The unpleasant downside of the usual knockabout fun provided by local and European elections is the sorry spectacle of witnessing dysfunctional dregs of society emerging from the cracks in the pavement to seek 15 minutes of political attention. The Monster Raving Loony Party seemed an amusing distraction back in the 80`s, but its successors in the codswallop contest deliver accidental comedy rather than deliberate mickey-taking buffoonery.
Judging by the election leaflets coming through the letterbox, there must be vast swathes of recently vacated crawling space inside ancient and historic woodwork. The plethora of bizarre pronouncements from sub-Farage, anti-everything splinter groups of the far right is simultaneously hilarious and disturbing. One bunch of mouth-frothers call themselves “I`m English, NOT British, NOT EUropean!” The interesting use of capital letters and the incorrect employment of an exclamation mark might suggest that English grammar is something of a closed book to the defenders of Chaucer and the Bard of Avon. They have also mistakenly left out the bit about being NOT of this planet.
Similarly, another group of Britain`s finest paraded an assortment of what might be teenagers featured in a promotional election broadcast. Watching this, it was difficult not to be reminded of Midwich cuckoos and many on the far right might be considering if eugenics is such a bad idea after all. They might be of the opinion that if these strange creatures are the product of heterosexual marriage, then it is perhaps time to ban all forms of heterosexual marriage with immediate effect. We wouldn`t want the likes of them breeding now would we?
Marching on to the war that will decide forever who is exactly the most negative, stupid and hate-filled comes the Farage army set to trigger an earthquake in British, European and world politics. Sadly, if you are at the centre of an earthquake you are likely to witness great destruction, death, misery and will possibly suffer the great indignity of falling down a great big hole. Farage 24, the broadcaster formerly known as the BBC, has instructed us to believe that unemployment is at its lowest level since everyone had a job and that the economy is booming. Dismissing zero hour and workfare slavery, the sanctioning of disabled claimants and part-time working at below the minimum wage as an irrelevance, an inordinate amount of air time was devoted to explaining that migration from Romania and Bulgaria was up rather than actually down.
Farage 24 carefully explained at some length that minus equals plus and in homage to Heisenberg`s uncertainty principle, informed us that the foreign masses will arrive soon. Yes, soon…maybe tomorrow…any day now…they are coming…honest…just watch… their evil caravans will be on your front lawn before too long. Anyone disagreeing with this irrefutable truth is guilty of hate crime and anyone that dares to question the wisdom of Farage is a fascist and will be visited by the police and invited to undergo a thorough re-education in the ways of Englishness, Britishness and common decency in specially organised training camps. As a precaution against a lack of moral fibre, dissenters` families will also be offered a short holiday behind barbed wire.
It is depressingly easy to dismiss the range of right-wing nationalist as being a mere reaction to broken politics, distrust and frustration at governance that is failing. In these strange times, a vote for negativity might be tempting but it is also a vote for catastrophe. In an expanding world, we should be suspicious of any party that has England, Britain or UK in the title and a vote for ignorance and small minded bigotry is a vote for a dead history and an isolated future. We can direct blame to whoever we like for our failings but I for one will not be voting for any party that wants to turn my country into an international laughing stock.
Unless, of course, the name Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whim-bim-lim-bus-stop-F`tang-F`tang- Ole-Buiscuitbarrel appears on the ballot paper.