It looks like UKIP have done well in both the local and European elections and many of my friends and colleagues are disturbed at what this means. It seems that people can’t see beyond the cheap promises but that’s because they’re used to politicians lying to them. The UKIP lies are just sounding better.
The problem is that this isn’t the first time that a charismatic leader has risen to prominence on false promises and blaming others for the misfortunes of the day. In the 1930s it was a young Austrian artist in Germany and here in Northern Ireland it was a young fire and brimstone preacher in the 70s.
Reports seem to indicate that there has been a swing to the right across Europe. That will please the UKIP leader: Europe agrees with you and they’d like you to take back your ex-pats and travelling bums.
I would contend that these swings are not only predictable as they occur after a period of socioeconomic upheaval but they are also necessary. They’re needed so Europeans can be reminded “Oh yes, these people are quite horrid, can we go back to liking each other again.”
We see these cycles in Europe, in the US and just about everywhere except here in Northern Ireland where a weird stalemate between two equally distasteful factions has arisen. Perhaps fortunately the DUP make UKIP look positively progressive.
The danger is that we have one year for this to be proven for Westminster.