Friday, 23 May 2014
Local elections: Fake-Maverick-Fatigue and UKIPBBC
The English local election results so far tell are revealing in a number of ways most of which will not be reported in the media; this is my take on them
1) We should no longer be considering the BBC and UKIP as separate entities. They are clearly the same organisation; the UKIP point of view, UKIP spin and positive stories about UKIP are obviously the BBC’s priority; stories are presented in a way that can only be described as favourable to UKIP and unfavourable to UKIP’s perceived enemies. “UKIPBBC” should be the genuine term from now on.
2) The Tories have done very badly, however this has been masked by the media’s focus on UKIP, see 1 above.
3) Labour has done well in London, and UKIP has done very badly there. This is probably due to a number of factors; it is the part of the UK most affected by immigration, so people there are not scared of immigrants in the way people who live in areas with few or no immigrants live. Of course in London many of those who are from 2nd or 3rd generation families that came here from other countries also vote. London also has a large LGBT population and we are concerned about the rise of UKIP. Extreme right parties are never good news for people like us.
4) However I suspect one of the reasons London has rejected Farage is because it has "Fake-Maverick-Fatigue” We have had a fake maverick mayor for too long now and people are getting to see through the mask. Public-school/Oxbridge educated wealthy former bankers are more widely regarded for what they really are; pillars of the establishment rather than mavericks challenging the system. For a party that claims to be anti-establishment to have the sycophantic support of the BBC makes them more establishment insiders than David Cameron.
5) However UKIP have also done badly in the North-West and the North East, failing to win a single seat in Sunderland for example. So the media’s claim that they are making inroads into Labour’s heartlands is somewhat wide of the mark. But hey the Tory-backed media needs to scrabble around to find something bad to say about Labour. Actually UKIP doing badly in Sunderland doesn’t surprise me at all. After London the North-East has the largest proportion of mixed-race marriages in the UK. This will never be fertile territory for racists.
6) Labour’s surprise gain in Hammersmith and Fulham shows that education is becoming a more important factor in electoral politics than perviously thought. Gove’s destruction of an outstanding school for ideological reasons has cost the Tories the council, this is something that could be replicated elsewhere that has “free” schools and chain academies imposed on it. Labour needs to prepare a strategy to capitalise on this in different places around the country.
7) The Lib Dems are doing very badly, worse than they expected in some areas like Harringay and Cambridge but better in Sutton. This suggests they will not be totally wiped out, but will be a much smaller force after the next election.
8) The Labour gain in Redbridge is spectacular. This shows how a good organisation on the ground coupled with a good social media presence can produce results. Redbridge has elected its first ever Labour council.
9) At the time of writing UKIP control no councils and have made fewer gains than Labour, yet it is a “good” result for UKIP according to UKIPBBC and a “bad" one for Labour. In other news Black has officially been designated White, the sky green, night day and truth lies.