So what will be remembered as the biggest political event of spring 2013? Naturally the death of Lady Thatcher must be the prime candidate.
But there is another that has thus far consumed only a tiny proportion of the column inches that have rightly been expended on the passing of the Iron Lady yet may have more pro found and longerlasting consequences.
I speak of the rise and rise of Ukip. The Eastleigh by-election, in which Ukip sensationally beat the Conservatives to second place, has of course registered in the national political consciousness. Ukip’s surge in that contest has already led to the leaders of all three bigger parties toughening up their rhetoric on the issue of immigration in a series of setpiece speeches.
But Eastleigh will, I suggest, turn out to be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The rest of it is not yet visible to the Westminster political class but the more astute among them already have an uneasy feeling that something threatening is out there and closing in on them.
They are right to be worried and today I make this prediction: the local elections on Thursday May 2 will see Ukip make a breakthrough of such significance that all the other parties will be forced to recalibrate plans and policies in the runup to the general election of 2015.
The signs have been everywhere this week for anyone who cared to look for them. First it emerged that Ukip is putting up candidates in more than 1,700 of the 2,400 council seats that are up for grabs.
And what is absolutely clear is that Eurozone membership is completely incompatible with nation-state democracy. You can do what you like to take away the powers of national parliaments but people will go on voting, and there is a trend developing right across Europe; the Eurosceptic parties are going to get stronger and stronger.
He said: “I met a 16 year old girl in Peterborough who applied for a job on a packing line and was told she couldn’t get a job because she didn’t speak Polish. I’m sorry but that simply isn’t right.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage told a packed public meeting on Monday in Suffolk that he was flabbergasted at the immigration problems in Peterborough.
Speaking to Paul Stainton on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on Tuesday, he bemoaned a sense of “emnity” that he felt had developed in the city in the last ten years, which he attributed to the high level of immigration.
Mr Farage said: “I was amazed to see the sort of Polish quarter of the town, and to see the size of it, it’s rapid development, and how few people spoke English.
“But the worst thing was a sense of enmity that has grown up between much of the local population and the large numbers of Polish people living there.
“I think people get on together less well in Peterborough than they did ten years ago.
“We have since the war had a managed migration policy into Britain of thirty to fifty thousand people a year. Over the last ten years it’s averaged half a million people a year.
“You cannot assimilate new groups in society if they’re coming in at that level.”
“Don’t invest in the Eurozone! Do not invest anywhere in Eurozone. You’ve got to be mad to do so, because it’s now run by people who don’t respect democracy, who don’t respect the rule of law, who don’t respect the basic principles upon which western civilization is supposed to be based.” UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage
According to Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, northern EU leaders realize they risk vast losses if they allow Cyprus, Greece or any other southern member to fail. To prevent this, they have resorted to extreme measures – even theft.
RT: Every bailout comes with strings attached. But can Cyprus afford the price the EU has set?
Nigel Farage: What is really happening here is we are having a reconcilable split between the North and the South of Europe. In the North of Europe – Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland – there are very strong political voices saying “We do not want to go on bailing out southern European countries.” And bear in mind that Cyprus is now the fifth country out of 17 that has needed to be bailed out. And that is why the Germans extracted the terms that they did. But I must say that even in my direst predictions in this parliament over the years about the way the EU bosses were behaving, never did I think that they would in a completely unprecedented manner resort to stealing money from people’s bank accounts.
RT: But is that because Europe can’t afford Cyprus to fail?
NF: Well, It can’t afford Cyprus to fail, it can’t afford Greece, Portugal, Spain or Ireland to fail. They know that once one country goes the whole deck of cards will come tumbling down. And countries like Germany will realize absolutely vast losses – possibly as much as one trillion euro.
Nigel Farage has campaigned for 20 years to get Britain to leave the European Union, and he now leads the United Kingdom’s fastest-growing political party, the Independence Party, which is gaining strength largely due to Farage’s anti-European Union message. Farage’s dislike of the bureaucratic governing body stems from the Union’s intent to do away with the sovereignty of European nations.
“What I did not understand was the sheer fanaticism behind the [European Union] project — there is nothing that will stop these guys,” Farage told the New York Times. “But what they have completely missed is the rise of identity politics.”
As Farage lambasts European Union bureaucrats who live lavish lifestyles funded by taxpayer monies and rails against their ambitions plans to “extend the sweep of European federalism,” his Independence Party has gained strength in Britain and has forced British Prime Minister David Cameron, of the Conservative Party, to deal with the Independence Party’s ascent.
According to the Times, “there is no disputing the Independence Party’s rise in Britain under” Farage:
In the 2009 election for the European Parliament, the Independence Party came in second to the Conservatives, taking 16 percent of the vote, and in 2014 many expect it to become the No. 1 vote-getter.
With Farage leading the charge, the “Independence Party in Britain is about to replace the Liberal Democrats as the third-largest political party behind the Conservatives and Labour,” which “heaps more pressure” on Cameron to deal with the rising anti-European Union sentiment.
European Parliament, Strasbourg, 13 June 2012: Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy’ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament.
Glenn continued, “listen to me. It is worse than universal health care. And in the coming days as we get closer, we will explain why it’s worse than universal health care. It is the death nail of the country. There’s no recovery from this one. None. No recovery."
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