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UKIP: a modern triumph

11 Jun 17 | Re: Political success story | Link-U-Post

All political careers are supposed to end in failure (a plainly inaccurate maxim that I assume was created to try and keep Churchill’s lustre going in the Attlee era) and UKIP’s seems to be no exception. They’ve struggled to make any new headway since the Brexit vote went their way, and now lost almost all of their council seats, their one MP, practically all of their votes, and their latest leader. I don’t suppose the poor old kippers will go on much longer.

This is a shame, since from another point of view UKIP has been an incredible political success. Formed initially to keep Britain out of the Euro, they achieved that objective convincingly. They then set about campaigning for a referendum on EU membership, which they also achieved, and went on to help deliver the vote they wanted in defiance of received opinion. Along the way they enjoyed unprecedented electoral success for a completely new UK party in the modern era, winning a ton of council seats, MSPs and even one MP for a bit. The First Past The Post system stacks the deck so heavily against new parties that only a brave few ever try to set one up, most gaining no traction at all. The only real comparison is the Green Party, which has gradually built up a lot of support and has one MP, returned with an increased majority this week, but it’s taken the Greens a much longer time to get into a position broadly comparable to the one UKIP got to in, what, a decade or thereabouts.

Clearly, what UKIP should have done was hold a huge disbandment party the day after their Brexit victory, in a brewery, then announce that since their objectives had all been achieved, their elected representatives would serve out current terms before stepping down or aligning themselves with whichever other party they preferred. They would have been an almost flawless historic success story that students of politics would pore over for decades to come in understanding how a small, more or less single issue party can beat the odds in our skewed system. Future politics students should ignore the ignominious end and study the pre-Nuttall era with some reverence, since it seems wrong to write off all the successes just because a rump of loons failed to notice their slide into redundancy.

I’d like to see more organisations declare success and disband. Political parties, charities, companies: many are set up to do one main thing, some presumably manage to do it, yet few see that (or anything else) as a signal to go home. Instead they look for new causes, or widen their remit, or pivot into something completely different, maybe even at odds with the original organisation. The only entity I can think of right now who didn’t do this is God, who created, saw that it was good, and then rested. Why couldn’t UKIP be more like God?

Posted by GENERAL WOUNDWORT at 15:24

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