So Close Yet Still so Farage

Did the earth move for UKIP, dear? Well Farage offered us a political earthquake and there has been a degree of upheaval in the council chambers of England. I suspect we are still some way from Nigel holding Cabinet meetings in the snug of the Red Lion.

If it has been an earthquake it has been one of those very British earthquakes with their epicentre somewhere in the vicinity of Shrewsbury. The sort of thing that causes the tea of Mrs Poppycock of Ludlow to spill into her saucer and the residents of sleepy hamlets to wonder why a heavy goods vehicle has just rumbled by.

When slapping himself heartily on the back the Leader of the new UKIP on the block should pause for a moment and consider how far his message is reaching. He is not inspiring a generation. He is not speaking so loudly to the hearts and minds of the whole nation.

Why do I say that? All he can claim is that he is speaking to the dissatisfied voter. It is not as if he has inspired people to the polls to vote, he has just persuaded some of those who regularly vote to put their cross next to UKIP. In an age where dissatisfaction abounds with austerity that turns people away from the Conservatives; where the perceived craven failure by the LibDems to curb the natural instincts of the Tories is costing them dear; and where Labour suffer from Ed’s failure to convince an electorate of his suitability to be Prime Minister, UKIP have become NOTA – None Of The Above.

Turnout remains pitiful low. It has been falling since Tony Blair’s crushing victory in 1997. If there really was a new player on the political stage, if there was someone who appealed to the voter with their new ideas they would capture the imagination and reignite our passion for democracy itself.

The nation may be prepared to trust the future of potholes and refuse collection to UKIP devotees but we are a long way from being content to see Nigel Farage welcoming the Romanian Ambassador to a light ale at No 10. Actually, it may be worth voting for UKIP just to see that….

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