Category Archives: UKIP

#Brexit? God Save the Queen!

Brother Ivo loves exploring paradox, and the time since Britain voted to exit the EU has left him èmbarrased for choice; where to begin?

Let’s begin on a musical note.

As the remarkable news came through, one might almost have expected Nigel Farrage to celebrate the UK ” Indpendence Day” with the words of the French National Anthem- ” Allons enfants de la patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé!” – “Children of the fatherland, the time of glory has arrived” It has all the bombast of the Euro-Elite who believed in the Bonapartist vision and project which is the EU, but Mr Farrage had rejected the substance whist perhaps entitled to appropriate a little of the sentiment.

Elsewhere we might enjoy the irony of young progressives demonstrating their radical credentials by joining Jeremy Còrbyn as he supported the power of unelected EU Presidents doing the bidding of lobbyists from Goldman Sachs.

As the morning extended, advocates of the new ” gentler less divisive” politics gathered outside the home of Boris Johnson to abuse him for the temerity of being part of a multi-party coalition that had just contested a binary choice referendum and – Quelle horreur – emerged with the support of the majority of UK electors. Paradox abounds.

As he and others were castigated for their “right wing” stance, their opponents were seemingly ignoring the fact òf that success being rooted in the Labour heartlands from Bury to Boston, from Swansea to Hartlepool. It may not suit the narrative of many of the liberal elite but the result transends politics, classes, regions, origins and generations.

However confident anyone may be in the majority decision there will be uncertainty; that much was always inevitable.

There is one further massive paradox.

The United Kingdom has an unelected Head of State yet unlike the EU Presidents, our Queen does not attempt to steer politics in any direct form. She stands quietly outside the fray but represents a formidable asset on the side of her peoples in these uncertain times.

Whilst young people may hold on to a high opinion of their own importance in these matters, it is the nonagenarian Queen Elizabeth who will see us through. It is worth spending a few moments counting our blessings.

Our Queen learned her “trade” from Winston Churchill ; she saw us move from an Empire spanning the world, to a Commonwealth of Nations that even countries never part of the Empire have wanted to join. She remembers the inception of the EU, its idealism and its initial purpose, she knew De Gaulle and Adenaur. She discussed potential nuclear war with JFK. She has overseen wars and negòtiated peace. She remembers the Windrush, the Notting Hill riots and was on friendly terms with Nelson Mandela. US Presidents shuffle nervously as they await an audience with her.

So here is the greatest paradox.

Our young express anxiety about the future. Our Queen draws on her experience, wisdom, and faith, and whilst others hesitate she will greet our new a Prime Minister and ensure that he or  stay on the path which is best for her peoples.

So never mind EU grandiosity La Patrie and la gloire -” God save the Queen”!

Enter the Bishop of Clacton?

The growing dispute over MP’s outside jobs and interests must surely be a suitable occasion to take up the challenge from our Anglican Bishops in their recent Pastoral Letter, in which they urged us to step aside from partisanship and to analyse exactly what it is that will best promote the public good.

Rarely can this be more important than when the free composition of our ancient Parliament is being considered, in the light of what may – or may not – be breaches of the rules by two senior Parliamentarians

The Bishops’ letter covers a range of issues but must be relevant in relation to this topical question about securing the best representatives and legislators to serve the nation. The Bishops encourage us, whether we be Christian or not, to engage in the conversation, so Brother Ivo takes up the challenge.

The exercise begins with the hope that at the end of the enquiry,  we shall be fearlessly represented by free men and women of character. competence, experience integrity  and dedication to the task. Ultimately securing that outcome can never be about the making of rules but the exercise of judgement by those choosing the representatives , whether for the candidates list or ultimately by the wider electorate.

How we shall best ensure that those representing us bring the necessary  qualities to their role is important. Breadth of representation by the most talented is also an important objective.

The exercise surely begins with personal responsibility, not of the would be politician but with the electorate. If we do not participate in political parties ourselves, not least in their selection committees and processes, then we can scarcely complain at the character of those in the House of Commons?

Jesus told us that “in my father’s house there are many mansions”, and there was a range of character and both his disciples and early followers so perhaps we should predispose ourselves to the idea that diversity has more to offer than uniformity of any kind.

Love them or loath them, Sir Nicholas Soames, Dennis Skinner, David Lammy, Sajid Javid, Nadine Dorries and Sarah Teather are vastly different characters, and yet each represents a part of British life that needs representing in the House of Commons. Some have outside interests or affiliations, some have independent means, others do not. All types of MP bring important perspectives to a variety of questions, social, economic constitutional, and religious. It is odd to outwardly promote diversity whilst simultaneously excluding those whose personal circumstances don’t match a 9-5 working mentality.

