There is something about European elections and craziness, isn’t there? Most people can’t be arsed to vote, and their absence provides a clear stage on which all of the fringe voices can voice their insane ideas. People who up until then you’d assumed were utterly, boringly sane will suddenly voice an intention to vote for the English Democrats. It is a time of great terror.
During the run-up to polling day, a steady stream of UKIP candidates have seen fit to out themselves as utter maniacs. Or, to put it more accurately, the vast stockpile of maniacal utterances made by UKIP-affiliated people has gradually been revealed to the public. The result is that UKIP now (more than ever) seem like a racist, nasty, sexist, homophobic, whatever-o-phobic party. Or, in common parlance, like a bunch of dicks.
Nigel Farage quickly decided that drastic action was called for; he went said something so unashamedly bigoted that no further scrutiny could possibly be placed on his the crackpot fringes of his crackpot party. Genius, in a way. He has since claimed that he doesn’t actually hate Romanians. Wise move, that. I’m not entirely convinced either way. What I am convinced of is that he is happy for other people to hate Romanians if it will make them more likely to vote for Nigel Farage. Which, in a way, is far worse.
Anyhow, his contention as I understand it was that if a Romanian moves in next door, you should worry. Or at least, worry more than you did before they moved in. There is a chance, you see, that something unpleasant might happen. I’m not going to say what. I don’t need to say what. Something. You know what. You know. We all know.
Should you be worried? Well, of course. Especially if you happen to live next door to an abandoned church. And especially if a large dog has recently been sighted in the area. And especially if you see a group of porters carrying in a suspiciously large wooden crate. If all of this sounds familiar, then I would suggest that you enlist the aid of an appropriately qualified Dutchman. I’m not talking about Geert Wilders.
This is something that should be of paramount concern to everyone. The link between immigration from Eastern Europe and occurrences of being really fucking scared has long been established. More so even than the link between homosexuality and flash-flooding. More so, even, than the link between pumping enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and the planet heating up at an alarming speed and flash flooding.
It’s not racism to point this out, is it? If a Romanian lives next door, the chances are higher that something unpleasant might happen than if, say, a Frenchman lived next door. That’s just a fact. How can facts be racist? Well, actually, it isn’t a fact; it’s totally made-up bullshit. But still. It’s higher than if no-one had moved in next door, isn’t it? If no-one lived next door we’d have total control over, well, everything! No-one would ever pop round in the middle of yoga time, asking whether or not you could feed their fish during their weeklong golfing excursion in Portugal. Such banality would be an impossibility!
Who needs neighbours anyway? Really the ideal neighbour is an empty house, or failing that, a house inhabited by a (non-evil) clone of yourself. What would anyone have to fear then? This is the UKIP dream. It seems faraway now, I’ll grant you. But despair not! We can take measures to make people less scared during the interim. I’m sure that, once in power, UKIP will relax planning restrictions to allow all good citizens to construct some sort of perimeter wall around their property. Is it so much to ask that we each have control of our own borders? WE JUST WANT TO CONTROL OUR FUCKING BORDERS DAMMIT!
Ahem. Should this control not start at the garden fence? Perhaps UKIP go a stage further and pledge to build a ten-foot concrete wall around every house. They could fund this extravagance by cutting foreign aid, which currently stands at several squijillion pounds annually, and whose abolishment could fund every crackpot pledge UKIP could possibly conceive of making. Most of it only goes to Johnny Foreigner, anyway. I’m not talking about the band.
The response to UKIP’s rise has, understandably, been one of stark terror. The press now seem intent on lumping them in with other ‘far right’ (whatever that means) groups in the mainland. Hyperbole of this sort is usually further encouraged by government-funded groups with ironic names like ‘Hope Not Hate’ and ‘Unite Against Fascism’.
This practice is, to put it mildly, not particularly helpful, because these comparisons are manifestly absurd. UKIP are not going to enter into an alliance with the Dutch Freedom Party, The Front Nationale or Golden Dawn. I’m unsure whether the people who make these sorts of suggestions have ever seen Golden Dawn doing their thing. A great deal of fire usually features. UKIP are not Golden Dawn. UKIP are UKIP. That’s bad enough.
Polling day is Thursday. I’m just saying.
Until next week.