Nigel Farage appeared to be a racist. Even if he wasn’t, it was clear that he was courting the votes of racists and that disgusts me. I listened to the media and got the impression of a party probably full of other people also harbouring feelings of xenophobic hatred. I thought Farage being the only face of UKIP suggested that those hiding behind the scenes must be even worse.
I watched the debate with Nick Clegg. I came away from it furious at some of the things Farage had said but well aware that someone who was thinking of voting for UKIP would have considered him to have won. It was clear to me that Nick Clegg was also incensed by some of the things said but his politeness and his care not to say the wrong thing, left him looking weak and ineffective, by comparison. What I saw as Farage’s rudeness would be seen as honesty and forthright expression of the views of ‘ordinary hard working people’ by those who wanted wanted to “blame the immigrants” for all our woes, and as a far Right-Wing, anti-Europe international Free Market extension of the Conservative Party by those who are better informed and found it refreshing to see the Working Classes coming to their senses at last.
After the election, when Farage said that UKIP had done less well in London because people were younger, educated and cultured, it was clear that UKIP’s offering was indeed aimed at the old, ignorant and uncouth and that he, as a Londoner and ex-City trader had considered an explanation of UKIP’s position on Europe to be above them. Instead, he’d agreed that it was obvious we were better off before we joined Europe (irrelevant), supped beer in pubs and been dismissive of the Con-Dem Eton old-boys club that had let them down. I thought he’d betrayed that he was only a temporary traitor to The Establishment, when he appeared in the floods donning a wax jacket and green wellies from the high seat of his Land Rover but the euphoria of having someone new in the game who was talking such obvious sense provided sufficiently rosy goggles to obscure that. Maybe that ‘country weekend’ uniform was a nod to the crusty majors not to take anything he said for the benefit of the oiks too seriously.
Like most people, I suspect, I voted against parties rather than for one but the party I was most against was UKIP. My vote was designed to hurt them because I thought they were dangerous. I failed and I was disappointed in many of the people I share a country with and the media for failing to allow us to make an informed decision .
The only part of the UKIP offering I might have supported was if they could have explained why we should leave Europe but they didn’t bother trying. Why give people facts that might be disproved when you can rely on prejudice? What I didn’t realise is that the media also gave a false impression of UKIP and my decision was based on some significantly misleading information but more on that next time.