Flexible and creative minds are surely to be encouraged?

It is the function performed rather than the uniformity of the mould that best guarantees the availability of a multiplicity of skills from which the welfare of the nation may be formed.

Brother Ivo is frankly concerned that to restrictive a drawing of rules will compress the pool from which MP’s may be drawn. It is, after all, a bit rum, for the present Party Leadership to fulminate against those who have second jobs.

David Cameron and Ed Miliband are both wealthy and have high earning wives: second jobs were always irrelevant to them. Nick Clegg has been described as one of the few people who can make both look positively middle class, having both inherited wealth, and a rich wife. George Osborne, Harriett Harman and many others are similarly hardly dependent on Parliamentary salary; Gordon Brown and George Galloway have been amongst the richest of outside earners whilst advocating for the common man. Bans on outside work will not touch any of these but may deter political engagement by many ordinary folk considering putting their careers on hold to contest seats that may never offer job security for an income less than many secondary head teachers enjoy.

There was a time, paradoxically when the estimation of MP’s was higher than it is today; it was when we did not pay MP’s at all.

Even that had its merits: if a man owned half of Berwickshire he might not empathise much with the rat catcher of Romford ( a task once performed by Brother Ivo’s grandfather!) but at least one did not have to worry over much about his selling his opinion to the highest bidder.

On the other hand, the paying of MP’s enabled the curmudgeonly Mr Skinner to bring an entirely different approach to the steering of the ship of state.

Every solution to the conundrum of how to remunerate and constrain our legislators has pluses and minuses, but we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater just to satisfy political spitefulness or to solve a passing  problem of the moment.

An early question must surely be whether we want to promote a fully professionalised dedicated political class?

The polls suggest a public inconsistency, not to say immaturity.

At one and the same time. many of us seem to be simultaneously complaining that our MP’s are out of touch with ordinary life – whilst also insisting that they should spend all their time working in the Westminster bubble.

We need to flag up this weak thinking.

Neither do we seem to be entirely clear on what the task a “full time MP” might look like. Is it enough that they work 35 hours, 40 or 45 hours? If so, is it really so outrageous if they earn money outside of those times rather than say, watching Netflix? As Dt Jonson said, a man is never so innocently employed as when he is making money. This is, provided there is transparency. When that is missing, then impropriety arises soon after.

One of the prickly questions one might even ask is whether this ” full time commitment” is compatible with being the mother of young children? Brother Ivo accepts that it is, but wonders whether the pressures, distractions and crisis management inherent in the multi-tasking of such ladies is actually less of a distraction to them than a once a week Board Meeting of a family business?

The value of current and ongoing outside experiences brought by farmers, duty solicitors, GP’s and military reservists is surely much appreciated by the public when they hear their parliamentarians examining issues with real life understanding, rather than the reading of briefings from special advisors, time serving before their opportunity to step up another rung on the career ladder that began with the PPE degree at Oxford.

A Parliamentary salary is greater than many earn in the country. That is no reason to conclude that those of talent are grasping. exploitative, and “only in it for themselves”. The rules may need modification but ultimately does it not depend upon the character and caliber of those whom we ultimately have a responsibility to vet and hold to account?

It is transparency and accountability that was at the heart of Zac Goldsmith’s recall bill which was emasculated by the party hierarchies – the folk who are currently vying to occupy the moral high ground.

If the local electorate choose candidates in open primaries and can recall an MP via a by election triggered by a petition of 10% of the electorate, the behaviour of Messrs Straw and Rifkind are surely best judged in the court of their most local public opinion.

Brother Ivo finds the idea of artificially restricting outside activities deeply unattractive. Many of our best politicians have been polymaths, people of exceptional breadth organisational skills and energy.

A simple analogy to put before the electorate is that of professional football and the maximum wage.

Were we to return to the old days of the “maximum wage” and legislate that football players be paid only an MP’s salary with no International duties or outside sponsorships, can you imagine the uproar? Would not fans instantly see that it would result in an exit of talent, a “dumbing down” and a resulting mediocrity of journeyman without flair?

Brother Ivo does not want to be only represented by the very rich or those whose ambition is limited to holding onto a lifelong job on a respectable but not spectacular salary. He sees such MP’s as excessively prone to influence by the Whips Office: the model of those who have to hold onto their jobs through compliance, contrasted with those free from economic fear looks suspiciously like the old  “gentlemen and players” model of yesteryear: one we should be slow to go back to.

