Seismic earthquakes. Political turmoil. Revolutionary.
There’s been much written about the European elections, but the five tweets below provide clear lessons the UK political parties – and anyone with a passion for democracy – must learn:
1) Things are not what they seem
2) Tony Blair and Owen Jones agree with each other. And they are right.
Given who is voting UKIP, both the strident leftist Owen Jones and Tony Blair agree that the way Labour should tackle UKIP is to take them on. Nick Clegg’s problem is not that he chose to debate Nigel Farage, but that he lost – Clegg has become too much of a mainstream politician to counter the anti-politics sentiment Farage taps into.
3) Apathy must be countered
The low turnout is a national disgrace. As Ken Clarke pointed out on Radio 4’s Today programme “only 1 in 10 people voted UKIP and two thirds of electorate couldn’t be bothered to vote at all.” All parties must unite to counter Russell Brand’s call for a non-voting revolution and inspire people to take part in the democratic process.
4) Don’t trust the media
The BBC’s reporting has been roundly criticised, not just for the number of tweets it sent out promoting UKIP (below), but more crucially in Scotland where, according to the SNP, it gave the main political party north of the border four times less coverage than UKIP. Other media outlets were no better – and in some cases even worse in creating a climate of fear around immigration.
5) We mustn’t be complacent
Despite the explanations for UKIP’s vote increasing, the febrile media environment around immigration and the worrying trend for politicians to flock to the gutter mean that organisations like Hope Not Hate have never been more important. We must learn from the campaigns that beat the BNP and continue to battle the racist, misogynistic, homophobic and Nazi-sympathising politicians whatever their political party.