Now that Chuka Umunna has done for Labour leader candidacies what Nigel Farage did for Ukip leader resignations, the only thing left that’s certain in UK politics is that Ukip’s Parliamentary Party leader is going to be Douglas Carswell. That is, I think we can rely on him to vote for himself.
But hark….does even this now look uncertain? After some Party drone told Douglas to hire 15 staff “cos we’re allowed to”, the unique Ukip MP said “we are not about wasting public money”. So that completes the circle, and now everyone senior among the Kippers is at war with everyone else.
As I have tried to say to largely deaf ears for nearly three years now, Nigel Farage is a mediocre control-freak who stabs everyone likely to get close to power. He is the Party Leader but has never won a Westminster election in 25 years. In fact under his leadership, the Party has never elected a single MP from scratch. In a political system where Parliament is supposed to be the Sovereign body of power, therefore, Doug Carswell must be senior to him.
That is to say, Carswell as PPL could deselect Mirage, or block any selection of him for a potential seat.
I have only two real problems with Ukip: secession from the EU is no more than a starting point; and the Leader resignee resigned to the pressure he applied to himself not to accept his own resignation is a clodhopper with no strategic vision.
Put another way, the Party is a one-trick pony led by a donkey.
I have only one concern as the Corporacratic UK State is now unveiled in all its gory glory: we have even less of an effective Opposition going forward than the Ed Miller Band represented as it went ever more certainly backwards after 2010.
Ukip needs to fire Farage, and rebuild under a new brand designed to turn the Government focus back to the Citizen…rather than special interest groups. If it doesn’t do that, it will implode.
And talking of implosions brings me to the Liberal Democrats. Rather than having one MP who leads himself (astray or otherwise, we must wait and see) the LibDems have a Clegg left over where the Leader was….and that leader having lost 47 out of 55 seats, his resignation is highly unlikely to be reversed.
Former Coalition care minister Norman Lamb was the first to throw his hat in the ring, perhaps in the hope that Paddy Ashdown would eat it. Yesterday, Tim Farron declared his candidacy. The smart money at the moment is on Farron, a big-hitter in the Party who has already been endorsed as the successor to Cleggover by the Welsh and Scottish LibDem leaders.
This is a shame, because Mr Farron is merely more of the same: he attended Newcastle University where he gained a BA in Politics in 1992. He was president of Newcastle University Union Society, in 1991, having joined the Liberal Party at the age of 16. In 1990, he was elected to the National Union of Students’ National Executive. Before his election to Parliament, Farron worked in higher education at Lancaster University from 1992–2002 and St. Martin’s College, Ambleside, from 2002-5.
So far on the breath-of-fresh-air dimension, therefore, UK politics is in something of a dire position.
In the much wider and bigger world beyond Cruel Britannia, Chinese output slipped back 5.2% year on year, the expectation having been 3.4%. Another surprise, then.
And in a frighteningly accurate report entitled “The world economy’s titanic problem,” HSBC’s Stephen King argues that government deficits are too large, debt levels too high, and U.S. growth weak in real terms.
Bond yield rises continue, and can no longer be dismissed as a brief blip. In my view, they reflect underlying doubts about stock market valuations. Myself, I don’t have doubts about those valuations: I am 24-carat certain they are massively unsupported by real business performance. Low interest rates power high PE ratios, now back in the 16-1 range of nonsense. Higher bond rates hold the possibility of contagion to broader borrowing rates….and they in turn will prick the PE valuation bubble.
At which point, one of the cabin crew yells, “I just looked at the wings and there are no engines on board…..HEEELLLLPPP!!” Passengers assume crash positions, but their assumptions remain far too optimistic. Total loss of life results.
On which cheery note, I bid you “à la prochaine”.