Nothing illustrates the distain of the patrician class for the ordinary folk more than the entry in the members Register of Interests, which records a gift to Andy Burnham of a day at the Wimbledon tennis from Harriet Harman. It cost £2000.

It may be a pretty gesture between wealthy friends, but it surely sits ill for them to then rail against the ambition of more workaday MP’s who want and can suitably work for their families to have what the richest MP’s can so easily take for granted. Think of that day, when criticising the MP who put 400 hours  at night and weekends as a duty solicitor on not much money for his firm

Brother Ivo wants representation by the businessman who knows whether regulation is ” just right” or holding back enterprise and job creation. He likes the awkward ex Union Official whose members may not be as monolithic – or PC – as the party hierarchy. He wants farmers to speak for the countryside. He wants the GP or that  duty solicitor who can talk to the drug addict, and Police Sergeant alike at 3 in the morning and encounter what it is like trying to get a bed for the mentally ill under those circumstances, rather than hearing a civil servant’s regurgitation of  statistics.

All this is applying the spirit of the Bishops’ letter to this current problem. They seem to be encouraging us to engage more, and put in another way, it reminds us that the real problem is not that MP’s are not paying enough attention to their job, but rather that it is the electorate which is sloppy, and under performing. WE should have been more outraged when the recall bill was defeated by party interests who wanted to keep their power over the people’s representatives and did not want the electorate to exercise the discipline over its MP’S

Surely Christians seeking to improve the body politic need to be saying -“get involved, vet your candidates before you elect them. Hold your MP to account for poor standards. If they let you down, don’t hold to tribal loyalty – ‘ throw the bums out!” -as our American friends say.

We soon reach one of Brother Ivo’s beloved paradoxes – or in this case, perhaps an irony.

In such encouragement to take responsibility for our democracy, the Bishops are aligning themselves intellectually with no one on the current political scene so much as Douglas Carswell of UKIP, who has written persuasively on the subject

Now, who would have thought that?

No Human Rights without Legal Aid, Mr Khan

Brother Ivo takes his name from the patron saint of lawyers, who was effectivley the first recorded legal aid lawyer; he was certainly famed  for his advocacy on behalf of the poor. It is a cause close to Brother Ivo’s heart, so he accordingly tuned in to listen to listen to Labour Justice spokesman Sadiq Khan with real interest as Mr Khan told the nation about his priorities should he be given the justice brief in a Labour Government.

We heard that Mr Khan’s modest family origins caused him to identify with and  speak up for the poor, and if that be so, good for him. We all ought to applaud those who come through from modest origins, unlike David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and, err .. Ed Milliband, Ed Balls, Harriett Harman, Hilary Benn, and many others on Labour’s top table.

Brother Ivo was himself born during post war austerity, in a council house which his parents were not exactly entitled to occupy, so as boys from the wrong side of the tracks, he and Sadiq ought perhaps to stick together.

Unfortunately that that bonhomie  and fellow feeling did  not last long into his speech.

Sadiq Khan quickly went into attack mode on behalf of the much criticised Human Rights Act, making the common mistake of confusing substance and form. He prayed in aid Sir Winston Churchill,  who, he seemed to suggest, would have leapt to the defence of the HRA against the proposals of some on the right who wish to repeal it.

Brother Ivo is not quite  of the era, but is historically informed enough to know that Britain did not place itself under the authority of the European Court despite having originally defined the concepts of the Human Rights Convention. We, unlike most of Europe, had not fallen under the intellectual sway of either the jurisprudence of Fascism or Marxism . We had our common law to protect us: it had evolved organically over hundreds of years , having been framed and refined by fair minded judges. We did not instantly  join up to the European jurisprudential renewal – because we did not need to.

To have insisted upon British participation would have been an impertinence, rather like asking Sir Chris Hoye to take a cycling proficiency test. Sir Winston would have instinctively known that Britain’s courts did not need to place themselves under Human Rights Principles –  because they embodied them.

So much of Mr Khan’s big point. Yet as he made his case, few in the hall appreciated that he was standing on incredibly thin ice.

As as a proud Human Rights lawyer, Mr Khan has operated within a protected environment. Britain has to fund Human Rights cases, and does so richly if reluctantly. Thus Abu Quatada and his lawyers consumed £1.3m on his 8 year campaign to avoid the justice in his home country. Jordan has just acquitted him.

