What’s happening with UKIP?
Just when Nigel Farage had stepped down as its leader, and ascended onto the global political stage, as the personification of Brexit and debating adviser for Donald Trump, it seems to be disintegrating.
First they elected a new leader, Diane James, but she’s now resigned after less than 3 weeks in office, apparently because there was some document that she didn’t want to sign. And then, days later, her most likely successor, Steven Woolfe, gets into a punch-up with one of his MEP colleagues in the European parliament, and winds up in hospital. And so now Nigel is back as acting party leader. And so his trip onto the global political stage lasted only three days.
And what about Theresa May? Telegraph:
It is in this context that Theresa May’s speech needs to be understood. It was as emphatic a repudiation of the Thatcher-Reagan economic world-view as it was possible to get without actually naming them: time and again, she said that government was the solution, not the problem. She took explicit aim at small-state libertarians: the subtext was that collectivist, paternalistic Christian Democrats, not individualistic classical liberals, are back in charge of the party. She believes in a large, powerful, aggressively interventionist state that can, she feels, regenerate the country and protect ordinary workers.
I’m not really sure what that means. But I suppose the “small-state libertarian” is the nearest position to mine, wanting less government rather than more government. So it doesn’t sound like she’ll be pushing to relax the smoking ban any time soon, even though she was herself a smoker when the 2007 ban came into effect, and so might be expected have some idea of its impact.
And the Labour party has just re-elected the unelectable far left Jeremy Corbyn as their leader, more or less ensuring Michael-Foot-style political oblivion for the party. The only thing I know about Corbyn is that he voted for the 2007 smoking ban, and that’s all I need to know about him.
Tony Blair is now saying that Britain has become a “one-party state.” I can see what he means, now that the Conservative party is likely to win every foreseeable future election, if it can manage to maintain its unity. But actually I think that the real “one-party state” was the series of Blair-Brown-Cameron-Clegg governments, in which all three parties were interchangeable members of an amorphous European globalist political class.
The reality, it seems to me, is that we’re living in a time of political disintegration that is a consequence of a growing global revolt against this over-mighty globalist political class. All the political parties lost their way in that era, and all of them are trying to retrace their steps, with the left becoming more left wing, and the right becoming more right wing, and the centre (Lib Dems?) disappearing. This is true not just in Britain, but across the whole of Europe, where the EU globalist political project is on the rocks. It’s also true in the USA, where a Republican party that had lost touch with its grassroot conservative voters has been taken over by a Donald Trump who can and does connect with them, and a Democrat party that seems to have lost touch with its core blue collar voters (e.g. coal miners) by favouring immigrants and minorities above them (and was almost captured by the leftist Bernie Sanders as a result).
In the globalist era, an international political elite planned a new global order over the heads of the people, without any consultation of them. The people had become irrelevant to them. But now the people are revolting against them everywhere, and populist leaders are everywhere emerging as their champions – Nigel Farage in the UK, Donald Trump in the USA, and Marine Le Pen and others across Europe. And many of these new leaders are – unsurprisingly – not quite as polished and suave as their globalist predecessors.
And in many ways, the wave of smoking bans that has swept the whole world in the past decade or so was a prime example – perhaps even the prime example – of an elite globalist project, enacted everywhere without a by-your-leave from the hundreds of millions of enraged smokers that were thereby exiled to the outdoors. Yet nobody ever mentions these bans – not even the conservative US talk radio hosts I mentioned yesterday. Hardly any politician ever says anything about them either. Why the silence about something that evicted about 1.5 billion people around the world?
But Trump VP candidate Mike Pence is one who has spoken out. Which might almost make him my current favourite politician, on a par with Nigel Farage. So when Donald Trump is gunned down by Clinton-Foundation-funded islamists hours after being inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, the 46th President may yet prove to be a friend of the world’s smokers. Seems nobody else much is.