UKIP and the Far-Right

It’s a landmark achievement. UKIP won 3.8 million votes, and secured one parliamentary seat, as well as control of Thanet Council. Nigel Farage lost his bid for South Thanet, as Mark Reckless lost his seat, leaving Tory defector Douglas Carswell to hold on in Clacton. This right-of-centre party has broken into the mainstream after two decades on the margins. UKIP now has more than the hectoring voice of Lord Pearson to speak for it. For a fleeting moment, it looked as if Nigel Farage would live up to his promise to resign if he lost. It wasn’t unimaginable, as he … Continue reading

Early ’90s flashback

The pub was packed to the gills with people, who had just finished work, but wanted to jeer at the ultimate blood-sport. My pal and I assessed the odds: I settled on an inky stout, he bought a large whiskey. The first exit poll conducted by Ipsos Mori was announced at 10 PM on Thursday night. The results came as a shock to seasoned observers, who had been expecting a close race. The night was filled with encounters of engorged Tories, disgruntled Lib Dems and one teary-eyed Labourite. By Friday morning, the worst was practically confirmed and the exit poll … Continue reading

Dead Labour

The last ‘debate’ was somewhat uneventful. Except for one instance, Ed Miliband said he would not have a Labour government if it meant cutting a deal with the SNP. The statement has shocked progressives, but it has been welcomed by Blairites like Martin Kettle. Finally, the Labour leader had emitted yelping noises at the right pitch and sufficiently demonstrated his subservience. And yet it might not be enough to save his skin. Should we be surprised? Not really. In his younger days Ed Miliband was one of the interns, who wandered the corridors of America’s liberal flagship, The Nation, where … Continue reading