Aaron doesn’t understand the purpose that Ukip serves in British politics. This misapprehension leads him to make pragmatic arguments on behalf of a party that will never end up in government. British conservatives vote Ukip to express their frustration with the Conservative Party, not because they want to see wags like Nigel Farage (whose speeches and pro-smoking antics I enjoy very much) running their country. If Labour wins in 2015 and the results show that marginal seats were lost to the Conservatives because some of their would-be supporters have voted Ukip, the hope is, depending upon whom one asks, either that the Conservatives will get serious about Europe, immigration, and spending or that a new, truly conservative–but non-Ukip–party will replace them. In the meantime, Ukip’s political non-professionals will do what they do best, namely, scandalize metropolitans and guardianistas.
Which brings me to Bloom, whom I consider a first-rate performance artist. Showing up plastered to the European Parliament undermines the legitimacy of that fraudulent institution. His “bongo bongo land” comments, which outraged Aaron, were a tribute to the Right Hon. Alan Clark, the legendary Tory MP, popular historian, and campaigner for animal rights who once made a drunken shambles of reading an equal pay bill written in bureaucratese and who, two months before his death, decided not to convert to Catholicism after a priest made it clear that his beloved dogs would not be joining him in heaven.
(Let me anticipate Aaron here. Probably after seeing this he will Google Clark’s name, drudge up further “offensive remarks,” and proceed to ask rhetorical questions about why I would defend this vile person. To which I preemptively respond that someone capable of being humorless about Alan Clark is capable of being humorless about anybody or anything: a real shame.)
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