by Kevin Meagher
Did I hear that right? Nigel Farage is offering to form a coalition with Labour after the next general election. He referred to it as “doing a deal with the devil” to be sure, but I’m still ringing out my lug ‘ole in disbelief.
But hold on a minute. Think about it. UKIP only have two policies, both of which Labour half supports already. The first is a referendum on the EU (which might seem a no-brainer if May’s European elections are a bit icky) and a reduction in immigration (which, again, Labour can live with).
Beyond that, well, there’s not much else. There’s a great big purple haze where there should be ideas. As a political party, UKIP are the equivalent of an empty pint glass.
Whisper it, but they’re absolutely ideal coalition partners. I know, there would be the occasional bit of eye-rolling in Cabinet at some of their loopy suggestions, but they’re not really interested in policy.
And for that matter, they’re not much good at politics either. I know the Tories are quaking at the prospect of what they’ll do to them next May, but take the recent Wythenshawe by-election. Nigel Farage said it was “as dirty as they come” because some people on a poor Manchester council estate had a go at them and Labour got in early with the postal vote sign-ups while Farage’s troops were still trying to find somewhere to park their Range Rovers.
All in all, I reckon post-election negotiations would be pretty easy for Labour:
Ed: “Okay Nigel, we seem to have the basis on an understanding, but what else are you looking for?”
Nigel: “Well there are some issues our members feel very strongly about Ed and we want to see action on them.”
Ed: “Such as?”
Nigel: “Well, there’s education for a start. We want teachers to wear mortar boards.”
Ed: “Mortar boards?”
Nigel: “Yes. Oh, and we want more black and white films too.”
Ed: “To be shown in schools?”
Nigel: “No, to be made.”
Ed: “Er, what else?”
Nigel: “Well, there’s implementing our pledge card.”
Ed: “Okay…just remind me what was on it?”
Nigel: “Very straightforward. Free mini tonic bottles with every double. Brass blazer buttons for all. Marching military bands to have right of way on dual carriageways. Jacket handkerchiefs to be worn – or ‘sported’ – by all men over 21. And women to be referred to as ‘ladies’ unless they’re especially pretty in which case they are simply wolf-whistled at…”
Ed: “Just a minute Nigel, I’ve got Nick on the other line…”
Kevin Meagher is associate editor of Labour Uncut