I am increasingly coming to the view that winning the 2010 UK General Election will be worse than losing it. The conventional view is that with finances in such a mess taxes will have to rise and public services be cut to bring some sense of fiscal probity to HMG. Without this the UK credit rating may well slip from AAA and we will have to pay a higher interest rate price to sell government debt, gilts. These necessary actions will be horrendously unpopular politically and will lead to a host of sob stories on UK TV with single mothers, the unemployed especially the young and the homeless being portrayed as victims of an uncaring government. This is an unedifying prospect for any government, particularly one with a small or no majority facing another election in 2011/12.
The over riding aim of all politicians however is to be re-elected back on to the gravy train. Margaret Beckett's claims in the DT this morning that "A career in politics leaves MPs out of pocket" is risible and shows how out of touch she is with the electorate. Does she take us for fools? The obvious conflict of interest between a desire to be re-elected and the poisoned challice is easily resolved - be relected as an opposition MP! This needs you to be selected for safe Labour seat and there may be some competition for those even after the expense claim junkies have been weeded out. The nice thing is you will then have Dave's inexperienced A listers to shoot at for a couple of years on a 'result' wicket just like at the Oval. Even Labour's bowling will look good and when Dave is skittled out for a low score, well all options are open!
The elephants in the room, the EU, Islamic birth rates and culture, the white under class living on benefits won't get a mention by the main parties. Why not? Because they are all vote losers stupid. Another sure fire vote loser is Farage's pet project to bring back grammar schools. For every child that gets into grammar school five to ten will not. So its one winner who might vote for you and five or more losers who will vote against you. I believe in selection in education but you have go to be a lot more subtle about how to bring it back than Farage's simplistic approach. The Cabal don't do subtle. They are not clever enough.
So how will UKIP fare in the UK general election? Not very well I fear. The leaders are all nicely tucked up in Brussels so there is no real incentive. There is also no District Councillor base to build on and no UKIP policies targetted at this election despite the valiant efforts of people like Alan Wood in Salisbury to build both these areas up. UKIP's core, get out of the EU policy is not a GE issue and is easy meat for its opponents who can point to the UKIP MEPs like Andreasen who is clearly not a withdrawalist.
Worse for UKIP however is that the BNP may get an MP. They have a local authority base in some areas with a number of councillors on some councils. The UK electoral system rewards this geographical concentration of support. Also the BNP core stop immigration policy will be a big issue in the General Election especially in these areas that people have to meet the effects of immigration day in and day out. They are a transparently British party, based in, and run from, and financed in UK . They don't have an Andreasen/EU flank that opponents can attack them on. They will almost certainly come second in one or two seats and thus be well placed for a further push if there is a quick second election.
All in all I fear UKIP has probably seen its electoral high water mark.