[Re: Why it’s hard to be optimistic about the future of UK politics, yesterday]
Your point about Ukip needing to deal with the Lib Dem problem of being one thing to one set of supporters, and another to a different set, is spot on. It’s odd seeing so many younger metropolitan supporters regard Ukip as a libertarian, low tax, small government party when many of its actual voters are relatively poor, older folk who definitely don’t want a smaller state in their retirement years. Low taxes appeal to 30-somethings with careers in front of them. They don’t appeal to 55 year olds, stacking shelves part-time in Tesco.
Mainstream politicians’ response to Ukip show exactly why they are losing ground. First, they denigrate the party, and by implication the millions of people who vote for it. Second, they patronise the party. Ed Miliband (of all people) has been going around claiming that Ukip is touting simple solutions to serious problems. Third, Nick Clegg is swanning about saying he’s proud of sticking to unpopular stances (like slavish support for the EU), and that we voters really should’ve rewarded him for that. And all of this reinforces the perception that none of them really cares for Britain beyond their own shrinking core votes.
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The economy is resilient. We shouldn’t be using very low interest rates to stoke another debt-fuelled boom.
So Ed Miliband finally made reference to Europe... after the elections.
I suspect Nigel Farage is right. Nick Clegg will probably be removed as Lib Dem leader before May 2015.
If Labour are smart, wouldn’t now be a good time to offer Vince Cable shadow chancellor if he defects?