UKIP & Labour are fighting over an ideology. If you want a religion go to church. Cameron's ideology free zone is a strength not a weakness

16 May 2015 at 10:32

I don’t believe for one moment that the Edstone is laying unloved in a Woolwich warehouse guarded unloved by its engraver who is a Tory supporter. This must be a wicked lie told by the Tory press to a cowed and desperate people whom Rupert Murdoch and the Conservative fear machine has terrified into submission. The truth is that the Edstone has been secretly moved to shrine in Andy Burnham’s basement where once a day Len McLuskey, Yvette Cooper, the shadow Health Secretary come for inspiration, meditation and prayer. Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones are allowed to preach about its powers. For surely like the stone in 2001 it possesses the mystical ability to grant life or death. Hooded and robed in scarlet the last priests of socialism perform their rights and incantations to curse their enemies to eternal damnation. In a puff of red incense the political career of Chuka exploded into a billion atoms helped by a nasty little piece in Labour List. Kendall should not be too much of a problem to liquidate. They will smear her as lightweight and a joke candidate. Tristram will take a little longer. They will smear him with faint praise, plant stories by aides that he was never quite up to the job of even being shadow education secretary. Maybe leak a few Cambridge photos of him looking posh, languid and entitled. And anyway, ‘he is far to nice’, they will snigger.

So unless something radical happens there will be just two serious players in the field. Cooper and Burnham will slug it out as to who will be leader and deputy. All the while the unions will be stuffing the ballot boxes with their placemen. They will make misty eyed speeches about the beating heart of Labour, about how families will be trodden under the vicious Jack boot of Osborne and how soon the NHS will be owned by fat cats putting profit before care. The depressing thing is that nobody on the left has contemplated what would happen if they are proved to be wrong. What on earth would they tell voters if Britain’s economy continues in a upward path, if more families are taken off benefits and into the world of work, if the NHS does flourish? What is their narrative? Praying for a disaster rarely works as the Tories found to their cost post 1997.

But this is nothing compared to the genocide that is happening within UKIP. Casting Douglas Carswell as some sort of manipulative villain is almost beyond parody. He seems the sort of fellow who would be perfectly at home as Dean of a run down school of theology. And now the money men are issuing conflicting orders on whom should be executed. There is something deliciously Daily Mash about a party being financed by a spread better and a pornographer. And the more the Eternal Leader snarls, shouts and barks in thin skinned aggression the more he morphs into the Munchian picture painted by O’Flynn.

But the KIPPERS seem to be in the midst of an ideological war just like Labour. The old guard, decent old Tory sorts versus the aggressive tea party neo con types. It has always struck me that the aides that surround the Eternal Leader look as if they have just returned from the terraces of a Millwall match.

The problem the Labour and UKIP is that they are fighting for an ideology. A belief system which the faithful can unswervingly worship. It is pathetically out of date and out of touch. What gripes the Amish wing of the Tories is that ideology has been off the menu since Cameron took over. They always crowed that this was his weakness. This election has shown that it is his strength. If the British people want a religion they can go to church. If they want jobs, prosperity and social mobility they want a party that can give them hope of delivery.

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