Delingpole on the weekend – Worse is better

“Worse is better,” said Nigel Farage to me the other day, channelling Lenin. And, of course, as far as UKIP’s electoral prospects are concerned he couldn’t be more right.

It’s not its (generally very sensible) policies which are going to see UKIP clean up at this May’s local elections, and next year’s Euro elections. Nor is it Nigel Farage’s frankness, charisma and aura of being not just another bloody politician. Nor yet is it the ineffable crapness of the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and Labour.

All of the above will help UKIP a lot, of course. But the kicker, as ever, will be events, dear boy. Events like the Mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal, which ought to have provided the Conservatives a perfect opportunity to show their mettle by asking tough questions about the NHS but which instead found them as bizarrely eager to duck the issue as Labour; events like the (hardly unexpected) removal of Britain’s AAA status; events, above all, like Cyprus.

I’m sure when Farage said “worse is better” he wasn’t gloating about people dying in hospital beds mired in their own blood and faeces; nor about the terrifying consequences for the interest payments on our debt once the international markets finally come round to noticing just how stuffed our economy really is; nor yet about what Cyprus presages: capital controls; arbitrary confiscation by increasingly tyrannical state authorities; the messy break-up of the European Union (which, though, better – ultimately – than no break-up, is a lot less preferable than a planned break-up would have been).

Rather, Farage is speaking as a political realist. It takes a lot to shift people out of their life-long political allegiances. Even now, I often meet Tories who are appalled by what Cameron has done to their party but who yet still can’t bring themselves to turn to UKIP because, well, they just can’t, it wouldn’t be right.

To reach those kind of people, unfortunately, you need a particular kind of event: the seismic variety. You need it to be their relatives, not someone else’s, dying between those foul, unchanged hospital sheets; you need it to be their jobs and their children’s jobs which are destroyed as a result of the government’s ongoing mismanagement of the economy; you need it to be their bank deposits which end up being pilfered by the authorities, their foreign investments which they can’t repatriate, their Cyprus holiday which is ruined when they run out of cash, their standard of living which plummets as they experience their first taste of Weimar-style hyperinflation.

The silly climate alarmist Sir John Houghton once said in an interview that until there were disasters no one would take global warming seriously. I feel much the same way about the UK economy and political system. One big difference between Sir John and me is that I take no quasi-pornographic relish from the epic misery which is undoubtedly heading in our direction. Another, of course, is that where he has got his predictions spectacularly wrong, most of mine are being fulfilled even as you read these words.

Worse is better. Well, yes, definitely for UKIP. Quite likely for anyone who is exposed to gold and silver. But not for many others, I don’t think.

11 comments on “Delingpole on the weekend – Worse is better

  1. dr
    March 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    I still have the opinion that in this country when things get bad, and our government needs to consider confiscating assets simply to pay the bills (inflation being too high to risk any further money printing); they will go after people who have gold and silver.
    For three reasons:
    1) A political argument could be made that gold is only owned by “rich people”, whether or not this is true, I suspect it would wash with most of the people.
    2) The Bank of England has low levels of Gold because Gordon Brown sold them off.
    3) Gold and Silver will be valuable during a crisis situation.

  2. dr
    March 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    With respect to the policy in Cyprus which appears to be a tax (confiscation) on savings, i think that this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the policies that the EU will be prepared to impose in order to try to keep their “project” alive. In the U.k. we are worried about having an “open door” to Eastern Europe, but if social and economic conditions in the Eurozone deteriorate and the politicians end up fighting to save the Euro and stop countries leaving, then the draconian central policies needed to try to control the situation could create immigration to the UK from all over Europe.
    An example of this on a small scale was talk of French millionaires coming to Britain to avoid a “supertax” that President Hollande wanted to impose on French high earners.

  3. dr
    March 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Last but not least, If the Euro currency was to gain question marks over its future, because so many countries were desparate to leave, then that could destabilise the pound.
    When Gordon Brown sold off our gold, he replaced those gold reserves with currencies including the Euro. So if those Euros became quesitoned then the stability of our own currency could come into question.
    This could be another incentive for our Government to try to confiscate gold in order to replace those Euros backing our own currency. (See my first post above).

  4. dr
    March 24, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Apologies to all, I feel like I have a lot to say….

    James Delingpole wrote:
    “You need it to be their relatives, not someone else’s, dying between those foul, unchanged hospital sheets; you need it to be their jobs and their children’s jobs which are destroyed as a result of the government’s ongoing mismanagement of the economy; you need it to be their bank deposits which end up being pilfered by the authorities, their foreign investments which they can’t repatriate, their Cyprus holiday which is ruined when they run out of cash, their standard of living which plummets as they experience their first taste of Weimar-style hyperinflation.”

