Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Chuka Umunna seems to believe that if only we could force UKIP supporters online, they'd vote Labour!

Labour’s achingly cool, hip, rich business spokesman, the MP Chuka Umunna, has told the BBC that the reason for UKIP’s current popularity is that many of its supporters don’t have basic computer skills. This apparently leaves them feeling alienated from the vibrant, throbbing, kaleidoscopic, information-rich society in which they find themselves. UKIP supporters are essentially technical Neanderthals, trapped in a world which has been taken over by young, razor-sharp, tablet-toting, privately-educated metrosexual hipsters who’ve woken up, smelt the fair trade coffee, penned an article for The Guardian and invested in a digital media start-up or two before breakfast.

In other words, the kind of glossy, meaningless, grabby creeps who make the rest of us want to hurl chunks, wear flat caps and raise whippets in order to signal our contempt for their attitudes and lifestyles.

I won’t bother rehashing the now rather familiar story of Umunna’s “rise without trace” to the top echelon British politics, or the way he has carefully positioned himself as the Labour Party’s answer to Barack Obama (i.e. looks and sounds good but is essentially useless) so that he’ll be in with a shout when Blind Pugh finally delivers the Black Spot to Ed Miliband. All we need to know about Chuckles - who claims that his “values” derive from Christianity- was encapsulated in a Facebook comment he made about the sort of ghastly people who spoil the West End night-life for go-getters like himself:
“Most of the West End haunts seem to be full of trash and C-list wannabes, while other places that should know better [than to] opt for the cheesy vibe.”
I’m sure Clement Atlee would have agreed.

Until now, members of the left-liberal establishment like Chuka have been confused as to how to interpret – let alone respond to - the rise of UKIP. As long as Kippers only threatened Tories, it didn’t much matter, but now that many white working-class Labour supporters are exiting the plantation stage right blowing raspberries and giving V-signs(much as they did when Mrs Thatcher came along), urgent action is required.

It's obvious to urban liberal types that anyone who believes what Kippers believe must be mad, bad or very, very stupid. But calling them racists, lunatics or idiots didn’t work out well for David Cameron, and now that UKIP is attracting traditional Labour voters, the party has to be careful about treating them as if they were rabid fascists – after all, it desperately needs them back in the fold. So Chuck has decided that what Kippers need is sympathy and (inevitably) government intervention. They deserve sympathy because they don’t have a Twitter account and don’t have a clue how to access cool apps on an iPhone. And government intervention is needed to force these ignorant Morlocks to undergo IT training programmes. As soon as they've been herded online and start reading the Guardian's "Comment is Free" section – bingo! – they’ll be spontaneously hugging immigrants in the street, sticking up posters of Herman Van Rompuy in their windows, sipping skinny lattees, and voting Labour.

Congratulations, Kippers – you’ve become members of a victim group, and have therefore won first prize in the left-wing lottery of life!

The problem with Umunna’s analysis – as Tory MP Douglas Carswell pointed out yesterday here – is that it is completely arse-about-face. It’s the fact that digital media have released the public from the mainstream media’s stranglehold on political news and opinion that has accelerated the rise of UKIP. I’m sure the electorate would have grown disillusioned with the traditional political parties eventually (they are, after all, a very sorry lot), but constant access to alternative views online has leant flesh to our suspicions that the young politicians in blue suits who blether irrelevant, lying platitudes at us on TV news have the slightest clue as to what’s going on in our heads, and, besides, couldn’t really care less what we think about anything. 

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