Ukip is a spent political force. Despite the seemingly endless news carnival of its rise, the bubble has burst. Much like the idiotic, and entirely unreflected in reality, notion of "Cleggmania" - which gave struggling news channels something to fill up a schedule - the fortunes of Ukip's leadership coterie will soon crash to Earth once more.
Neil Hamilton, who (as I remarked earlier) is the scandal-oozing shadow of a sleazy Tory past, continues to hang around the National Executive Council like an unbearable odour. He has not been selected for the Party's candidacy for MEP next year, but he has been promised a "key position" in Ukip's future organisation. Farage certainly looks after his friends - where have we heard that before?
There is no way that Nigel Farage will ever end up in Downing Street - voters at large do not respond to his boozy bolshiness. But still, pathetically, Ukip supporters pretend that their struggling 'movement' has a long term political future.
Ukip has had its share of scandals; with fascist would be councillors, a starting stifling of free speech in its youth organisation, general - hysterical - duplicity in immigration statistics, and insane budgetary predictions. Despite this, enamoured obsessives continue to people online message boards, chanting almost as one: "Ukip is the only way!" and other moronic sentiments to that effect.
All of this support will be useless anyway. In the end, the new socially liberal Tories will surpass Ukip at the next general election. People do not want to live in the country Ukip ceaselessly promotes; and perhaps when 'kippers realise this, they might put their efforts towards something of actual importance, and stop trying so enthusiastically to hand Ed Miliband the keys to Number Ten.
Another instance of collective ignorance within Ukip is that relating to the Exchequer. Supporters do not seem to realise that their party of choice would bankrupt the nation. This is in direct contrast to all of the opportunistic talk about fiscal 'common sense' - and cutting government spending. Ukip accounting not only makes Farage and co. look economically illiterate, but also downright hypocritical to boot.
If "common sense" means endorsing all of the ugliest and nastiest prejudices of the "common man", then Ukip can be seen to be doing a fine old job. Sexist monstrosity (and celebrated drunk) Godfrey Bloom has been at it again, this time describing the places to which we give aid as 'Bongo Bongo Land'.
What is particularly revealing about the clip, is that, despite the supposed humorous intent of Mr. Bloom's remark, no one (even in a room full of Ukip voters) laughed at his quip about the grasping foreigners. So not only is he someone who considers ethnic stereotyping to be reasonable in modern political discourse, he is also an awful raconteur.
But pledging a massive increase in things like defence spending, and then promising to pay for it all by scraping popular bogeymen like the department responsible for our reaction to climate change (which is of course "a myth"), or the terrifying prospect of international development aid, and obviously the ubiquitous but unnamed quangos, is not economic policy. It is in fact squalid and unsustainable populism, aided immensely by the number of credulous voters out there, and also the fact that this drivel will never actually be put to the test.
The Ukip vote thrives on ignorance. It helps that few people seem to know about the elite past of the Dulwich College-educated Farage, or the fact that Hamilton appeared in pantomime after his disastrous stint as an MP. It helps that people don't seem to know that Ukip is economical with the truth of migration statistics, and their plans for the financial future of the nation.
It certainly helps that Ukip members don't seem to know who isolated the actually are in British politics: isolated from the libertarians with whom they self-identify, and isolated from a good deal of the salt of the Earth, ordinary-bloke-down-the-pub sorta guys party strategists moon over.
In reality, Ukip is a political con trick, to believe that it has any sustainable political future after 2015 takes more of a sense of humour than I can credit men like Farage - who, in spite of the faux bonhomie is more calculating than most seem to think. He knows, in short, that he has no chance - and so hopes to push fearful Tories into a rapid lurch to the far-Right, before the curtain falls away, and the shocked audience discover he has made off with the rabbit, and Bloom has ensnared the glamorous assistant.Suggest a correction