Friday, 21 November 2014

Our Country is not a Gift

'If you believe that the world is bigger than Europe, if you believe in an independent Britain, then come with us and we will give you back your country.'

The words of Mark Reckless in his acceptance speech after his decisive victory in the Rochester & Strood by election.

Can't argue with the first part, but the last sentence sort of made me want to put my head in my hands.

No Mark, our country is not something you will gift us because it is not yours to give. It is, as you say, our country and we are taking it back.

It isn't just semantics. It's really quite a fundamental point. If UKIP stands for anything it is surely a more humble form of politics, where politicians are truly our representatives, and the authority they have is drawn from a true popular mandate. It's this, as opposed to the decades of back and forth between the two main parties that is attractive about UKIP and they forget it at their peril.

It was gone 4am when Reckless uttered these words and it was the end of a long and sometimes unpleasant election campaign so they can be forgiven. Forgiven, but not forgotten. UKIP are now in the spot light like never before and now it won't be just snide mentions in the mainstream media. Now their actions and words will be scrutinised and judged on their own merits, and if they end up following the other parties into the wilful obscurity of a political bubble who see the country as some sort of bargaining chip then they will be equally deaerving of our contempt.