the decisions in the best interests of the country as a whole. That’s what we do.’ Unfortunately, it isn’t what they do. They ignore the people (fair enough) but they do not ignore the powerful lobbying groups, which is where it all goes to hell.

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