Is is anybody outside the Human Rights gravy train thinking “So glad we spent the money”?

The prioritising of cases such has Mr Quatada, has come at a cost, largely in the family Courts. It is common knowledge that the priorities which the Human Rights Act accorded to the absolute rights found within Immigration and Asylum Law, broke the old system of Legal Aid. The budget was finite: the new area of law was the cuckoo in the nest which duly began to heave the original offspring out of the nest.

Legal Aid was established as part of the post war Welfare State, and undoubtedly grew enormously under both Labour and Conservative governments. Both moved quickly to make economies when budgetary problems struck.

Labour, and its 3rd sector cheerleaders were very swift to condemn the £200m cuts to the Legal Aid budget, introduced by the Conservatives, and rightly so. Labour is not usually reticent about spending money or promising to reverse ” Tory Cuts”.

Brother Ivo therefore waited to hear Mr Khan announce that such cuts would be reversed. He waited in vain.

Mr Khan it appears is a blowhard. Strong on the rhetoric, weak on the application.

For all the talk of justice, Mr Khan and his party are talking in the abstract. Human Rights without Legal Aid for the poorest members of society, provide but a fig leaf of justice.

Mr Khan chose to avoid owning his policy. An open politician would have explained why he has chosen to retain Chris Graylings priorities having  plainly decided to do nothing to put the flesh on the bones of the rhetoric.

The Abu Quatadas of the world and those representing them will continue to suckle on the taxpayers teat, but ordinary people in, say, Clacton or Heywood and Middleton will continue to be on their own when family problems take them to Court.

Doubtless Mr Khan will next be in the television studios expressing disbelief and incomprehension when UKIP advances thanks to the support of the ordinary voters who have found the Welfare State is not there for them when they need it. Once they thought Labour stood for folks just like them, Mr Khan is teaching them otherwise.

 

 

 

First they came for the racists…..,

Brother Ivo has found himself significantly embroiled in the debates over UKIP and its detractors of late. It is not something he was particularly keen to do, he is not a member, and certainly does not believe that they have all the answers, anymore than any other political party.

He was clear however that plain speaking and a reflection of what ordinary people think is not to be stifled in a democracy. Even in this modern world, the membership of the United Nations is comprised significantly of undemocratic regimes. One of the first signs of privilege is taking one’s blessings for granted.

Free speach is fundamental to Brother Ivo.

Readers will also know that Brother Ivo is clear in his view that the political correctness which underwrote much of the attempted silencing of the debate over EU immigration is a deliberately political movement designed to frame debate by controlling what may and may not be said.

The capture of certain concepts – ” fairness” is an obvious example, is another stage in that movement, yet Jesus parable of the workers in the vineyard illustrates how complex such a seemingly simple and attractive idea may be. There is no one “fairness” but the radical left will coral us unto their version of it, given half a chance.

It is with that analysis in mind that Brother Ivo was sorry to see the Church of England bishops deciding that membership of the British National Party should become a disciplinary offence. One can understand the decision: the church is very sensitive to its slowness in recognising the consequences of Nazism in Germany and Fascism in Italy and many of its members foolishly fellow travelled the road from the high unemployment of the 1920’s depression to “Arbeit Macht Frei”.

Yet therin lies the paradox and danger.

” Work makes you free” was a fair enough slogan when first advanced. Of course it does: it gives you choice, independence and economic liberty – many things to appeal to the mass unemployed of inter war Europe. Yet surely we should appreciate that it is not where you start, but where you finish that matters. Christians are called to move from original sin to salvation, yet there is a two way street here. The power of the Church can intoxicate and lead us astray, even as they set out with good intentions.

Political Correctness is no friend of the Church: its followers are antithetical to Christ. Brother Ivo is not confident that the bishops understand this.

This may be why the Anglican bishops find themselves seduced into taking the first steps of political censorship at this time.

Why now?

The BNP vote is declining. We are not seeing a neo-Nazi revival, there are, apparently, no known BNP priests within its ranks so why now?

Could it be that our overwhelmingly Socially Democratic bishops would like to proscribe UKIP but, with such significant current support, dare not do so directly, so they choose instead to send a “signal” by this decision? Certainly there are one or two in the ranks who would cheerfully conflate the two parties.

We have never had a similar approach to parties of the far Left.

Might we expect the Socialist Workers Party to be similarly proscribed ? One somehow doubts it. Yet “a next ” there will surely be; there will be another serious “threat” requiring an extension of the banned list. Perhaps climate change deniers will be a sufficiently minority to be similarly rejected by all “right thinking people”.

This is in keeping with the shaping of the debate, the narrowing of thought, the limiting of what may be said which is part of the strategy of the politically correct. Brother Ivo was there when this began. It started with linguistic policing only – one was upbraided if one spoke of ” fighting an election”. Now we have moved on and a major non-political institution has proscribed political thought. Might others follow? Will the British Legion or the National Trust be next? Why not?

As we approach the 70th anniversary of D-Day we need to remind ourselves that Liberty is hard won with great sacrifice: it is easily surrendered, incrementally.

Those who crossed the Normandy beaches were a mixed bunch. There were Christians, atheists, homosexuals, homophobes, and of course, Eisenhower brought a segregated Army to our rescue. They united to fight an enemy which permitted but one way of thinking-their way: much like the politically correct of today, with whom the Anglican Bishops have sided, with no real existential urgent threat.

” First they came for the racists, and I did not speak out, I was not a racist : then they came for the climate change deniers, I was not a climate change denier and I did not speak out: then they came for the homophobes…. Oh wait …the Church of England has a statutory exemption from conducting gay weddings. Gee aren’t we lucky we’re not next on the list.

Brother Ivo remains abroad without his twitter password and would appreciate any help in publishing these thoughts if you found them thought provoking.

 

Is Nigel Farage the UK George Wallace?

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Brother Ivo generally thinks well of his fellow man.

He has met extreme selfishness, foolishness and even a few psychopaths who were so removed from normal human empathy as to be significantly dangerous to ordinary society. Yet, by and large, he finds it relatively easy to love his fellow man.

He has been involved in a number of controversies, professionally and within voluntary organisations, not least, for many years, the Church, yet he has always assumed his opponents to be good people who have not yet been convinced or won over. Even those who can never been persuaded have rarely been such thoroughgoing scoundrels as to be regarded as truly monstrous.

In short, Brother Ivo regards himself as a very traditional British kind of person.

As a result of this experience,  he never regarded the growth of a movement and party which wished to resume the Constitutional autonomy over governance of our country as anything inappropriate or indicative of deep moral failure.

He does not believe that the majority of Her Majesty’s subjects (a term he cheerfully embraces as part of his cultural identity) are hateful, intolerant, inward looking, or xenophobic, and so perceives the growth of support for UKIP as many things, but certainly not symptomatic of incipient racism, homophobia, mysogeny or narrow minded isolationism. The country which produced Adam Smith, William Wilberforce, Emily Pankhurst and Winston Churchill has earned the right to a fair hearing for its peoples on such matters. All expressed a minority view at some points in their careers.

We are also a people that has taken forward the puritan legacy into its democratic institutions. We tolerate income inequality because by and large, alternatives which do not, function less well than our own imperfect system. Our dominant Parliamentary Chamber is the prosaically named ” House of Commons”, entry to which has admitted a wide variety of folk over the years including many of non-standard backgrounds.

We may not be perfect but we have tended to be comfortable enough in our attitudes of mutual respect for many to like us  enough to wish to join our society despite its and our imperfections.. They still wish to come in significant numbers which is both a testament to our virtues, and a practical conundrum which will have to be balanced and resolved.

As Mr Farage began to earn an audience for his small party’s proposals to leave the EU, we gave him a hearing, and because of a rather plucky persistence, he began to earn a respect which grew when he delivered a rather insulting address to Herman von Rumpoy in the European Parliament.

Mr von Rumpoy is a pretty inoffensive fellow yet represents a political class  both within Europe and within this country which had seen both itself and its project, grow, and continue to grow. In recent times, many in the UK have concluded that that class ought to be diminished. Such rejection shows itself in many forms.

There is a shareholder rebellion against bankers bonuses. We are seeing a distrust of the complacent safe seat MP whose sinecure is under threat from the recall proposals of Zac Goldsmith and open primary selection proposed by Douglas Carswell. In Labour ranks the dynastic successions for the Kinnocks, Straws, Blairs and Prescotts attract suspicion. Toby Youngs Countryb4Party initiative is a similar manifestation.

We all hate the financial gravy train of the serial quangocrat and the highly paid Charity/ NGO merry go round, especially because frequently they are dependent on Government largesse dispensed by political friends. This offends the ordinary working voter.

Many of those voters are at the sharp end of free competition and immigration entry: they do not have the funds to opt out of public services which may be free at the point of delivery, but can come with a worryingly lengthening queue.

Into this pool of resentment Mr Farage dipped a toe, took a few steps and then pronounced

“Come on in, the waters lovely”.

He is set to do well. He has earned it, for like Boris Johnson and Ken Livingston, he has a cheerful and populist personality which survives most of the insults hurled at him.

If Mr Farage unsettles the political class however, it is because he may resemble another politician far more damaging to their interests.

Brother Ivo likens him to George Wallace.

This is in no way to accuse him of racism with which George Wallace was undoubtedly tainted, but Mr Farage isn’t.

The history is worth a few moments thought.

Wallace entered public life as a rather liberal judge. In the racially segregated South he was liked and respected by black lawyers because when fancy northern advocates came down with high ideals but disinclined to speak directly to them, Walkace showed the local men courtesy and consideration, if only to irritate the Yankees. As a Governor he received a significant black vote, for, whatever his racist rhetoric, he was known to give black schools an equal book budget, and many disadvantaged parents saw education as the only chance in life their children had.  THe They voted for him in large numbers on the ” better the devil you know” principle.

He had once narrowly lost an election to a more extreme segregationalist and famously resolved that he would never be ” out-niggered” again. Late in life, after he had been shot and paralysed, he returned to his roots and openly apologised to the victims of his former rhetoric and was forgiven, perhaps with a significant degree of Christian graciousness which acknowledged that there was more to him than that.

His defining sin was not racism – but ambition.

None of this applies to Nigel Farrage,  but as his opponents on all sides round on him, seeking to pin the racist tail on the populist donkey, they are finding that onlookers are not as pliable as the ruling parties and bien pensant commentators assume.

In the coming Euro elections it looks as if UKIP will not only do extraordinarily well, but might indeed tear up the assumptions of the party strategists and spin doctors.

The UKIP vote may draw out the previously electorally dormant. That will be an achievement beyond the capacity of the established parties. It may well reach across the community divide to draw in second or third generation immigrants who can tell the difference between ordered immigration entry and racism.

What will be particularly interesting, and will seal the Wallace comparison, will be if UKIP detaches a significant portion of the ” blue collar vote” from its lifelong habit of voting Labour. THis is not certain to happen but it is not impossible.

George Wallace was a game changer who never held national office. His failed attempt at third party politics paved the way for the Reagan landslide as the South turned Republican in a seismic change in electoral history. That had once been unthinkable.

Subsequently, the US South moved on from its history of racial tension far more successfully than its Northern victors. The fastest growing city economies today are largely in those Southern States, notably Texas Georgia and The Carolinas.

Mississippi -for all its continuing problems – has more black elected officials than any other State in the Union.

Conversely, the racial and poverty divide is now most deeply to be found in the North, in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington.

Wallace triggered a political change that brought with it economic resurgence. He almost certainly never foresaw or planned it; he had some pretty bad supporters along the way and yet his intervention in mid-20th century history has proved beneficial in breaking the mould of politics. He was far more significant in this than our own comparison, the SDP -which also never quite made it.

Brother Ivo is not blind to the deficiencies of George Wallace: he was possibly Brother Ivo’s first political “hate figure”, growing up as he did during the Civil Rights years and thrilling to the words of Dr Martin Luther King”. Yet Dr King worked with Lyndon Johnson to achieve lasting beneficial change despite Johnson being every bit the racist as George Wallace.

Johnson calculated that his “Great Society” welfare programmes would earn the support of the American black voters for generations. It did, but it also consigned them to generations of dependency poverty from which they have never escaped, despite persistently voting Democrat, and all the efforts at PC correction.

Conversely it was in Wallace’s South that the economy powered on, and it is in that environment that we are seeing the free market black conservatives making their mark with people like like Alan West, Herman Cain and Conoleeza Rice.

It would however, be foolish to make too close a comparison between either the men or the context.

History does suggest however that every so often a figure catches the wave of public opinion and discontent with the status quo , and changes the political landscape decisively. Nobody would have predicted that about George Wallace and he was rightly criticised for his obviously immoral rhetoric.

He did however prove one of Brother Ivo’s favourite principles that it is always better to be under estimated.

If things turn out as Brother Ivo suspects, Mr Farrage will have a contribution in the reconfiguring of future politics. Come what may, the others will have to react. UKIP will have been be part of a movement to put down the mighty and the complacent from their seats.

How one reconciles biblical prophesy and Schadenfreude is above the pay grade of this humble commentator.