Amongst all the commentary on Margaret Thatcher at the time of her death and subsequent funeral, if there was one recurring theme that rose to the surface every time, from friend and foe alike, it was that of ” the individual”.
“Standing up for the little man”
“She let me buy my home”
“I didn’t have to join a Union to be in work”
“She championed the hard worker who wanted to get on against the Establishment, Tory, Labour, Liberal alike”
“She was not taking it from people who hadn’t been elected, be they from Transport House or Brussels …. or Buenos Aires for that matter!
People forget she ruffled as many feathers (and that’s putting it mildly) in the ruling metropolitan elite as she did in the South Yorkshire coalfield or the opaque ruling cliques of Brussels.
With her passing, there was a feeling that the days of the individual mattering more than the ruling elites were dead and literally buried.
Which brings me to the results of the Local Elections and the amazing showing by UKIP……
Was it just about the ability to protest about immigration or the EU without harming chances in a General Election?
Will it endure past next year’s EU Elections?
If it’s all about disaffected Tories with nowhere to go, why did UKIP come second handsomely in the Labour stronghold of South Shields?
Perhaps it symbolises the tolling of a bell; for whom does the bell toll?
Just maybe, it is tolling for the metropolitan elite, the Establishment, the condescending “run along there, we know best” attitude from all sides of the political spectrum who run the Country, make up the vast majority of Parliament, make all the big editorial decisions at the BBC and in most print media. People who, it is felt, “have never done a day’s work in their lives”, who preach about things of which they have no personal experience
Could it be a reawakening of the power of the individual?
The individual on a Council housing waiting list…….
The individual who can’t understand why skilled immigrants from India or New Zealand are denied residency and the opportunity to create wealth for themselves and all of us but unskilled labour can enter the UK at will from the EU and strain our public services to breaking point……..
The individual who is patronisingly told “you don’t understand” by a member of the political firmament who has trod the path from school to University to researcher to special advisor to MP to junior Minister without once being touched by, getting involved in, taking a risk in, or being at the front line of, REAL LIFE…….
The individual who feels totally powerless when faced with the elected Government being unable to extradite someone who came here illegally and openly advocates the destruction of the very society giving him asylum……..
The individual who wonders why it seems as if “they” have taken the “common” out of “common sense”.
It may well be that UKIP are the happy recipients of the “blow off steam” brigade, it may well be that the voter returns to type at the General Election, it may well be that the bandwagon just runs out of road……….but without doubt, the preference of 25% of those who voted in the Local Elections has awoken the sense of the “lost identity of the individual” in many ordinary people who would never have dreamt of voting UKIP but desperately want to give the Ruling Elite, from Whitehall to the BBC, from Westminster to Brussels, a bloody nose.
As they buried the longest serving Prime Minister for a Century, who won three consecutive General Elections by taking the ordinary person with her, I could almost hear a shrill commanding tirade…..”Here….you!……in the Westminster Beltway, in the Producers’ Meetings at Portland Place, in the isolated, unaccountable, well-paid offices of Brussels….yes…you! …… If you don’t put the “common” back in “common sense” someone will come and do it for you.”