UKIP – United Kingdom In Pieces

A piece I authored for the European Movement NI web site, in a purely personal capacity.

UKIP provided a welcome reminder last week that it really is a bunch of “fruitcakes”, with its contention that recent flooding in the UK was God’s punishment for same-sex marriage. “Ah, no, it wasn’t UKIP who said that, it was one member now suspended”, Mr Farage may insist, but the fact is this now happens all the time in UKIP.

A more interesting aspect to UKIP came last year when its entire leadership in Scotland was stood down. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, its prospective European candidate in Northern Ireland also turned out to be a fruitcake with some, well, interesting tweets…

However, the real issue is that UKIP’s core policy would actually leave the UK anything but “independent”; in fact, it would leave it in pieces.

For varying reasons, there is no real support in Scotland or Wales to leave the EU. If it became evident that a overwhelming anti-EU vote in England could force the UK out of the EU, Scotland (particularly) and Wales may well opt out of the UK – not just because they want to remain in the EU, but also because it would be further evidence of how different their political interests are from England’s. It is possible that an EU exit would also see the constitutional question put back on the table in Northern Ireland in a way which is not currently conceivable (not least if there are ructions in Scotland).

In short, it is hard to see how the UK stays together outside the EU. That’s one for Conservatives and Unionists to ponder, surely.

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6 thoughts on “UKIP – United Kingdom In Pieces

  1. Scots Anorak says:

    I honestly doubt whether Wales would secede in the course of the next few years, even in the face of the considerable provocation that the little Englanders voting to leave the EU would represent. Wales is considerably smaller and poorer than Scotland, and institutional acknowledgment of its separate nationhood is a relatively recent phenomenon. I suspect that a lot of people there would like to try out further devolution — which is on the way — before making the leap to independence. It’s also less different from England in its political preferences, i.e. the odd Conservative can still get elected there, and support for nationalism is more limited.

    Scotland is a different matter, however, and it’s clear that Scots independence would destabilise Northern Ireland in turn.

  2. trollhunterx says:

    Fair point with the initial caveat, but it’s still too broad a brushstroke to say that UKIP are saying anything about climate change and sexual preferences as a party.

    For people like me, though, UKIP’s appeal is that individuals are getting so much leeway with their comments (or at least, think they are until they get pulled up short, or even given the push). Maybe we’ve never taken the ‘United’ bit all that seriously, and instead see it as the obvious party of protest. Great while it’s on the margins, just like the Lib Dems used to be, but due for a night of the long knives when real political influence becomes a serious prospect.

    It’s a cliche, but the oddballs do serve the same ‘purpose’ as those pop stars who excuse their various indiscretions as ‘starting a debate’. There’s at least one oddball councillor in Gloucester (Westgate ward), who’s very popular with her electorate, so UKIP shouldn’t necessarily be dismissed on those sort of grounds anyway.

    • Certainly UKIP shouldn’t be dismissed. Not at all.

      But that is because people do not always vote rationally. We should be clear about that…!

      Thanks for your contribution.

  3. fred parkinson says:

    ever since we have been in the EEC -EU our economy has declined ?????? and norway and switzerland who are not in the EU are thriving , facts and not fiction speak for themselves,

    • Norway has oil. Switzerland has secret banks.

      Our economy’s declined because we bust all our industries and bet everything on “financial products”. Nothing to do with the EEC.

      Next…

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