Got a good reason
For taking the easy way out
Got a good reason
For taking the easy way out now”
– The Beatles
And let’s face it, Politicians are the ultimate day-trippers. They know all about taking the easy way out. Politicians and the main political parties have found a way of keeping themselves in jobs that not only pay decent money, but also offer a free house, subsidised food and drink, some pretty lavish expenses budgets by anyone’s standard – and the chance to make a whole load of cash with the networking you do, and the company that you offer to keep. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that? Who indeed.
If you want your stables heated or your moat cleaned, Westminster is the place to go to get it all done free. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that? The trouble is, if you’re not a member and believer in the three main political parties, it’s hard to get those free lunches. So how is a fledging party, too backwards and right-wing that they think of the Tory party as a bunch of wet liberals, going to get a ticket to this free cash and lunch if the ballot paper is pretty much a closed ticket? Well this is democracy, goddamn it – and if there is one thing that conservatives are good at doing, or finding a way of doing – is finding a way of making money from other people and claiming it’s their god-given right to ‘drive growth’ while doing so.
While it’s connivery of the tallest order and a dreadful lurch to the right yet again in British political life, you have to admit that Nigel Farage has found a free lunch AND ticket to ride while putting to use Sun-Tzu’s maxim of keeping one’s enemies close(r). UKIP, as Suzanne Moore states in yesterday’s Guardian article, UKIP are seen as progressive, when they are not. True – even in the internet age, the media un-savvy can still tell a posh bloke holding a pint of beer by the stripes on his suit. A signifier that strikes home, yes, but UKIP are for the politically conservative, are the one-night stand without the consequences. If they’re unhappy with the Tories they can give them a bloody nose in the European elections, but still come to their one true love – the Tories, or in some cases Blairian Labour if the shoe fits.
UKIP know this, and that is their invite to the top table – and the irony is of course lost (deliberately) on a media that revels in reactionary discussion. Why would Farage seriously give up over £83,000 from his role an Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and a pension in 5 years time of £71k? The Daily mirror claims Farage has taken nearly £800,000 in remittance from his seat – which explains why he refused to stand at the forthcoming Newark by-election. There are 9 UKIP MEPS in total, and it’s certain that a few more will be enjoying the EU gravy train they so bitterly renounce sometimes soon. I am sure they will do very well in a European election, as the most people are, Qué sorpresa – completely uninterested in the process, and see the elections as having no real bearing on the UK’s rule of law.
What is certain is that the Brussels day-trippers are certain to make yet more cash from their annual jaunt into reactionary politics and make a little more from the cash cow that they so publically hate.
Maybe the electorate will heed the Beatles final refrain should they give them a more serious test:
Tried to please her, she only played one night stands now
She was a day tripper, a Sunday driver yeah
It took me so long to find out, and I found out