    How about “their lights going out”? I know that the government and the opposition seem to think that the whole area of energy policy is a bit of a laugh, but my view is that while almost everyone in Britain could learn to cope with pre-announced semi-regular blackouts, and therefore their actual standard of living would not fall too greatly as a consequence of those power cuts, I do think that the political impact would be enormous.
    For example, think about how the media talks up a 1p cut in the basic rate of income tax in a budget. This cut will often only increase someone’s net income by slightly less than 1 percent, but it can cause the majority of people to think that the entire responsible budget was a good one, irrespective of what other measures it contained.
    Likewise I believe, that when people are sitting in their homes, with no TV, no internet, no artificial light, no boiling kettle, they are going to have time to think, and they’ll ask themselves “who is to blame?”

    • Simon Roberts
      March 25, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      I agree with this. Power cuts will stop people from vegetating in front of the TV and cause them to actually talk about what is going on. Look what power cuts did for Ted Heath.

      • Hugo Tillinghast
        March 25, 2013 at 10:49 am #

        Actually I doubt that powercuts ruined Heath. Rather, it was the wrong tactic of deciding to restore full power delivery during the run up to the general election (which he almost won). Had he fought the election while continuing the power cuts and on the basis of seeking a mandate to deal with both the then continuing power “emergency” and incipient complete takeover of the UK by the unions (not a difficult sell in 1973) he would have probably won.

        OTOH, in the medium turn, perhaps it was for the best, as would have been a Labour victory in 2010. The spectacle of Labour shovelling its own sh*t saw it excluded from office for almost 20 years. Analogously, a Brown victory in 2010 would have both ditched the Cameroons (a good in itself) and seen Labour out of office for a generation (or longer) come 2015.

  5. JabbaTheCat
    March 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    JD on Bog Paper, “I often meet Tories who are appalled by what Cameron has done to their party but who yet still can’t bring themselves to turn to UKIP”

    That is because some of us being ultra cynical, don’t take politicians and political parties at face value, but tend to dig a bit deeper to find out a bit more about the individuals behind the rhetoric.

    This week we have at the UKIP conference the appearance of a deeply unsavoury character, Bulgarian MEP Slavi Binev, about whom former US Ambassador in Bulgaria James Pardew, who is also a former military intelligence officer, wrote in a cable available via Wikileaks…

    “I. (C) MIG GROUP (also known as COOL PASS[3]) The MIG GROUP, headed by SLAVCHO PENCHEV BINEV (Bulgarian citizen born 10 December 1965, also known as “SLAVY”), owns more than 30 nightclubs, bars, and restaurants in Sofia, including the popular nightclubs BIAD, DALI, and BIBLIOTEKA. GEORGI STOYANOV (Bulgarian citizen) and MIHAIL STEFANOV (Bulgarian citizen) are “Slavy” Binev’s two deputies. The group’s business interests also include construction and tourism; it operates a travel agency as part of its COOL PLACE entertainment complex. The group’s criminal activities include prostitution, narcotics, and trafficking stolen automobiles.”

    Add this to eg. the disgraced Hamilton’s fronting EUKIP etc., etc. and people wonder why I’m so cynical about the dear leader and his suitability for even having a sniff at the levers of power…

  6. stephen will
    March 25, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    It is just terrifying how ‘they’ (the IMF?) try to change the language to describe bank depositors as investors… so that the public trying to keep their money safe became speculators running some arbitrary risk / reward calculation and therefore ripe for skinning by the authorities.

    Both Sky News and the DT allowed reporters to peddle this skin creeping deception.

    • Simon Roberts
      March 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t seem to be aware of the legal situation when they put money into a bank.

      When you deposit money into a bank it is no longer “yours”. That bank statement, paying-in slip etc is not proof of your ownership of monies – it is an IOU from the bank to yourself.

      The EU’s phraseology is misleading in that you aren’t an investor as we would know it (the term ‘investment’ implies speculation) but it’s assumption that you are not the owner of your bank deposits is not incorrect.

      I’m not excusing what they have done, but people really ought to be thinking about how safe their money is in the banking system.

  7. David
    March 25, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Unfortunately it’s going to take more suffering to shake people out of their inertia. Under FPTP constituents normally feel they have to vote between two candidates otherwise their vote is ‘wasted’ and the LibLabCon has relied on this to prevent any real challenge to their cosy status quo – to overcome this, it’s going to take desperation among voters as well as persuasive arguments from UKIP.
    The last 17 years have been disasterous and people have continued to vote tribally throughout this time. I have been particularly appalled by New Labour’s treatment of the British working class and yet many of these people will STILL vote Labour even now. In order to break this downward spiral many people need to desert the Labour Party and they won’t do this lightly.
    The local elections in May should be an interesting barometer on the mood of the nation.

    On another note, congratulations James for winning the Bloggie award I’m really pleased for you and you deserve some recognition.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Worse is better – Telegraph Blogs - March 24, 2013

    […] I called this piece "worse is better" because it's what Nigel Farage said to me the other day quoting Lenin. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: