By Mark McNaught
The election of David Coburn as the first Scottish UKIP MEP from Kensington, who plans to run for a seat as an MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford in London in 2015, has brought the first Tea Partier to Scottish politics. It is also further evidence that dark money plutocratic conservative groups are tightening their stranglehold over Westminster. For Scotland, only independence can assure that they do not suffocate their government as well.
Every right-wing populist group needs dark money sugar daddies to exploit voters’ fears to gin up support for right-wing causes. In the US, the Koch brothers and a cabal of shady multi-billionaires have funded the creation of dozens of right-wing think-tanks and the creation of the Tea Party. While initially fuelled by the populist rage against the bank bailouts, the Tea Party is now used to bring the Republican party even more in line with plutocratic interests.
This right-wing corporate colossus has been amazingly successful not only at placing their stooges in the House of Representatives in the Senate, but ensuring that existing regulations are not applied to them, and making further regulation impossible to adopt.
On the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee for example, there is not a single Republican who recognizes that human activity contributes to global warming. All Republicans know that if they recognize settled science they will get ‘primaried’ and lose their seats. Result; it is impossible to adopt sensible regulations to deal with climate change.
This is part of the rise of dark money in US politics. The 2010 Citizens United Supreme court decision has assured that donors can maintain anonymity while they mutilate the democratic process. The canons of climate denial, anti-unionism, voter suppression, opposition to raising the minimum wage, obliterating financial and environmental regulation, demonization of the poor, and other orthodoxy cannot be refuted by any Republican wanting to remain in office.
We see the same dynamic in the UK over Europe and environmentalism. It is not a coincidence that Nigel Farage is an investment banker, and that UKIP is funded by hedge-fund managers, aristocrats, Paul Sykes and other rabid Europhobes.
The City presumably wants to extract itself from Europe to avoid financial regulation. Given the lack of any meaningful party funding and lobbing transparency in the UK, British plutocrats can also give unlimited amounts anonymously to their pet causes like wrenching the UK out of Europe and opposing wind farms and green energy.
You will notice that David Coburn will not spend much time in the European Parliament legislating or representing the interests of Scotland. Given the fact that he lives in London, and is financed by the City of London and other plutocrats, why should he?
Like Tea Party members of the US House of representatives, he will use his influence to scuttle legislation and gum up the works, live high on the EU gravy train racking up expenses, emit the occasional faragist rant in the EU parliament, further discrediting the legitimacy of the EU, and increasing pressure on all Westminster parties to hold an in/out referendum.
You may also have noticed that UKIP is for ‘smokers rights’, against wind farms and solar panels, but not a peep about fracking, reflecting their alignment with corporate interests. They are singing from the same plutocratic hymnal as the US tea party, and threaten to wreak at least as much havoc on Westminster as the Tea Party has in the US, even if their numbers are limited, assuming there is any havoc not yet wrought.
Given that the Lib-Dems look to be wiped out, no one can doubt that UKIP will take seats in the 2015 election, and could hold the keys to 10 Downing Street. How does Boris Johnson PM and Nigel Farage Deputy PM sound?
Oh, and by the way, the 2011 UKIP manifesto called for the abolition of the Scottish Parliament all but in name only, by replacing MSP’s with Scottish MP’s.
As an American, it has been gut wrenching to see the US federal government descend into such a vile state of corporate corruption, where the machinery of the state at all levels is smothered by plutocratic interference. The democratic character of the federal government, state, county, and city governments is being systematically obliterated. It’s like watching a dear relative slowly die. One can hope for the future, but it is increasingly difficult.
Vote ‘yes’ and get out of Westminster while you still can. Otherwise PM Farage will abolish the devolved Parliaments, continue to plunder Scotland’s oil wealth, keep nuclear weapons in Faslane in perpetuity, frack Scotland, and extinguish hope for a democratic future.
For those voters still wavering, is this the Scotland you want to bequeath to future generations?