Outspoken, Opinionated and Anti-Elitist: Why Ukip is on the Rise [BLOG]

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By Michael Heaver | February 8, 2013 3:39 AM EST

Ukip boss Nigel Farage (Reuters)

A lot has been written about the rise of Ukip, focused mostly on it biting into what is described as the Eurosceptic Conservative vote. That simplistic view represents a great folly in British politics that exposes the shallow depth most journalists have actually bothered to examine Ukip with.

The most important thing to note is that to most Ukip voters, David Cameron and Ed Miliband represent much of the same thing: privileged, out of touch, seeking to please all. They seek to placate everyone by aiming for the "centre ground" whilst paradoxically standing against British public opinion on the EU, immigration, grammar schools, crime and so on.

The rise of Ukip is about more than the issue of the EU. It is a strike back against stage-managed, monotonous Westminster cosiness. Nigel Farage quite happily lights a cigarette and shares a beer or two with journalists who interview him. Whilst this is hardly radical to those in the UK who go out and graft all day, it somehow just doesn't fit into the quasi-glossy British political game which has become more airbrushed than most lads mags.

People are sick of political correctness and politicians who earn their coin by dodging every question they get asked. No one can accuse Ukip of fitting into that mould; the party is comprised of the opinionated and outspoken who are determined to challenge the ruling political order. People tend to find that refreshing.

A voice for the majority in Britain right now is badly required. People are growing angry about issues such as uncontrolled immigration from Eastern Europe which has pushed down wages and harmed the prospects of many working-class youngsters in England looking to get their foot on the ladder.

This policy has been backed by Labour and the Conservatives alike and indeed, they both support Turkey joining the EU which would bring economic and social chaos to the UK.

To support the EU's open borders is an extremist view. In the first year of the coalition government, the Office for National Statistics revealed that only 8 percent of new jobs created went to British-born workers. It's no wonder that 79 percent of Brits in a recent poll were against opening Britain's borders to Bulgaria and Romania post-2014. 

Ukip's stance against this and many other things does not appeal particularly to the rich or the poor - all demographics in that poll were against the further relaxation of British border controls. The proof is in the pudding: Ukip has had very strong by-election results recently in Labour areas and continues to surge in Tory heartlands as well. 

Quite simply, the Ukip rise isn't dependent on the fall of another party. It's about the British people waking up to a new viable electoral choice. That's a very positive thing for my country.

Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) is a right-wing activist and author of the political blog Heaver Hits. He was the first elected chairman of Ukip's youth wing, Young Independence, and has spoken on platforms alongside Nigel Farage

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