It is rare to find a politician with integrity, never mind one that knows what is going on. There are still a few around, but in an age where many politicians sole priority is to enhance their own careers, they have become an endangered species.
When I heard the news that Godfrey Bloom had left UKIP I was very sad. Godfrey had his whip withdrawn in September last year after being subject to a media witch hunt for calling women “sluts”. A remark that was taken entirely out of context in order to serve the political correctness agenda. Later that day Bloom swatted the insufferable journalist Michael Crick over the head with a UKIP conference brochure after Crick decided to discriminate people based on the colour of their skin. What happened that day, make no mistake, was a hatchet job.
A founder member and significant donor, Godfrey has been betrayed by a party that has drifted from its libertarian values. in favour of soaking up the disaffected vote through whatever means necessary. He spoke of how he was silenced quite a while back when expressing a desire to discuss “other issues”, and no doubt saw the party direction when being told “you can’t sell that on the doorstep”.
UKIP is now enjoying its most successful period in its 20 year history. And the points they make are resonating with a growing number of people around the country. They are connecting in a way that nobody else is currently able to.
However, slightly ironic is it not that UKIP are leaving those who supported the party for its original values are also being left increasingly disaffected. September’s party conference confirmed that the party was no longer a home for libertarianism. UKIP’s surprising growth in the Labour-dominated North has seen them pander to the Left in order to further woo their voters.
Whilst the free movement of people is a core libertarian principle, there is a very valid argument that in our current situation, it is one that is unsustainable. Until the welfare state is reduced – a key ingredient to the return of economic prosperity – a sensible immigration policy should be rightfully enforced.
But certain other policies left me unconvinced. The flat tax idea has now been scrapped, for a proposed system that is admittedly better than we have yet far from ideal. It was the idea to introduce a “luxury tax” which left me ultimately flummoxed. Floated by new economic spokesman Patrick O’Flynn, the concept was that an increased VAT rate of 25% would be levied on good of significant value. As baseless and shallow as Labour’s “mansion tax”, this was a direct swipe at the rich in effort to lure the Left. Thankfully, party leader Nigel Farage squashed the idea just two days later.
The NHS paraded was paraded as the golden goose, never mind its inefficiency and extortionate wastage. The solution to an economic problem is not to throw more money at it, yet in an era so entrenched in Keynesian economics, you could forgive someone for being incline to believe so. There is an overwhelming case for some business nous to be instilled in our health system if the end result is a greatly improved service.
Returning to Bloom, despite being stripped of any official role in UKIP he did remain a party member and activist until this week. That was until he was banned from speaking at a UKIP event in Weardale by unelected party chairman Steve Crowther. From there Bloom considered his position to be untenable and announced his resignation from the party. It is no secret that UKIP have displayed ruthlessness, and on many occasions they have been proved right, but this was not a case where the solution was to purge.
So is all hope lost for the libertarian in UKIP? Perhaps not. The election of Douglas Carswell as their first MP last week was significant. Carswell endorses libertarianism and is a strong advocate of the free market. Crucially, even whilst in the Conservatives he never wavered from his beliefs in order to tow a party line, I am certain he will continue to preach them for UKIP. He is an asset to the party and once of the most forward-thinking men in British politics. UKIP must let him flourish.
Sadly, we only got to see Bloom in bloom briefly. Although during his 10-year stint in the European Parliament he did more than most to fight the British corner – alas there is only so much you can do in a ‘parliament’ that has no law-making ability.
Many view him as outspoken, a liability, a bigot, or perhaps far worse. From the footage I have seen that has not been contorted by the media that could not be further from the truth. Few understand the graveness of our economic situation and even fewer can articulate it so succinctly. How rare and welcome it is to see a person in public office expose fraudulence of fractional-reserve banking, and the idiocy of countries to take their currencies off of the gold standard.
UKIP have lost not only a libertarian lion but one of their most popular, and most informed voices. They have enjoyed many successful days in the past few years, this is most definitely not one of them.
I will leave you with some of Godfrey’s best speeches.